I really have to link this one because I’m a fan of Lea Salonga and I loved Miss Saigon and seeing this made me fall in love with her and the play all over again. Though I was not able to watch it when they came here, which is a great loss on my part.*sigh* Anyway, this is a video of Miss Lea Salonga, auditioning for the part of Kim in Miss Saigon. With Claude-Michel Schonberg on the piano and Nicholas Hytner, Cameron Mackintosh, Alain Boublil looking on. She was really amazing, the moment she opened her mouth. I wonder what it would be like if I could play as Chris. Lol! Enjoy!
After a couple of months, I finally got my Social Security ID. I was really excited to open it up and have a look at my picture on it. After all, this is my first SSS ID and I will be using this for the rest of my life, so I should better be looking good. But when I finally opened the letter and saw the ID attached to it..I got the greatest scare of my life!!!
I was about to go home when I read a post from the rebelutionists Alex and Bret entitled The Bible or the Bullet. It told the story of a 16-year-old girl that was shot by communist soldiers because she chose to love the Bible instead of spitting on it. Suddenly, I got reminded of a friend’s text message to me that goes like this:
“You may never have to face the decision of whether or not to die for your faith, but everyday you face the decision of whether or not you will live for it.”
We Filipinos are so lucky that we are able to freely express our faith without facing the consequences of death or torture. But most of the time, we take our faith for granted. Sometimes our faith becomes meerly words spoken or knowledge gained, but neither experienced nor lived. We do not have to fear that policemen will take us to jail and torture us until we deny our God, always scared to reveal to the public about our faith. No. In our case, we find it so hard to live a Christian life even without the threats.
God doesn’t expect us to do what the girl, or all the other heroes of faith, did. He just wants us to live a life that is like Christ’s. We do not have to look for terrorists or people who detest God to show God how much we love Him. We have our own ungodly acts, our sinful habits. He wants us to show Him that even in smallest parts of our lives He is there, His words are always thought of and His will is always sought.
A few weeks ago a picture always popped in my head. It shows a man standing in front of two entrances that lead to different directions. The entrance on the left is dark and quite narrow, the ones we see on caves that leads to the depths of a mountain. On the other hand, the entrance on the right is brighter and inviting. If the entrance on the left resembles an entrance to a cave, this one resembles an exit from a very dark and long journey inside a cave, when you finally see the light of the world. At that moment I didn’t know what that means. I remembered Matthew 7:13-14:
13″Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Silly me, I prayed something like this, “Lord, when the time comes that you are going to come back and take your children and we will be in this situation where we have to choose between the two paths, please tell me what to do.” Stupid as it may seem, I did pray that. Lol. Then suddenly, it occured to me that it is not something that will happen when Christ comes back. It’s not even something that has to be done in a few months. It’s what should be happening every minute that we spend this life on earth. We should be able to thread the narrow gate, whatever difficulties it may present to us.
It is so hard to put down a Coelho book when it is time to have your devotion. It is so hard to turn off the television during your most favorite tv show when it is time to go and meet your disciples/sheeps or attend a church function. It is so hard to get up early in the morning to attend sunday school or early Church services. It is so hard to tell your friends that you are a Christian because they might label you as “banal” or words like that. It is so hard to look away from porn pictures especially when there is no one around. It is so hard to tell the truth especially when you know that the consequence might hurt, or is irrevocable. In general, it is so hard to get out of our comfort zones. We all want the fastest, easiest and less complicated way to happinness. But that’s not what He asks us to do.
The standing question is are you willing to live up for your faith? It won’t be fast and easy but when you reach the end.. it will be worth it..
What do you think? Did it look better? Or not so better (Haha!)? Comments!
Last week I had the privilege to attend a week-long meditation at our Church where assigned speakers will talk about Christ’s teachings. I also had the privilege to speak in front and discuss John 15 to the congregation. I am very thankful because during my preparations and the whole week of meditation, God revealed to me specific things I can reflect on and evaluate my relationship with Him. I believe God asked me two things:
1. Knowing and Believing. From the things that I know about God, how much of it do I really believe? As Christians, we all know that God loves us so much that He gave His son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and be justified. We also know that God’s blessings are bountiful for everyone and that He knows the best for us. Basically, we know a lot about God’s characteristics but how much of these characteristics do we really believe? How much of those passages from the Bible do we really embrace?
2. Knowing and Experiencing. From the things that I know about God, how much of it do I experience working in me everyday of my life? Nicole Nordeman, in her song I Am, called God as her Creator, Maker, Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Lord, King and so much more that He deserved to be called. But among all these characteristics of God how many of them have we experienced in our lives?
I have to admit that the rate that I would probably be getting would not be that good. Sometimes, we hear a lot of teachings about God that the line between knowing and believing gets thinner and thinner until there is no clear distinction between what we know and what we really believe in. Claiming security (in terms of our relationship with God) based on what we know with little concern on the real experience with Him. Believing that knowing the right things and saying the right words are enough to be holy and blessed.
I don’t actually know how to end this post, all I know is that as long as we are living, it is never late to go back to God and experience His goodness, mercy and grace. Though it wouldn’t be as simple as saying “ask and believe”. It will require a lot of meditation and prayer, focusing on God with the help of His bountiful grace.
Check this out! This is so hilarious! Thanks to Kuya Jayson for the link. Hehe!
I was supposed to write more about this topic but it just occured to me that I may not be the right person to comment on this so I’ll just leave it to the experts. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Al Mohler’s (An Author, Speaker and President of the Southern Baptist Teological Seminary) article on The Gospel of Judas:
“What are Christians to make of all this? The publication of The Gospel of Judas is a matter of genuine interest. After all, it is important for Christians to understand the context of early Christianity–a context in which the church was required to exercise tremendous discernment in confronting heretical teachings and rejecting spurious texts.
The scholarly research behind the publication of The Gospel of Judas appears to be sound and responsible. The codex manuscript was submitted to the most rigorous historical process in terms of dating, chemical composition, and similar questions. In the end, it appears that the document is most likely authentic, in terms of its origin from within a heretical sect in the third century.
Nevertheless, extravagant claims about the theological significance of The Gospel of Judas are unwarranted, ridiculous, and driven by those who themselves call for a reformulation of Christianity.”
You can find here the complete commentary.