Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ready to Hug 2010 and Kiss 2009 Goodbye

As I am typing this, it will be around 8 hours before 2010. If you notice, I posted two topics today prior to this one. It’s because I wanted to speak out some stuff before I have my year-ender post.

I didn’t get a chance to post during Christmas break. Thus, I made it a point to post a year-ender blog.

Now, what happened to me this 2009?

2009 marks my return to the Old Church (though it was officially December 31, 2008). After two year of not being allowed to return, I am finally allowed to go back.

This is also the year that I officially obtained my Master’s degree. I though that this would be my last hurrah for my grad studies…but…

This year, I went back into teaching, on a part time basis.

August 30, 2009, Amie and I celebrated our 1st year anniversary as sweethearts.
I admit that this year is my busiest year, but again, I still have time to accommodate family, friends. There are people who say that they’re busy, but in reality, it’s their way of throwing out people that they don’t like!

Even my Mom is saying that I’m busier nowadays. Maybe my part time job in a nearby college is the culprit, but hey, for now, I like what I’m doing, and I’m earning (though not high…at least you are earning on what you like doing).

This year also is the year that the church that the adopted me, Remnant Bible Baptist Church, attended the Old Church-sponsored Baptist Youth Jubilee. It’s their first time to see the Old Church. I am happy to say also that RBBC won the Bible Quiz Bee. Indeed, it served as an encouragement for them. I am honored to be used by God for them to be encouraged…the way RBBC encouraged me in that MEMORABLE 30 MONTHS OF MY LIFE! This year, even if I’m no longer in RBBC, they still manage to make me smile.

2009, just like any other year, has been a year of blessing for me. A year God’s grace was manifested.

This coming 2010, I hope and pray that God will use me mightily, one way or another. New Year resolutions? NO. After all, I real mature person will introspect what things to improve, what things to continue, what things to minimize, if not eliminate.

2009, THANK YOU FOR BOTH THE HAPPINESS AND THE LONELINESS AND THE LEARNING EXPERIENCES!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I WELCOME 2010 WITH OPEN ARMS! MAY GOD BLESS THIS YEAR!

Law of Unintended Consequence from an Outsider's View

(Note: an outsider’s viewpoint only. I’m not an expert)

Law of Unintended Consequences – “a humorous expression in common use according to which any purposeful action will produce some unintended, unanticipated, and usually unwanted consequences.” (Rob Norton). Rob Norton, freelance writer, also added that this law states that “actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.”

I first encounter this principle when I watched one of the episodes of Numb3rs. I can still remember that one of the main protagonists, Prof. Charlie Eppes, stated this. When I first heard the phrase “law of unintended consequences”, I have my own interpretation on its meaning. However, the curiousity in me dictate that I must verify it through references. Voila. It’s quite similar to what I have thought.
This is not a true scientific law. This is, in fact, a humorous expression. In fact, some writers This “law” is used in social science, and to certain cases, economics. Normally, you do things to make something, or things, happen. However, we’re living in an imperfect world. Thus, when we do something, there are unintended consequences, be it positive or negative. The x-ray, for example, is discovered by accident.

There are people who wanted to do something bad to other people, but in the process, the recipient of the bad deed is the people that they don’t want to receive the bad deed. One of the classic examples I know is when a group of bullies wanted to pull a prank to a class nerd. Upon the process, the class nerd, unknown to him, didn’t receive the prank. Instead, the recipient of the prank is the school principal! Thus, they were sent to the office and was given a disciplinary action. They never intended to pull pranks on the principal, but upon the process, they just did.

My point? Never ever do something bad to other people, you can never tell who will receive the bad deed. Worst, the recipient may hit you back BIG TIME. Even more, the unintended recipient may be someone close to your heart. When that happens, are you good enough to admit that that bad deed you planned to do is wrong in the first place or you’ll resort to lame excuses, denials and further manipulation (claiming it is coincidence or irrelevant)? Take your pick. Those choices will pack a punch anyway. There is such a thing called unintended consequence.

Lost trust via....oh well

You’ve heard this if you experienced attending leaderships seminars for one reason or another. You have read this from business people. You heard this from the old pastors’ verbal testimony everytime they became nostalgic on their early years as a missionary. You’ll hear these words from old bosses as a form of advice to younger company bosses/managers, supervisors, employees. This is the sentence: TRUST IS EARNED. Especially in today’s times when people are becoming more and more pragmatic rather than desire spirituality, you need to earn other people’s trust. There are times that there are people who will trust you easily; it’s a good thing if you have friends like that. There are times that it will be year or even years before you can be trusted. Thus, once earned, cherish it, value the people that trust you. Value trust itself.

What if trust was broken and you’re not the SOLE reason why it was broken? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t encourage an Adam pointing at Eve because they had eaten the forbidden fruit. There are points in our life that we have broken someone’s, or even the people’s, trust because other people manipulated you to do things that will eventually cause you to break their trust.

In a legal perspective, when you did the deed, you’re still accountable, depending on the extent. However, here’s the sad part: those who manipulated you to do things their way are scot-free, no accountabilities, no disciplinary actions at all. The worst part? You have no choice but to admit that it’s your fault. You have no choice but to accept the consequences, even if others who were part of it are scot-free. By the way, there is no such thing as scot-free. One way or another, our sin will come back to haunt us.

However, when you are manipulated to the point of breaking other people’s, even your own loved ones’, trust, the consequences can be so depressing. There are things that you can no longer do. There are places that you can no longer go. Why? Because at some point of your life, you were manipulated by someone (or maybe a group of people). Maturity and Godly wisdom dictate us not to be bitter and not to pass blame on others. Instead, be responsible enough to accept the consequences of your actions, be it manipulated or by conscious decision.

Now, you have no choice but to put the pieces of yourself together. Thanks to those people. Now, because of that, there are times that you are generalized, even by your own loved ones. Why? Trust is broken. “There are series of events that lead you to this terrible mess. Each situation is unique from each other. These are not the same people that ” These are all irrelevant plainly because you broke their trust.

We have no choice, but to face this brutal truth: you may have been manipulated in doing stuff that will make other snot to trust you again, but since you’ve done it, most of the time, you will be solely liable. The manipulative person/people who did that to you? Well, I don’t know. Let’s just say that they will have their day. When that day comes, maybe you’re too happy, or not around to see that you are already vindicated.

The lesson? Be kind, but careful. Give room for trust (for it will burdensome to yourself if you don’t trust anyone), but tie your camel. A good Christian is not only kindhearted, compassionate, and forgiving, but also cautious and prepared. Remember the “whole armor of God”? The “harmless as a dove, wise as serpent” principle best fit the description of what a Christian should be in these times when people, even from the inside, plan to manipulate you to do wrong things for their selfish reasons. Since trust is hard earned, let’s keep an eye on manipulative people. Avoid them. Never give them the first base. If ever you’re part of her or his team, make sure that he or she will also be accountable when the going gets tough. These types of people should not prevail. Trusts are broken because of them.

Yes, trust is earned, that’s why be careful once you earned it. Don’t let others manipulate you to the extent that you will be mistrusted.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

again again again

I don’t intend to dazzle people with my posts. If ever I have dazzled the readers (if there’s a reader), I’ll give God the glory. After all, everything good that people see in me, be it in actions, speech or writing, are only by God’s grace. Besides, the main purpose of my blog is self-expression. I will be honest for the nth time: this site was created for self expression and for that expression to be read out loud. I admire other blog sites or internet journals I read here for their cerebral, people-friendly, popular self-expression. I admit: I feel that I don’t belong on those.

If ever I touched someone’s lives in a positive manner because of my posts, it’s called Law of Unintended Consequences. Still, I am thankful for the positive reviews (if I have one). For the critics and haters (be it known or unknown), thank you very much. For the people who hated me to the point of indifference, it’s your choice, and I respect that choice.

I have said this before in my facebook account but in different sentence: everything good in me, God made it.

Maybe I have said these things a few times. I just got felt that I need to repeat these ones.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Because I’m always out of town (not rich, my friends. Just given the opportunity to travel, and to some point not at my own expenses), I have no time to greet you this greeting:

Merry Christmas (though it’s late, better late than never)!

Does the Old Church follow the Christmas celebration of other Baptist churches? Like other Baptist churches I know, the Old Church is not your place to be during Christmas (IF you’re looking for a Christmas celebration with programs and all). Maybe I sounded like a rebel, but no. It is my personal choice, and I’m not persuading a fellow member. After all, not all Baptist churches celebrate Christmas. Majority of Baptist churches follow the independent, localized church governance. Thus, the Baptist church in your own place probably is celebrating Christmas, but not the Baptist church in the next town/city or even the next block (in case of places where there is a “Bible Baptist belt”). There are many studies and Biblical passages that are said to defend the “no Christmas celebration” stance. It’s for you to read them (be it on the Net or library books) and decide.

However, regardless of your stand, I did the greeting anyway.

To all the Baptist brethren, may God bless you and may you be a blessing in this holiday season. You may not celebrate it, but since generosity and love (which epitomizes Christmas) don’t require celebration, let’s take advantage of the season.

Again, Merry Christmas to every one!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You practice teaching

Last semester, my Teacher’s Behavior Inventory (TBI) was one of the highest scores last semester. No, I was not THE highest. If I’m not mistaken, the Biology professor or the PE teacher or the sole male HRM professor got the highest. I can say that the test is credible mainly because these professors are so good. Honestly, the Biology professor is very good in his craft. He’s very good not solely because he’s from UP and is still connected with UP, but because the difficulty of the subject matter is equated with his good natured personality.
Well, in the case of my result, I felt honored. It was an encouragement for me to improve my craft. Honestly though, I AM NO GENIUS IN THE FIELD OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION AND EVEN IN MATHEMATICS ITSELF. Gauss, Archimedes, Newton, Hawking, and the likes (yes, the last two are into physics but they’re credited in the development of Applied Mathematics). I can not even enumerate the teaching strategies to be used. I forgot how to do differential and integral calculus, plane and analytic geometry.

First, it’s all by God’s grace. It is not possible if God didn’t give me the strength and wisdom and even time that are needed. I am no Tony Stark (Iron Man) that gives lecture while drunk. Second, I took time to read, reread, at times memorize, the subject matter before I got it here. My so-called teaching strategies are not the work of a genius (and I am not a genius anyway), it’s both by God’s help and by hard work. Third, the support of the family and sweet girl gave me added fuel.

Mastery of the subject matter doesn’t immediately guarantee good teaching, although it is a BIG help. (It’ll cut the time in half if you’re very, very familiar with the subject matter, and the time that was saved can be used on how to strategize). You as a learner are different from you as a teacher.

I can still remember what the band Eagles said during an interview before their “Hell Freezes Over” concert. They said that the key is practice. They spend significant amounts of time practicing. The same thing can be applied in teaching.
Fellow teachers, our learning institution is not perfect, not even near perfect, but we need to take time to hone our craft as a teacher. Yes, the students may not appreciate our teaching at times, but hey, we know deep within us that we didn’t short change them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Most people I encounter say that at my age, I MUST settle down. Yes, the word is MUST. Now, I understand them for this. We’re not getting younger. Sweet girl is also not getting any younger. Now I am enrolled in the doctoral program, some people think that I have no immediate plan of settling down.

Now, before I answer that, let me share this to you. I know those who know me and those who are ACTUALLY reading my journals here will find this so annoying because I seem to mention this again and again. Honestly, it’s been just this year that I truly enjoyed my life as a working bachelor. Yes, 2006 I got liberated from a bad relationship (I’ll say this again: let’s not blame each other who is at fault. After all, it’s a relationship). Yes, the excommunication’s purpose is to discipline an erring brethren and to purify the church. However, I have to admit that the almost 3 years of excommunication (and the reason of that length is due to some forces that cause it to extend. I don’t want to divulge as some people are too unforgiving to let go) caused my world to shrink. Instead of focusing to this idea (that at least I have found out and good thing I didn’t end up with her), I can’t move that well..proverbially. My workplace is near the Old Church. Inside me, there’s this wanting to be cleared up. Being excommunicated is like being a fugitive. However, unlike other fugitives, I wanted to put the figurative handcuffs and start the sentence. Don’t get me wrong. I know what I did wrong. However, for a person who has more friends and acquaintances in the Old Church than outside the the Old Church, it’s depressing. It’s so hard to have that “excommunication tag”. Some brethren got that opportunity to release their animosity against me.

To sum it up, it’s just the latter part of 2008 and this year 2009 that I truly enjoy my life as a bachelor, and my career as a young professional. Sweet girl have given me the chance to shine. She’s supportive even with my doctoral. I also began teaching (on a part time basis) again. Why? Because sweet girl is so understanding and supportive. Not to mention that I began to draw and to sell my comic strip compilations. These things are not possible if not for the “liberation”.
Bluntly, my life went on a stand still of sort for 5 years (January 2004-December 31, 2008). Yes, on the other side, I have learned a lot from the experiences, but please allow me to say this: my life as a professional is just beginning. No control freak girl. No more ingrates. No more habitual lying. No more manipulation. No more unforgiving spirit. No more bullying in relationships. No more threats. No more “if I hate them, you should hate them also”. No more demasculation. No more embarrasments. No more “more than half of the salary instantly gone AND the ingratitude despite that”.

I’m no longer that bitter. What I’m trying to say is that it’s just now that I can gather the pieces together. To the Old Church people who read this and don’t comment anyway for one reason or another, please, don’t pressure me to settle down just because of my age, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NOT MARRIED or YOU NEVER HAVE A MORE-THAN-A-FRIEND RELATIONSHIP. Saying these things doesn’t also mean that I’m not serious in my relationships. Frankly, I am serious in all of the relationships that I went through. It was just sensationalized. The worst part? I still have no choice, but to move on to avoid being called bitter. My only fault is that I took the risk of falling in love.

By the way, when an Old Church youngster is urging me to settle down, I felt that I was being asked to go out of the Youth ministry! I know that is funny. I even laughed when I typed that! After all, there are youth leaders and former youth leaders whom you don’t want to get married YET.

I have always been serious in all of my previous relationships, and especially with my present relationship. The settling down plan is always part of my agenda in the relationship.

Yes, I understand that some of you are excited for me to settle down, thus the pressure. If you’re frame of mind is like that, then you’re my friend indeed. However, please do understand that it’s just this year or two that I can say that I start to enjoy being a single professional. Most of you never tasted the sweet taste of being absorbed back into the community called Old Church after excommunication.

Don't

Most people I encounter say that at my age, I MUST settle down. Yes, the word is MUST. Now, I understand them for this. We’re not getting younger. Sweet girl is also not getting any younger. Now I am enrolled in the doctoral program, some people think that I have no immediate plan of settling down.

Now, before I answer that, let me share this to you. I know those who know me and those who are ACTUALLY reading my journals here will find this so annoying because I seem to mention this again and again. Honestly, it’s been just this year that I truly enjoyed my life as a working bachelor. Yes, 2006 I got liberated from a bad relationship (I’ll say this again: let’s not blame each other who is at fault. After all, it’s a relationship). Yes, the excommunication’s purpose is to discipline an erring brethren and to purify the church. However, I have to admit that the almost 3 years of excommunication (and the reason of that length is due to some forces that cause it to extend. I don’t want to divulge as some people are too unforgiving to let go) caused my world to shrink. Instead of focusing to this idea (that at least I have found out and good thing I didn’t end up with her), I can’t move that well..proverbially. My workplace is near the Old Church. Inside me, there’s this wanting to be cleared up. Being excommunicated is like being a fugitive. However, unlike other fugitives, I wanted to put the figurative handcuffs and start the sentence. Don’t get me wrong. I know what I did wrong. However, for a person who has more friends and acquaintances in the Old Church than outside the the Old Church, it’s depressing. It’s so hard to have that “excommunication tag”. Some brethren got that opportunity to release their animosity against me.

To sum it up, it’s just the latter part of 2008 and this year 2009 that I truly enjoy my life as a bachelor, and my career as a young professional. Sweet girl have given me the chance to shine. She’s supportive even with my doctoral. I also began teaching (on a part time basis) again. Why? Because sweet girl is so understanding and supportive. Not to mention that I began to draw and to sell my comic strip compilations. These things are not possible if not for the “liberation”.
Bluntly, my life went on a stand still of sort for 5 years (January 2004-December 31, 2008). Yes, on the other side, I have learned a lot from the experiences, but please allow me to say this: my life as a professional is just beginning. No control freak girl. No more ingrates. No more habitual lying. No more manipulation. No more unforgiving spirit. No more bullying in relationships. No more threats. No more “if I hate them, you should hate them also”. No more demasculation. No more embarrasments. No more “more than half of the salary instantly gone AND the ingratitude despite that”.

I’m no longer that bitter. What I’m trying to say is that it’s just now that I can gather the pieces together. To the Old Church people who read this and don’t comment anyway for one reason or another, please, don’t pressure me to settle down just because of my age, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NOT MARRIED or YOU NEVER HAVE A MORE-THAN-A-FRIEND RELATIONSHIP. Saying these things doesn’t also mean that I’m not serious in my relationships. Frankly, I am serious in all of the relationships that I went through. It was just sensationalized. The worst part? I still have no choice, but to move on to avoid being called bitter. My only fault is that I took the risk of falling in love.

By the way, when an Old Church youngster is urging me to settle down, I felt that I was being asked to go out of the Youth ministry! I know that is funny. I even laughed when I typed that! After all, there are youth leaders and former youth leaders whom you don’t want to get married YET.

I have always been serious in all of my previous relationships, and especially with my present relationship. The settling down plan is always part of my agenda in the relationship.

Yes, I understand that some of you are excited for me to settle down, thus the pressure. If you’re frame of mind is like that, then you’re my friend indeed. However, please do understand that it’s just this year or two that I can say that I start to enjoy being a single professional. Most of you never tasted the sweet taste of being absorbed back into the community called Old Church after excommunication.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Compassionate Ones' Predicament of the Abusive Ones

It is never right to abuse someone else’s kindness. (Maybe there seems to be no connection between that first sentence and the following sentences, but I hope that you can connect them anyway) To be specific it is never right to utilize someone else’s predicament to your self vested interest. It is purely manipulation when you do just that. If rebuke on this and negative reaction surfaces, it will add to the already wrong deed.

Pastors are often put in a predicament that they must not take sides. I do believe that pastors and even preachers were given a compassionate heart that even they can’t understand at times. I have known someone who used to be temperamental and tough to other members. In other words, he’s a church tough guy. He eventually became a pastor. I was surprised that when one of his members is about hit an unbeliever outside church property, he tried to stop a fight. To add to my surprise, he didn’t confront the unbeliever and his member. Pastor’s heart indeed. Even if the members have done something wrong to the pastor or to the church as a whole, the pastor is put in the position that they must forgive. There are even times that if the pastor has the time to visit almost all (if not all) members, he must take time to visit even the members that, at some point, had intentionally wronged them one way or another. For an outsider (meaning, not being a pastor or preacher), I sometimes see this as a Pastor’s predicament.

Let’s face the reality: there are members (not all. In fact, not even most. A truly growing Christian will not INTENTIONALLY give his/her pastor problems) who take advantage of this so called “Pastor’s predicament” by trying to get even to other people that they hate. Of course, the pastor will visit them (they are members; only excommunicated members are usually not visited intentionally) to be updated on their welfare. Then, usually, they will mention things against someone, sometimes lies against that someone. Of course, a wise pastor will confirm the matter as much as possible if it is true. Then, this pastor will visit the concerned person (if he’s also his member) or the local church (if that person is member of another locale). If the concern is really really true, then it is not in waste. THAT IS NOT AN ISSUE. However, if the member who gave his/her pastor this information is found out to be lies or half truths or manipulation of truth, then he/she INTENTIONALLY gives his/her pastor a pounding on the head, even the intention is to get even to someone with those...well...lies. He/she is intentionally NOT helping his/her pastor. For an outsider’s viewpoint (meaning for a non-preacher’s viewpoint), those type of members must be rebuked by another member BLUNTLY. After all, they’re not helping their pastor INTENTIONALLY. Well, it’s a different story when a member did something wrong (i.e, a member was seen drinking in pubs or seen in questionable places or a member committed fornication/adultery) to his/her testimony. I do believe that members even in their carnal or backsliding state do not INTEND to give their pastor headache.

Please help our own pastor. Don’t intentionally give them the headache by getting even to someone. Of course, pastors will not tell these things to members. Pastors are given a compassionate heart at times even more compassionate than their members. Therefore, if you happen to know a fellow congregant who spreads lies just to get even to a person and to the extent to the point that these lies are told to the pastor, REBUKE SHARPLY that congregant. A repentant drunkard, fornicator, drug dealer, adulterer, idolater is better than a self righteous lying congregant. Yes, maybe it’s cruel to give that congregant a disciplinary heart, but maybe a SHARP REBUKE is not cruelty. If that person wanted to hit you back for rebuking him/her, forgive him/her, but MARK THAT PERSON. That person is set to divide members. He/she is also exhibiting self centeredness and selfishness. Never abuse the Pastor’s kindness and compassionate heart. Not only you’ll break your Pastor’s heart, but you’ll also break God’s heart. Not only that, since he is your Pastor, even if your intention is to get even to the person (besides, did that person really wronged you that much?), God will surely not bless your life.

Please let’s take this as a brotherly reminder. Maybe this is not yet happening in your locale, but at least you are reminded. There are many things to do in God’s vineyard. Soulwinning, discipleship, baptism of newly saved people, choir, visitation, Bible study, Sunday school, youth ministry, etc. thus it is physically and emotionally tiring. Thus, let’s be part of the pastor’s supportive cast.

I hope (like many times that I hoped) that this post is making sense.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank you very much, Lenie

Years ago, I have this friend in the church. Her name is Lenie. She’s an accounting graduate. She’s a single parent. No, she was never married. Maybe you have an idea, but it will be a long story if I will tell you. One thing is sure: she’s intelligent, soft spoken, and nice. We were closed. I consider her my best friend. Most people in the church thought I am courting her, even OLD CHURCH PASTOR. Yes, I like her company, but the concept of another serious relationship was not my idea (a year of being suspended and a “playboy” tag? I was so afraid to have another girlfriend) back then. Her being a single parent is such an issue, even if the people don’t admit that in my face. Actually, back then, having a single parent for a girlfriend is no big deal to me, especially if she has no previous marriage. After all, there are other virtues aside from virginity (contentment, humility, industriousness, etc). Issues were raised, until I was given a “round table conference” (rebuke) by the then-youth leaders. Here’s the catch: they did it a day before my birthday, and the place is in a restaurant where I gave them my birthday treat. Classic torture chamber. My side was heard, but never listened. That’s another story. The last time I saw her was around 2005. The youngsters (especially youth leaders) in those times have mixed opinions on this. Some called me a “girlfriendless playboy” (which is the most unfair because you have no right to be friends with single ladies or that tag). Some understood me that I’m friendly and sweet (no objections please. Whatever the case, it’s understandable. You can’t please everybody, and I know what things I really did.
Then, just last night (September 28), a text from an unknown sender came up, wanting to talk to me. I parked my car in a gasoline station. I was with Amie. I called up. It’s a male voice. He asked if I know someone by the name of Lenie. I said definitely yes, she’s a friend. The male voice happens to be Lenie’s husband, NOW A PASTOR SOMEWHERE IN SUBIC (I wanted to yell at the critics). She is now a Pastor’s wife. Praise be to God, and I will not apologize for this: this is a lesson to all critics out there, whoever you are. If we are really under the dispensation of grace, then apply it: don’t be too technical! There are many things to do in God’s vineyard, and we just waste our time being too technical that a single parent can’t marry a preacher!

I was surprised how thankful she is for me for being a good friend. I don’t expect this, honestly. Years ago, she thanked me for the things that I did for her, most of them I didn’t even recall. She remembers how I paid for her youngest sister’s tuition in college.

I am quite teary eyed, I just didn’t make it obvious to her and to Amie. God used Lenie to encourage me. It’s like, “it’s not in vain, Ian”. Pastor James, when I shared this, said that this is another vindication of who I really am. Humorously, there is no device to pierce these truth straight to my critics’ (be it active or “indifferent”) hard headed shell called skull.

Seriously? I didn’t expect this encouragement, but this, I admit is so sweet and morale boosting. At those times, all I did was care and try to be a friend. I didn’t know that this was the impact to her. God is so good to me, why will i be so bad to others? Honestly, there are times that I am tired of loving other people that don’t love me back. After all, those people who love me are usually affected when I get sad because of this.

May that friend of mine be blessed by God abundantly. People who sees other people in what they can become for God’s glory is worth praying for! People who acknowledges God’s grace by being gracious (friends and brethren, no matter how hard we try to be good and ecclesiastically acceptable, it is STILL God’s grace working in you) to others is a good ambassador of the dispensation of grace.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"love" your job

“Love your job”. Strictly speaking, I can’t accept that. No, don’t get me wrong. Modesty aside, I’m not that lazy. Although I don’t like the “look busy” aura, I am not lazy. I was criticized because I always talk about teaching, youth ministry, than my day job, thus making me indifferent from my day job.

Donald Trump once said that the reason why he does what he does not mainly because of money; it’s the thrill of closing a business deal. Maybe you appreciate the concept of “loving” your job, but I think otherwise.

The best motivation for one to do his job or own business well is his family. They should be the reason why you “love your job”. That’s the reason one should not talk about his job when he gets home. It’s like a brand new car. You’ll take care of it. You’ll wax it once or twice a week. You’ll pay for it. You’ll clean it either by your self or you’ll pay your nearest car wash station (a hands-on clean up is still different). Why? You may say that you love your brand new car, but looking deeper, you do that because of various underlying motivation. In my case, I take of my car because my Mom spent so hard just to give it to me. That car for me is a symbol how my Mom loves, but I don’t love my car.

Teaching and youth ministry is not a mere job, especially the latter. Teaching is a vocation. Thus, more often than not, teachers tend to talk about school at home or bring their work home. That’s the reason the words “I love teaching” is like the sound of a graceful harp to me. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like my day job. Especially right now, my day job is beginning to be more and more mathematical to me. Besides, on a managerial point of view, I’m beginning to compare the leadership system of my day job and my part time teaching. My conclusion is that teaching is still my vocation, even though it’s only part time. It is an avenue of self expression and intellectual improvement (even though we may think our respective school seems like an intellectual dead end, it’s not), but my bread and butter is my day job.

I hope I don’t inter-change that.

Your job should just be a mean to a desired end. When I mean desired end, I just hope that it’s positive, like family and for God’s glory.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sufficient unto the day

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF.” (Matthew 6:34, ALL CAPS mine)

Last Friday and Saturday (September 25 & 26), Metro Manila was hit by the Typhoon Ondoy. It was Signal # 1. However, it’s the continuous downpour of rain that surprised us. It is not a surprise if you will hear the CAMANAVA area to be flooded during these times. However, for the first time in my entire 29 years of my life, I heard the news that Metro Manila is under the state of calamity. Why not? Rizal Province, CAMANAVA area, Marikina City, Taguig City, Pasig City, Makati City, even Quezon City (especially Araneta Avenue and New Manila) was hit by floodwaters big time. Even Marilao, Bulacan was hit (9 families of one of the Old Church’s daughter churches were hit). Now, the past few days, we were concerned, if not worried, because Typhoon Pepeng was approaching. I really prayed hard to God that the storm be vanished. Yes, it’s impossible, but it’s not wrong to pray for impossible things to happen. Most people I hear prayed that the storm’s direction be moved. I prayed for the storm to be gone...in thin air. I, and, I believe, most people be it here in Metro Manila or outside the Metro or even outside the Philippines prayed hard not to hit Metro Manila again. After all, Metro Manila is still recovering. Marikina was hit, even celebrities were not spared. Then, Friday came, I stayed at home for most of the day. The rain begins to pour. Then Saturday came, I stayed at home still, watching the news, or asking my cousin (who stays here in our house) for some updates if ever I happened to be in my room. Then Saturday afternoon, I heard that Pepeng changed direction. It moved to Cagayan, where it was declared Signal # 3. My prayer is answered, but not entirely. Why? I asked, not to question God, but because what is His purpose. Then, that Bible verse at the beginning of this post hit me. God never promised that evil things will just vanish away in our sight. However, the Bible says that you’ll not be given problems that you can’t handle. You’ll not be given so many problems that you’ll be overwhelmed. All the “evil things” will not happen to you in one single day. God will not allow that if you can’t handle it. How about Job, the epitome of strength through trials? Well, we truly don’t know what’s in God’s mind VERBATTIM, but we know Job made it through wth flying colors. I believe God allowed these things to happen to Job because He knows Job can make it. After all, God is Omniscient, He’s beyond time-and-space continuum.

