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Showing posts from June, 2013

STEP77: Once No People

"You are a chosen race, a community of priest-kings, a consecrated nation, a people God has made his own to proclaim his wonders. For he called you from your darkness to his own wonderful light. At one stage you were no people, but now you are God's people, you had not received his mercy, but now you have been given mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)

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

STEP76: Obey God

"On this day, Yahweh, your God, commands you to fulfill these norms and these commandments. Obey them now and put them into practice with all your heart and with all your soul. Today, Yahweh has declared to you that he will be your God, and so you shall follow his ways, observing his norms, his commandments, and his laws, and listening to his voice. Today Yahweh has declared that you will be his very own people even as he had promised you, and you must obey all his commandments." (Deuteronomy 26:16-18)

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

STEP75: Do Not Forget God

"So take care that you do not forget Yahweh, your God, by neglecting the commandments, norms and laws that I give you today. And when you have eaten and have been satisfied, when you have built comfortable homes and live in them, when your livestock have multiplied, when you have silver and gold in abundance, and an increase of good things of every kind, then do not let your heart become proud and do not forget Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery. It is he who has led you across this great and terrible desert, full of fiery serpents and scorpions, an arid land where there is no water. But for you he made water gush forth from the hardest rock. And he fed you in the desert with manna which your fathers did not know. He made you experience want and put you to the test, so that it would be for your good later on, lest you say, "With my own strength I have attained all these good things." Remember Yahweh, your God, the one who ga…

STEP74: Share The Gift

"Sons are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward." (Psalm 127:3)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
The Bible does not forget that each one of us has received everything from family and country. Not to pass on life and education to a new generation, is not to pay a debt, for sure, but it is also to lose one's life.

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

STEP73: On Obedience

"Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as you should do in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not get angry with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because that pleases the Lord. Parents, do not be too demanding of your children, lest they become discouraged." (Colossians 3:18-21)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
Paul insists that Christians live all of this before the Lord, for the Lord and in the Lord. This is why Paul preaches the same ethics to everyone: men, women, slaves; all must be just, loyal, and respectful of others, even when they have faults. We should struggle to bring about change and defend our rights; but we must lead these struggles and live our commitments according to the spirit of Christ. Very often what we ask for in order to change the world is less important than the way in which we ask it, and it is often there that a Christian will give a witness that only she can give. Let others be successful…

The Top 8 Things God Wants You To Know*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic
1. God loves you. It has become very popular lately to make God out to be some sort of vengeful tyrant, angrily threatening to destroy whoever has offended Him today. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can be sure that if an All-Powerful God wanted someone destroyed, they would be destroyed. More importantly, how can an all-knowing God, who knows your every thought, your every wish, everything that has ever happened to you and ever "will" happen to you be offended by anything? What is far more likely is the people trying to convince you of God's angry judgment want you to fear "their" judgment, and more importantly adopt their way of thinking and do what they tell you to do. Beware of the diffference between the will of God and the will of man. 
2. You are important. Did you know you only had a one in 300 million chance of ever being born? That is how many sperm cells were vying to fertilize the eff cell when you were conceive…

STEP72: Happy Faithful

"May our sons be like plants well-nurtured and full grown, and our daughters like pillars that adorn the corners of the temple. May our barns be full, with every kind of provision. May our sheep increase by thousands, even by tens of thousands, in our pastures. May our cattle be strong and fruitful; and may there be an end to raids and exile, to cries of distress in our streets. Happy are the people so blessed; happy the people whose God is the Lord!" (Psalm 144:12-15)

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

STEP71: Praise Be To God

"The whole earth will acknowledge and turn to the Lord; the families of nations will worship him. For dominion belongs to the Lord and he reigns over the nations. Before him all those who rest in the earth will bow down, all who go down to the dust. My soul will live for him. My descendants will serve him and proclaim the Lord to coming generations; they will announce his salvation to a people yet unborn, These are the things that he has done." (Psalm 22:28-32)

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

STEP70: The Body of Christ

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. (As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ.)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
We cannot have a true community unless each of us shares in its life, placing our talents at the service of others. Even the least gifted may have riches that will be revealed at the right time. Even the misfortunes of someone may become the riches of the group that welcomes him/her. As soon as one is really committed to a Christian life, the spirit awakens in him new and sometimes unsuspected capabilities. If we pay attention to the riches of our brothers and sisters and awaken in them the consciousness of their dignity and responsibility, we shall see a new resurgence in the Church, fruit of the Spirit. It would take too long to recall the harm done to the Church in some places because of the passivity of Christians in a clericalized church. 

