Monday, 24 February 2014

It's The Final Countdown!!! 1Cor9: 24-27

First Letter of St.Paul to the Corinthian Church, Ch9 v 24 - 27 says the following:

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Oooo am I excited.

The clock is ticking down to the departure.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Romans 10:8-15 The outline of the Good News

There is no mystery that I am a Christian. I don't bash my bible, though, as it is in my smartphone and tablet. Any attempt to do so will result in what society calls "Assault and Battery"

Also this will be difficult to play Angry Birds on

I am charged to spread the "Good News", as we of the God Squad call it.

I recall being criticized (actually condemned is a better term to use) by a university classmate. Apparently my desire to spread the word of God results in the repression of culture. I have gently reminded her about the Christinisation of a culture actually encourages the culture to flourish. Post me a comment below and I can PM you the evidence. (Yet in some cases, I have to ask the commenter what evidence they will accept hehe)

Romans 10: 8 - 15:
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The basic outline of our faith is the belief in the Lord Jesus (v9). V13 says of the all-inclusive love that the Lord wants for our salvation.

How awesome is that?!?!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Jeremiah1: 3-10

I used to be scared of destiny.

I often think of free will as something of an illusion.

How can an Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent God have us and THEN give us free will?

A point of clarification, then... how do you define free will?

Most of you would instinctively think, "the ability to be able to think and do at my own discretion" as a perfect way to describe the term.

Jer1:3-10 describes of how the Lord had planned Jeremiah's path from the start. It opens v5 with:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

This reading is basically, "You have been chosen since birth. I have already pre-appointed your destiny."

I remember once, sparking a debate in the university car pool, by saying that we have free will. Having two pre-law students in the car made for an interesting car ride. Who won the debate? I did, of course.. I was driving... and I told them it was my free will that prevented me from driving them into a ditch."
Just concede the point and I'll put it in reverse

The tricky nature of free will is that everyone has an opinion of ownership over it, yet the consequences of their own decision is something they would rather not know. People shy away from it due to the horrible nature of not being able to make your own decisions... that feeling of impotence as your future is decided for you.

This is where a good knowledge of the Lord's deity and His sovereign Will comes in handy.

Personally, I have always felt "called" to do God's work. It is not in my nature to be so subservient, though so I rebelled till I was 17 years old. God's calling was never simple or easy, for me. I always saw the prospect of "doing God's Will" as a cop-out for losers who can't make it in their chosen industry or profession.

Oh, you are waiting for God's Will, huh?
Yet as personal development goes, as I grew in my faith of the Lord, the more my calling became clear. My servitude to the Creator of the universe came from my love of Him and my love of His people.

Don't get me wrong, I still think have those moments of doubt (heck, if you were in my shoes you'd probably have them too) but somehow, despite all anxious logic, I press on.

What I know about free will? God will mold and develop you into the person you need to be, for you to take up the mantle.

My initial reluctance has turned into desire. My avoidance has turned into a yearning for Him.

I can honestly say, in my free will, I am making decisions in line with what the Lord of Lords wants my life to do.

I still believe I have free will. My priorities have just grown up. I still make my own decisions, it is just the consequences of the actions I take not only affect me, but about 80 kids too.

I have free will because I have let myself be "enslaved" by the emancipation from my selfishness, and re-focused my efforts on others.

My fear of destiny has now become an impatient wait for 7 more days till I step onto Philippine Soil.

Still doubt my volition?

Call me a zombie, and I'll show you my free will by punching you in the throat... with the love of Jesus of course...

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Just a filler Article

Each time I hear the words "Filler Article", I think of Elbert Hubbard and his masterpiece, " Send a Message to Garcia". If you read the text, you'd think that it was written for the people today.

As it happens, this is not, in any way, shape or form a comparison to that work, rather an apology.

How I feel towards the Australian Taxation Department at the moment

The ATO still has my assets frozen. Consequentially, I have no phone, mobile internet or cash for that matter... surviving on what ever my wife can scrape together.

Frustrating... yes. Character building? maybe.

The trip is looming.. as in Axe of Damocles looming. But yet, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Ps 121:1)

Anyway, please enjoy the Article by Elbert Hubbard back in 1899

A Message to Garcia

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Some one said to the President, "There's a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Which encyclopedia?
Where is the encyclopedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don't you mean Bismarck?
What's the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C's, not in the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne'er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there's nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner pail & worked for day's wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mentality - it's all in your head

The more I do research, the more I am convinced that it is the mentality of the Filipinos that write their own demise.

My Lolo Amante was right. It is the change of heart that will radically change the country for the better.

Damaging Colonial Mentality is seen when  Nouveau Riche  jokers act like they are Americans (from the United States, of course!) and old money act like they are long-suffering Spaniards; all the while the Filipino is struggling to cope with the idea of a self-confident persona.

Long Story Short, I cannot help this generation of Pinoys. I echo the words of President McKinley from a book: "...we cannot leave them to themselves - they were unfit for self-government - and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was..."(p22)

A blogger from "Get Real, Philippines!" - Benign0 says:"And that is what the Philippines is. A country inherently unable to honour its many many commitments, both to its own people and to the many foreign governments that have invested in it over the last century. It is a poverty that is worse than an immediate lack of money (which, itself, is a long worn-out excuse)."

There are so many things that needs to change, I often feel like just picking up the students and moving them away... FAR FAR AWAY from the current environment that they are currently in. I also feel inept in the expression of what I want done for these kids using the blog medium. I think it is more because the reasons were tackled previously before.

Attitude, Aptitude, Confidence, Budgeting Skills, Self-Control... these sound like "normal" things for any one, specifically if you can see that there is hope in the future as you toil for a better tomorrow.

Can you imagine the despondent nature of our third world brethren when what faces them is worse than what their parents had?

There are many commentaries on what the Philippines is, how the Filipinos act, what's wrong with our demo-feudal-o-cracy system of politics...

Put a sock in it, pull your sleeves up... pick up a bucket and start helping.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Angry stares at accountants and the ATO grrrrr

If one pays good money for services, one expects a certain level of competence and standards to  be met.

2004, I had a shelf company made for the proceeds of any future enterprise, should  the combination of my personal income (from work) and the business income be greater than the maximum tax threshold.

Blathering on with accountantspeak (no offense intended to any accounting professionals out there) the dude I paid to get my Family Unit trust up and running put me as a trustee, instead of my company.

It was simple enough to switch the correct entity in this matter, but it should not have happened in the first place.

I have been in the service industry for long enough that I may be an absolute troll for expecting simple competence in those that do business with me.

Competence - Is it too much to ask??
To the Australian Tax Office, I say two profound words:

Thank You.

Because of your meddling, freezing the business's assets, I am assured that this opposition is from the enemy.

Nothing like a spiritual conflict manifesting itself in ways that mildly inconveniences the plan of the Almighty.

Will write more as this little saga reaches a conclusion.