Sunday, December 26, 2010

Make the right choice

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

When I first became a Christian, I decided that I would somehow find a way to live in two worlds. I was planning to hang out with my old friends and still be a Christian. For a time, it was almost like I was in a state of suspended animation. I wasn’t comfortable with my old buddies, but I wasn’t quite comfortable with the Christians, either.

So I decided to be Mr. Solo Christian. I even said to my friends, “Don’t worry about me. You’re thinking I’ll become a fanatic and carry a Bible and say, ‘Praise the Lord.’ It’ll never happen. I’m going to be cool about this. I won’t embarrass you, but I’m going to believe in God now.”

However, as God became more real to me and I began to follow Him more closely, He changed my life and my outlook and my priorities began to change as well.

There are people who will discourage you from growing spiritually. They’ll say, “I think it’s good you are a Christian. I go to church, too—at Christmas and Easter, and for weddings. But you’re getting a little too fanatical. You actually brought a Bible to work the other day. We were so embarrassed. You’re no fun anymore. We’re glad you have made changes in your life, but don’t become too extreme.” There are people like this who will discourage you.

When this happens, you have the choice to either do what God wants you to do or to go with the flow. So here’s the question: Are you going to let people hold you back? Are you going to let people discourage you from wholehearted commitment to Jesus Christ?

The path will divide before you at this very point. Take the way of God’s blessing and favor! The first step will be the hardest, but He’ll be with you all the way.

(Blue-ridge Broadcasting)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eternal Value

“Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26–27)

In John 6, we see a huge crowd following Jesus in Capernaum. Why is this? Because Jesus had performed His most popular miracle ever: the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus had taken the little boy’s lunch and blessed it and multiplied it. And everyone was filled. They thought, This is great. Not only does He teach us, not only does He dazzle us with miracles, but He gives us a free meal.

When the crowd pursued Him, Jesus told them, essentially, “Let’s skip the formality. I know why you are here. Stop laboring for the bread that simply feeds your stomach. I am the bread of life. I want you to focus on spiritual things. I didn’t do that miracle to just feed you that day. I was trying to teach you something more. Don’t labor for the food that perishes.”

Jesus was saying that life is more than the things of this Earth. Life is more than food, more than clothing, more than possessions, more than a career, more than the pursuit of success. Believe in Him, and eat the bread of life.

Feed on Him every day and grow strong. As Jesus promised, this is food “which endures to eternal life.”

-Blue-ridge Broadcasting-

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Someone's watching

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

A little boy was always getting into trouble in his Sunday School class, so in exasperation, his teacher said to him, “I want you to know that God is watching you all the time. Even when I can’t keep my eyes on you, God has His eyes on you. He is watching you. So you’d better straighten up.”

The boy was terrified by the thought of God watching him all the time. After Sunday School, he told his parents, “The teacher said that God is watching me all the time.” They could see that the thought terrified their son rather than bringing comfort to his heart. So his parents put it into proper context for him. They said, “Yes, it’s true that God is always watching you. But the reason is because He loves you so much that He can’t take His eyes off you.”

Many times when we think of God watching us, what comes to mind are the surveillance cameras we have in public places today. I knew someone who worked in a department store and showed me how these work. They are hidden in places where we tend to never look, and they can pretty much watch everyone.. People don’t even realize a camera is turning around and following them wherever they go.

So when we consider the fact that God is watching us, we might think, That is terrifying. But it all depends. If we are rebelling against the Lord, then the thought of it can be more than a little frightening.

But if our hearts are right with Him, then what an incredible comfort! He never loses track of us, never misplaces our file, never takes His loving attention from us for even one moment. God is watching us, but He loves us so much that He can’t take His eyes off us. We may lose sight of God, but He never loses sight of us.

(Blue-Ridge Broadcasting)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Glorify God

"For you are the temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

God wants to clean your house, cleanse your temple. Under the old covenant, the temple was either a tabernacle in the wilderness or a great building in Jerusalem where the high priest, representing the people, met God.

