Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Message by George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Forwarded by a friend. Thanks Icel! :D


Friday, September 26, 2008

Daily Digest #150

Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. —Colossians 3:1

Just the other night, I remembered a very dear person and earnestly prayed for her. As the Scripture says: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." -- Col 3:12-13. Then last night, I received the most amazing news! My prayer has been answered, and much, much more than I wished for! It's just the perfect birthday present :D

Indeed, God gives us everything we need. He showers us with His abundant blessings -- our families, our friends, our jobs, our health, our neighborhood, our community. Many times we thought He hasn't been listening to our cries and answering our prayers. But He always does! Even the things we have not thought of yet, He already gives. Many times does He provide the solution ahead of our problems. In the highest and lowest points of our lives, we realize how things work out for the best, only if we choose to see. Just the same when everything seems boring and uneventful. We tend to become restless and disheartened. But I learned that it is His way of reminding us to sit back, keep praying, obediently follow His will and patiently wait.... because He's surely got something cookin' up there :D

For this, let us pray. May we never lose hope, and believe that we will be made perfect in His way and time. May we always be faithful to Him, as He has been to us. May we ask God to cleanse our hearts. May we seek His will, and not our own. May we always count our blessings. May we allow Jesus Christ to live in us, and make our Heavenly Father smile. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #149

The fruit of the Spirit is . . . longsuffering. —Galatians 5:22

Wow, patience! Major "whooo-pishhhh!" and "kablaaammmm!" to me! Impatience has been very much evident in my life. I easily blow up when I am not in the mood and then someone provokes me. Dealing with impatience can be a serious problem for moody people like me. We usually find ourselves hurting other people, although we may not mean it. Because of our emotional outbursts, innocent people usually suffer the blow.

I realized all these when I found the root of my bad mood (which varies from time to time). Sometimes we get so irritable because we lack sleep. Or maybe we just allowed ourselves to be bothered by trivial things. The problem with trivial things is that they ALWAYS seem to be a very big deal at first. So it is important that we learn to find a way to come back to our senses.

For me, God's Word has been the key, plus the help of some friends who made me look at things at a different perspective. I was a fool to ignore all these from the start. I knew, yet I allowed myself to be stubborn.

For this, I personally thank God for always reminding me that He is here. I thank Him for sending help whenever I can't find the courage to ask. I thank Him for making me feel loved and comforted (I really love it when friends tell me "Jesus loves you", or "smile always"). May we ask for His guidance everyday, that He may tame our tongues and lead our thoughts and actions to righteousness. May our lives be a reflection of God's love. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #148

They desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God. —Hebrews 11:16

Who is building your life? You or God? I had been stubborn many times before. Just recently, I began to take control of my life again. With just a few words, I have allowed myself to be disrupted, triggering several days of debate inside my head. There were moments prior to this realization when Truth was trying to speak, but I ignored and carried on with my ways. Others' words became my basis of truth. I tried to fight it, but I eventually lost track of what I was fighting for. Then it occurred to me, where have I placed God in all of this? I have allowed myself to be bothered by trivial things that I forgot about His power over me.

Through it all, God has made me realize how He builds a temple for each of us, which is found right within our own bodies. And in this temple, He shall be seated at the very center. For this, let us pray.... May we allow God to mold us. May He be the center of our lives. May we always remember that He is in control, and that He will never forsake us. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #147

Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. —1 John 3:18

Action really speaks louder than words. Love and help does not end with the words we utter -- we prove them through our actions. We can't say "i'm with you in prayer" when in fact, we are fully capable of doing something about it. I think it's selfish and cowardly. Unfortunately, we don't get the love or help we need from the people we think who share our sentiments all the time. But God has a way of extending a helping hand to us in moments of desperation, and love in times of loneliness and weakness.

For this, let us pray. May God bless the helpful, the compassionate and the faithful, especially those who give their time unselfishly to others. May we learn from them, and pray that we may be molded into these characters someday. May we also ask God to heal those who are in pain, comfort and strengthen the scarred and the weak, and give endless hope to those who are on the verge of giving up. Pray always.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

True Friendship


How can we find true friendship in this often phony, temporary world? Friendship involves recognition or familiarity with another's personality. Friends often share likes and dislikes, interests, pursuits, and passion.

How can we recognize potential friendship? Signs include a mutual desire for companionship and perhaps a common bond of some kind. Beyond that, genuine friendship involves a shared sense of caring and concern, a desire to see one another grow and develop, and a hope for each other to succeed in all aspects of life. True friendship involves action: doing something for someone else while expecting nothing in return; sharing thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or negative criticism.

Relationship, Trust, Accountability

True friendship involves relationship. Those mutual attributes we mentioned above become the foundation in which recognition transpires into relationship. Many people say, "Oh, he's a good friend of mine," yet they never take time to spend time with that "good friend." Friendship takes time: time to get to know each other, time to build shared memories, time to invest in each other's growth.

Trust is essential to true friendship. We all need someone with whom we can share our lives, thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. We need to be able to share our deepest secrets with someone, without worrying that those secrets will end up on the Internet the next day! Failing to be trustworthy with those intimate secrets can destroy a friendship in a hurry. Faithfulness and loyalty are key to true friendship. Without them, we often feel betrayed, left out, and lonely. In true friendship, there is no backbiting, no negative thoughts, no turning away.

True friendship requires certain accountability factors. Real friends encourage one another and forgive one another where there has been an offense. Genuine friendship supports during times of struggle. Friends are dependable. In true friendship, unconditional love develops. We love our friends no matter what and we always want the best for our friends.

Examples of Real Friendship

True friendship stories are found throughout the Bible. In Genesis 18:17-33, we read about God sharing His intentions with Abraham. Abraham responds by telling God his thoughts and feelings about the situation. God and Abraham are able to do this because they trust and respect each other.

First Samuel 20 focuses on the friendship of David and Jonathan. These two men truly cared for each other and had great trust and confidence in one another. David was running for his life from Jonathan's father, Saul. Jonathan recognized that David was innocent. Because of the true friendship they shared, David survived Saul's assassination attempts and went on to become one of Israel's greatest kings.

Real and true friendship involves freedom of choice, accountability, truth, and forgiveness. Peter and Jesus give us this example: Peter, afraid for his life after Jesus is led away from the Garden of Gethsemane, denies knowing Jesus (John 18). As He is led away by His accusers, Jesus casts a look toward Peter that says, "I knew you would deny Me, and I forgive you" (John 21).

Real friendship looks at the heart, not just the "packaging." Genuine friendship loves for love's sake, not just for what it can get in return. True friendship is both challenging and exciting. It risks, it overlooks faults, and it loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt. Genuine friendship, also called "agape" love, comes from the Lord. The Lord Jesus calls us His friends and He laid down His life for us (John 15).

Relationships in real life involve different levels of friendships, and that's okay. But humans are designed by God for lasting relationships. Often our isolationist society offers only vague, empty relationships. God wants us to have friends here on earth. Most of all, He wants us to be friends with Him!

God's Word tells us that a friend sticks closer than a brother, and that in order for one to be a friend, one must show themselves friendly (Proverbs 18:24). The question is: what type of friend do you desire to be?

Proverbs 18:19 in the New Living Translation says: "It's harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars." When we've offended a true friend - whether by breaking a trust or by speaking the truth with love - we risk losing that friendship. We must be careful not to break the trust. But when not speaking the truth will cause greater hurt in our friend's life, we must be willing to sacrifice our needs for those of our friend. That is true friendship.

If we sometimes offend a friend without meaning to, God's Word offers a solution. It's called forgiveness. There is no greater example than the love of God for us. It so great that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in order that our friendship with God might be restored. He did that in spite of the fact that we have offended Him deeply. We have disobeyed His commands, turned our backs on Him, and followed our own path. So the question remains: What type of friend do you want to be? True Christian friendship forgives.

