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Showing posts from May, 2013

STEP47: Stand Firm

"Be sober and alert because your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Stand your ground, firm in your faith, knowing that our brothers and sisters, scattered throughout the world, are confronting similar sufferings. God , the giver of all grace, has called you to share in Christ's eternal glory and after you have suffered a little, He will bring you to perfection: He will confirm, strengthen, and establish you forever." (1 Peter 5:8-10)
The devil is real and we are under attack. The family is under attack. And our mission as Christians is to defend, protect, and support one another, having the confidence that God is fighting our battles and has already won the victory for us. We only need to commit our families to the Lord, stand firm, be faithful, be still, and know He is God. :)

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP46: Family Duties

"Children, obey your parents for this is right: Honor your father and your mother. And this is the first commandment that has promise: that you may be happy and enjoy long life in the land. And you, fathers, do not make rebels of your children, but educate them by correction and instruction which the Lord may inspire." (Ephesians 6:1-4)

The Christian family has children who obey and parents who do not neglect their duty as educators. Parents have the difficult task of leading their children to true freedom, teaching them first to obey a law, to serve rather than be served, to share rather than demand. Later, they will show them how to follow the calls of the Spirit, well beyond that is considered good or bad all around them.

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

Smile, Aiza :)

My intention was just to have him sign the requests for payments but when I came to his area, he began to ask. And I don't know what's with him but when he asks, I couldn't help but just tell him what's wrong. He is not God but he knew even before I tell him, He just needed to hear it straight from me. Being the ever-dependable Kuya that he is, he gave me words of wisdom, inspiration, and encouragement. And I love it when he says, "sinasabi ko ito bilang kuya mo." I can feel the sincerity and concern. He's one person I can easily cry to and he would just come to me, hug me, and say, "O tama na ang iyak, malaki ka na." But of course, my closest friends would know that when tears fell down my eyes, they really pour. In other words, mahirap akong patahanin. Thank God there's a prayer area where I can kneel before the crucifix and just cry my heart out. But the funny thing is, I realized I wasn't able to bring a handkerchief. And for the nt…

STEP45: Point Them To God

"And when your child asks you one day: What are these precepts, these commandments, and these norms which Yahweh has commanded us? You shall answer your child: We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, but Yahweh led us out of Egypt with prodigious deeds. And we have seen the great and wonderful things, the awesome marvels He has done against Pharaoh and all his people. And He took us out from there to lead us into the land which He promised to our fathers. Yahweh has commanded us to put into practice all these precepts and to fear Him, our God. Because of this, we are happy and alive today, and we shall be perfect in His eyes if we observe and practice these commandments as he has told us to do." (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)
The family is a domestic church. Parents present God to their children. They do so by teaching their kids the truth about God's faithfulness, generosity, and immense love; by making their children realize that God is indeed the source of all great things and …

STEP44: Leader of the Home

"but a man whose household is well-managed, with obedient and well-mannered children. If he cannot govern his own house, how can he lead of the assembly of God?" (1 Timothy 3:4-5)
The family being the basic unit of society is a place for training leaders - not just leaders who manage people, but spiritual leaders who can be Christ to others and likewise bring others closer to Christ. :)

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

The Truth About That Three-Letter Word

This explains everything. :)

Original article appears here:
Science Proves Premarital Sex Rewires the Brain
There’s a reason why breaking up from a sexual relationship is much more emotionally painful and much harder to forget than one that didn't involve sex. There are several neurochemical processes that occur during sex, which are the “glue” to human bonding.
Sex is a powerful brain stimulant. When someone is involved sexually, it makes him or her want to repeat that act. Their brain produces lots of dopamine—a powerful chemical, which is compared to heroin on the brain. Dopamine is your internal pleasure/reward system. When dopamine is involved, it changes how we remember.
The other part is oxytocin, which is designed to mainly help us forget what is painful. Oxytocin is a hormone produced primarily in women’s bodies. When a woman has a child and she is breastfeeding, she produces lots of…

STEP43: One Flesh

"That is why man leaves his father and mother and is attached to his wife, and with her becomes one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
They become one flesh: in Hebrew it means that they form one single being. This union of the couple is part of their mission. It is not a provisional agreement to enjoy each other, but the union of a family in which God's work is accomplished. Therefore the family will be fruitful and the two will give back to the large human family the treasure of humanity which they received from it.