But ever since the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, God doesn’t live in a temple. John wrote in Revelation 21:3,

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

Under the new covenant, God lives in the hearts and lives of His own people.

We are so careful about cleaning the outside of our bodies. But what about the inside? Is there something that needs to be cleansed inside? The Bible tells us,

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

When we give our lives to Christ and put our trust in Him, He comes in and cleans house. He throws out old clothes, old furniture, even the old food in the refrigerator. Then He lays down beautiful new carpet. He puts in new furniture. He fills the refrigerator with the finest gourmet foods. And we realize that He took the old things away only to put something better in their place.

God wants to clean house. Let Him do that. Invite the Spirit of the living God to do whatever He needs to do to make your life—your inner temple— a place where He will feel at home.

-Blue Ridge Broadcasting-

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Attention with Intention

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mark 4:9)

It is possible to hear God’s Word with our ears, but not with our hearts. Jesus knew that we can often hear without understanding. That is why He would so often say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” If we were to paraphrase that in our modern language, Jesus would be saying, “Pay attention to what I’m saying. Listen carefully to what I am telling you right now.” He who has ears to hear, let him hear. It is attention with intention.

I do quite a bit of traveling. When I get on a plane and take my seat, I hear the safety message that the flight attendants give before every single flight. They have a long list of information to give out, pointing out the exits and the location of the oxygen masks and life vests. But often I don’t pay attention. I may look at a magazine instead. Because I have heard it so many times, I think I don’t need to listen.

But what if a few minutes after takeoff the pilot came on the intercom again and said something like this? “We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties, and the flight attendant is going to go through that safety message for you one more time,” I can guarantee you that I would be listening. Why? Because my life would depend on it. I would want to know where those exits are. I would want to know what steps I needed to take. I would like to survive in an emergency.

And that is precisely how we should read the Word of God. We need to listen carefully. It is attention with intention, listening with the desire to apply what we have read to our own daily situations, because so much depends on that infusion of wisdom and life. Probably more than we’ll ever know.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life is a JOURNEY

“The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Life is simply a journey towards eternity, towards our true home in heaven. Pastor Rick Warren explains this reality in his book, Purpose Driven Life.

He stated that, “Life on earth is just a temporary assignment, it’s like a mist, a fast runner, a breath and a wisp of smoke…” This is so true because “earth is just a temporary residence” or better say a practice ground on what is really waiting for us there in heaven. We won’t be here long so we don’t have to get too attached…

The Bible says “For we were born but yesterday, our days on earth are as transient as shadow…” Job 8:9

There are only two permanent things here on earth and that is “Change” and “God”… We may live 40, 50, 60, 70 years or perhaps longer than that but time would surely come knocking our way and would tell us, “Hey, I’m really sorry, but your life has come to an end…” But let us cheer up co’z it is also the start of our supposed life there in heaven…


Monday, August 9, 2010

Coming Up Empty

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

It’s not that unusual to pick up a newspaper, read an article, or turn on the news and learn that another celebrity has checked into rehab or another rock star has overdosed or committed suicide.

We have a hard time understanding how these “beautiful people,” these men and women who seem so perfect to us in their airbrushed photos and Tinseltown world, could be utterly miserable and bitterly unhappy. The truth is, many of them have the same problems that we do—even though they possess some of the material things we can only dream about. Yet many of them have discovered the emptiness and futility of living for “things” or for “celebrity.”

The world offers a fleeting happiness that comes and goes fast. Its happiness depends entirely on personal circumstances. If things are going well, then you’re happy. If circumstances in your life have taken a bad turn, then you are miserable. But God offers you a happiness that will be there in spite of your circumstances. It’s not a happiness that grows out of what you have, it comes from who you know. The Bible says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15).

The world tells you to take drugs, party, and get drunk. That’s where it’s at, they say. But God says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

Have you been settling for a cheap substitute? If so, you have been coming up empty. Maybe, like Solomon, you will conclude that it is meaningless. Just so much emptiness, like a bubble that bursts or a wisp of a vapor. That’s the conclusion everyone will eventually come to. So you can either take God’s Word for it now or you can learn it the hard way.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Up late... Pondering the meaning of life

We always keep on contemplating the meaning of life. But sometimes it sucks to know that we end up empty handed, we analyze things like this far from reality. Far from what it should be.

