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Showing posts from May, 2008

Go For It!

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By the time you are reading this, I am already in Texas, USA. (In this picture, I stood in front of Elm Street in Dallas, Texas, where US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963. Behind me is the Texas School Book Depository, now Dallas County Administration Building. That's where the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, positioned himself at the corner window of the 6th floor of the building, the square one beside the arched windows.)

God graciously opened a door for me to join the Global Proclamation Academy (GPA) in Dallas Theological Seminary. The GPA is “a once-in-a-life time, ministry-defining experience with the finest master-coaches available to explore biblical spirituality, theological discernment, and effective preaching.” (http://www.thegpa.net/) It is a 3-week “by invitation only” program where “no more than one leader will come each year from any single country.” (Ibid) It is such a great privilege to become part of GPA Batch 2008!

Allow me to thank thos…

The Debate on Video Games

“Just because you play as a criminal doesn’t mean you’ll become one.” This in a nutshell is the conclusion of Harvard Med School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olsen, who wrote the book, “Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do.” They refuted alleged misconceptions about the cause and effect relationship between violent video games and violent behavior, “that there is no data to support the simple-minded concerns that video games cause violence.” But before you grab your X-box or PSP, read on.

How did they come up with conclusion? They did a two-year study of 1,200 middle-school students. Most of the data were collected through interviews. Yes, the gamers themselves claimed that violent games do not make them violent. There lies the flaw of this study. Who in his right mind would admit that he became violent because of those video games? Would young gamers incriminate themselves? Plus, Kutner and Olsen admitted they “did not…

God is good?

We Filipinos are no strangers to calamities. That’s why our hearts go out for the people of Myanmar and China. According to Yahoo! News, the Red Cross estimated that the cyclone death toll in Myanmar could reach up to almost 130,000. Images of piles upon piles of rotting corpses circulate the Internet. (However, the military junta gave a much lower casualty estimate of more than 38,000 dead and almost 28,000 missing.) Add to that the more than 2.5 million people who urgently needed food, water and shelter. But, due to the restrictions imposed by the Myanmar government, foreign aid has only reached 270,000. World Food Program needs 55,000 tons of rice to provide a three-month supply for 750,000 people. Yet, only 361 tons have been shipped so far. Sadly, there were reports of relief switching. High-grade rice became brown, smelly rice that even dogs would not eat. Like Job who received bad news after another in rapid succession, while we were still reeling from the calamity in Myanmar,…

Holocaust

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While my wife Ellen and me were in Israel, the nation held the Memorial Day for the Holocaust. It is dedicated to the six million Jews who sacrificed their lives during World War II. The day meant a lot for the Jewish people. The Israeli flags were in half-mast. All stores closed early. In our hotel, there wasn’t music in the lobby. Instead, there was a booth displaying pictures of some Holocaust victims. Guests can light candles in their honor. Last May 1, a siren sounded throughout the nation, calling everyone to observe a minute of solemn silence. We also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. It was sobering to see not only the videos and pictures but also the personal belongings of the victims and other relics.

During our educational study tour in Israel, I noticed that they spared no effort in preserving their national parks that were traditional and historical sites of Biblical stories. All over the place I saw boulders piled up on each other, serving as stones of remembrance.…