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP42: God-Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made c…

STEP41: The Example of Love

"This is how we have known what love is: he gave his life for us. We, too, ought to give our life for our brothers and sisters. If anyone enjoys the riches of this world, but closes his heart when he sees his brother or sister in need, how will the love of God remain in him? My dear children, let us love not only with words and with our lips, but in truth and in deed." (1 John 3:16-18)

We don't say love, we DO love. And love is SERVICE love. :)
*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

Say "I Love You!"

I'm supposed to sleep early tonight because I need to wake up early tomorrow for the Cornerstone Teach Expo. But I am just so inspired that I couldn't let this day pass without saying "I love You too, Lord!"
Last night, after exchanging some messages with Kuya Lon, I got a reply which really made me smile: "Thanks sa info, Aiz! Love you. Mwah." I happily replied, "I love you too, Kuya Marlon!"
Tonight, I called up several people to remind them about the activity tomorrow. When I was about to end my conversation with a brother, he said, "Salamat, Ate Aiz. I love you!" Again, I simply smiled and said, "I love you too, Eyie!"
Fr. Augustine Wyn, one of the regular priests who celebrates mass at the CFC GMC, loves to say "I love you!" But more than that, he loves to hear people saying those three words to him. He's right when he said that it always brings a happy feeling every time you receive an "I love you&qu…

Two Words: I Do ♥

"Kapag may kinakasal akong mga bata, kinakabahan talaga ako. Marriage is for adults. It is an eternal sacrament. It is not something you play with."These are the opening statements of Fr. Benedict Lagarde during his homily this afternoon. He further said that marriage mirrors the love of Christ for the Church (free, full, faithful, fruitful), therefore it must not be taken too lightly

I really love the homilies of Fr. Benedict because he explains the readings in a practical perspective, he relates the readings to the Gospel, and he never fails to make his audience laugh. This afternoon, I laughed so hard with his stories and how he delivered them, but towards the end of his homily, and even until now, I find myself thinking of everything he said. In one of my conversations with God this week, I asked Him, "Is this how You are preparing me, Lord? Do You really intend for me to experience and feel THIS just to give me an idea on how things will be in the future?" I…

STEP40: The Commandment To Love

"My dear friends, I am not writing you a new commandment, but reminding you of an old one, one you had from the beginning. This old commandment is the word you have heard." (1 John 2:7)

The commandment to love is not really new. It is an old commandment because it is the first one we learned in the Church, and a new commandment because the world must constantly, and in new ways discover the power of love. 
*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP39: Nothing Without Love

"If I could speak human and angelic tongues, but had no love, I would only be sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, knowing secret things with all kinds of knowledge, and had faith great enough to remove mountains, but had no love, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I had to the poor, and even give up my body to be burned, if I am without love, it would be of no value to me." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
The only important thing is the ability to love. To love is more important than performing miracles, more important than doing great things for others and dying for a cause, all of which can be done without love. 

I AM NOTHING (Ginny Owens) I could travel over oceans, cross the deserts, climb the mountains  Just to share Your story, bring You glory, and win souls for You.  I could sing like an angel, songs so humble and so thankful  Full of drama and emotion, so the world would know Your truth.  I could give away my money and my clothes and my food  To…

STEP38: Chosen To Bear Fruit

"You did not choose Me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is My command, that you love one another." (John 15:16-17)
*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):
Each one has to bear fruit. Jesus does not specify what these fruits should be: whether service, understanding, action for social justice, or a life silently offered to God. Rather, He insists that these fruits should come from the Spirit and bear His proper seal. The success of the Church is not measured by its achievements, but by the progress of those who interiorize Christ's mystery and share in His cross and resurrection.  
After making it clear that we depend totally on Him, Jesus repeats His commandment of love. There is a necessary order in building the Christian life. 
If from the start we say: We should love our neighbor because this is the only commandment, we will achieve…

STEP37: Choose To Love

"Now I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another." (John 13:34)

*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):

The Old Testament spoke of interior fidelity to God and love of neighbor, but this message often remained hidden among the complexities of the Law. Besides, there are many ways of loving: even a fanatically religious person can claim to be loving God. In the New Testament Jesus says that love of God is the highest law. The example given by the Lord during His earthly life reminds us of the way to love. 
Love that is like God's aims at liberating our neighbor and enabling them to fully develop their God-given gifts. Love like the Lord's helps the neighbor become what God wishes them to be, by passing through death to resurrection. 
Moreover, when we go deeper into the mystery of divine love revealed to us through Jesus, our love becomes merged with the eternal love of God that alone, in…

Feeling Superior*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic

The eye can never say to the hand, 'I don't need you.' The head can't say to the feet, 'I don't need you.' And some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that might otherwise seem less important. Now here is what I am trying to say: All of you together are the one body of Christ and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it (1 Cor. 12:21-27). There are some conceited snobs in the church who feel they are more important than their fellow-believers. They consider their ministry to be more necessary to the Body than that of others. Of course they never express their feelings lest they be considered proud, but their actions and attitudes give them away. Such spiritual pride not only ruins them spiritually, but also rings the death-knell of true fellowship.
The eye is a very importan…

STEP36: Love God. Love His People.

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31)
*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):

The commandment to love your neighbor as you love yourself comes second, because it cannot be understood or fulfilled without love of God. For God asks for more than solidarity with one's neighbor, or concern for those who are suffering. We should make an effort to look at our brothers and sisters in the same way that the Father does. We should give them what the Father wants for them. Among so many good things we could do for our neighbors, we should select those that the Holy Spirit inspires us to do. All this requires that we first know and love God. 

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP35: Take It From Jesus

"My food is to do the will of the One who sent Me and to carry out His work." (John 4:34)
Jesus is our model in loving God. He was dedicated to accomplishing His mission, He was obedient unto death, even death on the cross, and He was constantly seeking the Father's will. It wasn't easy for Him to face humiliation and death, but He bravely did it for love because He knows that love will overcome, for love is God Himself. :)

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP34: Be Faithful

"We brought nothing into the world and we will leave it with nothing. Let us then be content with having food and clothing. Those who strive to be rich fall into temptations and traps. A lot of foolish and harmful ambitions plunge them into ruin and destruction. Indeed, the love of money is the root of every evil. Because of this greed, some have wandered away from faith, bringing on themselves afflictions of every kind. But you, man of God, shun all this. Strive to be holy and godly. Live in faith and love, with endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win everlasting life to which you were called when you made the good profession of faith in the presence of so many witnesses. Now, in the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Jesus Christ who expressed before Pontius Pilate the authentic profession of faith: preserve the revealed message to all. Keep yourself pure and blameless until the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord." (1 Timoth…

STEP33: Return to God

"Return to Me and I will return to you." (Malachi 3:7)
God was the one who initiated the relationship with us, but He will not force us to love Him back. He won't because He wants us to choose to love Him, to decide to return to Him. He has been there all along, but He patiently waits for us to recognize Him and to realize that He is all that we need!

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP32: Do Not Judge

"Do not judge and you will not be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use for others will be used for you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and not see the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Come, let me take the speck from your eye,' as long as that plank is in your own? Hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)
*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):
Usually those who consider themselves as good, or belonging to the group of the converted, judge and criticize those of a different standing. It is a form of pride that spiritual authors call the "fault of beginners." So strongly inscribed is it in human nature that many among the "just" of the Bible have expressed their disapproval of the "sinner" who did not observe the …

STEP31: In The World But Not Of It

"I beg you, dearly beloved, by the mercy of God, to give yourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. Don't let yourselves be shaped by the world where you live, but rather be transformed through the renewal of your mind. You must discern the will of God: what is good, what pleases, what is perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)
*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition): 
Give yourselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God. It is not only Sunday that belongs to God - even if the weekly Eucharist is essential to Christian life. It is not only specific duties that we are to accomplish. God wants all that springs from our person. 
Don't let yourselves be shaped by the world where you live. We are invaded by propaganda, fashion, and songs without considering the weight of our cherished past. All that is the world: it encloses us in its logic and its would-be necessities. Yet we should be…

STEP30: Love and Obedience

"Whoever keeps My commandments is the one who loves Me. If he loves Me, he will also be loved by My Father; I too shall love him and show Myself clearly to him." (John 14:21)
We obey the commandments, not because we are afraid of the consequences of sin and disobedience, but because we love God and we fear losing His friendship forever. Jesus could have chosen another path, but despite knowing the hardships that await Him, He still fulfilled His mission. He did the Father's will because of love and for the sake of love. We, too, may be able to do whatever the Lord tells us because we know we are loved and because we want to love Him back. :)

*STEP is a personal project of someone who is in the midst of a great spiritual battle. Fight with her. Pray for her. :)

STEP29: To Love God

"The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:29-30)
*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):
You shall love the Lord, your God. This first commandment is not among the Ten Commandments of Moses, which only speak of "serving God." We do read it in Deuteronomy 6:4.
To love God is not a commandment like others, because the commandments show specific actions that should be undertaken or avoided, i.e., you shall rest on the day of the Lord, or you shall not commit adultery, On the other hand, when it comes to loving God there is no limit. 
The commandments of the Bible (especially the Ten Commandments of Moses) merely express in a clear manner the demands of our conscience. It should not be necessary to tell us not to steal, and not to slander others. Nevertheless, it is necessary to teach this to chi…

STEP28: Remembering the Heroes of Faith

"Faith is the assurance of what we hope for, being certain of what we cannot see. Because of their faith our ancestors were approved. By faith we understand that the stages of creation were disposed by God's word. And what is visible came from what cannot be seen." (Hebrews 11:1-3)

*From Christian Community Bible (Catholic Pastoral Edition):
Doubts overcome those who isolate themselves. Why do we not look at those who have gone before us, not just one or the other but the mass of witnesses; all cannot be illusory. 
Faith is the way of holding onto what we hope for, being certain of what we cannot see. The examples chosen show that faith cannot remain within us as an intimate conviction. What matters is to act according to faith and make decisions inspired by faith. That is why Hebrews 11 offers so many biblical examples of men and women who risked everything for faith. We cannot understand the obedience of Abraham unless he had trust in God against all hope. The same when…

STEP27: The Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)
The greatest love stories are the stories of forgiveness, of love lost and found. Because the greatest act of love is to forgive. When Jesus was questioned of his friendship with the worst sinners, He simply said that He actually came for them. He made sense. You will not go look for something that is already there, nor will you heal someone who is not ill, will you? So if you think you're a sinner, if you feel lost, broken, or wounded, be happy and praise God! He came for you and He will never stop until He finds you, and when He does, He will bring you back to the Father's home where a…

STEP26: Back Home

Father, I have sinned, help me find my way
Remember not my sins,just let me hear You say
I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.
Father, I have turned my back and walked away Depended on my strength and lived life my own way
I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.
Father, I have closed my heart to those in need Thought only of myself, a victim of my greed
I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.
Father I’ve returned, I’m home with You to stay  Standing by Your door knowing that You’ll say
I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.
The above hymn summarizes the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Three things we learn from the said parable are the following:
The Gift of Remembering - Whatever happens in our lives, we must remember our true identity: we are children of God!God's C…

Father and Sons

This is the story of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32)
There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father: "Give me my share of the estate." So the father divided his property between them. 
Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off a distant land where he squandered his wealth in loose living. Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything. 
Finally coming to his senses, he said: "How many of my father's hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants." …