Wednesday, January 31, 2018

WOYWW: God’s Mercy

Starting on my Bible page for today

“Let us fall by the hand of God, for He is most merciful...” 2 Samuel 24:14

Although the beginning of this chapter is confusing, we see a side of David that shows why he is a man after God’s own heart. He knows His God, and knows he sinned against Him, and is willing to take the consequences. God asks David to choose among three punishments, and David says He will choose to fall by God’s hand for His mercies are great. “Do not let me fall into human hands!” David pleaded in desperation. We know well what man without a conscience is capable of! 

I was listening to a question and answer portion after a talk on suffering this morning. A lady came to the microphone and said, “Two years ago, I pleaded with God to give me His heart. Since then my husband and I experienced a series of heartbreaks. Today I had a CT scan because of a suspicious nodule in my chest x-ray. My breathing has worsened. I am still suffering from MS for over 30 years. Why has our suffering escalated since praying this prayer?”

We are either suffering or know someone who is suffering. When we suffer, Christ is one with us in our suffering. He is the source of every mercy and He comforts us in our affliction (2 Cor. 1:3-4). I believe suffering can be redemptive. When I was afflicted with Pemphigus Vulgaris and Deep Vein Thrombosis, God taught me so much. In suffering, we can be one with Christ, and we can have his heart for others. I am deeply grateful for healing, and I am even more grateful that I can talk and eat without pain, that I do not have to wear those hot and tight stockings every day. Our pains and challenges are a unique opportunity to know God better, and to increase our love and compassion for others. It can also bring us to gratefulness and joy if we open ourselves up to God’s grace, healing and mercy. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fear is Useless

“Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.” Mark 5:36

Other versions read, “Be not afraid, only believe.” “Do not be seized with alarm and have no fear, only keep believing.” “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Why do we sometimes prefer to fill our minds with anxieties and ‘what ifs?’ Is it perhaps because the natural reaction to faith is ridicule and scoffing? 

In the 5th chapter of Mark, a synagogue official by the name of Jairus pleads with Jesus to heal his daughter. Jesus walks off with him and a large crowd follows them. Before they reach Jairus’ home, someone from the house gives bad news. “Your daughter has died. You need not bother the teacher any longer.” Jesus then comforts Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” 

Inside the house, people are weeping and wailing loudly. “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” After he said this, the people RIDICULED Him. Instead of hoping and holding on to His words, they laughed him to scorn, and jeered! What kind of a reaction is that? Perhaps it is like a protection from disappointment. We prefer to believe the worst, rather than hope and trust. We prefer to be cynical. That is the way of the world. Cynicism is sophisticated. Hope and trust are for children. 

But aren’t we supposed to be like little children?  Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Faith and trust and believing in God will get us to heaven, but we also need it here on earth where cynicism prevails. We need to practice believing in God’s promises more, and ignore the ridicule and laughter of the world. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Touching Lives

“...he had his dwelling among the tombs.” Mark 5:3

Jesus met all sorts of people. Rich tax collectors, poor men and women in need of healing, powerful religious men, widows, children, fishermen, even the demon-possessed who lived amongst the dead. He met them where they were in their journey, and touched their lives, whether they liked it or not. 

Saint Damien of Molokai was a Catholic priest who chose to live among the lepers quarantined in the Hawaiian island of Molokai. He taught them the faith, helped them build roads, houses, a school, a hospital, cared for them, ate with them, and dug their graves. With his leadership they built the Parish Church of St. Philomena which still stands today. One day, 11 years after he arrived, he realized he contracted leprosy when he spilled hot water on his foot and could not feel anything. He continued to serve there faithfully till his death in 1889. 

The people of Molokai wanted Father Damien buried there for he was one of them. He touched their lives, and cared for them. But he was originally from Belgium and the Belgians wanted their hero back. In 1936, his body was transferred to Belgium. The people of Molokai continued to petition, and in 1995, his right hand was returned to Molokai for burial. We may not have Saint Damien’s heroic unselfishness, nor his strength to sacrifice his life for others, but we too should find a way to touch the lives of others, to be Jesus to them. 

As Mother Teresa said, “At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in’.” 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fullness of Joy

“Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth?” Mark 1:24

In Deuteronomy 18:16, the Jews had just petitioned God for a prophet to speak to them. They did not want to hear God’s audible voice nor did they want to see the fire engulfing the mountains, the clouds and the thunder and the thick darkness. I suppose it terrified them as it would terrify us. So God granted their request and sent prophets. He did not speak to them audibly as a nation again. He instructed them about these prophets in Dt 18:19, “But against anyone who is not willing to listen to his words, which he will speak in my name, I will stand forth as the avenger.” In another version, it reads, “I will make him answer for it.” How terribly important it is for us to read Jesus’ words, understand and obey! Jesus is the perfect revelation of the Father! But unlike the awesome voice speaking in and through the fire, He is not terrifying!

And that may be the reason why so many of us ignore Him, and like the man with the unclean spirit in Mark 1, we want Him not to mind us so we can do what we please. “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Go away and leave us to our own devices!” 

We do not realize how wretched and pitiful we are without God to guide us in our life. We reject His Words not knowing rejection of His Words means rejection of His gift of joy. 

“These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus said in John 15:11, “that your joy may be full.” And in John 17:13, Jesus said, “I am speaking these things in the world, so that they may have the fullness of my joy within themselves.”

Lord, I want that fullness of joy in my life. Teach me Your ways! 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

God, Do You Not Care?

“Master, do you not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38

In this story we see how human Jesus was. He was exhausted after preaching to a multitude. I am sure we can relate if we’ve had to give a talk, seminar, lecture or workshop. Nowadays we have microphones, laptops, powerpoint, and projectors to help us. Jesus had none of that. He must have had to choose the location, by the sea, so His voice would be amplified as it traveled over the water. 

In the evening, after preaching, He asked that they go over to the other side on a boat, and He promptly fell asleep in weariness. He could not rest for long because a furious squall arose, and the waves broke over the boat, almost tilting it over. The experienced fishermen turned timid and woke Jesus, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing? We’re going to drown!” 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the raging sea, “Hush! Be still!”, and the waves and the wind obeyed Him. Many of us are like these fishermen. We go through life unmindful of what God does for us every single minute of the day. Then something happens, and we cry out, “Lord, do You not care what happens to me? Why are You allowing this? Why do You allow me and my family to suffer?” 

Many become atheists because they cannot believe a loving God allows suffering and pain. But many of us forget all God has done and is doing for us. A human Jesus came down, leaving His glory, to be able to speak to us, man to man. For three years He preached, healed, and gave us the unparalleled sign of His death and resurrection. He taught and did so much, the whole world would not be able to hold all the books if everything was written down (John 21:25). We should take the time to read, and understand His Words. His Words are so important, crucial, significant, essential for us to learn and know. He sacrificed so much, He exhausted Himself, He drained His life, just so we would understand Him and know what is important to God. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Who are You, Sir?

“The God of our fathers long ago designated you to know His will, to look upon the Just One, and to hear the sound of His voice...” Acts 22:14

Today is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. Paul’s conversion story is fascinating just like many conversion stories I have heard and read about. Paul was a fierce Jew, a Roman citizen and a Pharisee. Before he knew Christ, he persecuted Christians, and was looking on while Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was being stoned. 

But God had a plan for him, a purpose for this man who burned with hatred for Christians that he was willing to seek them out and bring them back to Jerusalem and have them persecuted. On his way to Damascus, a great light from heaven shone around him like a spotlight, and he fell to the ground. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, sir?” He asked, and the answer came, “I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.” After that, Paul was given his marching orders to go to Damascus and “there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.” 

Perhaps we may think why isn’t there a dramatic voice from heaven calling to me, a miracle that would help me strengthen my faith? As a Pharisee, Paul knew the Mosaic Laws, the Torah, the Prophets, the rites and services at the Temple. He studied all that and was a zealous Pharisee. When Jesus called him, I believe He knew Paul would be just as zealous about Him and the gospel. 

Today, we have the benefit of the Bible. Just like in school, we go step by step, we need to learn the foundations before we graduate to deeper knowledge. If we study the Bible, reading about the life of Jesus, the letters of Paul and the other books of the Bible, God will meet us there. He will answer our questions. 

Do we have a deep conviction that we are so important to God, even when we sin against Him? The answer is in the Bible. Do we know what it means to be human? Do we know our purpose? It’s all in the Bible. There is so much to absorb and digest in that great collection of Books! We will never be able to finish reading and rereading God’s love letters, His instructions to us. If we start there, I am sure God will give us miracles and wonders! 

Stir into Flame

“Stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you.” 2 Timothy 1:6

When I started in the Charismatic renewal, I and my family attended several Life in the Spirit Seminars. We would join rallies and fall in line to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I do not know how many times we went to the front to receive an anointing. I can’t remember how many times hands were laid on my head. 

I knew that God had stirred my Spirit when I had a hunger for His Word. Every line from the Bible became rhema, every phrase would jump out at me, and I would underline and make notes in the margins until my Bible fell apart and needed rebinding. 

In the 1st to 3rd chapters of Revelation, Jesus asks John to write letters to seven churches. In 2:4, we read, “But I have this complaint against you. You have abandoned the fervor of your first love for me.” This is a sign of the end times. More and more people will turn away from God. More and more will lose confidence in the Gospel. Truth will no longer be absolute, subverted by agnosticism. Meaninglessness will prevail. 

Saint Paul reminds Timothy and us to stir into flame the gift of God. We should not allow the flame of our love for God to die down into embers or charcoal. We should not be complacent, ok with the status quo. Lord, help us to persevere in running the race. May we always set aside time in our busy day to connect with You and learn at Your feet. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

WOYWW: Planting Seeds

Starting my sketchbook for the
Sketchbook Project, a crowd funded sketchbook museum.

“A farmer went out to plant some seed...other seed fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was 30, 60, and even a hundred times as much as planted.” Mark 4:3-8

Who is the farmer planting seeds in Jesus’ parable? Jesus explains to His disciples that the farmer is whoever brings His message to others. It is you and me. We who have been entrusted with the good news should be ready to “throw” the good seeds far and wide, generously and indiscriminately, using any means at our disposal. Some seeds may fall on deaf ears, and some may be received enthusiastically at first. Many people are too busy or too filled with anxiety to listen, but there are some we reach at just the right time.

I listen to the Youtube recordings of Ravi Zacharias a lot. It is fascinating how he makes God’s message riveting and I have no doubt many have been convinced to investigate Christianity because of him and his ministry. But when Ravi was 17 years old, he was the one in need of the Word. It was planted in his parched heart by John Tiebe, a Youth for Christ Director who came to visit him in the hospital after he had committed suicide. Tiebe left a Bible opened to John 14:9, “Because I live, you too will live.” Ravi accepted that word and it produced a hundred fold harvest.

When John Tiebe died, Ravi called his daughter. The daughter told Ravi that before her father passed away, he had been listening to Ravi’s talks for weeks. I can imagine how happy, how gratified he felt to see a concrete reward for his life’s work.

We may not see so dramatic a conversion from our planting of seeds, but we need to know there is a very compelling reason to continue to sow with conviction. The enemy is planting seeds too. He is not stingy with his poisonous, deadly seeds. We can see how he works faster and faster, how he deceives more and more gullible people into believing their own lies.

Lord, here I am, use me. Teach me to be a sower of Your good seed. 

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dancing with Abandon

“Then David...came dancing before the Lord with abandon...” 
2 Samuel 6:14

I’ve never danced before the Lord with abandon, with all my might, and soul and breath. But the times I’ve given myself fully to worship Him have been exhilarating and freeing. When we worship, we unite ourselves with God, with the Maker of heaven and earth. We unite ourselves with beauty, with truth, with all that is and ever will be. We are one with all the angels singing praise to the One they know without any doubt as the One True King. We are in harmony with all the saints, the martyrs who gave their blood, sweat and tears because as Jim Elliot wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Although I cannot imagine myself dancing with King David, I can imagine myself jumping, shouting, singing out loud in jubilation. I cannot wait for the day we leave behind all the ambiguity of this world, the penchant of people nowadays to make their own reality and believe it to be true. Where is honor? Where is righteousness? One cannot worship where there is no truth! Jesus said in Matthew 15:8-9: “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me. Their worship is a farce...”

