Thursday, July 31, 2008

There are really people who can’t be trusted. I know. I know. Most of you, especially those people who know me, will say, “we know that”. It is a fact. Even Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

That’s why it’s difficult to be a Christian (and acting genuine Christianity) to unbelievers. You must not be judgmental, but at the same time be cautious. How many times was I reminded not to trust anyone? Plenty. That’s why I was called “naïve”. Even if the character looks doubtful, I tried to be a kind soul still. Thus, when someone spreads rumors that I’m not a good person, it tears me apart, no matter how many times I experienced it.

Now, let me explain what this ranting is all about. My grandparents told my Mom that my former driver told them my stupid mistakes back when he’s still working for me. I’ll not mention what those stupidities are. I might get sidetracked. Because of this, in that lazy Monday morning, Mom gave me a mouthful of reminders. It’s okay. She’s my Mom. What I don’t like is that those stupidities occurred 2006, and those who followed my blog and my other blogs know what happen in 2006. Besides, I maybe talkative, but I’m not gossiper. That former driver, despite the kindness I’ve shown to him, still gossips my stupid mistakes back when he’s still in my then-apartment. Good thing Mom talked about it only briefly. Still though, it’s enough for my Monday to be ruined…not entirely though.

I was surprised (but not totally) that a guy like him is a gossiper. After all, if you look at him, you’ll say that he’s your couch potato looking guy…not those metrosexual looking guy. He’s not effeminate. Thus, it is surprising. Actually, I’m just humoring you readers. Still though, jokes are half meant. Oh well, I don’t want to dignify that person’s deed further. To sum it up, he’s wrong big time. Period. It just shows the person’s true character and attitude. What I don’t like is that I was trying to regain my composure, proving my Mom and Big Bro that I’m no longer that stupid and undiscerning with people (naïve). Besides, it was part of the past. Oh well, those stuff should not be dignified. After all, that former driver is no saint, but that’s another story.

Another experience is more recent. A few hours ago, Big Bro texted me that he received a news that I was flirting around with a neighbor’s baby sitter. I told him that I haven’t “talked” to that girl (when I say “talk” with quotation marks, it means flirting around). Besides, this one I didn’t mention: it’s been a few weeks since the last time I saw her. Big Bro found out that through his daughter’s babysitter. According to Big Bro, the rumors are spread in my niece’s school! Poor girl, if she just knows the mess that babysitter did.

Yes, I have been typically kind, like I usually do to other girls (unfortunately, that gave me the “trademark playboy”). I do admit that I humor her (for she’s my neighbor). I never explained my side to Big Bro. I just said that I haven’t talked to her for quite sometime. Big Bro told me not to talk to that woman again. That’s easy. Yes, that’s easy. Besides, she’s outside the “church system”. Keep on talking, and it will just come back to her. I am used to that issue, even back in the Old Church. In that aspect, the words, “I don’t have to please everyone” is very much applicable. That’s another reason why I don’t defend myself that much: my defense is not needed by those who love me and is not believed by those who hate me. Why bother? Back in the Old Church, there are issues against me, especially in how I deal with the opposite gender. I may have stated many things in my blog (for this is my journal), but it’s quite rare that I defend myself. When a man is being accused of being playboy or promiscuous, the best defense is silence. Besides, people who love you won’t need your explanation; people who hate you won’t believe it. I just hope those who know those will not make a big deal out of this. What if they made a big deal out of this? I’ll just explain to them, but not in details.

Oh well, despite my doubts to specific people, why I still befriend them despite of “the tingling spider sense”? The Bible says, “…love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 19:19). Yes, the Bible said, “Let not then your good be evil spoken of:” (Romans 14:16), but it is Jesus Christ Himself who said that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. God have given me an adequate (not heightened) discernment, with people, but that doesn’t mean I will prejudge them. The Bible is against that (Matthew 7:1).

Again, I just hope and pray that this will not be a big deal tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Encouragement from unlikely people

(Note: I mention names here because I complimented them)

I miss the co-leaders back in the old church. I miss the Old Church who gives me the tap at the back. I miss Pastor James O. Montenegro, my former high school teacher/adviser now a Pastor in Bulacan, who gives me encouragement. He’s one of those few Old Church people who didn’t change his treatment to me despite of what had happened (although other Old Church people say they didn’t change, but Pastor James proved it in his actions toward me, even going to the New Church to preach, and eventually, making friends with the New Church Pastor). I miss Pastor Joel A. Solomon, Pastor in Sapang Palay, SJDM, Bulacan. He may be quite a snub <<<(please don’t mistook that statement ok?), but hey, he has that pragmatic state of mind (“it happened before, just aspire not to do it again”). I appreciate Bro. Rolly Javier’s tap at the back. Pastor Jeremias A. Solomon, my former mentor and Youth Director, for being humble in “situations where humility is necessary”. I miss some of the Old Church youngsters, like Ambel Gallardo, Azre Villarico, Jeremy James Samson, Emmanuel Refugio, Ezra Villarico. I also appreciate Miguel Rodriguez (not the late actor), for still believing in me. I also appreciate May Moreno, Kristine Victoria for the smiles at me, for still calling me “kuya”, for still considering me their “former leader”.

I also appreciate those people who gave me the cold shoulders (which I assume that they’ve justified it, to the point of burying it with their assumptions) after that “dark thing of the past”. It is because of them that I made a realization to strive for a better testimony, a better Christian life, and a tougher person not too dependent on other brethren (by not forsaking God’s assembly).

There are others, but I mentioned the foremost people who gave me the encouragement and the “just like before” treatment. Yes, those who know them will maybe discredit them based on their past mistakes, and their past negative actions. Maybe other people who know them know their lapses (if they have one, or two), but with their encouragement and “still positive” treatment to me, they have helped a brother in Christ.

Nowadays, I appreciate the simplest of encouragements that I receive. Nowadays, I receive encouragement from unlikely people. I used the word “unlikely” because they look tough. Around two years ago, a father of my 4 youth members, while inside their car, told me, “You’re still young. You still have many things to do for the Lord.” You know why I appreciate that man’s encouragement? If you just know his life before he got saved, you’ll understand what I’m trying to talk about.

Just yesterday (Sunday, July 27), the New Church Pastor’s mother approached me. She’s known for her strictness and her toughness. She’s a person who rarely smiles (and she acknowledges that). She approached me, and you know what? She encouraged me. She said to keep up with the good attitude and some other positive stuff. I almost forgot to mention, a few months back, she said that God will bless me. This may sound a cliché for a veteran believer, but I gave back to God the glory. I am hypocrite not to admit that I enjoyed those compliments and encouragements. That encouragement was etched in my head. Two unlikely people became the source of those encouraging words. I can’t help but compare these two unlikely people with those likely people I’m expecting encouragement, but never received it.

Indeed, sometimes, you can never tell whom will God use in order for a brethren in Christ to be encouraged. I believed that God spoke in their hearts, maybe they just don’t know it. Those encouragements will be etched in my head. Those encouragements will be considered my fuel to persevere, despite of my shortcomings before.

Like I said, I appreciate the simplest of encouragements.

Never withhold the encouragement to a fellow brother or sister in Christ. Never withhold compliments to a fellow worker both inside and outside the church. Never fail to appreciate people for their simplest positive traits. Never withhold the compliments due to a person, even if you feel that he or she will be boastful after the compliments. Besides, your assumption that that person will be boastful MAY BE WRONG. (Sometimes, people withhold encouragements and compliments to a person because they feel that that person is “so full of himself/herself”. Granting the fact, they are right, if their assumption IS INDEED RIGHT, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THAT PERSON.) Always give a tapping at the back to those people who had a well done job. Especially in government office bosses, learn to be thankful with your staff.

