Monday, April 13, 2009

Eyes That Never See; Ears That Never Hear - from On the Anvil by Max Lucado

He's a deadly snake. Mark my words. Satan's snake. Be on your guard.

He's sly and wily. He lurks in eery dark corner and musty hole. He strikes with abandon. The old, the rich, the poor, the young --- all are his prey. He worms his way into every life and seldom misses his target.

And what slyness! We never know when he will strike. When he will creep up, we never know. All we see are the results of his deadly bite: blank faces, nonreflective hearts, questionless minds, empty lives. A trail cluttered with broken hearts and tears.

Who is this snake? Greed? Lust? Egotism? No (even though they are just as deadly). No, I'm unmasking the vilest of hell's vipers --- complacence.

We live in a world plagued by complacence.

We're complacent to hope. Many people settle for a stale,vanilla lifestyle that peaks at age seventeen. Hope? What's to hpe for? Life is a paycheck and a weekend. Nothing more. You'd think we all had blinders. It's like one car after another driving off a cliff, no one daring to object. ike watercolor names painted on a sidewalk...washing away in an August rain.

We're complacent to death. Masked faces at funeral endure the procession; weep at the burial; and then, a few hours later, giggle at the television comic. "The only way to handle death is to accept it as inevitable. Don't question it or defy it. You'll walk away depressed. Close your eyes. Put your hands over your ears. There is no explanation". We stand complacent.

We're complacent to God. Churchgoers pack the pews and sing to the back of someone's head. Fellowship is lost in formality. One, two, three times a week people pay their dues by walking in the door, enduring a ritual, and walking out. Guilt is appeased. God is insulted. Are we so naive as to think that he needs our attendance? Are we so ignorant that we put God in a box, thinking he can be taken in and out at our convenience?

We're complacent to purpose. How in the world can a person be born, be educated, fall in or out of love, ahve a job, be married, give birth, raise kids, see death, cry, scream, giggle, drink, eat, smoke, climb up or down the ladder, retire, and die without ever, ever asking why? Never asking "Why am I here?" Or worse yet, asking why and being content with no answer. History is jam-packed with lives that died with no purpose. Neighborhoods reek with mediocrity. Office complexes are painted gray with boredom. Nine-to-fivers are hypnotized by routine. But does anyone object? Does anyone defy the machinery? Does anyone ask why?

Sometimes I want to stand at the corner of the street and yell, "Doesn't anyone want to know why? Why lonely evenings? Why broken hearts? Why abandoned marriages? Why fatherless babies?" But I never yell it. I just stick my hands in my pockets and stare...and wonder.

The most deadly trick of Satan is not to rob us of answers. It's to steal our questions.

At the end of the chapter is a guide question, "What is the difference between contentment and complacency?"

Personally, complacency for me brings to mind idleness and/or lack of motivation/inspiration...state of being satisfied at the current situation because of simply wanting to do nothing more. When I read this chapter, it strikes me that Satan doesn't want us to challenge and to analyze , thus he "steals our questions". He suggests lies such as "I'm not harming anybody so it's okay this way". But if we stay "this way", we stagnate. Satan can twist complacency in many ways to make it look like contentment.

Complacency in God is being "lukewarm" in faith. God warns us of this in Revelations 3:15-16, I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm --- neither hot nor cold --- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

On the other hand, contentment is exemplified clearly by no other than the apostle Paul when he shared that he had learned the "secret" of being content in any and every situation...he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength (Philippians 4:11-13). His contentment is in Christ --- in his promises, in his power, and in his faithfulness. Paul's contentment did not STOP him from doing God's work. Instead he kept running the race. He kept pressing on toward the goal (Philippians 3:14).

Contentment therefore, is also not an excuse to stop. Instead, contentment should urge us to continue, knowing that the Source of our strength cannot be exhausted. Let us share this "secret" to everyone. God bless!

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

On the Anvil by Max Lucado: No more Curtain

Sidenote (first):
I just finished reading the book, On the Anvil, by Max Lucado, yesterday. I bought this at MV Doulos last March 28, together with two other books and a Hillsong album (United we Stand). As always, Max Lucado's books are easy to read and 'relatable' because of the way the writings are presented in illustrations you could picture out as you read along. He uses simple words creatively to animate your thoughts. His works are not just written, it's communicated .

I just want to share this short chapter on the book, in time for this season. (Will probably share another chapter in my next post.)
Chapter 22: NO MORE CURTAIN!

The annual event always drew a crowd. The priest would solemnly ascend the temple steps, bearing the blood of the sacrifice. As the people waited outside, he would pass through the great curtain and enter the Holy of Holies. He would sprinkle the mercy seat above the ark and pray that the blood would appease God. The sins would be rolled back. And the people would sigh with relief.

A great curtain hung as a reminder of the distance between God and man. It was like a deep chasm that no one could bridge. Man on his island...quarantined because of sin.

God could have left it like that. He could have left the people isolated. He could have washed his hands of the whole mess. He could have turned back, tossed in the towel, and started over to another planet. He could have, you know.

