Monday, August 27, 2012

An Instrument of Change

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Me (L) with my fellow journalists/bloggers (Sorry! Still don't have a cam)
I decided to take my sportswriting talents to my hometown and teach 4th-6th graders about some things they should know about sportswriting. Turned out, it was God's way of delivering to me what He wanted me to hear from Him. That's exactly what I heard from the pastor at Victory Quezon City who preached when I and two of my students came there.

God wanted me to become a modern-day Nehemiah--an instrument of change. He wanted to start making an impact in the nation's change through what I am today. I may be just a student, a mathematician, a blogger, and a budding online sportswriter, but the Lord wants me to use my current me to bring change. If God used Nehemiah, a mere cupbearer, to reform Jerusalem to what it is today, so is His plan for me.

I also got touched by a story of a town in Venezuela, where crimes, violence, and everything you don't wanna hear are rampant. All it took were prayers from the Christians there. Now, 80% of the people there worship God. Most night pubs were closed, and the bad guys became the role models. God continued to bring blessings to that town to this date.

I realized how God can use me despite my dark past. He has already forgiven me, and is now using me as a tool for change.

For more, read Nehemiah 1. Better yet, read the whole book of Nehemiah.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fishers of Men

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Jesse Robredo is a man of God. He served his country according to how the
Lord wants him to do.
It's a sad story that a man of God, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, died during a plane crash last Saturday off the shore of Masbate. However, some unconfirmed reports came in that Robredo was "saved by fishermen" moments after the crash. Although it was already considered false after DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed that Robredo was found lifeless at the crash site, that news gave some light to his family, friends, and the entire nation.

If Robredo was indeed saved by the fishermen alive, we would have called them heroes and overnight celebrities. Either way, I will still post this calling by Jesus Christ to us. Those fishermen reminded me of my calling. If those fishers can save a high government official from drowning, we can do so too. Our calling is to save people, whether ordinary or prominent, from drowning in the ocean of sin. The Lord even gave us a moniker: fishers of men.

In Luke 5:10, He sent a message to 4 fishermen to fish for men. Although they hesitated at first because of their sinful nature, Jesus insisted, for He had already forgiven their sins. Maybe some of us are hesitating because our past experiences will remind us of our sins, but Christ forgave us already through the cross. Now, He's sharing the same word to us. Jesus wants us to fish for men and save them from drowning into sin. All we need is to acknowledge our sinful nature, let Jesus come into our lives, and let Him direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


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As God remembered Noah during the Flood,
He remembers us in most devastating
I just checked my Twitter, and I became curious on one worldwide trending topic. It's a passage in the Scriptures. Genesis 8:7-12 is the 2nd top-trending topic right now on the social media site as I write this. The ironic reason is that the numbers are exactly in the same order as the date of the worse-than-Ondoy storm in month-day-last 2 digits of year numeric form (8/7/12).

I looked up at Bible Gateway, a website full of Bible verses, and read the verses. In the Scripture passage, Noah sent two birds, a dove and a raven, to check out if the floodwater have subsided. The dove just wandered in the sky until the water dried up, while the dove, because the trees were all drenched by the Great Flood, decided to return to the ark Noah built. After a week, he brought the dove out again, and the bird returned with a leaf, signaling that the trees were re-appearing. One more week past, and Noah sent the dove out again, but it never returned. It meant that the flood has completely subsided.

I actually read the entire Chapter 8 of Genesis, and at the first verse, we are given a promise by God. The verse says, "But God remembered Noah (and his family) and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded." As He remembered all the people and animals in the ark, He remembers us too. As my former cell group leader quoted, "The times you think that God is far from you are actually the times God is just near you." Also, like what He said to Noah's descendants Moses and Joshua, the Lord will not leave us and even forsake us. He said that a number of times in the Bible.

The final verse of the chapter is also a promise to us. God said there, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." The Lord is saying that we may experience storms, trials, and everything not that pleasing to us, but be assured that He will bring a new day full of breakthroughs and blessings to us. God showed that when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to overcome the biggest storm in our lives, the storm of sin.

Again, this storm is just temporary, but if we hold on to God's promise that He remembers us, we will get lasting breakthroughs and reliefs. For further Bible study, read Genesis 6-9. I hope that as we praised God during the times we were devastated by Ondoy, we continue to praise Him during the wrath of Typhoon Haikui.

God is Our Refuge

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As I am writing this, the mainland Southern Luzon is being devastated by thunderstorms due to the tropical cyclone Haikui (international name). Although the storm is outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, it enhanced the southwest monsoon that is bringing rains to the Philippines. As of now, the provinces of Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Rizal are tasting the wrath of the storm that will also wreak havoc in Taiwan and China.
De La Salle University as of this morning
Some people trying to bring a rubber boat to the other side of EspaƱa Blvd.
Even the 2nd floor of the UST Hospital was drenched by the floodwater
Some areas have even been flooded at beyond-human-height depth.
Even athletes practicing for a future competition were not
spared by the monsoon rains.
And so is the North Luzon Expressway
Although we're affected here, I am confident God will not leave us alone in the storm. In fact, His Word to me today made my stormy day. Proverbs 30:5 says, "Every Word of God is flawless; He is a Shield to those who take refuge in Him." In this time, many are stranded, many others have their homes washed by the floodwater, yet I know the Lord will save us. He is our Solid Rock, the Safe Ground, the Shelter we need. Even King David wrote that "God is our Refuge and Strength, an EVER-PRESENT Help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)."

The Lord is always with us. He will never ever leave us in our current state. All He needs is for us to hold on to His promises. Continue to read the Bible. Pray to Him for protection, comfort, and provision. All He wants is to see us seeking Him at this stage. Let's continue to pray for the Philippines, read God's Word, and hold on to it.

By the way, the Lord will be even happier if we help our fellow countrymen. A prayer is one key tool, but you can also give money, beddings, new or used clothing, and food. You can call the GMA Operation Bayanihan at (02) 981-1950 or send cash donations to their Metrobank account with Account Number 3098510347 under GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc. You can also donate through Dakila's Ride Rock Relief at (02) 435-4309 or through their Banco De Oro-Loyola Heights Berkeley Residences Branch savings account with Account Number 003570047800 under Dakila-Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, Inc. For non-cash donations, you can bring them to their office at Unit 3A, VS1 Building, 34 Kalayaan Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila. You can also donate to various Victory Christian Fellowship churches in Metro Manila. Click this link for more details.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Some UPCAT Tips

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To become a UP student, you need to jot down these tips.
With the University of the Philippines College Admission Test Weekend approaching, I want to share you some tips on how to survive the biggest college entrance exam in the Philippines.

1. Don't get nervous right on your exam-Think positive as if the UPCAT is easy. Actually, without any arrogance, the UPCAT is not as hard as you think.

2. Take your time-A style in answering the questions is that you answer the easier questions first before taking on the harder ones. Although the UPCAT is relatively easy (without boasting), time is gold there, so you need to use the allotted time for the part properly.

3. Write your essay neatly and in an organized manner-The new feature in the UPCAT starting tomorrow is an essay part. While I don't have an idea of how the essay part works, all I can say is that make your essays as precise, informative, simply, neat and organized.

4. The most important thing, pray-Prayer works. Ask the Lord for His guidance and to give you wisdom come the exam.

5. Be strong and courageous-The main point of this post. The results will come as early as late January or more likely by February. While waiting for the result, you must stay strong and courageous. If you think you'll gonna fail, drag that off your mind. God told Joshua to take away the fears of failing to lead his countrymen to the promised land. The Lord told him to be a strong leader. God told Joshua to continually meditate on the Bible, so that he will prosper and succeed. Read Joshua 1 for a deeper understanding.

For the UPCAT takers, don't forget to lean on the Lord. Read, understand, and internalize His Words, and I'm sure you will get that breakthrough of becoming the student of a premier educational institution in Asia.

For those who took the UPCAT, feel free to post your tips on how to survive the test on the comments.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stay in the Path of Purity

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How can a young man stay on the path of purity?
By living according to Your Word. (Psalm 119:9, NIV)
I just read Psalm 119:9-16 last night, and it clearly pierced me a lot. It made me wonder, "Am I still in that so-called 'path of purity'?" But God has a clear answer to that, "You must continue to live according to My Word (v. 9b)."

I admit, there were times that I was somehow veering away from His Word, thinking I can be kept purified on my own. But it was only to no avail. It is clear: we need God to be purified. Let's ask the Lord for forgiveness if we commit impurities. Don't worry. He has forgiven us already through His Son Jesus Christ. Let us also keep His Words in our hearts, so we may not sin against Him (v. 11). Lastly, we must neglect His Word (v. 16b). Let's internalize what He has said, and we will not be making a wrong turn.

If you want to stay on the right track toward purity in Christ, we must take note of His advice, His rebukes, and His life here on earth. Live according to His Word, and God will meet us at our faith.