Friday, January 30, 2009

George Takei's words on Tim Hardaway's

video

I have to admit: I don’t hate gay people. In the truest sense of the word, I am not homophobic. I am not afraid of gay people and at the same time, I don’t hate them. As a Baptist, I practice “hate the sin, not the sinner” principle (the word “sinner” applies to all human beings by the way, because no one is perfect). Still, as a Christian, my stand is what the Bible teaches: homosexuality is wrong. God created only male and female. I’m not playing self-righteous here by the way. On behalf of the Baptist people, I’m sorry for giving gay guys the wrong approach on our right stand.

I put that paragraph as an introduction. The real deal is this: I got a video in which George Takei is it. Yes, the one who portrayed Sulu in the first Star Trek. He’s gay by the way, and he plays Kaito Nakamura, Hiro Nakamura’s stern father in Heroes. To tell you honestly, I don’t agree with what he’s standing for. However, I admire his approach on Tim Hardaway’s statement that he hates gay people. Guys and gals, he taught one lesson on how to deal with critics. Yes, he is gay. Yes, homosexuality is Biblically wrong (I’m not being a Zealot here). However, instead fighting fire with fire, he confronted criticism in a classy, humorous way. I admit, I still need to figure how to deal with my critics in a humorous way.

Christians are supposed to be the one who deal critics in a humorous, but not foolish, way. After all, we should have a good testimony when it comes to anger management. Instead of being angry with critics of true Christianity, why not deal it with humor? I know it’s easier said than done. I tend to be reactive at times, but at least, it’s worth a try.

Monday, January 26, 2009

M.Ed.

Praise God! After 6 years, I finally got my transcript of records, diploma, and certificate at graduate school. Thus, officially, I am a graduate of Master of Education in Educational Management (MEd). Yes, it’s lower than Master of ARTS in Educational Management (MAEd). Still though, it’s still a graduate degree. However, the only problem is that I can’t take up my PhD in that University. I need to take a bridge program to make it to the PhD. Still, this is worth thanking for. After all, not all were given the chance to study in graduate school, much so to graduate.

Praise God and I knew it! Last month, I told Mom and Amie that I believe that I’ll receive my transcript, diploma, and certification AFTER my public apology in the Old Church. Why? God doesn’t me to boast to the Old Church. Besides, God is just. He’ll only pour out the blessings intended for me IF I do what God wants: for a Christian to be responsible and accountable for their actions.

Hmmmmmmmmmm…with the way things are going, looks like 2009 will be my year. God really blesses my 1st month of being in the Old Church after 2 years and 7 months of being in “exile”. Maybe I’ll try Mensa and part time teaching. Maybe I’ll do intensive workout this time around. But before all of that, I’ll go back Bible studying again once a week. I’ll strike while the iron is hot. Maybe, just maybe, in general, this will be my year. I hope and pray.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Unpopular, yet still a gentleman at the end

"I believe there ought to be, you know, one person in the klieg lights at a time, and I've had my time in the klieg lights."
These words were stated by Outgoing US President George W. Bush on his final press conference as the President of the United States of America. Yes yes yes. He’s one of the most unpopular leaders of our time (Our own President GMA has her own shares of unpopular decisions, big shares…hehehe). He’s a staple in night shows, protest groups (both in their homeland and here in the Philippines), Democrats, etc. There’s even a show poking fun PURELY on him (“That’s my Bush”).
He has unpopular decisions as a President. I don’t want to mention them, because I’m not in a position to mention them. Still though, despite his being unpopular, I admire those statements from a President. It’s like, “when it’s over, it’s over.” I don’t care what’s on his mind when he’s saying those words. I don’t even care if that was done by sincerity or hypocrisy. It’s a statement that only a true gentleman can say. It shows humility.
The Filipino politicians should learn a thing or two regarding Dubya’s statement. When your term in office is over, it’s over. Yes, passing the good legacy and passing on the name with that legacy to your sons and daughters are not wrong. However, when an incoming President, VP, Governor, Vice Governor, Mayor, Vice Mayor, Barangay Head, and Sangguniang Kabataang (SK) Head (all executive positions) took his/her oath of office, even if not your party affiliates, let them be the star in their own term.
I can still remember when I was an Organization President (point of example only, not to boast of something). When my term is over, I never spoke a word against the New President. I call it courtesy, pal. Even if some of the Prexy’s people don’t like me, I respected his office. No, I don’t consider myself a stereotypical gentleman. I’m not. Let the incoming officers be the star. Just gracefully go out. Let them shine. After all, those incoming officers will also have their hard times and unpopular moves in the coming days, weeks, months, and even years. Retire gracefully. Enjoy your private life. If there are people who are whispering to your ears that the new officers are like this and that, just listen, but don’t fall bait into it.
Time and time again, let’s learn from this, well, unpopular gentleman. He maybe unpopular, but he’s still a gentleman. I don’t care what’s in their heads, at least they demonstrated OUTWARDLY. That’s courtesy, my friends.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Classic Assumption...yet wrong