Lord, forgive us for our many sins. Forgive me, Lord. I do not want to be a hypocrite. I want to worship You in spirit and truth. May I treasure You above all things.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Enemy at the Door

“If a household is divided...that household will not stand.” Mark 3:25

The scribes in Jesus’ day could not explain Jesus’ miracles and they decided, “He is possessed by Beelzebul. He casts out demons by the ruler of demons!” Jesus called them and explained, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If Satan opposes himself, his kingdom is divided, and it cannot stand.”

Yes, our ancient enemy continues to work today, and he is so successful, many people think he and his minions don’t exist. He is delighted when we scoff and say, “The devil? What a lot of nonsense!” But the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

We don’t see our enemy, but the battlefield is our mind. Just as the devil in the garden convinced Eve that disobeying God was in her best interest, so he tries to convince us to give him a foothold in our lives. What we think of as little sins, gives the enemy a foot in the door. 

The best way to deal with him is to cast him out when he tries to toy with our emotions and thinking. We should not allow him space in our mind. Negative thoughts that make us insecure, or make us think others are against us, be gone! We should learn to recognize temptations, deceptions, and accusations, so we can rebuke them before they find a space to park. 

St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (deceived) Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 

Jesus, You came to give us victory. Thank You for the armor and the weapons You gave us so we can be victors against the enemy who wants to destroy our peace, our joy, our love for You and our brothers and sisters. Continue to teach us Your ways! 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Follow Me

“Come follow me...” Mark 1:17

A lot of us claim to be followers of Jesus but do we really know what it entails? If we listen to some evangelists, all we need to do is say the sinner’s prayer and we are saved. But first and foremost, Jesus declared, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” 

Repentance is a turning away from sin and returning to God. Today many make their own definition of sin, and think truth is relative. The Gospel has been replaced by memes on social media and viral feel good lists. Some put great value in knowing what is happening to celebrities more than knowing what God considers good and what He has declared plain wrong. Facebook has replaced prayer and people doubt beliefs even before believing in anything. 

The world is changing but whatever happens, we can stand on rock if we stand on Jesus’ words. “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life,” said He who is the Word made flesh. If we want to know the truth, the truth can be found by anyone genuinely seeking. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Out of His Mind

“He is out of His mind.” Mark 3:21

In another of my Bibles it says, “He has lost his senses.” Why did Jesus’ own people, His own relatives, conclude that of Him? This time it was because there was a multitude clamoring for His attention, He could not even find time to eat. But if Jesus really wanted to eat, He could surely do it as He found time to pray every day. Eating was not on top of His priorities. Preaching the Word, healing, exorcising, these were what He needed to do in the 3 years He had on earth. 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Sebastian. I am sure people thought he was crazy too. Instead of enjoying His privileged life as a son of a rich man, an officer of the Imperial Roman army, and Captain of the Praetorian Guard, what did he do? He infuriated Emperor Diocletian by visiting the prisoners incarcerated because of Diocletian's persecution of Christians. When the Emperor found out that Sebastian was a Christian, he ordered him tied to a stake to be used for target practice. Riddled with arrows, he was left for dead. Irene of Rome found him still breathing and nursed him back to life. Once he was well enough to walk, Sebastian went in search of the Emperor and tried to convert him, pleading with him to stop torturing and murdering Christians. Enraged, Diocletian ordered Sebastian clubbed to death! This time, Sebastian was well and truly dead. 

Crazy? Foolish? Insane? Lunatic? Sebastian certainly was a fool for Christ! He bet everything, even his very life, for the truth he believed in. How about us? Are we willing to invest our time, resources, our life, for a retirement plan that is out of this world? 

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Serious Thing

“It is a serious thing to attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord Himself has chosen him.” 
1 Samuel 24:6

King Saul was searching for David with 3000 men in order to kill him. Even though Saul hunted him down day after day, he and his men could not find David. One day, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. David was inside the dark cave with his men and it would have been so easy for David to take the King’s life but he did not. “It is a serious thing to attack the Lord’s anointed one,” David rebuked his men who were prodding him to take Saul’s life. 

What has happened today when men’s lives are so cheap? Crime is committed by young people, old people, against babies, against grandmothers. But it’s not just killing and big crimes we have to worry about. 

Before Luigi and I got married, our ninang (godmother) gave me advice. “Always see Luigi through God's eyes.” We are all beloved of God, sons and daughters of God. God loves each of us so much. Peter said to the Christians, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation...” (1 Peter 2:9). We are a people set apart. “You did not choose me, but I choose you” (John 15:16). 

When we attack our brothers and sisters with words it is a serious thing. Words are weapons too, and we can destroy lives with words, especially today with social media. Young people commit suicide because they were targeted with cruelty. 

Let us choose our words well. Be kind, compassionate and generous with encouragement. We may not know it but somebody’s life may depend upon it. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Tears in Your Vial

"My wanderings you have counted. You keep track of all my sorrows. Are not my tears stored in your vial, recorded in Your book?” Psalm 56:8

Many Jewish customs are fascinating. I do not know if it is still done today, but before, each Jewish child was given a small bottle which they are supposed to keep until death. They were supposed to collect one tear from every time they experience a sadness or tragedy in their life. They were also to collect tears from everyone who experienced this sadness with them. At the time of their death, the tear jar would be buried with them, and they would give the bottle to God to show how much hardship they had undergone. 

There is no doubt that the Jews have gone through more than their fair share of suffering. The death camp in Auschwitz is evidence enough. People have visited there and it changed their life completely. Some could not go through all the rooms were human hair was stocked, where there were pictures of the people experimented on by Josef Mengele. This man who should not be called a doctor, conducted research on twins, babies, dwarves, etc. and performed forced sterilization and castrations on  men and women. 

Of the estimated 1.3 million people deported by the SS and police in 1940-45, 1.1 million of them were murdered in gas chambers and so-called science experiments. Tears? I should think Jews are very familiar with tears. But how did their “extermination” start and why did Germany, this brilliant country, go along with it? 

I am sure the answer is complicated, but I can see stirrings here in the Philippines. One charismatic man with obnoxious ideas, with no moral compass, and a lot of sycophants around him with no spine to speak out against evil and wrongdoing, that is our problem. 

But that man does not know there is a God who knows exactly how many hairs are on his head, how many lies he’s told, and how many people he has had killed. There is a God who hears our prayers and sees our tears. We have to continue to pray, do what we can where we are with what we have. We have to remember the battle is against spiritual forces of evil, and pray hard. But let us not be afraid or discouraged for the battle is not ours but the Lord’s. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WOYWW: The Battle

Here is what I’ve been busy with. I take scraps from old clothes and pin them together for someone to embroider and make into purses. I quite enjoy it. I used to embroider them myself but then I couldn’t sell it! 

“The battle is the Lord’s...” 
1 Samuel 17:47

What would have happened if David did not know the Lord? There would be no story of him slaying Goliath. He would not have been king. David was a confident boy, but his confidence was clearly from His relationship with God. Even if his oldest brother Eliab put him down and angrily asked, “What are you doing here at the battlefield? You’re supposed to be taking care of your pitiful sheep!” 

But this did not deter David. He declared for all to hear, “Who is this Goliath, this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” 

What we can accomplish has a lot to do with our image of God, what we believe of Him, what we know of Him, what we have experienced with Him.  David shouted, “The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!” They had a lot of history together, David and the Lord. They had a relationship. He was not afraid of the giant Goliath that made the battle weary Israelite army quiver and run away in fright. 

“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...All this multitude shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. For the battle is the Lord’s and He shall deliver you into our hands,” David proclaimed.

Whatever battle we face, we have God at our side. But it will not matter one iota if we don’t know it, or we don’t know Him. We need to have a relationship with Him, we need a history with Him, so we can be confident of His help, wisdom, and His winning the battle for us.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Into Our Heart

“Not as man sees does God see, ...the Lord looks into the heart.” 
1 Samuel 16:7

When God rejected Saul as King, He asked the prophet Samuel to anoint the next king. Samuel went off to Bethlehem and invited Jesse and his sons as the Lord instructed. One by one, Samuel tried to second guess the Lord. “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”, Jesse would think as he saw Eliab and Jesse’s other sons, but the Lord chose none of them. He had chosen Jesse’s youngest son David who was out in the fields watching sheep! 

What did God see in David when He looked into His heart? He was far from perfect but what we can see is when he sinned against God he was deeply repentant. He loved God’s law. He wrote about half of the Psalms and in it, David’s heart was humbly turned towards God. He delighted in God’s word and meditated on it. 

Saint Paul’s revelation about David is found in the Book of Acts: “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22). 

Father, help me to be a delight to You. Forgive me of my many sins. May I do everything You want me to do!

Monday, January 15, 2018


“Obedience is better than sacrifice.” 
1 Samuel 15:22

King Saul had to learn the hard way that God was displeased with him because of his disobedience. In Deuteronomy 8, a chapter in the Old Testament Jesus liked to quote from, we see a picture of what we would be like if we disobeyed God. Verse 19 reads, “But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other will certainly be destroyed.” 

In the novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” written by Oscar Wilde in 1890, it tells of a handsome man who had his portrait painted. Gray, in his vanity, sells his soul to preserve his looks and ensure that the painting instead would age. Not only did the painting age, it showed evidence of every sin and crime Gray committed as he slipped more and more into an amoral and decadent lifestyle. 

It may be that we live a righteous life, we fast on days we are obligated to, we say 2000 Hail Marys with our church group, and we give alms to the poor. What is the portrait of our soul that God sees? Are we obedient to Him, humble not arrogant, loving towards our neighbors? Or are we like the Pharisees who like to make an outward show of their holiness and obedience to the smallest letter of the law? 

Father, show us the way to Your heart! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What are You looking for?

“What are you looking for?” 
John 1:38

When two of John the Baptist disciples started following Jesus as he walked, Jesus asked, “What are you looking for? What are you searching for? What do you want?”

I wager all of us are looking for something, searching for something, wanting something. The question is if what we are searching for will matter in the perspective of eternity. One hopes that amidst all we go after, some part of our time and effort goes to the quest for truth. 

My family serves in the QC Jail and we know of many inmates who claim to be innocent of the crime they’ve been accused of. One man was accused of rape of a special child and he said he was nowhere near where the mother of the child claimed he was. He told us the mother was asking him for money to withdraw her accusation. If he was guilty of the crime, he was a horribly vile person. If he was telling the truth, the mother was the vile person who did not care that this man’s life was changed forever, and he was little better than an animal in the jail. It turned out that Frank was telling the truth and a friend was able to track down a woman who testified that he was fixing electric fans in her office on the date in question. 

Truth matters terribly in court cases, where matters of life or death are sometimes decided. In one 1966 Time magazine cover, it trumpeted, “Is God dead?” Last March 2017, Time magazine repeated the bold red and black cover, asking, “Is truth dead?” 

Man can’t kill God, and can’t kill the truth no matter how hard we try. We can deceive ourselves as many of us do, about what is really important. But I think the most important pursuit we can have in our short time here on earth is to go after the truth. It’s a matter of life and death. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Follow Him

“Follow me.” Mark 2:14

In my other Bible, this verse reads, “Come, be my disciple.” I believe that this invitation is issued to every one of us. It does not matter if we’re a nuclear physicist, a grade school teacher, Uber driver or theologian. The call is the same. God chooses us because He loves us. 

Levi was a despised tax collector when Jesus found him sitting at his customs post. Peter was a fisherman. Well known apologist Ravi Zacharias was a failure in many ways. He tried to commit suicide by ingesting poison from the Chemistry lab in his university. While in the hospital, the Youth for Christ director left a Bible, with a verse marked for him to read: “Because I live, you will also live.” (John 14:19) The doctor asked him, “Do you really want to live? We can make you live again by getting the poison out. But we cannot make you want to live.”

In the hospital, Ravi prayed, “Jesus, if you are the One who gives life as it is meant to be, I want it. Please get me out of this hospital bed well, and I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth." He kept that promise. Today he is a charismatic and visionary speaker, an apologist who leads a team of global speakers defending and articulating the Gospel and our Christian faith. We can say he is very successful. But there are many followers of Christ who are not so well known, sowing seeds as they drive taxis, serve meals, sew clothes in a little room. God does not choose us because we are successful, charismatic, intelligent. He chooses us, period. The question is, do we choose Him? 

Friday, January 12, 2018

In My Heart

“Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?” Mark 2:8

I am sure the scribes were aghast that Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking. We can be sure that God knows what’s in our hearts as well. Even if we fool ourselves into thinking we are searching for the truth, we want God to be first in our lives, we can’t deceive God.  

What are we reading? What are we watching? What do we spend our money on? What do we use our time for? Who do we admire? The answers to these questions will tell us exactly what is important to us. Can we say that God and God’s ways are important to us if we don’t even open His Word? God knows what we are thinking and what is valuable to us. We should too. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Make Me Clean

“If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Mark 1:40

A leper approached Jesus, knelt down and begged, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jesus then touched him and said, “I am willing. Be clean!” Immediately the leper was healed. Does anyone know why one person gets healed and another doesn’t? When my mom was diagnosed with tongue cancer, we prayed, confessed healing scriptures, brought her to priests with the charismatic gift of healing, went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes and Padre Pio’s San Giovanni Rotondo. 5 years after the diagnosis, the Father chose to take her home. I am remembering my mom today because tomorrow would have been her 83rd birthday. She left us almost 3 years ago. 

God could have healed her, but by the time it was clear He wanted her home, he healed ME of my fear of death, specifically my mom’s death. I thought I would be devastated. My mom was my best friend and there was hardly a day we did not talk. We went to daily mass together in the mornings and we would dawdle before going home telling stories and talking about anything under the sun. Amazingly, the day God took her last breath, I had real joy in my heart. God gave me the gift of knowing mommy was going to a place He designed for us. She would not be in any pain or suffering anymore. No more crying only an indescribable peace, joy and love. Of course I wanted that for my mom! And I am sure we want that for ourselves as well! 

For now Lord, make us clean of sin, unforgiveness, resentment, anything that separates us from You. And when the time comes, accompany us to our real home where we are awaited by our loved ones who have gone on before us. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

WOYWW: Connecting to the Commander

Starting with my new planner, available at our shop, papemelroti.
Inside it’s got some questions to think about. 

“Everyone is asking for you.” Mark 1:37

Jesus was very tired after a busy day. He and His companions, Simon, Andrew, James and John had gone to the synagogue as it was a Sabbath. Jesus taught with such authority that many were caught with amazement. Then at the same synagogue an evil spirit confronted Him and He exorcised the spirit. After the service, He left and visited Simon and Andrew’s home, and healed the mother-in-law of Simon. At sunset, because word had reached many people about Him, a horde of sick and demon-possessed people were at the door. Many gathered to watch as he healed them all. 

Did Jesus rest after this? He woke long before daybreak the next day and went out alone to the wilderness and prayed. If Jesus had to pray, found it necessary to connect to the Father, shouldn’t we prioritize taking the time to do so? Sometimes we say we have so much to do, there just isn’t enough time, so much calls for our attention. 

Simon and the others went off to find Him. When they did, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!” Sound familiar? So many people are asking us to meet with them, so many asking us to do this or do that, attend this, attend that, plan this, plan that. My planner is so full of activities and a TO DO list, and the year has hardly started! 

What did Jesus do? Did He rush off with His disciples to heal those waiting at the door again? That’s a good thing to do, isn’t it? But He said, “We must go to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too, because that is why I came.” He was very clear about His “battle plan”. And it’s all because He went to His commander. 

Life is a constant battle. There are so many good things to do. How do we choose what would make the biggest difference, the biggest impact? Lord, may we go to You, for wisdom, for strength, for our instructions.

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!
I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here: