Wednesday, January 30, 2008

broad mindsssssssssssssssssssss

I have yet to meet a person who is broad minded, and at the same time have basically live a very clean life. Most of the time, I hear people say, “the reason why he understood you is because he committed mistakes in the past that is worst than you did.”

I am expecting the same statement if I demonstrate a broad mind. Some people can be so mean by saying, “the reason why he understood broadly is because he committed the mistake”. Like I don’t have any credibility to speak or give advice anymore. I don’t know, but I notice a school of thought: a school of not listening to people like I mentioned above. For me, we should listen more to people who learned the lesson the hard way. You’ll learn more from them. Whatever happened to the “experience is the best teacher” statement? Whatever happened to the term “living proof”?

Just recently, I gave an advice from a new youth leader, who has happens to be my new classmate. Before the advice though, I congratulated him sincerely. One of the advices that I gave was dogmatism has no room in the youth ministry. (Dogmatism should have no room in real Christianity in the first place. Yes, the Bible is full of legal terms, but that is a different story. Being dogmatic is like being too technical) I told him that young people really come and go. To paraphrase it, I advised him to always leave a margin of error in dealing with young people. Teach the right thing, but be ready for the wrong things that will happen.

He didn’t reply. No thank you whatsoever. Oh well, it’s an advice anyway. He has a free hand to accept it or not. He text a few days after only because he asked where is another classmate’s room number (that former classmate was hospitalized due to asthma). Oh, by the way, he also text me a few weeks ago because he is requesting for my Mom’s presence. Classic. I remember asking him on this. It seems that he’s just replying selectively to text messages. He denied doing a selective reply, stating his busy. Now, that is more classical. Still though, I hope I’m wrong in those assumptions.

Ever since the old church Pastor told to me to stay in the new church because I’m not yet allowed to my serve my sentence (on the ground that my ex-girlfriend is not ready to forgive me yet), my guilt was gone. The guilt in me should be gone. After all, I have done my best to set things right according to their conditions. However, it’s my ex-girlfriend who is causing the delay, it’s no longer me. Therefore, I don’t care if the old church people will question my credibility if ever I will give them advices, especially when it comes to youth leadership. After all, no matter how they put it, majority of the old church people, even leaders, don’t know the whole story. If a close friend committed the same mistake, what will they do? Hide it or help him confess publicly or another graceful exit (sick…they didn’t even give me one)? What will they do if they themselves committed the same mistake? Hide it? Graceful exits (sick)?

It reminds me again of Romans 8:28. That verse was put there to show how fair and just God is. People, even Baptist Christians [even leaders], can be unfair. Thus, God brings back the fairness through people and events. My case is a good example. It is not only because of God’s grace why a Baptist church adopted me, accepted me, and eventually gave me a leadership ministry. It is not only also because of God’s forgiveness. It is also God being fair and just because, let’s face it, there’s a sense of unfairness in the way I was disciplined.

Am I rebelling by saying that? No. I accepted the disciplinary measure, I didn’t defy it. In fact, I’m not going to the old church. Why? They said so. Thus, I respect their decision. Call me a rebel if I still come to the old church even if there is a ban. Besides, it is possible to give due respect to people, but it will not change the fact that it is unfair (they gave “graceful exits” to others). I respect them, I still do, but it is still unfair. It’s like honoring your parents. You honor and respect your parents, but it will not deny the fact that we don’t have perfect parents. It will not deny the fact that parents have their own share of mistakes when it comes to raising children (and I will surely commit my own share of mistakes once I became a father and a husband).

Still though, despite these truths…I know that there is a good day lying ahead. God will surely use people for me to learn and be encouraged. All I need to do is be discerning enough to know who those people are.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Insecurities

One breakfast morning, Mom and I are talking about any topic under the sun. From weddings, annulments, legal separations, church activities (you see how random it is). Then, a particular set of topics really caught me very serious: about what type of girls I like and other stuff relating to dealing with the opposite sex.

I told my Mom that the old church can not also blame me that much why I made wrong moves and choices in my previous relationship (though I acknowledge at the end that I’m accountable with my decisions and my choices).

When I was still a youth leader in the old church, the youth director then (now pastor of a church) will humorously pair an eligible youth leader guy to either an eligible youth leader girl. Guess what? This may sound that I’m an “onion skinned”/sensitive, but he never paired me with someone. In fact, that same youth director (now a pastor) doesn’t pair me with anyone. I can’t forget what he said to me: “You’re hard to be paired with someone.” He also added (I don’t know if that is the same occasion or in another occasion), “The best girl for you is the one who can understand you.” Yes, in a relationship, understanding is one of the keys. However, I felt that he said it because I’m difficult to be understood. Like the girl will need tons of understanding to love me...to like me. I admit that I’m quite eccentric. However, my tolerance with people is high (it is proven with how I handled a mean girl for two years). Maybe I’m difficult to be understood because I’m always misunderstood. However, despite of what the old church people did to me, I UNDERSTOOD them (can they do the same? I doubt. Unless when they’re challenged, they will not do so). Still though, despite of that good youth director’s quite offensive “truths” (Maybe it’s a reflection of the way the old church single ladies’ taste), I kept my mouth shut. I thought that tolerance will pay off someday; it didn’t. If I have discerned it right away, I should have told him, “Yes, I’m a difficult person, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not nice and kind. I maybe weird, but I’m not mean, nasty, narrow minded, unaccommodating, VERY men pleasing” I remember that youth director’s joke years ago in front of other youth leaders, “Don’t laugh; you left your girlfriend (my girlfriend before that nasty one).” (By the way, I admit that I’m the one who broke up with the girl. Yes, there are tears, but we talked about it).

Then, I remember when I decided to have a relationship with a girl, that youth director disagreed. I remember saying, “no one will like me after all”. He said, “You’re wrong.” He mentioned an old church youngster. I didn’t answer back; it will just lead to an argument.

I admit that my insecurity level went up. Imagine, other guys my age with the same status I have no sweat. I felt at that time that no girls IN THE OLD CHURCH will understand me. What’s the worst part? They often pair me up with “ugly ones” (okay, don’t get me wrong on this. I don’t judge people based on their looks. However, I bet if you’ll do it to them, they’ll be surely offended. Face it. Good looks still have a factor. I have many answers regarding this, but it will be lengthy).

I admit, I wanted to say that the old church have also a share why I made wrong choices when it comes to relationship. I remember almost liking a single parent (MOM LIKES HER BY THE WAY), but what did they do? They discouraged me, including that good youth director. When I broke her heart because I gave false hopes to her, these youth leaders, including that good youth director, gave me a “round table conference”. Guess who she got married? A Baptist preacher! How judgmental they are to that lady. How dare they are! My insecurity level went up because they made me felt that no lady in the old church will like me the way I am (You know what? I will like a girl for who she is….if they will not appreciate me for who I am, fine). Okay, don’t get me wrong. Being paired up is a joke, and I’m fairly a good sport on that. However, imagine that there are pairing of youth leaders and left only YOU out? Now that’s a joke, man. Just imagine that an old church single lady will introduce her lady visitor in almost all of the male youth leaders, EXCEPT you? Now that’s a joke. Imagine that you were tagged a playboy though they didn’t know what really happened. Imagine tagging you a playboy ONLY because you have LADY VISITORS? Imagine you were only complimented for being friendly when you’re a gone. Now, that’s a punch line.

Now that’s quite a release. Thank you guys and gals for understanding. Don’t worry. I’m finer now.

Someone made me realize and remember that a believer’s insecurity should be surrendered to God. A believer’s security should be God. Psalms 23 said that. Yes, I am a misunderstood fellow even if made an effort to make myself more understandable. Yes, I’m quite eccentric. However, I don’t care anymore even if all of the old church single ladies will not like a person like me. I know who I really am. I am special not because of who I am, but what God can do to me. He is IMPROVING me as days go by. God made me and saved me for a purpose. To those people calling themselves Christians/believers/Baptists, be it ladies or gentlemen, be it in the old church, if you’ll not appreciate me for who I am, so be it. To some of the old church youth leaders and single ladies out there, thank you very much for your treatment. It only made me mature, tougher, and wiser. Thank you very much for your misjudgment. It revealed what you are only capable. Thank you very much. Your misjudgment served and is still serving as a challenge for me to be a better person.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that who are the called according to his purpose”.

I remember that I posted something that talk about this same topic sometime ago. Indeed, this verse is often misused.

I want to talk this topic again in another, yet in similar manner. Sometimes, that verse is also used to if a person was blessed in his ministry despite of what he had done in the past. This is very right, though the statement lacks something. I admit, an old church person (now a pastor) said this verse to me. However, he said it without adding further. Still though, he is right when he said that what happened is “a case of Romans 8:28”. However, that doesn’t mean that what they did to me is absolutely right, and I am an absolute wrong. Yes, I might have done those shortcomings, but I am not absolutely wrong all the time in this aspect. The things that were said and done to me after this may be the consequences of my actions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all of those actions are right. However, I still find the discipline itself that was imposed on me is fair enough.

Okay, enough of the “pleasantries”. After all, if I dig further, I may just utter written words that I will regret. I believe God put that verse in the Bible because one way or another, a believer will encounter some sort of unfairness. For example, Joseph the Dreamer (no please, I’m waaay far to Joseph, if you know what I mean. I’ll just use him as an example) was thrown by his brothers to the pit out of envy. In Egypt, he was imprisoned by Potiphar for Potiphar’s wife cried rape (which is not true). Moving fast forward, he became governor of Egypt because he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. Like the old church pastor said, “from pit, to Potiphar’s house, to prison, and finally, to the palace”. People have been unfair with Joseph. Name them. His envious brothers, Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife, and the Butler (for not saying Joseph’s unfair case immediately to the authorities. Good thing he showed repentance by telling Pharaoh that Joseph interprets dreams) have treated him not quite well, if not in an unfair manner. Thus, this event in Joseph’s life is an epitome of Romans 8:28. By the way, like I always say, this verse is not applicable if you’re not serving God.

I believe that God put that verse because He is FAIR and JUST. I will not mention what is my implication on that. However, one thing is sure: I have done my best to fix the matter. What comes after is no longer in my hands (if it is or if there is knowledge of what to do, I should have done it in the first place, just to set it right WITH THE OLD CHURCH). Human beings as we are, we are prone to biases and being unfair, no matter how hard we try to be fair. That’s why it is very right that time (for there are events that will transpire in that time frame to prove critics either right or wrong) AND a broad mind (Narrow minded people don’t see events it that way, especially if they are proven wrong) will reveal things.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

street smart or above-average/genius level intelligence

My big brother AC and my cousin PB bought PSP. In fact, I was there when AC helped PB bought one somewhere in Greenhills, San Juan (where mobile phones, computer and computer spare parts are cheaper). It’s been months since AC is convincing to also buy one. Actually, I find PSP cool. Indeed, portable games have come too far. However, I don’t want to buy one. No, it’s not about the price. I don’t say that PSP is not good. After all, it’s also a cool hobby.

However, my main priority for now is for my project study at Philippine Normal University to be finished as soon as possible. I wanted to graduate either this March or, if not possible, October. Another reason why I don’t want to buy one is that I have a hobby, comic strips drawing. By the way, I have yet to draw a strip for this year. Aside from that, I decided to have affordable, yet nice hobbies. I bought a Word Finder last December 2007, which costs PhP25 (around US$0.60). Even until now, I’m not finished with that because I only solve one when I’m waiting for someone. Just this week, I bought an English crossword puzzle. After I finished this word finder, I will solve that crossword puzzle. Recently, I began to memorize Bible verses more than the usual. Okay, I admit, I’m doing this so-called mental exercise. Why? God gave me the eyes to read good materials. I’m not yet wearing reading glasses. So, I need to take advantage of this blessing. Another reason is that God gave a person one brain and a sane mind in order to use it for good. It’s such a sad thing that I hear politicians who have the opportunity to study in Ivy League schools or other International Universities, but listen to them, one way or another, there are politicians who use their intelligence to lie. You’ll hear an intelligent politician hurl accusations to another intelligent politician. Obviously, it is rare that either of the parties will admit their short comings. Yes, they are intelligent and CLINICALLY SANE. It is such a waste that you hear a PMA (Philippine Military Academy) graduate who amassed millions of pesos in properties and he acquired them in a questionable manner. Only few make it to PMA. Those few get even fewer when asked how many graduated from that institution. Not all aspirants have the opportunity to study in University of the Philippines. I remember a song entitled “State U” sung by Don Abay. A part of the lyrics said, “taga UP ka kasi, madaling makahanap ng trabaho” (“you’re from UP; it’s easy [for you] to get a job”). I heard someone said, “It’s UP or never”. Indeed, it is a privilege to study in UP. However, look at our politicians and some activists who are UP graduates. Finger pointing, fault finding, and no apologizing. Welcome to the so-called “intelligent world”.

My point is this: God have given us eyes to read good materials. Personally, I want to use my eyes to read good materials while I still don’t wear glasses. God have given us the sane mind and a brain to use it properly. Exercise your brain while it is yet there. Thus, I will exercise this while I still don’t have Alzheimer’s, dementia, things like that.

Okay, I’m not playing perfect here. I’m not perfect, and I don’t want to play one. I still commit mistakes. What I’m trying to say is the brain and eyes, like money, are assets. We must take care of them and use them wisely, just like what we must do with money (use it wisely).

Random self-definition “Weirdo” – a statement used by someone if he or she doesn’t know what that person knows; a statement uttered by someone who is insecure.

Hehehehehe

Street smart and above-average/genius level intellect? One way or another, you are confronted with this question, though not necessarily in a direct manner. “Yes, he’s intelligent, but he is stupid.” “He maybe is a graduate of a prestigious University, but his discernment is waaaaaaaaaay low.” “You graduated from graduate school, but why did you do such stupid mistakes?” In other words, you are not street smart. I admit, it hurts me every time I hear such statements. After all, I fell in that category. I’m not much of a street smart. Especially with what happened to me two years ago, the so-called “street smart” became right again. Look around you. Even in a campus atmosphere, especially in the undergraduate program, it’s like a laughing matter if you have above-average intelligence. In fact, back in the old church, a pastor said, “You’re AB: Abnormal. Hehehehehe”. Our company has an employee. She said to me similar words, like those I mentioned. I can’t blame her. Even in movies, the so-called “nerds” are portrayed as “not cool”. Yes, there are intelligent people who don’t have a good social skills and a bad fashion sense. Look in your respective Universities, especially in the graduate program. Hehehehehehe. Face it. God will not give ALL of the good stuff to one person. Don’t be so mean to the so-called “nerds and geeks”.

Last night, I watched a show. The segment is about child prodigies. A genius-level professor who was interviewed there said that if a person is a genius, that does not necessarily mean that he’s not able to commit mistakes. A real genius has the privilege to commit MANY mistakes, but is able to recover and bounce back from those mistakes in a quickest time possible. Now that’s a statement from a certified genius.

Now, between being a street smart and above-average/genius level intellect, I’ll choose the latter. Why? I want the latter. That’s all. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The following was forwarded by an online friend who is into poetry, Theta. I admit, sometimes I’m also guilty of this one. Still though, this is worth posting in my space. This will be reminder to every people calling themselves “Christians”, even calling themselves “Bible Baptists”. This is especially for us (including myself), brothers and sisters. Here it goes (my own words in parenthesis).


Isn't it strange how a 100-peso bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

(If only a small Baptist church of let’s say 40 earning members will give at least PhP100 a week, it will be PhP4000, PhP16000 a month. I bet not all members are poor. In fact, some parade their cars, vans, etc. Besides, in the Bible, the Macedonian church members were described as in “deep poverty”, meaning below poverty line. Still, they gave it to Apostle Paul. Paul rejected it, but the Macedonian church members insisted. We buy shoes, clothes that are a bit expensive because we want and need to look presentable in front of our officemates, classmates, friends, etc, yet we don’t even bother if your church needs some paint job, some renovation, or etc. No offense, but we like it when Mr. Eli Soriano began to curse Baptist churches for tithes and fund raising, when in the first place, the church workers also need money for their own and their families’ needs.)

Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

(We tend to go out like rats going out from the hole after the church service. I tend to look on my watch when a speaker reaches the one hour limit.)

Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

(I tend to pray shorter than talking to a friend over mobile phone. The irony? Prayer is free, calling a friend isn’t. In public prayer, we tend to pray like we are being rushed by someone. When we’re talking to our friends and loved ones, we are trying to convey the message as clear as possible.)

Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or ZANE GREY book?

(In fact, we even carry secular books with us while walking, as if we’re proud that we own them. I heard of someone bringing along with him Anton LaVey’s book, The Satanic Bible, inside the University, seen by his schoolmates. That dude is proud of that books like he’s different. Brethren, let’s be proud of our faith. Bring our Bibles with us. Take time to read it while waiting for someone, like your professor. If you don’t want being tagged a show-off. Then, read your favorite secular, academic, and Christian books after that.)

Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row-ticketsto concerts or games, but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in Church?

(By God’s grace, I learned to like front row in the church. Not only I can hear it clearly, but there is less noise. Usually, the farther you are seated, the noisier it gets, unless the preacher pointed that noisy one. However, when I was late, I don’t like it because I tend to sit at front, creating a scene. Why? The back seat is occupied first before the front seat. Back seats are for latecomers. What is it with back seats anyway? Yes, we may have our reasons like we have bladder problems, I need to guard my car, I need to guard the church entrance. Those are reasonable, but not all people do that job at the same time, if you know what I mean. On the lighter side, it is in the church when you can have front row seats for free.)

