Friday, November 25, 2005

Love Ko TOh:)

What does your love mean to meits something i can't answer easilyjust like the air that i breatheyou fill me up inside, you give me all that i needlike a bird flying high on a summers dayyou're the wind that carries me awayto a place where you and i will always stay foreverif i never get to heaven then at least i will have knowni had an angel here on earth that I could call my very ownand if this world should end tomorrow, this much i know is truei found my piece of heaven the day that i found youlonger than poets will rhyme my love will burn for you until the end of timeif i should die before tomorrow comesi wont regret a single day, because i had your lovemust be somethin in the way you say my nameit takes away my worries and my paini know we'll make it through the rain togetherif i never get to heaven then at least i will have knowni had an angel here on earth that i could call my very ownand if this world should end tomorrow this much i know is truei found my piece of heaven the day that i found youlike a river flows and a flower grows, my love for you will never fadelike the sun will rise in the morning skyyou know that i am here to stay foreverif i never get to heaven then at least i will have known i had an angel here on earth that i could call my very ownand if the world should end tomorrow this much i know is truei have found my piece of heaven the day that i found youlike a river flows and a flower grows, my love for you will never fadelike the sun will rise in the morning sky you know i am here to stay

Friday, August 26, 2005

Go Against the Flow

Go Against the Flow

Conform. It seems so easy, so effortless. All you have to do is take the easy way out; hop on the bandwagon and follow the rest of the world. Forget about being different. Forget about taking a stand. Convention seems like the easier route. It's one little step that will cost you everything.
God made it clear a long time ago: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). All those tiny white lies, that 'harmless' peek at your classmate's test paper, the bad habit that's costing you your life that you just can't seem to give up - these are all the makings of a coward. Because only cowards seek to find the easy way out. They're too afraid of sacrifice, too intimidated by the thought of giving it all up that they back down. They lose heart. They give in. And in the process they miss out on the one thing worth dying for: God's favor.
You were not made to be a coward. You were not made to be weak. In fact, God has given you the heart of a warrior. You were meant to fight, to endure, to overcome. You were meant to conquer. The world will throw a billion things to put you out of battle. It will do anything to cheat you out of your ultimate destiny: a meaningful life.
But be strong. Put your faith in the Lord. For only in Him will you find perseverance, only in Him will you find success. Don't settle for what this world has to offer you. God has planned something greater for your life.
You are called to be set apart. It begins with a single choice. Be consecrated. Make the difference. Set the standard. Go against the flow.

Rumors of Another World

Rumors of Another World
by Philip Yancey

Not everybody believes in God. Some people deny His existence while others continually live between the borders of belief and unbelief. For others, they cannot reconcile a God of love and the presence of perversions, famine and murder in this world. In their hearts, people ask, “If this is God's world, why is it so messed up?”
Philip Yancey's book, Rumors of Another World, sheds some most-needed light on the issue of the existence of God. He discusses the different clues that have been laid out in front of our own eyes---clues that point to a Holy Creator. He also reminds the reader that there are signs of another world that are within our reach yet some people continually walk on by and unknowingly ignore them. The book chooses to discuss the beauty in this earth as well as the grandeur of another's. He teaches us that God created everything because it was all meant to reflect His glory and power.
One of the more important issues that the book pursues is the one of an evil world. Some people do not understand why there is evil in the world. In this book Philip Yancey goes deep into important issues and explains why sin is to blame for the evil in this world. He talks about why each and every person has an intuitive sense of what is right and why we feel guilty when we do something wrong.
In this world, there always seems to be a feeling of a lack of completion. There are signs of disorder in this earth and they point to a Supreme God who has given us not only physical manifestations but also a deep sense of longing for something more than this earthly life.
People who do not believe in God seem like one of the two painters Yancey talks about in the book. They frequently competed to see who could paint the visible world most faithfully. The first one said, “Now I shall prove to you I am the best.”, showing the other a picture of a curtain he had painted. The other painter said, “Well draw back the curtain and let us see the picture.” “The curtain is the picture,” replied the first with a laugh. People are looking for Armageddon-like signs or divine interruptions but what we have been looking for has been staring at us in the face all along.
Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse .” To those who do not believe or who are still undecided, the burden is not only to look harder for the signs but also to listen to the rumors of another world.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I kissed dATING GooDbYe

I Kissed Dating Goodbye
by Joshua Harris
Reviewed by JC Yu

Authored by Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is one of the greatest books written about romantic relationships, the follow-ups to which are Boy Meets Girl and Not Even a Hint. Based on real-life experiences by the author and his friends, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" was written with an honest and sincere heart. Contrary to what the title implies, it does not debunk nor discount the idea of dating and marriage. Rather, its basic premise is that one should wait for the right time and the right person for you. To quote from the book itself, "The right girl at the wrong time is the wrong girl", which has been echoed by famous writers like John C. Maxwell, who had said earlier that "Timing is everything." Harris writes mainly from the standpoint of men who are at the crossroads and about to embark on a new stage of their relationships. However, it is also very much catered to women as there are insights that can be gleaned from it, such as women's possible responses to the notion of dating. Aside from the chronicled real-life love stories, he also gives us biblical principles on waiting (and the reasons why it is good to wait) for God's Best and he shows us that, besides the fact that one learns to be more patient, God blesses and rewards a God-centered relationship. This book has helped me to make commitments to God and to myself. Yes, there might be times when I entertain the idea of dating, but because of this, I have decided to wait and to follow Harris' advise not to push through with it. More, I see the benefits of waiting, such as more focus and direction on the things I have to do, more time with God, family, and friends. Above all things though, if there is one thing that I can attribute to the book, it is how I was led to a life change, a change in perspective, and a closer relationship with God. My ears have been made more attuned to His will and I am eagerly awaiting His perfect timing in this area of my life.

Monday, August 22, 2005

J-Sound

The Jzone Accoustic Session
by Mervin Chan

At 4 o’ clock in the afternoon, there is much commotion going on. In an overpriced movie house, a hundred are clustered together to catch the screening of Spiderman 2. In a prestigious university, many strain to finish a difficult examination. And in a little church called CCF, dozens of music aficionados gather together to exhibit their much-endowed God-given talents. For a long time, music has played a big part in the 21st century. It has stirred nations, motivated many and inspired the youth to live up to their ambitions. But on an afternoon like this, with the prospect of great music hanging in the air, could things get any better? Astoundingly, the answer is: yes. If great music just isn’t enough, what about great music being played to bring glory an even greater God? That is what this is all about. The elevator ride in itself brings about much excitement. Banners are posted all over, advertising this musical event. The actual thrill begins when one finally reaches the fourth floor. The lights are dimmed; a couple of couches are casually positioned on the stage with guitars & microphones strewn lazily about. The ushers exuberantly welcome all the guests in. The performers are ready. The stage is set. The moment has arrived. The music begins. And thus, JSOUND is launched. To view more pics of this event click here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

