Thursday, October 30, 2008

OK ba ang HALLOWEEN? (The Dangers of Occultic Games and Practices)

Nang minsang pumila ako para bayaran sa cashier ang librong aking binili, napansin ko ang mga maiingay na private high school students sa likuran ko na tuwang tuwa sa kanilang binabasa—Ghost Stories. Naitanong ko sa aking sarili? Bakit ba mahilig manood at magbasa ang mga kabataan ng mga horror flicks and literature tulad ng Harry Potter Series at Angels and Demons ni Dan Brown?

I discovered that horror is a way for people to deal with their three most primal fears: fear of the dark, fear of the future and the fear of the unknown. We cannot control the dark, the future, or the unknown. Kung kaya gumagawa tayo ng mga istorya at mga bagay-bagay para harapin ang ating mga takot. Out of curiosity, many teenagers would like to have a different kind of adventure. Gustong malaman kung talagang may multo at mga maligno. Gusto rin ng marami na makita ang mga bagay na hindi nakatago sa paningin ng maraming tao.

Minsan sinulat ni C.S. Lewis sa kaniyang librong The Screwtape Letters ang mga pangungusap na ito: There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve their existence. The other is to believe and feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician in the same delight.

Maraming Cristiano ang ayaw pag-usapan ang mga bagay tungkol sa demonyo at kay satanas. Hindi na daw dapat pag-usapan iyon. We will only glorify the works of the devil. Mayroon namang sobrang natutuwang makibaka sa mga gawa ng kadiliman na halos wala nang ginawa kung hindi mag-spiritual warfare. May isa nga akong kilala na laging may nakikitang demonyo sa bawat tao. Kasi nga masyadong babad sa mga paksang may kinalaman sa mga demonyo.Maraming kabataan ang natutuwang maglaro ng mga occultic games (occult means hidden). Hindi nila alam, mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ng Diyos na makilahok sa ganitong mga gawain (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 20:27, 2 Kings 23:24, Jeremiah 10:2). Following are games and activities which can be classified as occult practices. This is not an exhaustive list.

•Ouija Boards
•Spirit of the Glass
•Magic Cards – The Gathering
•Dungeons and Dragons
•Opening of the Third Eye
•Tarot Cards
•Palm Reading
•Astrology and Horoscope
•Silva Mind Control
•Transcedental Meditation
•Astral Projection (Out of the Body Experience)
•Yoga and Meditation
•Martial Arts (Mysticism/devotion to sensei)
•Occultic video games
•Levitation
•Mental Telepathy/ Mental Control of Others
•Hypnosis
•Black or White Magic
•Masonry
•Casting of Spells or curses
•Amulets and Charm (Agimat)
•Satanism
•Worship of objects/crystals/gems
•Belief in superstitions (pamahiin)
•New Age lessons and books
•Scientology
•Hare Krishna/Bahaism
•Buddhism and Hinduism (Shiva Worship)

Nowhere in the Bible that God condones and tolerates the abovementioned practices. The truth is, Christians are fighting a spiritual against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world." Minsang sinabi ni Pablo na ang lahat ng gumagawa nito ay hindi kailanman makakapasok sa kaharian ng langit—ang impiyerno ang kanilang destinasyon. The things that God did not reveal to man must be kept secret. God prohibits people engage in divination and fortune-telling (panghuhula), necromancy (pakikipag-usap sa mga patay), astrology (horoscopes), hypnotism at mga katulad nitong gawain.

Occultism and witchcraft is considered rebellion against God. Kasuklam-suklam ito sa paningin ng Diyos. Many youth are being enticed to these because of the promise of power. Magiging makapangyarihan sila. Again, this is a self-center attitude. If you have the power to alter things and influence people’s behaviors, you can easily dismiss the authority of God in your life. It is also discovered that many of those wo engage in these activities are suffering from interpersonal relationships (i.e. family problems). They resort to these activities to resolve their personal issues.

