Sunday, April 29, 2007

If we are the body by Casting Crowns

It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in
Trying to fade into the faces
The girls' teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat
And quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgmental glances tells him that his chances
Are better out on the road

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the Body of Christ

Chorus (2x)
If we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus is the way

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Explaining my lion chase

I may sound crazy for saying again and again that I want to chase the lion. A friend aptly asked me why do I want to do so. Let me explain.

I stumbled into a blogsite In there, Mark Batterson spoke about the book he wrote: In a pit with a Lion on a snowy day. What’s the big deal about the lion?

Let me quote here the basis for his book, found in 2 Samuel 23:20-21:

There was also Benaiah, son of Jehoida, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a s pear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it.

The author took these seemingly unremarkable verses and opened my eyes.

And I paraphrase some of his ideas in the book:

Who in his right mind would chase a lion? Who would have the courage to fight against an animal that is a thousand times heavier, quicker in movement, with eyes that are meant to see in the dark, with a ferocious nature that makes it a carnivore? Why fight with a lion during winter which makes it more hungry than ever?

I wouldn’t. I would be too afraid.

But the main character did defeat the lion. And later on he led King David’s army.

What can we learn from Benaiah, the lion chaser? Mark Batterson discusses seven of them: defying odds, facing fears, reframing problems, embracing uncertainty, taking risks, seizing opportunities and looking foolish

I am only in the second chapter. (Yep, I had to get hold of a copy. Thanks to a dear friend, Beng - - who bought it for me in the States). And I am learning.

If my God is bigger than anything, then I need not fear anything. If He has planned everything in my life, I can face all odds with courage. If I am willing to bet all my faith in Him, then I can defeat my lions. Little lions. Big lions.

I watched Dead Poets’ Society so many years ago. I have tried to claim their battlecry as my own. Seize the day. Though I prefer it in my own language : Angkinin ang araw. But I am declaring another call. Something I know that will give me more valor.

I borrow from the book again. It is a worthy call.

Carpe Christ.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Take the courage

A grinding sound for ten seconds and all was black. Every step was described to me. I was oriented. But for a moment or two I did panic. Did I make the right decision? According to the marketing staff, so far they had a 100% success rate. I do know that there are exceptions. I might very well be the first case.

I kept on looking at the pulsating red light. Concentrate. Focus on the dot. There were times that it became a hoola-hoop of a yellow light. Then I heard a chugging sound. They said it lasted for eight seconds.

Everything for 30 minutes. And then I had to wait for another 30. And then I go home.

I did notice that something is different. But I will not realize the full impact until the next day. For then, I will dare to open my eyes completely. And see the world as it is.

- - -

Long hair, oval face, high cheekbones, and olive shaped eyes. These features I should know by now. I see them everyday. They are mine. But yesterday morning, I seemed to have seen myself for the very first time. The lines are clear. My countenance was defined. No wonder I was not interested in staying in front of the mirror. I got used to seeing the fuzzy me. I just make sure that my clothes do not make me look abnormal and that’s it. But yesterday, I appreciated the fact that I see back the image. Completely.

- - -

A box labeled with “Food Container.” A saleslady arranging the baby products. Two guys talking seriously. One was in white the other in yellow. Where do I see them from? The box was atop the cabinet, 3 meters away from me. I was sitting 10 meters away from the saleslady. And the guys? They were at the ground floor. I am looking from the fourth floor of Megamall.

Seems to be commonplace images. But not for someone who has been nearsighted all her life. I only see a fuzzy starfish when I snorkel. A blurred image of a wonderful view when my glasses become fogged.

- - -

I wouldn’t have believed it three months ago that I would go through the knife (more of a can opener, to be more precise). But God opened doors. Literally. A new medical clinic opened in Megamall. A spur-of-the-moment yet God ordained visit to a kind doctor brought about this possibility of enjoying the visual world.

I just needed to take the big step. To have the courage to say yes. To chase the lion and face my fear. And to win. I want to enjoy the colors of the sea. I want to take pictures and not be hindered by fragile glasses. I want to see the world and for the world to see me. Without the barriers that eye glasses generate.

Carper Diem. Seize the day. Angkinin ang araw.

Chase the Lion.

- - -

I will shamelessly plug the wonderful LASIK services of my doctor : Dr. Lee Verzosa of DLS-STI at Megamall. He also has a clinic in St. Luke's.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


There are days that I want to have silence. Pure unadulterated silence. Or even hear music without the blaring horns of vehicles, loud barking of dogs, and the incessant chattering voices of neighbours. Even of families and friends. It was a clear indication that I needed peace and quiet. Even for just a day.

I want, no, I need peace and quiet. For me to focus when I talk to my Maker. For me to remain sane.

So I took advantage of Good Friday. Moi and three other girlfriends. We went up the mountain of prayers (for those who don’t know, it’s a sort of retreat house in Antipolo called Touch of Glory). Considering that it was a holiday, we were caught in the traffic. Our driver erroneously followed the route of jeepneys and thus we travelled behind the walking crowd to Antipolo church. Not a good decision. Yet, it was just the right adventure for the day.

We arrived at around ten in the morning. And took our separate ways. There were two options : stay inside prayer rooms or sit against prayer huts. I opted for the former. To remain within the walls of a 1 x 1 meter room could be confining. But for those like me who are bombarded with information each day, it would be blissful. A room with no frills. With wooden floors that require visitors to remain barefoot. A small lamp attached to the wall provides the lighting. The smallest fan to make the room cool. A tiny square seat is paired to a simple desk-like ledge fastened to the wall. Plus a red cushion. A simple yet functional room.

In such a room, I had a few hours of respite from the concerns of life (well, except for around half an hour that I spent eating my lunch… I still need that!!!).

Just read some. Contemplated some more. Listened to music with no distractions. Savoured the moment.

That place became a small slice of heaven. Thank God for holidays.

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (