Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hindi na mawawala sa bokabularyo ng maraming tao ang salitang New Year’s Resolution o mga pangako na nais nilang tuparin sa bagong taon---mga bagay at ugali na gustong tanggalin, gustong gawin dahil hindi nagawa, gustong ulitin dahil na-enjoy ang karanasan at marami pang iba.Honestly, hindi ko ugaling magsabi o magsulat ng New Year’s Resolutions. Rather I always pose New Year’s THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER REQUESTS.

Madaling mangako pero hindi lahat madaling tuparin. Kung marami kang pangakong kailangang panghawakan, mas tumitindi ang “pressure” para sila ay sundin. If you don’t deliver to your promises, you’re just fooling yourself. Sabi nga nila, less promises, less pressure.Bagaman ang mga New Year’s Resolutions ay kalimitang pangako para sa SARILI, sinasalamin rin nito ang puso ng tao patungkol sa kaniyang relasyon sa kaniyang kapwa. What does the Scripture tell us about making promises and entering into commitments and covenants?

GOD PROHIBITS US TO MAKE CARELESS VOWS. Moses said to the tribes of Israel: 'This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to oblidge himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.' (Numbers 30:1-2). They are not also allowed to use the name of the Lord when they make promises (Leviticus 19:12). Ito rin ang sinabi ng Panginoong Hesus sa mga disipulo at ni Apostol Santiago (Matthew 5:33-37, Santiago 5:12). Maraming tao, kahit sa kasalukuyang panahon, ang ginagamit pa ang pangalan ng Diyos (“Saksi ko ang Diyos!”) para magmukhang credible ang kanilang pangako. At kapag hindi nila natupad ang kanilang binitiwang pangako, kinakaladkad nila ang pangalan ng Diyos sa kahihiyan.

KAPAG TAYO AY NANGAKO, TUPARIN NATIN AGAD. HANGAL ANG MGA TAONG HINDI TUMUTUPAD SA KANILANG PANGAKO. Minsang isinulat ni Haring Solomon, "When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, 'My vow was a mistake.' Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-7).

Sa halip na mangako sa pagsisimula ng BAGONG TAON, nirerekomenda kong manatili tayong LUMA..

LUMA-layo sa kasalanan at mga bagay na makakasakit sa puso ng Diyos. We should get rid of all habits, behaviors, attitudes that are would destroy our relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 3:23).

LUMA-lakas ang pananampalataya sa Diyos. We can never overcome sin, if we do not have a personal and strong relationship with God. Let us draw nearer to God so that we can live in His holiness (James 4:8).

LUMA-lago ang relasyon at pagkakilala sa Panginoon (3:18 Principle). This year, let us all grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). May He transform us according to His image and continue to grow from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

LUMA-labas ang bunga ng Espiritu dahil sa patuloy na pagsunod sa Diyos (Galatians 5:22-23). Sinabi ng Panginoon sa kaniyang mga disipulo sa Juan 15:4-5, “Manatili kayo sa akin at mananatili ako sa inyo. Hindi makapamumunga ang sangang hindi nananatiling nakakabit sa puno. Gayon din naman, hindi kayo makapamumunga kung hindi kayo mananatili sa akin. Ako ang puno ng ubas, kayo ang mga sanga. Ang nananatili sa akin, at ako sa kanya, ang siyang namumunga nang sagana; sapagkat wala kayong magagawa kung kayo'y hiwalay sa akin.” It is only through ABIDING in Christ that we can bear the fruit of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.Isang mapagpalang Bagong taon sa ating lahat. Pagpalain tayo ng Panginoon!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Samuel Huntington, Harvard Political Scientist, Dies at 81

Samuel P. Huntington was unafraid to launch his ideas onto the center of the intellectual stage, even when they sparked considerable controversy. But friends and family said they will remember the bespectacled political scientist for his gentle, reserved nature, and commitment to scholarship and education.

The preeminent scholar of national security, democratization, civil-military relations, and strategy—whose expertise touched legions of students and policymakers—died of congestive heart failure and complications related to diabetes at the age of 81 last week on Martha’s Vineyard, according to wife Nancy A. Huntington '55.

Professor Huntington, who taught at Harvard for 58 years before retiring in 2007, was a gentle, yet quietly serious, presence in the government department, where he left behind a legacy of academic integrity and commitment to undergraduate education during his tenure, colleagues said.

Though Huntington’s views sparked heated debate among international relations theorists, the strength of his ideas and methods of presentation won him popularity among students, according to long-time friend and former Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Henry Rosovsky.

“He was so brilliant that you wanted to learn as much as you could from him and try to be as honest and as serious about your work as he was,” said government Professor Stephen P. Rosen ’74, a former student of Huntington’s. “He was an inspiration…he was always there for his students.”

Huntington's most famous academic treatise espoused that cultural and religious differences between the world’s major civilizations—rather than ideological disparities between political states—would be the cause of violent conflicts in a post-Cold War world.

The world's major civilizations, Huntington said, were Western, Latin American, Islamic, African, Orthodox, Hindu, Japanese, and "Sinic" (which included other East Asian cultures).

The theory drew controversy for its focus on differences between civilizations when Huntington first published it in 1993 as an article in the journal Foreign Affairs. Some at the time criticized the work for reinforcing and oversimplifying cultural divisions, though it later gained support, particularly after the Sept. 11 attacks, which some pointed to as evidence of the cultural strife predicted by Huntington's theory.

In 1996, he expounded on his argument in the book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” which has been translated into 39 languages.

Huntington's most recent book, "Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity," published in 2004, provoked accusations of racism for warning that a tide of Mexican immigration to the U.S. would undermine "our Anglo-Protestant culture."

“He was a scholar, first and foremost,” Mrs. Huntington said. “He knew that…there would be controversy but felt obliged to do what he thought was right and what was true.”

“He had a wonderful capacity to deal with crucial topics,” Rosovsky said of Huntington, who wrote 17 books over the course of his academic career. “In many ways, I think academic achievement is very much related to choosing the right subject, and Sam was incredibly good at that.”

Kennedy School Professor Graham T. Allison Jr. called Huntington "an outstanding teacher, a great thinker, and a valued colleague" who had the “rare capacity” for larger insights into overarching themes like democratization and military politics.

“Not just big insights but grasp of truths that have legs,” Allison added in his e-mailed statement. “Among political scientists, or indeed, all social scientists today, he had no peer competitor. Personally as well as intellectually, we miss him deeply.”

Samuel Phillips Huntington was born on April 18, 1927, in New York City, to parents steeped in the trade of words—his father was an editor and publisher, and his mother a writer.

In 1946, the precocious 18-year-old graduated with distinction from Yale College. After serving briefly in the U.S. Army, Huntington continued his education at the University of Chicago and at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1951.

The year before earning his doctorate, the 23-year-old Huntington began teaching at Harvard, where he was often mistaken for an undergraduate, according to Rosovsky. Excepting the period between 1959 and 1962, when he was an associate professor of government at Columbia, Huntington taught at Harvard for 58 years, eventually becoming the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, one of 21 prestigious professorships created by Harvard to recognize groundbreaking, interdisciplinary scholarship.

"It is difficult for me to imagine a more rewarding or enjoyable career than teaching here, particularly teaching undergraduates," Huntington wrote in a retirement letter.

Before retiring in 2007, Huntington served twice as chair of the government department, directed Harvard's Center for International Affairs from 1978 to 1989, and chaired the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies from 1996 to 2004.

In 1989, Huntington founded the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, an autonomous entity within the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs that focuses on national security and strategy issues. Though Huntington stepped down from his post as director of the Olin Institute in 2000, he continued to advise on Olin Fellowships and remained involved in the seminar program.

But Huntington’s work also took him beyond academia. In 1968, he advised then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey during his bid for the presidency. And in 1970, he co-founded Foreign Policy magazine.

In 1977 and 1978, Huntington was coordinator of security planning for the National Security Council under President Jimmy Carter. The following decade, Huntington served on the Presidential Commission on Long-Term Integrated Strategy.

After suffering from a stroke in 2006, Huntington entered a succession of nursing facilities in Boston. He relocated the following summer to a facility on Martha's Vineyard, where the Huntingtons had spent their summers for 40 years.

“He loved the Vineyard, loved his garden, and lived a fairly simple life,” Mrs. Huntington said, remembering her husband remark, "I can breathe again," after returning to his favored refuge after serving the Carter administration.

“I never knew him to lie; I never knew him to dissemble,” she added about her late husband, who first courted her in 1956 by inviting her to the Casablanca on Brattle Street for a beer. “He was a joy to live with.”

Samuel Huntington is survived by Mrs. Huntington; two sons, Nicholas P. Huntington ’87 and Timothy M. Huntington ’83; and four grandchildren. A private burial service will be held on Martha's Vineyard.

In the spring, a memorial service will be held at Harvard; details are pending.

Friday, December 26, 2008

USAPANG BAMPIRA (Why do Teenage Girls Sink their Teeth into Vampire Movies?)

Interview with the Vampire. Van Helsing. Queen of the Damned. The Forsaken. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jesus Christ the Vampire Hunter. Blade Series. Underworld (Evolution). Bram Stoker’s Dracula. From Dusk till Dawn. Twilight. True Blood. lan lamang ito sa mga sikat na pelikulang tumatalakay sa iba’t ibang katangian ng mga bampira o blood-suckers—nakakatakot, nakakaasar, nakakatawa, kahanga-hanga at nakaka-in-love.

Bakit ba ganoon na lamang ang hatak ng mga vampire stories sa mga kabataan ngayon? Kapansin-pansin na mga kabataang babae ang madaling maakit sa mga bagay na ito.

Many teenage girls love to listen to romantic lines and dialogues. Studies show that men are attracted to women because their physical attributes, while women are attracted to men because of their romantic styles and attitudes. Sa simula ng pelikulang Twilight, ito ang sinabi ni Bella: “I’d never given much thought to how I would die…. Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.” Sagot naman ng guwapong bampira: “I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore.” Effective “kilig” lines ito sa marami.

Vampire movies often reveal the utmost need of women—acceptance and affection
. Kung mapapansin ninyo, vampire always sneaks into the room of the lady every night. Ang ganitong scenario ang kinababaliwan ng maraming teenage girls—iyong feeling na mayroon kang stalker na nagmamahal sa iyo. Sa pelikulang Twilight, sinabi ni Edward na nilayuan niya noong una si Bella dahil sa kakaiba ang amoy ng dugo nito. It was so desirable. Nahirapan si Edward na pigilan ang kaniyang sarili na biktimahin ang dalaga. But instead of killing the lady, he fell in love with her. Doon nagsimula ang love story. Ang pag-ibig na hindi nakuha ni Bella mula sa kaniyang pamilya ay natagpuan niya sa binatilyo. Nais ni Edward na manatiling mortal si Bella—hindi siya dapat mamatay at hindi rin dapat maging bampira kahit gusto nito.

Gothic movies and novels reflect the repressed sexual feelings of women. Karamihan sa mga vampire stories na ating mapapanood at mababasa ay nagpapakita ng mga kababaihang tulad ni Bella na parang walang kamuwang-muwang sa sex. Ipinapakita naman ng bampirang lover ang pag-akit sa babae na ilabas at ipahayag ang kaniyang repressed sexual feelings. At kapag nakagat na ang babae ng bampira, nagiging blood at sex addict na rin siya.

Many teenagers simply want to have a challenging romantic life. Many teenage girls are attracted to men who are bad and social deviants because they can let people see them as bad without being bad themselves. In short, type nila ang mga lalaking “maginoo pero medyo bastos.” Ganundin, may challenge para sa iba ang magkaroon ng isang boyfriend na bad boy. Para sa kanila, kayang baguhin ng pag-ibig ang taong kanilang minamahal.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

ADDICT KA BA SA TV/SINE? (Pleasing God with your Viewing Habits)

I like watching television shows and movies. May mga pagkakataon na kapag nababagot akong magbasa ng libro, hinahanap ko ang movie version nito at pinapanood ko na lang. Mas madali ko siyang maintindihan. It has become an educational tool. Watching TV programs and movies can also relax our minds and bodies. Kaya pagdating sa bahay mula sa matinding trabaho, binubuksan agad ang TV. Kapag kailangang makinig ng balita at weather reports, nandiyan ang TV. Ayon sa isang survey, halos 18 oras ang inilalalan ng isang normal na Filipino sa panonood lamang ng telebisyon.

Isang malaking paksa ang dapat na maging ugali ng mga kabataan pagdating sa panonood ng telebisyon. Marami kasing kabataan ang na-aadict sa panonood ng TV shows kung kaya’t napapabayaan na nila ang mas mahalagang gawain sa kanilang buhay tulad ng pag-aaral, panahon sa pamilya at paglilingkod sa Diyos. Marami rin mensaheng tayong nasasagap sa mga TV programs hindi umaayon sa kabutihang asal. To the extreme, many youth are desensitized to the evil messages of TV programs that they are now having a hard time distinguishing good messages from evil influences. Nonetheless, we can control our viewing habits. If we want to please God, we should be guided by the following:

* We sin when we watch TV shows/movies which encourage lustful thoughts. Do not watch shows that would corrupt your mind and soul.
* We should not conform to the standards of the evil world. Hindi na tayo dapat nagi-enjoy sa mga programang walang kabuluhan at panay kabastusan, green jokes, karahasan at masasamang mensahe ang ipinapakita.
* Manood lamang ng mga programang magbibigay sa atin ng mabubuti at positibong aral at mensahe. This is what Paul called as: "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy.” Huwag tambakan ang utak ng basurang ideya, programa at pelikula.
* Sa tuwing may pinanonood, test everything. Huwag agad paniwalaan ang sinasabi ng sinuman. Hindi dahil sa sikat ang isang taong nagsasalita sa telebisyon ay dapat na siyang paniwalaan. Laging umattend sa Bible studies upang masuri ang mga mensaheng napapanood sa telebisyon.

Makakabuti ding limitahan ang panonood ng telebisyon at ibuhos ang panahon sa mas makabuluhang bagay—magbasa, gumawa ng project/assignment at tumulong sa gawaing bahay. Kung may sarili kang kuwarto, huwag ka nang mag-request sa magulang mo na magpalagay ng telebisyon sa iyong kuwarto. One TV set in the living room is enough. Althoug it depends on how you discipline yourself, naniniwala pa rin ako na kapag lagi kang may kadikit na telebisyon, mas malaki ang posibilidad na lagi mo siyang bubuksan.

Minsang tinanong ako ng isang kabataan, “Kuya, bawal bang manood ng sine ang isang Kristiyano?” Tinanong ko siya kung bakit Niya tinanong niya iyon. Ang kaniyang sagot: “Tinuturo kasi sa church namin na kapag dumating daw si Lord, baka abutin daw kaming nanonood ng sine. E, ang sinehang ay lugar na maraming nangyayaring kasalanan (alam ninyo na siguro kung ano-ano ang mga iyon...).

Ano’ng masasabi natin sa ganoong mga pananaw? Mali ba talaga ang manood ng sine? Watching films in movie theatres is not sinful. Watching sinful movies is the problem. Hindi ang pagpunta sa sinehan ang masama kung hindi ang palagiang pagpunta sa sinehan para magsaya. Maraming kabataan ang hindi kumpleto ang buhay kapag hindi nakakapanood ng sine bawat linggo. Nauubos ang allowance sa panonood ng sine o kaya ay pagbili ng pirated DVDs.

Hindi minsan magandang basehan ang mga ratings na inilalabas ng Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) upang malaman kung talagang walang masamang nilalaman ang isang pelikula. May mga “PG-13” na pelikula na maari nang ibilang na “R” movies dahil sa mayroon ding mga sexual at violent contents. Be aware of the possible effects of the movie on your spiritual well-being. Maraming pelikula na sinasabi nilang mga obra-maestra ay punong-puno ng kahalayan at karahasan. Marami pa nga sa kanila ang nakakatanggap ng awards sa iba't ibang award-giving bodies. But we must remember that secular standards often do not conform with the standards of God.

Overall, if we want to please God in our lives, we must subject our desires to His will. Napakahirap noon. Maaaring sabihin ninyo sa akin: "killjoy ka naman kuya!" No, I am not killjoy. I just don't want the younger generation to be killed by earthly, secular joy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

YOUR CLOTHES ARE TALKING (Pleasing God with your Fashion)

Sa isang conference na inorganisa namin, isang kabataan ang napansin kong may EMO look. Napakaganda ng kaniyang buhok. Napakahaba ng bangs at ang tigas ng buhok malapit sa batok. Halos hindi ko na masilip ang kaniyang mga mata dahil natatabunan ng kaniyang mahabang bangs. Nakasuot siya ng itim na t-shirt at pantalon at malaking kwintas. Naisip ko: iba na talaga ang mga teenagers ngayon. Nabubuhay tayo ngayon sa isang henerasyon na binabandera ang konsepto ng “individualism”. Kung ano’ng gusto mo sa sarili mo, ipakita mo. Walang pakialaman. Iba-iba tayo ng trip sa buhay.

We must remember that Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit.Kung tunay tayong mga Cristiano, hindi na natin pagmamay-ari ang ating pisikal na katawan. Gamitin natin ito upang maparangalan ang Diyos. Kasama na dito ang paraan ng ating pananamit, mga bagay na ating kinakain, at mga bagay na inilalagay natin sa ating katawan.

Tandaan natin na ang anumang damit o fashion ay may nais sabihin. Ang mga style ng pananamit ay laging may dahilan. Ang “Punk” look (iyong may mga hair spikes at kadenang sinturon) ay nagpapakita ng ideolohiya ng anarkismo o rebelyon. Ang “Gothic” look (iyong lahat ng suot mo itim pati make-up itim) ay nagpapakita ng paglapit sa kultura ng kadiliman. The word Gothic itself literally means “barbarous or uncivilized.” Kaya huwag nating sabihin na ang damit natin ay damit lang. It can reflect our personality and values.

Christians reveal their identity through their clothes and appearance.
Walang isang uri ng damit ang sinasabi ang Panginoon na dapat nating isuot. The Bible does not specifically mention what we should wear or not wear. Ganunpaman, may mga pamantayan ang Salita ng Diyos. Two passages in the New Testament deal with the issue of fashion. Bagaman sa mga kababaihan ipinapaabot ang mga ito, maari din itong iangkop sa sitwasyon ng mga kalalakihan.I also want women 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). Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful (1 Peter 3:2-5)

First, Christians should dress in moderation. Ano ang ibig sabihin ng moderation? Well, sa Tagalog, “maghinay-hinay”. Hindi dahil may bagong usong style ng damit, makikisunod na sa uso. Our clothing must be consistent with righteousness and holiness. Do not draw attention to yourself. Kapag nagsusuot ng mga damit na sobrang ganda at ningning, ano ang gusto mong sabihin? Do not tell me that you do not want attention. You wear those clothes to get attention. This attitudes talks about self-centeredness. The Bible says, dress moderately.

Second, wear a decent clothing. There are dresses that can provoke sensous responses from men. Ito iyong mga damit na sobrang higpit sa bust-line, sobrang baba ang neck-line, sobrang higpit sa back-side ng babae, sobrang nipis na halos kita na ang undergarments at iyong mga skirt na may mga slits. Kapag nagsuot ka ng disenteng damit, sinasabi mo sa ibang tao na “Kagalang-galang ako”. Para sa mga girls, subukan ninyong pumunta sa kulungan at magsuot ng short shorts at damit na labas ang inyong pusod, siguradong hindi matitigil ang pagsipol sa inyo ng mga inmates na magnanasa sa inyong katawan.

Third, dress appropriately. Magsuot ng damit ayon sa tamang pagkakataon at tamang panahon. Our dress must conform to the standards of politeness, respect, decency and morally accepted behavior of society. Do not shock other by wearing dresses that only you think is appropriate. Sa madaling salita, makibagay ka sa kulturang iyong ginagalawan. Huwag pupunta sa church na para kang maliligo sa beach. Hindi ka dapat nagsusuot ng mga “revealing clothes” kung dadalo ka ng worship service. Siguradong maraming taong hindi magiging komportableng tingnan ka. May iba’t ibang pamantayan pagdating sa pananamit ang iba’t ibang kultura at iglesya. What we should avoid is the style of dress that is offensive or opposing the church community's values.

Fourth, our dress must show God’s holiness. Do not cause others to sin. Immodest dress can encourage sexual lust. Kahit gustong-gusto mong magsuot ng bathing suit, siguraduhin mong hindi ka magiging dahilan ng pagkakasala ng iba. Sa lahat ng damit na ating isusuot lagi nating tatanungin ang gating sarili, “Natutuwa ba ang Diyos sa aking damit o nagiging dahilan ako ng pagkakasala ng iba?” Apostle Peter said that our look must not depend on the things we wear but from “our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.” Hindi natin maiiwasang huhusgahan tayo ng mga tao batay sa damit na ating isinusuot. Kailangang maging maayos ang puso mo pagdating sa bagay na ito.

Our clothes and appearance are a reflection not only of our socioeconomic status, but also of our moral values. Nakikilala ang ating personalidad at pagpapahalaga ayon sa ating isinusuot. Simply put, we are what we wear. Marami ang nagmumukhang may Hepatitis dahil sa dami ng naninilaw na ginto sa kanilang katawan. They adorn themselves with jewelries to please themselves. We should not be vain or conceited and not to draw attention to ourselves by the way we look . Mayroon namang nagsusuot ng mga damit upang makiayon sa barkadas at grupo. They dress to fit in or to be accepted by their peers. The Christian, however, must dress to glorify God. Kahit sabihin mo na hindi ka dapat pakialaman kung paano ka manamit, nakatingin pa rin ang iba sa kung paano nabago ang buhay mo ng Panginoon. Sasalaminin iyon ng uri ng iyong pananamit.

Bagaman may mga parehong damit na isinusuot ang mga babae at lalake (i.e. jeans, rubber shoes), mayroon pa ring mga damit na kailangang ang babae o ang lalake lamang ang gumamit. Ipinagbabawal ng Panginoon ang pagsusuot ng mga damit na sinusuot ng ibang kasarian. If you are male and you wear clothes identified with women in your culture, you are considered a cross-dresser. Cross-dressing is only an outside manifestation of the person’s values and convictions. Ang isang babae (i.e. lesbian) na nais maging lalake ay maaring magsusuot ng mga damit na panlalake. Ganundin ang mga lalake (i.e.gays and homosexuals) na nagsusuot ng mga damit pambabae na nais maging babae. God wants us to maintain our functional roles as individuals.

Sa Lumang Tipan, ipinagbawal ni Yahweh na magpa-tatoo at magpungos ng bahagi ng katawan (mutilation) ang mga Israelita upang hindi sila maapektuhan at mahaluan ng kulturang pagano. Bagaman hindi na ikinakapit sa paganong relihiyon ang pagpapa-tatoo sa katawan sa kasalukuyang panahon, kailangan pa ring pag-isipan ng bawat kabataan kung malulugod o hindi malulugod ang Diyos sa kanilang gagawing pagmamarka sa katawan.

Siguraduhing hindi pagsisisihan ang gagawing pagpapa-tatoo. Masakit ang pagpapatanggal ng marka sa katawan. Hindi lang iyon, mahal ang operasyon. May mga dating nagpamarka sa katawan na inisip na sana’y hindi na nila ginawa iyon. May isa akong kaibigan na dating nagtrabaho bilang tattoo designer na nagsisi sa kaniyang mga marka sa katawan. Marami kasi ang pinagkakamalan siyang masamang tao dahil sa ahas na nakamarka sa kaniyang braso. If a tattoo in any way hinders a your Christian witness you should really be concerned. It is true that God does not look primarily at the physical appearance because He looks at the heart. Siguraduhin mo lang sa iyong sarili na gagawin mo hindi dahil gusto mo lang sumunod sa uso, kung hindi para parangalan ang Diyos sa iyong buhay.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas in Different Languages

Nawa'y hindi natin malimutan ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko--ang kaligtasan ng ating kaluluwa sa pagdating ng Panginoong Hesus. Pagpalain ka ng Panginoon sa taong darating..

Afrikaans: Gesëende Kersfees
Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African / Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri-Azerbaijan: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese (Cantonese): Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese (Mandarin): Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Chinese (Catonese): Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
Dutch (Netherlands): Prettig Kerstfeest
English: Merry Christmas
Eskimo: (Inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian: Ruumsaid juulup|hi
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic (Irish): Nolag mhaith Dhuit Agus Bliain Nua Fe Mhaise
Gaelic (Scots): Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik
Maltese: LL Milied Lt-tajjeb
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines: Maligayang Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Romanian (in Moldova Republic): La Anul si La Multi Ani
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Serbian: Hristos se rodi
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serb-Croatian: Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slavey (a Dene Language from the Northwest Territories in Canada): Teyatie Gonezu
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog: Maligayang Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Vietnamese: Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Real Essence of Christmas

Many people, even some religious leaders, undermine the real meaning of Christmas. They say it is about giving, caring, sharing, loving, joy, peace, hope, among others. Pero ang hindi nababangit ng marami, ang Pasko ay tungkol sa plano ng Diyos para sa tao sa pamamagitan ni Cristo. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit kailangang mas nakatuon tayo sa KALIGTASAN na ibinibigay ng Diyos, hindi sa nagmamahalang regalo, Christmas parties, monito-monita at Christmas bonus.

CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND SALVATION. The name Jesus Christ means “Savior-King.” It represents God's universal plan for all men. He sent His son to SAVE and RESCUE man from the curse of sin (John 3:16, Galatians 3:13). Hinubad ni Jesus ang kaniyang pagka-Diyos, upang mamuhay kasama ng makasalanang tao at iligtas ang sanlibutan mula sa sumpa ng kasalanan (Juan 1:1,14; Filipos 2:6-11). With Christmas, God provided an opportunity to reach out to man. It is Christ who served as a MEDIATOR between man and God (1 Timothy 2:5).

CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT GOD’S SECURITY AND JOY. Because of Christmas we should never fear of what will happen tomorrow for God will always be on our side (Psalm 27:1, Romans 8:31). Unless we internalize this message, we can never have true peace. Ang tunay na kapayapaan ay nagmumula sa Diyos. Kahit anumang problema at trahedya ang dumating sa ating buhay, hangga’t nariyan ang Panginoon, hindi tayo kailanman dapat mag-alala. The peace that He gives is different from the peace that the world gives (John 14:27)--fleeting and temporal.

Ang kasiyahan at saya na tinutukoy ng Bibliya ay ang kasiyahan bunga ng KAPATAWARAN na maaring ibigay ng Diyos sa sinumang gagawing Diyos at Tagapagligtas si Cristo, sa isang personal at malalim na paraan.

CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT CHRIST’S LOVE FOR MANKIND - Natagpuan ng mga pastol ang sanggol na si Jesus sa isang SABSABAN, kainan ng mga hayop. This is symbolic of Christ’s mission on earth—to offfer His life as a food for humanity. He is the bread of life (John 6:51) and the living water for the thirsty (John 4:13). We should be reminded of the truth that the real essence of Christmas is JESUS Himself. The major question is, “Have you already received God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation through Christ?” Ask for God’s forgiveness so that you can have PEACE with your Creator. This is the only way you celebrate Christmas in its REAL ESSENCE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pleasing God With your Music

Maraming pag-aaral na ang nagsasabi na kayang baguhin ng musika ang isipan at emosyon ng isang tao. Greek philosopher Plato once said, “Give me the music of a nation and I will change the mind of that nation.” Ang musika rin ang ginagamit ni satanas upang mailayo sa Panginoon ang maraming kabataan. Many teenagers already struggling with personal and family issues are attracted to heavy rock and metal music, because the lyrics express their own troubled feelings. Ang patuloy na pagbabad sa isipan at pandinig ng mga musika ay maaring magdala sa isang kabataan sa mga gawain na may kinalaman sa okultismo, satanismo, paggamit ng bawal na gamut, premarital sex, suicide at marami pang iba. Many researches even argue that when music lyrics are illustrated in music videos, the lyrics' potential impact is magnified by the accompanying video images. Ano ba ang ipinapakita ng maraming MTVs? Many of them glorify sex and violence. They depict women as sexual objects, show lewd scenes as normal and promote violent activities. Many of them do not really complement the lyrics of the song. They just want to arouse the interest of the teenage viewers.

Hindi lahat ng awitin ay lumalabag sa kalooban ng Diyos. Kailangan nating maintindihan ang pagkakaiba ng “secular songs” o mga kantang walang kinalaman sa anumang relihiyon o mga espiritwal na bagay, sa mga tinatawag na “worldly songs” o mga bagay na nagpapakita o sumusuporta sa paggawa ng kasalanan o mga bagay labag sa batas at kabanalan ng Diyos.

Secular songs may or may not be worldly. For example, the most famous “Happy Birthday” song is secular but it does not oppose the holiness of God. Nagiging makamundo ang isang love song kung hindi na ito umaayon sa Salita ng Diyos. Maraming kantang nagpapahayag ng tunay na commitment sa pagitan ng dalawang nag-iibigan. Sa kabilang banda, maraming love songs na naririnig natin sa FM stations ang nagpapahayag na hindi kasalanan ang premarital sex at homosexuality. The Bible declares that corrupt things should not proceed from our mouth. We must carefully choose the songs we sing. It is not sinful to sing secular songs. The Lord is displeased when we sing SINFUL secular songs. I can say that youth should listen to secular songs which promote a neutral and balanced message at their own risk.

