I woke up with conflicting emotions. I was so perplexed by the dream I had last night. I could not reconcile it with reality (i know dreams are not exactly trustworthy mirror of the future). But if I dreamed about vampires, monsters and other unpleasant creatures I would have been happier. I am not a person to remember my dreams. More often I would woke up “dreamless”. But this morning its as if my 8 hours of sleep brought me no rest at all.I can still feel the lingering after effect of my dream. Have you ever had a dream where you want to wake up and change the plot or the story? Have you ever tried to give all the force you have to change the outcome of your dream so it would give you a pleasant feeling of “waking up on the right side of the bed in the morning?” I have tried.. with all my might… but i failed… In my dream i was in my high school football field. I was transported into the 90’s. The oval field has never look so wide, the sun has never shone so brightly, the three grand stands were filled with all my former classmates and schoolmates, and friends. The whole place has a festive feeling…. everybody was talking to somebody…everyone was excited to be there… everyone was in high spirits… cheering, laughing, shouting ….. just happy… I was there too… but in contrast to all the fun and excitement around me, my heart was swelling… almost bursting not with laughter but with tears. I am in BIG trouble … my future -even my life (gasp) hangs in a balance. All my intellectual and emotional capacity are fighting - clamoring to find a solution to a problem which has no solution, I felt so alone, depressed, hopeless. I was staring blankly to a group of guys who are kicking a soccer ball aimlessly (that’s what it looks to me)… then my eyes focus on someone who is not a part of my past, someone I now just met, Why is he here? I hastily wiped my eyes and forced a smile and gave a little wave all the while my mind was on overtime thinking why is he here?… Then he left the boys and the field, ran up to me… paused a few feet away and looked at me with compassion … like he knew exactly what i was thinking and feeling…. like he’s reading my thoughts … i felt exposed and naked… And then he slowly advanced to me….. almost floating on the ground, reach out and touched my hand … he said ” You are stronger than you thought, I will always be here” … two perfect teardrops rolled in my eyes.. they were about to fall when suddenly … the guy give a a smirk and an evil smile…. he look at me with piercing eyes…he said….. You are NAIVE!…..(Created: August 15, 2009)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
To give up
To be angry
To be selfish
To hold grudges
To make mistakes
To pass the blame
To go with the flow
To put yourself first
To mis-spend money
To ignore sound advice
To make lousy decisions
To wish upon a lonely star
To choose comfort over principles
To prioritize things over relationships
it does not help you
….. at all
What comes into mind when we think of ministry or service for God? Pastors always on the run so as not to miss the next appointment? Panic-stricken Sunday school teachers cramming up a lesson for tomorrow’s class? Audience-pressured song leaders trying to use up the few minutes left before service starts to rehearse the line-up hastily prepared last night? In other words ministry is always associated with BUSYNESS … but is busyness synonymous with meaningful ministry? Is God pleased when where always on the run? Always harried and tired looking because of “his work?”
Eugene Paterson wrote: Hilary of Tours diagnosed our busyness in the ministry as irreligiosa sollicitudo pro Deo, a blasphemous anxiety to do God’s work for him.
Whoa!!! It’s so shocking and it hurts … makes me want to defend myself. But Paterson gives us two reasons:
One: I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and the heavy demands on my time are proof to myself – and to all who will notice – that I am important.
Two: I am busy because I am lazy. I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself …..
It was a fave theme of C.S. Lewis that only lazy people work hard. A little bit unconventional for our thought but if you hear him out he further explains that lazy people abdicate the essential work of deciding and directing, establishing values and setting goals, other people do it for lazy peeps; then they find themselves trying to satisfy a half dozen different demands on their time, none of which is essential in their vocation, to stave off the disaster of disappointing someone.
Peterson gives an example of what he should do first. Prayer.
“I want to do the original work of being in deepening conversation with the God who reveals himself to me and addresses me by name. I don’t want to dispense mimeographed hand-outs that describe God’s business; I want to witness out of my own experience. I don’t want to live as a parasite on the first-hand experience of others, but to be personally involved with all my senses, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.”
After I’ve read this I was like, Ouch!!!! To the highest level. There are a lot of times when I was so lazy to converse with God that all I do is just being a parasite…. depending the nutritional element of my spiritual growth on the experience of others. Never again.