CONSEQUENCES OF INVOLVEMENT IN OCCULTIC PRACTICES
Minsang sinabi ni Pablo kay Timoteo na mas titindi ang interes ng maraming kabataan sa mga bagay ukol sa kadiliman sa mga huling araw. Tinawag silang mga “magdarayang espiritu at ang mga aral ng diyablo.” Magiging kaakit-akit sa mga kabataan ang mga bagay na ito dahil sa kakayahan ni satanas na maging “anghel ng kaliwanagan.” May mga larong akala mo harmless pero ikaw ang sisirain sa bandang huli.

•Occultic games expose people to the evil spirits. Hindi nakikipaglaro ang mga demonyo.The devil is the father of lies and evil deeds.

•Occult involvement may lead to demon possession. Hindi alam ng maraming kabataan na ginagamit na sila ni satanas sa mga fantasy role-playing game (FRPG). It requires the player to take on the role of an imaginary character and thinks like them—engaging in battles, casting spells and killing opponents.

•Those who practice witchcraft will have no peace dahil maari silang gambalain ng mga espiritung kanilang kinakausap at ginagambala.

•Kapag gumagawa ka ng mga kultong gawain, parang ibinebenta mo na kay satanas ang iyong kaluluwa dahil nakikipaglaro ka sa kaniya.

HOW TO BE DELIVERED
Dahil kinasusuklaman ng Diyos ang mga taong gumawa ng mga kultong gawain, kailangan tanggalin natin ang lahat ng impluwensiya nito sa ating buhay. Paano natin ito gagawin?

Una, humingi ng tawad sa Panginoon sa pakikilahok mo sa ganitong mga gawain.

Pangalawa, kailangan nating sirain, itapon at huwag nang tangkilikin pa ang lahat ng mga bagay na may kinalaman sa bagay na ito. Seek the help of a pastor or a leader on how to destroy the materials. I recommend that before you do this, seek spiritual support and prayers. This is because you are making a public declaration of your opposition to the works of the devil.

Pangatlo, laging lumayo sa anumang bagay na may kinalaman sa mga occultic practices. Sabihin din sa iba ang panganib na dulot nito. Sa ganitong paraan magiging bahagi ka ng pagbabago ng buhay ng iba.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

God DID it Again (National Quiz Bee Second Victory)

Niloob ng Panginoon na muling maiuwi namin ni Louie (in behalf of DLSU-Manila) ang kampeonato sa regional finals ng National Quiz Bee na ginanap sa Robinson's Metro East noong October 25. Ibig sabihin, ang De La Salle University-Manila ang NCR representative sa National Quiz Bee Championship na gaganapin sa Philamlife Auditorium, UN Avenue, Manila sa ika-6 ng Disyembre. The event is open to the public. To all my DLSU students, I hope to see you there.

During the game proper, nandoon pa rin ang kaba dahil sa pressure na bunga ng unang pagkapanalo. Muli, napatunayan namin na ang karunungan, kaalaman at katalinuhan ay sa Panginoon lamang nagmumula. All glory belongs to Him.

Ibinabad sa panalangin ang lahat ng bagay. Nagpamisa pa nang ilang beses ang pamilya ni Louie para sa kumpetisyon. Before the competition, I released a prayer of blessing for Louie and indeed God showed His faithfulness. We won without proceeding to the clincher round unlike in the Division level competition.

In all of these, the Lord reminded me of the words of Prophet Jeremiah. This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

We will compete for God's glory. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God)--Ooops Ateneo yun ha!!. Kindly pray for us for wisdom, health and spiritual strength. May God bless us all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

YOUTH EXPLODE....November 29, Folk Arts Theatre (A Different Kind of Youth Gathering)

May ginagawa ang Panginoon sa kasalukuyang henerasyon ng kabataang Filipino. Ang pagtitipon sa Folk Arts Theatre ay kakaiba dahil sa magsasama-sama ang mga kabataang Evangelical, Katoliko, Protestante at iba pang youth organizations upang ideklara ang kahalagahan ng pagbabasa at pagsasabuhay ng Bibliya.

Nakikita ko na ang bunga ng mga panalangin ng maraming youth ministry leaders sa nakaraang mga taon. Indeed, revival is happening in this country which will start among the younger generation. This is really EXCITING and GLORIOUS.

Walang bayad ang pagpunta. You may contact me or Ptr Roni of PCEC for information and details (pcecnyc@gmail.com)

------
Background


A look at our Philippine context shows that more than half of Filipinos do not own a Bible. A survey conducted by the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) revealed that 60% of Filipinos do not own a Bible. Among young people, both teenagers and young professionals, the number is bigger: 70% do not own a Bible. If we are to take the Bible ownership as a sign, then this is not a very good one.

Even among young people who own a Bible, a great number acknowledge they do not read it because they do not know where to start, do not know how to read the Bible, nor do they understand the Bible version they have. But the most striking revelation is that many of them don't read the Bible because they do not see the benefits of Bible reading in their lives.

It is in response to this reality that the Philippine Bible Society (PBS), together with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the Philippine Evangelical Church Council (PCEC), and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through its Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) and on Youth (ECY), and other independent churches and groups have come together, prayed together seeking God's guidance, and decided together to come up with a deliberate Youth Scripture Engagement Program --- the Y! EXPLODE: The Bible Adventure Series.

This whole day affair has a two-fold aim:
1. To kick-off a nationwide drive to heighten Scripture awareness among our Church and Youth Ministry leaders that could be followed-up at church council levels.

2. To develop thereafter relevant youth programs ("explosion series" of the Bible Adventure), thus ensuring continuity and heightening of awareness level.

Target Participants

This first in the series is intended for young people and those who work in the ministry (youth ministers, youth workers, youth leaders, etc). Expected number of participants is eight thousand (8,000).

PROGRAM

6:00AM Bible March
Participants gather and march from two points (Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, Manila and Derham Park in Pasay City [at the back of Cuneta Astrodome]) and converge at the area between the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Aliw Theater, and move as one towards Bulwagan ng Panginoon (Folk Arts Theater).

Color-coding
BLUE for PCEC, GREEN for CBCP, RED for NCCP and WHITE for independent churches/groups.

8:00AM Enthronement of the Word / PBS Anniversary Service
God's Word is enthroned in its central place in the assembly. Everyone participants in the service for the 109th anniversary of the PBS, with Pastor Ed Lapiz of Day by Day Ministries speaking on the Bible, the Youth, and the Philippines.

10:30AM First Plenary: "The Bible, the Youth, and the Workplace" / Group Interaction
Participants get to meet new friends. They listen to Mr. Bo Sanchez who will discuss with them the place of God's Word in their life as young people. After some time for internalization, they will enrich one another in their small groups with their insights.

12:00NN Lunch Entertainment: Wow wow WORD!
While taking lunch, the Grand Finals of the inter-school Bible Quiz will be held, with bonus performances and games where everyone has a chance at exciting prizes!

2:00PM Second Plenary: "The Bible, the Youth, and the Church" / Group Interaction
Back with friends in their respective small groups, participants discuss with Pastor LA Mumar how young people find their place in the Church through the Word. This culminates with personal reflection and small group sharing on their realizations.

3:30PM Bible Concert!
To cap this wonderful day, everyone gets to jam with some of the most popular names in the entertainment world... still connected with the Word! It will be more than two hours of fun with new friends, celebrating the gift of the youth and of God's Word which gives joyful meaning to everyone!

In between these main events will be lots of singing and dancing, chances to meet old faces and make new friends, opportunities to get to know more about your group and others, and of course, moments to be inspired and thrilled by Jesus' deep, deep love for everyone through His life-giving Word!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sa mga Laging Bigo sa Pag-ibig....

Love Christ first....and He will give you the desires of your heart...

A Tried and Tested Principle

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beware of Mall SALE Deception

Noong Biyernes, isang oras akong natrapik sa Ortigas nang umalis ako sa bahay ng 12 ng tanghali, sakay ng FX, para makarating sa MRT station. Dahil dito, hindi ako nakapunta sa aking 1pm na meeting. Hindi umuusad ang sasakyan at kahit saan ka sumuot, laging may bottleneck ang trapiko. Doon ko na-REALIZE, as in na-REALIZE na nagsimula pala noong araw na iyon ang Sale sa Megamall. Para hindi masayang ang panahon ko, bumaba na ako sa Mega Mall dahil hindi na rin ako makakarating sa aking appointment at hindi na umuusad ang mga sasakyan.

Sinubukan kong tingnan ang item na gusto kong bilhin sa isang music shop. Dahil sa SALE ang nakalagay, inasahan ko na mas mababa ang aking malalamang presyo. Lo and behold, WALANG PINAGBAGO sa presyo. May dagdag lang---ang presyong itinaas ng P2000 na may nakapatong na malaking "X" mark para magmukhang GRABE nilang ibinaba ang presyo.
Nagtanong ako na animo'y inosente na tunay na presyo. Ang hindi alam ng salesboy, ang presyong SALE na inilagay nila sa item ay ang MISMONG PRESYO kapag walang sale. Sa isip ko, isang malaking PANLILINLANG ito. Kapag hindi ka matalinong mamimili, madadala ka na lang sa matatamis na salita ng mga nagbebenta.

Naniniwala ako na ang mga SALE declarations ng mga malls ay panahon din para sa mga ilang mall stores na linlangin ang mga consumer. Kahit wala silang mga depreciated items, binabandera nilang nagbababa rin sila ng presyo.

Walang manlilinlang, kung walang MAGPAPALINLANG.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MRT Inspirational Story 3 (The Allegory of Frogs)

Once upon a time there was a race of frogs

The goal was to reach the top of a high tower.Many people gathered to see and support them.

The race began...

In reality, the people didn't believe that it was possible that the frogs would reach the top of the tower, and all the phrases that one could hear were of this kind:

"What pain!!! . They'll never make it!"

The frogs began to doubt themselves.

The people continued:

"... What pain!!! They'll never make it! ..."

And the frogs, one by one, admitted defeat,

except for one frog that continued to climb.

At the end he, alone, and with and enormous effort, reached the top of the tower.

One of the quitters approached him to ask him how he had done it, to finish the race.

And discovered that he...



was deaf!

MRT Inspirational Story 2 (Smoke Signals to God)

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed
forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.

The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.

Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground ----it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.

MRT Ride Inspirational Stories (Story 1)

Nakakatuwang isipin na may evangelism na nangyayari sa loob ng MRT trains. Hindi dahil sa mga street evangelists kung hindi sa pamamagitan ng kanilang audio announcements. Kung dati, panay announcement lang ng Chowking at mga Electricity/Fitness Tips ang paulit-ulit na gumagambala sa iyo, mayroon nang MAS MAKABULUHANG mensaheng ang masasagap mo habang nakikipagsiksikan sa MRT Trains. Bago ka makarating sa isang istasyon, siguradong makakarinig ka ng isang inspirational story. I will post these stories.

THE EAGLE AND THE STORM

Did you know that an eagle knows when a
storm is approaching long before it breaks?

The eagle will fly to some high spot
and wait for the winds to come.

When the storm hits,it sets its wings
so that the wind will pick it up
and lift it above the storm.
While the storm rages below,
the eagle is soaring above it.

The eagle does not escape the storm.
It simply uses the storm to lift it higher.
It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

When the storms of life come upon us -
and all of us will experience them -
we can rise above them
by setting our minds
and our belief toward God.

The storms do not have to overcome us.
We can allow God's power
to lift us above them.

God enables us to ride
the winds of the storm
that bring sickness, tragedy, failure
and disappointment in our lives.
We can soar above the storm.

Remember, it is not the burdens
of life that weigh us down,
it is how we handle them.

The Bible says,

"Those who hope in the
Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles."
Isaiah 40:31

ATENEO Tops UP in 2008 Rankings!!!

The Times Higher Education Quacquarelli Symonds

World University Rankings 2008

Philippine Universities (2008 Rankings)

1. Ateneo de Manila University 254

2. University of the Philippines 276

3. De La Salle University 415

4. University of Santo Tomas 470


The Methodology: A simple overview

The THE - QS World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world's leading univerities. The research yields results on 600 "in the round" and 300 in each of five broad faculty areas. The overall rankings are compiled based in six distinct indicators:

Academic Peer Review (40%)

The Academic Peer Review is the centrepiece of the THE - QS World University Rankings and is based on an online survey distributed to academics worldwide. Results are compiled based on three years worth of responses totalling 6,354 in 2008. Respondents are not permitted to submit their ow institution or to respond more than once (their latest respose is counted). Weightings are applied both geographically and by discipline to ensure as fair a representative spread as possible.

Employer Review (10%)

Similar to the Academic Peer Review, this indicator is based on a global online survey, this time distributed to employers. Results are again based on three years worth of "latest respose" data. Geographical weightings are again applied to ensure fair representation from key regions of the world.

Faculty Student Ratio (20%)

Faculty Student Ratio is used in many ranking systems and evaluations in the world, and whilst it may not be a perfect measure of teaching quality, it is the most globally available and accessible measure of commitment to teaching. An indication that the institution in question has sufficient staff to teach its students.

Citations per Faculty (20%)

Citations are a widely used, conventional mesure of research strength. A citation is a reference to one academic publication in the text of another. The more citations a publication receives the better it is perceived to be, the more highly cited papers a university publishes, the stronger it can be considered to be. As a measure this is somewhat geared towards scientific and technical subjects, which is why it doesn't carry more weight. The source used in this evaluation is Scopus, the world's largest abstract and citation database of research literature. The latest five complete years of data are used. The total citation count is factored against the number of faculty in order to take into account the size of the institution.

International Factors (10%)

International Faculty (5%)

International Students (5%)

In today's increasingly globalized world, the most successful universities have to attract the world's best students and faculty. Simple evaluations of the proportion of international students and international faculty serve as indicators of an institution's international attractiveness.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On Being a University Professor and a Pastor

I consider teaching not as a career but as a vocation/mission. Matagal ko nang tinanggap ang katotohanang I will always be a teacher, either in academic or church setting. Teaching is my passion and my life.

Minsan pumasok sa isipan kong iwan ang pagtuturo sa university at mag-full-time sa pagpapastor. Pero pinigil ako ng Panginoon. Isang lang ang isinagot Niya sa akin: "Tinawag kita upang maging propesor dahil iyan ang paraan para maging epektibo kang pastor." God proved this message sa halos 5 taon kong pagtuturo sa mga high school at college students. Hindi ko maaring paghiwalayin ang pagiging lingkod ng Panginoon at pagiging propesyunal na guro.

Kung wala kang tiyagang humubog ng isipan at asal ng mga estudyante, hindi ka magtatagal sa academic community. Kung hindi mo kayang intindihin ang kahinaan ng mga kabataan at tulungan sila sa kanilang mga personal issues, hindi ka maaring maging epektibong youth pastor.

I would like to quote what George Bernard Shaw expressed. "To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching Man to regard himself as an experiment in the realization of God, to regard his hands as God's hand, his brain as God's brain, his purpose as God's purpose. He must regard God as a helpless Longing, which longed him into existence by its desperate need for an executive organ.” Teaching is one of the greatest means to reveal to students the love of God. Hence, I will always be a teacher.

Hindi tayo ilalagay ng Panginoon sa isang lugar nang walang dahilan. God is a God of purpose and perfect plans. Just be teachable and learn to accept His dealings.

ANO BA TALAGA ANG "CALLING" KO?

Lagi kong naririnig iyan sa mga kabataang kaga-graduate lang sa kolehiyo at mga young professionals na nababagot sa buhay. Nagtatanong si...