God Is, So We Greet ‘Happy Birthday!’

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The LORD God gave me another year to celebrate my birthday. Allow me to use this opportunity to let you think about these things with regard to birthdays:

If every breath we take is from the Lord, then our lives should be lived according to His will and for His glory. All of life is His, “for in Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), and with the psalmist we also say, “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

And I would also like to further the idea that birthday celebrations presuppose the existence of God. If there is no God, there would be no reasons to celebrate our birthdays—and, of course, without Him, we wouldn’t have any birthdays to celebrate either. Why? Continue reading “God Is, So We Greet ‘Happy Birthday!’”

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#Reformation500

Commemorations are helpful given that we are forgetful people. There is a place for tracing back our roots—our history is our identity. However, celebrations like #Reformation500 might somehow give us a myopic view of Christian thought if we left ourselves unchecked.

We might fall into the error of thinking that whatever happened in the 16th century is all that Christianity is. If that is the case, I’d be a Lutheran, not Reformed. We should pay attention to the development of these great Christians doctrines after the Reformation period.

Also, we might commit the idolatry that is hero-worship; we look at them as if these great men are not sinners in need of grace. We should also remember that we don’t confess Luther or Calvin for they are fallible men; we confess the truth that God has revealed in the Bible.

Finally, we might get too enamoured with the past that we neglect the pressing needs of the present Church. Aside from our theological hobbyhorses, there are issues and problems that the Church faces today that we need to attend to. The Reformation indeed is an ongoing project.

“Expectant of That Great Day…”

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Another doomsday prophecy took the social media in a ‘meme’ storm. It was said by some that the rapture will happen this month. Others have furthered the theory of a Planet X—or Nibiru—to collide with Earth on September 23. But, are they really in tune with what the Bible has to say? What should be our attitude with regard to these things? Continue reading ““Expectant of That Great Day…””

A Day in Intramuros

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One of the main entrances to the walled city just across the Manila City Hall and Andres Bonifacio Shrine.

Last week, I visited Intramuros, Manila to attend a talk about one of our heroes, Andres Bonifacio. I also took the chance to see the place for being a Filipino history geek, I won’t let the National History Month pass by without paying homage to this heritage site. It is like a historical pilgrimage to me; add to the fact that the cobbled pathways are not friendly for those who are fond of wearing leather shoes (I should have known better!). The Philippines was under the crown of Spain for more than 300 years and you could see how Spanish influences pervade in our culture—a prime example is this remnant of a distant past. It is such a great loss of heritage and lives when the Intramuros suffered a lot in the Second World War. Continue reading “A Day in Intramuros”

My Father Who Art in Heaven

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It’s Father’s Day around the globe and people would pay homage to their fathers today. I would like to use this brief opportunity to give my father a praise that he deserves. My father taught me the practicalities of life. Without his labor and discipline, I might not be where I am today. He might not be perfect, just as I am not a perfect son, but he’s all that I need and will ever need. If the LORD wills, I hope to be like him – a father with hits and misses; nevertheless, a good father indeed. I thank God for him. Continue reading “My Father Who Art in Heaven”

In Christ, We Have True Freedom

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Too many poems, hymns, and novels were written under the melody of liberty. Truly, the sound of freedom is music to the ears. Tears will be brought into the eyes and smiles will be painted in the lips of those who will hear the words of emancipation. It is sweeter than honey; it is more beautiful than the breaking of dawn. But to us who has seen the beauty of the Lord, there is nothing more magnificent than the freedom that we now possess because of Jesus Christ.

But, what are the things which belong to such freedom? I’ll give some examples from the abounding grace we found in God’s love: Continue reading “In Christ, We Have True Freedom”

“Love God, and do as you please.”

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“See what we are insisting upon; that the deeds of men are only discerned by the root of charity. For many things may be done that have a good appearance, and yet proceed not from the root of charity. For thorns also have flowers: some actions truly seem rough, seem savage; howbeit they are done for discipline at the bidding of charity. Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.” (Augustine of Hippo, “Seventh Homily on 1st John”)