Monday, April 29, 2013

Remembering God for a Memorable Birthday

I was in the hospital today early in the morning. My wife has an appointment with her doctor today. While waiting for her turn to be called, I had to go around the hospital to set her needed laboratory procedures, line up in the cashier and have her listed. Then, amidst my busy task, I bumped into my old friend, Hershey, who is one of the doctors in the hospital. She was smiling from ear to ear so I thought she might be so happy to see me or she might have some good news to share. When she approached, she greeted me, "Happy birthday, Neki." I was surprised.

I almost forgot that today is my birthday. Amidst all the troubles and the busy thoughts bothering my mind, I almost forgot that today is my birthday. It's not that I wasn't anticipating it. I just got pre occupied with many things that I almost forgot.

But I did had a lot of things to do. After, the consult with the doctor, we had to run to Philhealth to update our record. Then to the school to enroll by eldest child. Then go back to the hospital to get all the lab results. After all that, I just wanted to spend some time to relax in the mall. More like cooling down from all the summer heat.

Dinner with my family was in a videoke room. That was perfect way to celebrate all of God's goodness this year despite the challenges that we have faced. I almost forgot my birthday, and that would have meant forgetting all the goodness and faithfulness of God to us this year. Seating and reflecting for a couple of hours during birthdays, allows us to remember the goodness and all the blessings God has given. Remembering God makes it a memorable birthday.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Another Life

As another year is added to our lives, we celebrate the blessings we received. As we start new careers, we reflect if this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives. We are always thankful to God for giving us this life and the opportunities we had with it. But what if we have many lives?

What if like the cats we have nine lives? What if God has given us a thousand lives? Just like the video games we play. You get to have another chance - another life when you mess up this. What would you do or not do?

We have often asked ourselves, if we could re-do our lives this is what I would have done. We have often imagined, if I would have another life, then this is how I would do it. We have dreams of how we should have lived our lives if we knew better. We could think, I would have tried to be a politician and become President of a country. We could have thought that we would have tried crazy things and not fear of dying because another life will come. We could not care of committing sinful ways because another chance will be given by another life. So, if we have another life other than this, we would have done differently.

If you are living a Christian life today, dedicating your life to God, what would you do to the other life that will be given to you? Or would you plan to do other staff and reserve your last life in living that Christian life. Maybe, become a good businessman and save enough millions to live a comfortable life instead of foregoing the rich opportunity by being a community development worker? Or maybe practice your profession as a healthcare worker and earn big money from your patients instead of receiving your daily bread as a missionary in another country? Or maybe go to church less on Sundays and make those important graduate studies during weekends that will earn you a magna cum laude in your  university.

Are you so scared to lose your life now because you want to accomplish everything  in this one life God has given you? But if you have nine or a thousand lives, you could care less. You don't need to exercise eveyday and instead smoke your self to death and drink every night and day because you still have another life to live. You just concentrate in making enough money for your family for this life and worry later about serving God on your next 8 lives. You don't have to cram all your dreams and hopes for this one life because you can accomplish the others in your succeeding lives.

Or will you give all your lives to God? Will you continue to make God your top priority every life you get? Will you always choose church over school? Will you always choose ministry over money? Will you always choose Christian vocation over worldly profession?  Will you always put God at the center over family and job? Will you always deny yourself and follow God?