Monday, August 28, 2006


Butterfly Crazy #9
Originally uploaded by BennyPost.
I got this in my mailbox today. It's so touching. Read on...

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m. to pick up a passenger, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door..

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you don't send this to ten people.

But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on.

Thank you, my friend.....

POSTSCRIPT FROM ME: About two weeks ago, a former colleague and dear sister in the LORD died in a freak accident. Hazel Recheta, news reporter of TV station ABC 5 and her crew just came from a coverage in Mt. Mayon. Days before the accident, I bumped into Hazel who covered the visit of popular author Rick Warren. I was part of the organizing team that brought Rick in the Philippines.

When I was still a reporter of the Inquirer, I always bumped into Hazel in news coverages. She was a very warm and amiable person and through time, we got quite close, moreso, since we found out we were attending the same church.

My last encounter with her was quite brief but we promised each other we would have coffee very soon. I promised to give her The Purpose Driven Life. "I need that," she would tell me. I knew then that she was desiring to have a deeper walk with the Lord.

But pressures at work and home got in the way. Finally, I was set to see her by Monday. Sadly, it was not meant to be. Sunday afternoon, I got a text from my former boss that Hazel perished along with her two crew members on their way back to Manila.

Learning of Hazel's death brought so much agony to me. Regrets, regrets. I couldn't even get myself to visit her wake. Why did I not see at once? She even called me that same afternoon we met reminding me about the book. Now, how can I show an act of kindness to a dear friend?

I am just comforted by the fact that Hazel is now with our Creator, her one true Friend who will never disappoint her. Hazel's death has taught me a very hard lesson.

Proud to be a blogging chick or chicken? whatever... LOL

Check out other cool chicks blogs...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Please pray for a friend

The Road Less Traveled
Originally uploaded by BooBear.

"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day..."
Proverbs 4:18

God has been moving in truly amazing ways in my life the past two years. I've probably never faced too many challenges in my life than in these past two years. Yet, it is also during these times that I've come to a deeper understanding of God and His plans for my life.

Amidst my brokenness, God showed me His grace and mercies. I will share some of them in the future but one of the greatest blessings I truly treasure is working with great men and women of God. People whose lives speak so strongly of the Gospel because you can truly see Jesus in them. One such particular person I'm working with now is Kaka Constantino, whose 180 degree turn-around is a testament to how God can change hearts of stone. Truly nothing is impossible with God.

You see, Kaka is no ordinary convert. A former communist leader, he was involved in the "purging" of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the '80s. Hundreds, if not thousands, died in that so-called cleansing process. Kaka is such an idealist. He always have been. That is probably why he was easily convinced to join the underground movement. But God has other plans for him, greater plans to use him in our country. His story came out in the Inquirer not too long ago so I will no longer write about it.

Now an elder at the Greenhills Christian Fellowship-South Metro, Kaka has been asked to head the local initiatives of the PEACE Plan, a global movement started by another great man of God, Rick Warren. Only the other day, Kaka confided that he is inclined to accept the challenge on a full-time basis. That would mean leaving his job as COO of an engineering company. Whew! Great leap of faith, indeed.

But when God assigns great tasks to people, you can always expect the enemy to lurk nearby. Last night, Kaka was rushed to the hospital for a heart condition. Doctors also found fluids in his lungs. I'd like to ask each one to pray for Kaka's fast recovery. Also pray for God's divine comfort and encouragement upon him. Pray, too, that God will bless the PEACE Plan and use it in transforming this nation into a great nation of God. And please don't forget to tell others to pray for Kaka, too.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

New beginning

olam haba
Originally uploaded by nice+smooth ultramedia.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." - 2Corinthians 5:17

"Mom, I know God now!" My daughter excitedly announced over dinner last night. Really? Tell me, I said. She starts, "God the father is beyond the galaxy. He holds the galaxies in His hand. He is bigger than the universe. He's so so far away. Jesus is His Son. The one who is in our heart is the Holy Spirit."

That's cool! Now you're getting it, baby, I encouraged her. But deep inside, I felt encouraged too. As parents, our children should be our first ministry. It's our foremost responsibility to bring them closer to God. They may not completely comprehend everything, but we just have to trust God that He will let that little seed planted in our children's hearts to grow.

My daughter's reply though left me thinking. Indeed, at some points in our lives we may feel that God is so so far away. Like He's beyond the universe, comfortably "sitting" in His thrown, unmindful of what is happening in our lives.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

Truth is, our separation from Him is a "moral separation," as what theologians call it. We are separated from Him because of our sins. To paraphrase the words of Pastor Steve Murell -- God is holy, but we are not. Good is good, we are not. God is just, we are not. For all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

God is holy, righteous, and just. God's justice demands a sacrifice for all of our sins. But God is also a loving and compassionate God. He did not want us to be eternally separated from Him. He did not want us to go to hell. So His solution was to send His Son, Jesus, to bear our sins. Jesus became our "substitute." Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.

If we receive Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of our lives, then we are saved. You may ask, is it that simple? Yes. It is that simple. The Bible says, we are saved by grace through faith -- not from ourselves, it is a gift of God -- not by our works so that no one of us can boast.

Just for your thoughts:
* Have you stopped trusting in yourself and started trusting in
Christ alone for salvation?
* Have you turned away from all known sin?
* Have you confessed Jesus as the Lord and master of your life?
* Are you willing to follow and obey Him for the rest of your life?