The world is so cold; encouragement and compliment will warm their day even for a while. Christians should tear the wall of fear (of being accused of this and that) and pride and start to encourage fellow Christians. Like I said, it’s a cold world out there, sincere encouragements and compliments will surely warm a person’s day. Try it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

House Bill 634 part 1

Last week, as I’m switching channels, I saw Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon. I forgot the title of the show, but definitely it was shown in ANC, and definitely they are the host. Now, what caught my attention is one of the guests of the show – Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Jr., which is also the Pastor of Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church in Sta. Ana, Manila.

With him is a Catholic Archbishop Oscar Cruz (I’m not a Catholic. Though I have lapses in my own faith, please do understand why I don’t call him “Father”). They have two other guests on “the other corner”, a lesbian and a gay (I forgot). The topic is about House Bill No. 634, if this bill is passed, this will be called “Anti-Discrimination Law” or “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefor”.

I will leave the technicalities of the Bill to legal arguments of our legal minds. What caught my attention why I stopped switching channels is when Korina Sanchez humorously asked Cong. Abante. She asked him if he had bad experiences with gay people. He answered that back in his high school days, there are old gays who are doing this and that (he didn’t elaborate). Sanchez pinned him down in that part. If you’re watching the show, you’ll see that all of them are laughing in that part (even Cong. Abante), but you can feel Sanchez’ gut in that humor. Ted Failon is just more of a listener by the way. Moments later, Sanchez said that her staff has many gay members, and she said that they are creative. Now, I understand a bit. Moments later again, the lesbian/guest told Sanchez and Failon that she wants to marry the one she’s now with. The hosts admire her (the lesbian/guest) for doing such because, according to Sanchez, there are guys who don’t have the balls to accept responsibility (which I agree).

Now, like I said, I will leave the legal arguments of this Bill to the House of Representatives, Lawyers, and Law Students. Let me just tell you what I think on the following statements:

1) LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, and transvestites) performs well in their respective fields, sometimes even better with the heterosexual counterparts – that is true. There are successful LGBTs, and that’s because they are hard working AND motivated. The mere fact that there is, well, discrimination, the tendency is to back-out or rise to the challenge, prove them wrong. Usually, it’s the latter. It’s not their being LGBT that makes them successful. It is the inner motivation to prove the critics (mostly homophobes as other people say it) wrong. It’s no different to a Filipino who went to US or different parts of the world. Because of some sort of discrimination, especially to Southeast Asian like Filipinos, that Filipino will either bow down, prove the critics right, or rise to the challenge and excel in the field he chooses. Usually, it’s the latter. I know first hand two Filipinas who resides in Beverly Hills. Hard work and inner motivation, not sexual orientation, makes them successful.
2) There are other guys who don’t want to take responsibility to a girl – guys and gals, you know what that means. Again, it is true, a sad truth. Real man is responsible to his actions. Too bad there are those who do otherwise. However, a man being irresponsible is different from lesbian wanting to marry a girl. Both are wrong. Besides, those are two different entities. Yes, there are irresponsible guys, but that doesn’t mean same sex marriage is justifiable. It’s like giving a wrong medicine to a wrong patient!
3) The reason why a congressman will block House Bill No. 634 is maybe he has a bad experience on LGBTs – okay, if I’ll follow that statement, thus, all laws are written because of a bad experience of that congressman/congresswoman, or worst, for their respective self-interest (but that’s another story). Personally, I think that humorous statement is nearly below the belt (nearly, because Sanchez knows her limits).

