Reflections From The Bible And Life

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Good Shepherd S-179 Electronic Bible Reader For Sale!!!

Good Shepherd S-179 bible player

This bible player is the result of a five-year digitizing and remastering process of old Christian and catholic cassette libraries and audio files discovered or presented to us. Some of the original materials are from very rare sources. Much of the material come from whom sources who have been gracious enough to grant us the permission for use them.

This player has the ability to navigate sequentially by content type, by book, and by chapter, as well as it has the capability of going straight to the specific content type, book and chapter by entering the specific code indicated on the User’s Guide. (provided with the product)

It comes with pouch, strap, Nokia type BL-5C battery, earphones, USB cable, wall charger, instruction manual and User’s Guide which indicates the codes for each Book and Chapter for each version.

There are 4 Version Packages for you to choose from:

HA – New American Bible (NAB), with Catholic hymns, Catholic History, Catholic Saints, Catholic Saints, Catholic Prayer, Catholic Sermons and Teachings, Catholic Courses and Catholic Insight.

HB– Douay–Rheims (Catholic version) – (Old testament and new Testament), with Catholic hymns, Catholic History, Catholic Saints, Catholic Saints, Catholic Prayer, Catholic Sermons and Teachings, Catholic Courses and Catholic Insight.

JA- King James Version (Old and New Testament), New King James Version (Old and New Testament), Magandang Balita Biblia (Old and New Testament), The Bible Experience ( The Complete Bible ) – published by Zondervan. The script used is based on the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) Bible translation, (The bible is read with realistic voices and background sounds and music), The Daily Message – used for bible study group sessions. (uses The Message version), The Message (Old Testament and New Testament), plus Christian songs.

JB – New international Version (NIV), New American Standard (NAS), Magandang Balita Biblia (Old and New Testament), The Bible Experience ( The Complete Bible ) – published by Zondervan. The script used is based on the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) Bible translation, (The bible is read with realistic voices and background sounds and music), The Daily Message – used for bible study group sessions. (uses The Message version), The Message (Old Testament and New Testament), plus Christian songs.

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The Power Of Faith

Before I start blogging about faith, what is faith? Based on Hebrews 11:1, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is being sure of what we hope for and what we don’t see. It is being sure of what’s in store for the future. We have to be fully confirmed, for us to say that we have faith in God.  Hebrews 11:6 states, “without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” We must believe that He exists, for He rewards those who seek Him earnestly.

 
There are 3 fundamentals of faith:
We need to act in faith. By reading Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:13-15, and James 2:17, by faith, despite his age, he chose to follow what God commanded him to do. He respected what was directed by God, even when he could not see God. The fear of warnings given by God about events as yet unseen, were as real to him as if he could see it with his own eyes. He respected the warning, and despite his old age, he did what he was told to do, and he followed every detailed instruction, with the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits, and so on and so forth. 
 
Imagine if you were Noah and you were of retirement age, and you are told to build an ark that size all by yourself, to save your family and some animals. Would you do it as well? 
 
James 2:17 states, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” It would be useless to say you have faith, inspire others with biblical wisdom, yet when you yourself face such trials you end up in the same situation as the people who you try to help. We have to believe, and not just know. We have to act in faith.
 
We need to believe by faith. Hebrews 11:8, Genesis 12:1-3, and Hebrews 11:9-10 describes how Abraham acted by faith. Abraham was told that he would receive his inheritance at an unknown place, yet he blindly followed. Imagine the quality of life which he must have left behind, and instead, he became a wanderer, living in tents, where he was just a mere stranger. This promise that God told Abraham did not happen instantly. In fact, the 2 generations that followed after him, his son, Isaac, and Jacob, Isaac’s son, also lived in tents. They were as foreigners in this land where they were told to settle. Despite this, Abraham remained faithful, for he believed in the promised of God, and looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Abraham did not need any proof from God, for He trusted God and believed in His wisdom, His goodness and in His sovereignty.
 
“True faith rests in the true character of God and asks no further proofs than the moral perfection of the one who cannot lie. It is enough that God has said it” – A. W. Tozer
 
We need to persevere by faith. Christianity is an endurance race, not a sprint competition. Genesis 18:11-12 shows us that decades have passed since the time God made His promise to Abraham. He was 75 at that time, and in this verse, he was already around 100, so around 25 years after. This is where his faith has persevered. He might have lost a bit of faith by sleeping with his servant, thinking that Sarah was too old to bear a child, but in the end he still listened, and Sarah became pregnant, as mentioned in Hebrews 11:11. God is in the business of doing miracles. He is faithful and able.
 
Hebrews 6:12 states, “so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” We have to believe in His sovereignty, His goodness, His perfection, His wisdom, His perfect timing, and we should have the patience to wait for His perfect timing to bless us with His promises, for us to actually inherit His promises. 
 
In Jesus’ own words in Matthew 19:26, he says, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” What we may perceive as an impossible feat may be easily possible with God. We shouldn’t be impatient nor feel insecure nor lose hope, as long as we know that He is on our side and that He will not abandon us. We should know that in His perfect timing, and not ours, He will bless us, and when He does, we will be blessed in abundance that we will be overwhelmed. 

From Ashes to Ashes

John 2:12-18; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20 to 6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Sorry for this late post, but this was intended for yesterday. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of a 40-day liturgical period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Historically, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. It is on this day that we are reminded of who we are where we came from, who made us, and where we are heading at the end of this life. Nothing is permanent in this world. From ashes we came, and so we leave in ashes. The Lord can take away what He so generously gives, anytime He wishes to. But we are also reminded of God’s mercy when God had to make Himself human so that mankind could redeem himself. Since no human is perfect and sinless, Jesus had to come down and sacrifice Himself for us, cleansing us from all our sins, so that we may be reconciled with God. Such is God’s love.

The 40 days of prayer and fasting is for us to focus on what evil we did in the past, and for us to repent. It is a time to reflect on ourselves, recognize our sins and approach the Lord in broken spirit, and in gratitude for His mercy. We fast so that our focus on the Lord may be clearer, void of any distractions in life. This is our alone moments with our Lord.

In Matthew 6, as we read it, we will realize that fasting was a regular thing back in the days of Jesus. “When you fast” and not “If you fast”. It is not an optional thing, but is what’s expected of us.

A normal person who has realized his mistakes toward the person he committed sin against, will be apologetic and will want to make it up to him. Likewise, if we truly recognize our sins and truly repent, we will have the natural desire to want to pray to the Lord, to fast and help others out in any way we can.

In the bible, it is repeatedly mentioned that when we fast, we shouldn’t let anyone know that we are fasting. We fast out of being remorseful and out of the desire to be deeply in commune with the Lord, without any distractions in life, no matter how subtle they may be. This is a private matter between you and the Lord, and doesn’t concern others. You don’t have to show others that you are fasting. Same thing with helping others. Do not let the left hand know what the other hand is doing. Do everything silently and humbly, for there is no need to announce anything because the Lord sees what’s in your heart.

I would highly suggest that you fast once a week, and not just during Lenten period, to strengthen our relationship with the Lord and keep ourselves in check regularly. This way, we will always be reminded of God’s love and mercy, and what matters most in this life, and to keep ourselves in check as well.

God’s grace is always there. The salvation offered by Jesus is there. We just have to accept it. As ambassadors of Christ, we should also allow this grace to be available to others.

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Wedding After Funeral

Deuteronomy 23:1-5; Ruth

The Lord finds favor on those who obey, endure in love, and remain faithful to Him no matter what situation they are in. Nothing bad will happen as long as you place your trust in Him.

When Moses led Israel out of Egypt, the journey was long in years. They passed through many cities, and one of which was Balak’s kingdom. Balak hired a prophet of doom named Balaam, to prophesy curses upon God’s people as they were passing through, and so this verse, “However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord loves you.” from Deuteronomy 23:5, shows us God’s love.

While Balaam’s curses came into reality for 3 Moabites husbands, God saw how obedient, selfless, and faithful a daughter-in-law Ruth was, and so He found favor in her. He turned this curse into a blessing. He blessed the Israelites in the end with the union of Boaz and Ruth with their consummation the Lord blessed them with a child.

Ruth was given the option of leaving her mother-in-law and head back to her family, but she chose not to, because she felt she had a role of daughter-in-law to fulfill, and it didn’t matter if her husband was dead, as long as her mother-in-law was alive. Ruth was strongly committed to sticking with her mother-in-law.

Ruth also honored her mother-in-law by obeying her instructions to her. This showed faith in God. She trusted God enough to obey His commandment to honor your parents, and in this case, her mother-in-law.

In return, god blessed her with Boaz. Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, provided a glorious destiny for Ruth.

For me, Ruth nowadays symbolizes the present-day Church, and Boaz as Christ. Jesus, as our redeemer, provides a glorious destiny for us…. eternal Heaven!

God wants us to remain faithful, enduring, persevering, obedient, and trustworthy to Him. He wants us to be filled with love as well, especially at times when it’s hard to do so due to our present situation.

You got nothing to be worried about as long as your heart belongs to God. God will always move mountains for you, and nothing is impossible with Him, and nothing can stop Him from fulfilling His good plans for you.

