I just remembered that today is September 11, and while wandering around the internet, I found a video tribute to some of the Filipino casualties on that tragic and fateful day. I guess it serves as a reminder that 9/11 isn’t just an “American” tragedy – it was everyone’s tragedy …
(“Saan Ka Man Naroroon” is a traditional Filipino ballad, and is roughly translated as “Wherever You May Be”)
What Easter is about …
Despite the title of this blog entry, the past week had been anything but. Days had been filled with work-related stress, the pressure to meet standards and deadlines – and sadness. Some weeks ago, I found out through Facebook that a former high school student in the school I used to teach leaped to his death from the 4th floor of a shopping mall in Manila. He was diagnosed as schizophrenic and bi-polar. He struggled with this condition for most of his life and even blogged about it. He loved comic books and writing stories. He was only in his early twenties.
And through private messages in Facebook, I learned from another former student and one of the school’s coordinators that another student passed away. I taught in their Reading and English classes when they were in Grades 4 and 5. He had a lovable sense of humor and was hooked on the Percy Jackson series of books. Last year, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. On Tuesday morning, he never woke up. He was around 17 years old.
Grief and a sense of loss – these were emotions that should’ve been better felt by their families, their friends, the people who have been really close to them. And I wondered at times why these incidents affected me so. I’ve only paid a few, intermittent visits to my old place of work. Liking and commenting on my old students’ and former colleagues’ Facebook posts was, for the most part, the extent of my connections with them. So why do I sometimes catch myself weeping at my workstation?
While talking about the incident with 2 sympathetic and understanding co-workers, I quoted a line from “LOTR: The Two Towers” – “No parent should have to bury their child.” It then eventually dawned on me – things ought to have been the other way around. This should not have happened. And yet – they did.
I suppose that’s it then. It’s almost like losing your own child. As one of their many “second parents”, this was how I suppose it felt like. While I grieve for now, I send prayers to you both. Ado, those demons are forever banished and you can step out smiling from the shadows. Lem, I’m sure the angels are laughing at your many jokes and quips.
“Let happy be where sadness was …”
When you’re about to make a tough decision:
everyone else will have a vision for your life.
Your parents, who love you but are living through you.
Your best friend, who has selfish motives and secret agendas.
Your other friends, who don’t think about you during the day.
The culture, which aims at your wallet.
Some pop song, written by a guy in a 3000 dollar chair.
A movie, which holds you in a spell like a drunken stupor.
Even you, who can so easily deceive yourself with promises you keep breaking.
Don’t trust it. Don’t trust some articulate well-spun wisdom. Don’t trust that blogger. Don’t trust me. They might say good things, when it’s really dressed-up advice made to sound good so you would call them wise, and they’re not even following it themselves.
There is only One Voice who knows you better than…
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A bit late (apologies to those in the US), but still – here’s a little something that we can all learn from …
Why is it that I want to get better, I want to be unstuck from where I am, but I don’t do what I should do? If I really wanted to experientially know and serve God, I’d at least try. But I don’t. How to I really learn to WANT something desperately? Resolve in my heart that I want it? People keep saying resolve in your heart to follow God but I don’t know how to want something that badly no matter how much I’ve suffered and no matter how much good I know He is. No one seems to understand.
So a long, long time ago (in a galaxy called here) was a dude who had the same problem, and he wrote about this struggle in a letter that we now call the Book of Romans, in Chapter 7, which says,
I do not understand what…
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Somehow I forgot to post this when it was written in 2010. Of course it seems as relevant now as it did then. This piece is an excerpt from my 2010 book Unearthed: How Discovering the Kingdom of God Will Transform the Church and Change the World.
Too many times we as Christians have been the loudest and most vocal voices and many times we have not represented or embodied the way, life, and teachings of your Son Jesus.
Our judgmental and condemning voices have become a poor representation of Jesus in the community and the larger world and have left many who do not know anything about Jesus with a bad taste in their mouths and a deep contempt for your Church.
Too many times we are quick to say that we are the “defenders of the faith,” or the “protectors of our Christians heritage.” Yet…
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