But he didn't.

God himself bridged the chasm. In the darkness of an eclipsed sun, he and a lamb stood in the Holy of Holies. He laid the lamb on the alstar. Not the lamb of a priest or a Jew or a shepherd but the Lamb of God. The angels hushed as the blood of the Sufficient Sacrifice began to fall on the golden altar. Where had dropped the blood of lambs, now dripped the blood of life.

"Behold the Lamb of God."

And then it happened. God turned and looked one last time at the curtain.

"No more." And it was torn...from top to bottom. Ripped in two.

"No more!"

"No more curtain!"

"No more sacrifices!"

"No more separation!"

And the sun came out.

At the moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom...Matthew 27:51 (NIV)

In Moses' time, the blood of the lamb was used to mark the houses of the Israelites so they will be spared of the destructive plague on Egypt (The passover - Exodus 12). In the same way, the blood of the Lamb of God will spare us from the judgment of God when he comes...IF we only believe and have faith that Jesus died in our place on the cross, and on the third day he rose from the dead and taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of believe that when Jesus died on the cross, our sins died with understand that no other sacrifice is acceptable to God, except the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. Through Jesus, we can have our relationship with God and be part of his family.

You just have to come to Jesus and believe in him and what he's done with all your heart. Accept him as your personal Lord and Savior. Humbly come to him as you are --- sinful and unworthy, weary, broken & lonely. Jesus will lovingly welcome you into his arms.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

B1G4 shots!!!

November 29 - December 1, 2008
Chateau Royale, Nasugbu Batangas
B1G 4 (Be One with God 4) Singles Retreat
for more pictures and information, please visit the official site
I can't wait for the B1G 5 retreat (oh, did I really say that? This means I'll still be single by that time. Heh-heh!)


happy birthday nik-nik!!!

it was my cutie-cute niece's 4th birthday last Monday, December 1st...

"i come in peace"


alien or tweety bird???

"too close're making me see double."

i wonder what will her reaction be when she looks at this post, say 10 years from now? "My tita is embarrassing me!", i guess that's one. no nik-nik, tita is so0o0o0o proud of you! just look at cutie you, posing just like the way i do... ;)

"i'm bored"

wait, did i write "10 years"?!? will blogger still host for free? will blogger survive another 10 years? will i be able to maintain this for 10 years? hmmmmnnn, 'nuff! it doesn't matter. i just did this post to greet nik-nik a happy birthday!

happy birthday princess aliyah monica!


Friday, November 21, 2008

all i want for Christmas is...

macbook entry level...

or can I have this instead???puleeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzz...

what will i do with "my" mac??? lotsss!!! pictures, music, movies, anime, games, downloads, and of course...BLOG!

feel free to donate. anyone??? ;)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bob Ong wisdom (on love)

I received this email from Ana (my faithful clicker. wink-wink) yesterday but I didn't read it entirely. Not until last night when Karen, Edith and I had dinner at KFC was this email brought about. Ruby followed a little later and the topic was brought up again. I can't fully relate with them because I only remembered #19 but I can surely tell it's so0o0o0o darn funny with how they "laughingly" recite the lines that stuck to them. Well, just wanna share them. Have a good laugh!

1. “Kung hindi mo mahal ang isang tao, wag ka nang magpakita ng motibo para mahalin ka nya.”

2. “Huwag mong bitawan ang bagay na hindi mo kayang makitang hawak ng iba.”

3. “Huwag mong hawakan kung alam mong bibitawan mo lang.”

4. “Huwag na huwag ka hahawak kapag alam mong may hawak ka na.”

5. “Parang elevator lang yan eh, bakit mo pagsisiksikan ung sarili mo kung walang pwesto para sayo. Eh meron naman hagdan, ayaw mo lang pansinin.”

6. “Kung maghihintay ka nang lalandi sayo, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo.. Dapat lumandi ka din.”

7. “Pag may mahal ka at ayaw sayo, hayaan mo. Malay mo sa mga susunod na araw ayaw mo na din sa kanya, naunahan ka lang.”

8. “Hiwalayan na kung di ka na masaya. Walang gamot sa tanga kundi pagkukusa.”

9. “Pag hindi ka mahal ng mahal mo wag ka magreklamo. Kasi may mga tao rin na di mo mahal pero mahal ka.. Kaya quits lang.”

10. “Kung dalawa ang mahal mo, piliin mo yung pangalawa. Kasi hindi ka naman magmamahal ng iba kung mahal mo talaga yung una.”

11. “Hindi porke’t madalas mong ka-chat, kausap sa telepono, kasama sa mga lakad o ka-text ng wantusawa eh may gusto sayo at magkakatuluyan kayo. Meron lang talagang mga taong sadyang friendly, sweet, flirt, malandi, pa-fall o paasa.”

