Thursday, September 8, 2016

WORD WAR JUAN (Pilipino)

"Salita! Salita! Salita! Araw-araw salita; mula sa kanya, ngayon sa 'yo! Yan lang ba ang magagawa nyong mga perwisyo?"

'Yan ang isina-tagalog na awit ni Eliza, ginanap ng paborito kong aktres na si Audrey Hepburn, sa Broadway movie musical na "My Fair Lady."

Ganyan din bang sick-and-tired na pakiramdam ang nadarama mo pag nagbubukas ka ng Facebook? Maaasim na salita na parang tsunami ang dating. Minsan gusto mo na lang i-X ang mga ganyang post para makapagkape ka nang mahinahon.

Pero bakit nga Juan versus Juan ang mga pananalita natin? Baha na ang internet ng  tone-toneladang pagmumura at salitang galit. Tuloy, marami nang nag-unfriend ng mga kaibigan nila sa Facebook. May mga tuluyan nang nagsarado ng FB accounts nila.

Hindi na ba talaga pwedeng mag-komento ang isang tao hinggil sa state of affairs ng bansa natin, o tungkol sa hindi magandang asal ng mga opisyal? Bakit aatakihin ka ng iba dahil dito? At bakit kailangang ipagtanggol ang isang masamang nagawa? 

Bakit kailangang sirain ang isang komento hinggil dito?
At bakit kailangang mang-alipusta o magmura? Sa totoo lang, parehong panigpro o con manay  guilty.

Subalit ito ang tunay na nakakainis: ang pagbaha ng sangkatutak na kasinungalingan, gawa ng mga tinatawag na trolls. Misyon ng mga trolls na palabuin ang katotohanan. Sa sama nang pagkakasulat ng mga inimbento nilang balita, kung iintindihin mo, madidiskubre mong ang mga ito ay kasinungalingan.  

Ito ang isa sa mga itinuro sa atin sa eskwela: na sa isang demokrasyang bansa, kung maglalahad ka ng opinyon, hindi ka dapat matakot na may pumula sa 'yo.

Sa kasalukuyan, napaka-hati ng ating bayan. Masyado tayong natali sa pagka-kanya-kanya o pagka-kampo-kampo, na hindi na bukas ang utak natin sa ibang pananaw. Walang turuan! 

Lahat tayo'y naging mapanghusga at  makitid ang isipan.

Bakit hindi na lang natin tingnan ang mga situwasyon ayon sa pananaw ng Panginoon?

Lahat tayo ay nagkasala, walang matuwid, Romans 3:23! Kaya walang makapagsasabing may isang taong puro tama ang gawa; kaya hindi dapat ipagtanggol kung ang isang tao ay mali na ang ginagawalalo kung ito'y malinaw na mali. Kahit pa siya ang presidente!

Kahanga-hanga ang president natin. Mahal niya ang bayan natin at hangad niyang mapabuti ang buhay ng mahihirap. Dapat tularan ang marubdob niyang pagnanasa na ibuwal ang lawless elements. Subalit walang isa manpresidente man siya o pulisang makapaghuhusga sa isang nagkamali maliban sa proseso ng due process at ng batas.

Hustisya at rule of law ang dapat masunod. Kung hindi, maraming inosente ang madadawit. Concern ito ng mga human rights groups. Subalit mas dapat tayong mabahala sa sinasabi ng Panginoon.

Makapangyarihan ang mga salita. Nagsalita ang Diyos at nalalang ang lahat. Kaya sabi ng biblia, "Ang buhay at kamatayan ay nasa pwersa ng dila," Proverbs 18:21. Ang mga salita ay nakaka-buhay o nakakasira.

Kaya bilang mananampalataya, hindi ako matahimik pag naririnig ko ang president natin na nagmumura, o nagsasalita nang pabalang at walang respeto sa iba. Napapanood natin siya araw-araw sa primetime TV. Pinapakinggan siya ng kabataan. Buong mundo ay nanonood!

Natutuhan ko sa paaralan na importate ang respeto para magtagumpay sa buhay. Ako ay isang guro, at halos araw-araw, ipinapaalala ko sa aking mga estudyante, "Maging magalang kayo," lalo na kung may nakikita akong nang-bu-bully.

