Look at life differently

What would you see if you decide to look at life differently?
Sometimes what seems to be a weakness can be a strength if you decide to look at life from a higher (spiritual) vantage point. An obstacle can be a bridge, or a difficulty can be an opportunity in disguise.


Glory magnified in trials

When darkness is all there is in the evening, it's amazing how being in a state of darkness can suddenly make us greatly appreciate the beauty and brightness of the morning.


Be a light in the dark

It's true that only in great darkness that even an insignificant light is significantly appreciated.

In the midst of all of these devastating darkness, if there is any light that can be seen, perhaps it is this: That the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda have molded in us Filipinos (and the rest of the world) a giving heart as well as a thankful heart.


May the mighty shaking disturb people

While this tremendous 7.2 magnitude earthquake may have knocked people's (/our) "comfort seats" off and may have booted them (/us) out of their (/our) comfort zones, may it also shake and disturb them (/us) into;

... regaining back their (/our) vision of heaven when their (/our) love for things temporal has caused them (/us) to lose sight of things eternal.

... restoring their (/our) panting for the true living water when their (/our) thirst for it has been quenched by power, prestige, and possession.

... becoming not anymore unmindful of others when they (/we) have become too focused on themselves (/ourselves).


What are you doing with the evil you see?

... And the world will be put into even far greater destruction by those who see evil being done and they themselves do likewise or even more.



Can you see through?

What If We Could See Other's Hearts Like God Does? from inspiredfaith on GodTube.

Have you visited a hospital lately, particularly a government hospital? Perhaps just out of sheer curiosity with no particular objective, have you experienced finding yourself spending some time observing the people around and subconsciously got carried away into a deeper level of contemplation? The experience could be something like the one shown in this video.

"This impacting and powerful video will make you think twice about how we treat others, especially people we don't know. If we could see them the way God sees them, we would know that everyone is battling something and they deserve our love, compassion and support." --Author of video


God's Fatherhood: A reflection on fathers' day

"Who among you, if your children ask you for a loaf of bread, would give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So then, if even you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him." (Matthew 7:9-11 NLT)


What's sustaining you?

The spirit may be strong, yet the flesh has its infirmities. 

In one's daily diet when serious medications are already a necessary part of it, that's when one comes to terms with reality and comes to realize more the value and sacredness of life. Serious suffering has the potential to grow the soul into a deeper union with God such that every painful groaning becomes a prayer and every catching of breath is a thanksgiving.

But despite sufferings, God's grace is so amazing; it's far more than enough to sustain a suffering soul.

What's sustaining your weary soul?

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it? Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:25-27)

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)


Chosen for Leadership vs. Called for Service

Choosing People for Leadership (Man's Way) vs. Calling People for Service (God's way)

There was once a person who organized a team for a big mission worldwide. His nominees were evaluated by a management consultant firm and here is the report letter he received:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the persons you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken a series of tests, and we have not only run the results through our computer, but we have also conducted an in-depth interview with each of them by our staff psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully. It is the staff's opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of assignments they will be undertaking. They do not have the team concept and we would highly recommend that you continue your search for persons with more experience, higher qualifications, and greater managerial abilities.

Here are some remarks concerning some of the nominees:

* Nominee #1 is emotionally unstable and is given to fits of temper.

* Nominee #2 simply has no qualities of leadership.

* Nominee #3 & Nominee #4, they place personal interests above team loyalty and are quite boisterous.

* Nominee #5 demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale among the ranks.

* Nominee #6. It is also our duty to inform you that we have received reports on him regarding questionable business practices.

* Nominee #7 & Nominee #8 definitely have radical leanings and both demonstrate attitude problems which would present difficulty in their dealings with the public.

* However, one of your candidates shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, responsible, and is not afraid to take the initiative. We recommend Nominee #12 as the most qualified of all of your prospective candidates.

Ace Management Consulting

If Jesus had sent his twelve disciples for psychological testing, the assessment above might well be the reply he would have received.

* Jesus chose Nominee #1, Peter. He later denied Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest (Matt 26:69-75). He wasn’t faithful. He lacked the courage to take a stand in public. Also he was impetuous and would say and do things without thinking.

* Jesus chose Nominee #2, Andrew, Peter’s brother. In John 6:9, before the multiplication of the loaves and fish Andrew said to Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Andrew would still have much to learn about Jesus.

