Poor but rich

Ni Joy Eva Bohol

Text: Mark 13:1-2

NO ACCESS
 to clean water. The community prohibited them to have electricity. The wife’s left leg is weak, making it hard for her to walk, much more to carry a pail-full of water for a long distance. The husband met an accident from his work, disabling him to earn money. The couple couldn’t afford to pay for hospitalization, instead they use Salonpas (a muscle reliever tape/bandage) to ease the pain from the wounds and cuts the husband got from the accident, which the company didn’t take responsibility of.

Yet amid their desperate situation, true hope is found in their lives. Joy overpowers the couple’s wrinkled tired faces during our visit at their humble home, and even offered us with bottled water, which is already a luxury for them. Having met the couple showed me the Living Temple in which Jesus is the foundation; a Living Temple that would not fall down or be destructed by the world.

God is a fair God. Sometimes I think how unfair the world is because of how it defines everything in it. But seeing the couple’s faith reminded me of a life after this earth. One hundred years on earth is nothing compared to eternity—and that’s the life we look forward to when we join Jesus Christ in heaven!

Like the couple Hannah has never faltered her trust in the Lord and kept praying for a son. Though not poor in wealth, Hannah’s inability to bear a child has made her a weak woman and a target of humiliation. The couple I met is an outcast in their own village and people seem to humiliate them in any way they can. The community would not help them because of their belief (non-Christian religion) that being poor is karma that may pass to people near them.  Continue reading

Walang wala

Ni Joy Eva Bohol

Hook na hook ang roommate ko sa TV series na Game of Thrones. Ang iba ko ding kaibigan ay ganun din. Dahil hit siya sa mga kakilala ko, sinubukan kong tignan ang series. Videography, characters, settings, conflict, and costumes ay malapelikula. Grabe ang pagkakagawa ng production! Ngunit, ang hindi ko masyadong na appreciate sa series ay ang brutality and boldness. I may not enjoy the killings and the low social status of women in the TV drama, but it taught me one thing—sacrifice.

In our Bible reading today, Ruth, a young widow sacrificed herself for her mother-in-law Naomi so they could be reinstated in the society as regular women, blessed with a family to take care of. Like Ruth, a character in Game of Thrones whose brother forced her to marry a barbarian leader to seek power and become king. She has no money and people to give to her brother to make him change his mind. She has nothing but her life.

Continue reading

Bawal ma-in love ang superhero

Ni: Joy Eva Bohol

“Do you have a boyfriend?” If you’re answer is NO, the follow up question is, “Why?” And the thread of questions and advises go on. I have been asked with these questions from the moment I turned 16 years old. And I am still dealing with it!

For several years of redirecting people from asking me those repetitive questions, I finally devised a not-so-perfect but smothering answer—“Bawal ma-in love ang superhero dahil kahinaan niya yun! (Love interest is the greatest weakness of a superhero!)” And the teasing stops (it works!).

 

Three days ago, I had a Smallville Season 10 marathon. Smallville highlights Superman’s life as Clark Kent. It narrates in details his life as a young boy, growing up in a normal community and raised by normal human parents. It describes his struggles in keeping his loved ones from danger and overcoming his weaknesses to be the superhero he was destined to be (before he was called Superman).

All people close to Clark Kent were put to danger. They became targets of the villains who are trying to defeat him. His friends, family, and love interest were subjects of finding Clark’s weakness. Clark tried to stay away from them, even if it means breaking their hearts for their own safety, yet these people whom he shared his life with, insisted to stay.

Martha Kent, Clark’s human mother, said in one of the episodes, “Clark, when we accepted you in our lives, we also committed to stay with you and protect you even if it means our lives.” Continue reading

Cry Out to Jesus!

Bible Study for October 28, 2012

Read: Mark 10:46-52

Ang Kwento ni Bartimaeus

May kilala ka bang Bartimaeus ang pangalan? Parang hindi bagay sa generation ngayon no? Parang Bartolome, pangalan ng lolo yun. Pero kung Bart, pwede! Bart is cool!

One day, Jesus was busy walking, preaching, telling people about the Kingdom of God. Nasa Jericho sila nun. Kasama niya yung mga disciples niya, and they were preparing to leave the city.

Siempre, nung mga time na yun sikat si Jesus. Everybody knew him. So maraming sumunod, parang celebrity na pinaligiran ng paparazzi. Parang politikong may dalang pagkain para sa feeding program.