Do you need a friend? God wants to be your true friend. Are you longing for companionship? God is always with you (Hebrews 13:5). Who do you know who needs a true friend today? God wants you to befriend others. He calls us to be His hands and feet in a world starving for true friendship.

Taken from All About God, True Friendship - Trust and Time.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Servants Finish Their Tasks

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” Matthew 25:23 (NLT)

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Real servants are faithful to their ministry. Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments. They don’t leave a job half undone, and they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable.

Faithfulness has always been a rare quality (Psalm 12:1; Proverbs 20:6; Philippians 2:19–22).

Most people don’t know the meaning of commitment. They make commitments casually, then break them for the slightest reason without any hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week, churches and other organizations must improvise because volunteers didn’t prepare, didn’t show up, or didn’t even call to say they weren’t coming.

Can you be counted on by others? Are there promises you need to keep, vows you need to fulfill, or commitments you need to honor?

This is a test. God is testing your faithfulness. If you pass the test, you’re in good company: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Timothy, and Paul were all called faithful servants of God.

Even better, God has promised to reward your faithfulness in eternity. Imagine what it will feel like one day to have God say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23 NLT).

By the way, faithful servants never retire. They serve faithfully as long as they’re alive. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.

Taken from the Purpose Driven Life online, dated 22 September 2008.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Daily Digest #146

They found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. —Luke 2:46

Knowing God is more important than knowing the details. Oswald Chambers says, “Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason – a life of knowing him who calls us to go.” -- Help My Unbelief, Purpose Driven Life dated 6/12/2008

For this, let us pray. May we focus on knowing God. May we open our hearts and listen to His words. May we make time every day to talk to Him, and build a closer relationship with Him through His son, Jesus Christ. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #145

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. —Hebrews 13:2

Allow me to share to you some articles from the Purpose Driven Life online. May we be enlightened and grow a humble servant's heart. Pray always. God bless!



Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now. Proverbs 3:28 (TEV)

Real servants pay attention to needs. Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it, just as the Bible commands us: “Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10 GWT).

When God puts someone in need right in front of you, he is giving you the opportunity to grow in servanthood. Notice that God says the needs of your church family are to be given preference, not put at the bottom of your “things to do” list.

We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity and spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long. They pass quickly, sometimes never to return again. You may only get one chance to serve that person, so take advantage of the moment.

“Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now” (Proverbs 3:28 TEV).

John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was:

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”

That is greatness. You can begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do. Do these little things as if they were great things, because God is watching.


More readings:

Servants Serve with What They Have

Real Servants Pay Attention



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Daily Digest #144

I did not say . . . , “Seek Me in vain.” —Isaiah 45:19

I have gathered a couple of short prayers.... Let us offer this prayer together.

We thank You for this day. We thank You for all days of work and play. We thank you for the nights of calm, restful sleep. We give thanks to You for sustaining us daily. Most of all, we give You praise for your love and forgiveness through your son, Jesus Christ.

Please forgive us for not taking the time out of our busy lives to thank You for all the many blessings You give us. You are the reason we have the ability to have full lives in the first place. We thank You for guiding us in the right direction and granting us Your grace so we can worthily praise your name forever.

We pray that You give us the courage and strength to let go of earthly possessions that are Yours to begin with. Tender our hearts at losing something of worldly value and show us Your heavenly word that's of more importance. Teach us the truth that all material things can be replaced, but the price of a human life is forever irreplaceable. Show us, through the teachings of Your Son, that all things on earth come from You. Whatever You give, You can also take away. Lord, help us to always remember that truth.

We pray for all of the people who are sick in body, mind and in soul, for they need Your healing hands to comfort and guide them. Give them the strength and the wisdom to see the ways of Your word. We also pray to you God to help us help others in need. We also ask you to bring humbleness to the proud, meekness to the mighty, compassion to the unfeeling, wisdom and learning to the unlearned, happiness to the oppressed and saddened, comfort to the grieving, friendship to the lonely, and above all, love to our brothers and sisters who choose to hate others. We pray this humble prayer through your son, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

God bless everyone!

