Posts Tagged ‘religion’

As soon as the priest who carry the ark of the Lord- the Lord of all the earth- set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.(Joshua 3:13)

Who can help but admire those brave Levites! They carried the Ark of the Covenant right into the water, for the river was not divided until “their feet touched the water’s edge” (v.15).

God has promised nothing else.

God honors faith- stubborn faith- that sees His PROMISE and look to that alone. We only imagine how bystanders today, watching these holy men of God march on, would say, “You will never catch us, running that risk! The ark will be swept away!” Yet “the priests… stood firm on dry ground” (v.17). We must not overlook the fact that faith on our part helps God to carry out His plans. Be willing to come to the help of the Lord.

The Ark of the Covenant was equipped with poles so the priests could raise it to their shoulders. So even the ark of God did not move itself but was carried. When God is the architect, men are the bricklayers and laborers. Faith assists God. It can shut the mouths of the lions and quench the most destructive fire. Faith still honors God and God honors faith.

Oh, for the kind of faith that will move ahead, leaving God to fulfill His promise when He sees it! Fellow Levites let us shoulder our load, without looking as though we were carrying God’s coffin. It is the ark of the living God! Sing as you march toward the flood! Thomas Champness.

One of the distinguishing marks of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament church was the spirit of boldness. One of the great essential qualities of the kind of faith that will attempt great things for God and except great things from God is holy boldness and daring. When dealing with a supernatural Being and taking things from Him that are humanly impossible, it is actually easier for us to take a lot than it is to take a little. And it is easier to stand in a place of bold trust than in a place where we cautiously and timidity cling to the shore.

Likewise sailors living a life of faith, let us launch our ships into the deep. We will find that things are “possible with God” (Luke 18:27), and “everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23)

Today let us attempt great things for God, taking His faith to believe great things and taking His strength to accomplish them! From Days of Heaven upon Earth.

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In my previous post I promise to give a commentary on Christine Bersola’s article at Philippine Star’s Parentin Talk entitled “Being Gay” having Clinical Psychologist Dr. Camille Garcia on the footnote. It can be noted that both the author and her resource person received backlash from the LGBT community, Psychology body and from those who are practicing related field of discipline. And even ordinary person like me.

Personally I do not feel that this is a particular issue that will impact the Philippines so much like a raise of credit rating to AAA but it is important that we will understand such issues that stirred public concern and interest. Especially coming from people we understood as authorities in certain field of discipline – in this case clinical psychology. Simply because you do not want to be swayed into believing an idea that is based on a predisposition that it was said by so called “expert’s opinion” and not the truth. The attempt to explain it is admirable but it is the truth that we truly needs.

The article started with multiple questions and from there the entire discussion progress. My commentary starts after each and every Dr. Camille’s response.

Let me add a bit of personal disclaimer here. This is an incredibly complicated topic, one in which emotion and socio-politics play a very important role. Personally, I do not know how this will play out, but I’m certain that not everyone is gifted with readiness and unparalleled intellects to understand or even listen to this topic.

  • What are the early signs? I’ve read that when a two- or three-year-old plays with girl’s toys, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is gay since that is just the “curiosity phase.” Is this true? At what age will the signs of true “gayness” come out?

            Dr. Camille: “Others may say that doing something effeminate is already a sign of gayness like playing with female toys, being effeminate in some ways, etc. Remember the child, at this age, does not know the girl-boy gender yet. It’s up to the parents to make the child be aware of his/her gender: ‘Ikaw ay babae, siya ay lalaki.’

            “True gayness comes out at pubertal stage. (It is when the child desires or has a crush on the same sex.) What is wrong with some parents is encouraging the behavior. It’s like when a parent says, ‘Kung ano ang binigay sa amin ng Diyos tatanggapin namin.’

COMMENT:

First, let me borrow the term she used “gayness” to refer to homosexuals. I’d like to say that Dr. Camille is right. It is responsible parenthood to inform the child of his gender. And it is also the role of the parents to see to it that the child understands his sexuality – in case of confusion and identity matching. Usually this happens as early as 3 years old up to early adolescence stage. But to say that true gayness comes out pubertal stage, I think this is her hunch more than an expert opinion. Why? Because there is no such thing as true gayness as there is no such thing as false gayness. The problem really starts from labeling it in an attempt to explain it better. But you see, by labeling it, it only created more confusion. If you’re gay then you’re gay, if you’re not then you’re straight. There is no such thing as in between line for the main reason that gayness is already the line that draws the difference between the male and the female gender.