And then all of a sudden, may sumigaw! “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me!” Continue reading

Why Young People Leave the (Mainline) Church

Earlier today, I posted a question on my Facebook wall about young people looking for new ways to express their faith. It kind piqued the interest of some young adult friends. Here’s what I posted:

How many of the young people in the mega-churches / new Christian groups / emerging churches came from mainline denominations?

Just some random reflections: Maybe young people are looking for new ways to experience faith;

or better connection with other young people in the same journey;

or a more relevant approach to / presentation of the gospel;

and they feel limited by the hundreds (or thousands) of years worth of tradition in the mainline denominations.

Maybe it’s the ministry “innovation” part that drives youth to new groups and new expressions of faith.

maybe…

 

And here’s the reaction from several friends: Continue reading

Bible Study for Oct 14, 2012: Draw Near to God

Read: Job 23:1-9; 16-17Hebrews 4:12-16

Lost in Space

Ibang klase rin ma-lost in space itong si Job no? If you read the passage, damang-dama mo yung hinaing niya, hinanakit niya, at yung pagtatanong.

He felt that God is nowhere to be found!

Sabi niya sa verse 8-9 (CEV):

I cannot find God anywhere—

in front or back of me,

to my left or my right.

Undestandably. Ikaw ba naman ang mawalan ng mga anak, ng mga kayamanan, at lahat ng ari-arian mo. And when you seek God, God is nowhere to be found! Continue reading

Let the Children Come

Read Mark 10:2-16

2 Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife. 3 Jesus asked them, “What does the Law of Moses say about that?”

4 They answered, “Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away.”

5 Jesus replied, “Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. 6 But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. 7 That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. 8 He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. 9 And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.”

10 When Jesus and his disciples were back in the house, they asked him about what he had said.11 He told them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. 12 A woman who divorces her husband[a] and marries again is also unfaithful.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 Some people brought their children to Jesus so that he could bless them by placing his hands on them. But his disciples told the people to stop bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, “Let the children come to me! Don’t try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God.[b] 15 I promise you that you cannot get into God’s kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does.” 16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them.

Passage copied from BibleGateway.com

Divorce and Separation

Ayon sa isang ulat sa Inquirer.net, tumataas daw ang kaso ng annulment sa Pilipinas. Mayroon daw 7,753 cases para sa annulment ang inihabla sa mga korte ng Pilipinas noong 2007. Isipin nyo, Halos walong kaso ng annulment ang inihahain every week!

At noong 2007 pa yun. Paano na lang kaya ngayon? Continue reading

The Power Source

Darkness is nothingness. All it takes to produce darkness is for the sources of light to be extinguished. A candle can light up a dark room until it runs out of fuel or it is blown by a gust of wind.The greatest source of light in our world is the Sun. No wonder ancient civilizations worshiped the power of the Sun, which was the source of light and heat. But what is the source of power of the Sun?

Hydrogen. Internal combustion. Being burned up. The sun is just like one big candle being burned up from within, lighting up the dark alleys of the Solar System, providing light and heat to the Earth and powering the life-giving processes of our planet. Without the sun, life on earth would be impossible.

We see in Jesus an example of the sun, giving his life and his light for the salvation of the world. He was like a candle whose light was extinguished for a short period of time. But he took it up again with a greater passion and ignited the world for righteousness and justice.“ Continue reading

Shades of Grey

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 1 Cor 6:12-13 (NLT)

Don’t you just wish sometimes that we Christians had a list of things that we can or cannot do; words that we can or cannot say; beverages that we can or cannot drink and foods that we can or cannot eat. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he tells them that “everything is permissible.” That is actually a good thing.

In Acts 10, we read about Peter being commanded by God to kill and eat the meat of animals considered by the Jewish religion as unclean. The Jewish religion was quite clear about what food were clean, which were unclean. If you eat unclean food, you also become unclean. But Jesus came to save us from the law of sin and death.From a religion that has a long list of prohibited food and drinks, St. Paul said that “everything is permissible.” It means that you can eat and you can drink in the company of family and friends. Continue reading

Bible Study: Jonathan and David

Jonathan and David: Birds, Arrowheads, War, and a Father’s Wrath

Birds of the same feather are the same birds, especially if they go to the same places, hang out at the same restaurants, play the same games, and even look alike together. Yet these birds of the same birds also make good feather-dusters if they fail to remain true to their friendship.

With this session, we will look at a very strong friendship that even family feuds and kingdom rivalry could not stop. David and Jonathan are two birds with different feathers yet they are true and loyal friends to the end. Continue reading