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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 30, 2011
BARRIERS OF HATE

“When you sell land to an Israelite or buy land, do not deal unfairly.” – Leviticus 25:14

It was eight meters high and 800 kilometers long. I saw a portion of the structure called Sharon’s Wall of Shame at the Holy Land. The wall was built by Israel’s leaders to keep the Palestinians out of the Jewish settlements. The cost to build the wall was staggering. But even more staggering is the magnitude of how a group of people can hate so much.
But I realized that I have my own “wall of shame” when I put barriers in my mind in accepting other people’s opinions, biases and even simple practices.
I have my own sets of habits that I keep, some of which are not good. When people like my wife, friends and mentors try to change these habits, sometimes an unpleasant clash ensues.
These clashes first happen in the mind and eventually come out of the mouth. Hatred is one of the fruits of such barrier. Let’s demolish these walls by taking on wisdom from reading and reflecting on Scripture. Let’s take on the love of Christ, for in God’s love, there are no barriers. Rolly España (rnespana@nwineskin.com)
30
REFLECTION:
Are you bull-headed in your opinions and do not accept others’ views?

Change me, oh Lord, that I may have Your kind of thinking and love.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Feast - Venue and Schedule

The FEAST is the one of the happiest places on earth.

Find one near you!

PICC

Sunday (2 sessions)

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

PICC, Roxas Blvd.



Pasig

Sunday (2 sessions)

10:00 a.m. - 12 noon

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Valle Verde Country Club (beside The ULTRA)



Quezon City

Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 12 n.n.

Convention Hall, Bureau of Soils, Visayas Ave., Q.C.



Saturday 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

GT-Toyota Asian Center, Magsaysay St. cor. Katipunan Ave.



Alabang (4 sessions)

Sunday

11:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

2/L X-site Entrance, Festival Mall, Alabang

Tel. No. 659-8299



Laguna

Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 12 n.n.

Cinema 1, SM Sta. Rosa, Laguna



Cavite

Sunday 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Cinema 5, Robinson's Mall, Imus, Cavite



Taytay

Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Valley Fair Arcade, Ortigas Ext. Taytay, Rizal

Valenzuela

Sunday 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cinema 1, SM Valenzuela, Valenzuela

Contact no. 09175789554



Ortigas

Monday 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Cinema 3, Robinsons Galleria,

F. Ortigas Ave., Pasig City



Makati

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

AIM Conference Center, Benavidez cor Paseo de Roxas



Manila (2 sessions)

Friday, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m

7:00 p.m.. - 10:00 p.m.

Cinema 4, SM Manila (near City Hall), Manila





Marilao (3 sessions)

Friday 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Barcelona Academy, Marilao, Bulacan

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cinema 2, SM Marilao, Bulacan



Baliuag

Saturday 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Cinema 1, SM Baliuag, Bulacan

Contact no. 09175332756/2920044



Cardona

Saturday 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Queen Mary Help of Christians Hospital, National Road, Calahan, Cardona



CEBU

Tuesday 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

CAP Auditorium, Cebu City

Contact nos. 4128142/09212413801/09232908009



DAVAO

Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

4/L Alexian Brothers Health and Wellness Center, Matina, Davao City

Contact nos. 0822865081/0922251822

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Daily Bible Reflections

July 29, 2011
Memorial of St. Martha, disciple of the Lord

daily nourishment

“But only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:42

My first Bible was a gift given by my nephew Ton Sison during my Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). He wrote a short note on it, “But the word of the Lord endures forever…” (1 Peter 1:25). That turned out to be prophetic. I never expected that Ton’s small gift would have a big impact on my life and would change me for good.
The Bible really meant nothing at first and was just part of the bag of LSS goodies given by friends and family. But the morning after my LSS, as I opened my Bible and looked through the book of John, I was captivated and enthralled by the Word of God. That was 17 years ago and I have never stopped reading the Bible since.
It is now ingrained in me as a regular habit to start my mornings with Scriptural readings to guide me throughout the day.
Can you imagine how life will be without food and water for our bodies? The same is true for our soul and spirit. I find it unthinkable to live a day without any nourishment from the Word of God. Mari Sison-Garcia (mari_sison_garcia@yahoo.com)
9
REFLECTION:
“Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Lord, I thank You for Your Word that serves as my guidepost each day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Face The Facts Not Your Stories

By Francis Kong

When I was a kid I loved the circus. The lions and the tamer. The flying trapeze but the part I really loved was the clowns. The moment they enter the ring my heart would pump with excitement. I always loved to laugh and the clowns really made me laugh.

The elephant act was cool too. I came across a discovery about elephant tricks in circus. Have you ever wondered why the elephants—the strongest and largest animals in the circus—don’t simply walk away?

The trainers have discovered a way to make them helpless.

When an elephant is born, it only takes about two weeks for him to get strong enough to break his chains, but his trainers use this time to their advantage. The baby elephant, chained to a tree, will make many attempts to break free before giving up, but once he has given up, that’s it. Although he grows larger physically, in his mind, the chain is still stronger than he is. In effect, he imprisons himself.

The chain therefore is a constant reminder that they are helpless.

A lot of us live our lives the same way. People have mastered the art and science of learned helplessness.

Rather than becoming the stars of the show, these helpless people in the work place have self-designed themselves into being clowns. They have made decisions either constantly or unwittingly that have led people to laugh at them. This is so sad because this does not have to be.

At the core of this problem lies the person’s inability to determine the difference between what are facts and what are stories. The stories they have heard may have come from the people they love. Stories come in forms like:

“You’re not as good as your brother /sister….”
“You’ve brought bad luck to the family….”
“You’ll never make it…..”
“You’re just like your dad/mom, you’re a loser….”

These are stories not facts but somehow they imprison, they form chains.



Here are some other examples of what stories sounds like and they mostly come from your primary story teller and that is YOU!:

“I shouldn’t have to do this—it’s not part of my job description.”
“Other people should be more dedicated and motivated. Nothing would get done around here if it weren’t for me.”
“There’s not enough time to get it all done.”
“Our department is always having to clean up after others’ mistakes.”
“The boss just doesn’t get it.”
“He is always undermining me.”
My coworkers don’t appreciate me.”
“Management only cares about the bottom line.”
“I’m underpaid for what I do here.”
“It would be finished if they’d stop interrupting me with last-minute changes.”

These are stories. These are not facts.

You and I need to stop arguing with reality. The reality is that God does not invent junk. Humans do it to themselves. We imprison ourselves with the chains formed by the stories we hear or the stories we invent ourselves.

We have the free will to choose. We can choose to rise up above our adversities, ignore the attacks of the envious, labor and learn and accept challenges and retain humility as success comes or we can choose to stay with our stories and ignore the facts.

Samuel Clemens says it well a long time ago when he said, “The problem with most people is not that they set their goals too high and fail to achieve it but that they set their goals too low and they attain it.”

God has given us a head to think, a heart to feel, hands to labor and feet to move towards our goals with the purpose of adding value to the world and never for the sole aim of personal glory or aggrandizement. Starting tomorrow as you go to the work place, stick to the facts and drop those stories.

Daily Bible Reflections

July 28, 2011
THE PROUD AND THE HUMBLE

Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded. – Exodus 40:16

Freddie, a veteran pair of scissors, was boasting to Gary, the new scissors in their parlor, “I’m the best scissors! I can cut beautifully! Customers are always satisfied!” Gary was just quiet.
A customer came in. The hairstylist picked up Freddie and started cutting hair. Freddie was so proud of himself that he would cut as he thought fit. This gave the hairstylist a hard time. It came to a point that the hairstylist put down Freddie and picked up Gary to continue cutting hair.
Gary let the hand of the hairstylist move and use him the way he wanted. The result? A satisfied and smiling customer! Gary knew one thing: the stylist is his master. Without him he can’t do the job right, so he does as the stylist commands. Which one do you want to be as you live your life? The proud Freddie or the humble Gary?
God is our Maker and Master. Without Him and His Wisdom, we can’t live our life with satisfactory results. Like Gary, we should do just as God commands us in living our life. Ma. Luisa A. De la Cruz (ma_luisa2004@yahoo.com)
28
REFLECTION:
What areas of your life do you need to surrender to God so He can work on them?

Dearest God, here I am. Change my heart and use me as You desire.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 27, 2011
Never Let Go

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44

Once I set my eyes on her, nothing could stop me.
I sent her flowers, chocolates, letters, lunch, buko juice — everything. I even “interviewed” her best friend whom I didn’t know. I “employed” and implored those around her to back me up and give a good word or two.
She turned me down three times. Many told me to give up. It felt like the world crumbled but I kept on pursuing her. Her name is Gina, the love of my life. That was more than a decade ago. Despite the difficulties, I won her heart. In fact, we just celebrated our 14th year as husband and
wife last April.
Like a resolute suitor who has found his great love, our resolve to follow God must be the same, nay more. For once we find the joy that He gives, all else pales. Despite failures and problems and sins, we must be doggedly determined to dwell in His presence, to bask in His love.
We must be ready to give up everything for Him, our Treasure of treasures. Jun Asis (mabuting.balita@gmail.com)
27
REFLECTION:
What else do I have to give up for God?

Lord, I offer my life to You. I have found You and I will hold on to You. Hold me and never let me go. Amen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 26, 2011
Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary
BLESSED COUPLE

Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants. – Sirach 44:11

On October 21, 2001, Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi became the first married couple beatified by Pope John Paul II.
The Italian couple lived in Rome during the first half of the 20th century. Luigi was a lawyer and civil servant. Maria was devoted to the family while being involved in several charitable missions.
As a family, they attended daily Mass. Every evening, they prayed the rosary and consecrated their family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is no wonder then that their sons became priests, a daughter became a Benedictine nun, and the youngest dedicated herself to caring for her parents, then for her brother.
Many times, marriage makes us think about romantic love and living happily ever after. We fail to remember the true mission of the family: the awesome task of collaborating with God in procreation, the call to holiness as a couple, and the demand of total dedication to the children, to teach and guide them to discover God’s plan for their lives.
May the example of Blessed Luigi and Maria inspire us to focus on our families in our efforts to serve God. Cecil Lim (cez_lim@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
“The path of holiness, lived together as a couple, is possible, beautiful, extraordinarily fruitful and fundamental for the good of the family, the Church and society.” (Pope John Paul II)

Lord, grant that our family will become a true shrine of Your life and love.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 25, 2011
Feast of St. James, Apostle
THE REWARD OF SERVICE

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” – Matthew 20:26

During college, after a grueling ROTC training, I went to my friend’s boarding house to ransack his kitchen. But I found nothing to eat! My dejected friend uttered, “It’s my birthday today and I have nothing to eat, nothing to spend for my party. My parents failed to deposit money into my
savings account.”
My heart melted. I ran to the store, bought a can of sardines, returned to his house and cooked him a hot meal. “Lunch is served, Monsieur!”
At the first spoonful, he burst into tears. “Don’t you know we’re very rich?” he cried. I said, “Wow, you must be very happy!” He replied, “I am now. Because of what you did for me, my birthday had meaning!”
I thought it was the end of the melodrama. I was wrong. His parents treated me to a point-at-what-you-like-and- I’ll-pay type of shopping, all-expense paid vacation galore to their villa and rubber farm in Cagayan de Oro and sent me home with presents for my family.
This was my grand reward for a can of sardines and a heart of service! God is calling us to do the same. Service is its own reward.Obet Cabrillas (kpreacherobet@gmail.com)
25
REFLECTION:
Do you want to be great? Serve without expecting anything in return.

Lord, You did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give Your life as a ransom for many. May I always follow in Your footsteps.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 24, 2011
the great pearl

When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. – Matthew 13:46

Mang Manding is a poor farmer tilling land that doesn’t belong to him. One day, he hits something hard on the ground. He digs up the dirt and finds a treasure chest. It’s filled with gold! He nervously scans the horizon to see if anybody had seen him. Then he re-buries the chest and secretly resolves to buy the land so he can claim the treasure as his own.
He goes home and sells his only carabao. He doesn’t tell his wife of his discovery but says that their kids will have to stop schooling. He cuts off their electricity and water. He goes so far as saying that they’ll be down to eating only one meal a day.
His family thinks he’s gone nuts. But Mang Manding doesn’t care. He knows that the sacrifices they’re making is nothing compared to the treasure he has found.
You and I are Mang Manding. We give everything we have for a treasure we’ve found. Some give their lives for a career that will end when they’re 60. Others give their all to obtain fleeting fame. Still others will spend their energies building earthly monuments that will fade.
Jesus is the only Treasure worth our everything. Are you giving your all for Him? Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
24
REFLECTION:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Lord, You are my Pearl of Great Price. I give my all for You.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 23, 2011
PROMISES, PROMISES

They said, “We will obey the Lord and do everything that he has commanded.” – Exodus 24:7

“I accept the call, and I will serve the Lord in this ministry.” This is the general response of every person elected to serve in the ministry that looks after the charismatic affairs of the archdiocese here in one of the South Pacific countries.
It was my response, too, when I was elected to head the Evangelization Ministry.
I left that electoral meeting happy and thankful, not only because I was the only foreigner to be elected, but more because it was an answered prayer for me to serve the Lord in this foreign land.
When the leadership called its first meeting, I was excited to come. But only a few officers came. To make matters worse, the next weekend gathering yielded only some 20 people, the following weekend just 10, with only a few leaders attending. “Where are those who said they would serve the Lord?” I asked myself.
It is so easy for us to say, “Yes, I will, Lord!” but when reality hits, the result is negative. Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you make a promise to God, keep it as quickly as possible.... Do what you promise to do.” Danny Tariman (danny@ dtariman.com)
23
REFLECTION:
Are you among those who say, “We will obey the Lord and do everything that he has commanded”?

Lord, I am sorry for saying things but not doing them. I resolve to do Your will from now on.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 21, 2011
Distractions

“They look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.” – Matthew 13:13

Do you find it annoying when you’re talking to someone and they appear to be listening but they actually aren’t? I do. It also annoys me when I bump into someone I know and, while she appears to be looking at me, it would seem that she’s not really seeing me. I must confess that I’m guilty of this at times and I realize that it’s mostly because I’m distracted and my thoughts wander elsewhere.
Distractions are all around us and they can keep us from experiencing God’s presence in our lives. But more than the usual diversions we get from TV, Internet, music and other activities, it’s the things we can’t escape that present a real danger.
We can always turn off the TV or the computer but we cannot just turn our back on things that keep us busy and preoccupied as we go about our mundane activities each day. Getting home tired from work may become an excuse for missing our evening prayers or getting caught up with family affairs may be a reason for missing Mass on Sundays.
The devil will do anything to throw us off from the more important things. Let us not give him the opportunity to do so. Jane Gonzales-Rauch (mjsg2468@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
How well do we pay attention to Jesus? What is distracting us from letting Him accomplish His work in our lives?

Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times I got overwhelmed with the things of this world. Grant me the strength to do what is most essential for my redemption.Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 20, 2011
SOUND INVESTMENT

“Part of it finally landed on good soil and yielded grain a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” – Matthew 13:8

When my dad moved to Singapore to work, he would regularly send money to my mom for all our needs. Included with that is his tithe or 10 percent of his salary to be given to our parish church or our charismatic community. He knew that the tithe belonged to the Lord.
It’s been almost 20 years since my dad retired. While many of his retired contemporaries are having financial difficulties, he is able to enjoy his retirement and still be generous to those in need. I believe this is because he faithfully set aside his tithe to invest in God’s Kingdom while he was still earning. Now, he’s reaping the benefits and it is God’s turn to take care of him.
John Avancini says in his book, Hundredfold, that only the seed sown on good ground can yield an abundant harvest. A true sign of a good-ground ministry is one that will vigorously attempt to accomplish the specific purpose God has given it. If that ministry diverts from their calling or embarks on a work of their choosing, then it ceases to be a good ground.
So, the next time you “invest” your tithe or love offering, be sure to discern if it’s a good ground or a stony path. Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)
20
REFLECTION:
Only good ground produces an abundant harvest.

Father, I pray that all the people reading this daily devotional may invest in this “good ground” ministry so that more people may be reached with Your Good News.

Daily Bible Reflections

July 20, 2011
SOUND INVESTMENT

“Part of it finally landed on good soil and yielded grain a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” – Matthew 13:8

When my dad moved to Singapore to work, he would regularly send money to my mom for all our needs. Included with that is his tithe or 10 percent of his salary to be given to our parish church or our charismatic community. He knew that the tithe belonged to the Lord.
It’s been almost 20 years since my dad retired. While many of his retired contemporaries are having financial difficulties, he is able to enjoy his retirement and still be generous to those in need. I believe this is because he faithfully set aside his tithe to invest in God’s Kingdom while he was still earning. Now, he’s reaping the benefits and it is God’s turn to take care of him.
John Avancini says in his book, Hundredfold, that only the seed sown on good ground can yield an abundant harvest. A true sign of a good-ground ministry is one that will vigorously attempt to accomplish the specific purpose God has given it. If that ministry diverts from their calling or embarks on a work of their choosing, then it ceases to be a good ground.
So, the next time you “invest” your tithe or love offering, be sure to discern if it’s a good ground or a stony path. Ronna Ledesma (ronnaledesma@email.com)
20
REFLECTION:
Only good ground produces an abundant harvest.

Father, I pray that all the people reading this daily devotional may invest in this “good ground” ministry so that more people may be reached with Your Good News.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 19, 2011
TODAY IS THE DAY

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord… – Exodus 15:1

Years ago, I went to the US to attend a Christian convention. During one worship, the leader sang one of his rock compositions. And for the first time in my life, I cried while singing a rock song. Why? Because I believed in the song. The words spoke volumes to me.
As I sang, I felt God telling me not to worry about tomorrow, for as the title states: “Today Is the Day!”
These are some of the lyrics of the song by Lincoln Brewster:
I’m casting my cares aside/I’m leaving my past behind/I’m setting my heart and mind on You, Jesus. I’m reaching my hand to Yours/Believing there’s so much more/ Knowing that all You have in store for me is good. Today is the day You have made/I will rejoice and be glad in it... And I won’t worry about tomorrow I’m trusting in what You say/Today is the day. I’m putting my fears aside/I’m leaving my doubts behind/I’m giving my hopes and dreams to You, Jesus/I’m reaching my hands to Yours/Believing there’s so much more, Knowing that all You have in store for me is good. I will stand upon Your truth/And all my days I’ll live for You. Arun Gogna (gognaa1@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
Friend, today is your day! What news do you believe in?

Jesus, You are my Messiah! I put my faith and hope in You.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 18, 2011
THE RESCUER

In great fright they cried out to the Lord. – Exodus 14:10

I was on my knees, crying, trembling and begging God to make the rain stop so the flood water would subside. But the heavy downpour continued and the water inside our house was rising fast. “Lord, I don’t want to die this way. Have mercy on us. Please save us.” This was during typhoon Ondoy on
September 26, 2009. When my mom finally agreed to evacuate the house, it was already neck deep in our garage. I shouted for help and prayed that God would send somebody to rescue us. A man wearing a life jacket appeared from the curve and headed our direction. Our neighbor, who was a great swimmer, also came to our rescue. With joint effort, they brought us to safety. The Egyptian army pursued the Israelites, ready for the kill. The Israelites thought they were doomed for they were trapped against the sea. So they cried out to the Lord. God provided a way of escape by parting the Red Sea.
We may feel trapped in our current situation as if there is no way out. But instead of despairing, we need to call on God and trust that He will deliver us. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)
18
REFLECTION:
Are you in a sticky or life-and-death situation and have lost all hope? Fear not, for God will come to your rescue. That’s for sure!

Lord, You are my Rock and my Deliverer. In You I find refuge.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 17, 2011
PRAYING FROM THE HEA RT

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groaning. – Romans 8:26

In one of the seminars I attended, a speaker talked about spiritual dryness as a drifting away from our spiritual growth when we experience backsliding.
He said that, as human beings, we experience this now and then for the following reasons: (1) We feel we have no immediate need of God’s providence; (2) we have become impatient and hopeless because God hasn’t answered our prayer concerns; or (3) We just feel bored doing the same routine every day of our life.
When this so-called spiritual dryness would hit us, we are to make a spot check on the areas in our life that may have caused it and from there start anew. We have to continually grow in our faith, and believe that God loves us and that He will take care of us till the end of time. We have to meet life’s many challenges and refrain from backsliding to what we were before. We were told to call on God’s Holy Spirit at all times as the Holy Spirit was sent to us to help us pray. And true prayer is one that comes from the heart. It’s talking to a friend.Dr. Henry Yu henrio_md@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
We are children of the same God who listens when we pray, opens when we knock and gives when we ask. He will always be with us in good times and in bad.

Father, through the Holy Spirit, help us to remain steadfast in our faith. Help us to pray from the heart.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 16, 2011
DARK TIMES

It was a night when the Lord kept watch to bring them out of Egypt.... – Exodus 12:42

Jun just got the mammogram results of his wife, Cecille. She went through a tedious battle with breast cancer the year before. She requires regular checkup to see if she is clear from all cancer.
The words printed in the result made him stop in the middle of the hallway. “Cloudiness... lesions ... recommend sonogram.” These terms were very familiar to him. Is the cancer back?
He prayed hard on his way to pick up his wife. He kept on repeating the name of Jesus. As he prayed, he recalled that God never left them during their battle with cancer last year. He recalled God’s message to them during the “dark” times. God’s message was A-C-T — Accept the situation, take Courage and Trust in God.
God’s grace was confirmed when they visited the doctor. They were advised that there was nothing to worry about. She is clear of cancer. The sonogram was recommended only if the patient wanted to undergo another test since there was nothing found.
The Lord was with them through the battle and He continues to be with them each and every day. Alvin Fabella (alvinfabella@yahoo.com)
16
REFLECTION:
What is your “Egypt” situation now? Have faith and trust that the Lord will bring you out of your Egypt.
Though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil for You are with me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 14, 2011
TIRED

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11: 28

Thea (not her real name) was sobbing when she phoned me one day.
“Do you know a priest I can talk to?” she asked, “I’m so tired.”
I later learned that she was pregnant, and that the baby’s father was not her husband. She had been trying to save her marriage since she learned of her husband’s philandering. And when she didn’t succeed, she ended up making wrong decisions that led her to a very sticky situation.
I was happy enough to hear from Thea that she longed to talk to a priest. She wanted to confess her misdeeds and seek advice on how to turn her life around. She longed for rest and peace, and she knew where to find it.
It took Thea a lot of humility and courage to acknowledge her helplessness. And I’m positive that the Lord jumped for joy when He heard Thea say that she wanted to find rest in Him. For the Lord never ceases to invite us to come to Him when our souls, like Thea’s, are tired and weary from life’s battles. He is, after all, our resting place as He says. And you can count on His word. Nova Arias (nova.svp@gmail.com)
14
REFLECTION:
Are you tired? Wounded? Bored? Fed up? You know whom to call on.

You, O God, are our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress (Psalm 46:1).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 13, 2011
ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER?

“I praise you, Father... because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” – Matthew 11:25

My daughter Frances was about three years old when she asked, “Dad, why are there TV ads urging viewers to buy cigarettes and after they’ll say, ‘Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health’?” I felt that the Mystery of the Trinity was far easier to explain than this one. So I simply said, “I guess grownups aren’t as smart as they pretend to be.”
What I love about children is that they have a lot of wisdom called “common sense.” They keep simple things simple. When adults want to justify a sin, when they refuse to break free from a harmful habit, when they don’t admit fault, when they resist the humility needed to restore a relationship, their common excuse is, “It’s complicated…”
Robert Fulghum was right when he said it all in the title of his book, All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Kindergarten counsels make perfect sense: Share the cookie. Always tell the truth. When you cross the street, hold hands. When it’s not yours, don’t take it. When you get something, return it where you got it. When you have wronged someone, say you’re sorry.
We may be smarter than a fifth grader but are we wiser? Jon Escoto (faithatworkjon@gmail.com)

REFLECTION:
Are you currently in a “complicated” situation? Maybe taking on the mind of a child can simplify your perspectives and make you see your situation simply as it is.

Father, may I remember that I am Your child. May I regain the sense of wonder and the simple wisdom that You planted in my heart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 12, 2011
My Miriams

Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” – Exodus 2:7

The upside to being an only child is I didn’t have to share things. These are lines I never had to say or hear: “I won’t wear Ate’s old Hello Kitty T-shirt” (regarding hand-me-downs to a younger brother). “One for you, two for me” (of goodies and treats being divided by an older sibling). “Get out of the bathroom; you’ve been there for two hours!” (While banging on the door.)
The downside is the same thing — there’s nobody to share things with. No sister to share secrets with, no brother to watch over me, no one to help with family burdens and decision-making.
When I joined my community, my biggest blessing was gaining a brood of brothers and sisters. I’ve got sisters to consult about problems and who give me lovely birthday surprises. I’ve got brothers who make sure I get home safely and who pray with me for my children.
As Moses’ mother sent his sister, Miriam, to watch over him, God sent my community siblings to care for me. Like Miriam, they run back with prayers to a loving Father who provides the nurturing I need. Lella Santiago (mirellasantiago@yahoo.com)
12
REFLECTION:
Have you thanked the people God sent to care for you lately?

Father God, I praise and thank You for Your never-ending care.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 11, 2011
A GREAT HONOR

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who helped save the lives of Jews by hiding them in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Unfortunately, Corrie and her family were arrested by the Gestapo in 1944. Corrie and her sister Betsie were imprisoned in Ravensbruck. It seemed to be the end of the family’s mission but it was where the mission was continued with much fervor. Corrie and Betsie held worship services attended by Catholic, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox women prisoners. Even behind bars, Corrie reached out, risked her life and gave hope to those in need of it as much as she did.
I believe that the Lord honored Corrie’s willingness to give up her life for others by saving her. Thanks to a clerical error, Corrie was released from Ravensbruck a week before all the women prisoners her age were killed. The Lord preserved Corrie’s life that she may continue her mission and share with the world what she learned from her imprisonment. As her sister Betsie exhorted Corrie, “We must tell them what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)
11
REFLECTION:
“I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Jesus, in obedience to the Father and out of Your great love for me, You died on the Cross in my place. May I have the grace to do the same for others if it will be for Your glory.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 10, 2011
ROOTS

“The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the Word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time.” – Matthew 13:20-21

In the industry I’m in, time is of the essence. Working 10-12 hours a day is normal. That leaves me eight hours of trying to put myself to sleep and four to six hours of enjoying the company of my beautiful wife, eating, serving in community, exercising and all the other activities I need to do. Of course, the weekends are bliss for me.
The one thing I realized is when I don’t pray for a day, everything else falls apart. It’s not enough to just read the Word and reflection of the day. If I stop at that, trials and anxieties soon take over and I find myself back to square one.
The strength I need for the day only lasts by getting power from God. I need roots — the roots of prayer. I need to constantly be in fellowship with the One who gives us true joy. Danny Maglutac (dannym@catholic.org)

10
REFLECTION:
How much time do you spend in prayer?

Lord, give me a holy hunger for Your presence.

Daily Bible Reflections

July 9, 2011
EA RTHQUAKES

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31

First was the Haiti earthquake. Then the one in Chile, followed by another one in China. There was one that I experienced firsthand while I was at work, and while it didn’t do a lot of damage, it was enough to freak me out.
We’re not really strangers to earthquakes with what happened to Baguio in the ‘90s. I was too young to remember that, and honestly, I’m glad that I was spared from the trauma. All these earthquakes and speculations of when one would hit the country is nothing but scary. I wonder if I would be able to handle another big one when I feel like I already had enough with my typhoon experiences.
But who says I had to go through that alone? I take comfort in the fact that God knows all my fears, and He promises that He is stronger than any earthquake. I can only do so much, and in the end, God really has the final say (just as He always does). Having faith means believing that God is enough, and He will enable me to make it through whatever life throws my way.Tina Matanguihan (tina.matanguihan@gmail.com)
9
REFLECTION:
“Our ‘safe place’ is not where we live; it is in whom we live.” (Tom White)

May I always remember that You, Lord, are my sure foundation.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 8, 2011
CASSANDRA SYNDROME

“You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22

Cassandra is a tragic character in Greek mythology. She is so beautiful that the Greek god Apollo falls in love with her and grants her the gift of prophecy. But she doesn’t requite Apollo’s love. So he places a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her predictions. Thus, we have today the term Cassandra Syndrome — applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are disbelieved.
Cassandra’s situation reflects the tragic condition of man. Like her, we are favored by God yet we seem powerless in the face of our many trials. But reflecting on today’s readings, I say that we really have nothing to complain about. Jesus was also favored by God. But unlike Cassandra, He returned God’s love. Still He suffered persecutions.
The Good News is there’s a big difference between Greek myth and the true story of our Christian faith. The suffering of Jesus forecasts our own persecution when we stand up for God. That’s why in Matthew 10:22, Jesus warns us: “You will be hated by all because of my name.” But I like what follows: “Whoever endures to the end will be saved.” And this is no Cassandra Syndrome. Cynthia Santiago (boses2go@gmail.com)
8
REFLECTION:
What are God’s promises that you live by?

Lord, may I always remember that Your promises are true and are eventually being fulfilled in me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BULL

By: Francis Kong

A young man wished to marry the farmer's beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission. The farmer looked him over and said, "Son, go stand out in that field. I'm going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter."

The young man stood in the pasture awaiting the first bull. The barn door opened and out ran the biggest, meanest-looking bull he had ever seen. He decided that one of the next bulls had to be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through the pasture out the back gate. The barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life.

It stood pawing the ground, grunting, slinging slobber as it eyed him.

Whatever the next bull was like, it had to be a better choice than this one. He ran to the fence and let the bull pass through the pasture, out the back gate.

The door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest, scrawniest little bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull. As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He grabbed... but the bull had no tail!

Life is full of opportunities. Some will be easy to take advantage of, some will be difficult. But once we let them pass (often in hopes of something better), those opportunities may never again be available. So always grab the first opportunity.

Most people seek the path of least resistance. And this is why they never grow.

Go to the gym. I learn a lot lf lessons there.

Get into those exercise gear and by the way, just finding time to exercise is already a major accomplishment in my busy schedule. Skip the machines and go straight to the department of dumbbells and weights. Pick up the lightest one because it’s the easiest one to do and you know as well as I do that this is a waste of time. Burn those muscles. Feel the heat. Go to the limits and you leave the gym tired but satisfied and the results for the next few days will show you that your decision to do the hard ones have been correct.

Same principle in life.

Many people refuse to accept challenges because of fear.

But you hear them say things like:

I’m not accepting the new assignment because I have other priorities in life.
If at first you don’t succeed try something else.
I’ll get around to doing it once I find the time.

And then the opportunity passes and they wonder why nothing good’s happening to their lives.

Success people have always been turned off with the path of least resistance because they have always chosen the path of great perseverance.

This is what life is all about.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Learn new things. Explore the world. Stretch yourself.

Meet new friends. Learn from people.

And why not go into the diligent study of God’s Word.

Accept His Call and go out and change the world.

Love God with all of your heart, soul strength and mind and be ready for that brand new life adventure you’ve always been looking for.

Don’t go for the thin and scrawny bull with no tail, choose the biggest one and the fiercest one. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

In other words, attempt great things for God and be sure to give Him the Glory.

Daily Bible Reflections

July 7, 2011
YOU ARE A PREACHER, TOO!

“Go and preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is near!’” – Matthew 10: 7

Jesus said this to His 12 Apostles when He sent them out to preach. But as I’ve said before, “All of us are preachers.” All of us are sent out to “preach.” Everyone shares in the mission of telling the world that “the Kingdom of heaven is near!” We just differ in our ways of expression.
When you, a public servant or a private employee, work well and serve well with excellence and passion, integrity and honesty, you are proclaiming God’s Kingdom!
When you, a businessman or an employer, think of the benefit of others by conducting your business with social conscience and responsibility, and by taking care of and paying your employees well, you are spreading the Good News!
When you, a father, a mother, a son or a daughter, create a home where understanding, joy, peace, forgiveness and love are the main rule, then you create heaven on earth!
Yes, by all means, let’s declare that Jesus is Lord and Savior, God and King! And “that God so loved the world He sent His only begotten Son.” But let’s preach loudly and more effectively by living our lives the way Jesus did! Then maybe, we wouldn’t need to “preach” it at all. Alvin Barcelona (kpreacheralvin@gmail.com)
7
REFLECTION:
Am I consciously preaching God’s Kingdom by living a godly life?

Lord, grant us the grace to preach about Your love, not only by words, but above all, by our lives. Amen.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 6, 2011
MY CARING GROUP

“Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – Matthew 10:6

In my work as managing editor of Kerygma, I get to read all of Bo’s books and articles, listen to his talks and watch his videos — all for free. Add to that the Sabbath and Didache reflections, which we edit and proofread, and I get my fill of spiritual nourishment for weeks and months to come.
However, I cannot be like the Dead Sea that receives water but does not give it away. For now, I feel that the call of the Lord to me is still to accompany His special children — those with mental handicaps — and their families in their life-long journey of dealing with their disability. It is to them that I share “in action” whatever I learn from Bo’s books or talks. They are, in truth, my caring group. I don’t get verbal affirmations because they cannot express themselves well. But with them, I do experience genuine love and acceptance — more than words can ever say.
God calls us in different ways and sends us to different places to bring His love. And it is precisely the reason why He wired us differently. Tess V. Atienza (svp_tvatienza@yahoo.com)
6
REFLECTION:
Where is God sending you at this stage of your life?

Lord, lead me to where You want me to bring Your love more.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 5, 2011
COMPASSION

At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned … – Matthew 9:36

We will never forget Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) that caused one of the worst flooding disasters which hit the Philippines on September 26, 2009. It left deep-seated wounds especially to those who lost loved ones, homes and possessions.
Nevertheless, to us who were not directly hit, Ondoy has given us special opportunities to be selfless and show our love and compassion to our brethren.
I grabbed those opportunities and volunteered in relief operations and feeding programs to various evacuation centers. The sight of the evacuees moved my heart with sorrow and pity especially after having heard the struggles they went through during the onset of the typhoon. I found it difficult to utter words of comfort. I knew though, at those moments, our presence and the relief goods we distributed were enough for them. Troubled as they were, they saw and felt that their fellowmen went out of their way to be one with them, and that in such worst times, we could assure them that our God remains to be our only stronghold and source of hope. Sol Saura (sol_saura@yahoo.com)
5
REFLECTION:
When tears are in your eyes, remember that Jesus will dry them all.

