Posts

Showing posts from June, 2015

5-4

Image
Five liberal justices ruled in favor, four conservative justices dissented. “In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic victory.” [1] (The labels “liberal” and “conservative” were not mine. It’s CNN’s, by the way.) Justice Anthony Kennedy penned the historic albeit controversial decision. (Read it here.) No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. … It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal d…

Oooops! Undo Send

Image
“Think before you click” is a great mantra.

Until, Gmail rolled out its new feature: The “undo send” button. Gmail, the world’s most popular email platform, now gives users the option to set time delay between 5 and 30 seconds before sending an email. You’ll have that much time to hit “undo send” and save yourself heartache. [1]To enable, click on the gear wheel icon at the top right of your Gmail interface. Choose “Settings.”

Click the box that says “Undo Send.” You can also set the “Send cancellation period” from 5 seconds to 30 seconds.

So, let’s say you accidentally clicked the “Send” button while composing your email OR you wrote a scathing reply to a memo from your boss then, after clicking “Send” you realize you should’ve sent it, just click the “Undo” message and it’s undone. Your back to the “Compose” window. That’s all! It’s that easy!

How I only wish something like that could be invented for life’s mistakes!
Still, even if I love this new Gmail feature, I think it’s still better …

Speak the Truth in Love

Image
Though it’s far from trending, an intense debate raged regarding one of my posts on my Facebook timeline a few days ago. It’s about “Our sexuality is not a joke,” a Rappler article where the author, “a staunch gender rights advocate,” [1] appealed But let’s be clear here: when you treat our issues as jokes, you perpetuate the culture of hate and discrimination, the culture of patriarchy and sexism. And when you defend those who make a joke out of us, you give more power to those who constantly oppress and abuse us. [2]I commented, “That's why I tell my sons not to share gay jokes or make fun of them.” We Christians are often accused of discrimination. To my shame, to some degree it’s true. And it reinforces that image when we make fun of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Often it’s said that jokes are half-meant. And, at times, behind it is hate. Someone commented that the LGBTs are to be blamed for the way they dress or conduct themselves. That may be so bu…

The Challenge We Face Now

Image
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,” so goes the opening line of Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Tale of Two Cities,” that was published in 1859. [1]
It appears Dickens’ words could have described the present. 
Our time.

One of the breakout sessions that our young people attended when they joined the just recent Ratio Christi Philippines 2015 was, “Homosexuality: A Response from the Bible and from Science.” When I asked why, they answered something like, “We want to know how to handle it.” As parents, we need to know how to handle it, too. Some joke about it. Others just dismiss it as a non-issue. Like the proverbial wet soap, we are not quite sure how to handle it.

Just more than a month ago, “actor, race-car enthusiast, and 1976 Montreal Summ…

Acceptance

Image
You may have seen those Christian bumper stickers  that say, “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven” or “Christians are not sinless. They just sin less.”
Though there are those who abuse those sayings by using it as a license to sin, the theology behind it is sound. Indeed, grace is God’s unmerited favor to us. We can’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it. Yet, still God gave it to us. He did not wait for us to be perfect to accept us. Grace is free but it is not cheap. It came with the costly price tag. By His atoning death on the cross, we receive forgiveness when we put our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. It’s free to us but costly to God.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
However, even if we enjoyed grace for our salvation, we tend to look for perfection and sinlessness in ourselves, in our loved ones and in our fellow believers. We al…

The Grace of Forgiveness (Part 2)

Image
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult wrote in “Nineteen Minutes,” “When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself.” Thus, to forgive is way much better than to have your revenge. 
We already saw what forgiveness is not. Now, let’s look at what it really is. (Again, I’m indebted to Pastor Ron Edmondson’s “7 Things Forgiveness IS” in writing this article.)[1]
First, forgiveness is “a choice.” You don’t wait to feel that you want to forgive. It’s a choice whether you feel like it or not. That’s why it’s commanded: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25) Note that God the Father forgives when we forgive others. And the way we forgive will be the way He will forgive us: “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12. Emphasis added.)

Second, forgiveness is “letting go o…

The Grace of Forgiveness (Part 1)

Image
To be gracious is to forgive. Our Lord Jesus taught us to pray: “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) He also warned us the consequences of unforgiveness: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (vv. 14-15) That’s why we teach our children to forgive and to ask for forgiveness so they could live grace-filled lives. But before we could see what forgiveness is, we have to see what it is not. (I found Pastor Ron Edmondson’s “7 Things Forgiveness IS NOT” very helpful in writing this article.) [1]

First, forgiveness is not forgetting. Yes, God promised, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12. Emphasis added.) But, He did not say, “I will forget their sins.”He said, “I will remember their sins no more.” “Forgive and forget” is a good title o…

“We need to talk.”

Image
“We need to talk.”
Whether we heard those words from our spouse or from our boss, we feel this sudden surge of fear when we hear it. Questions race in our minds, such as “Am I in trouble?” or “What have I done wrong this time?” We try to guess the reason by recalling how it was said. Was the person smiling or frowning? Which word did he or she emphasize? Was it, “We need to talk” or “We need to talk”?
But, talk time is very important. Especially with our children.  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.(Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Emphasis added.)We are to pass on the truth about who God is, our love for Him and His commands to us to our children. 

And …

The Future Today

Image
Thirty-five years ago, Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist (or, social scientist), wrote these words in the The Third Wave that sounded like he just wrote it yesterday. A powerful tide is surging across much of the world today, creating a new, often bizarre, environment in which to work, play, marry, raise children, or retire. In this bewildering context, businessmen swim against highly erratic economic currents; politicians see their ratings bob wildly up and down; universities, hospitals, and other institutions battle desperately against inflation. Value systems splinter and crash, while the lifeboats of family, church, and state are hurled madly about. [1]Eerie but exact, right? Nowadays, we see the Filipino family attacked like never before. For example, according to a news report, “The number of marriage annulment and nullity cases filed in the country has been steadily rising for the past eight years, with an average of 28 couples seeking to have their marriages declared …