Sunday, February 26, 2012


Julius Ceasar, relishing his victories, boasted, "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)."

Alexander the great built a great empire, claimed to be the largest in the ancient world. Historians wrote that he never lost a battle and was one of the greatest commanders of all time. At one point, he was said to have sulked and said, "What else is there to do? There's nothing more to conquer."

How many supposedly great men boasted of power so great that they controlled nations and wallowed in untold riches and influence?

But these supposedly great men are history---their exploits captured in books now gathering dust in libraries and museums. Thanks to internet technology and Hollywood exploiting their lives for mores riches, we can still learn a lesson or two from their lives---maybe lessons on arrogance and pride being futile, and ambition being a source of grief and emptiness rather than happiness.

I'd rather learn from someone who's been there, is here right now, and will be there forever. He's as relevant---and current and into it and in your face---as you could ask for.

Revelations 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty."

The Beginning and the End is the Cause and Effect is the First and the Last is the Eternal God who reigns.

Ambitious men's futile attempts---at conquering, annexing, owning, controlling, subjugating others, proving they're macho---are just a drop in the bucket compared to the one who holds everything and every situation in the palm of His mighty hand.

His is the most trustworthy name, ever! When Moses---reluctant to break God's message to the Israelites---asked God what he needed to tell them, He said, "I Am Who I Am... 'I Am' has sent me to you!"

Jesus revealed, "I Am!" (Mark 14:62)

God sent his Son, Jesus the I Am, to a world used to trusting in man's ways. He offered himself as the alternative to our Juan-made solutions.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega who made it possible for man to know the mind of God. The apostle Paul wrote: “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Trusting this clump of dust (myself) is really a no-brainer. When this body dies and it blends with the earth it was taken from, it will be the same lifeless and useless dust it used to be---like a worthless plastic case thrown into a bin. And I trusted that!? Apart from God's spirit, we really are just dirt!

So the earlier we realize that; and the earlier we get ourselves right with the God who breathed His Spirit in us, the earlier we can come to grips that life is directionless without Jesus.

Trust Christ to direct your life. His is the only trustworthy agenda. His is the only trustworhy purpose. Because His is the name above all names.

And He has our beginning and end covered!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Expletives or Love

"I love you!"

I hardly heard those words when I was growing up. I happen to have been born to a family where affection was hardly expressed in words.

"I love you!" just hovered about like a hot air balloon. But you just felt it even after all the quarreling and much assertion of who's got greater authority.

I distinctly remember my sister Dulce patiently delousing my hair when I was five years old---even inside the church as mass went on; or Kuya Tony cooking our favorite
ginulay na saging which was and still is some sort of comfort food for all of us.

And how could anyone miss Nanay and Tatay's strivings to send all of us eight children to school?

But now that I'm a grandmother and my siblings have become grandparents too, we've more and more become accustomed to saying "I love you!" While we were still a bit stingy with it with our spouses and our own kids, we say it more generously today.

With our kids and grandchildren, and even siblings, living in different parts of the globe, "I love you!" seems to be the best expression of affection for our terribly-missed loved ones---whenever there's an opportunity to say it.

"I think love is overrated," Dale, my former student, wrote on Facebook.

I commented, "
It's not love that's overrated. People have cheapened the concept of love, substituting it for physical attraction; but real love which is Agape love is pure and it comes from God."

Jesus demonstrated Agape love---this love which enabled Him to endure the cross so that those who would put their trust in Him might be saved and enjoy abundant life.

Many of us have been to that place where Agape love didn't exist---those moments when everything that mattered was "I," "me," and "myself."

Without the love of God, we simply could not love. Unless we have Jesus, our sinful nature will rear its ugly head through selfishness and pride. Jesus alone can change our hard hearts so that we can love without conditions.

Jennifer Lopez says "I love you!" a lot to American Idol contestants. TV stars shout it out to their audiences. Well, that's not the love we're talking about. However, I'd rather have someone's "I love you!" any time, even if it had been matter-of-factly uttered.

Her co-host Steven Tyler on the other hand fires out quite a number of bleep-able expletives. Wouldn't you rather hear "I love you!" than expletives or cursing?

Like, how can anyone use the name of Jesus to swear or take offense or wish someone evil? Remember your catechism class? That's number four of the commandments God passed on to Moses: "You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes the name of the Lord in vain." (Exodus 20:1-17)

"Jesus Christ!"
Diyos ko (Oh my God)!" "Susmaryosep (Jesus, Mary and Joseph)!" In stead of these, you may just opt for "Oops!" or "I love you!" even if you're grating your teeth or clenching your fist at an offense or another's fumble.

