It’s rare that I write 2 succeeding blogs in 1 day, let alone 1 month. But after writing what I wrote earlier lambasting and ranting about age and leadership, I have now calmed down. Plus a shot of Korean wine and coffee helped. Not sure how but it gave me headache.
Seriously though, I led the Praise and Worship earlier today, January 28, 2018, and our last song was, guess it… Yes, JESUS AT THE CENTER by Israel & New Breed.
I was able to think clearly after 2 large cups of coffee and a shot of alcohol and it made me realized something. Is Jesus at my center?
Part of the song says:
Nothing else matters,
nothing in this world will do.
Jesus You’re the center,
and everything revolves around you.
While writing this blog, I am playing in constant repetition the 2 versions of the song.
Jesus be the center of my life,
Jesus be the center of my life
From beginning to the end
It will always be,
It’s always been You Jesus
I know I’ve made a mistake of taking things and turn it into one big mess but, I guess the good thing about it is, me – questioning my own faith and where it’s foundation is laid. I started checking my heart and praying to God to correct my feelings. I asked one Pastor to pray for me because, at the end of the day, I know it is my pride that is hurting more than anything. I just hope I am not too late.
From my heart to heavens
Jesus be the center,
It’s all about You,
Yes it’s all about You
I asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to give me a servant’s heart. I asked God for help.
Jesus, be the center of my everything.
Her name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, famously known as Lady Gaga, is in the country right now to perform a 2 night concert at the SM Mall of Asia or MOA. This is actually the 2nd time she is performing in the Philippines. And before she arrives, I think she has already read or heard about the protests of some “Religious” groups here in the Philippines. They don’t want her to have her concert here because they want her to “respect our faith, stop the blasphemy.” But organizers from Ovation Productions said they respect the beliefs of critics but promised that the performances “will not pose a threat to their sense of morality and conduct.”
She was famous for her songs “Poker Face”, “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Alejandro” just to name a few. And also some rumors surrounding her sexuality. But we can’t deny that she is also famous for her sense of fashion and the songs that she sang. Alejandro has a very, very controversial video. According to Wikipedia, “’Alejandro’ created a media uproar after the release of the video because of its use of religious imagery. One of the most discussed scenes in the video was when Gaga, dressed in a latex nun outfit, swallowed rosary beads. The Catholic League criticized the video for its use of religious imagery, accusing Gaga of “playing a Madonna copy-cat”. Moncia Herrara said of the mayhem: “[Alejandro] courts religious controversy in much the same way that Madonna’s ‘Like a “Prayer’ video once did, intermingling Catholic imagery like rosary beads and nun’s robes with sexual cues.” In an interview with MTV, Klein explained that the religious symbolism was not meant to denote anything negative, but to represent Gaga’s battle between the darker and lighter forces. Thus at the end of the film, she is portrayed again in her nun’s habit. Klein added that the significance behind her mouth and eyes disappearing was “because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation.” He added that the scene where Gaga devours the rosary beads was her act of theophany, the desire to consume the body of God, the rosary being symbolic of the Holy.” You can check the link.
Why am I writing about her? It is because of her relationship and stand with LGBT or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Lady Gaga is a strong supporter of this group. According to Wikipedia, besides her career in music, Gaga has also contributed to various charities. Among others is:
- HIV and AIDS
- Born This Way Foundation
- LGBT advocacy
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of Lady Gaga. But with all the protests against her in this country, we have labeled our country “THE ONLY CHRISTIAN NATION IN ASIA”. Have we reached out to the LGBT? Or we are like the many who judges them because they are members of LGBT? My previous post has somehow become related to this one. Christians attacking other people because they are not Believers. We condemn people and say that they are Anti-Christ and all, that they are the abolition of the human race, etc.
I have nothing against Lady Gaga, but I don’t condone her acts and the way she sings and her songs. What I am concerned of, is my fellow Believers. Are we becoming more judgmental? I found an article from USAToday with this headline: “Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay.” We are not becoming light and salt of this world. We are not doing our jobs. We are becoming the antagonists of the world, which should not be. We need to be the people who dispenses GRACE my brothers and sisters. That is our function. That is why we are here. It was said, “hate the sin, love the sinner”. I know we need to draw the line on this issue, but then, we need to draw them while we pray for God’s wisdom.
I tried to get more info on what Manny Pacquiao said about gays and this is what I got from his official website, “Manny Pacquiao was recently quoted in the USAToday as invoking the old testament and recited Leviticus 20:13, saying: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” In the same conversation Manny explained his feelings in regards to same sex marriage which were printed in an earlier article today. “God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they are in love with each other. “It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.” In what appears to be Manny Pacquiao’s official feelings on the subject, let us just say that Pacquiao’s beliefs are not the beliefs, of this writer or the staff of MP8.ph.” (source, http://tiny.cc/2loeew)
I am a Born-Again Christian too. Although I had been on the crossroads of my faith, I know what it is to believe and to say and when to say them. I will not comment on what Manny Pacquiao said, because like the bible says, DO NOT JUDGE… but what I will say is more on expressing our beliefs and standing by them BUT not spreading hate or judgment.
I have already read a book entitled, What’s So Amazing About Grace? written by Philip Yancey. And one of the common mistakes Christians made is to spread hatred rather than grace. To quote Philip’s words, “Christians were becoming known mainly for what they were against: pornography, homosexuality, abortion, etc. That disturbed me, as I see grace as one of the great, often untapped, powers of the universe that God has asked us to set loose.” Admit it or not, most of the Believers tend to forget what Jesus did in the New Testament. In Mark 2:15-17, “15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” ” here, Jesus MINGLED with the sinners and tax collectors.
We need to be the one to spread grace on this world, but it seems that we do forget that. We tend to forget that the hospital is where the sick go, that the bed is where the tired rests. We just want the world to know what is right and that there should be justice, which is not wrong. But our priority is point people to Jesus.
Not all good-intentions are easy. Sometimes, good-intentions needs to be delayed. Words have already hurt people. Let us avoid hurting them more by quoting the bible to get our points across. It has and still is being used by a lot of religious groups.
And last, one of the great philosophers said what I think is one of the cautionary words we should take VERY SERIOUSLY. It is the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
I am going through my own stages again of depression and I have to admit, suicide already came to my mind not once. This time will be the second time I had this thoughts.
I have already seen families of suicides, but I have never found a support group here in the Philippines. Especially within the Christian community which I belong. Suicide is a TABOO. It is one of the greatest sins EVER.
I thought Christians are exempted from suicides but I have read the bible. There are seven suicides in the Bible, most notably in Matthew 27:3, the suicide of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, and that of Saul (1 Samuel 31:4). In Acts of the Apostles 16:28 Paul prevents the attempted suicide of a jailor. Jonah (Book of Jonah 4:8), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4) and Job (Book of Job 6:9) express suicidal feelings.
Judas Iscariot’s suicide was the most famous of all. Christians were debating whether he will be going to heaven or hell. A friend of mine told me that it is not my business to ask that. Judas will answer to God, not to me. So I cannot comment on that. And I searched for Christianity and suicides.
Suicide is still a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong. Serious doubts should be raised about the genuineness of faith of anyone who claimed to be a Christian yet committed suicide. There is no circumstance that can justify someone, especially a Christian, taking his/her own life. Christians are called to live their lives for God, and the decision on when to die is God’s and God’s alone.
According to the Bible, suicide is not what determines whether a person gains entrance into heaven. If an unsaved person commits suicide, he has done nothing but “expedite” his journey to hell. However, that person who committed suicide will ultimately be in hell for rejecting salvation through Christ, not because he committed suicide. What does the Bible say about a Christian who commits suicide?
I found this article on Bible.com. I hope this will help us all.
“Do not be a fool–why die before your time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:17b)
Almost everyone would agree that life is the most precious gift that human beings have been given. Just the chance to be alive on this earth and play a part in the grand scheme of God’s eternal plan is a privilege indeed. Yet, despite this, there are times when life becomes so difficult or unbearable that many have, at one time or another, wished they were dead or had never been born. For some, these feelings linger–and if they linger long enough, suicide seems to be the only escape. In fact, in the United States (and stats are similar in countries around the world) the suicide rate has tripled among teen and young adults in the past 40 years.
What does the Bible say about suicide? How does God view it? Do all those who kill themselves go to Hell?
Very few would argue with the fact that suicide is a direct breaking of the Sixth Commandment which is, “You shall not murder.” We are not to murder each other or ourselves. God created human beings in His image and each of us carries within us the potential to overcome the evil in this world, and to rule and reign with Christ in heavenly places. If we are Christians, we no longer belong to ourselves, but to God. We are overseers of our bodies and our lives (which belong to Him), and we are responsible to guard that which has been entrusted to us.
Suicide is a grievous sin that seriously hurts both the heart of God, and those who loved the deceased. The pain of losing a loved one who took their own life is not easily healed, and often isn’t fully healed until Heaven. Whether you are contemplating suicide or know someone who killed themselves, God wants you to know there is hope and life for you. He is the great Healer and Restorer of what has been lost or stolen.
Many of the greatest saints and heroes of the Bible faced overwhelming depression and sometimes wrote that they wished they had never even been born. King David, (Psalm 13:2-4), the prophet Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 20:14-18), and Job, (Job 7:15-16) among others, all reached low points where they despaired of their very lives.
Job says, “So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity” (Job 7:15-16).
Yet, each one of these men were blessed of God, and persevered through their trials as an example to us. Though they faced great suffering and injustice, they kept their faith in God and His goodness, and in so doing, were sustained and led into abundant life.
Though we may get depressed from time to time, we believe that the act of suicide never takes place apart from demonic influences driving one to take their own life. Suicide is directly counter to the power of life that God has put so strongly into His creation. Everywhere we look we see life growing, even in the most hostile environments. This “survival instinct” is a gift from God. In fact, if He didn’t bestow this gift upon His creation there probably wouldn’t be any life on this planet at all! Suicide, then, is directly contrary to the will of God, and originated in the realm of the demonic host, who come only to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Though demons may try to tempt us to kill ourselves, as Christians we have power over the devil and he cannot push us to do this if we sincerely call on the name of the Lord!
We are all in a spiritual battle. The problem is, many of us are not aware of it, and do not know how to protect ourselves against attack.
Do all those who kill themselves go to Hell?
Some people believe that all who commit suicide go immediately to Hell. However, the Bible never says if this is the case. The Bible is silent on this issue. God probably did not address it in black in white for a good reason. If we knew that we would still go to Heaven if we killed ourselves, there would probably be a lot more suicides taking place than there already are. However, if we knew that all who killed themselves were automatically banished to Hell, no matter what their situation, it may be too much for the grief-stricken family and friends to bear. Murder and suicide are not unpardonable sins. The only unforgivable sins are rejecting Christ (Mark 16:16) and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
(Mark 3:28-29 KJV) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies where with so ever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
All other sins can be forgiven. However, anyone contemplating suicide may be in danger of going to Hell, as their relationship with the Lord is not intact at that point. Those who would consider suicide may have a severed relationship with Christ and therefore they would enter the real Hell–which is worse than the hellish feelings they are experiencing at the moment.
It is so important to remember that God judges each of us individually, weighing all the factors of our lives, our beliefs and our motives. Each one of us is so intricate and complex, only God could really judge us in total truth, wisdom, and without favoritism. The most important truth of all, is that each one of us will stand before His throne and give account of our lives. If we lived intimately with this sobering truth, much of the sin in the church and the world, would immediately be stopped.
If you are contemplating suicide and are relying on God’s grace to get you to heaven, PLEASE stop for a moment….God’s grace never means that we have a free license to sin! Those who willfully sin after knowing God’s grace, are in far greater danger than those who know less. Though you may feel that God is far from you right now, He is much nearer than you think. He may even be speaking to you through these words! Please open your ears and hear Him tell you how valuable your life is. You are needed on this earth and the purpose for your life has not yet been fulfilled. God loves you, and so do many people around you! God would not be God if He could not work this situation (no matter how unbearable it may seem) for His glory and for the good in your own life.
Depression is often anger, and a host of other emotions that have turned inward and become frozen. If you are carrying anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, frustration, jealousy, despair, worthlessness, hopelessness, fearfulness, vengeance and/or self-pity in your heart, you can turn these things over to God and begin to receive your healing right now, in faith. If you don’t know how to let them go, confess it to God and ask for His help in releasing it to Him. No one can overcome these things by themselves. We all need the power of God to set us free from sinful and hopeless ways of thinking. That is why the Bible tells us that we must be “transformed, by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).” The Holy Spirit is the only One who can help us break free and be healed of these deadly emotions.
Just as ailments in our physical body need to be treated with medicine to be healed, the same is true of our emotions. One powerful way to fight depression, is to apply and confess God’s Word as a healing balm to the places where you have been wounded. For instance, if you have unforgiveness in your heart, begin to confess God’s verses for love and forgiveness, even if they don’t exactly feel true right at the moment. If you feel worthless, confess the Scriptures of God’s great love for you. A note, mechanical repeating of words may not do much, but if you deliberately take these living words and hold on to them for dear life, you will have the enemy on the run. The devil simply cannot stand against the Word of God spoken in faith. God’s Words are like spiritual antibiotics, destroying every germ and unclean thing in their path.