Saturday, April 22, 2006
Clothes. I think that is one weakness of most girls. The latest fashions beckon to us from posters, advertisements on the newspaper and TV, and shop windows. The choices vary, and sometimes the price is tempting.
Girls tend to overdo themselves when it comes to clothing and jewelry. They want to follow the latest outfit of their favorite celebrity or fashion model. There is an air of competition when it comes to the latest styles. I've seen girls wearing such extravagant outfits -- earrings the size of their palm, bracelets that cover half their lower arm, backless blouses, mini skirts -- all unnecessary. It doesn't make them any prettier or more attractive. Nor does make-up help a single bit.
Being a girl, I admit, yes, clothes and jewelry are two of my weaknesses. I used to plan my attire months before I got to wear it. I used to take 30 minutes to get dressed. I don't now. I had a "vanity check" a few months ago...and I realized that I was too vain concerning my appearance. I realized that there were other, better things that deserved more attention.
There are a few things concerning clothes that I would like to point out:
First of all, while it isn't exactly a sin to fuss over clothes, there are better things to spend your time and money on. Instead of spending 3-4 hours shopping for the "perfect" outfit, why not spend it on prayer, studying God's word, or developing your talents and skills? Instead of wasting money by buying clothes that you will only use a few times, why not spend it on practical, more useful things? Invest your time and money; don't waste either.
Secondly, the latest fashions may look great, but they aren't always the best. Some of them are immodest and they do not display a good character. Low-neck blouses, tank tops, mini skirts, short shirts that display your lower abdomen, backless blouses...fashionable but immodest. Paul wrote to Timothy about how women were to dress - "...modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Girls, let me ask you: Do the clothes you wear portray a Christian character? Are the clothes you put on modest and simple? Does your physical appearance display a decent, appropriate look? Or do you wear clothes that are fashionable, but immodest? Do you wear clothes that cause guys to think wrongly towards you? Is your appearance causing your fellow brothers in Christ to stumble?
If your answer to any of the last three questions is yes, I advise you, throw them away! Get rid of them! Burn them! Bury them! It doesn't matter what you do, just get rid of them!
You might be saying that a guy should be responsible for his own thoughts. Yes, they are responsible, but in a way, you are responsible too. If you were wearing simple, modest clothes in the first place, instead of the fashionable but immodest ones, do you think he would have thought wrongly towards you?
Lastly, clothes are not the most important things to wear. The Bible says that we should be clothed with "strength and honor" (Proverbs 31:25) and dressed with "good deeds" (1 Timothy 2:10). Often, we tend to be fussy perfectionists when it comes to our physical appearance; but have you ever stopped to think about how your character might look? Are you clothed with "strength and honor"? Are you dressed with "good deeds"? Does your physical appearance reflect a Christ-like character? Clothes may seem important to us because the advertisements make us think that physical appearance is all that matters. It is not. A Christ-like character is more important.
I challenge you to "dress" your character more than you dress yourself. Clothe yourself with strength and honor. Dress yourself with good deeds. Put them on, and wear them always. Be a model of the latest, best, most fashionable "clothes."
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Honestly, it was more difficult than I expected. I thought the people we told would be thrilled and would want to hear more. I thought they would be enthusiastic and take a stand immediately. Instead, we were met with blank stares and questioning faces...perhaps they were wondering "Why would anyone want to do that?"
Sometimes, the culture of one's country is easier to follow that to go against. I guess it's what some people have grown used to doing, ever since they were kids. Tradition is tradition and cannot be escaped. We have to either accept it or rebel against it. I guess people find it "easier" to follow after the culture, follow after the traditions that have been passed down. That way, they could blend in with the crowd, and not be labeled as "different", "odd", or "weird." I guess some teenagers aren't fully concerned with anything outside the "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" stuff; they are not fully aware that there is more than just that.
People are used to the status quo of life here. No changes, please. They don't want anything different. Everything is the same old process. They don't want anything shockingly different. If a change comes up, they want it slowly, snail-pace.
Honestly, I feel so impatient sometimes. So desperate for them to see the truth! ...that I feel like taking a metal pan and a spoon and going bang! bang! to get everyone's attention. (Of course, I would never do that.)
Despite the slow rise, there ARE Rebelutionaries. Some of them are still hesitant, some of them haven't fully come in to the open...but there are Rebelutionaries. Some of the teens in our youth group are beginning to take a stand slowly. Christin told several officers from the SIBFK-AAFC organization, and they were very excited and enthusiastic about the Rebelution. They even memorized its meaning. I just hope that they - and more - will wake up, open their eyes, see the truth...and catch Fire.
I'm not discouraged. It's hard, I admit, but whenever I think of what the verses in Isaiah say, "...but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31), I feel my strength returning. I'm doing this for the Lord...and that's what keeps me going.
Progress is slow. Teens don't really care. Culture is demanding. Despite all that, I feel energetic. It's pretty amazing, actually. Instead of feeling tired and weak, I feel strong. Instead of feeling discouraged, I feel a renewed hope. Instead of weariness and reluctance, I feel the urge to move on.
No, I'm not discouraged. Just a little impatient, but I've learned to accept the fact that everything will happen in God's own perfect time.
To my fellow Rebelutionaries, keep up the good work! It's hard, but remember, we're doing this for the Lord. Our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Saturday, April 15, 2006
"You are really convinced that you've got all the answers. You've really got yourself tricked into believing that you're 100% right. Well, let me tell you just one thing. Do you consider yourself to be compassionate of other humans? If you're right, as you say you are, and you believe that, then how can you sleep at night? When you speak with me, you are speaking with someone who you believe is walking directly into eternal ****ation, into an endless onslaught of horrendous pain which your 'loving' God created, yet you stand by and do nothing.
If you believed one bit that thousands every day were falling into an eternal and unchangeable fate, you should be running the streets mad with rage at their blindness. That's equivalent to standing on a street corner and watching every person that passes you walk blindly directly into the path of a bus and die, yet you stand idly by and do nothing. You're just twiddling your thumbs, happy in the knowledge that one day that 'walk' signal will shine your way across the road.
Think about it. Imagine the horrors Hell must have in store if the Bible is true. You're just going to allow that to happen and not care about saving anyone but yourself? If you're right then you're an uncaring, unemotional and purely selfish (expletive) that has no right to talk about subjects such as love and caring."
Although some of what this person said were false, I realized that most of them (sadly) are true.
You might be saying that you have never watched a person wander blindly towards the direction of the bus only to be killed after a few seconds. You might be saying that you never "twiddled your thumbs" while someone was in the danger of being run over.
While you may not have done any of that, let me ask you:
If that did happen, what would you do? Would you stop the person; call out to him "Watch out! Stop!" or would you just stand there, afraid to move? What if it were someone you knew slightly? Would you run forward and grab the person out of the way, or blend in with the panicky crowd and do nothing?
Nothing. How often we, as Christians, sit, twiddle our thumbs, and do nothing!
"Doing nothing" can be remaining silent when you feel a gentle push from the Spirit, telling you to speak up. "Doing nothing" can be shunning a person because of what you heard about him? "Doing nothing" can be refusing to talk to a friend in need because you have no time, or it may be forgetting to pray because of this great TV show that you just had to watch. It may be pretending not to hear when someone cries for help.
I confess that I, too, am guilty of "twiddling my thumbs" very often. There are times when my conscience bothers me and I know deep, down inside that the Holy Spirit is telling me to do something...yet I brush it off as "just a feeling." I am guilty of shunning people and judging others too quickly...and I am guilty of forgetting to pray.
Where do we go from here? What should we strive to do? Are we going to continue living like we do, conscious of "doing nothing" and twiddling our thumbs? or are we going to strive to improve our actions and live as Jesus would?
I think we ought to search our hearts and ask God to wash away our pride and sinfulness. While we may indeed be "bound for the Promised Land", there are a lot of people out there who still don't know about Christ. Are we going to just let them die and go to Hell...or are we going to do something...so at least they may hear of Jesus? We need to search our souls - are we behaving like Jesus would want us to? Are we doing what He would do? Are we reflecting the love of our Saviour so that other people may see Him through us? Or do we hide and go through life, pretending not to hear the silent cries?
In one of his poems - A Psalm of Life - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said:
"...Let us then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
We need to pursue...need to strive hard...to live as Jesus would want us to. Don't give up even if the road is long and weary! There are many people out there whose souls are crying out. Will you go to them? Will you tell them of Jesus? or will you twiddle your thumbs and do nothing, as they wander off in the direction of the bus and die?
(Note: Special thanks to Blade of Truth, for posting the letter originally in Sonlight...which caused me to think about my actions and to search my heart.)
Friday, April 07, 2006
(With apologies to Mr. Rudyard Kipling)
If you can dress to make yourself attractive,
Yet not make puffs and curls your chief delight;
If you can swim and row, be strong and active,
But of the gentler graces lose not sight;
If you can dance without a craze for dancing,
Play without giving play too strong a hold,
Enjoy the love of friends without romancing,
Care for the weak, the friendless and the old;
If you can master French and Greek and Latin,
And not acquire, as well, a priggish mien,
If you can feel the touch of silk and satin
Without despising calico and jean;
If you can ply a saw and use a hammer,
Can do a man’s work when the need occurs,
Can sing when asked, without excuse or stammer,
Can rise above unfriendly snubs and slurs;
If you can make good bread as well as fudges,
Can sew with skill and have an eye for dust,
If you can be a friend and hold no grudges,
A girl whom all will love because they must;
If sometime you should meet and love another
And make a home with faith and peace enshrined,
And you its soul - a loyal wife and mother -
You’ll work out pretty nearly to my mind
The plan that’s been developed through the ages,
And win the best that life can have in store,
You’ll be, my girl, the model for the sages -
A woman whom the world will bow before.
Elizabeth Lincoln Otis
It has only been one week since the beginning of our commitment to pray around 30 minutes a day for the lost souls (What if His People Prayed), but I can already see God working!
Last Monday (April 3), I prayed that I would be able to witness to one of my unsaved friends, living in another country. However, our communication line had been cut for a while since we both were extremely busy. That Monday night, I prayed that God would restore the communication lines, and that I might be able to share to her. Tuesday, the very next day, I opened my e-mail and there was a message from her! God is truly amazing!
Thursday morning, my mom was able to share the gospel to a close homeschool friend -- one of the mothers -- over the telephone. I could "sense" God working...for Mom and the other homeschooling mother to talk about salvation...because there are usually so many interruptions and usually everyone is busy. That morning...however...was different. They were able to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk. Once again, I say that God is truly amazing!
To those who are praying with the rest of us, do continue...and sooner or later, you will see miracles unfold slowly.. To those who haven't heard of this yet, or haven't done it, you can read more about it here. I encourage you to join us...you will see the amazing grace and goodness of God.
Men-In-Training if you try or if you have tried to impress a Lady-In-Training, I tell you, you are making the biggest mistake. Girls are not impressed by guys who are trying to be impressive to make the girls go 'ooh' and 'aah' over them; they hate it. Ladies-In-Training hate such ridiculous activities and so does God.
Impressing is Deceiving. In other words impressing is merely showing off and not being the real you. God commanded us not to be like the hypocrites and trying to impress someone is being a hypocrite. Most guys today even young Christian men have become hypocrites and have fallen to the habit of impressing girls. Why? Because it makes them feel good. Well, let me ask you this, do you feel good in deceiving your fellow sisters-in-Christ?
God has set rules for holy living which the Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3. One of the rules I would like to impress upon your hearts and minds is found in verse 9 of the chapter.
Colossians 3:9 (NIV)
As Christians we should have taken off our old self together with its practices. If you have the habit of practicing on shooting the ball perfectly just to impress a girl in a basketball game, take it off! God does not want His children to be deceivers. After taking off your old self God wants you to wear your new self practicing the rules He has set for us.
Men-In-Training, give that perfect lay-up or dunk not for the girls who will applaud and cheer you but for God up above who will applaud for the sincerity of your heart.
You cannot impress girls when you try to impress them but you can impress them when you do nothing but impress God.
It was a rainy Saturday morning and I was crossing the road. I had no memory that I got hit neither did I see a car coming my way. God saved me from the pain and memory when the collision occurred. The last thing I can remember was seeing myself and my friend cross the road and no more after that.
I woke up in the emergency room of a hospital and lights flooded my eyes. I was half conscious all the time and one vivid memory I can recalll was my face burning hotly. Half of the skin of my left face was peeled off and I was not able to walk for a day.
Someone kept on asking me questions--ridiculous questions such as what's my name, age, address telephone number, etc., which I answered half consciously.
"Do you remember anything?" He asked. I wanted to tell him that I don't have an amnesia for him to be asking me such questions but I simply answered, "I was supposed to be at school." By then I have not the slightest idea that I got hit by a car. All I want to do was rest and sleep but that person did not allow it. He chattered on and kept on asking questions. Then finally he told me what I was yearning to know.
"Do you remember being hit by a car?" I shook my head in reply then he concluded, "Well, would you want to know that you were hit by a car and that you are in a hospital?"
Oh great. A smile crossed my thoughts. I could have died then and would have been glad to be in Heaven but God has plans for me. Often people, we define accident or any inevitable situation as an event occurring out of human expectations. But God has a different way of defining it, which may seem ironic to many. He might answer just like this, "Child, it is but a part of my wonderful plans for you. What happened to you is just one of My explicit methods in bringing about My purposes for you and for the people around you."
God has manifested this promise long ago in one of the most prominent verses nowadays found in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (NIV)
God was teaching me something and the people around me. He has taught me that I must treat all things that come in my life as beautiful things to bring about his purposes. A lot of people would question how could I say that such things as beautiful, I am confident to say that God made all things beautiful with a purpose.
Another lesson that God has taught me is to redeem my time. To make use of my in-training years for Him alone and to make a difference in this ungodly world we're living in. I do not have much time in this world as much as you do, but God has shown me that even if time is short there is enough time for me, for us to regenerate our generation. I cannot regenerate this generation alone with the foolish strength that I have but with the strength and power of my Lord. I cannot regenarate this generation but we can.
Young people of my generation I am calling out to you. We do not have all the time in the world. Do not be sundered from the paths God has set before you because of the things that this world is telling you to embrace. Do not wait upon the wrath of the Lord to fall upon you. Our in-training years is not for idling and enjoying the delights this world has to offer, it is for training ourselves as stewards of Christ and not as stewards of the world.
Would you rather wait upon the wrath of God before you realize that you are not redeeming your in-training years for the Lord but for the world? Would you be found faithful or unfaithful? The Harris Twins wrote in The Rebelution,
And I strongly agree with that, do not neglect the future by merely neglecting your present reponsibilities as a Godly Man-In-Training and a Godly Lady-In-Training in exchange for the satisfaction of your desires that the world has cultured in you.
Be a Godly-Lady/Man-In-Training for the regeneration of our generation. Be a Rebelutionary.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
The competition will be held during the AAFC Juniors' Camp (age 7-13) on April 19-21 at Camp Calaca, Batangas.
We are inviting all the kids to join this camp and have a chance to win a mountain bike for you and your pastor!
See you there!
For more information email Christin A. (^_^)