You’ve seen it before.
Co-workers are in a huddle — talking, giggling, laughing.
About what exactly, you don’t have an earthly clue. But you get this funny feeling they’re talking about you.
When you walk by to stop and say hello, everyone becomes oh so quiet and behaved all of a sudden.
Sadly, this happens more often than not…
People offend us, and we offend people.
Sometimes without even knowing it.
Of all the lessons in real Christianity, one of the hardest to master is godly relationships. In fact, “Christians” are notorious for treating others badly.
In one church I’ve attended, the most common problem has been expressed this way: “We have not always treated each other in a godly manner.”
Jesus Christ [Yahshua the Messiah] prophesied that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Have you been offended lately? Have you and I caused an offense? Most probably we...
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” —Billy Graham
Are you blessed?
I’m sure you can tell if someone is “blessed.” Today, people say stuff like, “I got a raise! What a real blessing!” Or, “My company gave me a brand-new car! I’m really blessed.” Or, “I married the man of my dreams! I feel truly blessed!”
The word “blessed” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word makarios. It means “happy” or “fortunate,” but it goes far beyond that.
Today, we tend to look at blessings from a purely MATERIAL perspective. We also focus on our PRESENT situation and forget what Jesus (Yahshua) said about future spiritual blessings.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gives eight signs that we are truly blessed:
You recognize your spiritual brokenness...
Making more money will not fix your life—it will just make you more of who you already are. If you get rich and you’re a jerk, you just become a colossal jerk. If you get rich and you have a big heart, they call you a giver and they give it a big long name, a philanthropist. If you get rich, you become more of what you are as you build wealth. So be careful of what you are.” ~Dave Ramsey
It’s quite confusing, isn’t it?
Some preachers say it’s more righteous to be poor; being rich will prevent you from being in God’s Kingdom. Other preachers say no, you cannot glorify God by being poor; it’s His will that all His children be rich.
Who is correct? What does the Bible really say?
I posed this question to the teens and young adults in one of our weekly Wednesday night Bible studies many years ago. I divided the group in two and asked them to discuss it for 15 minutes and then come up with relevant Bible passages that would support...
Do you have a dream — a burning desire or goal you wish to achieve?
When I was 18, I had such a dream. My dream was to attend Ambassador College (AC), the very best college of its kind in the United States.
I'll never forget the excitement I felt the day I received my letter of acceptance. I was given a regional scholarship! It was like winning a million dollars in a sweepstake!
Little did I know what was to befall me within 12 weeks: three nightmares — three humongous, pitch-black monsters — that would threaten to snuff my dream from existence.
After all, I'm from the Philippines — a third-world country. Distance was a problem, money was a big problem, immigration was a big, big problem.
To leave the Philippines, I had to obtain a student visa from the United States Consulate. Only three chances for a visa interview is allowed at any one time. If my applications are turned down thrice, I wouldn’t be...
Have you ever seen a diamond?
Nothing compares to its dazzling beauty, its sheer elegance, or its fiery brilliance. It is the hardest natural substance on earth.
It is, in fact, 40 times harder than a sapphire or a ruby, the next hardest minerals. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond.
A diamond is the greatest conductor of heat, is transparent over the greatest number of wavelengths, has the highest melting point (4,090 degrees Celsius — 2 1/2 times greater than that of steel!) and has a refractive index greater than any naturally occurring gemstone — giving it its characteristic fire and brilliance. Diamonds are among the rarest and costliest of gemstones.
But you may ask: What magical substance is a diamond made of? Ironically, just about the same substance found in one of the softest of all minerals — the graphite in the lead of your pencil!
Diamonds are pure crystalline carbon formed 200 kilometers deep within the earth millions of years ago. The...
When I was in third year high school, I had a very inspiring English teacher, Mr. Edgardo “Guy” Simondac. I will never forget him for as long as I live. He made an impact on my life.
For one of our class assignments, he asked us to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach, and write a reaction paper about it. I remember picking up that small paperback in the library and bringing it home with me. It was a story about a seagull who dreamed of flying like the eagles. He thought differently from all the other seagulls. He didn’t settle for mediocrity.
I wrote my paper with so much zeal and enthusiasm. I passionately shared the insights I had gained. I was so moved and inspired by the message of the book.
On the deadline, we turned in our reaction papers to Mr. Simondac.
A few days later, Mr. Simondac saw me in the lobby of our school building.
“My G**, you are a writer!” he exclaimed.
He handed me my paper, and I saw a 98% scribbled in red...
7:34 p.m., January 16, 1987, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines
“Close your eyes!”
“Nobody moves, screams, or looks at us—or I’ll blow his head off!”
My family had barely finished asking the blessing on a Friday evening meal when we were faced with four masked, shabby-looking men brandishing handguns, an M-16 rifle, and a dagger.
How did these people get in here? What do they want?
“I said shut your eyes!” the leader barked, pointing a revolver straight at Dad.
Dad glanced at my two little sisters, my mom (almost nine months pregnant), my three brothers and me, and said…
“Just bow your heads and pray…”
“Yes, you better pray,” the leader mocked. “Because this will be your last!”
My eyelids trembled as I tried to keep them shut.
My knees were shaking. I wanted to do something, but if Dad was powerless right now, what could a 13-year old do?
I prayed that my five-year-old sister wouldn’t...
One quiet evening many many years ago, I was sitting alone in my room, reading.
Suddenly, a profound realization hit me with the force of a Mack truck. I no longer remember the title of the book, but what I read is etched in my memory forever:
"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once."
Twenty words that changed my life forever. I decided at that very moment to find out what life was for in the first place. It just made perfect sense to me.
Socrates once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
To continue to live my life without a clear understanding of its purpose is like taking a ship to the ocean without a clear destination. I didn’t want to become another ship lost at sea. I didn't want to end up an unhappy old man filled with so many regrets. Before I leave port, I want to know my exact destination. Otherwise, I would be wasting precious time and fuel.
How about you? Have you ever wondered...