Gayness is irrespective of your life stage. It does not consider whether you are in your early childhood, adolescence, and puberty or adulthood stage. This is because one’s awakening is unique. You may have lived as a man for many years yet when you reached 45 you realized that you’re gay.

  • Should parents be alarmed and arrest the situation? Or       encourage it?

            Dr. Camille: “Arrest the situation, ’yun ang tama. But most parents encourage the situation. Tatanggapin agad. Let’s be moral in making the child understand the situation, di ba yun ang dapat. We tell our child, ‘Anak, mali ito.’”

COMMENT:

Another personal disclaimer needed here, I am not yet a parent so I am no position to coach other parents. But if I am a parent right now, I’d definitely agree with her that first thing parents should do is to arrest the situation … but with a very big BUT, it should be treated with caution. Dr. Camille said, “Let’s be moral in making the child understand the situation, di ba yun ang dapat. We tell our child, ‘Anak, mali ito.’

Why mali (wrong)? That’s the big issue. Isn’t that morality was set only by humans and society? A lot of the parents arrest this situation by extending morality to biblical lengths. That God would hate children if they are gay. As if these kids have the choice. Verily, this is the main reason why our gays are apprehensive in going to church when in fact the church is not made for the righteous. The very institution where they should feel most safe loved and accepted. Because they were already judged by erroneous parenting. Please do not let your children become a victim of our unfair societal standards.

What on earth am I saying? My point is, it is not enough to tell the child that it is wrong. As a parent, you have to explain, discuss to a child the reason why it is wrong. However, you do not discuss to a child that something is wrong with his personality. Not all parents are competent and equipped with the right skill to tackle such sensitive child-rearing issues. When you force to do that you will only cause the child to question his inner being and doubt his self-worth.

What you should do instead is to assure him of your love. Love is infallible. It has no mistakes, for the mistakes of love are the wants of it.

  • How should the parents address this? Some parents resort to threat and extreme military-style punishment. Some parents go to great lengths to explain to the child the consequences of being gay, so that the child can think, then make a choice.

            Dr. Camille: “Threat and punishment encourage the child more to do things wrongly, because you are shutting off the situation. Make sure you discuss with your child openly. ‘Alam mo anak, hindi namin gusto yung ginugusto mo.’

           “Explain that he is a boy and therefore, as boys, they grow up as men and their partners are women. ‘Hindi kasi tama ang makasama sa buhay at magpapamilya ay parehas na lalaki. Kung ayaw mo itama ang ginugusto mo, hindi namin matatanggap yun.’

            “Things can be discussed fully. At least you have attempted to talk it out with your child, explaining the moral and complex implication of what he likes. Remember you can have effeminate ways, but you never desire men. Yun yung emphasis ng pagtuturo sa bata. After pubertal stage, it’s a different story.”

COMMENT:

Let me say that threat and military style punishment is the most shameful act of discipline. Yes it is discipline but it is based on violence and physical aggression- definitely not of LOVE. Punishment breeds fear but love breeds respect.

I don’t know with you but to say, “‘Alam mo anak, hindi namin gusto yung ginugusto mo.’ Sounds more of telling them, “Anak magbago ka dahil kung hindi ay hindi ka namin magugustuhan.”

The moral foundation of the child is still very young to understand the complexity of the right and wrong concept. You do not infuse your concept of wrong to the child. That will be a deliberate intrusion to the child’s free moral values formation.

You say, Oh! Wait a minute, isn’t it my right as a parent to guide my children? The answer is YES. But you have to be careful not to impose your own moral conviction towards the young mind because not all parents can even guarantee the uprightness of their own moral beliefs. What you should do is to discuss with them the reason why it is wrong but leave enough room of liberty for him to discern upon himself whether you are right indeed or not. Over time the child will realize that. That will make them respect you even more.

  • Why is being gay still considered a shame for conservative families, even now that we are living in modern times that gays are accepted in our society? Gays (both male and female) are contributing well to our society, in different professional fields.

            Dr. Camille: “Most families still cannot accept the fact that something went wrong with their parenting. They feel that something is not right — moral issues are always part of the issues, especially to the Christian and close family ties. “Traditions and culture as well are still part of the family structure that greatly influences their views regarding homosexuality.

            “Remember, since child rearing and proper parenting are part of one’s holistic disposition, the lifestyle and preference he will choose is considered to be part of what a parent has nurtured and instilled in him.

