Showing posts from July, 2008

August Speakers for the English Worship Service (Makati Gospel Church)

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Please invite friends and relatives to join
our English Worship Service.
We meet every Sunday, 8:20AM,
at Makati Gospel Church,
7650 Dela Rosa, Makati.
For more info, call (632) 8160634.
You can also e-mail me for the location map.

Starbucks Saved His Life?

In Michael Gill’s own words, “I was born with just about every advantage you could imagine, or even wish for.”1 Born the first son of a prominent family, went to Yale, climbed the corporate ladder until he became a top executive of the world’s biggest ad agency at that time, received a six-figure salary, he got it made!

Or, so he thought. At 53, he got fired. He started a consulting company. It fizzled. Then his wife of twenty-years divorced him due to an affair where he sired a son. Then, his doctor found a brain tumor. Only Job had hit lower than that!

Gill described his morning ritual: “I was dressing up everyday with a tie. It’s sad now to think about it, but I was dressing up like I was an executive when I didn't have any work. I was surprised at my inability to cope.” Talk about hopelessness! One day, he entered a Starbucks store. That time the coffee shop was hiring. The manager approached him, “Would you like a job?” Drained and desperate, Gill could only nod.

Gill became a b…

The Dark Knight

Though I won’t recommend that kids watch it (it should be rated R for excessive violence rather than PG13), The Dark Knight is truly “a rich, multi-layered movie filled with great performances, memorable dialogue, and moral complexity.” (Gary Robinson, The Choices of Bruce Wayne, Breakpoint 7/22/08) It made blockbuster history by posting US$158.4 million in its opening weekend, beating Spiderman 3 by more than $7 million! (Heath Ledger’s untimely death after portraying the devilish Joker in the movie surely fueled much interest in the movie. But in fairness, the producers did not capitalize on his death in the promotion of the movie.) Indeed, it’s a rich movie, both literally and figuratively!

I won’t share the plot so as not to spoil the fun. But, in one scene, Batman was about to crack under pressure. His ever-loyal butler, Alfred, exhorted him, “Endure! You can be the outcast. You can make the choice that no one else will face—the right choice.” I like the lesson distilled by Breakp…

No Story Worth Your Life?

Thanks to the Internet, even while I was in the US of A, I got to follow closely the news on the kidnapping of ABS-CBN news anchor Ces Drilon and her two cameramen by the dreaded Abu Sayaff. They went to the Sulu forest supposedly to interview Abu Sayyaf commander Radulan Sahiron. It turned out to be a ruse. One cameraman got the scare of his life when the bandits bound him and made him kneel as a prelude to beheading him. Then, the cell phone rang at that very moment with a call from the negotiators. True to their training, the cameramen secretly took footages of their ordeal, which the network aired in a recent TV documentary. After 9 days, allegedly upon payment of ransom, the bandits released them.

(Personally, it brought back memories of my work experiences with that network about a decade ago. I again realized how God faithfully kept me when we visited with Kabayan Noli De Castro the camps of the New People’s Army to interview its spokesperson, Ka Roger, and the Moro Islamic Libe…

Boon or Bane?

To hear about the persecuted church is one thing. To have a face associated with the persecuted church is another.

Last Tuesday, our cell group had the privilege of meeting Pastor Dan (name changed for security reasons) from Vietnam. He is one of the graduates of the Global Proclamation Academy. We learned firsthand how he experienced persecution because of his faith from the communist government. Though Vietnam puts a facade of religious freedom to entice investors, believers there are still being harassed. Their children are also kicked out of the public school. The authorities disturb their worship meetings. A pastor-friend recently visited Vietnam with a team to conduct trainings for pastors and church workers there. The authorities got wind of the conference. The police “invited” one of the trainers to the station and interrogated him for some hours.

Then, I recently got e-mail from another graduate of the GPA, Pastor Romy of Sri Lanka (again, name changed for security reasons). L…

Stick to the Game Plane

Last Sunday, we rejoiced when Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao won the World Boxing Council lightweight crown by KO in the ninth round against Mexican David Diaz. He made history by being the first Filipino to win the title, which even the legendary Flash Elorde failed to do so. He is also the first Asian to bag four world titles in four different weight categories. (Frankly, I was afraid that he would lose due to the fact that he had to gain a few pounds to level up to lightweight category.)

“It was a masterpiece!” as one newspaper headline trumpeted it. The secret? By his own analysis, Pacquiao said he fought according to the game plan. A jab here, a jab there. In and out. Move in and move out. Never go toe-to-toe exchange of blows. That was so unlike him actually. He tried to slug it out in the past. More brawling than boxing. One sports analyst wrote, “He likes to give the crowd what they want, even at the risk of losing the fight.” But, not this time. Thus, he carved his niche in history a…