* Jesus called Nominee #3, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother Nominee #4, John. They were in a boat mending nets with their father Zebedee. Immediately they left everything and followed Jesus leaving their father in the boat. (Matt 4:21) But we discover later they were following Jesus for the wrong reason, they were looking for their own glory. In Ireland we have a way of saying that, they were only in it for the beer. In Mark 10:35 they ask Jesus, “Teacher we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Jesus didn't say he would, he just asked them what they wanted. And then they made their big request, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” What confidence they had. And there was the time (Luke 9:53) when the Samaritans did not welcome the visitors Jesus sent ahead and James and John said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” It is no wonder that they were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder.” (Mark 3:17)

* Jesus called Nominee #5, Thomas. But he would only believe in the resurrection of Jesus if he could put his fingers into the wounds the nails made and put his hand into Jesus’ side. (John 20:25) Thomas lacked faith. Where was Thomas on that first Easter Sunday evening? Why wasn't he with the other apostles?

* Jesus called Nominee #6, Matthew (Matt 9:9). Matthew had a past, he was a tax-collector before Jesus called him. If he was like any of the other tax-collectors he would have collected a lot more in taxes from people than he returned to Rome. We can guess that Matthew would have had enemies, many of them.

* Jesus called Nominee #7, James, the son of Alphaeus, and Nominee #8, Simon, the Zealot. They have radical leanings and both demonstrate attitude problems.

* But Jesus also called Nominee # 12, Judas Iscariot. He later plotted behind Jesus’ back. (Matt 26:14-15) He wanted to force Jesus to bring about his kingdom. He wanted the kingdom on his terms instead of Jesus’ terms. He complained when Jesus’ feet were anointed not because he wanted to give that money to the poor but so that he could steal it for himself. (John 12:4-6)

Called for Service

That assessment of the Apostles gives hope to us because if they could go on to accomplish great things for the Lord then so also can we. We are each called by the Lord at baptism and confirmation to be his witnesses. No one can say they are not suitable. If Jesus could use the apostles with their obvious weaknesses, he can also use you to advance his kingdom. God calls you to make a difference to the world, God wants to use you in his plan for the salvation of the world. Paul, who had been a persecutor of Christians and watched Stephen being stoned to death, wrote in our second reading;

“I am the least of the apostles...I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace he has given me will not be fruitless.” (1 Cor 15:9-10)

Will you allow God to use you in his plan for the salvation of the world? Will you make a difference?

Jesus called his apostles and they weren’t who we might consider to be likely candidates. Their weaknesses are so obvious as we read Scripture. But Jesus knew their hearts and their potential and knew what they could become and do for his kingdom. Jesus knows our potential and what we can do for his kingdom. Let us answer his call.

Jesus is calling us. Like Peter we lack faith. Like Andrew we have much to learn. Like James and John we are selfish sometimes. Like Matthew we have a past. Like Thomas we doubt sometimes. Seeing that the apostles of limited competence did so much for the Church gives confidence to us. If Jesus could use them he can certainly use us. With the intercession of Jesus for us at the right hand of the Father and by our spending time in prayer with the Lord we too can grow from strength to strength and accomplish great things for God and his kingdom.

Servant leaders and as Transformational leaders

Paul discusses the kind of people God often chooses in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. It serves as a humbling reminder to all who aspire for leadership in the kingdom:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

This is not to suggest that evaluation tools and techniques are completely without merit. They can be quite useful when used correctly. However, it is clear that relying too heavily on these things can disqualify those whom the Lord would have us choose. These men were not chosen because they were the best and brightest. They became what they became because they spent time with Jesus. Through his discipleship program and the inner working of the Holy Spirit, these men were transformed into the greatest leaders the church has ever known. These men from humble and ragged beginnings, formed the nucleus of a group that went on to turn the world upside-down.

Luke records for us their choosing:

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he designated apostles:

Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Luke 6:12-16

Jesus chose 12 men and developed them into the church's first leaders. Within a few short years from this event, he would delegate the continuance of his kingdom to them (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

Throughout Jesus' ministry, it is difficult to detect a pattern in his behavior. Sometimes he heals people from a distance (John 4:46-53); sometimes he travels to see them (Luke 8:40-56). Sometimes he touches people (Mark 1:40-42); sometimes he spits on the ground and makes mud (John 9:6). Sometimes he runs away (John 6:14-15); sometimes he confronts (John 18:1-6). The one consistent theme is that we never know for sure how Jesus will act or react, but we can trust it will always be right for that specific situation.

Even a casual study of the manner in which Jesus prepared the 12 apostles shows us how effectively he adapted his leadership activity to the realities of the situation. He instructed them when they were uninformed, directed them when they were confused, prodded them when they were reluctant, encouraged them when they were downhearted. When they were ready, he allotted them limited tasks and responsibilities and then participated with them, guiding them through their assignments. Finally, he empowered and commissioned them as his apostles.

The Master Teacher shows us that effective leadership is situational. The leader's whim or desire (even when that leader is Jesus) is not what drives intelligent action. Effectiveness in leadership is driven by what followers need. Jesus observed and understood what his followers needed, and he supplied it. He always interacted with them within the situation and responded appropriately to it. And within three years these obscure Galileans began to change the world.

As we observe Jesus' training of the 12 in the Gospels, we notice how consistently his actions were exactly appropriate to the situation. Jesus was very intentional about situational leadership. Leaders who can analyze a situation and adapt their leadership activity to address it can function as servant leaders and as transformational leaders, and they can profoundly affect the lives of their followers.


Goal Setting: The Key to Success

by InTouch Ministries

Philippians 3:7-14

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


The world is full of advice on how to set and achieve goals. In each case, the steps start with us—identifying who we want to become and what we should do to be “successful.” But Christian goal setting is to start with an attitude and focus that is God-centered.

The attitude is: I want to be who God wants me to be. The focus is: I will look to God for direction in all areas of my life, and I will obey. Both aspects involve identifying the steps that the Lord wants us to take, but oftentimes we find ourselves not doing that. Let’s consider what stops us.

Some people lack knowledge on how to identify the Lord’s plan, whereas others are mentally lazy. The solution to both situations is to give attention to the Word of God. When we invest significant time considering Jesus’ life and words, we will learn His pattern for living and then be able to identify specific steps to take. This requires mental energy and commitment, but the reward is great.

Lack of faith can be another hindrance. When that’s the problem, we tend to think, Why should we set goals when we are convinced we cannot do what the Lord’s asking? The answer is to build our faith through systematic Bible study and apply it by setting a series of smaller goals.

Fear of failure can also prevent us from establishing goals. We can overcome this obstacle by remembering that in Christ, there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

Do you desire to move ahead in your Christian life, becoming more like Jesus and acting less like your old self? Goal setting with the right attitude and focus will help.


A Crossless Christ; A Christless Cross

The Christ can never be separated from the Cross. Where there is not the Christ on the Cross, there is not the true Salvation. Only the Christ's sacrifice on the Cross reconciled mankind back to God.

In our own spiritual lives, are we really living the life of a true Christian or are we oblivious that we are being deceived and are already being drawn away into following instead the world's crossless false christ? How would we know? We would know by discerning the spirits. A crossless christ is the dictatorship of the spirit of relativism. A Christless Cross is the tyranny of the spirit of secularism. Both are pseudo-christianity of convenience.

Gathering back the scattered sheeps is one of the church's ever increasing challenges and difficult missions. Whom shall the Lord send to search for His lost flocks?

You must also read this message: March 30, 2013


Are you willing to walk in the way?

When we are in a challenging moment in our lives and we seem to be overwhelmed by the greatness of the challenge we are facing, most of the time the only thing that can console us from the desolation caused by the fear of losing our way is in knowing that in the jungle of difficulty we are in, there is a path that the Lord God has put in place somewhere for us.

Yes we may have believed that God has made a way for us when there seems to be no way. But what if the way is hard and difficult? The real challenge to our faith in Him is this: Are we willing to walk in the way?

[Psalms 86:11] "Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth and let me wholeheartedly revere your name."

[Matthew 7:13-14] “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it."


Knowing Other People

One of the most enriching things in life is knowing other people. And to nurture a new acquaintance into a growing friendship despite odds is the nicest thing that people can do. Nothing is more desirable between strangers than a friendship; for out of a good friendship could best things begin to happen.


The Time of Our Lives

King Solomon, soul searching after sobering up from the intoxication of devoting one's life on earthly pursuits, recollected and concluded: "I have seen all the things [great and small] that are done under the sun; all of them are pointless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Every moment of life is precious and its pursuits can find true meaning only when it is devoted to living for God. And when life is lived that way, every godly pursuit bears truly meaningful fruit in its God-appointed season; because to every divine purpose there is time appointed.