The Father of Man

        “‘Did God…say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?'” – Gen. 3:1 (NLT)

        Then goes the famous story of the Fall of Man: the woman eats the “apple”, the man eats the “apple”,God curses the slithering lizard, and the couple says goodbye to dear paradise.  The End.

        Indeed, the text portrays the Deity as “anti-sin”.  From the texts:

                I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy…. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living                    from it…. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return… – Gen. 3:16-19 (NLT)

certainly, he “loves” sins.  These reveal how God is just especially when punishments are due. However, behind the banishment is a father who is not only a just God but also a heavenly “daddy”.

        Firstly, God is concerned with His lost children.  Genesis 3:8 reveals His care for the two through his “‘Where are you?'”  If a three-year-old daughter got scrambled up in a crowd in the train station, the first instinct of a parent is to cry “Where are you, Chris?”  Similarly, when God sees his children absent in the garden of Eden, His instinct is to stride through paradise and call “‘Where are you?'”

        Secondly, God pacifies.  Genesis 3:20 tells readers of God’s making of “clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife”.  Despite the eternal banishment, the Father “lessens” the punishment by simple means of clothing His children.  Similarly, after a mother’s spanking her five-year-old son for breaking her precious vase, “mommy” still bakes him brownies after supper and rinses his mud-filled underwear 24/7.  Thus, in spite of every pain in the hides of Adam and Eve, God still loves them.

        Indeed, God is a Heavenly Father who cares and pacifies for His children.  Every gong of 12:00 M.N. means God’s success in creating another day for Chris, Anna, Mark, and the millions of His children around the world.  In the face of sheer discipline from the wrath of SPANKton, God remains a loving “daddy”.  However, the gong of my mother’s voice of “Lunch Time” means I need to go before she gives me a SPANKton.  Oh well, at least rib-eyed stake is on the menu for the today. Haha!

Acknowledgement: http://blog.febc.org/wp-content/uploads/son-father-reading.jpg

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Dads Don’t Make Sense, or Do They?

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Youngsters, even those who entered that stage before adolescence, probably had an experience where the decisions of their fathers do not make any sense at all. Instances in my life related to the confusion are my dad’s choices of not allowing me to take the NC III Bookkeeping Exam of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and to enroll in the MAGIS Academy for tutorials about my college Mathematics. I planned up my summer to become a productive person before I begin my tertiary education in the Philippine capital, the purposes being to have a part-time job as a bookkeeper or an accounting clerk and to enhance my academic performance in the campus. I would say that these are for selfless needs, but my dad still couldn’t allow me to accomplish my endeavors, leaving an it-doesn’t-make-sense thinking inside my mind. I didn’t understand that scenario until my mom submitted to me of my dad’s saving a lot of money for my enrollment in one of the most expensive yet most prestigious colleges in the Philippines, which is known as Ateneo de Manila University. His decisions, which couldn’t give me a sense before, now gave me a clear idea of the reason for his choices: HE WANTS THE BEST FOR ME.

Similarly, we Christians also have a heavenly Father who also wants the best for all of us that His will is “to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He, as our Dad, loves us so much that He cannot allow things, which are not according to His plan, to happen and to take fruition. For instance, one may fall into broken tears after not being accepted of working abroad, one moment where he/she couldn’t get the scenario, for he/she spent a lot of sleepless nights studying the country he/she would be assigned to. Sooner or later, he/she would gain a clear understanding of the situation, for the test, once passed, would merit the examiners a permanent stay in the country they would be transferred to, thereby leaving their families behind for the sake of working abroad. Nonetheless, by God’s grace, that person would be able to soar high through his company performance and his employee productivity and become one of the most successful and the most powerful businessmen/businesswomen in the Philippine archipelago, an extraordinary fruit being done according to the plan of his/her Father in heaven. In general, most of God’s decisions in our endeavors here on earth may not give us the clear reasons of such situations. Fortunately, Jesus said a promise in the Bible that “we do not realize now what He is doing, but later we will understand” (John 13:7). This “understanding” will only come if we allow God to move into our hearts and to become the drivers of our limousines in life, for He, as our Father, wants the best for us. He wouldn’t give us a stone if we ask for some bread nor a snake if we ask for some fish (Matthew 7:9,10), for our Father wants the best for all of us. He allowed His son to be crucified on the cross so that death and sin have no stings against us, for our Father wants the best life for all of us.

Indeed, fathers know best, including our Father in heaven. 🙂 ~ Zachary Bisenio

Acknowledgements: http://holyspiritinteractive.blogspot.com/2012/03/when-god-doesnt-make-sense.html

He says YOLO

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The term “YOLO”, an acronym for “You Only Live Once”, has been an influential trend to many people around the world today, from media, social networks, hearsays, and societies they are parts of. This quote sometimes sounds comical and humorous that people tend to create non-senses out of the term in their individual decisions in life. For instance, students can use YOLO as an excuse to break school rules and regulations after their high school graduation, their usual backfires being fun, excitement, and “We Only Live Once”. Teenagers can use YOLO as an “escape” mean to resort to drinking sessions for the purpose of getting “down and dirty”, reasons to their parents being social security and “We Only Live Once”. In worst case scenarios, young adults can use YOLO as a jump start to engage their boyfriends/girlfriends in “something only done inside marriage”, their explanations to the “SPG”(1) act being pleasure, happiness, and “We Only Live Once”. Indeed, each one of us has only one life to live, one chance to be alive, and one world to exist in. Unfortunately, many people today look at YOLO in a wrong perspective that they use such acronym to experience “worldly” situations, which are right in their own eyes. Persons may think smoking, abusing drugs, engaging in an “SPG” act, and other similar doings are just for the sake of living their precious and significant lives, but are they living theirs the right way?

Though we all have our positions as children of God, we are still sinful in nature, for “we are unspiritual, sold as slaves to sin” (Romans 7:14). None of our works will ever change that fact, for “there is no one righteous, not even one;” (Romans 3:10). Indeed, Jesus Christ has died on the cross for the redemption of all mankind and for the disability of death and sin over us. However, the sad reality for some Christians today is that they take the Son of Man’s death as a VIP card to commit more sins over and over again since the Word promises that through His death comes the forgiveness of our transgressions yesterday, today, and tomorrow, thus resorting to the dark side of YOLO. As mentioned in the previous post “Who is My Look-Alike?”, the word Christian should remain not as a label but as a manifestation of Jesus Christ’s character within ourselves so that people will see Him in every aspect of our lives. However, if we grasp more of our sinful natures than of the living example of Jesus Christ, then why are we called “Christians” in the first place since the Son of Man clearly said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24)? What most people didn’t realize is that Christianity is not all about YOLO – You Only Live Once but about YOLO – You Obey Lord Only. The world will tell us to do more and more sins that can bring us pleasure, happiness, joy, and companionship, but our obedience to the Lord is the perfect defense against such trials and temptations, for the value is like saying, “Only my God will tell me what to do.” As we endure and resist these worldly desires in accordance to our obedience to God, the Bible promises that “[the enemy] will flee from [us]” (James 4:7) and that “we will receive the crown of life that [the Father] has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Indeed, living our lives the right way is a matter of YOLO – You Obey Lord Only :). ~ Zachary Bisenio

Footnote:
(1) SPG – Strict Parental Guidance

Acknowledgements: http://www.brillzilla.de/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=81

Who is My Look-Alike?

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A friend of mine once told me in a private message in Facebook about he and his friends’ nostalgic observation of my look-alike Aaron Taylor-Johnson who took the main-character role in the 2014 blockbuster movie Godzilla. By looking at the Hollywood actor, they were able to see my personification, given the similarities of outer appearances amid minor differences in specific details. At first, I was shocked of such detection, for I did not come to their realizations between our looks; however, the good side of such is that they were able to remember me from an actor whose fame extends among the four corners of the world. Similar from the status quo, people always compare their colleagues from specific persons of outward similarities. For instance, most people would say that one’s smile is like that of his/her older brother, that one’s cute eyes are like those of rapper Nicki Minaj, that one’s buff body features are like those of wrestler John Cena, or that one’s teeth are like those of Naruto at his three-tail form. Nonetheless, the good side of all these comparisons is that people can recall their colleagues from the latter’s look-alikes, ranging from the most famous to the least, from fictional to non-fictional characters, from acquaintances to one’s relatives and friends; however, when our internal features are to be measured, who must people remember?

The term “Christian”, from a Biblical perspective, should not remain and be considered as a label, for Christianity is all about a strong and fulfilling relationship with our Father in heaven and not about a religious entitlement. As water and electricity have different sources, and fruits and vegetables have their roots, our characters as Christians should be coming from one “supplier” who is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, for “He is the true vine, and His Father is the gardener” (John 15:1). Upon looking onto the word Christian, one can see that “Christ” is its base, which without the root word, all standing alone is the suffix “-ian” – I Am Nothing. In fact, the Bible says true to the latter statement, for “apart from Christ, we can do nothing” (John 15:5). Indeed, people may compare us to persons similarly possessing our outward appearances, but the Bible holds the truth that “what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17). This “unseen” refers to our characters that God wants us to obtain before the fulfillment of His plan for us, that our internal features should always be anchored to the qualities of Jesus Christ alone, for “if we remain in the Son of Man and His words remain in us…we [will] bear much fruit, showing ourselves to be His disciples, for this is to the Father’s glory” (John 15:7,8). Once we grasp the essence of such character, we will be prosperous in every aspects of our lives, from high profit rates to business promotions to great academic recognition to restored relationships to joyful companions and to the best of the bests of our existence, for the Bible promises that one will “produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23).

Therefore, as we walk in our faiths in Christ, we will be even grateful if people see Jesus Christ in us. 🙂 ~ Zachary Bisenio

Acknowledgements: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2615908/New-Godzilla-trailer-gives-closer-look-monster-finally-reveals-enemies.htmlhttp://pizap.com/

Letting Go and Letting God (Part II: Raising the White Flag after Times of Painful Sorrows)

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When one comes into situations such as girls’ shopping galore, boys’ computer night outs, and Taylor Swift’s RED concert, all of which bringing absolute joys and happiness, he/she definitely will have a hard time forgetting the great times experienced, felt, and savored during these events. However, if people have this exuding sensation after times of a bright sunshine, can’t they also forget the darkest, harshest, and most heart-broken nights of their lives? These times may be epochs where one’s classmate falsely accused him/her for a grave matter in school, where a man’s best friend intentionally stole his girlfriend from his very hands, or where a gang of sheer criminals painfully raped an innocent woman in the middle of the night. Life is full of circumstances that hinder persons to let go of their past instances, which are bounded by fear, rage, bickering, pride, and greed, all caused by specific people of responsibility. Commonalities would question of the reason of forgetting these trials and challenges, for all they can magnify and detect are the negative attributes surrounding such. Indeed, one can generalize that people always forget a person’s rises and remember a person’s downfalls, but did Jesus Christ say the same idea?

The Bible holds significant onto the attribute of FORGIVENESS, a value that man MAY give and that God WILL give to those guilty of all types of faults. All of us may have valid statements of why specific people are not deserving of our forgiveness, but we have to contemplate on the case of our Lord and Savior. God still chose to sacrifice His one and only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for His life to be “a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45), His blood given up for the cleansing of all people’s sins. History has shown and proven of the people’s beating, mocking, spitting, and thrashing of Jesus Christ during the time of Pontius Pilate due to their false expectations of the Savior heavenly sent for the salvation of Israel, but since “God is love” (1 John 4:18), the Father has forgiven all sinners of the earth through the Lamb that was slain and that through His grace, we are all saved and delivered from the dangers of hell (Ephesians 2:8). We may have 1000 reasons of our undeserving of God’s forgiveness, but our Father has 1001 reasons of His decision for His son, starting with HE LOVES US, PERIOD. We sometimes need justifiable reasons of people’s works against us, but God does not need any explanations, for HE LOVES US, PERIOD, that through the blood of His son, “He will forgive our wickedness and will remember our sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Some people want their suspects experience the pain the former has gone through because of the latter, but Jesus Christ had suffered the bloodiest trials for us, that “[the Father] intended to harm [His Son], but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20), for HE LOVES US, PERIOD. Therefore, if God has shown His love for us through His son Jesus Christ, the time for us to “love one another” (1 John 4:7) is in our reach by letting go of people’s sins and impurities through the Father’s grace to forgive.

Forgiveness is one way to let go of people’s imperfections and to let God do the perfections :). ~ Zachary Bisenio

Acknowledgements: http://www.ginigrey.com/wp/spiritual-insights/letting-go/

 

Letting Go and Letting God (Part I: Raising the White Flag after Times of Immense Joy)

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Among the decisions a person has ever made in life, letting go would probably be the hardest, the most challenging, and the most heart-stricken choice to do and to accomplish, from moments both in happiness and in sadness, in light and in darkness, in richness and in poverty, in ups and in downs. In theory, every tangibles and intangibles has its own emotional value to people in terms of the positives and the negatives that abound within it. For instance, parents can remember the good memories they share with their children by just simply looking onto the smiles on their faces. On the other hand, when one hears a melodramatic song, say P!nk’s “Just Give Me A Reason”, he/she can’t help but to be nostalgic of his/her first break-up in high school. Indeed, people’s letting go is difficult in this world today, but did this same act of raising the white flag also exist in the times of the Bible?

Found in the book of Genesis, Abraham’s account on surrendering his son Isaac to the Lord has been an emotional setback for the father in “letting him go” to the Creator of the universe, the child being the recipient of God’s inheritance to the generations that will come after them. When God spoke to Abraham and said “‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and…sacrifice him as a burnt offering…'” (Genesis 22:2), the latter didn’t choose to compromise and just OBEYED the Lord. Nonetheless, as Abraham was about to slay his beloved son, an angel halted the act and promised, by God, that the father will be blessed, for “he fears God [that] he has not withheld from Him…his only son” (Genesis 22:12). This act of surrendering everything to God has merited Abraham “descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore…through his offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because He has obeyed God” (Genesis 22:18). From this context, one can understand that the choice of letting go is an act bounded on the question, “Who shall we obey?” Indeed, in the light of specific events, people always remember the good times they have when they are with their best friends, families, goods and gadgets, and the like, which make “letting go” an “unknown phrase” in their worldly dictionary. However, when we come to epochs of God’s command of surrendering these “sources of temporary happiness” to Him, we tend to have divisions on our minds either to LET GO or to LET NO. Fortunately, our obedience to the Lord, the true source of our eternal happiness, is equivalent to our submission to His Lordship, showing Him our dependence and our humility that “apart from Him, we can do nothing” (John 15:5). If God promised the “big” rewards to Abraham in due of his obedience, what more for our Lord in this generation if we learn how to obey Him? The Bible promises that “I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6); therefore, the Father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other ancestors is also the same Father who will bless us abundantly for our act of letting go and letting God.

However, if God commands us to let go of those we love and hold significant, can he also command us to let go of the dark sides we have in our lives? (To be continued…) ~ Zachary Bisenio

Acknowledgements: http://www.craigharper.com.au/news/the-power-of-letting-go/

Connected in One Task

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Many would agree with me that one of the happiest moments in life is when people are with their groups of friends and companions. They can share their laughter and their joys, hang out together during special occasions, and invite each other for fun and adventurous road trips within their areas. However, among all of the positive characteristics of such endeavor, the best in these kinds of friendships is the core’s willingness to cooperate and to watch the backs of one another in performing a huge and significant task so that when periods of rewards and merits come, they will all share the happiness together. This value of being linked with other people is a definite importance both in the modern times and in the era of the Bible especially when Jesus Christ had given His final command to His disciples before He ascended into heaven.

The big task for us Christians is to “go out and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe everything what Jesus commanded us” (Matthew 28:19,20) during His stay here on earth. The bad side, however, of this life principle is when we do the mission ALONE, for the most dangerous decision of Christians is being ALONE since these people are the first targets of the devil who “prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This “devour” does not mean its literal side but its allegorical one in which the enemy can thrust one’s mind with indecent images, one’s mouth with foul languages, and one’s emotions with anger and hatred, which gradually make the person far from accomplishing God’s will for him/her. Nonetheless, the God that we serve “knows what we need before we ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Given that a person is alone, our Father has already lined up the right people for him/her to grow and to develop holistically under His reign so that when the enemies of hell come, they will not strike him/her even at the slightest temptation, “for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). Since God is in our side, we can become “dangerous” Christians, for we will not stop until the whole world knows who the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords truly is so that the command will come to its fruition no matter how many obstacles hinder us in our way. Once Jesus’ “last order to His disciples” has been fulfilled, then everybody can enjoy the eternal happiness they will share as they enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, to obey Jesus’ commands of discipleship, one must note that two heads are better than one. ~ Zachary Bisenio

Acknowledgements: http://thesologuide.com/2469/how-long-does-%E2%80%9Clike%E2%80%9D-last/