Showing posts from November, 2009


At first, I was thinking of writing about the new era of the global Filipino, elated over the TKO victory of Manny Pacquiao and his record seventh belt plus the awarding of the CNN Hero of the Year to Filipino educator Efren Penaflorida for his “Kariton Klasrum” (pushcart classroom).
But news images of the brazen mass murder of innocent civilians in Baranggay Salman, at Ampatuan, Maguindanao allegedly committed by Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. and his private army kept flashing in my mind. The group blocked the six-car convoy of the Mangundadatus (their political rivals), their supporters and media correspondents. The Mangundadatus was on their way to file Certificates of Candidacies to challenge the Ampatuans’ grip on political power. Then the carnage ensued. The murderers did not spare even the people whose vehicles just happened to be behind the convoy. Then they hastily buried the bodies, including the vehicles, in mass graves miles apart from each other. But, when they were…

No Wang-Wang

It was a Friday night. Jacqueline Siapno with her 5-year-old son, Hadomi, quietly arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. After a warm embrace with her mother, they took a cab to a Pasay bus terminal. After a five-hour bus trip to Dagupan City, they rode a tricycle to her house in Baranggay Bonuan Gueset. It simply looks like the typical homecoming of a “balikbayan” or a Filipina who returned to the country after working overseas.

But then again Siapno is not typical. According to a Phil. Daily Inquirer column, “Pinoy Kasi” (April 17, 2009), “She earned her master’s from the School of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of London and her Ph.D. from the University of California in Berkeley… Her doctoral research in Indonesia produced a book, ‘Gender, Islam, Nationalism and the State in Aceh.’ She was also associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She teaches at the Universidade da Paz in Dili [That’s in East Timor].”

To top it all, she is Tim…

“Clarify the Win”

“Define what is important at every level of the organization. Clarify the win.”This is the first of the “7 Practices of Effective Ministry,” which Andy Stanley, founding pastor of North Point Community Church and North Point Ministries, wrote. What’s a “win” anyway?

For a basketball team, their win is not how many of their players have commercial endorsements. Every play, every pass, every rebound, every defensive and every offensive move is a means to an end: To shoot the ball into the basket. Their win is how much points they actually scored and how much points they kept their opponents from scoring. It is the scores that would determine who won and who lost. Thus, Stanley wrote, “The church should be more determined than any other kind of organization to ‘clarify the win’ simply because the stakes are so much higher: Eternity hangs in the balance.”(Ibid) If we fail to clarify our win, no matter how busy we are in our church activities, we will end up just playing church.

We sometimes…

“Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Our Lord Jesus asked His disciples that question. Their answer is all-important. To paraphrase what A.W. Tozer wrote, “What we believe about Christ is the most important thing about us.” Religious groups have opposing views about Him. For example, one group denies that He is God and insists that He is a man. Another counters that by saying that He is a god and not man. A group believes that Jesus is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then another group teaches that Jesus and Satan were spirit brothers. But they became enemies because God the Father chose Christ’s plan of salvation over Satan. And the divergent views go on. Thus, we need to know what we believe about Jesus and why we believe it.

Second Corinthians 11:3-4 gave this warning, “And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ. It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—differ…