Ano’ng uri ng musika ang dapat pakinggan ng mga kabataan? There is no straightforward answer to this question mainly because we have different ways of valuing and interpreting music. No particular musical style is commanded in the Bible. For instance, I don’t believe that there is a definite CHRISTIAN MUSIC. There are only CHRISTIAN LYRICS. Naniniwala ako na sa Diyos nanggaling ang musika. Sinira lamang ni satanas ang paggamit sa musika para ipahamak ang maraming tao. Kailangan lang nating alaman kung kailan ginagamit ang musikang ipinagkaloob ng Diyos sa maling paraan. Before patronizing and singing a secular song, I recommend that you do the following:

Basahin ang lyrics ng kanta – Songs must be judged according to their lyrical content. Maraming kabataan na kanta lang ng kanta dahil maganda ang tono at tempo ng musika. Ang hindi nila alam, sinasabi na nilang “Magpakamatay na tayo!”, Mag-suicide na tayo!, at marami pang iba. Bago kumanta, please magbasa. What are the lyrics of the song? Does it contradict or support the Word of God?

Alamin ang pagpapahalagang ipinapakita sa kanta - What values does the song promote? Does it promote righteousness or sin? Huwag nang kantahin ang isang awit kung kinakalaban nito ang kabanalan at utos ng Diyos. We must test everythin, hold on to the good and avoid every kind of evil.

Alamin ang buhay ng singer/composer – Sinabi ng Panginoon na ang isang masamang puno ay hindi maaring magbunga ng mabuting bunga. Kung ano ang pagpapahalaga ng composer o lumikha ng kanta, iyon ang lalabas sa kaniyang musika. Who composed/performed the song? Is he/she a good example to you and to others? When you buy a record of an artist promoting wrong values, you are supporting him/her to continue his sinful work. Choose well your music even if they identify themselves as Christian bands. Does the band glorify God and not themselves? Does the band live what they sing?

Nilalapit ka ba o nilalayo ng kanta sa Panginoon? - Alamin Kung saan ka dinadala ng inaawit mo. Napapalayo ka ba sa Diyos o mas lalong napapalapit sa Kaniya? Bilang Cristianong kabataan, bakit natin sasayangin ang ating panahon sa pagkanta ng mga secular songs? Kahit balanse ang mensahe nito, hindi pa rin ito nakatuon sa pagbibigay papuri sa Panginoon. My main recommendation is surround yourself with Christian music and focus more on singing songs that will glorify God.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Si Marky Cielo (1988-2008) at ang Buhay-Kabataan

Kasabay ng pagdiriwang sa tagumpay ni Manny Pacquiao sa kaniyang laban kay De La Hoya, ginulantang rin ni Marky ang lahat sa kaniyang hindi inaasahang pagpanaw. Natagpuang siyang patay ng kaniyang ina sa kaniyang kuwarto sa kanilang tahanan sa Antipolo, alas-6 ng umaga ng December 7.

Pinahanga ni Marky ang buong sambayanan sa pagkapanalo niya bilang unang Igorot na sumali sa StarStruck na naging Ultimate Sole Survivor pa ng StarStruck Batch 3! Bagaman sinasabi ng iba na hindi siya kasing-guwapo ng mga tipikal na teenage heartthrobs, pinabilib niya ang sambayanan sa kaniyang talento sa pagsayaw. Lumutang rin ang kaniyang talento sa drama nang gumanap siya ng iba’t ibang papel sa mga telenovela at fantaserye ng GMA-7 katulad ng Encantadia, Fantastikids, Bakekang, Asian Treasures, Boys Next Door, Kaputol ng Isang Awit, and Codename: Asero. Ngunit mas nakilala siya sa kaniyang pagganap bilang si Green Zaido sa fantaserye na Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan. Naiwan niya ang isang programa na La Lola at ang kaniyang trabaho bilang main-stay sa variety show na SOP.

Ang pagpanaw ni Marky ay nagpapaalala sa atin na ang ating buhay sa daigdig ay pansamantala lamang (James 4:14, Psalm 90:5). Young people should never boast of their energy and youthfulness. Death can come anytime. Ang tanong: Handa ba tayong harapin ang kamatayan?

The Bible declares that we must start to remember our Creator in the days of our youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Huwag na nating hintayin pa na tayo ay tubuan ng puting buhok bago natin ialay ang ating buhay sa Panginoon. It is appointed unto all men to die once, and then God’s judgment begins (Hebrew 9:27). Never leave this world without repenting of your sins and accepting Christ in your heart. Ito ang pinakadakilang mensahe na kailanganh seryosohin ng lahat ng kabataan.