Sa Mga Nakapanood Na ng Heneral Luna: Napansin niyo ba?

Sa Mga Nakapanood Na ng Heneral Luna: Napansin niyo ba?

Ang Manlalayag

Magtatrabaho na sana ako, kaya lang hindi ko na kayang patagalin pang hindi isulat lahat ng nakuha ko mula sa pinakabagong pelikula, ang Heneral Luna ni Jerrold Tarog. Sa mga nakapanood na, malamang alam niyo ang pakiramdam. Sana pareho tayo ng nararamdaman.

Una sa lahat – ANG GALING! Hindi ako isang batikang kritiko o magaling na manunulat ng mga “film reviews”. hindi rin ako magaling sa mga teknikal na aspeto sa larangan ng pelikula at mga palabas. Pero sa kabila ng husay ng mga aktor, sa galing ng direktor sa pag-aayos ng bawat eksena, at sa galing ng manunulat sa bawat salitang binitiwan, iiwan ko na iyon sa mga kritiko. Gusto ko sanang itanong sa inyo kung napansin niyo rin ang napansin ko.

Bukod sa katapangan at kabayanihan ni Heneral Luna, alam kong napansin niyo rin ang kabaluktutan ng pulitika natin noon pa man. Siguro may ilan sa inyo na…

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Level Up

Today is the commissioning that he felt so strongly. As he looked back and reminisced as to when he last had such convicting (and refreshing) encounter with God, he remembered His faithfulness. It has been about five months since that tragic incident that brought him to his knees in humility. That was the incident that taught him how to be a father—by losing a son. Quite like what the father of faith felt when God commanded him to offer his only son. Only that he (Abraham) got to keep his—at least during his time.

It was a lesson of humility. A lesson of God’s Sovereignty. A lesson of God’s faithfulness. And he learned the lesson well. Well, until the time that everything became familiar. Not that he wanted things to be familiar. Somehow, life just has it’s way of smoothing up your edges that it gets, well, familiar. And it is in these moments that He shows Himself faithful. For He will yet lovingly break you so that in brokenness, your humility will result to another level of softening—quite like the process of creating diamonds. Extreme heat and pressure are needed to create such a magnificent gem. And such is the crucible and furnace with which we are refined and fortified—pressure.

Such is the process that he went through just now. A process of pain. A process of reconciliation. A process of forgiveness. A process of love. A process that can only be achieved by His grace. The reason why he is thankful is because his God proved that he will be taken from strength to strength and from glory to glory. He realized that though there is fear to undergo such processes because of the pain that often goes with it, such process is a necessity for growth. The more you go through it, the better you become. And so he had a different perspective of pain and suffering now.  Instead of avoiding it, he now gladly welcomes them for he knows that it is through these things that God reveals His glory. Indeed what He said is true.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. [Romans 8:18]

Indeed, the things that the faithful God and Dad allows us to go through are things that would eventually lead us to worship Him in spirit and truth. These are the very things that solicits an encounter that would leave us in a place of awe because as we go through those things, He lovingly teaches us about His character. And wouldn’t you want it that way? He allows you to go through pain (because it’s hard to forget pain) only so that after undergoing the process, you will emerge stronger than you’ve been before, better than you’ve been before, being the person that He has called you to be—a child who knows his Father! 🙂

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This is for YOU

(This account was written after Peter betrayed Jesus. I wrote this after meditating on this part of the verse. And for some reason I wanted to share this. So yeah, this is for YOU.)
John 21:3
“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
 
  • Peter wanted to go back to his old lifestyle (fisherman) after Christ’s death and perhaps also brought by the condemnation that went with denying Christ 3 times.
  • But even after “going back”, they caught nothing. It’s still empty even when we go back to the life apart from Christ. Without God, there’s no life. There’s no peace, no rest, no purpose. Even when they did it the whole night, they caught nothing. Even when you do the things you did before, it’s still empty. Or there can be a little happiness but you know in yourself that it’s temporary.
John 21:4
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
  • After every darkness, morning is SURE to come. Jesus is the One that comes. He is the light that brings forth life, and peace, and joy. He restores, He redeems, He renews, even after the greatest trials, the greatest defeats, the feeling of having exhausted God’s grace, Jesus will FAITHFULLY COME THROUGH. For He promised to never leave nor forsake. He promised to stay and He promised to love with a love everlasting—this despite all the sin, after all the turning back away from God, after pursuing the world, after hurting Him, after everything else, He would still come and whisper this loving words: “I accept you and I love you”.
  • In the morning, His mercies are ALWAYS NEW. But sometimes because of the things that we allow ourselves to be caught up with (sin and compromise), we, like the disciples, fail to realise that Jesus has been WITH us all along. Now, this very moment, He is offering YOU a refreshing. 🙂 It is not an accident why YOU are reading this very line. Yes, this is for YOU. He wants to breath afresh His love to YOU. He wants YOU to rest in His loving arms. He wants to cuddle YOU and bring you deeper in His love. He wants YOU. And now He is filling YOU with His enduring, unconditional, unfailing and eternal love. Now that’s for YOU. That’s how LOVED YOU are in Him. 🙂
John 21:5
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
  • He is calling you a friend. Will you respond? He has been waiting for you. 🙂

  • He is calling you a friend. Will you respond? He has been waiting for you. 🙂
Ouch! Aray! Keep going?