When I went back to the Old Church, some people say that the reason why I went back after only two years is because MONEY TALKS. It’s a classic assumption. People above lower middle class, the middle middle class and higher middle class, are often being accused of using the money as a means to fix the problems, even in Baptist churches. That predicament follows when God blessed you with material things. Let me tell this once and for all: no money was involved. In fact, I have said many times that I will negotiate this on my own. Yes, as members of that church, our family, especially my Mom, gives offering because Malachi 3:10 said so. However, money pertaining to the bribery? Nope. To those who still have that assumption in mind despite saying these statements, I will respect your opinion. Besides, if you’ll read my blog posts, I talk to Old Church Pastor at least once a month when I’ll be allowed to return. When you’re persistent in asking your Pastor about your return, it shows your sincerity. I can’t blame the one who said that: he’s excommunicated since 1999 (if my memory is right).

Just like my other posts, I want to be blunt: to the person who has this assumption, I will still respect you and your opinion. You know who you are. However, let me tell you this: fix your own problem first. First, admit your own mistakes to God and the church (in this department, of course you need the Old Church’s go signal, and in order to do that, you should talk personally or by phone to the Old Church Pastor himself). I can’t disclose deeply your own problem, man, but you know it. Stop doing those alibis. It is impossible that you didn’t do even HALF of what is being said against you. There is evidence. Besides, my case is personal in nature, and the other party just squealed. Your case is different. You didn’t only do that (you know what that is), you also did OTHER stuff TO THE BRETHREN. In other words, you’re hitting the Church of God itself! Not only that, you’re hitting Old Church Pastor. Not to mention what you’re saying in Friendster bulletins. You also emailed a Pastor, and a former member now in other church. Man, I don’t hate you. It’s just that it’s unfair to accuse me of such. After all, I myself always asked Old Church Pastor regarding my case, how about you? I admitted my mistakes, how about you? As much as possible, I avoided other Pastors that know Old Church. Yes, I said my side of the story because my side was never heard by the Old Church People, but at the end of my chat, I stated that I still respect the Old Church and that I understand their decision because Biblical standards must prevail. How about you? Why not just settle things one at a time? Why not talk to Old Church Pastor to settle those stuff gradually? By the way, you almost spread discord by your emails and statements. Instead of doing that, why not stay TEMPORARILY to another Baptist church that is not connected with the Old Church and have a ministry there (sincerely do it, please?)? If you’ve done that earlier, Old Church and Old Church Pastor, I believe, will reconsider. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. If you are humble enough, man, God will take of you each step of the way.

God knows I tried to fix my problem, so please try fixing yours. Don’t find faults to be used against the brethren. By doing so, you’re just proving to the Old Church that they are right in excommunicating you. Not to mention that your discord might cause unsaved souls not to go to church so that they’ll hear God’s Message. If there are souls that didn’t go to the church because of your discord and your alibis, their blood will be on your account when they died unsaved. You know who you are, pal. I’m no longer angry at you. Just fix yourself and your life. Your life is God’s business and not mine. Other people’s life is God’s business, not ours. God will surely judge them. Not only them, also both of us. Individual accountability, pal. Think about that. Yes, I understand the envy, the bitterness, the pride, and the hate. Now, after feeling that way, pray to God that He’ll give you the strength to bounce back, fix your problem, and be humble. I know you’re man enough to face this fact: it is you who must approach the Old Church first, being the one who committed sins. Don’t look on your right, nor on your left. What matters now is you. It’s up to you to decide…spiritual brother. If you want “grace” to be applicable on you, then be “humble”. After all, in order to receive grace, you must be humble.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008....2009

Happy new year! Hello 2009. Yeah right. I know I am a few days late to say that. I didn’t visit my blog because of the long holiday. Long holiday means no fast internet connection.

By the way, before I close 2008, let me share these things:

2008 is not that an active year for me in the ministry. I regret that. Still, God allowed me to put that year with an activity worth remembering –YPF day 2. This year is the year that the 2nd YPF day was held at the New Church. From 78 in 2007, the delegates who attended went to 103. Praise God for that.