We know we were born because of Him. But there are times that we keep on ignoring the fact that we were born with only one purpose, to glorify HIM.

It’s not about you! It’s all about Him! The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your happiness and your very own peace of mind. “It's far greater than our family, our career, or even our wildest dreams and ambitions. If we want to know why we were placed on this planet, we must begin with God. We were born by His purpose and for His purpose.” (Rick Warren)

People of all walks of life are puzzled about the purpose of life. Everyone keeps on searching for the real purpose for thousands of years now. According to a renowned pastor, this happens because “we begin at the wrong starting point------ ourselves!” We constantly ask self-centered questions and most of the time we keep on defying God’s will and go on doing the things that defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

We were born to glorify Him through the spiritual gifts that He gave us. You may be a great musician, then praise Him through your music. Are you an artist? Glorify Him through your works. Could you dance? Then dance like what king David did. Are you a composer? Then write songs for the glory of God! Are you a nurse? A doctor or perhaps a restaurant Supervisor or something? Then do your job for His glory. Everything has a purpose and we should live with that purpose according to His own will. Remember that it’s not for us, it’s all for Him.

“Living for God’s glory is the greatest achievement we can accomplish with our lives.”

Let us praise Him, forever!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Two phases of my Christian life

The initial phase includes the first time I was called by God (2000) to serve Him until the very moment I went back to my old ways due to things that I don’t have so much control. I began doing ugly stuff, vices here and there. Beer, lots of beer for a better cheers!

I lost my faith. I stopped trusting God’s power and like what most backsliders do, I relied on my own understanding unaware that what I am doing would benefit the devil and on the other hand it would certainly destroy the most precious temple, our body, the temple of the Holy Spirit!

But God is really good after all. After several years of ‘hiding’ from Him, (as if I can literally hide from God) He brought me be back to His loving arms. He used some of my Christian friends to convince me that life without God would be futile. They let me realize that there is no other way to salvation but through Christ. Without His love and compassion my life would certainly be empty. It would be dull and worthless! Meaningless!

In layman’s term I was given another chance. A rare opportunity to prove that I’m really worthy to be called a Christian after all what I’ve done and I won’t waste this opportunity. I’ll follow my calling and His will. I know this is tough but who can be against me if God is with me, right?

So be it. Lord let's go! :)


Draw your sword

The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

In the listing of a Christian’s spiritual armor in Ephesians 6, the sword stands alone as an offensive weapon. When I go into battle, I don’t beat my enemy with my shield or try to defeat him with my belt or chase him down with my sandal or throw my helmet at him. I pull my sword out of the sheath and I use it.

Ephesians 6:17 tells us to take up the sword of the Spirit. When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit (see Luke 4:1-13). The devil said, “Why don’t You turn a rock into a piece of bread? I know You’re hungry.”

Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God."

Then the devil said, “Why don’t you worship me right now?”

Jesus responded, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord God only. Him only you shall serve."

“Why don’t you cast yourself off of here, and the angels will catch you,” Satan said, quoting Scripture out of context.

Jesus responded, bringing the Scripture back into context, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God."

The sword of the Spirit it is sharp, it is powerful, and the enemy cannot stand before it. So draw your sword, Christian.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A walking light bulb

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

The religious leaders thought they had eliminated the problem when they crucified Jesus. But now, His disciples were preaching and performing miracles. It was as though Jesus had returned. And so He had—in the hearts and lives of His people.

This reminds us that one of the best arguments for the Christian faith is a transformed life. New believers are the best advertising God could have because their lifestyles change, their attitudes change, and even their countenances change. The greatest biography of Jesus is written in the words and actions of His people. Your godly lifestyle is a testimony, just as if you were a walking miracle, like the lame man whom Peter and John healed.

Jesus told us we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. There is a place to let our lights shine and proclaim the truth of God. And there is a place for us to be salt.