Jesus is just a prayer away. Talk to Him now like you talk to a friend. He is our friend who is always there for us. He is not so so far away.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Explaining God to children

"Mom, how can Jesus come into our hearts? He's too big and our heart is just little. Is God many? How can He be in all of the people?"

Ugh! That's probably one of the hardest questions I've ever been asked as a Christian, and it came from my 7-year-old daughter. Maybe it was the weather that made her ask those questions. It was raining hard that night and Star was scared to sleep by herself. I told her it was okey. That she didn't have to be afraid because Jesus was with her and that, in fact, is in her all the time because she already asked Him to come into her heart.

Then I reminded her about the story of the storm. How Jesus ordered the storm to stop when they were crossing a lake. He is all powerful. He created everything. He can make things happen just by saying what He wants. I said like her, the disciples were also afraid but because Jesus was with them everything went under control. And then I assured her that she too, can ask Jesus like what the disciples did, and Jesus will take control of the situation. Suddenly, she blurted out those difficult questions.

Indeed, how do you explain God to little children? When I was younger, I asked a pastor to explain to me the concept of the Trinity. Growing up in a conservative family where questions are not encouraged and where beliefs are imposed, religiousity included, I had too many questions running in my mind. But I couldn't even dare open my mouth, lest I be called "servenguenza!" I liked the pastor's illustration on the Trinity. Think about the egg, he tells me. You have one whole egg. But it has a shell, an egg white and a yolk. Yet it is one. God is like that. He is one. But He has three personas -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Explaining God to children is a long process. Sometimes, kids can be the most philosophical beings in the universe. Yet, they can also be God's instruments of leading you to a more binding walk with Him. In my own experience, God spoke to me countless of times through my children. And I've come to understand the fruit of the spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness -- through them. But more than words, I believe, the best way to explain God to children is through our actions. When Jesus said "by the fruit, you will recognize them," He meant the power of our actions. Our lives, indeed, can be the fifth gospel. And not just in the eyes of our children, but in the rest of the world as well.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Judging others

I used to be one very cynical person. Biased. Judgmental. Self-righteous. How I would easily see the mistakes of others yet overlooked mine. I would always find all the reasons in the world to justify my actions yet so quick to criticize others for the slightest mistakes. But God put conviction in my heart and opened my eyes to my own brokenness. If Jesus, the Son of God, laid down His own life to save us from our sins, what right do we have to judge others? Yet, it is easier said than done.

And so, can you imagine my dilemma when I was asked to help someone I had so much bias against? This person, I learned earlier this year, started attending our church about three years ago. When she gave a testimony on her renewal, I got so excited I shared it right away with my former editor. In our church, sinners of all kinds, shapes and colors come. It is no longer strange to see political enemies coming together in a Bible study -- situations one can never imagine outside the church setting. But being asked to help someone who was not exactly my favorite public official is something else. Do I really want to help her? But why not?

I must admit, it was a struggle. I didn't say yes right away but asked for a few days to pray about it. In my reflections, God reminded me of the story about the woman by the well. Jesus knew exactly who she was. Yet, He never had any qualms relating with her, or with the tax collector, or so many other "sinners" in the Biblical times. He never judged us for our many mistakes. Otherwise, we would have long been gone on this earth. Who are we, then, that we should judge others?

God has been so good to me. I've been the worse of sinners. But in His grace and mercy, He took me out of the slimy pit and cleansed me by His own blood. The thought of His mercies in my life made it easier for me to decide. Yes, I will help her. I no longer care if people judge me for my decision. My only motivation is to obey His will in my life and do the purpose for which He has called me.

Read on and be encouraged with what God is doing in the lives of our public officials. (Full story: Ninoy sister finds renewal,forgiveness)

Monday, August 21, 2006


I didn't realize the power of blogging until I got emails from people I don't even know. One told me how blessed she was to read my testimony on our son Ben, another was asking me how to reach a place I wrote about and then another one, to say 'hi' to a common friend. My love story with blogging actually started during the 2005 Christmas break. I was monitoring the internet "hits" of one of my projects. I saw links to blogs of people who were touched by the stories that came out, and a number of them were not even Filipinos. And so it struck me -- if they can do a blog on our project, why shouldn't I? Thus came to life my first attempt to blogging. I'm still kinda slow to it up to now, but I'm sure glad I started.

In the past few months, I've been sort of reassessing my life. I believe God has brought me to another plane in my walk with Him. I've been reading quite a number of books and searching on the net as well, for materials. And to my amazement, a lot of the questions at the back of mind found answers in some blog entries. One of the blogs that truly encouraged me is that of my friend Cathy. She's not only a prolific writer, she's also a dear sister in the Lord who had gone through a lot. I continue to be inspired by Cathy's daily reflections especially on life and relationships. There are many other blogs that I check out from time to time. Some make me laugh, some make me cry and some make me reflect on life in general. I also especially like the blog of our church's senior pastor Steve Murrell. He makes his journal so simple, short and sweet, yet it makes you ponder.

There are just too many struggles in this life for we live in an imperfect world. Yet, we have a perfect God whose steadfast love never ceases and whose mercies are new every morning. It is my prayer that even through my small corner of this blogosphere, I will be able to share God's miracles in my day to day life.