Ouch! Aray! Keep going?

Today, I jogged for 45 minutes! What a record since I started. And with this jogging sessions with God, He taught me a lot of things. Some of them I will be sharing here. 🙂

(Backstory: Last Tuesday, I didn’t feel like running at all. But I had to since I wanted to form the healthy habit of exercising. This thing doesn’t just come in an instant, it has to be deliberately put into practice–pretty much the way we do with the Word. We don’t merely listen to it but we obey it. What a segway!)

The problem is, after about 25 minutes since I started, I felt a sharp pain in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen. It intensified as I continued braving the road. But what I noticed is whenever I slow down, it vanishes. But of course, since I AM driven by the need to form the healthy habit, I NEEDED to push through and continue! But it was SO HARD to focus as the pain intensified! I noticed it: my form was gone, the breathing pattern was gone, I got anxious (hopefully this is not something serious, I thought to myself), and a lot of other things were running on my head! So the inevitable happened, I SLOWED DOWN until I just walked. And by then the pain just disappeared! Then His Word hit me.

The reason why the pain there’s pain is because You compromised the other night. You drank softdrinks.” Now when you’re an athlete (which I was, before, by the way), it’s a NO-NO to drink softdrinks as it will trigger that pain in the side! I have suffered from it countless times before, when I was still training. But this time, I sort of justified. “God, that was only 4 cups that I drank last night! I haven’t been having it naman for the longest time.” To which He replied, “Yes, but 4 is 4, son. 1 is enough to cause that pain. Think about what 4 can do! In the same way that there should be NO COMPROMISE with My people. 1 is 1 and My standard is perfection.

I was at lost for words so I just breathed in and breathed out. By this time I already noticed the pain subsiding. Then I thought, “How can such a small pain in a small part of my body cause me to be thrown off the balance?” I felt like He smiled before giving His answer. “It’s the same with My body, John. When a small part hurts, EVERYBODY is affected. It might not be so tangible whenever you meet per group but the moment you meet corporately, it will be FELT and it will have an EFFECT on everyone else. Once you are a part of the body, you will always be a part of that body. In the same way that everyone whom I called belong to this body–My body. So I, being the Head, knows exactly where they are and how they are in their walk with Me.”

So He silenced me, yet again, with His wonderful reply. After a few moments of breathing in and out, I started thanking Him for walking with Me (since my running was turned into walking due to the pain). “You know what, son? The same remedy is true when the parts of My body–My sons and daughters–are not okay. They just have to SLOW DOWN and WALK WITH ME and ALLOW MY WORD TO SINK IN. Then My Word will accomplish the purpose to which I’ve sent it. It will ALWAYS HEAL. It will ALWAYS BRING LIFE. It will ALWAYS BRING HOPE, JOY, PEACE, SALVATION. And above all, it will ALWAYS BRING LOVE. For I AM the Word that walks with them, I AM the Emmanuel. I AM here. I AM in you. 🙂

And with those words I breathed deeply, and I raised my hands to worship the One who gave this breath. “So be it, Father. Have Your way. Accomplish Your will through Your Spirit!

So whatever you may be feeling now, the Head of the body knows. 🙂 And He doesn’t just know; He CARES and He LOVES. So slow down, think about it, and let Him speak lovingly to you through His Word! Have a blessed day! 🙂

Anew (Written last October 26, 2012)

Last night, when I arrived at the my Aunt’s humble abode, I was welcomed by my cousin’s exaggerated and heated greeting: “Mama bought a new iPad!!!!”

At first I clarified. “What? An iPod or an iPad?” (I had a hard time distinguishing the nuance of his pronunciation, or, perhaps, it was my clogged nose that lulled the clarity of my ears. I had an irritating sinusitis during this time.)
And as I kept on mentioning those words (le “iPod/iPad”), his eyes sparkled with excitement! Life flowed from within him. The passion was apparent. And what was the reason for it? There was “something new“. A significant change in their lives–and a good one at that since it gave them this sense of excitement, vigor, and passion.

I remember having that feeling as well. It’s probably the same for everyone else. That moment when there’s a new dog at home? That moment when you won the major prize in a raffle? When there’s a new gadget? An iPod or iPad or DSLR? That feeling when you’re about to go out of the country for the first time? That feeling when a firstborn child is about to be delivered? That feeling when everything else around you seems to slow down, when negativity seemed warped into nonexistence, when all you can remember is the bliss and the “aaaah” or *sigh of intense relief* feeling? That feeling of freedom, peace, and extreme giddiness? That is what I felt when I first knew about Christ.