Even if you don’t tell people you are a Christian, they will sense something different about you, and they will watch you. As a representative of Christ, you’re like a walking light bulb.

If you are being the kind of follower of Jesus that God wants you to be, if you are being a “salty” Christian, then your lifestyle will stimulate a thirst for God in others. The greatest compliment is when someone wants to know more, when he or she approaches you and says, “What is it about you?” That is your opportunity to turn on the light.

One paraphrase of Scripture puts it this way: “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” (1 Peter 3:15, The Message).

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Under God's Protection

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

In the New Testament, we have the account of Jesus saying to Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).

Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. You’re sitting near the Lord when He turns to you, looks you in the eyes, calls you by name, and says, “Satan has been asking excessively that you be taken out of the care and protection of God. The devil has been asking for you by name.” I don’t know about you, but if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said that to me, it would be cause for great concern.

Peter was such a big fish that Satan himself went after him. I wonder if the Lord paused for effect: “Satan has been asking for you by name But I have good news, Peter. I have prayed for you.”

It’s a good reminder to us that when the devil comes knocking at our door, we should say, “Lord, would you mind getting that?” We are no match for the devil. But even though he is a powerful foe, he is still a created being, and certainly not as powerful as God. Even so, we don’t want to tangle with him. We want to stand behind God’s protection.

In spite of the devil’s power and wicked agenda, he must first ask permission when it comes to attacking the children of God, because of the hedge of protection that God has placed around us.

God knows what you are ready for. And He won’t give you more than you can handle.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Our choice in life

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

As a guest on Larry King Live a few years ago, Billy Graham was asked to comment on the rash of violence on high school campuses, as well as other problems in our culture. He said, “One thing that is being missed by many people is that the devil is at work.”

That is so true. The devil is at work. When you get down to it, it is the only logical and plausible explanation for the madness that humanity is capable of. Just as surely as there is a God in heaven who loves you, there is a devil from hell who hates you. Jesus summed it up succinctly when He said, speaking of Satan, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). At the end of the day, our choice in life really boils down to belonging to the Lord, or belonging to Satan. There is no third, “independent” option.

A lot of people say they don’t choose either. But in reality, by not choosing God, they choose the devil by default. There are no other choices. One of Satan’s most brilliant strategies is to convince people he does not exist, when all the while, he is manipulating their lives. Humanity is basically bad. And it is the devil who works through the fallen nature of human beings, getting them to do the evil things that he does.

God gives us a choice in life. We aren’t forced to choose Him. Nor are we forced to choose the devil. But God has given us something called free will. We can choose sin, which leads to death. Or we can choose obedience to God, which leads to righteousness.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The source of happiness

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. (Psalm 30:11)

It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.

If you chase after pleasure, you will eventually come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full.’ But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2, TLB).

The Bible tells us that if the driving desire of our lives is to please ourselves, that very quest will be the source of endless problems and heartaches. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it” (James 4:1-2, NLT).

It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It’s ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of.

Certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure—a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being. Pleasure isn’t in itself a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because God is the creator of light and laughter and joy beginning here and now, and stretching on into eternity. The Bible teaches, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11, NIV).

Cheap thrills are a dime a dozen. True and lasting happiness comes from the hand of God.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blessings for all

“… for He makes His sun to rise on bad and good…” – Matthew 5:45

Have you noticed how that lazy, stubborn, good-for-nothing bum breathes the same air that you breathe — for free?
Do you see how that loudmouth, backstabbing, slandering neighbor or classmate or officemate of yours get warmed by the same sun and showered by the same rain? Observe how all people are blessed by God every day. Why? Because God loves them all. God loves us all.

But here’s the catch.

Notice how loving, generous, forgiving, grateful, peaceful, prayerful and happy people seem to get “more of God’s blessings”? It’s because they are the ones who are more open to receive them.

But realize that God never stops blessing those who are seemingly “closed” to these blessings. Grace, mercy, healing, miracles are there for the taking — anytime — if they open themselves to God. In fact, many of God’s supply — like the air, the sun, the rain — just keep on coming. And only fools will close themselves to these. Which means God does not stop loving them.

