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My Vocation

My vocation has become clearer as the years go by: to study the unchanging God without something else to do, some pragmatic reason or result. This is what I feel most called to do: simply enjoy the study of God – not write about it, not view it in relation to its political residue or imagine that my opinions will have some visible  social effect. The joy of inquiry into God is a sufficient end in itself, not only as a means to some practical consequence.

Thomas C. Oden, The Rebirth of Orthodoxy, p. 95

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Though the earth gives way

Reflections on Psalm 46:

The earth is our temporal foundation of stability. If it gives way, our lives are undone. But we are not afraid because God is our everlasting foundation. He provides unshakeable and eternal stability. He is our refuge in whom we can hide and are protected. He is our strength by whom we are enabled to bear the worst that life can throw at us. He is our help, immediately and always present; therefore, I can confidently face a multitude of troubles.

When trouble strikes I should remain calm and look up to Almighty God who reigns over all. He cares for me and will arise in my behalf.

Help me, to be still, O God, in times of trouble, knowing that you are in control and that you care for me.

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Save maybe …

God’s mercies fall like heavy rain
from morning clouds above;
the earth awakes alive and sane,
responding to His love.

I wake to wonders all around,
a world that smiles at me.
But though these miracles abound,
deep sadness covers me.

I long for love and joy and peace,
but find these difficult to grasp,
save maybe in a father’s wish:
an infant’s hand to clasp.

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After hearing a sermon on Pride

Pride is the sermon for today,
a serious malfunction of the soul.
The preacher presented the consequences
and pointed the way to be made whole.

To be proud and to be arrogant
is to follow in the devil’s steps;
‘Tis the humble and the penitent
whom the Holy Spirit helps.

I surrender, Lord, this vicious heart
for you to cleanse and cure.
Tho’ powerless from you apart,
in you the victory’s sure.

(11 August 2019; Robinson’s Bacolod)

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The Son and the Vineyard

At first he said, “I will not go;
The vineyard I won’t tend.
There are better things that I could do.
A hand I will not lend.”

He wrote a lot of poetry
and played the piano too;
and his career was doing well-
this was what he loved to do.

But his father loved the vineyard;
he could not fathom why.
He cared for every inch of it;
for it he’d gladly die.

And the son felt guilt stirring
in some deep neglected place.
He sensed his father’s sadness
when he looked into his face.

He raised his eyes and saw the need
and thought the matter through:
“The vineyard that he loves so much,
could I not love it too?”

“I’ll go to work today,” he said,
“in the vineyard by the lake.
In spite of my misgivings,
I’ll do it for his sake!”

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Children of God

(Basis of devotional given to the Men’s Group of Ikthus East, Bacolod City; August 17, 2019)

1 John 3:1-3 ESV

[1] See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. [2] Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. [3] And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Continue reading “Children of God”

Abridger

My God has gracious plans for me
spanning all eternity,
without beginning, without end:
forever servant, son, and friend,

I am in his omniscient sight.
Reborn with destiny too bright,
I cast my sinful past aside,
and in his holy word abide.

And at the core of everything
is Christ my shepherd, Lord, and King:
The pattern of my future self,
Abridger of the yawning gulf

dividing holy God from man
(but by his death he has made one),
Fulfiller of the ‘ternal plan,
All glory to the glorious Son!

Of Future Worlds and Harmless Moths

I’d love to write my future down –
a future full of joy;
one free at last from tears and fears;
one moths cannot destroy.

This bloody world will soon explode
and fill deep space with red,
but I will soar towards the void
to where my heart is led.

The night will be a thing that’s past,
I’ll miss the stars for sure;
the prospect tho’ of Light’s embrace
makes up for all things lost.

Oh soar, oh soul, towards the void;
fear not the emptiness!
The tunnel’s end reveals a glimpse
of worlds all new and fresh.

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The Dream

The dream
made of airy reality
will fade away, though faded now,
and faded all the more shall be
when – I – the dreamer’s gone.

Oh say, oh say, what’s in your heart;
let not the dream just die unborn.
Oh pray, reveal what’s in your heart
and let your gift behold the morn.

The dream,
a blessing to the world of man,
must put on flesh and walk this earth.
When it has donned solidity
then is your duty done.

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