12. “Huwag magmadali sa babae o lalaki. Tatlo, lima, sampung taon, mag-iiba ang pamantayan mo at maiisip mong hindi pala tamang pumili ng kapareha dahil lang maganda o gwapoo. Totoong mas mahalaga ang kalooban ng tao higit sa anuman. Sa paglipas ng panahon, maging ang mga crush ng bayan nagmumukha ding pandesal, maniwala ka.”

13. “Minsan kahit ikaw ang nakaschedule, kailangan mo pa rin maghintay, kasi hindi ikaw ang priority.”

14. “Mahirap pumapel sa buhay ng tao. Lalo na kung hindi ikaw yung bida sa script na pinili nya.”

15. “Alam mo ba kung gaano kalayo ang pagitan ng dalawang tao pag nagtalikuran na sila? Kailangan mong libutin ang buong mundo para lang makaharap ulit ang taong tinalikuran mo.”

16. “Mas mabuting mabigo sa paggawa ng isang bagay kesa magtagumpay sa paggawa ng wala”

17. “Hindi lahat ng kaya mong intindihin ay katotohan, at hindi lahat ng hindi mo kayang intindihin ay kasinungalingan”

18. “Kung nagmahal ka ng taong di dapat at nasaktan ka, wag mong sisihin ang puso mo. Tumitibok lng yan para mag-supply ng dugo sa katawan mo. Ngayon, kung magaling ka sa anatomy at ang sisisihin mo naman ay ang hypothalamus mo na kumokontrol ng emotions mo, mali ka pa rin! Bakit? Utang na loob! Wag mong isisi sa body organs mo ang mga sama ng loob mo sa buhay! Tandaan mo: magiging masaya ka lang kung matututo kang tanggapin na hindi ang puso, utak, atay o bituka mo ang may kasalanan sa lahat ng nangyari sayo, kundi IKAW mismo!”

19. “Ang pag-ibig parang imburnal…nakakatakot mahulog…at kapag nahulog ka, it’s either by accident or talagang tanga ka..”

I never owned a Bob Ong book but I got to read
Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang Mga Pilipino? (Why do Filipinos read books upside down?) (Don't get us wrong folks, we Filipinos read books like normal people do!) and A B N K K B S N P L A Ko?! (Wow, I can really read now?!). I borrowed them from Gretz who is an avid collector of his works.

Only after deciding to post this in my blog did I know (by searching the net of course!) that
Bob Ong's identitiy is protected by his publisher. Wow, after his bestseller books he remained anonymous?!?! Amazing! I think he is one person the papparazzi should seek after.

This blog entry left me wondering now...Is he a Tsinoy? What amount of loyalty would keep his peers' mouths zipped about his identity? (Kudos to them!)Do they know him as Bob Ong in the first place? Why is he keeping his identity a secret? How would he feel if suddenly he's true identity is a squealer? Will it bother him?

Okay, 'nuff of these. Whether Bob Ong goes public or not, it doesn't matter. Let's just enjoy his books. Which reminds me, I should borrow
Stainless Longganisa from Gretz.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

belated hapy birthday karen!!! 11/10

belated happy birthday gurl! don't kill me,okay? ;) mwaaaahhh!!!

A Woman's Worth - Alicia Keys

You could buy me diamonds
You could buy me pearls
Take me on a cruise around the world
Baby, you know I'm worth it
Dinner light by candles
Run my bubble bath
Make love tenderly to last, and last
Baby, you know I'm worth it

Wanna' please; wanna' keep;
wanna' treat yourwoman right?
Not just told, but to show, that she knows she's worth your time
You will loose, if you choose, to refuse to put her first
She will and she can find a man who knows her worth!

'Cause a real man knows a real woman when he sees her (when he sees her)
And a real woman knows a real man
Ain't 'fraid to please her (please her)
And a real woman knows a real man always comes first (first)
And a real man just can't deny
A woman's worth

If you treat me fairly I'll give you all my goods...
Treat you like a real woman should
Baby, I know you're worth itIf you never play me
Promise not to bluff I'll hold you down when it gets rough'
Cause baby, I know you're worth it

She rolls the mile; makes you smile, all the whilebeing true
Don't take for granted the passions that she has for you
You will lose, if you choose, to refuse to put her first
She will and she can find a man who knowsher worth!...OH!

No need to read in between the lines
Spell it out for you (spell it out for you)
Just hear this song 'Cause you can't go wrong when you value(Better value...)
A woman's, woman's, woman's, woman's Worth!

gotta run...i know you're gonna kill me...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Test of Humility

It is ironic when one asks another if he/she is humble and then the moment the person answers "Yes" then humility is quickly "lost". Probably it wasn't there after all. If this is the case, how would you answer then? Think about what John Flavel said:

"They that know God will be humble and they that know themselves cannot be proud"

Here are 7 characteristics to ponder on taken from last Sunday's sermon.

1. react to criticism

2. defensive when corrected

3. easily hurt

4. hard to apologize

5. blame others

6. focus on image

7. crave for recognition

How did I fare? Shamefully, I didn't do good. Got to work it out.