Now why should you give up on them… or give up on yourself?

(KYRGMA Family)

Remember to forget

Where is another God like you, who pardons the sins of the survivors among his people? You cannot stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing mercy. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (Micah 7:18-19, NLT)

Have you ever done anything that you’re ashamed of? Have you ever done things you wished you hadn’t? If you have repented of those sins and have turned your back on them, the Bible clearly teaches that you are forgiven.

There is something in us that wants to keep dredging up our sins. Maybe we feel that by doing so, we are somehow making amends for the wrong that we’ve done. Maybe by punishing ourselves, we think we are somehow appeasing God. But this is wrong—and thoroughly unscriptural.

The book of Acts tells us: “Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God—something the Jewish law could never do” (Acts 13:38-39, NLT).

Speaking of our sins, God said, “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Hebrews 8:12, NLT).

In the verse that opens today’s devotional, the prophet speaks of God throwing our sins into the depths of the ocean. Have you ever lost anything in a lake or in the ocean? It’s pretty much a lost cause. Once it goes down, it goes way down. And that is what God has done with our sins: He has thrown them into the deepest part of the ocean. Simply put, our sins are G-O-N-E and you and I shouldn’t choose to remember what God has chosen to forget.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Just Getting Started

He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

When I look back on my life at the things God has allowed me to do and the opportunities He has opened up, I can see the wisdom of His perfect timing.

Our tendency is to rush things. But just because something has never happened in your life today doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow. And just because it doesn’t happen tomorrow doesn’t mean it won’t happen a month or a year from now. Maybe one phase of your life is ending and another is beginning. Maybe everything that has happened to you up to this point in your life has been preparation for what is still ahead.

Moses didn’t get going until he was eighty. Then there was Caleb, another Israelite who left Egypt in the Exodus. Along with Joshua, Caleb came back full of optimism and belief when they were sent to spy out the Promised Land. But when the Israelites believed the pessimistic report of the ten other spies, God was so displeased that He refused to allow them to enter the land.

Years later, when Joshua led a new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land, Caleb was among them. And at eighty years old, he said to Joshua, “I’m asking you to give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the Anakites living there in great, walled cities. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said” (Joshua 14:12, NLT). Joshua gave him his little segment of land as was promised, and Caleb drove out all of its inhabitants. Caleb believed God’s promises, and God was faithful. We need to do the same.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Getting to the root

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (2 Corinthians 10:4, NLT)

So often when something is going wrong in our country, we want to protest, circulate a petition, or maybe organize a boycott. But did you know that as believers, we have something infinitely more powerful than those methods? It’s called prayer, and the Bible tells us to devote ourselves to it (see Colossians 4:2).

We need to pray for our country. We need to pray for people who need to hear the gospel. And we need to share that gospel! We need to offer the good news of Jesus Christ to that woman who wants to abort her child. We need to speak forth the gospel message with that man or woman who is trapped in the homosexual lifestyle. We need to explain the way of salvation to gang members and those in our society who are hurting.

As people learn there is another kingdom, it will change the way they live in this one. Far too often, we Christians have been preoccupied with the symptoms in our society and haven’t touched the root of the problem. The root is sin. The solution is the gospel.

So let’s get the solution to the root. Our country needs to turn back to God. We keep thinking that a new president will solve all of our problems—or maybe some new members of congress—or some new government program. But our nation’s problems won’t be solved through any efforts of our own doing. We need to turn back to God.

Let’s tell others about Christ and not be so preoccupied with what they’re doing because of their sin. Let’s try to reach people where they are really hurting.

And let’s never forget that prayer isn’t wishing or hoping it is power.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Back-up Plan

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 21)

When police officers are in trouble, what do they do? They call for backup. That is what believers need to do as well. When we are being hassled or tempted, we need to call for backup. We are to stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Notice it doesn’t say that we are to submit to God and carry on extended conversations with the devil. We want to keep our distance from the enemy, being careful never to yield to his suggestions.

