Thursday, April 24, 2014

She's quite a superstar, a multi-tasker and doesn't even know the meaning of rest.

Come to think of it, your tongue—very small compared to the rest of you—is one tough babe. Decked with 10,000 taste buds enabling you to savor the tiniest of flavors, she too helps you mix and swallow your food, fight germs, and talk or sing—even create soulful sounds as she manipulates a trumpet or clarinet.

But even while you sleep, she has to stand guard to make sure your saliva makes its way to your throat, or else you'll drool all over your pillow or blanket.

Oh how boring life would be without our all-efficient tongue! Too efficient that it must be put in check because as hard working as she is, she could go on overdrive, turning a conversation into a talkathon.

In my book "Going Up: Making Right Choices at Work," I wrote, "Who uses more words in a day? Many researchers point to women, with word use ranging from seven thousand to fifty thousand daily. Guilty as charged! Men, it is said, use between two thousand and twenty-five thousand...
"I wonder how many of these words are spoken to encourage, bring out a smile, trigger laughter or brighten up a sad expression? And on the other hand, how many words will malign, distress, or bruise another's spirit, whether uttered deliberately or without caring how that person would feel?

"Would an inventory of words uttered in conversations... cause me to bow in shame? 'Did I really say that?'"

Listen to what the bible says about allowing our tongue have its way (James 3:5-8):
 "...the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

"All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

How many relationships have been broken because of slander? Neighbors cursing each other because of righteous-than-thou comments making their way round and round chika-starved tsimosos and tsismosas.
Many young people I know deal with insecurities and low self-esteem issues because of adults or their peers constantly deriding them or pouring acid on their self-worth with words like, "Ang bobo mo kasi!" "You won't amount to anything." "You might as well not have been born."

So how can I control my tongue even if it wants to work overtime? By myself I could not.

James 3:7-8—"All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

But by His Holy Spirit who gives wisdom, my tongue can be put in check.

Proverbs 4:23-24—"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips."

It's really in our hearts where the issues of life percolate; they spout through our tongues to spread venom on unsuspecting ears and hearts.

The tongue is likened to a tiny rudder which controls the course of a big ship. But lest we forget, a ship has a captain who directs that rudder to where the ship should be headed.

I oftentimes have a hard time managing my own life. I'd rather have Jesus be my Captain. That should be the first step to making sure my tongue doesn't get unwieldy.

Jesus has proven to be no match to life's troubled waters.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Jews expected a conquering king, one who would rescue them from the clutches of Rome. 

They were disappointed. Jesus, coming to Jerusalem on a donkey, even allowed himself to be flogged and abused, then crucified! 

What kind of an all-powerful Savior would allow such travesty and insult?     

But it was all part of a big all-encompassing love agenda! Jesus needed to do it. 

John 3:16 -- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Imagine the King of all Kings, the Lord of Lords, the all-powerful Creator, leaving His heavenly throne-room for us. Was He motivated by a puny throne-room or a palace made of gold? 

Jesus is after just one throne-room: Your heart and mine! Ezekiel 36:26 -- "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."

1 Corinthians 6:19a -- Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit...?

Our sinful nature, handed down by our first parents, has marked us F -- failed in our standing with God: Romans 3:10-12 -- As it is written, none is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.

So God the Father provided the only acceptable way -- Jesus who knew no sin. John 14:6 -- I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The great exchange: Heaven's Best shedding His blood on the cross -- that we may be saved from our sins, enjoy a full life here on earth, and spend eternity with Him in heaven. 

Lent is not just about a week of being holy, but a lifetime of committing our life to Him as our Savior and Lord.
Ephesians 2:8&9 -- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

Acts 16:31-Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved --  you and your household.

Jesus who knew no sin did it all for you! Romans 10:9 urges, "... if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." 

Make this Holy Week your most memorable ever. Call on Jesus: 

"Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me and saving me. Forgive me for all my sins. I confess you now as my Savior and Lord. Help me walk according to your Word. Holy Spirit, teach me Your ways. In Your name I pray." 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Wear your tsinelas,  or else..." a mother would always tell her kids, sometimes rather sternly.

Because children love to kick their footwear off and feel the grass tickling the soles of their feet, moms concerned with their health and safety just won't quit reminding them.

Quite a number of children will not hear that warning again—ever—especially in Leyte, hardest hit by storm surge Yolanda which late last year leveled entire communities, leaving many children orphans.

Thank God, because kind-hearted kababayans and people from all over the world sent or came to help, Leyte and other Yolanda-ravaged provinces are inching, though rather still painstakingly, back to normalcy.

Operation Blessing, World Vision, Campus Crusade for Christ and New Life Christian Center are just a few of many organizations which have set up base-camps in the affected areas—first, to share food daily and provide basic necessities, then help rebuild houses and jump-start the able-bodied toward livelihood.

What a solid demonstration of Christian love! Christ taught in Matthew 25:40 that we should treat "the least of our brothers and sisters" with love and compassion— because "whatever we did for them, we did for Him."

Very recently, more than a thousand kids at Santa Fe Central School, Leyte, literally walked with a fresh bounce in their steps when representatives of  Operation Blessing replaced their tattered shoes and slippers (Many kids have for a long time been coming to school barefoot.) with brand new slip-ons donated by Skechers, a world-famous footwear brand.

Santa Fe disctrict supervisor Rosario Buena said the students eagerly anticipated their new-footwear day, made doubly memorable as volunteers from Youth with a Mission (YWAM) regaled the students with a puppet show.

“Wala na kasi talaga silang... sapatos. Tinangay ni Yolanda ang lahat... bahay, damit, school supplies... Noong sabihan sila na magbibigay ang Operation Blessing ng sapatos... donation ng Skechers, sobrang tuwa nila. (The students do not have any more shoes left.  Yolanda washed away everything... their homes, clothes, school supplies... When told Operation Blessing will give them shoes... donation by Skechers, the students were so happy.)

The children's heartfelf "Salamat po!" "Thank you!" and hugs were just the thirst-and-soul quenchers the Operation  Blessing volunteers needed to cap a tedious yet joy-filled Skechers-giving day.

This image will forever be etched in their hearts: Smiling kids clutching their new footwear like treasure.

Author Alexander Pope wrote, "Hope springs eternal in the human heart." Indeed! For the people—especially the children—of grief-tricken Leyte, a new bounce is afoot.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit," Psalm 34:18.