Being Sincere

1 Kings 8:22-30; Psalms 84:3-11; Mark 7:1-13

I have made several promises to God, and constantly end up breaking them. I have made several attempts to read the bible on a regular basis and I maintain a regular me time with the Lord, but always end up doing the opposite. Does this sound familiar to you?

So many times we have the good intention of wanting to know more about the Lord, to be selfless, to be compassionate and of service to others. The good intention is there, but when the opportunity for us to be such comes, we end up favoring ourselves and our own convenience, and so we do the opposite, or we may end up helping but we do it ingenuinely, as if we were forced to against our will.

It’s really a struggle for many of us. So often, we find it easy to make promises when we are richly blessed, but when we find ourselves struggling, suddenly we find it hard to be generous and loving. It’s as if our actions are dependent on our own current situation. It all boils down to being self-centered. We place our own needs before others.

Mark 7:6 reminds me that I am no different from the people who Jesus was accusing.

Dear Lord, teach us to be sincere in what we say, think, and do. Teach us to serve You that we may learn to be loving to others and focus on them rather than myself. Fill our hearts with Your grace. Amen.

Love Is Not Complicated

Relationships now have become so complicated when it shouldn’t be. We are the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve, created “male and female.” We were set up to love, and absorb the love of God into our bloodstream and then to share it with another human being.

But we don’t live in a garden anymore. We’re the exact opposite of “naked and unashamed.” We wear clothes, and oftenly, our clothes are a cheap facade to mask our guilt and shame.

If we read the bible, we will know that people during the time of Jesus were already asking the same questions as what we have now, like questions about divorce, in Matthew 19. It’s just that we are so stubborn. In fact, the greatest example of love is Jesus’ great sacrifice- He offered His own body and blood for our salvation. Why complicate life when all we have to do is listen to what was taught and shown to us?

How many favorite movies about love do you have? Let’s see, there’s “The Notebook”, “Titanic”, “Notting Hill”, and a whole bunch of others, just to name a few. While they are really good movies about love, none of them actually portray love in godly standards. None of the romance novels portray God’s love better than the bible. It is only in the bible where you will encounter real-life stories about God’s love.

For now, I will just focus on sharing about God’s patient love. Let’s pick the love story of Isaac and Rebekah, how they came to be a couple. It involved many things, including Abraham’s great faith in God, and the servant’s loyalty to his master, Abraham.

First Abraham responded in faith when he gave instructions to the servant regarding finding a wife for his son. God told Abraham to look for his son’s wife in the new land promised to him, and he made it very clear in his instruction to the servant. God provided the right servant as well, the most loyal servant. He had to be loyal, for he was sent off with 10 camels packed with assorted hand-picked expensive gifts. God was involved in this since Day 1. God had a plan. He initiated everything.

The servant was prayerful aside from being loyal to Abraham. He prayed to God for success in his mission, and even gave the Lord a specific condition, that the girl that he ask water from, be generous and kind enough to water his 10 camels as well. This is the girl that he will introduce to Isaac. Now, a camel has enough capacity to contain several water tanks for condominiums. You can imagine what the servant is asking from God. God orchestrated the plan. The prayerful and faithful servant was one of the ingredients, and so was the timing for the plan, the location for carrying out the plan, the planting of Rebekah on the perfect spot where the timing was right, her right attitude, and the idea for the plan itself was from God. Everything was orchestrated by Him.

In this part, industry and diligence are being tested by God. He set aside the spring and well to check the women. The servant happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Everything that the servant asked God as a sign, happened to the letter. Rebekah offered to water the servant’s 10 camels and gave him drink. I can imagine how long that took as we had nothing electronic or fuel driven that time that could assist her in fetching all those gallons of water. It must have been back- breaking. God’s plan was consummated.

You see, if we are faithful to the Lord, anything we ask of Him will be granted. If our hearts belong to Him, chances are, we will end up wanting the same things as He wants us to have. Why will He deny us what we desire for when what we desire for is what He desires for us?

In looking for love relationship, (with the opposite sex) one just has to be at the right place and at the right time. If you want a relationship that would last forever, don’t go to cheesy and cheap places like bars and other hangout places, sinful massage places, nor parties. Go to a place where people come and worship the Lord just like you. If you want a decent partner then go to a decent place. If you are not sure, then pray for it, and do what the servant did. Prayer plays a major role in any relationship. Genesis 24:12 and Genesis 24:63 proves so. When in doubt, or in frustration, pray to the Lord.

Preparing for marriage is not about waiting for the right person to come along. It is also about you preparing yourself for the right person. In Genesis 24:18-21, the servant was awestruck at Rebekah, for there was no one in this world who was as hospitable, patient, humble, kind, selfless and generous as her. She was beyond what he’d imagine her to be for Isaac. Isaac’s servant was amazed at how God answered his prayer to every detail. Plus she was also very beautiful, according to Genesis 24. God doesn’t bless us partially, but abundantly beyond our expectations, always. Rebekah was the perfect woman at that time. We, too have to be that perfect person for our lifetime partner.

Our part in any love relationship is really just to trust God and obey and let Him do the rest. It is really about making the decision to love and making marriage a covenant. Love is not about feelings, just like what is happening today. So many pregnancies result from actions based on emotions. Many wake up after that and realize that they are not committed enough to love the person, and end up abandoning his or her responsibility. Marriage is a covenant between you and the Lord. It is about you promising to the Lord that you will love that person who you are blessed with, for the rest of your life, through highs and lows, till death. It is not something to be taken lightly.

God is very patient with us. God keeps His promises. When God promised Abraham that He will be the Father of all Nations, and that he would have as many descendants as the stars, He wasn’t kidding. It didn’t happen overnight, but nevertheless it happened, and continued on through Isaac and his other descendants. In fact, our population now is still a fulfillment of His promise to Abraham. 2 Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” There may be some things that the Lord wants you to realize before He blesses you with what your desire, so that when He blesses you, it will be fully appreciated and not wasted away or taken for granted.

Related By Blood

2 Samuel 6, 12-15, 17-19; Psalm 24:7-10; Mark 3:31-35

We may do different things in our lives, be miles apart, and loose contact with each other. However, we all have one thing in common: we are all followers of Jesus Christ. We may belong to different churches, and denominations, , but we all believe in and love the same Savior and Lord.

Through this connection, we are all related in spirit as brothers and sister and mothers in the family of Jesus Christ.

Mark 3:32-35 says, “A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’”

Whenever we are spirit-led and our hearts worship and honor the Lord and His teachings, we are guided by the Lord, and we are considered His relatives. We are His mom, brothers and sisters.

Continue to be faithful to His teachings and believe in the Lord, His love, and His goodness, and we will continue to be one family in Christ

Be Converted

Acts 22:3-16; Psalms 117:1-2; Mark 16:15-18

The Lord is not only present in our moments of happiness, but also in our moments of despair, sadness and grief. He allows things to happen for a good reason.

Imagine yourself looking at the world through your eyes. With your eyes, you are able to see everything. However, are you able to focus on the things that are more important to you? What is important to you? We get easily distracted by the many things that we see.

Now, imagine yourself blindfolded and guided by just a voice, and it is only that voice that you could rely on, since you can’t see the obstacles around you.

This is similar to the physical and spiritual blindness experienced by St. Paul, whose conversion took place when the Lord blinded Him. Before he was blinded physically by the Lord, he was blinded by power, that he even approved of the death of St. Stephen. But Jesus revealed Himself to him, which brought about his conversion.

After his conversion, Paul realized that what is important in life is knowing Christ, and having the righteousness from God by faith, rather than being self-righteous and seeking praise from mankind. The things that once mattered to him before his conversion became irrelevant to him.

So you see, God is present in everything that happens to us. Sometimes, distractions have to be taken out from us so we would be able to appreciate the things that God wants us to appreciate. The Lord will not allow us to experience things if there is nothing good at the end of it all.

Let us focus on the things that are important to our Lord rather than the senseless and useless things that are important to us.

Let us pray that we seek what the Lord seeks in us, rather than what we seek in ourselves.

He Is My Provider

1 John 5:14-21 tells us that as long as we take the Lord’s teachings to heart and we have the desire to follow His ways, the Lord will never abandon us. He will always provide for us as He is our Provider, not our parents, our husbands, nor anybody else.

Many of us undergo periods of hardships where our faith is constantly tested. If we remain faithful to Him and stay true to His ways, He will always make a way for us. Trust me, if not, trust the bible.

 Psalm 46:10 reminds us to keep still in times of trials. It tells us not to panic, but know that He is our God, our Provider! For many of us, our instincts tell us to seek help from family and friends first, instead of the Lord. It is best to seek help from our Provider and God first, rather than make Him the last resort. It would be wise to ask Him for guidance on how to go through our trials, and for strength and His grace, instead taking matters into our own hands. 

 It is easy to say “Halleluiah!” at times of joy, but when we are easily shaken under trial, as we panic and make wrong decisions. Let us remember that God created us, and He knows what we will need even before we even realize it. He knows us even before we are born. We just have to believe in His goodness and trust Him. We should be faithful to Him.

 The Lord will never send us on stony paths, without providing us strong shoes. He will never let us suffer to a great extent if He knew that we won’t be strong enough to endure it. His ways are always good, although we find it hard to see His intentions in the things that happen in our lives. He writes in crooked lines, but the end result is always good. For this, we just have to trust in Him.  

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