Sunday, 26 February 2012

First Sunday Of Lent Time For Soul-Searching | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

First Sunday Of Lent Time For Soul-Searching The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Friday, 24 February 2012

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”
Isaiah 43:19

Change is one of the most difficult things for people to face; however, change is inevitable. In fact, Mark Twain once said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” One reason people don’t like change is because they get comfortable with where they are in life. They get used to their friends, job or the place they live. And even if it’s not perfect, they accept it simply because it’s familiar. However, when we are not willing to change, we get stuck in life holding on to what God did in the past instead of growing and moving forward into what God wants to do in the future.
Today, I encourage you to be open to the new things God has in store for you. Always remember that just because God has blessed you where you are doesn’t mean you can just sit back and settle there. God wants to do something new in you and through you. He wants to see you grow, prosper and flourish. Get ready and keep your heart focused on Him. Embrace change and see the blessing God has in store for you!

Father God, I humbly come before You and thank You for all You’ve done in my life and all You will do in my future. I submit myself to You and choose to embrace change knowing that You always have good things in store in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Friday, 17 February 2012

Wisdom to Change

James 1-5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 

Reflect: Early on, working with my doctor to get to a diagnosis for occasionally crippling arthritic pain, I began to notice a relationship between what I consumed and when a flare-up would occur.  For example, if I ate shellfish, I would have a flare-up.  No big deal. I liked shrimp, but not more than pain, so I eliminated shellfish from my diet.  Next, I began to recognize that alcohol did the same thing to me.  I tried to mask the symptoms through a combination of doctor-prescribed medicines and home remedies.  They helped, but didn't completely work.  My wife knew when I'd had drinks while out of town because I'd be limping off the plane.

Some years later, on a camping trip, I was sitting around the campfire with family.  We told stories, laughed, and drank beer.  I was halfway through my beer when I started to feel the joint pain digging in.  It was cold, though, so I switched to hot coffee with a shot of liquor to stay warm.  I went to sleep that night, only to wake up a few hours later in agony.  I made a decision immediately to stop drinking.

I wish it had stopped there because, a few years later, I began to recognize in myself a relationship between sugar and my pain. I liked beer, and gave that up for the hope of being pain-free. Now I had to consider giving up sugar?  It just wasn't fair, but I gave it a shot.  The experiment has turned out great so far, as I eliminated sugar, medications, and most important: the pain.

I gave up foods that I liked to eliminate physical pain. Consider what you're currently allowing into your life. Where have you not wanted to make the connection between a difficulty you're experiencing and your actions?  Change is hard, but nothing happens until you start.

Lord, give me the wisdom to identify where I've been hurting myself and the courage and strength to make changes.

By a team of volunteers from EastLake Church

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Let No One Fool You: The Real Key To Success Is (Drumroll Please)…

I’ve been helping people change their lives for 30+ years.
And I’ve realized that one of the most common reasons why people don’t change is because they wait for the perfect condition to change.
But that’s a recipe for staying the same.
One November morning, an overweight guy told me, “I really want to get healthy. I want to start walking one solid hour every morning.”
“Great,” I told him, “When will you start?”
“I just need to buy a new pair of rubber shoes,” he beamed, “and I’m good to go. I want to walk with those hi-tech rubber shoes with air cushions in their soles. Once I buy that, I’m ready to conquer the streets. Boy, am I excited!”
When I checked him out in December, he said, “Oh Bo, it’s the Christmas season. I’m just super busy now. You know, with all the shopping and late-night parties.  But I promise you Bo, when Christmas is over, I’ll really get to it. Nothing is going to stop me from my morning exercise!”
In the middle of January, I bumped into him. He said, “I’ve not been able to start yet. Gosh, there’s a huge backlog in the office. Let me clear that off first. And I’ll jump into my exercise program right away…”
When I talked to him in April, he said, “Summer is crazy, Bo. My kids taking painting classes and music classes, and I have to drive them to all these classes every day.  After the insanity of summer is over, I’m really going to start walking every morning. You just wait. I’ll be burning the road. I’ll be sweating like a horse. I’ll be losing pounds….”
When June rolled in, he said, “The kids are back in school. Let me just settle them, buy their books, their uniform, their notebooks, and I’ll reeeeeeeeally start my exercise program in the morning. I mean, I can’t wait to walk on the road. The moment I start, I won’t stop. That’s me. That’s my personality. I don’t want to start anything half-baked…”
When I checked on him in October, he said, “Oh Bo, Christmas season is starting early this year. Let me let Christmas season pass by and I’ll reeeeeeeeeally get started on my morning walk…”
This man will never start.
Do you want to know if you’ll succeed in life or not?
Simply ask this question: Will you excuse or execute… 
(To continue reading Bo's inspiring article, click here.)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Let this be your Prayer

Like many people today, I have big dreams and goals. I have desires in my heart. But my prayer now is, “God, not my will, but let Your will be done.” If a door closes, it’s no big deal; I let it go. If my plans don’t work out, no big deal; I know God has something better. I’ve learned to not get so consumed by a dream that if it doesn’t happen my way, I get all bent out of shape.
Maybe you’ve gone through a disappointment. You don’t understand it. You could easily be bitter, live with a chip on your shoulder, and give up on your dreams. Realize today that God is at work in your life. He is directing your steps. What you thought was a setback is going to turn out to be a setup for a comeback! When you surrender your will to Him, when you humble yourself before Him, that’s when God can take you to another level.
Today, shake off the self-pity. Shake off the disappointment and realize that God has you in the palm of His hand. Know that He has good plans in store for your future, better than you could ever imagine! Trust Him with your whole heart today and every day!

Precious heavenly father, Today I surrender every area of my heart, mind and life to you. Have your way in me. Do Your will in my life. Let everything I am bring glory to You in all things, Amen.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Galatians 6 -7-9 

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a
successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his
Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called
all the young executives in his company together.

He said, 'It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have
decided to choose one of you. 'The young executives were shocked, but the
boss continued. 'I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very
special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one
year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I
will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the
next CEO.'

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a
seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him
get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would
water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of
the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that
were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant
and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed
his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim
didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and
fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought
their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't
going to take an empty pot...

But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his
stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he
knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the boardroom. When Jim
arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other
executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his
empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry
for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.
Jim just tried to hide in the back. 'My, what great plants, trees, and
flowers you have grown,' said the CEO. 'Today one of you will be appointed
the next CEO!'

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty
pot.. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was
terrified. He thought, 'The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed -
Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then
announced to the young executives, 'Behold your next Chief Executive

His name is Jim!' Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

'How could he be the new CEO?' the others said.

Then the CEO said, 'One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed.
I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me
today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible
for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When
you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the
one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring
me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new
Chief Executive Officer!'
                                                                                               By Anonymous

Scriptures say whatsoever you sow you shall reap.

Plant honesty and reap trust.

Plant goodness and you reap friends.

Plant humility and reap greatness

Plant perseverance and reap contentment

Plant consideration and reap perspective

Plant hard work and reap success

Plant forgiveness and reap reconciliation

Plant faith in GOD and reap a harvest.

I guess the question is what are you planting now?