Tree roots for a hammock and splashing waves for music. It doesn’t get any better than this!
I miss old praise and worship songs like this. Most people today have never heard of Ron Kenoly […]
I still remember the whole setting vividly in my head. It was late in the afternoon, I was alone in my dorm room profusely sweating as I nervously took my old scientific calculator from the drawer and started scribbling the formulas on the back cover using a Mongol pencil number 1. I sighed a faint prayer of forgiveness while in the background Jaci Velasquez was singing her sweet rendition of “I Get On My Knees.”I didn’t want to listen to the song but I also didn’t want to stop my cassette player.
After I copied the formulas, I neatly tucked the calculator inside my bag and started out of the door when I realized I needed to say at least a little prayer. It was very awkward. How do you ask God to bless your cheating? How do you say “Let me cheat just this one time, I’m sorry, bless me anyway and please don’t hold this against me?”
I went back inside, sat in my bed for a minute and mumbled, “Lord… ” Many moments passed and I was still speechless. I just couldn’t form the words. I wanted to just get up and be done with it but part of me was thinking it was the same thing that made Esau lose his inheritance when he sold his birthright for a plate of food.
One such lesson that struck me today when I chanced upon the passage was how Samson didn’t protect the source of his strength. On many occasions, we read of his loose morals. Like so many young people today, he was one who sowed wild oats wherever he went. He was young, he wanted to enjoy life and he wanted to explore the wonders of his sexuality. Whenever he saw a girl he liked, he’d do everything he can to get her even if it meant stirring up trouble. His extraordinary strength afforded him everything he ever wanted. It was probably the coolest thing in the world for a guy.
But the day of reckoning came faster than he expected. He met the beautiful Delilah and in a short period of time, his world crumbled down.
In his preoccupation with pleasure, Samson forgot to protect the source of his strength. He forgot that God gave him power to accomplish something greater than his escapades. His gifts were meant to deliver Israel, not create a harem of girls who swoon when they see him. He forgot that to maintain his power, he needed to keep his commitment and integrity as a Nazirite.
Christians are supposed to be walking large-print letters, readable by all men. Our conduct should unmistakably point people to Christ and they should never have to guess if we are Christians or not.
Have you ever thought that life is unfair because your boss doesn’t appreciate your hardwork? If so, you should read David’s life story. After devoting all his strength and valor serving in Saul’s army, the king tried to kill him. Not because he did something wrong but because Saul was jealous of his exploits.
If you’ve been through a situation when you gave your best to someone (or something) and in the end you walked away unappreciated, you’ll know how depressing it was for David to find himself running like a fugitive. At one point, he was so afraid of the king of Achicsh that the only way for him to save his neck was to pretend that he was insane.
I just started watching Naruto. I know I’m a little too late for this. Right now, there are already 220 Naruto episodes produced and another 166 of Naruto Shippuden. The total viewing time for all these would take months for me and I’m not even sure if I could ever catch up with the hardcore fans. That’s okay though, everybody’s got to start somewhere.
There are a few things I noticed while watching the show. First is the way the Japanese portray spirituality. From Hayao Miyazaki’s movies to the Dragon Ball series to Naruto, I noticed the not so subtle insinuation that with disciplined training, people can cross over to the spirit world and take advantage of its powers. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. Biblically speaking, we can’t really crossover like that and the way to spiritual strength is not ninja discipline.
A wealthy man threw a party and sent out invitations. When everything was ready, he sent out his servants to collect the RSVP cards but was disheartened to know that his esteemed guests were not coming. The reasons they were not coming make for an interesting study of the excuses we often make when we want to wriggle ourselves out of God’s call. One just bought a field, another was going to try out a newly bought oxen while the other one just got married.
What’s very interesting about this is the fact that all their alibis are not sinful things. Never. I mean look at them again. There is nothing wrong with buying a piece of land, nothing sinful with being excellent at your job and definitely nothing unholy about keeping your marriage solid. For the record, these are good things, in fact, these are the very things we strongly pray about! Properties, a high paying job and a good marriage- who doesn’t pray for these?
Story has it that in the middle of working on another masterpiece, Leonardo da Vinci laid down his brushes to answer a knock on his door. Outside was an elderly man who needed help with his water line. Da Vinci dropped what he was doing, picked up his tools and went out the door to help the old man. We don’t know if he made for a good plumber or if he was even able to finish the job. What we know is that the work of art that he started that day remained unfinished till the day he died.
Interruptions. Everyone knows what it’s like. You start a personal project that’s very important to you and just out of the blue, some other things scream for attention and before you know it, you’re reduced to responding to the urgent needs around you. Some years later you realized your project remains unfinished. Where have all the hours gone?
Hagar’s deliverance came from an unexpected place. It was brought about by a genuine prayer of a dying boy and the faithfulness of the God who never forgets any of His promises. Just when her last strand of hope was about to snap, God stepped in and by miraculous providence, a spring of water appeared near them and sustained them in the dessert. They were not going to die after all. Even if Ishmael’s posterity would grow to be the fiercest enemy of Isaac’s children for generations, God simply doesn’t abandon those whom a promised is made to.
You might sometimes find yourself in a situation where you are too discouraged to even get up and breath. Don’t despair. Even the castaways are never forsaken. They live on and they find hope in God. They find help even in unexpected places. Yes, even a dying boy’s prayer can be your ticket to deliverance. Just hang on and say a prayer.
There was only one Road, and it’s like a great river; its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further or to worse places?”