Kaya umaasa din ako na maging magalang din ang ating president. Dapat makita ito ng mga kabataan sa kanya; kasi kung hindi, bakit pa natin ituturo ito? At saka, ang paggalang ay umaani rin ng paggalang ng iba. Kung ano ang itinanim, ito rin ang aanihin.

Gusto nating irespeto ng lahat hindi lang ang ating president kundi lahat ng Pilipino na nagsisikap  magtagumpay, nasa Manila, New York o Singapore man siya.

Ayaw nating umalis ang mga investors dito sa Pilipinas. Masyado silang nababahala pag ang lider ng bansang kinaroroonan nila ay astang champion ng "you and me against the world" na kaisipan.

Kasama tayo sa family of nations kaya kailangan nating matutong makipag-isa sa ibang bansa.    

"Sinumang na-ko-kontrol ng salita niya ay marunong, at siya na may mapagtimping ugali ay nakakaintindi," Proverbs 17:27.

Ephesians 4:29Huwag bayaang lumabas sa inyong mga bibig ang corrupt na salita, kundi yun lamang mabuti para sa ikatataas ng iba, ayon sa okasyon, upang ito ay magbigay-grasya sa mga nakikinig.

Patuloy nating ipagdasalhindi lamang para malaya tayong makapaglahad ng opinyon, kundi upang tayong mga Pilipino ay hindi makaramdam ng takot pag tayo'y nagsalita. Mas malaking dalangin natin: na hindi ipagbunyi sa bansang ito ang mali, at magsaya tayo sa mga tamang gawa.


Pilipino ako, taas-noong Pilipino. At patuloy kong ipagdarasal ang ating presidente at bansa.  

WORD WAR JUAN


"Words! Words! Words! I get words all day through; first from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?"

Eliza, the character played by my favorite Hollywood actress, Audrey Hepburn, blurts out this line in the Broadway movie version of the musical "My Fair Lady."

Don't you get that same sick-and-tired feeling every time you click on Facebook nowadays? Acrid words inundate you like a tsunami. Your only recourse sometimes is to just X the barb-wired post so you can still sip your morning coffee in bliss.

But why this Juan versus Juan war of words?  Tons of angry and stinging words have flooded the net that some have decided to totally retire from FB or unfriend their friends.

Why can't one comment on our country's state of affairs, or the unacceptable behavior of our public officials, without readers plaguing you with nasty remarks? Why justify a wrong done? Why bash one's valid comments?

And why resort to name-calling? Why rant? Yes, both pros and cons have done this!

But what's so irritating is the prevalence and endless shares of lies, propagated by so-called trollsthose whose calling is to muddle the truth. Their made-up news are oftentimes so poorly crafted, the discerning realizes soon enough they're just that: lies!

I learned in school that the real essence of democracy is the freedom to speak without fear of reprisals, or people ganging up on you for your dissenting opinions.

Today, we are a country so divided because we've taken sides, become hardliners, and thus failed to judge situations and people objectively. I'm not pointing fingers. We've all fallen into the rut of being judgmental, narrow-minded and subjective.

How about we judge situations from God's perspective?

We're all sinners (Romans 3:23), and can't therefore justify that any one person's acts are ALL right, or one is beyond reproach, especially when some of his wrong actions are so blatant.

That holds true for our current president. I love his devotion to our country and people and his concern for the poor. I admire his passion for ridding the country of lawlessness. But no oneand this applies not only to him but also the police and all who need to impose the rulescan take the law in his own hands!

Justice and due process must prevail, precisely because the innocent must not suffer along with the lawless! Human rights groups have voiced their concerns. But we should care more about what God says!

Words are powerful. God spoke and His creations came into being. That's why the bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue, Proverbs 18:21. Words can either build or wreck lives.

And that's why as a believer, I could not just sit down and approve of my president's cursing and disrespect for other's opinions. Audiences are glued on him every time he speaks on primetime TV. Children are listening. The entire world is watching.

I've learned too in school that one needs to be respectful to advance in life. As a teacher, I constantly remind my students to show respect, especially when I sense a bullying transpiring.

