Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for September, 2011

Pedring’s Aftermath

Scattered leaves, broken trees and branches, muddy roads – such greeted me as I left in my clad formally for work. Pedring left almost everything in disarray, its results feared next to Ondoy’s. Somehow, I was glad to see that most of our trees have been “trimmed”. No need to reach those high branches. 🙂

So much of my province, Bulacan, was affected. My mom said it was a blackout before noon yesterday and electricity just flowed back sometime after midnight today. Talk about getting home in pitch darkness. At least, the winds were not as threatening as that yesterday morning.

However, as Pedring was worse than any of this year’s former typhoons, I was thinking that this was a warning from the Lord. Right after Pareng Pedring, another storm is coming tomorrow (who was already named “Quiel”, by the way). The whole of Luzon has not yet recovered from Pedring’s blows and another potentially strong typhoon is looming towards the country. Besides, whenever such an issue on Israel arises and the nation goes with the rest of the world to vote against it, an unusually powerful natural calamity, or an intense tragedy strikes the nation. Now, who says voting against Israel is a nonesense issue?

Coincidence? I don’t think so. But, there are things that move in the spirit that the naked eye cannot see. It manifests in the physical realm but only the spiritual man is able to discern it, as the Apostle Paul said.

Now, I don’t know what’s next for the Philippines. We should continue to fight and pray. Still, I claim that God is in control. And He forever is. Typhoons, calamities, you name it…He knows why such are being allowed. If we are willing to be sensitive to His Spirit, He will let us know…and will give us the wisdom on how to go against it…even if the world says you can’t.

Esther’s Cry

Now, I know what it means to stand for what you believe it. To go against the tide is going against the normalities of life. To stand up for God’s beloved and for His Word is queer for many. Such is utter foolishness to the eyes of the world and its governments. Yet, not to the eyes of the King of kings.

I once thought that being a Malacañang beat reporter was easy. But I began to sense fear when I began associating with the other known personalities, mostly with some of the presidential speakers. I’m fully aware that adding connections means risk – a risk that takes me out of my comfort zone of being neutrally complacent from any side of the issue.

And so comes my side to be with Israel in the Palestinian statehood appeal at UN.

I have to speak and yet I was afraid. Not everybody’s interested in this issue. When I asked it in the Daily Press Briefing, the other journalists laughed at me because it was so off to our usual national concerns. What does the Philippines benefit from Israel, they might think. It’s obvious that siding with bigger Arab countries give us more advantage as there are more OFWs risiding there compared to Israel.

Yet, they do not see the consequences of taking sides against Israel.

Biblically, Israel is a blessed nation. The promise that the Lord gave to Abraham, the statement that said “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”, is still in effect today. Now, who says that it is null and void? Some claim that the Bible says so because the blessings are now in the Gentiles and not in the Jews anymore. But, that doesn’t mean that God has forgotten His promise to His people for He said that He will come back and forever He is their God. They may have been very stubborn, but still they are a promised people and it is in their land that Jesus will establish His kingdom when He comes back.

I’ve seen how our country suffered in 2009 when we voted against Israel in the Goldstone report. Right after we agreed to accuse Israel on her allegedly war crimes at the Gaza strip, the typhoon Ondoy came and after that was the Maguindanao massacre. Coincidence? There’s no such thing. God had marked His Word. Judgement to those who will go against His apple of the eye. (Zechariah 2:8)

When I took my stand to pursue the issue at the Daily Press Briefing, it sounded to be foolish to many. Still, I pray that the person I’ve spoken to will look at the information and appeal I’ve sent to her. Just then, I remembered Esther, who was told that she might be there in the king’s palace in such a time that God’s people are in danger of Haman. For such a time as this…my heart wailed…there is a purpose into where I am…

A seed has been planted. I may not see results if the appeal has gone to the president, but let God bless those who stood up for His beloved.

May the Lord spare His beloved. Until now, I can’t believe why have I been placed here in Malacañang. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is how it means to stand in the gap…

…and should I perish, I perish. May the Lord justify the seed He had let me planted in this place.

Killing the False Ego

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel I’m losing my self-confidence. There are many times I don’t feel deserving as a reporter. I’m not as quick in wit nor as aggressive as the other reporters in Malacañang. And there are times when I ask a question, it’s not as hard-hitting as those from the others. The worse is that

What can I do? I don’t want to apathetic or numb. To much knowledge and information can be like stuffed bread that just stays in the mouth. It’s sickening. And I’m tired. I just want to be that same old happy-go-lucky girl that strums a song away. I really can’t believe myself as a reporter in the harsh world of politics. Yet, I want to be a Nazirite in such a place. Can’t I be a Nazirite in a mission field? Can’t I choose my place?

I guess this happy-go-lucky girl is just a false ego. The Lord must have been breaking something in me. The girl is now dying as circumstances are breaking her bones and her indifference. She hates it. But when she lives, the real self stays dead. I still have not known my real self. But I believe that the Lord wants to change something in me to bring out the real me. Only one must remain.