Whenever I remember that time, the same surge of emotion surfaces. I realize that our very lives are a constituent of the series of events that took place, the series of decisions that we made, and the series of circumstances that helped mold our being. We are but a product of what once occurred. And what is that occurrence? His Love.

It’s hard to imagine that now, knowing that our finite minds would tell us (and may even confound us at times) about our origin. Our “varied” origin. We are either sons of the Living God or descendants of our ape predecessors (of course I dismiss the second thought altogether, since I know for a fact–and undeniably felt–that His love is REAL).

It’s our beginning that matters. We’ll have a gist of our end when we’re knowledgeable or aware about our beginning. Whatever you believe will dictate your belief system! Sounds redundant? You bet! But there is wisdom hidden there somewhere. If you believe that you descended from a primate, then you might as well think that your end will be into nothingness. That you will be back to the earth, the ecosystem that supported your existence. That what you once used as your resource (the earth) will now use you in the sophisticated cycle of decomposition. Just that.

Again, whatever you believe will influence your belief system and the way you act or perceive life. If, on the other hand, you believe that you are the Son or Daughter of the Most High, then this truth will influence how you conduct yourself. Knowing that the blood of the Deity runs through your very veins is valid enough a reason to ignite a purpose in your life. Yes, you have a purpose. And the Creator determined that before you even came to be. You just have to know Who he is, then you will know who you really are.

So, going back to le new iPad, we rejoice when there’s something new! That’s our human nature. Perhaps its the hormones that does that. I have no way of knowing. Whether or not that is true, there has to be a reason for us to rejoice everyday. And what is that? It’s because Jesus made the way for us to know the Father, the Author of our lives! Jesus became the way for our lives to be made anew–even at the cost of His very life. What Love. One Word. Jesus.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
[Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:22]
Paul may have saved some. Jesus shed His blood for all.
[2 Corinthians 5:14]

 

The Call

“Ring! Ring!”

There are quite a few moments when someone I know would call me using somebody else’s number/phone. And, quite a number of instances, I rejected the call because I dunno the number. Or, perhaps, to better articulate it, I’m just afraid of the unknown. Who might this be?

The matter of fact, I will only know if I take the risk and listen.

Most, if not all of the time, God uses likewise instances too. He delivers His messages through channels that we often times dismiss as mundane or irrelevant. Little do we know that we are a tiny step away from hearing His voice!

The “voice” that stops.

We talk to ourselves all the time. When we think, when we encounter something, or simply when we’re bored–there are exchanges that take place in our head that often are the culprits of the deafening of our spiritual ears, keeping us from hearing His majestic and loving voice. Sometimes, we allow our own biases to control us, instead of us humbling ourselves to be in the posture of acceptance.

In our own minds, we critic, we judge, we choose.

We choose for ourselves what’s right. Now I’m not saying that choosing the right thing is wrong. There are just undeniable instances when we justify what we see and drop them altogether without reconsidering. We think too fast and we act too fast! Just because there’s a worm in the tip of one lettuce of the salad you ordered doesn’t mean that the whole salad is bad. Just because someone is caught saying something bad and inappropriate in front of a camera doesn’t immediately mean that there is absolutely no good trait in that person. Just because someone is silent doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t care. Just because someone laughs often doesn’t mean that he or she is immune to heartaches (sometimes, laughing is our subtle way of concealing our hurts).

You see, there is more to us than all the facades we’re wearing. There will always be something great and worthy in every person’s heart. What made me say so? Permit me to return to my points. We will only know if we take the risk to listen. There was this Person who had every right to dismiss mankind, yet, He took the risk of becoming human, Himself dressed in the flesh He made, and listened to the hearts, the laughter, the cries of His creation. He could have used the voice that stops to shout on people and tell them how wrong they are. Instead, His voice gave life to everyone who hears! His voice starts! It starts our mind, our life, our purpose. He had the prerogative in His own mind to critic, to judge, and to choose. He only did the third. He choose to lay down His life for the people of this earth–His beloved children–to be reconciled with the Father. Instead of criticizing, He loved. Instead of judging, He forgave–because He saw the wonderful things that He deposited in our lives. He saw past our mistakes and took us to His Kingdom! And He became the great and worthy treasure of our hearts.

So the next time we listen to people, let us remind ourselves that they, regardless of their shortcomings and bloopers, whoever they may be, have been conformed to the image and likeness of the majestic and loving God. He can beautifully use them to speak to us! And if God can use Balaam’s donkey to speak (Numbers 22:30), He can also–all the more–use you to do the same, to speak life. Because after all, the messenger is but that, a messenger. What’s more important is the message. And the message, the treasure, is and will be until forevermore, Jesus Christ.

Let the Treasure overflow.