Isn't it strange how we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events at the last minute?

(This is really strange; I also tend to do this. Invite them in a ballgame, birthday, concerts, outing; they will rush into the scene, some even forgetting some stuff because of their spontaneity.)

Isn't it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share itwith others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

(Indeed, gossips fly. When they fly, they leave a trail that others want to follow. Yes, we may excuse that spiritual things are harder to understand than gossip, but God had given Christians the spirit of discernment when we read God’s Word and when He speaks in events, people, etc. Why is it still harder? Maybe we are not exercising that discernment harder.)

Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say, but we question the words in the Bible?

(This is very much true; in fact, we even say, “let’s not be legalistic/dogmatic on this text” blah blah blah. Yet, opinions keep flying when one reads the paper, books, magazines, etc. Some even extends these opinions in their coffee shop talks. Oh by the way, when someone heard me say what you read just now, some may even correct my grammer, my approach, or just plain indifference because they don’t like the topic anyway. We tend to follow the rules like wearing the ID and uniform, wearing proper attire in a specific place like it’s a dogma, no questions asked. Yet in Biblical verses like, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands”, which is clearly said, we tend to ask, “what if the husband is wrong?” When we encounter verses like, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”, we tend to ask, “what if there’s no qualified Christian in the church to be my lifetime partner?” Strange, isn’t it?)

Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven, but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

(This is a sad truth. The reason why Christians don’t like winning souls is because of rejection. Why is there rejection? Because they don’t want to believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. Thus, Christians should pray more and act more.)

Isn't it strange how we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away, but when we are going to send messages about God, we think about it twice before we share it with others?

(I find it harder to give Biblical advice to someone than to give them a joke, trivias, one liner, etc.)

Please don’t be offended by this. I myself was hit with these “strange truths”. To my fellow brethren Baptists/Christians, hope you’ll appreciate these reminders coming from a brother in Christ.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I made a move in our youth program. I thanked God because I noticed a positive pattern in our Youth Program in the church called Young People’s Fellowship (YPF). Last 2006, after a year of hibernation, the Youth Ministry was re-established. At first, I wanted to create an “impact sounding names”, but nothing came to my mind. Then, a youngster gave me a text message, stating “YPF” which stands for Young People’s Fellowship. Thus, YPF is our official name for the new church’s new youth ministry. 2007 is the year that I tried to put myself and the youngsters in activities like NBYC, Umpog Ulo 2007, and the biggest event of that year, YPF Day 2007. Honestly, it’s my first time to be a head organizer of these youth events. However, one thing I have learned: God will take care of activities that glorify Him. Yes, it’s hard, but He will bless any activities that will glorify Him, one way or another.

This year, I made a decision that will cost the youngsters more time, energy, and even money – we’ll go out. “Going out” in Baptist circles means “to share God’s Word outside the church”. Honestly, though I have my soul winning experiences back in the old church and some handful experiences in the new church ministry, I’m still tense. There are things that I noticed:

1) Other religions are going out, even being assertive and aggressive. Although this is wrong, others tend to cross the line by ridiculing our faith, calling our faith “cheap faith”.
2) There are people that I encounter who are firm with their beliefs and is aggressive to the point of influencing others.
3) I know people from other firms/organizations that don’t care if what they will say is offending or not.
4) I have schoolmates/classmates who just blurt out foul languages and they just got away with it. In fact, few even called me names.

My point is this, if they have the guts to do such things, even if they tend to step on other people, how much more us? After all, if we knock their doors, and/or give them a Gospel tract while they are walking, we are giving good news. Nothing is wrong with that. It’s such a sad thing that laws are gradually being made against Christian activities. Why stopped such Christian activities when our motive is to make people’s lives better (if they’ll only accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior)? It’s quite sad when people ridicule, mock, even angry with so called

1) When you are in the casino, yes, the casino may have charitable works, but ask the gamblers what are their main motive why they are in the casino. Yes, it’s the money and/or the so-called thrill of the game of chance. Why is gambling not outlawed when it wrecked more lives than the so-called “religious fanaticism”?
2) Based on a Filipino study, a chain smoker usually spend PhP92 (US$2.00) a day for smoking. Do the math, that is PhP2760 (US$67) a month just for that vice. In the Philippines, that amount is an adequate fund for a youth program in the church good for two Sundays, even 3 Sundays. Why not outlawed smoking which destroys the health and depletes the smoker’s resources?