*STEP is a personal project of some…

STEP69: Faith In Action

"What good is it , my brothers and sisters, to profess faith without showing work? Such faith has no power to save you. If a brother or a sister is in need of clothes or food and one of you says, "May things go well for you; be warm and satisfied," without attending to their material needs, what good is that? So it is for faith without deeds: it is totally dead." (James 2:14-17)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
It is necessary to have faith to be saved, but following Christ cannot be theoretical; it must be shown in action, in deeds. Christ himself says the same thing in Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven."

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

STEP68: Live To Serve

"It shall not be so among you: whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man of has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many." (Matthew 20:26-28)

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

STEP67: The Word of God

"For the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and judges the intentions and thoughts of the heart. All creation is transparent to Him; everything is uncovered and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we render account." (Hebrews 4:12-13)

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

STEP66: Living Together As A Church

"I say to you: whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound and whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound. In like manner, I say to you: if on earth two of you are united in asking for anything, it will be granted to you by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am there among them." (Matthew 18:19-20)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
Jesus does not seem to have said anything whatsoever to his apostles about structures that would emerge (or even disappear); nothing but a community spirit. Welcome for the poor and lowly, never-ending forgiveness and acceptance of others, prayer of a community that has apostolic ambitions and cries to God to give what is asked of him; there we have the sum total of the wisdom and means the Church has in order to confront all that challenges its evangelization.

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

STEP65: The Perfect Prayer

"When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they believe that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him."(Matthew 6:7-8)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
The value of prayer does not lie in the quantity of words and the mere repetition of formulas, as if accomplishing a task. The value of prayer lies chiefly in our inner attitude of faith and love of God. We should try to lift our mind and heart to God as a Father and a friend, a God who loves us and is always waiting for us to share a silent moment with him. To pray is not to talk much, but to surrender our lives into God's loving hands.

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

STEP64: Be Holy

"So, then, let your spirit be ready. Be alert, with confident trust in the grace you will receive when Jesus Christ appears. Like obedient children, do not return to your former life given over to ignorance and passions. Imitate the one who called you. As he is holy so you, too, be holy in all your conduct, since Scripture says: Be holy for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
The logical consequences of baptism are developed. We cannot go backward; giving in to the evils of the world would mean going back to slavery from which Christ delivered us through his blood. What follows is a call to live perfectly; not attached to the things of the present, but eager to live a useful and holy life before God, in proportion to what we have cost him.

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

STEP63: To Work Is To Trust Oneself

Read The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-23).
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
During the time of Jesus, a talent was an amount, thirty kilograms of precious metal, but in this parable when Jesus spoke of the talents he referred to the abilities given by God to each of us. Since then, people came to understand the word "talent" in this sense. 
Good and faithful servant (v. 21) Faithful: it would be better translated: "reliable." We do not find any word of religious vocabulary in this parable.
God sees the way one has used his talents, and the sin is to have kept for self what one has received. What condemnation of a society where it is usual to enjoy and consume what has been received: a better human formation and knowledge inherited from the homeland which should be transmitted to one's descendants, the blessings and benefits of a family where the parents knew how to sacrifice themselves for their children, and perhaps the Wor…

STEP62: Pray In the Spirit

"Pray at all times as the Spirit inspires you. Keep watch, together with sustained prayer and supplication for all the holy ones." (Ephesians 6:18)

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

I Give My All ♥

Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's." (Matthew 22:21)

But what is God's in the first place?  The answer is found in Psalm 24:1. "The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord, the world and all that dwell in it."

When we give to God what belongs to God, nothing else is left for anyone or anything. Because everything belongs to Him.

Watch this video to help you understand this truth. :)

Give to God what is right, not what is left. And what is right is everything. 

The fifth talk of the Christian Life Program is entitled "The Christian Ideal: Loving God." The gist of the talk is this: Loving God must be our highest ideal - our ultimate GOAL. It's just amazing how God has planned it to be that way. I only got to realize this when I read the minutes of the last MMC meeting. Kuya JQ shared a whole new meaning to the word GOAL, that is Giving Our All to the Lord. True enough, our ultimate GOAL is to love a…

STEP61: Longing For Our Heavenly Dwelling

"Therefore we are not discouraged. On the contrary, while our outer being wastes away, the inner self is renewed from day to day. The slight affliction that quickly passes away prepares us for an eternal wealth of glory so great and beyond all comparison. So we no longer pay attention to the things that are seen, but to those that are unseen, for the things that we see last for a moment, but that which cannot be seen is eternal. 
We know that when our earthly dwelling, or rather our tent, is destroyed, we may count on a building from God, a heavenly dwelling not built by human hands, that lasts forever. Therefore we long and groan: Why may we not put on this heavenly dwelling over that which we have? (indeed, are we sure that we shall still be wearing our earthly dwelling and not be unclothed?) As long as we are in the fieldtent, we indeed moan our unbearable fate for we do not want this clothing to be removed from us; we would rather put the other over it, that the mortal body ma…

STEP60: God's Temple

"Do you not know that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit abides within you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him. God's temple is holy, and you are this temple." (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
*From The Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
Christ is the new Temple that takes the place of the temple of the Jews. The Temple of God is Christ because in Him abides all the divine Mystery. The Temple of God is likewise the Church because in her the Holy Spirit is working. The Temple of God is also each home and each believer because the Spirit lives in each one of them. 

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

Proudly Filipino :)

Out of his love and devotion to our country, Alex Lacson wrote several patriotic books which are simple to understand, but powerful enough to awaken the heart of patriotism in every Filipino. 
And because today is Independence Day, let's take time to reflect, based on one of Lacson's work, on the beauty and greatness that we have as a people and the Philippines as a nation.
As they say, blessings can only be seen from the heart, with the eyes of faith. A person who has not discovered his strengths, has not discovered his true power. We need to discover our strengths as a people. Upon those strengths, we can build the greatness of our nation. :)
12 Wonderful Things about the Filipino and our Motherland
1. The Filipino has a home for its family and people, a country so naturally rich and beautiful. In our country, the Filipino is first class. As a people, we have abundance of the great essentials for living - the warmth of the sun, fresh water, fertile soil, beautiful beaches, et…

STEP59: Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues

"Strive, then, for love and set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. The one who speaks in tongues does not speak to people but to God, for no one understands him; the spirit makes him say things that are not understandable. The prophet, instead, addresses all people to give them strength, encouragement, and consolation. He who speaks in tongues strengthens himself, but the prophet builds the Church." (1 Corinthians 14:1-4)
While looking for a photo to accompany this post, I found this very interesting article: Medical Science Proves Speaking in Tongues is Real. It only goes to show that indeed, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are real. And it only depends on us how we will use the power that has been given to us. :)

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

Where There Is Crisis, There Christ Is

We are all facing a crisis in our lives. One recent crisis that I share with the rest of SFC Manila is the Metro Manila Conference (MMC), particularly the (lack of) venue. 
We had a lengthy discussion about it last week which started with this powerful statement from Rahm Emmanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Instead of pointing fingers on people, we processed the series of events that led to the main issue. One big concept that was raised was malasakit. And from the discussion, two major agreements were made: 
I will trust in the love of my fellow MM members that if I verbalize a dissenting view or express discomfort, I am assured that I will not be judged AND what I say will not be taken against me.I will believe that whatever I say will be received as an input in our common desire to do what is best for the SFCs that we s…

STEP58: Spirit Within

"Yet your existence is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him. But Christ is within you; though the body is branded by death as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life and holiness." (Romans 8:9-10)

What makes us truly Christians is the Holy Spirit that is in us. And if we truly believe that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we will safeguard its sanctity by being pure in thought, word, and deed. We will choose life by living in the truth and the light, shunning all darkness and evil of sin which leads to death.

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

Remembering St. Barnabas (Mission Reminders)

Today we remember St. Barnabasand Fr. Benedict made mention of three important reminders about mission that we learn from today's readings. He already mentioned some of these reminders in his homily during the first MCG for this year (click here to read about it) but the message is timeless and it helps to be reminded of these things time and again. :)
1. All mission is dependent on God because it is God's mission. When you feel tired and tempted to give up because of the hardships you encounter in your mission, be reminded that the mission is not yours! It is God's. Therefore, you have the assurance that God will give you the endurance and the grace to finish strong. 
2. Go and make your journey light. Jesus is saying "go fast" because the mission entails a quick response. Inaction is not acceptable in mission. A missionary spirit has a sense of urgency. You are not to bring anything heavy that will hinder you from moving fast and achieving more for the Lord. 

STEP57: Live In The Spirit

"Therefore I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh war against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the flesh. Both are in conflict with each other, so that you cannot do everything you would like. If we live by the Spirit, let us live in a spiritual way." (Galatians 5:16-17, 25)
The Holy Spirit is so powerful that it can change lives. But transformation doesn't happen in an instant. The moment you receive the Holy Spirit, you are given the power to change but if you don't do your part, that power is useless. Don't waste the power that is already in you, breathe it, live it, use it. Do not be afraid to change for the better. After all, with Christ, we are a new creation. :)

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

Hearing God*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic
We live in a day of 12-step programs for this, four points of success for that, and all forms of programmed means of becoming successful. Have you ever wondered how you can guarantee a greater revelation of Jesus in your life? Jesus tells us how this can be done. It is all tied to obedience. In John, He tells us the following: "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him." (John 14:21) The key here is in the last three words. He will show Himself to us because of our loving Him through obedience. The more obedient we become, the more revelation of His presence we will feel in our life. Jeremiah tells us, "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
Many Christians wonder why they cannot hear or sense God's presence in their life. It is because they do not s…

STEP56: One Spirit, One God

"There is diversity of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. There is diversity of ministries, but the Lord is the same. There is diversity of works, but the same God works in all. The Spirit reveals his presence in each one with a gift that is also a service." (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Every gift from the Spirit is a service. We are given different gifts, we are all unique. But our diversity can create harmony if we realize that all we have came from the same source and all we do is for the same cause: making God known, giving back to Him all the glory and praise that belongs to Him. :)

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

STEP55: Empowered To Witness

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we journey and witness even to the ends of the earth, proclaiming the Good News that is bound to transform lives. :)

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

STEP54: Ask For It

"If even you evil people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)
God has promised us the Holy Spirit. We just need to ask in faith. :)

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

STEP53: The Paraclete

"From now on, the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of all that I have told you." (John 14:26)
The Holy Spirit is that still small voice within us which directs our path, affirms us when we are doing the Father's will, and disturbs us when we are on the wrong side. :)

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

This Is God's Love ♥

It was a tough, long, emotional day. And just like what I shared during last night's household, I often hear God speak in silence, in music, and in actual words that I randomly see. Today, He spoke to me through this: 

There's nothing special about this day, nobody in the department celebrates his/her birthday, but I'd like to think that the Lord has touched the heart of one of my fellow MISTer (I thought of this just now; because we're MIST and majority of our team are men :D), that's why in the middle of a busy afternoon, he just stopped and said, "Mc Do tayo!" Yes, it was his treat. :) 
When our orders arrived, I was reminded of Mc Donald's famous tagline: Love Ko 'To. I already blogged about it last year, but I had a different interpretation then. I read it as "Love Kita" as if God telling me that He loves me (and He does tell and show me everyday). This time, particularly this afternoon, I read it as "Love Ko 'To." Th…

STEP52: One Spirit For All

"In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on every mortal. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (Joel 3:1)
Just as the love of God is inclusive, so is the Holy Spirit. It is given to all regardless of gender and age. All it takes to receive it is to believe and have faith. :)

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

STEP51: New Covenant

"This is the covenant I shall make with Israel after that time: I will put My law within them and write it on their hears; I will be their God and they will be My people." (Jeremiah 31:33)
Through the Holy Spirit, men gain union with God not by becoming God Himself but by having a new relationship with Him that is deep and personal - a covenant that can no longer be broken. :)

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

STEP50: Let The Spirit Move

"I shall put My spirit within you and move you to follow My decrees and keep My laws." (Ezekiel 36:27)
The early Christian movement was dynamic, strong, and attractive because the power of the Holy Spirit was in them. In the same way, Christianity today is challenged to be vibrant, full of life, and life-giving as well. Not through our own efforts, but through, with, and in the Holy Spirit. :)

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

STEP49: Duties Towards Parents

"My children, it is your father who speaks, listen to me and follow my advice and so be saved. For the Lord established that children should respect their father; he confirmed the right of the mother over her children.

Whoever honors his father atones for his sins; he who gives glory to his mother prepares a treasure for himself. 

Whoever honors his father will receive joy from his own children and will be heard when he prays.

Whoever glorifies his father will have a long life. Whoever obeys the Lord gives comfort to his mother. He serves those who brought him to birth as he would serve the Lord.

Honor your father in word and deed so that his blessing may come on you. For a father's blessing secures the future of his children, but a mother's curse destroys them at their roots.

Do not rejoice at the humiliation of your father because his dishonor is no glory for you. For a man's glory comes from his father's reputation; a mother who is not respected is a disgrace to her…

STEP48: Marriage Rules

"In the same way, wives must be submissive to their husbands. If any of them resists the Word, they will be won over without words by conduct of their wives. It will be enough for them to see your responsible and blameless conduct. Do not be taken up with outward appearances: hairstyles, gold necklaces and clothes. There is something more permanent that shines from within a person: a gentle and peaceful disposition. This is really precious in God's eyes. This was the way the holy women of the past dressed. They put their trust in God and were obedient to their husbands. Husbands, in your turn, be sensible in your life together. Be considerate, realizing that the woman is of a more frail disposition and that you both share in the gift of life. This will prevent anything from coming in the way of your prayer." (1 Peter 3:1-7)
Here's my take on the topic: :) And if there's one general rule that I know …