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Daily Digest #143

When they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God. —1 Peter 2:12

The apostle Peter understood the dangers of unfounded criticism. He wrote, “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12).

Criticism can consume our lives to the point of emotional paralysis, or we can set our hearts to serve God faithfully undeterred by that criticism and put our God on display. When we do that, we won’t need to answer our critics with words—our lives will say all that is needed. — Bill Crowder

If we keep doing what is right—
And serving Christ each day,
We need not fear what others think
Nor what the critics say. —D. De Haan

The most powerful testimony is a godly life.


Amen to that. I can only think of one word: judgment. We are all so quick to judge sometimes. We forget that only God knows what truly is in our hearts. Anyway, no matter what others think or say about us, we can only ask ourselves: has God been glorified? Do our actions speak of God's love in our lives?

For this, let us pray. May our lives be a reflection of God's love. May we glorify His name in everything we say or do. May we do our utmost everyday. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #142

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. —Acts 16:31

How did you come to know Jesus Christ in your life? My story is this: I used to be the type of Christian who remembers God only on special occasions -- well, actually, I focused on partying or going out of town or just enjoying a long break during Christmas and Lenten seasons. I went to church just because the priests or older people told me to do so. I never really understood what the religious practices were for. I usually blamed the lack of regular catechism in school from high school until college. When I began to question them, many of my expectations weren't met that I became more hesitant to engage myself in anything that involved the church. I did pray, but only at times of confusion or loneliness or pressure. But I never really recognized God as my savior, my source of comfort or my best friend.

When I came to Thailand, I spent my first 3 years on pleasure and comfort. It was fun. But it came to a point when I became restless. It felt like something was missing in my life. I tried being alone for a while, thinking that was all I needed. It got lonely after several months, so I decided to go out and meet new people. Luckily, I found a Christian community. It felt like 1st day of school again. But I never really expected that God would introduce Himself to me. It happened after 3 months in the community, of Bible-reading and learning songs. I started listening to Christian music along with my Scripture-reading (which I did half-heartedly because I thought it was sooo "hard core" and un-cool). Then I heard the song "Come To Jesus"... I found myself crying out of nowhere. I replayed the track several times and found myself praying, thanking Him (which I rarely did), asking for forgiveness, and so sure that He was listening to every word. Everything else after that had been a wonderful journey. There had been difficult trials, but He gave me a different perspective on things that I ended up praising Him more. I also learned to count my blessings more. I realized how He always makes a way for me to witness Him each day, only if I choose to see or listen.

For me, to know God personally is the greatest privilege one could ever have. I can only wish to build a stronger relationship with Him. I can only pray that I would have the same faith as He has in me. I share this prayer with you, that too He may grant you the same wish. May he continue to teach us about love, patience, faith and hope. Pray always.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Daily Digest #141

If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. —1 Timothy 5:8

Let me share to you the September 11th entry of My Utmost for His Highest (read below). Each of us is called everyday to do a task for His purpose and glory. We perform different kinds of service to people around us, which some may have already developed into a habit. Depending on the weight of what we do, we often categorize the sacrificial from the non-sacrificial. We say we sacrifice when we give up something that we love (like our time, or our "freedom") for the sake of another. But how much of it comes truly from the heart, and not just out of obligation? How often does it bring inner joy? Have we show enough mercy and compassion? Do we do it with love?

For this let us pray. May we put the faith we claim into practice. May we pour our hearts into everything that we do -- may it be in our regular jobs, our daily chores, missionary work, caring for the sick or elderly, or tending our children -- with love and joy, as if doing it for the Lord. May we learn the true meaning of sacrifice. Pray always.

Missionary Weapons

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet —John 13:14

Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.

The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.

Jesus said, "I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.

Do you find yourself responding by saying, "Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field"? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield--you will be killed while trying to do it.

We have to go the "second mile" with God (see Matthew 5:41 ). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, "Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life." But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.

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Daily Digest #140

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. —Romans 12:6

I am one of those people who believe that everything has a reason. I believe that one is placed in a situation at a given time because he/she is meant to be there. The only question is, what will I do with the time given to me? I find myself in ordinary situations and end up learning something unexpected or extraordinary many times. A plain day suddenly turns into a life-changing event. Like meeting a person, who later on becomes a good friend. When I look back and trace how I met people in my dearest relationships, I see the day just like any other. But the "chance encounter" made all the difference in the world.

When we find ourselves helping or talking to random strangers, we may not realize it but we may have an impact on someone's life, or they in us. Many are also moved by skills and talents like singing or writing poetry, or acts of charity. We may also think we don't gain anything from the services or kindness or smile that we share that we start to feel bored or useless, but we'll never know how many of those people we met have silently prayed for us, or have passed it on. Looking at the big picture, we realize how magnificent God's plan is for each of us. We're all pieces of a puzzle. He's really got everything figured out.

For this, let us pray. May we make the most of the time given to us. May we start the day with a smile. May we not think of what we can get but rather what we can give. May we listen to His call. May we seek His will for us each day. May we be like those who start the day with a prayer, asking God "what would You have me do today?" with love and gladness. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #139

You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. —Exodus 22:22-23

Let me share you an article from the Purpose Driven Life. It reminds us of God's love and how He teaches us to love through him. May we allow Him to mold us into perfection, in His way and in His time. May we learn to listen to His voice and obey. May we develop a prayerful lifestyle so we may not be led astray.

True: God's Love Fills Me

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

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Today's guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker –

In faith, I know these things to be true:

* God is full of love and grace, and he fills me with his love and grace.

* God's work within me is to clear a channel for his love and grace to flow through me into the lives of anyone and everyone I meet.

* I may not be there yet, but I am "confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6 NIV).

* And I know "God is able to make all grace abound [in me], so that in all things at all times, having all that [I] need, [I] will abound in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV).

* He will make my joy complete because I no longer live in darkness, but I now live in the truth and have fellowship with God (1 John 1:4; 1 John 1:6).

* Through the "Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit," I am, at all times, filled with grace, mercy, and peace (2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV).

This is what I believe to be true and I will walk accordingly, allowing God to do his work in me from the inside out. Father, make it so. I believe; help my unbelief.

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Daily Digest #138

The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” —Genesis 3:12

Excuses, excuses :D We're all so full of alibis. We often tend to say these "white lies" just to get ourselves off the hook. I remember watching a funny skit on tv, when one character came home late. Knowing that he'll be scolded by his wife, he started a monologue (in tagalog) as his wife opened the door.... "why have i just arrived now?! don't i know how late it is??!? don't i know that my wife is getting worried and still up waiting for me??!?!" ...then walked straight to the bedroom, leaving his wife awe-struck.

Nobody wants to be blamed that we tend to turn the matter around for our own favor. Though some instances may be hilarious, there are things that are to be taken seriously, and responsibly. Honesty is truly the best policy. Personally, I try to remind myself every time that no secret will be left undiscovered, so it's better to tell the truth as soon as possible. Because I would appreciate it very much also if someone was brave enough to tell me the truth, no matter how hard or how painful. Many times, it ended up making my relationship with another person stronger; if not, it had certainly allowed myself more room to grow.

For this, let us pray.... May we learn to accept personal responsibility for our actions. May we ask God for strength and courage to practice honesty. At the same time, may we not be so quick to judge, and learn to show mercy and forgiveness when asked of us. May we also learn from previous mistakes so we may not repeat them and suffer the consequences. May we continue to pray for each other. Have a wonderful day!

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Daily Digest #137

Each one’s praise will come from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5

I was once asked before, when you die and you meet Jesus at the gate, what would you wish for Him to tell you? I remember answering "you did just fine" or "welcome home!" I mean, how great would it be to receive the biggest compliment one could ever get?

As I look at the things I think, say and do in my life, I admit that not all are pleasing to God. Just yesterday, I was too proud to initiate a friendly gesture to another person who I'm not so comfortable with. I certainly do not despise the person. I guess I have just not been able to completely erase the bad impression I had before. But I always had/have the choice to do good, no matter how I was/am treated by others.

I would like to share this article sent by a good friend yesterday. May we be enlightened, and learn to please God rather than please ourselves. May we humble ourselves before Him and seek His will. May we build a closer relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ. Pray always.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is It Loving?

“[Love] is not rude.” -- 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV

When defining what love is not, Paul put rudeness on the list. “It is not rude.” The Greek word for rude means shameful or disgraceful behavior.

An example of rudeness was recently taken before the courts in Minnesota. A man fell out of his canoe and lost his temper. Though the river was lined with vacationing families, he polluted the air with obscenities. Some of those families sued him. He said, “I have my rights.”

God calls us to a higher, more noble concern. Not “What are my rights?” but “What is loving?”

Do you have the right to dominate a conversation? Yes, but is it loving to do so?…

Is it within your rights to bark orders at the clerk or snap at the kids? Yes. But is it loving to act this way?

Taken from Max Lucado online dated 11 September 2008.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Warrior of the Light

I just came across this blog and found a very inspiring explanation of what "warrior of the light" means. I am a Paulo Coelho fan, and I would like to share this article with you. Happy reading! God bless you, blogger, whoever you are.


The term "warrior of the light" may seem very "new-age", as my father would call it, or perhaps something you'd hear out of a fantasy novel or something. Personally, I really like that term. "Warrior of the light". I think it sounds cool. Well, yes, I am the sort who commonly plays fantasy games and such so yeah, it should sound cool to me.

But not only that. My Chinese name is 保亮. The literal translation of that would be "Protector of the Light", and yes, essentially that is the meaning of my Chinese name. Very paladin-ish sounding name eh? Heh. Well, I know that God has a reason for giving me this name and that in due time He'll show me what this name means with respect to my life destiny.

Let's not drift. Warriors of the light. What exactly does that mean? I did some study on the term "light" in the Bible, and well, I am convinced that the term "light" signifies 3 things. What are these 3 things?

1. God
2. Christ
3. Christians

Firstly, "light", is God. Of course the bible mentions that God is love as well, but it is also stated that God IS light. 1 John 1:5, "And this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." Darkness, is the universal symbol and condition of sin and death, and light being holiness because God is holy.

Next, "light" also symbolises Jesus Christ. Not only because Jesus is God, but also because the light in this case is slightly different. I will explain further. John 8:12, "Then Jesus spoke again to them saying, I am the light of the world..."

Lastly, we are "light" as well. Everyone who catches and reflects the light of God and of Christ is called light. Just like John the Baptist was described in John 5:35, "He was a burning and shining light, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light." John 12:36, "While you have the Light, believe in the Light so that you may become sons of Light..."

So then, light can symbolise so many things. But what does it all mean? How do these forms of light relate to one another? Let me put it this way:

Picture God as a blazing campfire which generates much light and heat. We, mankind, are merely candles, unlit candles that is. Now, the candles should be lit, for that's what candles are made for, to carry a flame. However, the blazing fire can't light the candles. Imagine if i used a flamethrower to light a candle. What would happen? The candle would melt and disintegrate. The fire is just too big and powerful for the candle. So how then can all the candles be lit? It took a single candle, which was lit from the blazing campfire. This candle, was sent to the rest of the candles to light them, and after being lit, each candle would light another and so on.

That's how it is. The light needed to be spread to man, but God couldn't do it as God. So, He passed on the light to a man, this man being God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sent to spread the light, just as the beautiful song states, "Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes and let me see.." And even now as Jesus sits at the right hand of God, the task to spread the light has been entrusted to man.

For a time such as this, whereby man is drifting further and further from the light, we need to rise up as warriors of the light. Warriors of God, warriors of Christ, warriors of Christians. Warriors are called to fight, to fight the darkness and spread the light. In every fight, in every battle, there will be injuries, there will be setbacks. Are you ready to be a warrior of the light?

Taken from Preach It, Reach It blog dated 4 January 2007.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Blessing in "NO"

I asked God to take away my pride.
God said "NO."
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said "NO."
Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said "NO."
Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said "NO."
I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said "NO."
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said "NO."
You must grow on your own,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said "NO."
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
God said…Ahhh, finally you have the idea!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

The True Religion

At home, it is kindness.
In business, it is honesty.
In society, it is courtesy.
In work, it is thoroughness.
In play, it is fairness.
Toward the fortunate, it is congratulations.
Toward the weak, it is help.
Toward wickedness, it is forgiveness.
Toward God, it is reverence, love and obedience.

Taken from the Anglican Digest


The Real Work

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. --Mark 16:15 NLT

"'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" --Matthew 22:37-38 NLT


On October 20, 1968, a dramatic moment took place at the Mexico City Olympics. A few thousand spectators remained in the almost-dark Olympic Stadium awaiting one last runner.

Finally the wail of police sirens ripped the air. As all eyes turned to the gate, a lone runner wearing the colors of Tanzania staggered into the stadium. John Stephen Akhwari was the last contestant to finish the 26-mile contest. He had injured his leg in a fall and entered the track bloodied and crudely bandaged. While he hobbled the final, lonely lap, spectators rose and applauded him as if he had won.

After the race, someone asked him why he had refused to quit. "My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race," he replied simply. "They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it."

To help us achieve a strong finish in our race of faith, Jesus Christ promised that "Whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man will also confess before the angels of God."

You too can finish the race well by eagerly confessing Christ before others.

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale House), pp 257-59


Friday, September 05, 2008

Daily Digest #136

Because they had no root they withered away. —Matthew 13:6

I really needed to hear/read this! More often do I concern myself with my shoots rather than my roots.

The first time I felt how He loved me, it created an overwhelming feeling within me. It was all feeling in the beginning. Little did I know that it wouldn't last... unless I did something to strengthen my faith. He made me realize how important prayer and Scripture-reading are.

He wants to communicate with us, although he already knows what is inside our hearts. Because it is the time when He gives us His answers, which may also come out from our own mouths, or directly from the Word of God. He wants us to free ourselves from worrying about what we could produce, because it will all come in His way, and His time. We get so anxious about pleasing ourselves or others that we forget to ask if we are pleasing Him. He wants our whole selves to be deeply rooted in His Word and prayer so when the times comes that we are called to do His will, we will not be shaken or stirred to the opposite direction.

He practices and tests our character through our day-to-day callings, on what we do for every person we meet, or every situation we get ourselves into.... That's how we can assess, not only how much we've grown upward, but more importantly, downward. Let us look back to our past trials and ask ourselves: How deep are my roots?

For this, let us pray. May we not be anxious in producing branches, but rather in strengthening our roots grounded in God's Word and prayer. May we build a closer relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ. May His will be done, and not ours. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #135

I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. —Matthew 27:4

We all have, and been, betrayed before. Every unkept promise, lie, deliberate rudeness or thoughtlessness is an act of betrayal. Betrayal loses trust. And once a person's trusts is broken, although forgiveness may come in swiftly, it would take time and effort to get one's trust back. It is like a stain that cannot be easily removed, unless bleached, scrubbed and rinsed religiously. Betrayal causes sorrow, but one who has truly repented of his/her faults would go lengths to prove that he/she has had a change of heart. Trust is earned. One can only endure, hope and pray, for the outcome is always up to God. Just as Jesus unceasingly forgives our sins, He wants to build His trust in us, and ours in Him.

Jesus said to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I guess this is the only way we can truly live in harmony. It takes away selfishness, envy, greed and pride. And because each of us is a representation of His son, what we do to others we also do to Him. When we hurt others, we hurt Him. When we love others, we love Him.

For this, let us pray. May God teach us real love. May He guide our thoughts, words and actions in every choice we make. May we believe that God forgives, and that He wants to trust us. At the same time, may we learn to trust His ways and grow in faith. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #134

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!” — Haggai 1:7

As we are in a state of emergency here in Thailand, we are given 2 days off, from today until tomorrow. May we pray for peace and unity in this country.

I would like to share an interview with you (read below, or click here). It shows how much God loves us each of us despite of our disobedience and distrust. He is always here, even when we tend to forget Him most of the time. May we learn to look up to Him, trust His ways, and grow in faith. May we build a closer relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. Pray always.

The Interview with God

I dreamed I had an interview with God.

“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.

“If you have the time” I said.

God smiled. “My time is eternity.”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”

“What surprises you most about humankind?”

God answered...
“That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again.”

“That they lose their health to make money...
and then lose their money to restore their health.”

“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”

"That they live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived.”

God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while.

And then I asked...
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”

“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”

“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”

“To learn to forgive
by practicing forgiveness.”

“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in those they love,
and it can take many years to heal them.”

“To learn that a rich person
is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”

“To learn that there are people
who love them dearly,
but simply have not yet learned
how to express or show their feelings.”

“To learn that two people can
look at the same thing
and see it differently.”

“To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another,
but they must also forgive themselves.”

"Thank you for your time," I said humbly.
"Is there anything else
you would like your children to know?"

God smiled and said,
“Just know that I am here... ALWAYS.”

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Daily Digest #133

Lest you forget the things your eyes have seen . . . teach them to your children and your grandchildren. —Deuteronomy 4:9

Experience is a great teacher. It is when our character is tested. It is when we know ourselves better, revealing another side of our being that we have never seen before. No matter which role we play -- a good example or a terrible warning -- our experiences bring out life's important lessons. It is through experience that we learn about the truth first hand. Every experience is a testimony of God's love, grace and mercy.

Let us honor our parents and elders for sharing their experiences to us, imparting wisdom so we may learn to avoid or endure present or future trials. They may seem knowing and insistent, but they really know better because of everything they have gone through. May we do the same, or even greater than these. May their testimonials give us the strength and courage to open up and share the lessons that we can impart to others. May we also believe that even among dozens of listeners and spectators, at least one truly listens and relates to what is being shared... and that's always worth the effort.

Sometimes, even the cruelest or the most boring person we know teaches the greatest lessons in life. May we learn to focus on the message, because it may come when we least expect it. Pray always.

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Daily Digest #132

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. —John 13:14

Titles are overrated. They may look good in resumés, plaques hanging on the wall, organization charts, or newspapers, but how often do they show one's true colors?

It's a common human weakness to be easily blinded by fame, wealth or power. We often attach ourselves to things that can be taken away any time, neglecting our relationships with other people, and with God. We forget that everything we have is a blessing, and that we ought to take responsibility to use it for His glory. We thirst for attention that we even have the nerve to claim that we are "humble", as if unworthy of praise, yet our actions scream out "praise me!!!" More often do those who do not seek, or are not given, attention and praise, get the most work done. It is truly not what we're called, but what we do that counts.

For this, let us pray. May we make Jesus the ultimate example in our lives. May we leave the counting of good works and service to God, and focus on doing the best we can in everything, may it be in our jobs or our daily chores/routine. May we see that each day offers a brand new opportunity for us to do good and express love and kindness to each other. May God bless us with a humble servant's heart. May we empty ourselves of our egos, our selfishness, and of anything else that may keep us from walking in the fullness of Christ, so He may use us fully for His purpose. May we make God smile on us today. Pray always.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Farewell Letter From A Genius

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, famous writer from Colombia, and Nobel Peace Prize winner for literature, has retired from public life for reasons of health. He has a form of cancer, which is terminal. He has sent a farewell letter to his friends.

It is recommended reading because it is moving to see how one of the best and most brilliant of writers expresses himself & with sorrow. (Even as I'm SURE this would have sounded TWICE as good in Spanish, let us enjoy the English version nonetheless. ..)

He says:

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn't, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful of all I say. I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn't arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father's finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say 'I love you'.

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old.

Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn't wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them 'I am sorry';' forgive me',' please' 'thank you', and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don't do it today...tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn't matter either.

NOW is the moment to do it.

For you,
With much love,
Your Friend,

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain"