Monthly Archives: July 2012

What being a Jerk taught me.

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Well, I think I finally know what’s been bothering me the past couple of days.

Putting it lightly, I am appalled at myself.

Why have I behaved in such a manner? — in a manner completely not befitting someone claiming to be Christian. To say that I am mortified is an understatement.

It was a couple of days ago. I was sitting at a church program, no less, when suddenly I get this text from a friend.

Now this friend is someone I’ve known since college, but have not seen for a couple of years. Naturally all news about her I’ve only heard from other, mutual college friends. Recently, however, these news have been rather unfavorable towards her.

So I was sitting there at the church program, enjoying it, and I get the text.

If only I’d paused for a moment, or even reconsidered the reply I’d typed up with haste.

But no.

I sent to her a most judgmental and insensitive reply.

Why?

Because I can be a jerk like that.

I realized it the moment I sent it, especially when she replied back and she all but said: “I thought you’d be a bit more understanding, with you being a Christian and all.”

Straight to the heart.

In my defense, there really was truth in what I initially sent her. But as Marshall put it: the medium is the message. And the manner in which it is delivered certainly accounts for more.

And I knew from that moment that whatever witness I was trying to be to her is now forever tainted.

And what could be learned from this?

TO BE CAREFUL.

Was it a coincidence that I committed this offense while being in the company of fellow believers? No. The enemy really is prowling, awaiting that simple slip of judgement, of the tongue, biding his time and using even the faintest and smallest chink in the armor, to one’s disadvantage.

Sigh.

It could be to the cost of a friendship, but it is what it took to remind me that for all the skepticism and agnosticism in the world, people are desperate to see someone different, someone genuine. In such an environment as we are in today in which almost everyone is skeptical of everything, I believe that people want to be convinced of something real, that the Someone we claim to be our Lord is real.

Claiming my Promised Campuses

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Just as the Israelites faced the prospects of claiming the Promised Land, so do I feel that I am getting ready to face my own Promised Land.

Just as Moses, with unwavering faith and devotion trusted God that the Promised Land would be theirs, so do I try my best to trust that God would open spiritual movements in my campus assignments.

It has been more than a week since I’ve started contacting people from my assigned campuses.

The responses have been great so far:

…three turned out to be already involved in a Christian organization

…one, who had initially committed to be a student leader or KV, suddenly backed out

…two didn’t show up in our appointment

…and at least two said they’ll “think and pray about it”

Anyway, lest you think that I am being overly pessimistic, the truth is, I am not worried. Well, not yet anyway.

Didn’t the Israelites spend way more time outside the Promised Land?

Surely I can wait before the opportune time when I can finally “claim my Promised Campuses”.

Amen.

 

God has a Plan for UPBaguio

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Several days ago I met an alumnus of my alma mater, UP Baguio.

I must say, it was very encouraging to talk to him and hear how, even now, the principles he’d learned in college, with CCC, have been very useful to him.

Of course, as is almost always the case with alumni, there were the customary reminiscing stories…

All those stories of “back in the day” make me stand in awe of God’s power. Seeing this guy now, hearing his involvement and passion for the ministry even with his toxic duty at the hospital (he’s a medical doctor), and hearing how all his other batchmates too are still involved… I cannot help but be amazed at the far-reaching implications and results of true discipleship.

Stories such as these, however, inevitably lead me to be a bit jealous and wistful, making me ask: Why couldn’t I have experienced that? 

And of course, thinking this inevitably brings the temptation to blame, to point fingers…

Why didn’t the staffs do anything?

What about our seniors then? Why didn’t they step up to leadership? If they had, I wouldn’t have been forced to premature leadership. Didn’t they realize how young and desperately in need of guidance I was?

Why did that happen?

Why?

When I think of these things, I somehow find it hard to believe that God allowed this to happen.

He allowed the movement in UPBaguio to fluctuate, to (in my perspective) fall so hard from so high.

He allowed it to fall into the hands of inexperienced students, one of which was me.

And perhaps the most difficult pill to swallow, personally, is that He allowed it to happen in my time.

Sino ba ang nagkulang?

These are questions I may not find answers for soon. These are questions that may never even be answered.

And from a human, fallen perspective, fingers could easily be pointed. But trusting in God means believing that in His sovereignty, He has worked everything for good, that He has a plan — a great and beautiful plan for me, for the current movement in UP Baguio, and for the future movement there.

He allowed everything, all these, to happen, for reasons we may never know.

And I must constantly remind myself to trust God, to say confidently that “I don’t know everything, and that’s okay.”

What disappointments have you had regarding your ministry, or your life?