(Created: June 10, 2009)
Objectivity. Nice word. Dignified. So professional. So…. Objetive. It means the ability to perceive or describe something without being influenced by emotions or prejudices. Sounds attractive. Simple. Straightforward. But in my case sooooo hard. I mean one of my motto’s in life is to not let my emotions cloud my judgment. But this has not been true in many case. I mean i tried… hard… and in many times…. i failed. There are people who says that we must use the power of our reasoning so we can be objective and there are also those who suggest that we let go and let our emotion guide us into happiness. But which is really which, objectivity or emotion? I have win over emotion many times and been objective… Yehey! but i have also done somethings guided by my emotions and prejudices….
There is one truth that i know though that many a times actions prompted by emotions and feelings can be biased, morally deficient, and lack the standards that our Lord requires. On the other objective actions can only be done if a person thinks through and through and is guided by the ultimate standard for life and morality which is God’s Word.
So i think (my opinion okay, u can have yours and publish it) that we can use a generous amount of emotions and be objective about it. I mean as long as were mature enough to assess things… weigh all the options and differing opinions (it matters believe me) we can arrive in a certain agreeable conclusions…agreeable to us…… (to be continued)
God’s Love never ceases!
How do we explain it? We cannot. We can only compare God’s infinite and unexplainable love in a way our finite mind can understand.
A mother loves her new born uncondionally in spite of all the things that she has undergone… she screamed.. swore… bit bullets.. and tore at sheets.. but if the baby is there … even if shes drenched in sweat… back aching… head pounding.. every muscle strained and stretched … is she angry? NO NO NO!!!
Far from it. On her face is a for-longer-than-forever love. She has done nothing for her; yet she love her. She’s brought pain to her body and nausea to her morning, yet she treasure her. Her face is wrinkled and her eyes are dim, yet all she can talk about are her good looks ad bright future. She’s going to wake her up every night for the next-who-knows-when weeks, but that doesnt matter. Everyone can see it in her face. She’s crazy for her.
Why does the mother love her newborn? Because the baby is hers? Even more. Because the baby is her. Her blood. Her flesh. Her sinew and spine. Her hope. Her legacy. It bothers her not that the baby gives nothing. She knows a newborn is helpless, weak. She knows babies dont ask to come into this world
And God knows we didnt either.
We are his idea. We are his. His face. His eyes. His hands. His touch. We are him. Look deeply into the face of every human being on earth, and you will see his likeness. Though some appeadr to be distant relatives, they are not. God has no cousins, only children.
We, are incredibly, the body of Christ. And though we may not act like our Father, there is no greater truth than this: We are his. Unalterably. He loves us. Undyingly. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).
Had God not said those words, I would be a fool to write . But since he did, I’m a fool if i didnt believe them. Nothing can separate us fromt he love of Christ … but how difficult it is for some to embrace this truth.
You think you’ve committed an act tha places you outside his love. A treason. A betrayal. An aborted promise. You think he would love you more if you hadn’t done it, right? You think he would love you more if you did more, right? You think if you were better his love would be deeper, right?
God’s love is not human. His love is not normal. His love sees your sin and loves you still. Does he approve of your error? No.. Do you need to repent? Yes. But do you repent for his sake or yours? Yours. His ego needs no apology. His love needs no bolstering.
And he could not love you more than he does right now.
Excerpt from Max Lucado's book
(Created:February 12, 2009)
I was sitting in a coffee shop quietly drinking a frapuccino i just ordered when I was interrupted with a piercing yell from somebody in front of me. I looked around greatly embarrassed that my name was “announced” so loudly; I stared straight at the person who just did it ready to be angry…but I feel like a yell was also about to come gushing out of my throat when I realized it was my long lost (young) friend (which by the way doesn’t look so young anymore)…goodness!! Times flies by really fast. How come she looks so grown up and ladylike?…she even speak and act like one!!! How long has it been?! Seven, Eight…maybe six years ago? Oh, my! I can’t remember!!! Am i old?
Anyway, after exchanging hugs, kisses and other political pleasantries (actually the joy I felt seeing her wasn’t feigned nor political…they’re genuine) I ask her about common acquaintances and friends and her family, she said that all is well…Blah…blah…And then she asked me the two questions dreaded by all singletons, “Ate Nat, are you married?, How old are you? Duh!!
How old am I? “Still young enough… dear”, I answered her and I smile sweetly to assure her that I may be old but hey, I’m not ancient…yet…ha-ha. Her question though simple pushed me to look deeper why most people my age felt pressured and yes, embarrassed (I’m not alone) every time this questions arises.
According to Max Lucado’s friend there are three things people should do in order to stay young. Firstly, eat healthy, secondly, exercise regularly, and thirdly lie about your age. Not a very godly advice, that last one.
So, when did I realize I’m old? Did I miss the tell-tale signs? No. I knew and was acutely aware because people call me Ate (even those that look a lot older than I am!), I have carved fats on my back even though i am skinny, small moles appear on my face and neck, I call everyone “gang”, and almost all of my friends and family advices (force) me to get married soon or else forfeit the blessings of child bearing and rearing (never mind the sleepless nights and zombie like days it will cause you), also I cant jump as high nor run as fast, even worst I have an affinity for old music, movies and old books.
But as my 29th birthday (yes i am 29 even though I look 28…lol) is fast approaching I am rather encourage that the Bible (which our guide and standard for living…defensive I know) views old age as the age of the wise. As one add years to her life one learns from experiences, good or bad, and it makes one stronger, wiser and even shrewder (Be wise as a serpent and humble as a dove). Youthfulness is always associated with vigor and even energy but with it also comes foolish decisions and miscalculated actions. Old age is look upon as the more mature age but also sluggish in a way.But which one is better being young or being old? Just as the springs role is different from that of the fall, so each season of our lives has a different emphasis, focus, and beauty. One is not better than the other (but preferableJ)….each yeilds its own unique treasures. I could not say that one season of my life is better than the other. Josh Harris said, “One age of our lives is not better than the other, each season builds on the one before it”. I agree with him completely JSo in conclusion, let me just say this with total intensity and deep conviction… I am old - more mature - I have grown physically (thank God), developed mentally and have changed for the better. I have matured and “with it comes the ability to assess things with objective eyes”. I can say that in my 28 years, all those hardships, struggles mistakes, failures…every happiness, fulfillments, joys and victories has created the person I am now. I wanted and longed for more…. but hey, the season of my life is still unfolding - who knows - I may yet be a LEGEND
(Created: October 28, 2008)
but i am not a hero
I am struggling to sort out
my small responsibility
from all that needs to be done
not feel guilty
for not being a hero
Is it false heroics i am feeling- a desire for drama or attention
or is it a longing to give myself wholly to something
something in me wants to risks
something in me wants to hold back
but whatever i am feeling
i know that deep in my heart, that what ever i do
popular or no
- the only desire i have is to glorify and please
the only Superhero i know and have
my powerful and mighty Savior
(Created Sept. 1, 2008)
and feel your love touching their emotions
would they still ask why?
or will they just keep quite and cry?
your goodness and kindness is so much
your grace and compassion nobody can match
i have always marvel at the power of your touch
empty falling heart you havent fail to catch
a fool says in his heart there is no God!
Isnt that predicament so sad?
My heart long for them to experience this security
So they will not be consumed by their foolish insanity? (Char)
God, i have a question: Why do you love your children? I dont want to sound irrelevant, but only heaven knows how much pain we’ve brought you. Why do you tolerate us? you give us every breath we breathe, but do we thank you? You give us bodies beyond duplication, but do we praise you?
We complain about the weather. We bicker about our toys. We argue over who gets which continent and who has the best gender. Not a second passes when someone , somewhere, doesnt use your name to curse a hammered thumb or a bad call by the refferee. (As if it were your fault.)
You fill the world with food, but we blame you for hunger. You keep the earth from tilting and the arctics from thawing, but we accuse you of unconcern. You give us blue skies, and we demand rain. You give us rain, and we demand sun. (As if we knew what was best anyway.)
We give more applause to brawny ball-carrier than we do the God who made us. We sing more songs to the moon than the Christ who saves us. We are gnat on the tail of one elephant in a galaxy of Africa’s, and yet we demand that you find us a parking place when we ask. And if you don’t give us what we want, we say that you don’t exists. (As if our opinion matter).
We pollute the world you loan us. We mistreat the bodies you gave us. we ignore the Word you sent us. And we killed the Son you became. We are spoiled babies who take and kick and pout and blaspheme.
You have every reason to abandon us.
I sure would! I would wash my hands of the whole mess and start over on Mars. But do you?
I see the answer in the rising of the sun. I hear the answer in the crashing of the waves. I feel the answer in the skin of a child.
Father your love never ceases.Never. Though we spurn you, ignore you, disobey you, you will not change. Our evil cannot diminish your love. Our goodness cannot increase it. Our faith does not earn it anymore than our stupidity jeopardizes it. You don’t love us less when we fail. You don’t love us more if we succeed. Your love never ceases.
How can we explain it?
….to be continued…