"I love you!" will probably help put things in perspective. No one's loveable enough but by the grace of God. So mean it and it will calm the raging beast inside if you've really been peeved.

Pure love doesn't take offense. It doesn't ask for anything in return. It is unconditional. Take it from Jesus. Having forsaken Himself and demonstrated His love for us, He now sits with the Father, interceding on our behalf---that the love of many which has grown cold, may be rekindled.

And if If you've cursed or rattled off expletives because you couldn't hold your tongue, take heart; come to Him in humility, repent and He will cleanse you of all unwholesome talk.

He is faithful to forgive.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I've most of the time taken it for granted that I could write this blog because the computer I'm typing with is plugged to a power source, which through the wonders of technology, is somehow connected to someone's computer which is also connected to another power source.

But remove both power sources and we're both powerless about all attempts to communicate.

Imagine coal: A conglomeration of ages of matter trapped in the bowels of the earth now being used to run power plants to bring electricity to our homes.

Or water from rivers: Dammed to generate electricity where rich waterways abound.

Or wind or solar power which in recent years have become sources of renewable energy; or petroleum which for ages has continuously powered industries and automobiles.

Jesus speaks of a greater kind of power---mightier than power from oil or gas or coal or the sun. This power which can change hearts and turn people's lives around.

While Jesus walked the earth, he opened people's eyes, commanded the lame to walk, freed the demon-possessed, made the dead live again. But the greatest demonstration of this power came when on the third day after His death on the cross, He rose again, set the captives free from Abraham's bosom; likewise offering eternal life to those who would believe in Him.

Its demonstration? Changed lives through changed hearts, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told His apostles before He ascended to heaven , "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).

This same Holy Spirit continues to empower those who turn their lives over to Jesus.

I was an unbeliever once, but God has so ordered my life to the point that I didn't have much recourse but to repent and humble my heart before Jesus. My life has never been the same since.

Without Jesus, I would have remained the same arrogant, prideful and self-centered person that I used to be. Though I still struggle with these, by the Holy Spirit's power, I'm always led back to the cross, basking in His grace and mercy, confident that each day, I'm a new person in Christ Jesus, and that I can do all (good) things through Him.

No greater power exists than the power of God's love to change broken lives and make them brand new.

Have you experienced this all-encompassing power? The bible says to repent and acknowledge you're a sinner and believe in Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

He is Lord of all creation. He's your Creator. And he wants to be great in your life. That's the only power we need to go on!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


The word "some" seems fudgy, but combine a lot of the good "somes" together and the result is a complete and balanced life.

We need to pray some and worship some. We definitely have to laugh some and cry some, teach some and be taught some.

Today is not complete at all if all one did was to sit the whole day in front of the computer, jumping from Facebook to Yahoo to Blogger to Twitter and back, and just breaking for meals in between.

Stretch your legs. Have
chika with your friends. Call someone. Pray for someone. Air your brain.

Life is too short for anyone to be so focused on its unsavory parts, like regrets, complaining, looking at what others have that we don't have. Or being grouchy because we've messed up something.

1 Chronicles 21:28 says that David died at a good old age, having enjoyed life, wealth and honor.

God has given us 24 hours in a day times 70 or 80 years, or shorter or longer, within which to accomplish whatever He has purposed for each of us.

That's either a lifetime of goofing or wasting your gifts, or a lifetime of building and adding to others---or both; and making up for lost time.

I pray that whatever you're going through in your life right now, you will make a decision to build and to add and to make a difference in the life of others; and thus experience the joy and peace of God in Christ.

Assuming that eight hours in a day are to rest and recharge our bodies, let's make the remaining hours count.

Our relations matter. We are accountable to God. By His grace, we enjoy His salvation and peace, protection, healing, and provisions.

In the same vein, we must also be committed to our loved ones, friends and the whole body of Christ, plus obey the laws of this country He has given us.

Pray and read His Word some. Learn some. Teach some. Be taught some. Love some. Reach out some. Give some. Receive some. Shop some. Eat some. Share some. Be happy and make it a point to make others happy too.

Don't let this day pass without having done something good for someone.

Give your 24 hours totally to obeying Him. And whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord.