Lift up your head

May 13, 2008 - 2 Responses

Lord who lifts the needy out of the ash heap – Ps 113:7

We used to live in a single bed-room house during my entire schooling years. It always happened that our house was flooded with relatives or guests all the time or whenever there was a crucial exam around. I used to go to friends place sometimes to study but it was tough to do so always.

So, most of the times kitchen offered me solace. Since my mom used to be in the kitchen cooking for guests always, I had to find a place that doesn’t disturb my mom. I found one place indeed. There was a two square feet gap between the rice rack and fridge. I sat there and studied for all my exams. Kitchen used to be hot and the heat of the fridge would be like fuel to the fire.

Nevertheless, at that time, Education was the only weapon I had next to God. I will cry and hang on to him and say, “Lord, make me pass thro this period”. He did too. Today, am a engineering professional with a good take home pay.

Do we need any more explanation for God’s concern for needy people? He literally took me out of the ash heap and has placed me in a high mountain. Praise be to him. Are you needy? Are you in ash heap? Cast your hope in the Lord! He is our provider!

Dimensions of God

October 25, 2007 - 5 Responses

When my roommate who is pursuing his PhD in Mathematics posed the question, my first reaction was, “You sure you want to talk math with a student who barely passed it in high school?” Further discussions led me not to become a scientific thinker, but at least to realize in my own special way just who God might be.

Just hang on as I explain a bit of Physics 101…what is a Dimension? Google says, “Dimension (n) a measure of spatial extent, especially width, height, or length”. Dimensions are derived in some point in time.

Alright, that being said, any non scientific person would know 3 different types of dimensions. We humans are 3D (dimensional), a painting on a canvas or your wall is a 2D object and a line or a piece of string is 1-dimensional. Consider this – when you have the shadow of a 3D object we have a 2 dimensional shadow, when we have the shadow of a 2D object a painting we have a 1 dimensional shadow which is a line, and when you see the shadow of a line it is a dot, which is what we call zero dimensional.

Having said all this, the question arises how many dimensions is God. I call the fourth dimension, God’s dimension. Scientists consider the fourth D to be something like a hypercube.

Man’s Quest for God and His exact likeness will end only when He comes back. Our understanding of God’s dimension is unattainable now. If we know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image*, a shadow-likeness, then God has to be the fourth dimension.

Then why can’t we understand God fully? I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie Flatland, but I’ll set up the scenario. Let’s pretend humans are all 2 dimensional. Then our visions would be flat. Our ability to understand a third dimension would be out of bounds because we might never have ever seen and understood what it means to be 3D. Maybe there in lies our answer.

* Genesis 1:27

a happy life

November 25, 2006 - One Response

olive smiled. her smile radiated through the freckles on her face. you don’t always find old people who are both without any family and yet content with life and happy. olive lived at the ywca nursing home. she almost had no one for family. she was part of a church family. but nothing beats ‘family’, you know.

olive had plenty of enerygy. she could barely walk. but she had a lot of energy. she prayed. smiled. she was a great friend to everybody at the nursing home.

i gave her flowers on mothers day. she nearly cried.

the next day she bought me a dog. a furry stuffed toy dog. her way of saying thank you SO much. i imagine she wanted to be a mom. hold a baby. she had all that energy inside surely some part of her wanted to run behind her three year old, cuddle up beside him or feed him (or her). she never got married. i never asked her why….

she broke her hip. in the hospital room her smile changed everything. nurses stopped by in and out of duty. they chatted endlessly about ‘girl’ stuff. i’m guessing ‘fun stuff’.

olive passed away. she never complained. she never whined about being alone. she finished the race a happy person. i wonder if i can finish the race happy. what do you think you need right at this moment that will make you happier? not tomorrow. not two days from now. just right now. what do you think, if you have right now will make your life more complete than it already is?

Are you dismayed at your humble beginning?

October 30, 2006 - Leave a Response

“Is this not the carpenter’s son?” Many enquired of Jesus.

illus-160.jpg

1) Moses was the son of a poor slave.
2) Gideon was a thresher.
3) David was a shepherd boy.
4) Esther was the adopted daughter of a slave.
5) Ruth was a young widow.
6) Rahab was a prostitute.
7) Peter was a fisherman.

Has anyone ever called you a failure? A good for nothing soul? Afraid Not. The people I just mentioned above had a similar if not a disgracing beginning. Wanna know what ever became of them?

Read the rest of this entry »

My Dream of Becoming a Missionary

October 29, 2006 - 42 Responses

I’ve been dreaming of becoming a missionary since I was in college. After graduation, I landed on a teaching job in one of the universities in my hometown. A few months after signing my work contract, I learned from a pastor that the newly started 1000 Missionary Movement in Silang, Cavite, Philippines is looking for missionary volunteers who will be trained for 8 months and then be sent to a mission field for a year and as he/she desires, may extend for another term. Since a breach of my job contract means paying a huge amount, I didn’t get the chance to become what I’ve always wanted to be.

After three years on my teaching job, I received a call to serve in one of the new SDA colleges in our Conference. After much hesitation and much prayers, I finally decided to accept the challenge of teaching in an SDA learning institution. Laboring for six years in the teaching field, I lost my dream of becoming a missionary. I was just consoled with the thought that being a teacher in one of the SDA schools is some kind of a missionary endeavor. Teaching and serving as a chairperson in the Computer Science Department is a tough job. The demands of the students and the department as a whole soon contributed to a lot of stress and had me burnt out. The thought of quitting my job frequented me. The one thing that made me stick is the fact that I would be guilty leaving the job without anyone to replace me as the head of the department since the one previously holding the post is still finishing her master’s degree.

On my seventh year, bored and unenthusiastic I was to begin another semester of teaching, I mustered all my energy left to prepare myself for another semester of challenges. I made all the syllabi needed for all my subjects and prepared everything needed in the department. Just a week before the semester starts however, a close friend of mine dropped by my house and excitedly told me of her plans to join the missionary movement. Without hesitation, she invited me to join her in her plans. I got ecstatic. This has been my lost dream. I couldn’t believe that my friend who I thought didn’t have missionary inclinations would decide to become a missionary. I wanted to, but how could I? The classes is soon to start and I have my responsibilities to do in school. I couldn’t sleep that night. My youthful desire of becoming a missionary went flashing in my mind and even in my dream that night. The following day, I shared my awakened dream with one of our administrators and he didn’t show any opposition, rather, he encouraged me and told me that my colleague sent on up-grading has finally finished her thesis and is coming back to our school that semester. My hopes raised, I prayed hard that God would bless my plans. After much praying, I gained courage to talk to our college president about my plan. To my amazement, he readily approved of it and without further hustle and bustle, I was off to the 1000 Missionary Movement campus the following week.

Never in my wildest dream did I imagine that I could still fulfill my dream of becoming a missionary, but God in His mysterious ways opened a chance and made a way when I thought it was too late. I was already twenty nine when I joined the movement and the age limit for those who are qualified to join is only until thirty.

I realized then that God’s timing is still the right time and His delays are still on time.

After three months of training and more than a week of conducting a cottage meeting(evangelistic effort), I was sent to Guri Si, Seoul, South Korea for a missionary work as an English Bible Teacher. The experience was one of the best in my whole life. I thank God for giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams just on the right time.

Annalyn V. Okan – presently works as Asst. Professor in the Computer Science Department of South Philippine Adventist College, joined the 1000 Missionary Movement on June 2003 – Oct 2004

What are you doing today?

October 6, 2006 - Leave a Response

“.. Shall I yet again go out to battle… or shall I cease?” (Judg. 20:28)

CERTAIN officers approached Napolean to recommend a young captain for promotion. Napolean asked them: “Why do you suggest this man?” Their answer was that through unusual courage and cleverness he had won a signal victory several days before. “Good,” said Napolean, “but what did he do the next day?” That was the last that he ever heard of the young man.

There are two kinds of people in the world — Those who show an occasional outburst of brilliancy and those who can be depended upon to do their best every day in the year. In other words, the flashers and the plodders.

The backbone of a christain civilization is its dependable people. A youth I know said this, “I would rather try and fail than sit still and do nothing”.

What are you doing now?

I AM FREE NOW

October 1, 2006 - Leave a Response

I once owed a person a debut of 1000$ and I was unable to give it. I searched all the way but realized it was a waste. By chance someone met me and said he would pay it all if only I would belive him. Thats the same thing God wants us to do. If we question why we will not be able to be free from our debuts.

We owed God our sins as big as this world but Jesus died on this cross and set us free and thus we are forgiven from our sins.

The only thing we need to do is to go to God. Now.

We will be forgiven.

God says, I  have cast your sins into the depths of the ocean.

The Calling

September 12, 2006 - 3 Responses

A whisper disturbs my peace;

I glance up toward the shore…

This restless fire inside

blazes all the more.

I test my faith with a step,

then start to run along the beach.

Shells crush beneath my feet,

but I, the pain can’t reach.

I follow my heart’s map –

it’s the only thing I know.

Surely, it wouldn’t mislead me…

Someday, my dreams will show.

At the top of the hill,

I pause for a moment of rest –

but the failings of yesterday

motivate me to try my best.

The wind howls my name:

a distant, lonely bawl.

I see the cave nearby,

and drop to my knees in a crawl.

Silence pervades this tomb;

I’m left in solitude.

In here, the shambles of my life

have been left but stripped quite nude.

Tears roll down my cheeks;

there’s a hot, roiling tumult in my gut.

I cannot leave this pain behind –

my soul is caught in a timeless rut.

I buried them here so long ago,

yet still they cause me shame.

Forgiven but not forgotten,

I am owed every ounce of blame.

“Dear God,” I cry, “please forgive me.

I thought I gave them up,

yet I’ve used these sins like a cane.

Oh, please take them away

so I may live to serve You again.”

Wedding Photography

September 8, 2006 - One Response

This past summer, my friend’s sister wanted me to be the official photographer at her wedding. i don’t know a whole lot about photography, i just mess around and stumble on sometheing good, occasionally.

the bride (my friend’s sis) pulled me aside the morning of the wedding day and gave me a list of shots she needed. all general instructions. “take pictures of people – decorating the church, setting up the dinner tables, decorating the dinner tables,  decorating the cake, hanging up the lights, also take pictures of the hair-do’s, the groom dressing, the best men, the family..”, the list gets bigger. so fished out my camera and began clicking away that morning.

i’ve learnt to look out for interesting shots in stuff that most people don’t think interesting. also, i knew that some of these usless pictures will be interesting to the couple much later. so all day i took pictures of the boring stuff hoping something cool would turn out.

then time came for the wedding. i took group shots of the family with the bride and groom, the bride with the kids, her maids, the bride with the groom’s men, the bride’s maids and the groom, the entire wedding gang. then i heard a beep i didn’t want to hear. the batteries went dead!

i had used all my spares. i was shocked. thewedding hadn’t even begun and i didn’t have batteries. i walked around frantic. this church was on the outsirts of a very small town. plus where could i find lithium batteries. i found another digital camera. it used normal batteries but it too was out of charged batteries.

a friend and i jumped in his car and raced to town to find some batteries before the wedding ended. couldn’t find one single battery. came back felling like a bum.

its easy to miss the important parts of life, the parts that really matter and get distracted and excited over absolutley useless stuff. ask yourself if your prior

Where is your talent?

September 5, 2006 - One Response

Sir Michael Costa was once conducting an orchestra in London. One of the instrumentalists, playing a piccolo, was suddenly overwhelmed with his own unimportance as a minor contributor to the mighty volume of harmonious sound. So he stayed his fingers and the piccolo was silent. Immediately Sir Michael raised his hand and cried, “Stop! Where’s the piccolo?”. Every other instrument in the orchestra was incomplete without the cooperation of the piccolo.

Read the rest of this entry »