Lord, make us compassionate especially to our needy brethren. May we find the joy of sharing Your love.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 4, 2011
LIFE-GIVING TOUCH

“My daughter has just died; but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.”– Matthew 9:18

While on the road, I would often see a man walking aimlessly on the street, covered in dirt and grime, talking to himself. We refer to the likes of them as “taong grasa” (greasy man) and people who are in clean clothes would often walk away from them in fear or disgust. Who would dare touch them, when we often avoid their gaze?
Many more people in the world feel like they are garbage because no one is brave enough to touch them. They do not receive the healing love that comes from a simple pat on the back, a power hug, a back rub to let them know they are not alone and that someone cares. Studies show that we need at least four hugs a day in order to survive. No wonder many walk like they are already dead. How blessed are we when we receive hugs from our family and friends, the same healing touch that is able to bring the dead to life.
Like Jesus, we can heal others by acknowledging people’s presence and touching them. We need to express our love for the broken and the wounded with our healing embrace. Marjorie Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)
4
REFLECTION:
Who can I touch today and bring to wholeness?

Jesus, let me be Your healing hands today. Help me to be brave enough to give Your life-giving touch.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 3, 2011
BURDEN BEARER

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

I felt desperate. My brother had just called me in the middle of the night. He was on his way to Cebu from Bohol and he sounded depressed and confused, so unlike himself. Then it came to me in a panic, “What if he decides to jump off the ship? What if I’ll never see my only brother again?”
Helpless, I prayed hard. “Please, Lord, keep my brother safe. Don’t let anything happen to him.” In the midst of my fears, I happened to read Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown.” I suddenly felt at peace.
Nothing happened to my brother and we were able to overcome that time of trial. I was not very far into the renewal then. Today, the Lord continues to talk to me when I’m uncertain, and comfort me when I’m down. He continues to be my Burden Bearer.
They say that Christianity is about a Person — Jesus. It is a great relief for me that Jesus is who He is — someone who accompanies me through the trials, temptations and challenges of life. What more could we want from our God? Joy Sosoban (jsosoban@gmail.com)
3
REFLECTION:
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Jesus, my Burden Bearer and Comforter, thank You! Let me always run to You.

Daily Bible Reflections

July 2, 2011
MOMMY AND YANTHY MOMENTS

And his mother kept all these things in her heart. – Luke 2:51

Two years have passed since I got pregnant and left my full-time job. My son is now more than a year old, but I continue to be a stay-at-home mom.
God has given me so much reason for rejoicing in giving me this child. He has doubled my joy by enabling me to witness his milestones firsthand. Moreover, God has gifted me with many memorable moments with Yanthy.
I remember when he was just 13 months old and could barely reach our dining table. He’d rush to help me set the table by getting the placemats one by one. Then, he’d tiptoe to put the placemats on top of the table. One time also when I had a fever and was wrapped in a blanket, Yanthy walked up to me and gave his sweater. What a helpful and sweet little boy! These are just a few of my treasured moments with my son.
Like Mary, I cherish and keep these moments in my heart. I thank God for this special privilege of being a mom and for the many lessons I learn as I raise my son. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com)

REFLECTION:
What personal experiences do I keep in my heart? What is God teaching me through them?

Lord, help me to be sensitive to Your voice as You speak through my daily experiences.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

July 1, 2011
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

OMG!

Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4:7

Two years ago, I went on a short trip to the US. I met with a very special man — a spiritual mentor to presidents, kings, prime ministers and other leaders. Each month, this spiritual giant holds 30 plus face-to-face meetings with high-level officials, guiding them how to lead their country using the Bible. For three days, I sat around his table (we were just four students) to learn one thing: how to disciple heads of states. It was mind-blowing.
So on my way home, I felt very important, too. But the moment my plane landed in Manila, everything became clear to me. I knew the first Heads of States I would meet. Upon arriving from the airport, I spent time with the two Kings who’ve conquered my heart since I saw them: my two boys. Together, we did very high-level, critical, world-changing, life-altering work. We drew robots and airplanes, played with little cars and video games (I lost, as usual).
Why did I spend the entire day with them? Because before I’m a preacher, writer, leader and businessman, I’m first a father.
So it is with God. Before He is supreme judge and King of the universe, He’s a Father.Your Father and mine!Bo Sanchez (bosanchez@ kerygmafamily.com)

REFLECTION:
God wants to be Your Father. Will you allow Him to?

God, our Father, help me to see You as You want me to — a Father who loves me through and through.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Bible Reflections

June 30, 2011
CHRISTIAN READINESS

Sometime after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him “Abraham!” “Ready!” he replied. – Genesis 22:1

The call to serve God is a grace from God Himself. My call was built by grace through meaningful small encounters with Bo Sanchez. A bond of friendship was first developed when I joined a Marian pilgrimage that he organized. I was not actively involved with any of Bo’s numerous ministries but he would come to our home in Calamba to bring his ministry groups to a retreat.
One time, on short notice, he brought his elders to the house and they brainstormed on some issues and he invited me to join the meeting. A few months thereafter, he asked me to head a caring or sharing group of businessmen, and then asked me to join him as a council member for one of The Feasts, a Sunday worship service and then added more responsibilities, which I accepted readily.
Community service makes a Christian whole. That thought drowned any objection in my mind stemming out of my business priorities. That was my predisposition. The readiness to accept ministry service is pure grace which I embrace as God’s way of expressing His love. Rolly España (rnespana@nwineskin.com)
30
REFLECTION:
Do you procrastinate when God calls you to serve? Do you create all sorts of alibis and excuses?

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your abounding grace that keeps me answering Your call.

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