Putting this verse in a parallel application, sometimes, problems that we are facing are just the right problem for us to face. I’ll not specify those problems for I am avoiding unnecessary back stabbing and/or confrontations. All of the bad things will not happen to a person on one single day. Instead, God will give you time to recover. Haven’t you wondered why some days are soooooo good? I don’t know per se what those good days meant to you, but for me, those soooo good days are a sign that i must gather my strength. I remember Elijah, when Queen Jezebel wanted to kill him despite doing the right thing. He requested God to take his life. However, God knows what He needs at that time. He gave Elijah food and water. He gathered his strength, and eventually, God revealed to him that he’s not the only one who is not bowing to the false god Baal.

On another angle, sometimes, we tend to boast that our problem is bigger than those people we know. People around us, when we’re face with problems, try to console and give some advice. Sometimes, we’ll drive them out, verbally or physically or mentally, saying that our problem is either different or bigger than theirs. That is pride and being “negatively boastful”. After all, we’re trying to say to them that our problem is bigger. Sometimes, we also tend not to listen to other people’s problem or we scoff or ridicule other people’s problems and how they handle it because we think it’s lighter than what we have encountered. Actually, it’s pride.

As a reflection, there is no such thing as people having bigger or smaller problems than we have. It’s just called problems, and problems that each individual faces are problems just right for them to handle. Thus, when we have surpassed them, instead ridiculing others for their petty problems, we must thank God for being true to His Word that “SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF.” He’ll not allow to experience ALL the evil things at the same time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Ondoy taught on us

I woke up at around 7 am last Saturday, September 26. Mom said never to travel that far for it’s raining and the news said that it’s been raining since Friday night. The typhoon was named Ondoy. I thought this will just one of those typhoons. After all, I’ve seen Storm that reached until Signal no. 3. In fact, years ago, I experienced to be stranded in Pangasinan for a day or two because the place was declared “under the state of calamity”. I also experienced to be stuck in Sta. Mesa (where I used to stay while “on exile” because of some people) because of another Storm Signal no. 3 storm. Ondoy is said to be Signal no. 1. I was wrong. The rains continue pouring. The result? Flood in Metro Manila. When I hear CAMANAVA being flooded, it doesn’t surprise me. Until I saw Tandang Sora Market (Visayas Avenue-Tandang Sora intersection) flooded about knee deep. I saw that around 10 or 11 in the morning (sources said that around afternoon, the flood water levels went up – waist deep. Take Note: Tandang Sora Market is not a flood prone area. Even when it floods, within two hours, it will surely go down). I tried to call some of the friends living in the Quezon City area. Only one responded – a colleague in the nearby college where I am teaching. There are many possible reasons. Either they’re too preoccupied because floodwaters entered their house, or they’re busy patching things up, or there is no mobile phone coverage because of the storm, but this I don’t like (and I hope this one’s not true): they just don’t like me calling them (hehehehehe, at the middle of the storm they can still dislike specific people like that. If that is true , what a human being! heheheheheh). I called one of my former youth members to see if she’s okay. She’s alright. A former youth member text and said that the floodwaters reached unto and it’s knee-deep. I am talking about Quezon City, not CAMANAVA, and it’s not even Tatalon.

Power line was cut to avoid electrecution. It was returned around 8 in the evening in our place. When we watched the evening news, Metro Manila was declared “under the state of calamity”. I don’t know if I’m ignorant, but it’s the first time in my life (29 years) that I heard that Metro Manila was declared as such. A friend in business school said that she lived in Pasig for 25 years, and she never saw that kind of flood. Yes, Pasig is flood prone. Yes, Metro Manila is really flood prone because it’s plain, and it’s near Pasig River. Manila is where Manila Bay is located. However, having a knee deep flood in a place called Tandang Sora Market is an anomaly of data. The province of Rizal, especially Cainta and Antipolo, Marikina City was hit by flood big time. Even celebrities were so helpless.

National Disaster Coordinating Council was tapped in rescue situation, but even they are short hand. Even Bayani Fernando of MMDA is helpless when his daughter was stranded in Cainta, where she’s managing their family business.

The typhoon revealed characters, as some began finger pointing. I myself was not spared. I began blaming the politicians. Why? Because if they are not corrupt big time, we might have better equipments for forecasting, not predicting the weather. We could have bought new choppers, the ones with night vision, and we could have budget for the fuel of those choppers. We could have bought numerous rubber boats. The flood waters would not have been as worse as this if not for bad waste management. The decades of throwing garbage here and there have contributed also.
Still, at the end of the day, pointing fingers will not give the affected people comfort. Metro Manila was wasted. We don’t need blamers. We don’t need hate. We don’t need indifference. Let’s set aside any differences. What believers must do is pray for the affected families. If you’re able enough, give your immediate relatives a temporary shelter. If you’re able enough, donate on your areas nearby, either in cash or in kind.

Typhoon Ondoy, just like any tragedies, should be a learning experience for all of us. It should humble us because what we have earned, will just be swept just like that. It should remind us not to hate your fellow men, especially fellow brethren. It should remind us that we must not be too proud by saying that your problem is bigger than others. After all, the Typhoon Ondoy passed by EVERYONE in MTERO MANILA, RIZAL, and otehr areas, both rich and small. It shows how our problems are just the right one for us (your problem is not bigger than I am). It should remind us to try having peaceful coexistence with your neighbor. After all, when the going gets tough, they might help one way or the other.

I don’t know what comfort I can give to the affected people (all of us in Metro Manila are affected, one way or the other), but let me tell you this: I have prayed for you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Please do comment and suggest regarding this one

Last time, I wrote in this post that a student of mine died of pneumonia.

I WAS VERY WRONG.

If you’re reading my last post, you’ll see that one commented that it can be treated with antibiotics. She’s right. However, because of the declaration of the school, I didn’t dig deeper. Back then, students begin telling things, like it is injury related.

kay, as a backgrounder, let me share this: it all started when our school was preparing for the Sport Fest (which is officially opened yesterday, September 16). Of course, students are preparing for events like basketball, volleyball, cheer dancing. This particular group of students practiced their cheer dance outside the school. During one practice (September 7), that student was said to be injured. It was said that she fell “face flat”. I don’t know the details, but she was rushed to a government hospital. That hospital told them that it’s okay to send her home. That Monday night (September 7), she begins to feel so not well she needs to be rushed to the hospital. Few days, the school administration announced that she is pronounced DOA (dead on arrival). After all, it’s the alleged declaration of the doctor on duty. However, her mother said that she’s 60-40 (if you know what I mean) when she arrived at the hospital. She’s still alive when they arrived at the hospital.

Just today (immediately after 12mn), we went to the funeral. It was at that time that the student’s parents said they never said that their daughter died of pneumonia. Besides, few days back, the doctors/professors under the College of Nursing of that school are not convinced that it’s pneumonia.

The students are insured when they enrolled in that school in situations like this, provided that the cause of death is not by illness. The insurance covers only accident related deaths. In the student’s case, the accident happened OUTSIDE school (but said to be a school property, whatever that means). Following the trail, the student’s parents never received anything regarding this one.
Well, if the student’s insurance was paid, why was the school not giving it? Why not dig deeper on the cause of death, instead of declaring it pneumonia? There even arises a question if the student’s insurance is updated or not, DESPITE OF THE STUDENT PAYING THE SCHOOL CONSISTENTLY (I can attest to this: I signed her test permit. Test permits are given only to those who are paid). Why not give to the student what is due her? Why declare it pneumonia when even independent doctors said that the symptoms are indicators of internal hemorrhage (injury-related because of the practice)?

My stand on this one? The doctor/s who declared the student DOA and the school administration must be held accountable on whatever accountabilities deemed appropriate for them. The insurance covering the student must also create an independent investigation (which they usually do anyway). However, more often than not, the insurance will find any loopholes surrounding her death, just to avoid additional costs on their part (it’s business anyway).

This afternoon, the student will be buried. However, before the burial, it was said that an investigating team (SOCO) investigated on this one.

Still, at the end of the day, I hope and pray that the truth will eventually come out piercing to people accountable on this. I can’t help but think of other issues connected to this. I hope and pray that the student’s death be given the appropriate justice. We can’t bring the person back to life. The least that we can do is give her parents that the thing they deserve on this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Learning on death

A student of mine died recently. Pneumonia is the caused of death. I was supposed to conduct a film showing for the class for the application of Probability. However, because of the situation, I decided to postpone it.

Death reminds me that is an appointment you can never refuse. It was clearly stated in Hebrews 9:27. We can make excuses to turn down appointments, but death? No. In addition, death, just like God, is no respecter of persons. It will surely happen to everyone, be it rich or poor, small or great, tall or short, pretty or not-that-pretty. Being a Baptist and a person who grew up in the Baptist setting, I can’t help but think if the person is truly saved or not. Death is quick, thus the phrase “the quick and the dead”.

However, one of the more significant things that enters my head when someone dies is the word “forgiveness”. This is one of the good reasons why disagreements need to be settled as soon as possible. Why? We don’t know when will be the last time you’ll talk to that person. Honestly, I’m sad when I see a person not forgiving another person, especially if the mistake is not that much of a big deal.

Another one that enters my head is if I do something good or bad to that person before he or she dies. Honestly, I don’t talk that much to the student. Maybe because she’s not talking too much in my class. However, that student struck me as a nice person, not a snob. She’s not friendly, but she’s nice. Even in my bad days, I greet and smile when I see my students, including her. Good thing one of the last things that I did to her is smile (I always smile in the class).

This is the very reason why we must not be much of a snob to a person, even if we woke up at the wrong side of the bed. You’ll never know when is the last time you’ll see her or him alive. This is the very reason why friends should not have long term hatred to each other. If it is possible, they should try to forgive before the day ends. After all, are you so sure that by tomorrow morning, he or she is still there for you? This is the very reason why we should show our appreciation to our parents while they’re here. We should give them flowers, or a hug, or a smile, or a simple I LOVE YOU. You’ll never know when is the last time you’ll see her or him alive. It’s a good thing that Kris Aquino have reconciled with her Mom (Former President Cory Aquino) long before she got cancer. I can still remember my former chairperson. Because of some misunderstanding, she never speaks to me in a light manner. She always finds fault on me after that. When I didn’t renew my contract to teach in that school, every time I visit the school, I’ll greet her, even if she’s FORCED to greet me. After one year (2005), she said that she have forgiven me. The good thing? She also said “I’m sorry”. It is such a good thing. I can still remember that what made her forgive and ask forgiveness to me at the same time is because I still greet her even if I know that she hates me. Then, just this year, she died of cancer. Honestly, when she died, I have no feeling of regret. After all, we settle it long before she died.

However, after all of this lengthy post, here’s the most significant thing that enters my head: is she saved? Death is an appointment you can never refuse. There only two destinations: heaven or hell. The Only Way to Heaven? Jesus Christ. How? By asking forgiveness for your sins and being repentant. Then, accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Sounds preachy? It never hurts to try, my friend.

Death indeed is also a learning experience.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Proud to be Humble

Humanly speaking, there are traits that we can be proud of, be it physical or personality-wise. We can proudly say that you’re a graduate of one of the finest schools in the Philippines. After all, your transcript of records says so. It may still depend on the beholder, but generally speaking, you can proudly say that you’re handsome or beautiful. You can proudly say that you’re intelligent. Your IQ test may say so that you’re a Mensan or a member of Mysterium, etc. You can be proud that you have a business empire. After all, if you reallyhave a business empire, people know your company. You can be proud that you’re street smart. In fact, street smart people often belittle the academic geniuses. Yeah, those sentences are open for opinion.

There is one that you can never be proud: being humble. The moment that you said that “you’re humble”, your so-called humility ends. If you grew up inside a church, you know the concept of pride and humility. I can still remember a comical sketch about a guy. He usually says, “In this church, I AM THE MOST HUMBLE.” Obviously, people will laugh, not only because of the style of delivery, but because of the irony of the statement.

Speaking of being proud and being humble, it is a fact that the church has no room for the proud, but gives praise to the humble. After all, there are many Bible verses that discourages being proud. There are Bible verses that give high regard and favor to the humble. If you’re a Bible reader, the previous sentences are not questionable (unless you love twisting someone else’s head with questions). Thus, whether a Christian admits or not, he will aspire to avoid being called PROUD. The proverbial anatomy of being humble is common. However, the proverbial anatomy of being proud is quite subjective. Yes, maybe someone will say that we have the Bible as the guideline: Lucifer (now Satan). Still, especially Christians, because of our old sin nature, we tend to be subjective on the proverbial anatomy of being proud.

Let me give an example. A person will go out of his car, oozing with confidence, putting his shades on because it’s noon time and it’s summer. More often than not, if the people around him don’t like him, he’ll be called proud or boastful. More often than not, we tend to call the people that we don’t like “proud” when we see that he’s confident, JUST TO RATIONALIZE OUR DISLIKE TO THE PERSON. If that is the case, we tend to be narrow and shallow just by doing that. No, I’ll correct that: we are narrow and shallow just by doing that. It’s like a girl calls the guy that she doesn’t like “immature”, ask the girl how she defines the word “mature”. She may give a witty lines, but still NO CONCRETE definition. Bottom line? She just doesn’t like the guy, and anything that comes after the word “because” are just rationalizations. WORST, those are just lame excuses.

The point is this: only God knows if the person is proud or not. The seemingly proud gestures are just syptoms, but even doctors will agree that syptoms can mean anything. After all, “the Lord trieth the hearts”.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spiritual Piercings

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than ant twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrows, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

I am a Sunday school kid. I graduated in a Baptist high school. However, looking at myself right now, I have made so many compromises in my life. So many blunders. So many mistakes, one have cost me a suspension, one resulted in my excommunication. Looking my life in a microscope, I’m not your ideal Christian guy or Christian bachelor to be exact. Granting the fact that that excommunication backwards be erased “ala-Men in Black”, my Christian is still anything but ideal.
Partially because of what I have done in my past, there are things that I’m still struggling to get rid, but at some extent is not successful (I can’t tell you why).

Sometimes, I even describe myself as an antihero or an antithesis of a Christian guy. This magnified further with the excommunication stigma. This at times lead to occassional self disappointment, thus the striving to push myself. Because of the shattered testimony in my immediate circle, there are times that “NO” is so hard to say plainly because they know what I’ve done before and I was there. Good thing there are some people who understood that I want to clean my act this time, for my sake, my family’s sake, and my future wife’s sake. Thus, some of these people understood that I can no longer join them.

Not to act like a Pontius Pilate and wash my hands, I’m not a hypocrite. After all, the only time Jesus Himself mentioned the word “hypocrites” is that he’s referring to the Pharisees and Sadducees. Why? Because they’re facade is holy, but deep inside (literally) is not righteous simply because they didn’t experience the real salvation experience. (Therefore, hypocrisy is rarely, if any, applicable to be used to a Christian. After all, there are BASICALLY two types of Christian, spiritual and carnal). Carnal? I admit that I can be considered as one.

Every time I enter the church building with my Bible on my left hand, I know the Word of God speaks louder than it was before. That’s the reason why I typed that Bible verse from the book of Hebrews. Word of God piercing my heart, urging me to make positive decisions.

Why am I still continuing to attend church despite being antiheroic most of the times? Because I need the spiritual piercing. I need to be reminded by God’s Word. To make this long essay short, I NEED HIM. Despite numerous piercings to my soul by God’s Word, at the end of the day, God’s Word and the church and some of the brethren give me peace of mind.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Any good news out there?

Even if it’s tempting to say things on socio-political issues, I’m trying not to comment. If ever I’ll comment, I’ll try to make it short. Man, they’re even larger than life. Besides, we are full of people commenting on this and that, without recommending any solution. I salute Atty. Alex Lacson for publishing a book entitled “12 Little Things a Filipino can do”. He didn’t stop on purely commenting on issues, he wrote a book. Yes, people may still ignore because of their pessimistic nature, but at least Atty. Lacson tried.

Where are the optimists? There are too many critics with no actions nowadays. I can still recall how a email group junked my proposed topic “Good news”. The moderators euphemistically cited it as “Good news are good, BUT the by-laws are saying that the discussions here are purely social issues.” I rest my case after that.

My point? More often than not, no one will dare speak one good news a day, like God is doing them a favor. Yes, they may laugh and joke during that day, but ask them any good news, they can’t make one. I was glad when my thread entitled “Pour in the Good News” was allowed by a cartoonist’s forum site. Until now, the thread is still being visited by forum members, after one year that I created the thread (my longest active thread). In that thread, I told them to share good news, be it simple or complicated or popular. People started to pour in good news, like passing an exam, having a new job, having an increase, having passed a certain audition or screeing, etc. Every time I visit the thread I created, I’m happy to see ONE NEW GOOD NEWS
I don’t say that we ignore what the papers, the TV news are saying. I don’t say let’s be UTOPIC. I don’t say that we ignore the real world and go to fantasy land. What I’m trying to say is that despite a bad day, there’s still hope, and please, don’t mention your problem as if your problem is bigger than the people around you. After all, the rapture didn’t happen yet.
Try doing the good news sharing. It creates wonders.

Before I close this post, allow me to share this Good News to you:

Jesus Christ died for your sins, and if you admit to Him that you’re a sinner and accept Him as Lord and Savior, you’ll go to Heaven. Relationship with Jesus Christ, not religion, saves.

That’s the greatest Good news ever. Still, the decision is yours if you like this good news or not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Simple, yet DIGNIFIED LIFE?!?

I heard that GMA is planning to purchase a jet. When I say GMA, it means her administration. Oh well, I don’t want to say lengthy statements on this matter. Let the editorial columnists, cartoonists, writers, email groups, other bloggers, etc do that. What’s wrong for a President of a State to have a jet just like US has its Air Force One, and UK has its Royal Airforce? The answer lies between the lines of the question. US and UK are rich countries. They’re considered 1st world countries. In fact, they are members of G-8.

Besides, for a poor country to have a very rich president is so wrong. Whatever happened to the “simple, yet dignified living” slogan of GMA’s administration when she’s still new in the Presidency? Chung Hee Park, the President of South Korea after the Korean War, died a simple man, despite the fact that South Korea’s economy is booming in 1981, the day of his death.

Okay, maybe the intention is good. Security reasons. Good impression. Blah blah blah. Before you do that, I think let’s clean our mess first. Besides, lets go back to the basic unit of our society – our family. Your family’s poverty is also your poverty. Your prosperity should also be their prosperity. Their pain should also be your pain. Their problem should also be your problem. Anyone not doing this is not a good family member. Also, anyone rebutting this truth is foolish, devilish, and nonsense.

I hope I made my message clear regarding that issue.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Questions are wrong?

Is it wrong to ask questions? Recently, asking questions have not been my cup of tea. Being a teacher and a learner, asking questions are part of my life. I may not ask questions vocally, but I ask it online or in my head. As learning experience goes by, I now ask questions because I really don’t know it or I am interested.

Well, for people who wanted to be a friend of all, the answer is IT DEPENDS. Well, I think the play safe people are right this time. It depends on the questions. After all, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”. It also depends on how it was asked. PLUS, we have to face this truth and not deny this: it also depends WHO is asking the question. Maybe it’s wrong to ask questions if it is I who will ask the questions. I’ll just sound sarcastic and BOASTFUL.
It is said that in Bible seminaries, professors lament that freshman students ask so many questions, sometimes just because to impress them. In other words, asking questions are a proof of boastfulness.

Again, IT DEPENDS. That’s where human behavior pattern comes in. Asking questions per se, especially if you just want to know the truth (and not to impress your classmates by asking tough questions to your professors [or testing them]), is not wrong. However, there are people around you who will not understand and will never understand the way you ask questions. Why? Those people may rationalize it, but the bottomline? They just don’t like you.

Now, when you’re in that situation, what will you do? Pragmatists will stop attending at that joint. After all, they will not “waste” their time on people that don’t like them. You may also STILL join THAT JOINT and be tough enough to face the green eyed crowd of hating your inquisitive gut. After all, you’re brothers, right?
Or you can pray God FIRST to change your perspective before you enter that JOINT next week in the morning. At that point, maybe the right questions will start coming out of your mouth. Never mind the green dagger eyes. Let them self contradict.

However, because you’re faced with that crowd, just ask the JOINT leader PRIVATELY after his lecture with the JOINT.

Only paid professors can be asked INSIDE the classroom DURING CLASS HOURS, and students who call you boastful when you do that are wasters of their paid tuition.

29

Recently, I turned 29. I celebrated my 29th birthday last Tuesday, August 4. I celebrated it with few people. Actually, I’m not that festive on my birthdays. Just with family, some relatives, and some friends who accepted the invitation.
In the Old Church, only 3 of my batchmates greeted me. If not for my current youth leader and 2 backup leaders, no one in the group will know. While other August celebrants have the pleasure of being greeted publicly, my birthday was simply celebrated. By the way, I may have said my birthday in this post, but usually, I’m not very vocal about my birthday. I admit, the other side of me wanted to shout “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” However, the another side of me is contented enough to simply accept the greetings of people who knew my birthday. Still, the best thing is that God gave me another year, it’s all by God’s grace.
(Allow me to say this: no matter how good you desired to be, no matter how morally good to the point you don’t even receive a single rebuke from some authority figures, we’ll still go back to God’s grace.)
Again, I thank God for giving me another year.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's the being, not being the best

I know the following statements or similar to this are familiar:
“Do your best”
“Aim higher”
“Go for goal”
“Bring home the bacon”
“Strive for excellence”
These statements are trying to say one thing: to give our best. To give our best is not wrong. In fact, the Bible even said that Christians should be “always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). Another Bible verse even said “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy”. It means giving your best. After all, the reason why we have these conveniences nowadays like cellphone, internet, and other gadgets were made by people who poured their brain, time, and energy to do those stuff.

However, there is a downside on this. Here’s an example: few weeks ago or maybe a month ago (I forgot), I watched a famous reality competition The Amazing Race. In that competition, there’s a place in which you’ll see a Yield sign. You’ll see all the pictures of the people competing. You can choose which pictures to put on the yield sign. When you put that team’s picture on the yield sign, that team, when they reach the yield sign must stop for 30 minutes. They will not be allowed to race for 30 minutes, thus, wasting their precious time. The team who was yielded was slightly angry to them, one of the team members call them “scums” on international TV. When interviewed, the team who yielded the yield sign just said, “it’s a competition.”. You know what? It’s true. It’s just a competition. That’s the point: just a competition.

People will bite tooth and nail just to aim high. There are people that, because of their competitive spirit, they will literally use people and not dare converse sincerely and warmly the people whom she sees as either a threat or someone not sensible enough to be a benefit to him/her.

Sometimes, you’ll see this even in church youth groups. In order to boost the youth program, groups will have games and contests. If you are a leader, and your team wins the games and contests most of the time or even once, chances are, youth members will surely be more than eager to be a youth member under you. On the other hand, if you are a youth leader and you’re a typical cellar dweller, youth members will not like to be a part of your team. After all, John Maxwell said (if I’m not mistaken), “everybody loves a winner.”

Am I saying that giving your best is wrong? NO. What I am trying to say is giving your best, especially as a Christian, is not enough. Especially if you’re saying that you’re serving God, aside from giving your best, giving your best must be accompanied by “being”. What being? Being good. For example, Bobby Jones, of Philadelphia 76ers, was one of the great defensive players in the NBA. He gives his best, even considering it un-Christian not to give your best. Now, here’s the best part: he plays clean and honest defense. He doesn’t resort on dirty tactics to defend. He uses hard work. In other words, HONEST defense. He gave his best, making him one of the great defensive players, without playing dirty.

After a game or competition, for example, after exhorting your effort, after giving your best, have you used people as means to your end? Have you stepped on other people just to be on top? Even if you did it unintentionally (this is what I keep on mentioning, no matter how hard you try to be good and acceptable, at the end of the day, you’ll still be under God’s grace because there are times you commit sin unintentionally). This is the reason why lower, middle, and higher managers need to go to Bible conferences and/or family outings and to a venue that you’ll appreciate the beauty of nature. This is for them to be reminded that being competitive is not enough. Giving your best is not enough, it should be accompanied by being Christian. After all, before Jesus commanded you to go and preach the Gospel to every creature, you used to be an unbeliever. Before you were called to serve, God saved you first, He changed your being; He changed you (from sinner to saint, from death to life, from darkness into light).

My point? Being the best is not enough, it should be accompanied with character and good values.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Class Suspension and Attendance

Today is my very first experience of suspension of a class – AS A COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR. However, the declaration was made AFTER my lecture. Thus, technically, I still didn’t experience any class suspension. Although my other teaching schedule for the day was suspended because of the rain showers.

When I was a student, I like class suspension because I can sleep all I want. When I was a high school teacher, I want at least one day of class suspension for me to do my lesson plan well in advance. Not only that, I can solve equations all I want.

However, right now, it was quite different. Yes, I still want to have that rest day. From Monday – Sunday, I don’t have any day off. Yes, I still go to office during Saturdays, but it’s usually half day. However, right now, I don’t like any class suspension. No, I’m not brutal or cruel to the students.

Basically right now, I don’t like class suspension (except if it really rained hard or the government people like CHEd or DOLE say so). It’s counter-productive. If you’re engaged in a business, you understand what I’m trying to say. The students don’t realize it, but if your professor is always present (if possible never absent, except class suspensions), your progress in lesson is significant. Your professor may not be the best teacher around, but if he’s always present in your class, your lesson will surely progress. In my case, we’re only delayed by 1 or 2 lessons (due to shortened class). If I am always absent, what will happen to my class? Even the tardiest and laziest student doesn’t like his or her professors always late and always absent.

Another reason why I don’t like (as much as possible) class suspension is because, I admit, I like teaching. I like being with students. I have said this before: school and the campus atmosphere bring the idealism back in me. Teaching is therapeutic to me.

Since I am talking about class attendance and class suspension, let me take this opportunity to plead to the students out there.

Attend your class regularly. If ever you want to absent yourself in the class, be sure it is really important. In my current college, in a 1.5 hour, 3 unit class, a student can have 6 absences. Beyond that, he or she will be considered drop. In that case, a student must only use those 6 absences on important matters (or if he or she is really sick). Beyond that, he or she must attend his or her class. Like I said, your professor may not be the best teachers around. He may be the most boring (by the way, you’re not in school to be entertained; you’re there to learn). He may be full of himself. He is maybe a loud mouth. However, I’m sure that you’ll progress if you regularly attend your class. Please don’t aspire for class suspensions. Students, you’re in the losing end if your classes are always suspended.

Now, in case classes are suspended, before you go out there and enjoy, take at least one or two hours to study your lessons or read some good, intelligent reading materials. If you’re not a book gal or guy, help your parents with the chores (very high school, but hey, it never hurts to help your parents). Class suspension like this is also a perfect time to organize your things. After that, enjoy your youth days by going out with family and friends (Just be careful. It’s a stormy day. The road is slippery.)

Anyway, you know where this is heading, college students. You’re old enough.

Despite those reminders, let me tell you this: enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Original Antiheroes

Antihero. It is a protaganist who is an antithesis of a typical hero. Batman and Wolverine are good examples of antiheroes. Dexter Morgan of Dexter is also an antihero. He kills other serial killers to quench his addiction to kill people. Dr. Gregory of House, MD is an antihero because he treats patients, not because to save lives, but he sees it as solving a puzzle (he even said in one episode that saving lives is just “collateral damage” for him).
Superman is a typical hero. Basically, he’s a nice person (though some versions say that he becomes rogue at times). He has good earth parents. He’s your typical nice guy. Ask Lois Lane.
An antihero can be your hero with loads of weaknesses. He can be a hero with at least one debilitating flaws
Now, with those premises in mind, I hope I will not sound blasphemous here (exaggerations intended), but isn’t it that Christians are the real original antihero? Please don’t get me wrong here. Observe a typical church member in a microscopic manner. Okay, don’t go that far: observe yourself in a microscopic and an introspective manner. One way or another we commit sins. In the eyes of God, sin has no ranking. Sin is sin. And its wages is death (Romans 6:23). Some of us have our own ministries in our local church. It is never wrong to aspire not to commit sin, but we need to face the reality that we are still in our own mortal body. If a weak Christian or a fault finder of the brethren happen to see you doing that sin, presto, you’ll be called hypocrite, even if most people don’t really know the real meaning of the word.
During Wednesdays, Sundays, and other days that you need to minister, you can’t deny the fact that you’re struggling within.
Now, it is very wrong to quit your ministries just because of those truths. If that’s the case, why must a believer need to keep on serving God despite of his inner struggles that makes him, well, an antihero? Because God’s grace abounds. Yes, the Bible says that we continue in sin that grace may abound in our life. However, at the end of the life, we tend to abuse God’s grace, one way or the other. That’s the reason why humility and a repentant heart are two important attitudes of a Christian.
Fellow Christians, are we antiheroic? Humanly speaking, yes. However, by God’s grace, we are not.
Maybe this essay is self contradictory. Still, I hope I have conveyed my message well enough.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You used to be a student, so understand your students

I have said many times that i used to be a high school teacher. During those times, I'm not yet into blogging (it is said that the first known blog was way back 1998. Man, I'm even afraid of using the computer at that time.). It's 2006 when I started blogging.

It is expected that I will post some teaching experiences and some insights on teaching, education, my field of specialization nowadays...just like what I will do right now.

Here it goes:

I don't know about you, but for the short period of time, I experienced teaching in the elementary and high school. Nowadays, I gave college teaching a shot. After all, I got adequate credentials to teach the undergrads. Besides, it is only in teaching college that I can teach on a part time basis.

I can't help but at time laugh inside when I see college students made grammatical errors, being in their junior year. I am surpised at times when they don't follow instructions, despite repeating it once or twice.

Stereotypically, those who are teaching the undergrads will verbally insult them one way or another in situations like these. I admit that I am also tempted to do so. In fact, I even stated one incident to a co-faculty that I almost bumped my head at the wall. It is at the time that I instructed them to submit their assignment on a specific color of paper. Some submitted a white, computerized paper.

Yes, I told that situation to a co-faculty. However, I stopped there. I suddenly remember how stupid I was back in college. I also recalled some stupid mistakes I made. One of them even cost my church membership. One of them cost me the youth leadership post.

Putting that in mind, my disappointment is gone. I just laugh (not in a mean manner) on students' mistakes because most things unexpected can be taken as a punchline instead of a disappointment.

There are undergraduate professors who tend to mock stupidity by sarcasm, either by telling it to them or telling it to another faculty member in a mean fashion. On one angle, I can't blame them. As college students, you're expected to be more mature even if it is only "academic maturity".

Fellow professors, because of these expectations, we tend to imitate how the Westerners treat their college students - quite cold if not cold, especially in graduate school. Attend my class or not, I don't care. I'll just write an "F" if you fail my requirements. This also prevails on THE STATE UNIVERSITY here in the Philippines. Don't get me wrong on those last statements. That approach on college students works on western countries and even on THAT STATE U. All I'm saying is before you do those intellectual bullying, remember that you've been a college student before. I guess that you've done things stupid, EVEN IF YOUR IQ IS MENSAN.

Yes, maybe you're not stupid back in your undergraduate years, most especially in your graduate years. Maybe you're a street smart and genius combined. Have you ever heard of "individual differences"? Did you know that intellectual development is different from one person to another? Have you heard the words "late bloomer"?

Yes, we must not condone stupidity, BUT there are other ways in which stupidity of particular college students be avoided. Remind them. Keep them informed. Not doing so will not only make us unconcerned, but also selfish, intellectual bullies, and proud. I never said you pamper them. All I'm saying is remind them. "Remember I'm human and humans forget" as an Old Hymn goes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

spirits and skeptics

I watched a cable channel, one of my favorites. It’s National Geographic Channel. It’s informative (however, like most information, it still needs to be verified even if that good channel has a battery of researchers).
They have this episode about demonic possession. No, I don’t want to talk about demonology. After all, it’s one of the most dangerous thing to talk about. It’s about their attacks on people who do exorcism. Yes, skeptics. The NatGeo people interviewed a minister who do exorcism (I’ll withheld the name). As I notice in that episode, they have interviewed 3 skeptics (2 doctors, the remaining is, if I’m not mistaken, is a member of a skeptic society). Obviously, that channel is out there to debunk demon possession. One of those skeptics even said that he doesn’t believe in demons. By saying that, he indirectly said that he doesn’t believe in any spirits. If that is the case, he doesn’t believe in God because God is a Spirit.
That particular episode showed that back in the Dark Ages, there are people who could have been treated for certain mental illnesses, like Tourette’s syndrome. However, because, back then, they thought they were possessed, they were burned or afflicted physical injuries. Those people have even been accused of being a witch because of their mental illness. Thus, back then, wicthes are burned at stake.
They interviewed a minister who is known for casting out demons. Yes, they have seen that man cast out “demons”. However, after the session, HE SOLD TAPES AT A COST OF US$20 OR MORE. Obviously, he made a living out of demon possession.
No, i’m no theologian. Yes, I am a church kid. Yes, I read the Bible almost 17 times from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, I used to be a youth leader in the Old Church. Yes, I used to be a lay preacher. Still, I admit that I’m just your regular church guy (because if I’m not, I don’t have time to blog, like most current youth leaders I know). In fact, with my current state right now, a regular old church fella will say one way or the other, “Don’t listen to him. He’s a former excommunicant.” Thus, I bluntly say that I am no authority on this topic.
However, I can’t help but say things. I admit, it’s a mixture of reaction and response.
First, it’s NatGeo. It’s science and other academic stuff. Most in the scientific community and a handful of people in the academic community are atheists. If you happen to watch that episode, you’ll notice there are around 3 skeptics interviewed, only 1 is a minister. Obviously, they picked a minister who, in my own opinion, are out there to get money in a not-so-right manner. It’s overkill! 3 CERTIFIED experts to 1 minister whom I think is a fraud? It’s like putting a Physics graduates to a regular, school skipping undergraduate.
Second, it’s true. Back then, they don’t know yet tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, ADD, bipolar disorder, etc. Thus, it is possible that there are some people who were tortured, burned, beaten, because they thought these people are possessed. (I thank the doctors for discovering these mental illnesses though). Now, that’s burning the whole house because rats. The first Biblically recorded Person who casts out demons, if I’m not mistaken is none other than Jesus Christ. Apostles Peter, John, and Paul were recorded to cast out demons. Jesus Christ even cast out a legion of demons inside one man’s body (demons are like armies, they have ranks, they are organized). However, there are no Bible verses that said that they hurt them physically to cast the devils out. After all, demons are spirits. You can’t fight physically to a spiritual being. Now, about those people who inflict physical harm to those people who were allegedly possessed, it’s not only their ignorance of medical science, but also their ignorance of one of the many basic truths of the Bible – God and Satan are spirits, and you can’t fight or worship them physically.
Now, about the televised demonstration of exorcism, I’m quite, yes, skeptical on that. One Pastor I know said that he literally saw a demon possessed school girl had a REALLY MASCULINE VOICE and can’t be stopped by 10 men. If my memory is not mistaken, it was said that she floats. The devils are insecure beings, because after all, they know that they will be burned in the Lake of Fire. Thus, if they will seek attention, they will do it big time. Most of the time, these pastors are humble enough not to televise this. About the minister who cast out demons and sells his tapes, well, that’s another story. Soulwinning, discipleship, baptism are supposed to be free of charge. After all, the Bible said that what you got free (the born again experience), share it to others freely (by soulwinning and discipleship). Now, how about those tapes? That minister is accountable to God.
By the way, I also heard a doctor said that because of demonic possession, people tend to believe that it’s not their fault, but it’s solely the demons fault why a person does bad things. Now, if you hear a Christian said that, it’s not entirely true. Man by nature are sinners. Satan and his demons are tempters. Thus, if your nature is to sin, with a demonic motivation, presto, you’ll commit sin. Whose fault is that? Not entirely Satan, but you. After all, he’s called Satan (“accuser”). He’ll tempt the person to commit sin, then at the end, will be accused by Satan himself. It’s wrong to entirely blame Satan and his devils in our mistakes. It’s our fault. After all, we are sinners (only saved by grace if you received Jesus as Lord and Savior).
Oh well, at the end of the day, we’ll all just say that, “well, it’s NatGeo, what will you expect?”
I am not your ideal church guy, but I am still a Baptist, what will you expect?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hypocrisy: it's real meaning

We often hear these words, especially on church goers. “There are so many hypocrites in the church” blah blah blah. I do admit that I’m quite sick and tired of hearing members lament hypocritical people as the reason for their shortcomings and backslidings. Because of that, I was a little bit motivated to find out the word “hypocrites”, “hypocricy”, or in a Tagalog slang, “plastic”. Still, despite of me being sick and tired of this line often mentioned by inactive church goers, I think this is worth mentioning in this post.

Years ago, I heard a preacher said that hypocrisy was derived from a word similar to “acting”. Just recently, I browsed that it is right: hypocrisy comes from a Greek word “hypokrisis” meaning “play-acting", "acting out", "feigning" or "dissembling". The word “hypocrite” comes form a Greek word “hypokrites” which means “to play a part”. Putting it on layman’s term, being a hypocrite is being “an actor”. Thus, it is quite right when someone’s called an “actor” when he’s crying on national television, but deep within him, he’s just doing it to gain sympathy.
However, hypocrisy is a commonly misused term, especially by church goers. Yes, church goers who became inactive and churchgoer haters. Sometimes, active church goers and even active ministers misuse. Often times, they use this to the active church person they hate (or don’t like if they don’t like the word “hate”).
Now, since “hypocrisy” ORIGINALLY means “acting”, let’s try to see what an actor does. An actor acts a part that is not him in real life. For example, I am an actor who portrayed a gay man. I acted out as a gay man. Once the director said “Cut!” and once we hear the words “Pack up”, I’ll return to my real self. That gay role is not the real me, it is the role I acted. It is only a mask that I need to wear because my proverbial job says so.

The explanations can be lengthy but I’ll answer it anyway. Here it is:
If a churchgoer is STRUGGLING with his vices, while at the same time attending church (he may have ministry in his local church), he is not a hypocrite. Why? There’s a struggle. Yes, his ministry is unacceptable to God if he lives in sin, but that doesn’t make a person hypocrite. After all, he’s struggling to overcome it, and may have been successful to some extent (but failed in some parts).
It’s not hypocrite when you tend not to “practice what you preach”, ESPECIALLY IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE ON WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. After all, all Christians have struggles within that only through God’s help and grace can overcome. A churchgoer is a hypocrite when he attends the church, listens to the sermon as if he agrees, then goes out, not even talking the sermon on the positive light. If we’ll put this strictly, next to the proud, hypocrites are difficult to have salvation experience (This is another story).

How about people who use the “there are many hypocrites in the church” line. These types of people use this line if they don’t want to make friends with church people. They use this line in order to avoid direct involvement in church ministries. Since saying bluntly, “I don’t want active involvement in my own local church” is offensive and will make a bad image out of him, the “many hypocrites in the church” is another one of covering that. Now, who is more hypocrite than the other? The accuser or the people he’s accusing of hypocrisy?

My fellow brethren in Christ, because of leave imposed on me, I am not allowed on major ministries, but those words don’t make me a hypocrite. If you’re a Christian and your goal is to please God, but one point or another disobeyed him, it is not hypocrite as long as you return focus on that goal: to please God.

Please, if you’re inactive in church going, stop saying the word “hypocrite”. Now, if you hate a fellow brother in Christ, please stop using the “hypocrite” word to him just because you hate him. You’re not only misusing it, but you have the sin of hatred, and God is love NOT HATE (except hatred for sin). You’re misusing it anyway. Instead, let’s get things right in our selves. Pastors and preachers will often say these words: get right with God.

We have our own struggle, and that shows we’re not hypocrites.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My first day as a College Lecturer

Today is my first day as a college lecturer in one of the colleges here in Quezon City.

No, I don't consider myself as a professor. I consider myself a lecturer. I can also be considered as an instructor. Still, there's nothing more classic than being called "teacher".

For the first time, after 5 years, i am teaching again. Yes, last year I was invited to give a 2 hour lecture (and was paid generously) on editorial cartooning and comic strip drawing, BUT this one is as a classroom lecturer.

Teaching has always been my first love. It was taken away from me by events that needs a lot of explanation. Still, the good news is this: I'm back as a teacher even if it's part time.

Other people find it boastful or proud if someone shares things that he knows. Chances are, you'll have the "bida man" tag (the tag I dreaded the most, but I have to accept) I don't know your opinion on this, guys and gals, but it's more proud and boastful NOT to share what knowledge you know. I shake my head when I see people talking about someone's lack of knowledge on their specific topic of interest. You want to tell these people. "Then, why didn't you tell him? STOP IT AND SHUT UP!"

For me, sharing what you know is never boastful or proud, unless you intentionally want to pull them down. If you want to help, it's not being boastful to share things...if you really want to help.

By the way, I just met my first class. I'm teaching Statistics in that class. I hope and I pray that the students will learn something good from me, even if they learn only one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

moving on is also forgiving on

Can you really move on and live a peaceful life by not forgiving or, in some cases, asking forgiveness?
It’s a universal truth that we, human as we are, will surely commit mistakes, one way or another. Because of that universal truth (actually, it’s a Biblical truth: we are sinners. A person can only be a saint if he admits his being a sinner, accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but that’s a different topic). Acknowledging that truth, we have no choice but to forgive if someone wronged us, and ask forgiveness if we are wrong. It’s hard to forgive a person, especially if what he did to you is heinous. However, one way or another, we commit mistakes. If a relationship went wrong and the couple decided to break off the relationship, more often than not, it is a two-way fault. Most of the times, it is not the fault of only one person. After all, it is called a relationship.
Recently, I heard that someone can move on and live a peaceful and quiet life without forgiving. Yes, there are people who can move on and live quietly without admitting his or her mistakes. After all, there are chances that that person doesn’t know what he or she really did wrong. However, a person who has the capacity to move on and live peacefully WITHOUT forgiveness? It’s quite new. Honestly, I just can’t imagine and reconcile “moving on WITHOUT forgiving on”. No, please don’t get me wrong. For me, moving on and unforgiving spirit are irreconcilable. When you say that you moved on, it means you settled with your past one way or another on your terms (not on other people think). Yes, a person who is moving on will still feel the pain, but the effort and struggle to forgive will surely be there.
You can never move on without forgiving or asking forgiveness. It’s the main essence of moving on: forgiveness. I just can’t imagine the person who said that. First, how can that person move on without forgiving the person? Second, how can that person love when that person is so unforgiving? There is surely an “anomaly in the variables” if the person can do that. Either that person is lying or in the denial process.
Again, you can never move on and live a peaceful life without forgiveness.
I hope that everyone is a good sport in those paragraphs that I mentioned.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Part timer finally!

I attended a faculty orientation yesterday. Yes, you read it right: FACULTY ORIENTATION. I am now a part time faculty member of one of the colleges somewhere in Quezon City. It is an answered prayer for me because not only I can only teach on a part time basis, but the school is in Quezon City area. The pay is decent for a part time lecturer of that college.

By the looks of it, the schedule is awesome, if you desire to take up graduate studies after work; there are no classes beyond 5:30pm. Isn’t it cool? By the looks of it, they’re liberal enough to their professors when it comes to graduate studies.

Contrary to popular belief in the public school where I last taught, I never resigned because “I looked for a greener pasture”. Yes, I said that as an excuse. It is not MAINLY because my former department coordinator put things personal (and I’m not even fighting back, because I respect her). There are two main reasons: 1) I can’t continue my graduate study if I continue teaching in that school. People from that school may deny it one way or the other, but during my first three months in that school, I was denied POINT BLANK by a veteran teacher (now retired). Well, maybe there are policies behind that (3 years or so, but hey, one teacher was denied study permit and she’s more than 3 years when she asked for that) or the narrow-mindedly mentioned “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” statement. Oh, by the way, while I am doing my survey in that school, I unintentionally overheard a teacher asking her immediate head that she’s continue her graduate study. Her immediate head denied her POINT BLANK. 2) Now, this is weightiest reason among the two: my ex-girlfriend pushed me to resign in teaching, and join the family business. Her reasons are valid and practical enough: I’ll not earn much in teaching and we need money for our wedding (during those times). Plus, I’m tied up in a schedule (unlike in our family business). Because of those reasons, I resigned. Yes, it’s stupid. After all, I supposed to have a mind of my own (in a human sense of a word), but there she was, released the stupidity out of me (you know the story if you follow my blogs [with no threat by the way]) (Note: if you know her, there’s a chance she’ll deny that she’s also responsible for my resignation. She will say that she allows me to decide. It is partially correct, BUT with discomforts). I resigned. Yes, I’m earning bigger, but I thought my life will be a bit easier. It’s not. Those who know me and REALLY KNOW the entire story can attest to that. I just stated those two reasons.

Well, that’s part of my past. Now, I’m into part time teaching. My Mom is supportive of my idea. Besides, it’s only twice a week. It will be my first time to teach College. That’s why I still don’t know what to expect, despite being oriented. I’m excited to teach this coming June 17 (my first day in teaching college).

I hope and I pray that I’ll not be at odds with my colleagues and higher ups (except if my faith is hit or insulted).

Honestly, I still can’t imagine being called “professor”.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Focusing to the One

In order for God to give something to someone, one must not put too much focus on his request. Instead, one should put his focus to Whom he made known his request: God. Matthew 6:33 said that we must seek God’s kingdom first (meaning, put God first). One should not focus his eyes on what he wants, but what is needed to be done first. This is also applicable on interactions with other people, especially towards the opposite sex.
I opened my post in this manner because of the pattern of my experiences, and also of others that I know. It was January 2009 when I went to the University just to ask how’s my graduation paper. That time, my obsession to graduate has wavered. I just focused my eyes on other things. Guess what? It was at the time that my Chairman said that I should apply for graduation. Another experience: I applied to become a member of MENSA. Back then, I am so excited to be a member. However, when I received the letter saying that I didn’t make it, I cried (yes, I cried). From 2007 to 2009, I just put away my focus from that. Then recently, I saw a society similar to Mensa, Mysterium Society. I took their exam. Guess what? I made it! I passed to become a member of that kind of society at the time that I am not that excited. Recently, I said to myself that I’ll semi-retire on being an independent cartoonist. Then comes Summer Komikon.
In dealing with the opposite sex, I notice this pattern: girls tend to like guys that talk less to them. No, I don’t mean snobbish guys are more desirable to girls than friendly guys. I mean guys who talk less to girls. It’s like giving them a slice of cake, but not the whole cake. That’s why there are guys that don’t talk much; it’s their style, not really who they are.
I have read the Bible a number of times. However, I still can’t help, but ask questions. Is this some kind of a joke? I mean that means that in order to have something that you wanted, you must ignore it? This maybe funny or any negative stuff, but I have asked this stuff: does God give the request more to the “pakipot” than those who vocally says he wanted it?
However, as days go by, it’s making perfect sense to me. The Bible itself answered my question. God is a Jealous God as Exodus 20 said. If He sees that your request puts your attention away from Him, He’ll not give it to you. After all, God can give you more than your request. Besides, putting your focus on your request rather to the One Who has the power to grant your request is idolatry.
Another thing to consider is that Satan is so insecure (after all, he’s condemned already) that he will make a way on people that ignore him and his devices to put their attention to him. Satan is the ultimate “KSP”. Summer Komikon is my personal example. When I made a decision that I will semi-retire (I even said this to Amie), I made a significant sale on my comics. I received a fan art (I appreciate it by the way. Thanks, Hazel Manzano). I’m attending Komikon since 2007. It was in this year (when I declare semi-retirement) that the Komikon is a good year for me. Why is that so? I believe because when I semi-retire, I will now have more time on spiritual matters like Bible study and soul winning, which Satan hates.
These two truths: God being a Jealous God (because He has something more in store to the believers) and Satan’s insecurity is the reason why I must not put my focus too much on my request. All I must do is made known my request to God, and let God provide it in His own time, not mine. Put my focus more to God than my request. Leave the results to God. As believers, let’s just do what is needed to be done as Christians.