So I expect my own president to be respectful. Our young people must see that in our leaders, otherwise, why teach it? Also, because respect begets respect. What one sows is what he reaps!

We want that same respect accorded not just on the highest official of our land, but on every Filipino, whether he's in Manila, New York or in Singapore.

We don't want investors scrambling out of our country. They're just too jittery when a host country's leaders pose as a "you and me against the world" champion. We belong to a family of nations, looking out for each other, to a certain extent. There's a lot to gain by living peacefully with others, don't you think?  

"Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding," Proverbs 17:27.

Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

This teacher prays, not so much for freedom of speech to prosper, but for all Filipinos to not feel threatened when they speak out; more, that we not tolerate what's evil, and applaud the good.


I am a Filipino and proud to be one. And I will continue to pray for my president and my country. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

FROM THE MOUTH OF BABES


"What's our bible study today?" asks Jayden.

"'Living Worthy of the Lord,' Colossians 1:9-14," I reply. Then he flips open his bible, looking for Colossians. 

Unable to find it, he comes to me for help. Whew, found it!  You see, prior, Jayden was already singing an acronym to make it easy for him to search for books in the new testament. 

He could have found it, but Colossians is such a tiny book in between Philippians and 1Thesallonians; and how many times have I too missed it! 

So on to our bible study—something his Mamita Vivian and I agreed to hold once a week for their household. In between our discussions, Jayden politely raised his hand several times to ask questions.   

"What is wisdom?" His last. 

"Remember Solomon..." I started to explain.

"Oh, yes, I remember. That's in Ecclesiastes. 

Jayden must be referring to: “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” (Ecclesiastes 1:16)

Why this blogpost on Jayden? 

Jayden is seven years old! 

I've a few times bantered with Jayden when he was younger; and boy, did he impress me with his quick repartees and little gentlemanly manners. He could even do mean mental maths! 

No wonder His parents Alfie and Ella always sport that proud-of-my-little-boy look. (Congrats, you've raised Jayden well.)

And in this recent bible study, he was my most attentive and engaged listener. I saw it in the eureka! glint in his eyes—revelations his young mind and heart have beheld as God's special instructions for him. 

He even took notes, under the heading, "Speaker: Lola Yay."

But this totally floored me: "I can't wait for the next bible study," he intimated before I left. 

What can I say? 

"Praise God for Jayden!" was all I could utter. "Could all church attendees be as focused on you, Lord?"

With my heart rocking to "How Great is our God," I headed back home, these words of Jesus having sprung up fresh as morning dew:

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these," Matthew 19:14. 

I can't wait for our next bible study! 






Monday, August 15, 2016

OLYMPIC VICTORY FOR CHRIST

photo credit: pinterest.com
To honor the gods, particularly Zeus. This may have inspired the holding of the  ancient Olympics back in the 8th century BC.

Well, today's Olympic champions, thank God, are dedicating their victory to the true Master of the universe.  And why not?  These athletes have experienced HIs enabling power. In their weakness, they have learned to rely on the powerful God who is the source of all strength.  

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) particularly features athletes who are unabashed in declaring their faith on Jesus.  Some of its recent stories:

"Ven Niekerk, track star, South Africa, smashes Michael Johnson's record; gives glory to God."

"The fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt is making headlines around the world, but reports say the God he worships is being ignored by the BBC."

"Olympic gold medalist Almaz Ayana tells the world how she was able to break a 23-year-old world record in the 10,000 meters track competition; she says it's because of Jesus. "   

"U.S. Track Star Allyson Felix, a devout Christian, told the Los Angeles Times that her Christian faith is the reason she runs."

Texas-native Simone Manuel, 19, "gives glory to God; took her place in Olympic history Thursday night, becoming the first African-American woman to win gold in swimming…"

"American Olympic divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson took silver in the men's synchronized 10-meter platform Monday night. They both have repeatedly shared how they find their identity in Jesus Christ."

"Five years ago 22-year-old Nigerian American Moralake Akinosun tweeted about her dream to compete in the Olympics. Today she is living her dream.  Akinosun, a Christian, said her faith inspires her to believe beyond the impossible."

These Olympic Games testimonies are just too many to mention here. From the most bemedalled Olympian, swim champ Michael Phelps, to gymnast "perfect 10" Simone Biles. All of them attest of THE God who repairs broken lives, empowers the weak and enables one to persevere despite the odds.

And that these feats are possible for those who are willing to be trained, to get back up when they fall, and to discipline themselves to master their skill even if it hurts―and to believe, really believe, that with God, nothing is impossible.

These bible verses must have taken life in the hearts of these champions:

"You thrill me, Lord, with all you've done for me. I sing for joy of what you have done," Psalm 92:4.

"When they call me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and HONOR them," Psalm 91:5.

By the way, haven't you noticed that the naysayers and faith-bashers have not said much to belittle these faith proclamations? They better not! Or they will be contending with adoring fans.  

Having honored God, these champions have brought glory to their countries as well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

REVEAL TIME

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Hide and seek is fun. Finding that one playmate to replace you as tayรข is key:  

Is he behind the sofa, inside the closet or under the bed? Everyone screaming, laughing and scampering for home base all the more makes taguan exciting.

An aha! moment. That's what we experience when we uncover something hidden. No wonder  taguan delights kids.

Discovering God's truth gives you reason to rejoice too.

I've read the bible umpteenth times but I still break into "Wow!" moments. That's when fresh insights fly out of its pages to roost in the inner caverns of my heart. This happens too on certain Sundays when the preacher dives so deep into the Word (like searching for hidden treasures), enough to nourish my spirit days on end.  

So how could the devil snatch these words from me if they've securely burrowed into my heart? So when faced with temptations, I stand firm on the truth. Some of them:    

That I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.

He knows me and calls me by name. I'm His child.

My sufferings are just temporary and He will give me victory.

He has not given me the spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.

I am saved in Christ! And because of that, I have His mindto think pleasant, good and admirable thoughts.

Just by watching news on TV nowadays, you'd sense a world in turmoil. People are harassed, petrified, worried, stressed. Jesus himself warned us of terrible times ahead.

John 16:33"I have told you those things so that in me, you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!"

The world needs to know! The truth could not be hid any longer.

In a Philippine barangay, a Juan or a Juanita may be caught in drug addiction but he/she does not know it's destroying him/her. And he/she's terrified of being caught.

Somewhere in a public school in America, a teenage boy may be attending the After School Club of Satan (CBNNews); or a young woman may be seeking  abortionconsequence of an anything-goes lifestyle.

An internet source reports  that  1.4 billion babies have been aborteda good percentage due to unwanted pregnanciesworldwide since 1980.

According to the Daily Mail, UK, site, the number of people killed worldwide through terrorism has soared by 80% in 2014. It wouldn't be surprising to see that percentage growing higher each year.

Generations of children have grown up without a sense of God and His righteousness. No wonder they live according to their own terms. And terror has abounded.  

The TRUTH must be revealed!

Everyone, especially the next generation, needs to know about the glorious deeds of the Lord, His power and mighty wonders (Psalms 78:4). That's the only way they could put their trust in the Word, and not in their gold or their little gods.

No hiding now. Let the WORD go, that they may cling to Jesus, their only source of hope and change.


Lord, give me the boldness to share and live your Word.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

LIE TO ME NOT

image credit:
http://bunow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/lying-1.jpg
"Lie through one's teeth."

This idiomatic expression, meaning to lie deliberately, even with a smile, dates back to the early 1300s per the English Language and Users website.

Lying through one's teeth implies a cold-blooded, deliberate attempt at truth-bending—"as if I never lied."

Who knows for sure when someone fakes it?

If you've watched the TV crime series, "Lie to Me," you'd soon find yourself inhabiting its main character's persona (Cal Lightman played by actor Tim Roth); and judging the criminal, "Yes, you're the culprit!" 

He sort of reads one's body language—from micro facial twitches to eye squints to finger tapping.

Wikipedia says that the show has been inspired by the work of Paul Ekmanpsychology professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco University School of Medicine, world's foremost expert on facial expressions. He was the TV show's consultant.

"I will always know if you've plagiarized," I make it a point to tell new college students on first day of school. They almost always gasp in fear and disbelief. (It's nice to once in a while shock them, hehe!)