It’s just up to me to see who I wish to retain. May I be willing to kill the cocoon so the butterfly can come out.

Searching for the Wilderness

I need to find my wilderness…I need to empty myself once again…

I enjoy where I am at the moment. Oh yes, the excitement of gathering news and writing stories and the chance of meeting and talking with popular people always had me look forward to something everyday. But then, as I checked my heart, I can feel I’m missing something.

My Father’s heart…

I can’t feel His hearbeat. I can’t hear what He wanted to say. Oh, I can’t feel His presence. I feel like a stranger. But no matter how I yearn to come close to Him, indeed the flesh is weak…I wander away sleeping…

And yet I want to be a forerunner…

My mother kept on telling me by quoting Haavard Sands in his book The Bridal Generation, “You have to find your own wilderness. You can only hear what God wants you to be in such a place. You want to be a forerunner? How can you be one if you don’t find your wilderness?”

I knew of these things. I’ve got them stuck in my head knowledge. But, that is not enough.

I need fresh revelations from the Lord.

But I need to get away.

I was planning to go find my wilderness after the Empowered 21 Congress at Indonesia. I am planning to stay for three days in a prayer mountain…no friends, no cellphone, no news, and no mom to wash my clothes and cook for me…just my Bible, Habakkuk (my beloved guitar), me, and my Daddy God.

But I have to gather the courage and the passion to do that.

Oh, I need You, Daddy, so much

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Raised Within Realms of Influence

It’s the first time I’ve witnessed an oath-taking ceremony of newly-appointed government officials in Malacañang itself this Monday. After the President lead the ceremony, he would pose with these officials along with their families for posterity’s sake. But all these are too common for me, as it goes like any event in the palace. What caught my eye were the little kids that were brought along for the oath-taking event. As family members of these officers, they were given an opportunity to take a pic – and a memory of standing close to the President of the Philippines. After the photo shoot, some of them had ran along the aisles, giggling and dancing as they are not aware of the stoic ambiance of the president’s abode. They’re just kids, after all.

I wonder how big can the impact of politics be to a little child? Growing innocently in a crucial environment, they are not aware that they are absorbing the very essence of politics until they’ve fully embraced it once they come of age. Noting several political dynaties, most of the leaders we have today have grown in families that owned a portion of the state’s power, if not the whole state at all. What they are today is caused on how they were molded and what they were exposed to during their formative years. Yet, they once knew nothing and once they felt the gravity of power and influence they affirm it as their own.

I must say, if I would see something like this years ago, I might hate them. I must admit, I used to have insecurities myself. I hated people of influence. I hated people of power. These kids, like the ones I’ve known in my elementary years, have the tendency to be proud. They seem to have the right to brag, especially that they have the access to allies of wealth and power.

But, I myself have been proud. And that is the pride of the worm.

Yet, who am I to blame them? I have no right. Some of them may become proud of their heritage, some of them may stay behind the limelight, but we all become what is absorbed into us. We may become popular or notorious to the public eye but what really matters in how God sees us. He may or may not have brought us into politics but in the end, whatever has been lent into us, even the influential ancestry that has been handled down into our hands, will soon pass away. It will just be between us and the Lord. How we see ourselves into His heart is all that matters, for we are created only for Him.

Sadly, most of us do not see what we are in God’s eyes. I hope these kids will grow knowing the purpose they are made for. Indeed, one might say, “I believe in God, I go to church on Sunday, etc, etc,” but it’s not the rituals He’s looking for. It’s our relationship with our Creator and how close we are to His heart.

They are the same as I am: a people of worth and a people worth dying for. That’s why Jesus died on the cross. Now, I have to learn how to love them as my own for they are just like me: my Father’s creation.

Besides, I also have my own childhood memories of Malacañang. I had toured the museum part during our Grade 3 educational trip haha. But, nothing beats a good smile beside the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

Can I say these kids are luckier? Maybe not. We’re all just the same from the start to the end. 🙂

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Demolished to be Rebuilt

It’s a good thing when we rejoice in the works of our hands. With a thousand projects in our heads, it would sure be an accomplishment when we see a lot of them done in reality. We got good intentions but have we asked the Lord if these are His perfect will? Have we laid them all down before Him and consulted what’s in His heart? Are we ready for what He might say?

The Lord might let most of what we planned come to pass. But, sometimes, we become so focused in these things that we have forgotten what was originally assigned to us: to love Him with all our hearts, to love others as we love ourselves, and to go and spread the gospel. And oh, we forget the Kingdom concept where we should like in humility, holiness and hunger (Matthew 5:2-11).

We have forgotten our first love and we have forced ourselves with tasks that soon burn us out. We can say that these ministries, businesses, or such is for the glory of God. These things are not bad at all but have we even checked our characters when we handle these things and sought for what He really wants?

I hope we are not afraid to discover the truth. Not every good things and plans are really His because He surely got higher and better plans for us.

