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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sailing towards Aslan's Country


"While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia." (VDT, Ch. 14)


A laser -like focus and courage and hope will never let anybody down but almost all things begin with belief or faith and then the seed of faith gives us the power to imagine wonderful things. Dreaming, imagining, are words full of tremendous energy. Some people uses this gift to get for themselves luxuries in this life. That is good. Others uses  this to create wealth to help others - this is what The Great Carpenter from Nazareth wants us to do. I also see others using this gift of imagination to achieve great things for the sole purpose of giving glory to the Unseen One who sees everything.


Repicheep begin with a belief in all that is good and noble, a belief in Aslan and in the reality of Aslan's country. That kind of belief gives him hope and hope has its own force that when stirred gives him courage to go on and strive and persevere. " And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country....I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise..."  Oh what a valiant character! No turning back for this valiant mouse!


I remember the Sunday School song " I have decided to Follow Jesus" the lyrics goes like this:


I have decided to follow Jesus...
Though none go with me still I will follow...
No turning back...no turning back.


It all starts with the belief in all that is good and the consummation of all that is good is God. And the tremendous energy that comes from the One who is Good gives us courage to do things...courage to admit how tough and sad life can sometimes be...courage to look for the good when the world seems so dark...courage to change...courage to innovate....courage to do things that we have never done before until the intended purpose was achieved. And if our strength fails us and we have not reached the mark nevertheless we will not turn back. No we will not.We will raise the flag of victory for we know that we have not persevered in vain. We know Him- the One who calls us from the beginning. We know that He is True and Just and Good.


There were three young Hebrew men whose names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. A time came when the king decided to make a huge image of gold 90 feet high and he announced that everyone in his kingdom should bow on this image the moment they hear the sound of music. If  anyone was found not bowing to the statue will be thrown in to a huge burning furnace.
Then the most awaited celebration started and the music was heard and everyone except Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not bow to the statue. Somebody told the king that these three young men didn't obey the kings orders. The king was so enraged and asked them:


"Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you will not bow down and worship the image of gold that I have made?  Just in case there was a mistake I will give you another chance.  When the music plays again you will be ready and bow down to the image, and if you don't this time you will be thrown into a fiery  furnace.  Then what god will be able to save you?" 


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego looked at each other and replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we did not make a mistake nor will we apologize for not bowing down.  If we are thrown into the furnace, the God we worship will save us, and he will rescue us.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Book of Daniel Chapter 3 - The Bible)


When you read the whole chapter then you'll know that they were thrown in to the fiery furnace but God intervened. God Himself walked with them in the fiery furnace and the three men just walked out of the fire not a single hair was burned.

In The Chronicles of Narnia "The Silver Chair" the Green witch says to the Narnian: “Put away these childish tricks.  I have work for you in the real world. There is no Narnia, no overworld, no sky, no sun, no Aslan.”  The Marshwiggle remarkably responds by affirming: “I ‘m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it.  I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can, even if there isn’t any Narnia.” 


Reepicheep, the three young Hebrew men and the Marshwiggle gives us a glimpse on how to believe and have a laser-like faith, how to live and persevere and they give us some principles as well on how to sale towards Aslan's country. Believing, dreaming, sailing on calm waters and stormy seas, in the light of day and in the darkest night, it doesn't really matter -knowing that He who controls the waves and the storms is sailing with us. We know that the One who walks in the midst of fire will never leave us. We know these things because He is True to His words. He is Just and He is Good.


Happy Sailing! :)



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Miss Universe 2011 and The Stand for Principles

” If I had to change my religious beliefs, I will not marry the person that I love. Because the first person that I love is GOD who created me. And I have my faith and my principles. And these what makes me who I am. And if that person loves me, he should love my God too, Thank you.”- Miss Universe 2011- 3rd runner up- Miss Philippines Shamcey Supsup

"I have a reservation with the result.If the only basis is the Q & A portion, after having been trimmed down to 5, Miss Philippines deserve to win. What made her different from the rest is that she had no seconds to re-think of her answer as she had no interpreter to break the ice.The rest had their interpreters and having breaks on seconds to think about their answers. Hands down, Miss Philippines answered straight to the point."-Oprah Winfrey on NBC News

Oprah has a point but I think what made her outstandingly different from the rest is that thru her answer she reflected the true meaning of what beauty really is and what a true Filipina is made of and what a woman should be...it resides in the realm of character and principles...not in physical appearance alone but in the beauty and strength of spirit.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Wind

Summer


Feel the heat
I really can't escape it..
Heart pumping. It's overwhelming.
Maybe it's the summer wind.

Body shaking, flesh trembling.
Angry?
Thoughts overflowing. It won't stop.
It's hot. Maybe it's just the summer wind.

I spoke and it hurts the more
pricking my soul.
A different fire within and without
Could it be the summer wind?

I'll wait till it's over
I'll look at the sky hoping
A new season isn't that far away
It'll be over Oh wind of summer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shades of Blue




The air was cold
Windows open, gush of wind flowing.
The sun was setting and dark clouds populate the sky.
Worried. Will it end?

On the bed, body rested.
Where will my mind wander and find what it seek?
Will dreaming help to give peace?
Mind running, body gasping.

Can't sleep.
Voices everywhere. 
Everybody is working, panting.
Wherever I look, in their eyes where shades of blue.



Friday, July 1, 2011

The Gift of Reason

"We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right."

"What I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind." 


— Ravi Zacharias

The first part talks about the freedom to believe and also it indirectly speaks about the freedom to disbelieve. The good thing about this is that we are giving everyone the freedom to choose thereby freeing their mind to study and think about certain issues and not merely believing something out of tradition.

Well, tradition is good if it is founded on truth. And tradition should only be accepted after a careful consideration of its history and foundation. Blind acceptance of anything is not a good way to come up to the truth but truth will lead to freedom.

Hear what Dr. Jose Rizal, the National hero of the Philippines said to the women of Malolos, Bulacan during the Spanish Colonial era:
The Filipino woman no longer bows her head and bends her knees; her hope in the future is revived; gone is the mother who helps to keep her daughter in the dark, who educates her in self-contempt and moral annihilation. It is no longer the highest wisdom to bow the head to every unjust order, the highest goodness to smile at an insult, to seek solace in humble tear. You have found out that God’s command is different from that of the priest, that piety does not consist in prolonged kneeling, long prayers, large rosaries, soiled scapulars, but in good conduct, clean conscience and right thinking. You have discovered that it is not goodness to be too obedient to every desire and request of those who pose as little gods, but to obey what is reasonable and just, because blind obedience is the origin of crooked orders and in this case both parties sin. The head of the priest cannot say that he alone will be responsible for the wrong order because God gave each one his own mind and his own conscience so that he can distinguish between right and wrong. All are born without chains, free and no one can subject the will and spirit of another. Why would you submit to another your noble and free thought? It is cowardice and an error to believe that blind obedience is piety and arrogance to think and reflect. Ignorance is ignorance and not goodness and honor. God, fountain of wisdom, does not expect man, created in his image, to allow himself to be fooled and blinded. The gift of reason with which we are endowed must be brightened and utilized. An example is the father who gave each of his son a lamp to light his way in the darkness. Let them intensify its flame, take care of it, not extinguish it to depend on the light of others, but to help one another, seek each other’s counsel in the search of the way. He is exceedingly stupid and he can be blamed if he stumbles in following somebody else’s light, and the father could say to him: “What for did I give you a lamp of your own?” But one who stumbles by following his own light cannot be greatly blamed because perhaps his light is dim or else the road is very bad.


Well, I could not say more. That's Dr. Jose P. Rizal.  A doctor of medicine. A poet, novelist, essayist, correspondent  A Filipino polymath. A polyglot who is proficient in twenty two languages. And a logical thinker. What he said about logic and reason is a universal truth.


Listen to this historical record from the lips of a man who influences the whole world with his teachings: 
The Pharisees and some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. They saw that some of his disciples were unclean because they ate without washing their hands..

The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples follow the traditions taught by our ancestors? They are unclean because they don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus told them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture:

   ‘These people honor me with their lips,
      but their hearts are far from me.
  Their worship of me is pointless,
      because their teachings are rules made by humans.’


“You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions...Because of your traditions you have destroyed the authority of God’s word. And you do many other things like that.” (Matt. 7: 1-13)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Philosophy behind Aslan


I like C.S. Lewis a lot. When I was six I remember buying my first C.S. Lewis books at a local bookstore. I was given a sum of money as a gift and I decided to save it until I had enough money to buy the Chronicles of Narnia and other C.S. Lewis books. Then I was introduced to Aslan the Great Lion. I'd been reading the books throughout my highschool days. It was not hard to like the Great Lion. At once I noticed Aslan's resemblance to the Lion of Judah. If one was acquianted with biblical history he will definitely see that Lewis with his keen mind had made a children story out of real history. It answer questions like what if the biblical Lion of Judah reign as King in a different world, like for instance, Narnia, what would be his name there and how would he atone for the treacherous deeds of that world?
One of the philosophy behind Aslan's character can be seen in such statements like these:
But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He (Aslan) answered, "Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me."  Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, "It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted." (from The Last Battle)

Shades of  what Jesus said long ago, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

Look at the contemporary language and have a feel of what it really means to serve Aslan in Narnia or how it really means to serve God in real life. Here's what the Lion of Judah says "Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'  Matt.7:21-23 The Message (MSG)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

Where sky and water meet,

Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.

The journey would be enjoyable not because of the journey itself but because of the hope of seeing the much awaited and longed for destination. In fact the reason why we are having the voyage is because we are targeting a specific place that we already anticipated before we even started the expedition. And the sad thing is that we settle down in between the starting point and the destination. We unboarded on a different station.

We started the journey on a train station. We were told to stay on the train until the final stop. We agreed because the plan was overwhelmingly excellent and eternally rewarding. We really longed for something much more fulfilling and has eternal significance than the life many are living. All were explained to us and we found it logically sound. So we boarded the train. It's first class. All the things that we ever needed was provided. All you have to do is to get it yourself. It was a luxurious transit. We met some friends. We made some good friends. We even traded some things and made some fortune. The train made a stop to a very beautiful and promising place and we talked a lot about that place that it was good to settle down in that area. Many of our friends thought it was a nice idea. They said they will try it for just a few days. We also decided to give it a try because the place was full of opportunities. We settled down until we're sixty. Now we're old and we suddenly remember the thing that really matter. Eternal things. We remember the old plan that was supposed to have eternal significance. It all came back to us. But all that we did was for ourselves and our own ambition. Nothing about what matters in eternity. That was the thing that time cannot understand. A place where time stops and the past and the future is one whole present before the Eternal One. A place where whatever we do if truly done out of our love for the Eternal One will have an eternal reward. 

Hurry. There is still time.

I remember what a Man from Nazareth once said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

Enjoy the journey. Remember, the "journey" is not the destination. But we can make some eternal investments while on it. Why not try to have the best of both worlds at the same time? But if there would be any conflicts, choose the place where you'll  "find all you seek...Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet..."