Showing posts from September, 2007

Time for Metamorphosis

A man from a backward province visited Metro Manila for the first time with his wife and son. He could not believe his eyes as he marveled at the sight of towering skyscrapers and huge shopping malls. Inside the mall, he saw an old, gaunt woman limp towards the elevator. The doors closed. Then a few minutes later, when the doors opened, his jaws dropped to the floor when a young, beautiful woman got out of the elevator. The father excitedly shouted at his son, “Quick! Go get your mother.” (Adapted from the illustration database of Biblical Studies Foundation)Some of us with drooping eye bags, double chins, wrinkled face and bulging stomachs would love such a dramatic change! But, I personally admit, it is not that easy [Excuse me. Hand me over that glazed donut, please.] If it was hard physically, just imagine spiritual transformation! Romans 12:2a commands us: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”First we have to st…

The Starbucks Gospel

“Starbucks will never even come close to changing the world like Jesus did, but it has made a significant difference in our culture.” That’s a quote from the very creative The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion by Leonard Sweet. He drew lessons from Starbucks on connecting with seekers while he was, I suppose, sipping a decaf. He adds, “The experience-oriented Starbucks world we live in calls for an equally evolving perspective on how we do church.”Sweet wrote that people buy latte or mocha frap not for the caffeine but for the experience. “In the same way that Starbucks strives to create the best experience for enjoying coffee, we need to step into the best experience of faith… With Christianity, it often seems like we promote ideas and methodologies rather than inviting people to simply experience God. People want an engaging, relevant faith. They do not want mere intellectual faith. They long for a living faith.I read of a pastor who asked an actor how com…

The Verdict

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34, NIV

[Note: This is my personal stance and does not in any way represent Makati Gospel Church or its leadership.]

I admit that I doubted that the Sandiganbayan would render a guilty verdict on the plunder case of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada. So when the anti-graft court handed down the "guilty" verdict, it really came as a surprising relief. Now I will not discuss the merits of the case. I am not a lawyer. You can watch or listen or read the pros and cons over the media. And it can still be appealed. It is not yet final.

Let me focus on the rule of law instead. As a country, we thrive on shortcuts (whether in getting a driver's license or in unseating the powers that be).
We ousted two presidents already through "People Power." Erap faced an impeachment court but it was cut short by a walkout. Then people massed in EDSA. The rest is... well, history…

Call the Elders

One cowboy saw an Indian kneeling on the ground, his head pressed to the ground. He asked, “What do you sense?” The Indian curtly replied, “Two wagons. Two horses each. The first one carries the cargoes. The second one carries a family of six. The horses are black. The drivers and passengers are all white.” Astonished, the cowboy exclaimed, “You heard all that from the vibrations on the ground?”
With a sigh, the Indian cried, “No. They just ran over me about 15 minutes ago.”
Even if my head is pressed to the ground, I have no way of knowing what’s going on in your life unless you tell me. I am not omniscient, though at times I wish I am. You are not living inside Big Brother’s House. Wiretapping is out of the question, of course.☺
May I suggest an area where we can serve you better?“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord wil…

Missing Limb

I am not pulling your leg. I promise.

A biker was enjoying a fun ride with a group of friends in Hamamatsu city, Japan. When he was making a sharp turn on a curve, he skidded and bumped into the central safety barrier of the road. He felt excruciating pain. But he did not even stop to take a look. He just kept on riding.

At the next junction, more than a mile later, one of his friends stopped him and frantically pointed to his right leg. Believe it or not, his leg had been severed just below the knee! He actually failed to notice his missing limb. Both the man and the leg were rushed to the hospital. But, according to Yahoo! News, “the limb had been crushed in the collision”.

You may be asking, “How can one fail to notice that his leg was accidentally cut off?”But, let us look from a spiritual perspective: “Have you ever noticed anyone missing from the worship service lately?” Romans 12:5 says, “…in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (NIV)