From Jedi to Vader

From Jedi to Vader
By Tina R. Araneta

I’m sure that, by now, a rather large percentage of the world’s population has flocked to the nearby movie theater to catch a glimpse of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. Unless, of course, you’ve never heard of the Star Wars© series, are not a sci-fi enthusiast, or haven’t had time to catch the flick yet. In any case, I’m hoping that this review will be as reader-friendly as possible, regardless of one’s opinion towards the series. A note first, before going in-depth here, I confess that I am no expert on the Star Wars series. I have watched all six films, yes, but I can’t remember in which Episode Naboo was featured, for example. Or who lived in Tatooine. Truth be told, I watch Star Wars not for the complexities that usually come along with most sci-fi films; my goal is to sift out the basic plot that intertwines all six films together. Star Wars, despite its all too futuristic connotation, is actually very human, if all six films are looked at more closely. Underneath layers and layers of masks in the form of light saber fights and indescribable-looking entities inhabiting the multitude of neighboring planets, that is. In a nutshell, Star Wars is about the shift from bad to good. The destruction of mankind (and in the case of Star Wars, other alien-like races as well) and their salvation (enter the naïve Luke Skywalker in Episodes IV to VI). It’s about learning to trust the ones closest to themselves and at the same time, being wary of jealousy and of eventual betrayal. It’s about love, and how wrong notions of it can turn out to be blinding and misleading. It’s about realizing that even the worst of the worst still have some good within them. Ultimately, it’s about hope in the face of darkness. However, in Episode III, we see a drastic shift from light to dark first. In Episodes I and II, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) realizes that a young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) has the makings of a Jedi and takes it upon himself to train Anakin. Along the way, Anakin (now played by Hayden Christensen) falls for the beauty of Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) and they marry in secret. Now, in Episode III, we learn that Padme is pregnant and the couple agrees to hide it from everyone else. Anakin, while less supervised by Obi-Wan, is still undergoing training as a Jedi. We also see that he is befriended by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who holds a rather important position in the Senate. The Jedi, who foresee evil dwelling in the Chancellor, tell Anakin to do some espionage work and give regular updates of the Chancellor's plans. The Chancellor, in turn, grants Anakin permission to sit in the Jedi Council sessions and equally update him on the Jedi’s forthcoming strategies. Anakin is now caught in the middle, and the Chancellor uses this to his advantage. Anakin has had visions of Padme dying in childbirth, and the Chancellor has sensed this. He tells Anakin that it is possible to prevent a loved one from dying. Curious, Anakin decides to learn more about this secret. At the same time, Anakin becomes more resentful towards the Jedi as he is not yet given the title “Jedi Master” and this leads to jealousy and to his eventual downfall. The Chancellor, as it turns out, is a Dark Lord and Anakin, disillusioned with his thoughts towards the Jedi and of saving Padme from death, turns to the dark side. He becomes the Darth Vader we fear in Episodes IV, V, and VI. By now, I’m sure you’ve come to realize that we could all be Anakin. In fact, we are, most of the time. And here are three things we can learn from…Episode III! 1) The world we live in is only temporary. The Bible tells us (you did know it would lead to this sometime, didn’t you?) that we are to be not of the world, but in the world. We are to get our feet wet while we are still living on earth but this doesn’t mean that we have to be consumed by sin – materialism, immorality, lust, greed, gossip, hatred, vices, and the like. As Christians, we are called to act as Ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20) and this means that we are called to represent the Place from where we came. We should represent God and manifest His attributes. More than being influenced by the world, we are to influence it for Christ. Because we know that we won’t be living here for long. The world in which we live is but our temporary dwelling (2 Cor. 5:1 and 5:4) but our real address is Heaven, in the presence of God. We realize that the things of the world (even the people dearest to us) will fade eventually, which is why we shouldn’t cling on to them so tightly. In fact, Yoda (yes, that little green being) himself summed it up perfectly: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” 2) False prophets abound. More, I couldn’t help but remember this verse: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, they are ferocious wolves.” (Mt. 7:15) Chancellor Palpatine here served as a false prophet to Anakin and he used deception as his weapon of choice. Very much reminiscent of the serpent in Genesis, I believe. Day by day, we hear of so many truisms, so many different versions of the same story that it becomes almost impossible to distinguish the real from the fake. In this day and age of tomfoolery, it is of utmost importance that we also turn to Him for discernment and guidance. Sometimes we can be so gullible and believe what we need to hear. Our emotions can cloud our better judgment and this is when we should seek God most. 3) There is reason behind the principle of accountability. Good intentions don’t always translate to doing the right things. Now, this is tricky. We know that Anakin turned to the dark side because his original intent was to save Padme from dying in childbirth. (As to whether she did or didn’t, find out for yourself; go and see the movie!). It’s tricky because his intention was good – he loved his wife and didn’t want his premonition to come true. However, did his actions (believing in the Chancellor and becoming Darth Vader) also turn out to be good? Anakin’s mistake lay in the fact that he took on his decision alone. “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.” (Proverbs 27:17) He had zero accountability with the Jedi. Had he turned to them for advice, he would have realized that he was being lured the wrong way. He would have been told otherwise, and this is the importance of keeping close contact with our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially the ones who are more spiritually mature than we are. Furthermore, need I reiterate the wisdom of God as well? “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6) It goes without saying that His counsel far outweighs anything in this world, as explained in the previous point. At the end of the day, we can deduce that, as it is with all great films, Star Wars is didactic. It imparts nuggets of wisdom to us if we look past the intricacies of that world which existed a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. It sheds some light on to the mystery that is being human and even manages to reach us in a biblical sense, at times. The Jedi had to seek the Force in order to succeed, and therefore, we, in turn, are also reminded to connect to the Force at all times, because we are incompetent and sorely lost without it. Our Force is God. “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) May the Force be with you.

Friday, August 19, 2005

WhEre Is the Love?

Where is the Love?
The Project S.C.H.O.O.L. Concert
by Abi Ellis

One rainy afternoon, on the 21st of May at 4pm, Jzone proudly presented “Where is the Love?” a concert launching Project S.C.H.O.O.L. (Saving Colleges & High schools Of Our Land). Project S.C.H.O.O.L. aims to start small-group devotions & Bible Studies to eventually turn all of our schools into Jesus Zones or Jzones. With that in mind, we have a vision for our nation to be one big Jzone. Project S.C.H.O.O.L. uses an approach called the Three Track Attack consisting of Prayer, Devotional & Bible Study Tracks. “Where is the Love?” was wonderfully hosted by Myles of Onecubed & featured special guests like “Mr. Pure Energy”, Mr. Gary Valenciano, and famed rapper Francis Magalona. Mr. Valenciano, having committed to singing only three songs, ended up singing moving songs like “I Will Be Here”, “Could You Be?”, “Warrior is a Child” and “Take Me Out of the Dark” as well as upbeat songs such as “Love is the Answer”, “He is Enough”, “Shout for Joy” and “Get Down”. Mr. Magalona rapped across his message to us with “Kaleidoscope World”, “Peace on Earth” and “The Light” (with Looney of stick figgas). The Jzone Band also led us into song and it seemed that everyone was pumped to sing praises. And, of course, we’ll never forget those that danced for Jesus, WD4J. The concert was meaningful and fun, best of all, for free! Meaningful in a sense that many young souls committed their life to the Lord. And who wouldn’t have fun watching the MTV of Jzone (downloadable in http://www.jzone.ph) with all the different schools that were represented. Overall, despite the rain and the long line, the almost two thousand of us that came were satisfied with the answer that we got for one of life’s biggest questions, “Where is the Love?” At first others would think that love is in the heart; others look for love in all the wrong places only to be disappointed and unsatisfied. Why? Because love is found in God. We are grateful to have learned that but you, do you know where is the love?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

His Love STORY

His Love Story
A movie review on 'The Passion of the Christ'


Not everyone is ready to see The Passion of the Christ. Before anyone gets offended, please remember that although everyone should see this movie, for some it might fall on deaf ears, or will not be appreciated, if it is not fully understood. Because despite all of the bloodshed, all the whips, chains, hammers, nails, crosses, this movie is a love story. This movie is a love story of the highest order, a reminder of just how much one can endure and go through, all for the sake of love. Now, erase all of the cliche stereotypical love stories Hollywood bombards us with, because this movie completely eradicates that notion of love. This movie is about Jesus, and His love for us. This movie is true, and although not completely accurate, serves as a reminder of what is true love. The initial press about this movie is that it is too gory, and that because of all of the blood and violence, the message Jesus preaches of love and peace will seem will just seem like a load of hypocrisy. Yet I believe that contrary to what everyone says, people will believe Jesus' message, not just despite the violence, but BECAUSE of the violence and gore. So long have we been taught that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but it has been so hard to visualize this, because all we see is the too-common wooden cross with a man hanging from it. Little do we know of the graphic nature of the events leading up to this crucifxion, and how much one man would be willing to endure for something that he believes in. Gibson intertwines key events in Jesus' life throughout the movie, including His rescuing Mary Magdalene, washing the disciples' feet, and of course the Last Supper. What this does is remind us that there was a reason for all of this to happen, because it was to complete Jesus' descent from Heaven, to rescue us from sin. Only by completely understanding what Jesus went through can we even begin to fathom how much He loved us, and was willing to pay the ultimate price. Another point raised is that this movie is anti-semitic. First of all, I don't profess to know all that there is about the Jews and the hardship they endured, but I do know that this movie, in no way tries to lambast them, or destroy their reputations. If you think about it, if God decided that Filipinos would be the one at that time to exist, do you think His plan would carry out any differently? Would He not decide that Jesus should die, just so that we wouldn't get into trouble? In his infinite wisdom, God destined all of this to happen, and the Jews are a part of it. That doesn't explain why we have to discriminate them for the actions of their ancestors, as that would be going against the message that Jesus, a Jew himself preached. Look beyond all the spitting, cursing and hatred that the soldiers had against Jesus. When He was lying on the cross about to be nailed, he screamed "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Forgive them indeed, because they didn't know that their actions would have effects to last a lifetime. In closing, The Passion of the Christ is a movie about self-realization, meaning understanding exactly how much you were worth for one man. A man who was willing to give up all of it, just to save us from a lifetime of hell. All he asks is for us to accept Him, and believe that His sacrifice was not for naught. I still believe that not everyone is ready to see the passion, because not everyone can be ready for the truth yet. But my most sincere hope, is that you don't believe me. Don't believe me, and go see how much you're worth. Because while Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He did it, out of love. This is His love story. All he asks of you is to hear it.