Monday, May 28, 2012

Move Forward

The Australian coat of arms pictures two creatures--the emu, a flightless bird, and the kangaroo. The animals were chosen because they share a characteristic that appealed to the Australian citizens. Both the emu and kangaroo can move only forward, not back. The emu's three-toed foot causes it to fall if it tries to go backwards, and the kangaroo is prevented from moving in reverse by its large tail. Those who truly choose to follow Jesus become like the emu and kangaroo, moving only forward, never back (Luke 9:62).

One of the many things that we can do in any circumstances that comes along our way is the ability to choose according to our will, influenced by other’s will or through God’s will. In whichever case a person maybe contemplating which way to go, there will be a need to take action no matter what. It is inevitable and inaction is not an option! The intention must always be to move forward towards progression never regression. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he needed to make the greatest decision of his life to go through the Cross of Calvary to provide salvation for humanity’s sin.

There is always a price to pay in every decision made and the consequences of it can never be predicted and cannot always be favorable. Moving forward is a decision that will affect many in your sphere of influence and has a major effect where you are standing. Even a slight move creates wave, as one will throw a small pebble in a river. How it will have an impact to those around you can never be known and by choosing not do anything or moving can never be an option. “Don’t rock the boat” as many, says can never be the norm.

In the movie the Matrix, Neo had a choice to take a red pill or a blue pill. Choosing the red pill signifies that you have chosen to be exposed to unfolding truths of the universe regardless of the pain and suffering that comes in the pursuit of it. The blue pill represents life and truth as it is currently perceived, and living comfortably deceived. You do not face many challenges by taking the blue pill, but in the end, you live partial existence, to truth, with little ability to affect change. The enemies of God always wants us to take the blue pill, which numbs our senses and keeps us bound from hearing or living abundantly in the truths of the Divine. So as Kingdom dwellers, we must choose the red pill of God's unfolding mysteries.” (Robert Richiardelli)

God never created man to become stagnant and to get stuck in a rut. Have you notice that there is a nagging desire to be active? Passivity leads to many debilitating conditions that we were not made to be as Genesis 1:26 and 28 declares, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

We were created and blessed by God to fulfill our destiny as God intended to be: to rule over his creation, to become fruitful and multiply although it is not limited to reproductive means only. But the point is simply this: the ability to look back must be only utilized to remember where we came from in order to appreciate where we are now and to pursue greater things ahead as God desires us to become. Let this word from the prophet Jeremiah become a constant reminder for us to live by as we move forward: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). Thus, whatever many will say otherwise, let God have the final say-so as we move forward to where He is leading us to the next level of challenges in our life armed with His peace that passeth all understanding.

Lets talk again!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Having been a church pastor for almost 22 years provided me a first-hand eyewitness encounter of God’s ways at work in my life, my family and many people that I have been privileged of serving. One thing is for sure that I’ve learned that can never be taken away from me is this: “God never does things twice!” He has His ways of doing it tailor made for each event and situation. The main purpose is simply to show everyone that He was involved in the process of making it happen however impossible it might have been. A classic example of what God can do in an impossible situation happened to two people: “And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:35-37 ESV).

In spite of the many illustrations in the Scriptures, people are still perplexed at God’s ways. Many are still shaking their heads and giving up instantaneously when things are out of control. Here’s an illustration that may relate to your situation and that may also provide enlightenment: The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.  He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened.  Everything was lost.  He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me?" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was wakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It's easy to get discouraged sometimes when things appear to be going badly.  But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground; it just may be a smoke signal that God used to answer your need. The prophet Isaiah explained God’s ways: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV). Furthermore, God never fails to remember His plans and purposes to anyone that trusts Him wholeheartedly, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11, ESV).

The most important to remember is the fact that as long as God is in control, nothing will be out of control in our life and must always maintain the level of one’s faith without doubt in God’s capability. Keep in mind that if there is one Bible character that experienced the worst that anyone could ever received and still remained faithful to God, it was Job. Read Job’s story as a reminder and you will understand that God has always the final say in all things pertaining to our life. Thus, whether you are going through the worst or the best of times, there is always a specific purpose that can only make sense when seen through the eyes of faith.

Lets’ talk again!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Opinions That Matter

Have you ever felt being in the middle of a tug-of-war of opinions? Was there a time that you felt so confused because of the differing opinions that are both unsolicited and unwelcome? Allow me to share a story I came across and this might relate to your current situation: “A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home, a boy commented, "Very stupid. Why neither of them rides on the donkey?” Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them. Later, an old man saw it and commented, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?" Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey.  Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman." The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey. Then, they met a young man. He commented, "Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders. It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river.”

