Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Privileged Minority

Homeless abode...Munich, Germany.
Children happy with their homemade toys...Taveuni, Fiji.
Man at work...Cuzco, Peru.

Those of us in the US of A are part of the privileged minority. No matter if we earn minimum wage, live in a rented room, ride a bus or the trolley to work, or bring a sack lunch to save money instead of going out to a restaurant with the rest of the gang...

Raul and Ruben, street children -- "my orphans" -- Cuzco, Peru.
We are part of the privileged minority when we can finish secondary school without paying for our education, if we even own one phone or TV or car (let alone 2 or 3 or more in one family), have computers and laptops and libraries and Walmarts and Starbucks and Pizzahut... And...and...and...

Peruvian mother with her twins...sewing to support her sons.
As CHRISTians, what are we going to do about it? As a believer, what are you going to do about it? As a fully devoted follower of JESUS CHRIST, what am i going to do about it?

But the poor will always be around, JESUS Himself said...So what then is more important? What is even of a higher priority?

Mother with four children, selling hand-puppets to tourists...Peru.
This: to share the privilege of knowing GOD.

But how can one know GOD, for He is beyond human comprehension, way beyond the grasp of the finite mind, no matter how high the IQ. How can the finite know the infinite? It's like asking the man born blind -- do you know light?

Outhouse of my childhood home...Philippines.
The only way to know GOD is to know JESUS, the Person. When one knows JESUS, He knows GOD Himself. GOD accomplished His will through Moses and Abraham and David, as He did through His prophets and kings and judges as recorded in the Old Testament -- but did they have a personal, one-on-one relationship with Him? Moses did. GOD spoke with him as a friend...and Moses wrote that GOD has promised that One would come after him. The nation of Israel looked to the promise -- and that promise, that hope, did not become reality until GOD Himself became manifest in the flesh, as JESUS, the CHRIST, Son of Man.

Naselesele Village kids...Taveuni, Fiji.
Most people may believe that they know GOD because they have accepted certain information about Him through hearsay at schools, or from church-going, or from the media; or have read enough of the Scriptures (Old or New Testament) to get a deep enough understanding of Who He is...but unless the Holy SPIRIT is in the person, the Holy Scriptures will remain a mystery to him/her. Only by the indwelling Holy SPIRIT of GOD will the reader receive true revelation of what the Word of GOD is all about -- and the Holy Scriptures is all about CHRIST JESUS.

Little girl in Western garb...Peru.JESUS gives to anyone who believes in Him the gracious privilege of knowing GOD, the Father of all, Creator and Sustainer of all. And because as born-again CHRISTians (whether of this or that denomination -- Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Assembly of GOD, Pentecostal...), we can never ever give enough or do enough to thank GOD for His gift of grace, salvation through CHRIST -- so the most important work is to share the Word of Truth -- JESUS. For In CHRIST, is GOD Himself, by the indwelling Holy SPIRIT. Whoever has CHRIST abiding in him/her, also has the Almighty Father of all Creation, by His Holy SPIRIT.

So the poor will be with us is the love of CHRIST working through us which will cause us to reach out to them and help them in material ways if need be. But even in more dire straits than the poor of the poorest third-world country are the lost souls who don't know GOD. Whether they be millionaires or blue-collar workers, without CHRIST, they are destitute indeed.

My Cuzco orphans...dessert and goodbyes.They may have all the material comforts at their disposal, or they may be in debt up to their ears, or merely eking out a living, or even begging for a hand out -- without peace with GOD, their Creator, they are living in poverty -- living with unquenchable thirst, gnawing hunger, living in a famine that only GOD Himself can satisfy.

Hired Launderess...Philippines.
Man is spirit clothed in flesh...GOD is SPIRIT, and spirit finds true life only by abiding in the SPIRIT. True love and communion is experienced only when spirit bows down to SPIRIT, the SPIRIT of GOD. And the Way is by the blood of His Cross alone can a person come to the gracious privilege of knowing GOD. There is no other way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flowers of the LORD

Psalm 103:15-17
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die,
The wind blows, and we are gone --
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the LORD
remains forever with those who fear Him. Job 14:2
Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither.
Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear.
Isaiah 40:7-8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
James 1:10-11
...but the rich in his humiliation,
because as a flower of the field
he will pass away.
For no sooner has the sun risen
with a burning heat than it withers the grass;
its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes
So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.1 Peter 1:24
All flesh is as grass,

And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers, a
nd its flower falls away,

But the word of the LORD endures forever.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Whether one is a sophisticated, briefcase-toting Wall Street broker in New York, or a sunbaked "Zonie" from Arizona, or a laid back surfer dude from California, or a poi eating, hula dancing "native" of Hawaii -- the US of America is all of us...and blessed indeed to be living in a country founded by CHRISTian men who believed in the One True GOD.
Just in case some people have forgotten, or truly do not know that the US of America was founded by CHRISTian leaders, here's George Washington's (first president of the US of America) prayer for the nation:
Almighty GOD, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in thy holy protection, that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.Grant our supplications, we beseech Thee, through JESUS CHRIST, our Lord. Amen.

(Written at Newburg, June 8, 1783, and sent to the Governors of all the States.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Have You Ever Heard Rocks Sing?

Have you ever heard rocks sing? Or baby waves whisper sweet somethings?

Have you ever seen a curtain of rain?
Or a rainbow upside down?

Have you ever felt the silk of a rose petal upon your cheek?
Or a cat's tongue rough on your palm?

Have you ever whistled the wind to a hermit crab?
Or a secret melody to the Beloved One?

Have you ever embraced a tree with reverence for GOD?
Or a lifeless bundled one?

Have you ever tasted the sweetness of sea urchin eggs?
Or the salt of your own tears?

Have you ever smelled the freshness of morning fog?

Or the tang of a wind-blown ocean breeze?

Have you ever seen a heart in the clouds?
Or a heart broken and bleeding?

Have you ever been loved as JESUS loved the lost?
Or loved anyone as CHRIST has loved you?

i can say yes to all but the last --
So i pray each and every day,
LORD, make me a channel
for Your love to flow through me --
so that i may love others as you have loved me,
One day at a time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Reason for Every Season

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.
Munich, Germany Munich...
Sedona, Arizona
Quebec, Canada
Jardin Ceres, Quebec...

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, a
nd a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, a
nd a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, a
nd a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain, a
nd a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, a
nd a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, a
nd a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:2-8)