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.



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!