You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future. Thus, the lesson to learn is this: do not be too bothered by others' words if our conscience is clear. Remember this common saying, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion” but what you will decide is what will matter the most. Just allow them to share their opinions, write them if you can and then later sort them all out as references only.

At the end of the day, no one can truly express accurately and appropriately what you need except your own judgment and opinion. However, Jesus provided that the source of what we need would come from the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was speaking to His disciples, he pointed them to a day that the Holy Spirit would come in His stead and conveys His will for us. John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” In other words, even the Holy Spirit’s opinion is aligned with Jesus’ revealed will and words. If this is the case, then we need to be aligned with Him to supply us with God’s word that will make a huge impact in every circumstance.

By establishing the suitable boundaries as to the opinions that come our way, we will be sure that the appropriate ones will be counted as worthy for consideration. Many people will always share a “piece of their mind” that will either help or add confusion. Always have a weighing scale to balance them out and compare with what the Holy Spirit will confirm. In the end, one opinion must stand above all others and with this in mind will come the real “peace of mind.”

What we really need is not an opinion but a sure word. The book of Proverbs provides a clear example of it:

·      Proverbs 15:23, “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!”

·      Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Altogether, it is God’s word that we firmly need the most to guide us in our journey of life towards clarity of purpose and destiny. Moreover, when we stop and listen to many opinions of men from the media, our friends, our family and others, it will be surely biased based on their own perspective and experiences. That’s why, depend on what God has stated in His words and you will be settled completely in perfect peace.

Let’s talk again!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Just last month, the sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago was remembered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Even after a century, many are still fascinated with the horrible events of its sinking and the ship itself named Titanic. It must be mentioned here that when the ship of the Titanic was built, it was to become the greatest achievement in the shipping industry of the time, but what went wrong?

Numerous experts start with overconfidence when they discuss the "unsinkable" Titanic. One author describes Titanic Arrogance. Here's an excerpt: “The first few years of the 20th century, when the Titanic was built, were full of brash optimism based on remarkable advances in science and technology. It was a time of peace, progress and endless promise. Things were getting bigger, better and faster—the age more opulent and prosperous. "What could possibly stop the engines of progress or the captains of industry at their controls?" the book's prologue asks. The Titanic thus embodied a spirit of invulnerability characteristic of the times. In fact, when at the beginning of her maiden voyage one of the deck hands was asked whether the ship really was unsinkable, he replied, "God Himself could not sink this ship!"

Daniel J. Lohrmann, Michigan's first Chief Security Officer (CSO) & Deputy Director for Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Protection (CIP) within the Department of Technology, Management & Budget commented, “Numerous theories still abound analyzing the never-ending question: "Why did it happen?" The very word "Titanic" has become synonymous with words like enormous, monumental, gigantic, massive, huge and immense. But most of us aren't picturing a monumental home run or an enormous successful product launch. No, the word Titanic has also been seared into our brains as a massive failure.”

The Scriptures provides us the absolute truth of what really happened a century ago: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18, NIV). Let me share a story to illustrate it best, “The story is told of two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond. The best of friends, the three would amuse themselves and play together in their waterhole. When the hot summer days came, however, the pond began to dry up, and soon it was evident they would have to move. This was no problem for the ducks, who could easily fly to another pond. But the frog was stuck. So it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck that the frog could hang onto with his mouth as they flew to another pond. The plan worked well--so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and mused, "Well, isn't that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?" The frog said, "I did..." 

Let us remember that our words will always come back to bless us or in the case of the frog, free falling towards the ground. Nothing is sure with what happened to the frog but I think it was not what he wanted to happen. Being careful to utter boastful claims even up to the point of challenging what God can do is a sure way to receive God’s reply: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Humility is the opposite of pride and this is what we need to uphold relentlessly. There will be a time for recognition and it will come at the right time not as we declare it to be.

History will always remember no matter what we have done, both good and evil. But the most important truth to remember is this: God has the last say to all that we will do and have done at the Judgment Day. Today, when I read the Our Daily Bread devotional article, I was reminded that, “We are nothing without Jesus, so give Him the credit.” When we begin to acknowledge God in our lives and recognize this basic truth, we will never surely go wrong. Allow me to share also what I personally hold fast in my own life and ministry as a way to bring my feet always on the ground is by simply abiding in this truth: “Honor God and He will honor you.” Men may give the best of all admiration and commendation, but nothing can compare to what God can give.

Let’s talk again!