Not that I've all of a sudden developed a third eye or ESP (extra sensory perception). But I use an app which automatically scans and in seconds highlights plagiarized texts in a paper, directing me to the exact website it came from.  
image credit: http://watchdog.org/wp-content/
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Pity students whose papers go back to square one because they thought they could out-smart us. (Teachers are not smarter, of course, just forearmed with technology, thanks SISFU!)

Did Melania Trump think she could get away with her Republican convention speech which parroted  Michelle Obama's? Imagine that video going viral and she being vilified elsewhere as a copycat. Honestly, I sense sabotage or bad faith on the part of Mrs. Donald Trump's speech writer. Should have been subjected to a "Lie to Me" grilling!

But why fake or misrepresent it? The truth is the truth! 

"Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed," Prov. 12:19.  

More on point: There is nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and there is nothing secret that won't become known and come to light," Luke 8:17.

It’s cool to be a social media hit, with either your literary piece, music or design running viral. Please attribute, if you're not the original creator.  

Recall that furniture designer who won $100,000 in a popular design competition? His euphoria just as easily died when the TV show's organizers learned his design was copied.

What to do, what to do when the accolades die down, shame takes over and regret weighs you down?

The One who sees your innermost knows. Come clean! "Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord," Acts 3:19.


"O Lord, I sometimes can't help it. I lie! Forgive me. Change my cheating heart with a heart that wants to obey you. Make me brand new in Jesus."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FLAWLESS FABULOUS DEAL

image credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
To tattoo or not to tattoo? This was one of our recent topics in class.

"It's really about your convictions."  

"It disfigures."

"It depends on what the drawn image is all about. Skulls are pretty scary."

"Old testament prohibition; no longer applies."

There seems to be no end to the back and forth arguments about tattoos, is there?

My personal take on the topic? If God has made you and me wonderfully and fearfully, per Psalm 139:14, why indeed mess with it? Could anyone add or subtract to what God has done, when everything He created was "very good" according to Genesis 1?

Have you watched this TV show featuring two doctors reconstructing patients' noses, lips, necks, breasts, tummies, derrieresmind you even cheeks and absafter earlier plastic surgeries botched by other surgeons?

Note that quite a number of these patients believed they could look prettier, younger, sexier or more buffed if they bought more of the same. 

Per Children's Hospital (Philadelphia) plastic surgery division psychologist Canice E. Crerand, PhD, plastic surgery addiction is more psychological than physical.

image credit:
https://thegrandnarrative.files.wordpress.com
Called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), this addiction happens to one who's "preoccupied with a slight or imagined, defect (usually of the face); then obsessed with doing something about it. One study suggests that as many as one-third of nose-job patients exhibit BDD symptoms."

It's a different thing altogether if one goes under the knife because of health issues such as a breathing difficulty or obesity, or to remedy disfigurement.

Again, who's to judge? Cultural, family and many other factors contribute to individual choices. 

Today, however, we can consider a Hollywood-mass media-advertisers-internet confluence as having dictated this generation's concept of beautyone which hails physical looks plus blings as greater than integrity of character.

Numbers do not lie. Both the tattoo and cosmetic surgery industries have grown by leaps and bounds, with US tattoo jobs totalling $2.3 billion dollars and cosmetic surgeries reaching $13.5 billion in 2014.  That's equivalent to all our country's BPO (business process operations) transactions combined.

It's a blessing in disguise that I don't have money to spare for even a double chin lop-off or a botox.

Honestly, even if one of my body parts is fixed today, surely others (e.g. tummy, arms, buttocks, etc.) are bound to droop and sag and fold anyway. So why even consider a lift? 

And if my butt gets augmented todaya whooping $4,000Mama mia, I'd surely be in rigor mortis!  

I'd rather have this lift: Psalm 3:3 Jesus, my glory and the lifter of my head!

Moses knew how to get into that lift. He spent time with God, so much so that when he went down to face the Israelites, his face shone brightly.

That biblical account says too that God's presence remained with Moses wherever he wentsomething no gold or silver or the applause of menor any tummy tuck for that mattercould ever replace.


What a flawless, fabulous deal!