Okay, let me get this straight: as a Baptist, I’m against homosexuality and lesbianism. The Bible is against that. Let me also tell you that I have gay, bisexual, and lesbian friends. Is what I am doing contrary to what I really believe? Not really. Being a non-Baptist, I have no control in their choice of orientation. The Bible discourages homosexual practice. Still though, go to any Filipino Baptist church. If you’re a visitor who is belongs to LGBT, you’ll be accepted as a visitor. Like the new church pastor usually says, “everybody is welcome, but not their sins”. In fact, there are 2 cases I know that a visitor came to a church drunk. Of course, we are on guard, but he’s not thrown out. Why? All souls are welcome, my friend. However, once you become a member (by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and being baptized by a Baptist preacher authorized by a Baptist church), you must follow the rules of the church governed by God’s Word – the Bible. After all, you’re inside a private organization called church. If you didn’t follow, the church has the right to discipline that member, and it’s not only for homosexual practice, there are other cases like fornication, adultery, theft, drunkenness. Still, despite that discipline, Baptists are the ones who have the guts to approach a LGBT to win that person to Christ. Besides, no one loves LGBTs better than believers (whether Baptist or other Christians who believes in the assurance of salvation through accepting Christ as Lord and Savior) who share the Gospel to them. Passing Anti-Discrimination Bill as a law is just superficial. Yes, there may come a time that this will become a law, thus liberating LGBTs more than before, BUT…are they really free?

Jesus Christ is the real answer, not same sex marriage, not that Bill.

To the Representatives who made this Bill, I respect you and what you’re fighting for. But please, respect also the view I share with many Baptist people who agree with yours truly. I know you will. J

To Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon, I like your way of hosting, but what you did to Cong. Abante is nearly below the belt. You’re discussing a Bill here, the joke is quite personal (good thing Cong. Abante laughed at it). Cong. Abante is just standing on what he believes in. Besides, he has a Biblical basis on that.

To the lesbian and gay guests at that show, if our paths crossed, I’ll be the most polite and kind person you’ll come across. If we are friends, there’s a chance that you’ll be invited in my house for some snacks or dinner or lunch, but my principle is still the same. Why? Because Baptist guys are generally nice, not typical homophobes.

To all LGBTs, I don’t hate you…in fact, I never hated you…

More similar entries next time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

objectivity effect, like a boomerang...and generalizing

A youngster told me that I’m bitter every time I answer surveys being given by friends at Friendster (via bulletin). According to her, it shows when I answer questions on specific topics. I took it as a reminder. Then, when I answer another survey, she gave me a message, saying that it’s still a bit bitter. Again, I took it as a reminder and not as an insult. This same youngster, when I shared to her my past, she say things as if she’s preaching to me. I still can’t forget how she reminded me about fornication. Her approach is more of an objective type, ala Gregory House. By the looks of it, she’s doing an objective approach. Again, I accepted. Why? As a Christian youth leader, I must still be teachable enough and listen to suggestions and reminders, regardless of their age and how they deliver it. Besides, the youngster had a point. Although I don’t talk like that to my leaders back then.

Then, something happened. She found out that her guy best friend committed the same mistake I did in the past. She defended her best friend. At the end, she ended up being blamed by the other party. I don’t want to brush into details, but I can feel her anger and bitterness because of what had happened. Now, her best friend was at that same predicament, will she be as preachy and as objective as she usually is? Yes, it still can be, but maybe with some softness in tones.

No, I don’t have any thing against that youngster. In fact, I like that youngster. However, this is the fact of life: when you rebuke, expect that the same rebuke will come back to haunt you. “…and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2) The youngster humorously rebuked my being bitter and what I did in the past, now that very same predicament happened to her, and her best friend. I just hope that she’s getting the message of that experience. However, if not for her best friend’s short coming, she may have not realize in a more personal manner that fornication can happen even to the nicest, not your usual suspects around, like me (a usual suspect?heheheh). Hehehehe. In counseling, always think that any pain, any human weakness can happen to any human being, even Christians.

However, I do hope and pray that she can overcome her bitterness. I
I have to say this: in general terms, I am not a woman hater. The idea just crossed my mind when someone told me that I have woman issues. I’m not. In fact, the closest friend right now is a sweet girl. The one who is giving her help in my comics (editorial aspect) is a lady school mate. And in case I do, I’m praying and doing my best to let go of hatred. Big bro and I grew up basically with our mom. My aunts, paternal grandma good take care of me. I have lady cousins I like hanging out with. I have more girl friends than guy friends (because I have more lady classmates).

One thing that I hate though is woman blaming the men as if we are the most-wicked species ever. Okay, maybe you will react or will not care. Hehehehehe. I admit that one of the reasons why I share that part of my life is not to practice bitterness and self pity. I’m telling that part of my life so that if there are women who are vocally bitter with men, they still have a choice to overcome their bitterness. Weird? Senseless? Immature? Childish? Let me explain in this manner: yeah, you have your reasons to hate men because of your own experience, so do I with women. Yet, I chose to befriend women to the point of being sweet to them. Why? I chose not to rule with “woman hating”. Why? I still believe that there’s still good gals around. So, pleeeeeeease girls, don’t generalize men. Your kind has bad breeds too (and good ones too, that’s the point). Your kind is not perfect the way men are not also perfect. You don’t believe me, do you? Maybe you don’t even care. That’s the last straw to hit someone’s opinion – you’ll say that you don’t care. Oh well, I don’t expect you to believe today’s post and even care with my opinion. (My circle of friends is composed more of female populace than dudes, partially because of my course and faith, I hope that alone will explain that I’m not a woman hater).

Friday, July 4, 2008

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

“Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”

Yes, that’s part of one of the songs of Alanis Morissette. If my memory is right, it was during my either my junior or senior high school year when it was first aired. Anyway, this is not the post on Alanis’ song. The word is irony. Yes, irony or the “incongruity between the actual and expected result”. Oops, I think the theoretical definition did more than good. Anyway, like I said, it’s about irony.

I am no sage, nor seer. I’m not even a member of Mensa (I’m not qualified, thanks). However, I have seen ironies in my life of 27 years (when I posted this)…and they are usually called “plantsa” in Tagalog. Seriously and without the dry humor, some of the ironies I know I learned from the Bible, which I eventually experience or encounter. Some of the ironies I learned from first hand encounter (especially dealing with opposite gender). Well, you may have your other opinion, but let me tell you this: all of these are experiential, not only theoretical.

1) It is more blessed to give than to receive – a similar term is “the more you give, the more you receive”. I have learned this first hand. Usually, in order to gain, you must take, take, and take, right? But life says “wrong”. Look around you. Plants give oxygen. Humans and animals give (by excreting well, you know). How many times have I seen people not blessed by God because of selfishness? On the other hand, I have seen generous people, giving to the point of sacrificing. Yet, even if they have no more to give, they still have ways in order to give. Why? Because God is a generous God. This is not only irony, but also the nature of God.
2) The way “up” is “down” – Aside from God-given talent, one will surely go up by going down. It means a humble person will be promoted. I have seen people in the Old Church, they’re the usual behind the scenes, but now they are pastors. I have seen organization members who is humble and low key, a year or two later, he or she is the President of that Org. Thus, other people use this style in order to be promoted. You know, the “humble effect”. They’ll behave as if they’re low profile, yet proud in their hearts. Still though, only God can judge who aspires humility and who feigns it; it’s not for me to judge.
3) Destroy your enemies by making them your friends – Abraham Lincoln, as far as I can remember, stated this. Normally, especially in war, you destroy enemies by, well, destroying them. This is more of brotherly kindness. Strange and difficult, but it works. I have tried that before, it worked, but not in all people.
4) If you ignore them, they’ll approach you. Yeah, yeah, I know some of you will disagree, but like I said, it’s experiential. How many times have I seen friendly guys being snubbed by girls only to approach a low profile man at the corner of the bar? If you think there are men who felt challenged by snobbish women (to the point they’ll court those types), think again. There are women who will approach men who are ignoring them. I know of a guy who ignores one of the prettiest ladies in the church, and yet that lady tried to catch that guy’s attention. Why is this so? Maybe it will be a trophy or achievement or self-gratification, but still, I consider this ironic. That’s why there are guys who play shy type or “low profile effect”: to win the girl’s heart.
5) The more you hate, the more you love – well, this doesn’t apply to all, but this sure still exists. Have you encounter a person that you are disgusted, and eventually you began to like each other’s company?

Those are some of the ironies that I have learned. Maybe other ironies will come if my memory will allow…or if life itself will allow me to experience such.