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Showing posts from October, 2009

Ghosts

It’s that time of year again when people want to be spooked. Whenever All Saints’ Day is approaching, the media usually works doubly hard to conjure ghost stories. (I should know. I’ve been there. But I made a commitment back then not to write such stories.) Were it not for Typhoon Santi and the recent political storm, we will be so flooded with these eerie tales. Yet still we read about it. In a Philippine Daily Inquirer article, Cathy C. Yamsuan wrote in her “Wandering spirits need our prayers” that “Urban legends tell us that spirits warn the living, seek justice for untimely deaths, or send a specific message.” (Oct. 31, 2009) In his book, “Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult,” Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia, chief exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila, quoted Catholic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, “There are also souls neither in heaven, purgatory, nor hell, but wandering the earth, in trouble and in anguish, aiming at something they are bound to perform.” (Ibid)…

The Jesus of History vs. the Christ of Faith?

Though still more than 60 days away, Christmas seems to be just around the corner despite the calamities. Though there are those who will be celebrating the birth of Christ, sadly there are others also who will be criticizing it. A few years back, Newsweek came up with a cover story on “The Birth of Christ.” In that article, managing editor Jon Meacham debated the historicity of the nativity. “Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, some scholars treat the Christmas narratives as first-century inventions designed to strengthen the seemingly tenuous claim that Jesus was the Messiah.” (Issue 12/13/2004) He claimed that “the Gospels mixed faith and history to the Christmas story and make the case for Christ.” (Ibid) Later on, when Larry King interviewed him, Meacham made this assertion: “Things don’t have to be accurate to be true.” (“Who was Jesus,” CNN Larry King Live, 12/24/2004) In other words, even if something is not accurate, it is still considered true or valid to you as long …

Barney and Obama

What do Barney the dinosaur and US President Barack Obama have in common? They were both accused of being… hold your breath… the Antichrist! Check out Barney first. We all know he is a “CUTE PURPLE DINOSAUR.” Now, let’s change all the U’s in that description to V’s (which converts it to Latin form). So we now have “CVTE PVRPLE DINOSAVR.” When we extract all the Roman numerals, we end up with “CV VL DIV”. If we now convert it to its Arabic numerical values, we get 100 + 5 + 5 + 50 + 500 +1 + 5. Add it all up and the shocking result is… [Psycho movie theme in the background, please]… 666! Yes, the mark of the Beast. Proof positive that Barney is the Antichrist! (Source: http://bible.org/illustration/barney)

Of course, that’s outrageous. It’s really crazy. That’s exactly what entered my mind when I saw the YouTube video that claims Obama is the Antichrist.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlQJ2neOG_I&feature=player_embedded) The basis for that accusation is a (contrived) word study of …

Overnight Success

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“Overnight success takes time,”as Bro. Francis Kong, well-known Christian motivational speaker and prolific author, put it. (Our Tuesday Circle of Care attended his talk, “Surviving the Economic Crisis: Developing a Personal Culture of Excellence,” that he gave recently in the New Millennium Evangelical Church.) He also pointed out, “There is no such thing as a shortcut to success. But there’s an expressway to disaster.”I agree 100%. If we shortcut the process, we will end up short-circuiting it. Some people may think that church is a picnic. But, it’s more about sleepless nights, mental torture and emotional anguish. (I know. I’m a bit exaggerating. But you get the picture, right?) Yet, as Brother Francis added, “In tough times, leaders work together as a team.”


I praise God He gave me the privilege to work with a great team. The relief work we got involved with these past weeks is another crystal clear expression of our battle cry, “One God. One Mission. One MGC.” Volunteers poured i…

A Drop in the Bucket

It was not a headline-hogging relief operation. In fact, we felt like it’s a teardrop in a huge bucket. But, nonetheless, it’s a much needed drop. In two days, members and friends of Makati Gospel Church lovingly and sacrificially gave P170,000 worth of assorted groceries (put in 1,215 regular-sized plastic bags.), more or less P30,000 (cash and check), 300 plus gallons of water (in one gallon containers), about 200 pieces of bread, 631 bags of soap and toothpastes and boxes upon boxes of brand-new and used clothes, blankets, bags and shoes (about 380 plus bags). Volunteers in the Kaibigan Center of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) packed it for us. Somebody also donated through CCT 500 plus foam mattresses.

Yesterday, Wednesday, September 30, 15 volunteers (10 of them young people) from our church along with CCT brought the relief goods to their Marikina branch. Along the way we saw the massive devastation that Typhoon Ondoy wrought. We saw muddied residents trying to cle…