Still though, in all of those labors in the New Church, I still think of the Old Church, when will I be allowed to go back. When will I finally be allowed to go the Old Church and have my public apology? They banned me for the sin that I have admitted for a long time. The world got smaller for me when I was banned because I was banned in one of the biggest, most influential Baptist churches in Metro Manila and even in other parts of Luzon. Then, with advices from Pastor Abel Bernardo, Dr. Gil Aranda, and Dr. Ed Laurena, the Old Church pastor finally gave me the go-signal. December 31, New Year’s Eve, I had my public confession in the Old Church. Before that date, the New Church Pastor officially announced that I will be pulled out by the Old Church. That happened December 21, I turned over most, if not all, of my materials to my Assistant, Bro. Joeffrey “Joef” Saralde. Joef is now the new YPF President. He is the 2nd YPF President since its organization by your laborer in 2006, and I believe by God’s grace that he’ll deliver and he’ll be a better President than yours truly. The practical thing is to stay in the New Church. Majority of the youth leaders and even church members trusted me. New Church Pastor trusted me to the point that he rarely questioned the YPF activities. As far as I can remember, he didn’t even scrutinize them. He trusted me. However, if I didn’t go back to the Old Church and have my public apology, the ban will prevail even until the day I die. In addition to that, there will be no closure of my case if I refuse to cooperate. Yes, my ex girlfriend and her mother has the hand on my delay (God will take care of them. Especially right now, I forgive them. Besides, break ups are never happy. They cause pain on BOTH sides unless if you never loved the person. With those premises, I say that we have no choice but forgive EACH other. I can even shake their hands and look them straight to their eyes) My priority is for the ban to be lifted so that God will bless my life more. God blesses the offerings of people who fix things first (forgive or ask forgiveness and be) and cleans up the messes he caused or did. Well, maybe you don’t find the words convincing. Euphemism is not my forte.

The Old Church accepted me with open arms again. Some youngsters even hugged me. Still though, I never regretted what I have said in the past two years. The Old Church Pastor said during my public confession that the church people intentionally did that as a form of discipline. He said that truly it will make me feel that I am not truly loved. Oh well, have it his way. Yeah right. What I know is that if someone is truly repentant, that is enough reason to talk to the fallen brethren. Besides, they can never blame me. They should have listened to my side. No, the church should have given me a chance to tell my side before they execute the excommunication. I have said my side before they executed it, but only the Old Church Pastor heard it. Yes, Pastor James knows my side very well, but he had done his part, and I am very grateful for that. That’s why they can never blame the bitterness that I went through. Bluntly, it came even to a point that I said to myself that it’s not worth it. I mean lowering down your pride is not worth it.

I can’t blame the Old Church. It’s written in 1 Corinthians 5. Normally, in cases like this, you’ll take both sides, ESPECIALLY THE WOMAN’S SIDE. Why? Normally, women are the losers in the sin of fornication. If a woman is a virgin before the fornication was committed, it would be a traumatic experience for her if she’ll be left by her boyfriend. Worst, if she got pregnant, justice should be given to the woman. The woman should feel that justice was served on what happened to her. That’s the purpose why church discipline in matters like fornication is usually heavier on the part of the male church members. The woman loses many things on her in fornication.

I have no problems regarding that. I agree with that. I am fully aware of that. I assume my ex girlfriend is aware that’s how things work in the Old Church. That’s why she uses that for her advantage. Because she has the last say if am truly forgiven and I am finally allowed to go back to the Old Church, she utilized that AGAINST me. Oh well, it’s the past. Let go, let God.

I still believe that forced marriage doesn’t automatically give justice. It will be a nightmare on the long run UNLESS both parties willfully agree, not because the guy will face excommunication or shot gun will be put in his face if marriage was not served. Bluntly, shot gun marriages are selfish on the part of people doing it. I was glad with the Old Church Pastor decided that I can just have my public apology AND not marry her. Why? I don’t see it as the solution. I see it as a recipe for disaster. Still though, the Old Church Pastor’s decision and my return last December 31 is all JUST IN TIME. That’s how God moves – just at the right time.

My wishes and advises for my ex girlfriend this 2009? I hope and pray that she had changed for the better. She should not control people. She should not use people. She must avoid habitual lying. She must learn to truly love her partner, and it must be proven by giving him enough room for him to grow in the career that HE chooses. Love her present boyfriend. The “give and take” should be done by BOTH sides, regardless of how much money or education you have. BOTH parties should adjust one to another. It is a wrong thinking that the richer party should adjust more. It should be BOTH. Be considerate. Don’t manipulate your man to the point that he will end up taking all the consequences. I also thank her still for finally allowing me to go back, but she should not do it to other people next time.

Now that the Old Church Pastor declared my case a closed book, I will abide by that. It was closed, also enclosing half of the truths. It’s okay, God has been good to my life.

2008 have been a year of learning experience for me. It is also the year that God, just as always, manifested His workings on me. I will never forget the people who became part of my life in that two years of excommunication, especially the New Church. Especially Amie, now my girlfriend since August 30, 2008.

This 2009, I hope that I can be a better business manager, better in handling my money, better in handling my time. I hope that I can serve God and at the same time earn back the respect of my Mother and Big Brother AC. I know that I can be a business manager AND a preacher at the same time.

Again, welcome 2009!