Okay, so much for that. Still though, I hope and pray that our going out activity for this year will be a success. By God’s grace, even if there are rejections, I know it is already a success when a Christian approach someone about the Gospel.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007: sort of...

2007 has been a good learning experience for me. That year has also been fairly good to me. That year also marked the first time that I officially made fellowship with some of the old church people: the alumni homecoming. I also took advantage of that occasion by talking to my former youth director (now a Pastor in ParaƱaque City). I asked if he really said some negative stuff. In other words, some issues were clarified.

2007 is the year in which my leadership in the Young People’s Fellowship went through an acid test. It’s my first time to lead the youngsters’ delegation at National Baptist Young Convention 8. Yes, that convention also caused the ire of my ex-girlfriend because, judging through her text messages, she doesn’t like me attending Baptist fellowships (she doesn’t want me to move on smoothly). It was in this year that for the first time, I organized a sort of a Youth Rally called YPF Day 2007. 3 churches participated, excluding the host church. 78 youngsters attended in that event. The YPF Day became a blessing to the new church to the point that the new church pastor was full of energy, despite the fact that he’s not feeling well. Praise God, because of YPF Day, the new church Pastor trusted me more. It’s easy to lead when people trust your leadership. By the way, this year also is the first (and I hope not the last) Umpog Ulo Bible Quiz Bee. Indeed, if the youth ministry has an organized program, members will take notice, one way or the other, even if you’ll not announce. I didn’t expect this warm response from the members, and even the youth members themselves. They are excited whenever there is an activity.

2007 is also the year that I boldly participated in Komikon 2007. That is my break as an independent comic strip artist. Yes, other more popular indie artists will say that not all indies are good and some are garbage (though I agree with that also), at least it’s a fulfillment for me. As for me, I did my best to improve and I poured my heart into GradS Tayo. For me, you can only call something as “garbage” if you don’t give a significant effort into it. I did.

2007 is also the time that my ex-girlfriend gave her fierce statement. She didn’t want me to go back to the old church yet (based on her mother’s statement). Even until now, I don’t know what will be her response to that. I don’t know what will be her mother’s response once she will be reprimanded for that. Still though, I said to the old church pastor that the burden of forgiveness and asking forgiveness is no longer mine, but hers. I added that right from the start, I have never been the cause of delay (except of course when I became silent for about 6 months. The people, not me, are not ready to hear stuff). I also realized that I must really do my best this time in the new church. I admit, because of the “technicalities” that you’ll not be rewarded by God if your service is not based in the local church, I said that I’ll serve God, with or without the reward. Besides, even if I don’t serve Him, there’s a part of me that wants to serve Him. Because the old church said that it’s not yet time because my ex-girlfriend didn’t forgive me yet, I told the church through the pastor that it’s no longer my fault. Yes, it may be still a consequence of my sins, but the “holding of clearance” is no longer in my hands. I admit though, I’m praying that my ministry here in the new church will be recognized by God as valid (if He’ll not reward me, it is okay). After all, how can I go back in the church that doesn’t allow me to go back, even if I admitted my mistakes and willing to serve the sentence? 2007 is also the year that I learned to live a life without the old church. Yes, the hurt is still there, but I left it all to God. I just hope and pray that the old church members will open their minds and understand that it takes two to tango.

2007 is also the year that I failed the comprehensive exam twice. I learned to accept what happened to me. I don’t know if that is part of the consequence or just a distraction for me not to keep on serving God. Still though, by God’s grace, I didn’t take those failures seriously. Thus, YPF day was successful.

I also met sweet girl Amie Kenneth Loyola. She’s sweet, considerate, makes me feel that I’m in charge. She said that she likes my humor and talkativeness. The feeling is mutual, but we remained good friends. She understood what I stood for, I understood hers. Still though, I’m still praying that she’ll have that true born again experience (though she professed her faith).

At the last quarter of the year, Hazel Jane, a former classmate, and I developed from classmates to buddies. Indeed, God gives friends IF you abide with Him.

2007 has been a good year to me. I laughed. I cried. I screamed. I shouted. I whispered. I learned. I don’t know what 2008 will give to me, but I want to leave this post with a quotation from a film that I watched just before 2008 begins:

“Life is an occasion…rise to it!”

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2007, welcome 2008!