He might let us build these things but one day, everything we have built will be toppled down by the Lord Himself. But He’s not doing that to make us ashamed of ourselves. He’s just doing demolition to bring up a better structure – and this might be something that we never expected. In the end, when we see the result, that’s when we realize that His ways are better than our ways.

The Real Fight Within

“The world that follow boxing, that follows sports, will see a classic, classic match,” Bob Arum said describing the upcoming Pacquiao-Marquez fight in November, “This event will be a credit to boxing and will be eagerly followed by all sports fans.”

I must admit, I’m not much of a sports fan, but I guess I appreciated Congressman Manny Pacquiao – how he started low, rising to unprecedented heights in his sports career and then into politics. I may have some qualms about him and yet, I find him an epitome of being a Filipino icon.

But this is not the point of my article.

That was just an intro. And as a Pinay myself, I should really, and not forcibly, love my own kababayan. His fights are considered inspirational. His bouts are expected to be entertaining. And his fame – extraordinary. Thanks to the media attention given to him – uh, the exposure we media people always give him.

We mediamen can make or break someone. Pacquiao, from a nobody becomes a somebody and yet, he would keep an air of humility – although he still got lapses at times. I’m just amazed how media can be a part of a person’s evolution. When something or somebody catches our attention, our tendency is to follow it until the end. I just hope Pacquiao won’t drastically change – especially that he has now turned into a congressman.

But it would be even more appreciative if he always keep a heart check whether he’s in the pedestal of fame or he is forced to step down. Should the time come that he has to pass the crown to another, I hope he will not crave too much attention much as he had before. For me, fame is so temporary, and thanks to us media people, we tend to look for “new” stuff. But if I can prove to myself if Pacquiao would be humble (and faithful) despite of the loss of his glitter and fame, I guess that’s more appreciative than winning a major boxing bout.

The real fight is when our hearts stay true and righteous, despite how the world gives us attention.

Attack of the Friday blues

Here I am sitting in the empty working press area in Malacañang Palace. It’s a Friday, and the other reporters were just waiting for the early hours to wane along until it’s time for our daily press briefing. I usually love sitting alone while waiting for nothing, but a part of me sulk for not tagging along with President Aquino in China.

So, I am part-adventurer-part-bum. My dual personalities are so contrast that I wonder why my body does not tear itself in half. I’m no Jekyll or Hyde. But I guess these extremities make up the unique mixture of my personality.  Besides, it does not trouble me, since it can make me adapt to any extreme situation that may arise. Nice. 🙂

By now, Fridays like these causes me to lay back and stare…the week’s about to end and the fun is about to start. Oh, well, I’d better keep my adventurous side until next week…or until the President’s return. 🙂

Ah…Fridays…I love to lay back today. But I still got news to cover, although I’m sure we’ll be infected with the Friday sickness that would make us long for this day to end. 🙂

Breaking Self-Made Norms

I have every right to be annoyed, right? I’m happy with the people I’m with, got an awesome experience of being a TV reporter, and have the time I want during my off moments. But, there’s still something missing – and has never taken place yet: revival.

In revival, there is brokeness. In revival, there is total surrender to the Lord. In revival, everything is unmasked. In revival, change is inevitable to the core. But these things I don’t see everyday…and we always tend to be superficial in everyway. We tend to tolerate more on the abase more than righteousness. Humility, besides, is too strange for most of us. We are too tired to seek the Lord and be willing to die to ourselves. This is the normal norm. But in revival, all norms are destroyed.

What bothers me most is when we Christians claim we do the religious routines as if they make us good. Indeed, they should. But we do it without heart. We read the Bible without understanding God’s wisdom and without being willing to be rebuked. We pray without listening to His warnings. We have degraded our knowledge of Him to be a nice, warm, and fuzzy Somebody, as if we can tickle Him all the time. But He is a God of balance. He is the God of love and the God of judgement. He is the God that upholds righteousness and the God that destroys the hinders righteousness. He is the God who saves the willing and yet the God who condemns the wicked. He is never one-sided. He is fair.

And yet, where are we? We don’t want this truth because we are offended. We want to be cuddled. But until we are stained, He does not want us to stay that way. We need to be shaken. We need to be burned. If we truly want to be a generation after His own heart, we have to hate what He hates. And so, I have to learn to hate what He hates.

He hates sin. He hates pride. And these things are not easy to let go. I’m born in flesh and so I’m used with it. I would think myself as self-righteous and yet…that is pride. There is no love in self-righteousness. We usually miss that part. Love Him with all our heart and love others as we love ourselves, Jesus said.

And so I see myself in need of a great polish. I’m not that pure. I need to get rid of my self-centeredness. I’m so impatient to see revival, but how can revival happen if I myself is not ready for it? I need to know more of Him and His heart and be willing to be rebuked and let the Lord scrub the stains of my soul – no matter how it hurts.

God cleanse me. Let me not see with my eyes but with Yours. Let me hate sin but not the sinner. Send down Your fire, and purge me from within. Revival will come if we pursue it – and if we pursue the God who can make it.

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