COMMENT:

There is no worse of a feeling than to feel unapproved in your own household. A home is where a child should feel the very first love, respect and acceptance. If the parents impose to their gay child to change against their own volition it will only result to rebellion. The child will only struggle to satisfy his parents leaving a long travail of sadness and despair all in the pursuit of getting parent’s approval. Gayness should not be treated as a behavioral problem that with discipline, one can change; simply because “gayness” is not a behavioral problem in the first place. It is an identity. End of story.

  • Is being gay really a lifestyle choice? Or genetically influenced?

            Dr. Camille: “The genetic predisposition is there but if from the start it is corrected, maiaayos. Remember, genetic predisposition. Hindi minana, na at the start bakla siya. Ipinanganak siyang lalaki o babae. Ikaw na magulang ang mag aayos at magtuturo. Thus, the lifestyle and preference become prevalent rather than the genetic factors. This is the most Christian and appropriate explanation I can give.”

COMMENT:

Though I could not contend that genetics and choice are some intervening factors why a guy or a gal becomes gay, to reduce it into two – the Nature and Nurture is still shortcoming. Because I believe this is more multifarious than what we understand. Many became gays because of child abuse, incest etcetera. It is just complicated, therefore to explain it by virtue of “expert opinions” and not of established research is misleading. If above is Dr. Camille’s most Christian explanation, could there be any unchristian explanation? What’s more accurate then?

Towards the end of the article Christine Bersola proudly gave an example as to why her baby boy will never have a tendency of becoming gay;

            As a mom who has a three-year-old son named Nio, my personal take on the matter is this: Nio, when curious, plays with his big sister’s toys. But we always point it out to him that those are toys for girls, and these are toys for boys. We compare toys so that he will understand.

            Apart from toys, he chooses what clothes and shoes to wear, and his choices are very masculine. I think the presence of a dominant male figure in our home, that is Julius my husband, is a great factor why Nio is very much male. They play rough games such as boxing, kiddie baseball, sword fights, wrestling and the like. I think that activities such as these will help establish the child’s gender role.

I find this analogy rather amusing and poor. Let me give you an example, I have known a friend who during our childhood was so keen about karate and shako. His father enrolled him to karate classes. He could even beat me and any boys in the class. His enthusiasm remained until he became a Palarong Pambansa Taekwondo Champion in High School and PRISAA Taekwondo Champion in college. He is gay. And he said that he loves his make-up as much as he loves Taekwondo. I am sure you know many stories like this. Hence, one’s choice of toys or preference in physical activities is never a guarantee of someone’s gender orientation.

Gays are probably the most creative, versatile, adaptive, humorous, talented, articulate, prolific, and special people I know. They possess both the empathy of a mother and the protective arms of a father. Gays like any beautiful creatures of God deserves our respect. If you say gays are sinners, well God loves the sinner. It is sin that He hates. If you say that it is just the same, think again! It is our job to love and leave judging to God.

I would like to make a radical statement. I do not believe that the psychology taught in the academe is enough to explain the complexities and diversity of man’s personality, behavior or traits. What I believe is this; that up to this very age, we are still in a journey of knowing ourselves – because if we truly understood ourselves, we would have known better. We would have not judged someone’s ethnicity, gender and moral convictions. We would not have biases on ideas that favor popular concepts as set by moralist, religion or leaders. We would have been more tolerant in accepting individual differences on account of true acceptance by completely understanding each other. I do not think if we have truly comprehended that.

No one is an expert of one particular gender unless he/she is of that gender. To say otherwise means he/she has lived a life of that gender. And to insist about it by way of established research does not make anyone even an expert. In other words, only gays can passionately understand and discuss the how and what of being gay. Period.

Please tell me what you think. Leave a comment below. 

It is interesting to discover that you hold an incredible source of power everyday. And it may seem ordinary but this power can catapult you higher than how you imagine your life to be. This power is called “The Power of I Am.”

However, the Power of I AM does not really resides in these two words “I AM.” The immense power of it lies on the words or phrases that follow after. I am blessed, I am strong, I am healthy instead of I am unlucky, I am weak or I am sickly.

What follows the word “I AM” can either cause you success or failure.

Often, we use the power of I am against us. A single mother says, “I am broke.” A student says, “I will never pass the test.” A businessman says, “I am full of debt.”

The principle is this; whatever you say after the I Am is coming and looking for you. If you say, “I am fat…” calories come looking for you. “I am old…” wrinkles are heading your way. “I am just average…” mediocrity presents itself anytime.

The good news is we have the choice what follows after the “I AM”. You may not be feeling at par nevertheless you can say, “I am healthy.” You may not be feeling exceptionally good about your looks today nonetheless you can claim, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” You may be having doubts about the result of your medical exam yet you can claim with such vigor, “I am healed! I am healthy!” You can shout to yourself that “I am wealthy and remarkably prosperous…” even if your bank account tells you otherwise.

The bible even said in proverbs, “What the man thinketh, he becometh…” Prov. 23:7

It only affirms the reality that the thoughts we accept upon our minds and the declarations we say upon ourselves has colossal powers that can transform our lives for either the best of life or the worst of life. And if you are smart, you have to learn to declare blessings and positive affirmations within your self.

Imagine a five star restaurant. The entire surroundings are lavishly decorated worth for a king. But if you do not order, you will still starve to death. Your life is no different. You may have a gallant life envied by many yet you feel down and miserable inside. Until you learn to declare the good things in your life – you will forever feel that way. When you declare the good I AM’s in your life, it is like the same restaurant where the angels are the waiters. What you order is exactly what you will get. If you order good health then you will be served with decent health. If you order prosperity then you will have an avalanche of enormous affluence.

Stop declaring dissolute declarations in your life. Start blessing your life with avowals that are meant to encourage you positively. Use the “Power of I AM” with only wonderful words and phrases after it.

Say it. Declare it. Believe it. And prepare to receive it. For whatever you say you are – is you indeed.

Why must I weep while others sing?
To test the deep of suffering.

Why must I work while others rest?
To spend my strength at God’s request.

Why must I lose while others gain?
To understand defeats sharp pain.

Why must this lot of life be mine?
When that which fairer seems is thine?
Because God knows what plans for me
will blossoms in eternity.

In my country – the Philippines, we have this ancient old tradition of kinship and hospitality. In fact, this is what and how Filipinos are known in the world. We are hospitable (at least to the general point of view). Respect is ingrained into the deepest spirals of our genes that it would seemed to be a taboo if you do not kiss the hands of your elders when you leave or arrive home.

I spent most of my childhood living in laid-back countryside. Houses are usually made of wood or bamboo. Modest living, but these people are happy. We are happy. Simple, less complications and everyone else feels contented with their lives. One day, as a 5 year old kid, I was amazed by how several strong men in the village carefully helped each other transferring a house into a different location. That’s really crazy. These men appears like ants carrying a heavy load of bread crumbs somewhere synchronizing each move to carry out a goal. This is called “Bayanihan”. I learned that they don’t get paid after doing it. It is the abundance and the kindness in their hearts that drove them to do it.

Bayanihan

I believe that there are so many places in the world where great respect for others emanated the atmosphere. But after many years of liberalism, I wonder how many places at present still practices this admirable value system. Sadly, as the world grows older, respect and kindness to others is nothing but like a vapor that slowly dissipates into thin air.

Years have passed and now I am in my mid 20’s. I’ll take you in the streets of Manila. It is the busiest city of the country. You will see people moving in fast paces as if they are in a chase of something illusive. Some may bump each other or rubbed each other’s elbows but it is as if their skins are thick and numb by just consciously ignoring the other. And it is in this way that people misses so much opportunity to actually be kind.

But here’s more. When you actually go an extra mile of helping somebody like an old woman carrying a heavy bag across the street, you would find them refusing even though it’s clear that they could not even lift it an inch from the ground. You know why? Because they fear that you will steal it and run away. Whatever happened to our faith in the goodness of mankind? Whatever happened to our desire to help and willingness to be served? We now learned to doubt the kindness and generosity of others as if the only creatures able to do it are angels.

You get what you vibrate.

The story should not end here. You and I, young and old, rich or poor must remain to be a vessel of kindness. It may be sad to learn that we are few. But when the supply is scarce, that means the demand is high. It is not everyday that you and I experiences kindness from others hence, there is so much need to fill out there, so much opportunity to also receive back what we vibrate – with interest.

If you vibrate kindness to others then you too will receive kindness from other people. It may not be coming from the same person but remember, the universe is obedient. It does what you did with it. Jesus said, “you reap what you sow’. If you sow a single seed of kindness and respect, you too will enjoy the abundant harvest of the fruit.

Together, let us vibrate something good in a world that enormously thirst for it.