Disobedient and persistent waywardness provides the enemy a foothold from which he can attack and influence the Christian. So flee temptation and don’t leave a forwarding address. Keep your distance from the things that could drag you down.

We must learn from the example of the Israelites who, in spite of their privileges and exposure to miracles, did not keep themselves in the love of God. As a result, they faced judgment.

We must learn from the example of the fallen angels who, even though they once worshiped God in heaven, rebelled against Him and became demons in hell.

We must learn from the example of the people living in Sodom and Gomorrah who, in spite of the fact that they were exposed to the preaching and ministry of Abraham, Lot, and even Melchizedek, they rebelled against God.

These all failed to keep themselves in the love of God. So let’s make sure we are taking every step to succeed.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The rich Pinoy Hero Manny Pacquiao

Billionaire Pacquiao banks $12-M more
ABS-CBN - Monday, March 15

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[Billionaire Pacquiao banks $12-M more] Billionaire Pacquiao banks $12-M more

DALLAS – Manny Pacquiao is now a certified billionaire, based on his earnings on the ring.

Counting his guaranteed purse $12 million for his fight with Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium, the 31-year-old icon has reached the $53 million mark in his last four fights in the United States.

And while it doesn’t mean that he has taken home as much, since there are huge deductions to be computed, what’s certain is that Pacquiao is now rated as one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

Pacquiao, who said he earned the equivalent of $20 in his first professional fight in 1995, got $15 million for facing Oscar de la Hoya in 2008, and $13 million for each fight against Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto last year.

With these four fights alone, he has earned, on paper, a grand total of P2.438 billion, which is enough to fund a presidential campaign in the Philippines.

Aside from his guaranteed purse, Pacquiao also stands to earn through the pay-per-view sales, ticket sales, gate receipts, merchandise and television rights. For the De la Hoya fight, he earned close to $20 million in all.

And this won’t stop as long as he continues winning.

Before the Clottey fight was sealed, Pacquiao faced the possibility of earning as much as $30 million to $40 million for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. But the negotiations fell apart and the fight did not push through.

Now that Clottey is out of the picture, the question is “Will the Mayweather fight now happen?”

Pacquiao said it might.

“Yes, I want the fight. The people want that fight. So, it’s up to him,” said Pacquiao of the ex-pound-for-pound champion who puts his undefeated record at stake against WBA welterweight king Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas.

“I have no problem fighting him. Anytime. But I don’t think he’s ready now. Or he should win against Mosley. If not, maybe Mosley and I will fight,” said Pacquiao.

The Pacquiao-Mayweather fell apart after the flamboyant American demanded an Olympic-style drug-testing that would require blood tests on days very close to the fight.

Pacquiao said he’d have none of it, saying drawing of blood close to the fight makes him weak, and offered a compromise that blood be taken 24 days before the fight and right after the fight.

And the fight that should break all previous records in boxing went up in smoke.

Pacquiao earnings through the years

1. Lehlo Ledwaba 2001 $40,000 2. Agapito Sanchez 2001 $120,000 3. Fabbrakob Rakkiatgym 2002 P1 million 4. Serikzhan Yeshmangbetov 2003 P1 million 5. Jorge Julio 2002 $70,000 6. Marco Antonio Barrera 2003 $500,000 7. Juan Manuel Marquez 2004 $750,000 8. Fashan 3K Battery 2004 P3 million 9. Erik Morales 2005 $1.75 million 10. Hector Velasquez 2005 $750,000 11. Erik Morales 2006 $2 million 12. Oscar Larios 2006 $1 million 13. Erik Morales 2006 $2.5 million 14. Jorge Solis 2007 $2 million 15. Marco Antonio Barrera 2007 $3 million 16. Juan Manuel Marquez 2008 $3 million 17. David Diaz 2008 $3 million 18. Oscar de la Hoya 2008 $15 million 19. Ricky Hatton 2009 $13 million 20. Miguel Cotto 2009 $13 million 21. Joshua Clottey 2010 $12 million