Why I Blog?

Blogging

It was the afternoon after church, I noticed my cell phone had an unread text message.

“Funny”, I told myself, “I didn’t hear the text message alert”.

I quickly opened the message and it read “Newsletter article on your blog for newsletter asap”, it was from our pastor, Pastor Glen.

It was half past three but the message said it was sent at 1pm. Oh well, I replied back and asked what  he meant. PG called right up and told me I needed to write an article regarding my blogs.

“Okay”, I asked “How long?” He said “50 to 75 words”. I said “Okay.”, without really thinking how short that would have to be.

Later, I started to type up the article. Okay, most people who knew me would probably have no idea that I write. And most people would add I don’t talk much either. But don’t ask my wife, as she will tell you that no, most times nobody can shut him (me) up. Well I know, when I’m in the groove hardly anything can stop me.

But yes, I am not much of a talker. And of course, because as most of you know (or don’t know), English is not my main language.

But here I am trying desperately to communicate in what could be the de facto language of the world. And I pray that you are able to understand.

Now going back to the article that I wrote, I sat down, breathed heavily, said a little prayer and I typed and I typed and I typed. And before I knew it, it was up to over 500 words and not even close to the end. And pastor said it was supposed to be 50 or so words. Now come to think of it, nobody can write anything with 50 words.

So what did I do?

I finished the article and posted it on my website: here is the link: Preaching In The New Millennium?

And now I had to write a second article which is what you have just read. And this one is roughly 300 words.

If you are interested on what should have been the original 50 word article, check out the link. And have a blessed day!

James

Now I need to write that 50-75 word article, that is, if I can keep it that short.

Moved Again?

So it seems I have moved again.

And in as much as I still want to continue writing on @ this site, at the present time I only have time to concentrate on my newer site @ Hubpages.

Here is the link to that page: http://hubpages.com/profile/4×4

And here is the link to my first post (hub): http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Fork-In-The-Road

If you have gotten used to the way of writing over here, let me warn you that it will be a little different over there but basically the content and the topics will still be the same.

So as of now, this page is serving as an archive for the posts I had moved from the now defunct Yahoo 360 — all 146 of them.

What else can I say other than see you at Hubpages!

God bless.

UDUHJPBA72SD

Day 146- Entry for June 03, 2009

Is It One of Those Days?

“… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” From the Book of Corinthians [NIV]

Have you ever had one of those days?

Not one of those.

But, one of these.

You don’t get huh?

Anyway, there are days and nights that I just want to be able to drive thru an automated high-tech carwash but specifically built for humankind.

One wherein we can come in (walk thru) one end smelling, looking and feeling old, filthy and dirty and then out the other end smelling factory fresh & all brand new, looking sparkling clean and feeling like a million dollars.

Yes, like being granted your biggest & greatest & most improbable wish, perhaps by a genie or an enchanted creature in an instant.

Yes, like being set free and found not guilty in all counts of multiple charges brought against you by multiple people at multiple times of your life.
Yes, like receiving the largest lump sum check lottery prize in all of recorded history.

Yes, like being reborn.

And then I can only ask myself… what if? What if?

So, ever had one of those days?

Yes, what if?

Because, some days I think about the things that I have done that I know that I shouldn’t have done. And then I think about the things that I should have done but I just did not do them.

Some days I think about the missed opportunities that I didn’t grab (while that small window was open & have since been completely closed shut on me). Some days I think about the decisions that I put off and that I should have made but did not do.

Some days, I wish I can go on a time machine and travel back in time–back to a time & a place and just start over and do the right thing.

You know, back to where I now know that I can change the outcome of the direct result of what I failed to do which I should have done (or what I did which I should not have done). Yes, all those what shoulda, woulda, coulda beens.

Yes, starting over, starting clean, starting fresh, starting anew.

Spotless. Guiltless.

I know… wishful thinking.

But I guess if there is a God, only He can do such a thing.

And even though I know that He already did, I still cannot bring myself to get it sometimes that such an awesome God would do that for me–me, the often time stubborn, stiff-necked, rebellious, lazy, indifferent, pedestrian, tasteless, tactless, inconsiderate, irrational and foolish me.

But then again, if God is God, He knows me better than myself. So I guess by some heavenly cosmic reasoning that I cannot yet fathom & I doubt if I would ever would, He did that for me (and more).

And so today, just like one of those days–I am thinking about the human carwash, the enchanted creature, the judge, the biggest lottery prize, the time machine, God and the fool that I am.

And today as I do, I can only reflect about one thing.

And that I should realize that it is not all about me, but that it’s all about Him–the God (the Supreme Being) who made (you and) me.

Have you?

It’s a new day.

Come & seize it.

[God will be God, whether we believe Him or not. Truth will always be
truth, regardless if we doubt it or not. Our dreams will remain as
dreams if we don’t act upon it. And our uncertainties will always be
uncertainties if we do not do anything to tip the balance either way.]

Day 145- Entry for May 20, 2009

Were You Alarmed?

When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. [From the Book of Mark, NIV]

If you have been in the Los Angeles area (California) for the last 48 hours or so you would be have an idea of what I am about to say here.

And if you aren’t then here is the deal, last Sunday night about eightish there was an earthquake that originated in the LA Area which was strong enough to topple unsecured items, break glass windows and startle, scare, terrify & alarm many people. Now if you are living in the California Region, at the back of your mind you know somehow, somewhere, someday there will be an earthquake that is being called the Big One. Why? Well because the scientific community says so & statistics, probabilities, history, natural science, earth science, psychics & the Bible of all things says so. And if you read the Bible, you will be aware with the fact of the Signs of the End of the Age as we know it. Well, if you watch Hollywood films & best-selling books they also talk about that as well.

So that is the scenario for you.

But there is more. Let us go forward two days ahead, Tuesday afternoon at around 4. Again in the same area, there was another earthquake. It had almost the same intensity as the one that happened mind you, less than 48 hours ago.

Now at that exact time when you were feeling the second earthquake, what would go through your mind?

And here’s the thing, in between those quakes, all the local news were interviewing scientiststs & “experts” in that field who were saying that there would indeed be aftershocks or worse, that that first one was just the precursor to the bigger one that is coming.

And to top things off, people are talking about this person who correctly predicted that there will be an earthquake on that day & uncannily two days later. In fact this person is also predicting that there will be two more quakes that would happen 2 days after the second one & the other, 2 days after that.

So how crazy is that?

Wait there is more, in the LA Area & it’s surrounding areas there has been major problems in unemployment, rising unreported petty crimes (probably due to the unemployment problem). There are people who lost a fortune in the real estate & the stock market crash. There are people who are jobless, laid-off or on the verge of being laid off, underpaid, or have to work with a cut in their salaries or work lesser days or both. And it seems like one out of every ten people are out looking for a job, any job & are finding it hard to find one. The other nine people are out looking for a second or a third job as the first one isn’t enough. Taxes were raised, credit card interests rates went up, prices for food, gas & most other items are going up. And with all these going on, many stores & businesses & even some malls have already closed shop.

There are people who are homeless, kicked out of their homes with rising mortgages or rents or unemployment, there are people with rising credit card debt, with no healthcare insurance, no savings &/or their 401K plans wiped out. Suicides & killings, especially killings of family members are reported on primetime news.

Plus the whole area (Southern California) has a severe water shortage.

Many city governments in the area have huge budget deficits & have cut back on spendings & personnel. And the State of California have the biggest deficit of them all. They are again planning some 5,000 more layoffs. So now, I ask again, will you have been just a little bit alarmed?

Some of you are probably saying, “I’m happy I don’t live there.” Rightly so, but remember in the verse above, written by not just not Mark but three of the Gospel writers some 2,000 years ago as told by Jesus of Nazareth… it says there will be wars and rumors of wars, there will be earthquakes in various places and famines.

Now it does not say just one area (or the LA Area). It said it will be in various places. That’s right. It could be in yours too.

But I am not here to alarm anyone. But I am writing here to encourage all of you, me included. For that prophesy said, that ALL these will happen & it says DO NOT BE ALARMED.

And further it says that ALL these are (just) the beginning of birth pains. The end is coming, but all these must happen in order for the end to come.

So the environmentalists have it right that we need to conserve energy, conserve water, go green, save the planet, recycle, cut emissions, save the animals, save mother earth & all that.

Why, because they also know that the end is coming if we do not do anything right now. And isn’t that what all doomsday sayers as we call them, have said all along.

But those who believe in Jesus & those who believe in the Scriptures are encouraged because they already know that all these are coming & all these are just the beginning of the end & not yet the end. (For the end is so much more scarier than all or any of these). And even when the end comes, Jesus will be there once again to save those who have really believed.

And for those who have not (or have not yet) believed, all these things may just make them truly alarmed.

Are you?

Seize the day.

Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming. [Mark 13:5-8, The Message]

 

Day 144- Entry for April 17, 2009

For Our Own Good Part II

“…And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand…” [From the Letter of Paul to the Early Believers in the Church of Corinth, NLT]

Yes I know, if it was that good we should help ourselves to a second serving… (Bon apetit)

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that there there were only two things that has kept me from going crazily insane. The first one I talked about yesterday & the second one I will, today. And that is why we have this second serving of “For Our Own Good”.

And in that long (preachy) discourse I mentioned that the first thing was my belief in a loving all knowing God.

The second thing is about something that the Scripture verse above have touched on (the longer very detailed version I will give below). And I promise that today will not be a long one & will not be the versey-preachey thing anymore.

So if you know that verse above, you’d know it when I say that, that is probably my all-time favorite. Of course we will NOT include the all time great verses of the Bible as everybody knows that since childhood.

But this is my personal favorites as for whenever I have something going on that isn’t good, I always get reminded of that verse & sometimes of the verse we had yesterday.

So together, they become my one-two combination punch.

Pa-paw. Down. You’re out.

No not me, but the thing that was keeping me pinned down in misery, or with depression or worry or doubt or just about anything of a struggle or a temptation even.

Pa-paw!

“No temptation has seized you (me) except what is common to man.”

“Everything work together for the good of those who love God.”

And if you still need a knock out punch (an uppercut to the chin if you would)…

“But even if you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Slam! Down for the count.

Yes, our God is a God of second chances.

Okay for our case, He is a God of many chances. But just do not overdo it & make it a lifestyle. He is there all the time, in the best of times & in our worst of times. But isn’t it always better to just always be clinging close to Him each & everyday, so as not to wander off into the wilderness of dispair & trouble & temptation & sin?

One last thing, I saw this anonymous proverb online just want to share it over here for us to ponder upon. I know it did not come directly from the Bible but let’s just see if it touches a chord in our hearts.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Seize the day!

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. [1 Corinthians 10:13, Amplified]

Day 143- Entry for April 15, 2009

For Our Own Good

“…That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” [From the Book of Romans, The Message]

There are so many things & so many times & so many tribulations in our lives that make us all want to go bonkers. (Broken relationships, broken homes, broken lives, broken dreams & so on… Road block here, road block there, deadend here, deadend there, detour here, detour there, right turn here, left turn there).

And in my short lifespan so far here in planet earth, there is only one thing that has kept me from or had made me not go crazily insane. Well there are two things actually and both of them aren’t people. And the other one is another topic for another time.

Yes and one of those things is my belief in a God, the God who know more than we all do, who created me, you & everything else.

And my belief in that same God, who is a loving God, who made Himself known to me, by going through all the things that I might go through & by being just like me & you. (Well not like me in all respects of course for that would truly make me bonkers, but you probably know what I mean)… Someone who went through life, living it, like you & me would have & more.

And so, here I am, just like you, walking through my own life. One in which I have been given a huge box of jigsaw puzzle pieces. With nothing to do but to complete it, not even knowing how many different pieces there are, could be 10,000 could be 10 million pieces, not even knowing how much time I have to complete it, not even knowing if all the pieces are already there or if some would come later or if some have been lost. I do not even know what the final picture will look like.

And so my life, our life goes & we go on trying to piece together this (life) puzzle (pun intended by shear pure luck) one piece at a time. Each piece adding to the whole picture of what is to come & each piece we manage to put in making it easier & easier to fit the rest of the loose pieces together. Yes if we can find the right one, at the right time & the right place & order & orientation.

But I am now convinced that there is a God. That same God that I talked about earlier. And that He is like the glue who will hold all the pieces together. And the very one who will finally tell us the who, the what, the when, the how come & the why of all these.

And now I have also applied that to my spiritual life. (Which is like really taking a whole load off my chest, if we really could even fathom how that would really feel like).

And this leads me to believe that I do not have to debate or compare or be upset or be angry at or scoff at or demean or bad mouth another Christian believer, because they are of a different sect, denomination, church or creed or they have different practices, beliefs, traditions, etc. etc. (Well I am not including those that do not believe in the Son of Man & what the Scriptures say about Him). Or regardless if “they” (other Christians not like me) tend to give us “Christians” a bad name or a bad reputation. (Grow up man, to many being a Christian means you already have a bad reputation).

Yes we have no need for that, for I believe that it is for freedom that He set us free. (Just in time for this Lenten Season & Resurrection Sunday). We are all free, but of course we are not free to willfully indulge in a sinful way of life but you know, to live a life that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial kind of thing.

And he has given us everything we need to do that, we have common sense, or at least we have a little bit of sense which is common enough, we have enough sense of humor, we have a fairly good idea of what is right & what is wrong, we have a conscience, we have feelings–we know how it feels to hurt or be hurt, we have the Word of God or the Scriptures, we have the Holy Spirit and we have a group of people we can come together with & have fellowship with or ask our hard life questions with.

And so each of us Christ believers or Christians, whatever denomination or non-denomination we say we belong to, whoever our pastor is, whatever congregation we go to, whatever version of the Bible we read or not read, whatever hymns or songs we use to sing to our Lord, whatever instruments we use to give praise to our God, whether we believe or not in clapping or screaming or dancing or the gifts of the Holy Spirit or in speaking in tongues, or in tithing or any ceremonial thing or in dispensations or in whatever forms of salvation or the different forms to attain it or in eternal security.

Whatever kind of Christian we are, IF WE LOVE GOD then all things (which makes us different) WILL WORK OUT FOR GOOD.

I do not really preach in here nor quote Bible verses every statement I make but I guess maybe for the very first & last time I will…

And loving God isn’t really the problem here. For God first loved us. [1 Jn 4:19]

The love we give back to God, He first gave it to us. [Jn 3:16]

And the love we give others, comes from that same love. If we do not have that love then maybe we have lost it or have not really have it in the first place. (And please do not mistake a love of yourself for that love for others).

And so if we do have that love, we can love others, even those who believe somewhat differently than us. And if we all love God, we should all love those who believe in the same God we believe in. [1 Ptr 2:17]

So really the problem isn’t really love. But us (and all the missing puzzle pieces that we have yet to put together).

All things will work out for good!

Some people may still not have all the pieces put together, but in time they would. Some people may be a little bit slower than your pace, but in time they would catch up. Some people may be a little bit hard-headed than you, but in time they would come around.

This love that we have is not about who came in first, or who was first to bat, or who made the most goals, the most baskets, the most points, the most kills, the most holes in one, the most strikes, the most strike-outs, the highest score, the loudest cheers, the most awards & accolades, the most prestigious titles & letters preceeding & behind our names.

This love is about Jesus. This love is Jesus. This love is God. God is love!

Think about it, if Jesus was beside you right now, will he be doing what you have been doing? Or will he not be more understanding of your fellow believer? Or will he be doing something else to win his brothers over instead of pushing them away from God or God’s love? Yes the love that you have inside you.

Remember, God did make all the puzzle pieces, He do know where & when & how all the pieces will finally fit into place. He do know more that we will ever know. Yes, even if we have mastered the Scriptures & even if we have decades of scholarly work & studies. Yes, even if we think we know enough or even more than others. Yes, even if we think we have done the whole world a big favor by doing charitable work. Yes even if we were the very first believers in our place & all the others are just starting to believe & are mere Baby-Christians.

It is not about all that, it is not even about us. Apart from God, we cannot do anything. [Jn 9:33] And if you are doing a lot apart from Him or apart from His love, then be very careful who you are doing it with, for it is not with Him. [Mt 12:30]. But test it, for it is by your fruits that they will know you or know who you really are in the inside.

Jesus will come back for a spotless Bride, the whole Body of Christ or the whole Body of believers, not for a few who think they are only ones worthy to be saved because all the other sects, denominations & Christian believers do not get it. I am pretty sure there are a lot of Christian believers who do not get it. But it doesn’t follow that just because they are wrong, that you are right or that you are more right. For all we know, both of you could be wrong. You might ju
st be “more wronger” for being snotty enough to claim that you got it all right and they got it all wrong. (Please)

But make no mistake Jesus will indeed come back, whether you like it or not. Or whether you believe it or not. Or whether you think you are more worthy or more highly of another or not. Or whether you think you got it right & all the rest of us mere human beings got it wrong.

And here’s one last thing to think about. Because we are all different, what if God really plan to have all those different Christian sects, denominations & practices so as to be able to reach out to each of our individual differences, likes & dislikes, hang-ups, nuissances, backgrounds & cultures? And as we all piece together our heavenly jigzaw puzzle, what if in the end we will all finally be able to piece together enough & finally see the big picture & get it. (And get to finally see that we are not better than any of them, but are all the same–someone so messed up & in need of a Savior who has patiently waited for us to finally get it. Remember the Prodigal Son. We were that Prodigal Son at one time or another or all the time. But what if you were the son who never left, but just the same was as messed up as his prodigal brother?)

Seize that thought, seize this day.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. [Romans 8:28, Amplified]

Day 142- Entry for March 25, 2009

Taking a Break

“Give me a break… (From a Psalm of David, The Message)

Yes, indeed I did take a long break from Day 141.

Anyway, I am back. And talking about breaks I am actually taking a break right now, a lunch break.

But taking a break is good. And one thing is that you learn many things while you are gone. Like for instance, I found out that talking about a particular subject or series is hard. It is limiting to say the least. And that is part of the reason why I have been in a break for weeks now (months even) . For as you might have noticed I was talking about the Early Christian Church for quite some time before that, going through the Book of Acts and that is normally not what I do or that is normally not how I do it.

I normally just sit down and type. (Praying first is a good thing to start it too) But usually I find an inspiration somewhere–most often in Scriptures, but not always. Otherwise I write from what I experience, from what I feel, see, hear, think or dream about. The Scripture references comes later.

But that is usually not the case (as least for me) when you do a series or go read down chapter after chapter, verse by verse of a Book in the Bible. I just couldn’t fly off somewhere and write something about a totally unconnected/out of line topic. Which is normally the way I do it. So today, I am back to that. Even typing on the fly on my lunch break, looking down on my lunch plate which I have almost half-way eaten by now.

Take a break! We all need it. But afterwards, it’s back to work!

Seize this day!

Psalm 39:12 (The Message)

“Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my cry—open your ears.
Don’t be callous; just look at these tears of mine.
I’m a stranger here. I don’t know my way—
a migrant like my whole family.
Give me a break, cut me some slack
before it’s too late and I’m out of here.”