Official Earth Hour 2009 video. Earth Hour is on March 28th, 2009 at 8:30pm. More at http://www.earthhour.org

more about “Earth Hour 2009“, posted with vodpod
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ABS-CBN news reported last night that there has been an increase of filipino families not eating 3 meals a day. In recent nights, they had also reported that crime against property has significantly increased when compared with other crimes.

The recent spate of crimes are becoming economically driven.

I could only give a quizzical look over those news items where people were lining up to buy the latest 3G iPhone. They sold more than 11million units in the early days of opening sale. Lines upon lines of people were willing to do it just to hold in their hands, the most prized gadget in months.

Sometimes it makes me wonder, when is the breaking point?

As more and more people worldwide are feeling the heavy blows of economic recession/depression/inflation and unbelievable rising cost of everything, everybody’s question is until when? When will this stop? When will things go back to normal?

An aunt from the US emailed and said they are bracing for a possible economic depression. There is an on-going consumer-led recession right now in the US and corporations are seeing a big slump in their profits because people are buying less. (Buying less because of the lesser value of their money, as has been the case here)

Earlier I said I gave the iPhone news item a quizzical look. I feel like there are certain parts of the world that has subjectively closed their eyes on the plight of the people. Life goes on in certain places where the economic recession is still quite a long way. The rest of the oil-dependent countries are reeling with these realities while the price of fuel in the Middle East ( Saudi Arabia) per liter is just about P5! Imagine that, the price of liter of gasoline is cheaper than a piece of Kalihim bread in the local bakery!

5.00 PHP

=

0.112082 USD

Philippines Pesos United States Dollars
1 PHP = 0.0224165 USD 1 USD = 44.6100 PHP

http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi

What an imbalance. Even the Pope in his talks said that we have squandered the earth’s resources. Kofi Annan said that it is the impoverished people of Africa and Asia who are the front-liners in the effects of the global climate change as these countries are very dependent on food production and agriculture.

I have been scouring for news items and things that would show that even our local government cares about the people. That there are programs in place, actions being done and officials rushing to create policies so that many more impoverished people would be helped.

When is the breaking point?

Romans 8:18-28 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Future Glory

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

More Than Conquerors

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[b] who[c] have been called according to his purpose.

Powerful words. Powerful words of encouragement. While we may suffer still, there is a point when all of these things will stop and we will be liberated from decay and bondage. V28 is a statement that must be taken in faith and by faith especially as we go through difficult times. This the OBJECTIVE REALITY.

1. God is at work for the good.

2. God is at work for the good of those who love him.

3. God is at work for the good of those who love and are called according to His purpose.

Hang in there. God hears your cries. God is not a God who is un-moved by the plight of His children. His heart breaks when we suffer because He loves us so much. But when we look at the pain and suffering in our lives, we may only be seeing the small piece of the whole masterpiece, yet God sees the whole thing in completion.

He is with us in our difficulties, and yet, He has already seen us as conquerors.

Another inspiring scripture is

4 Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Let us hang on to God’s words. While every circumstances and situations may dissuade us from holding on to the word of God, I pray that God would enable us to trust more, believe more, hope more, and when necessary, endure more.

Until we see how God has redeemed what we have been through.

In Jesus’ name,

AMEN

It started to rain a few seconds ago. I even had to close all the windows because it was one of those strong, powerful downpours. Helps dissipate the heat a bit – but the images of the flooding in the Visayas due to typhoon Frank are still fresh in my mind. I just wished it would not rain as hard anymore.

And I have been thinking and praying for California. I am here more than 8,000 miles away from where the fires are raging. I could not just fathom the extent of the more than 1,000+ fires simultaneously going on. A lot of things have really changed. Parts of the country are reeling from the flood and another part of the country is so dry that a fire could easily spread to devour thousands of homes and properties.

I am praying for rain in California. While the people there and weather specialists may say that there is no rain in sight, I pray that God would just send them rain. Please God, send your precious rain to California and please intervene and let the fires stop. People will know that it is ONLY YOU who can stop all these things for us. And in the midst of a very dry spell, you can powerfully send RAIN. Only a GOD can do that.

Please Lord. Please have mercy on them.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

Lately, I have been mulling about the things that I have noticed to be slipping fast through our fingers. And while the reality of these precious things are slipping away, I could not for the life of me, figure out how and where it started and how it could be alleviated.

While having lunch recently with some friends, we started sharing about what has been happening these days. One of our friends said that he noticed that people seem more “hardened these days.” I could very well understand what he meant. What he said resonated with some of the things that I have been weighing on my mind. There was no dissonance in what I had experienced as well even with some of the people in the church.

Well, here they are:

1. RESPECT – this is a dying characteristic. The death of which I have realized, has become endemic in our materialistic, self-focused, self-centered, i want it now-generation. What used to be a trait that can be seen elsewhere has become akin to the melting of the glaciers due to the climate change. It seems that we have insisted on our rights for too long that we have now believed it to be so. To the point that NOT showing respect to people in general has become our basic right. The sadness brought about by this reality can be seen in how children treat and answer their parents, how siblings relate with one another, how husbands and wives would not respect each other, how young people would show rudeness in their manner of speech toward people older than they are….

2. COMPASSION

You would be hard-pressed to find this in our society that has grown to be critical and suspicious of people’s motives. We could hardly blame them – but NOT showing compassion is a grave error in itself. Observe this: when someone is sharing a problem ( no matter how small ) – the general response of the hearer right away is to simply offer a solution without properly assessing if the person was really looking or asking for a solution. Chances are, when people share their problems, the first thing they are looking for is someone who is willing to listen. It seems that we are seeing a lot of people are too -stressed out now that we could easily see compassion-fatigue from everyone.

Take this case for example: You were driving the car and someone rear-ended you. It was not bad in the sense that you did not lose your life, but it was enough to exact some damage in your car that would cost some money and take a lot of your time, etc. You were feeling down and told a friend that something happened to you on the way

“What happened?” – he asks.

“I got rear-ended… .. ” – as you try to tell some more details, your friend asks…

“Well – how much was the damage to your car?”!! The friend was more interested in assessing the damage to the car. And depending on the damage, it would perhaps determine the level of compassion that would be shown toward you. The “how are you? Are you okay?” was never asked anymore….you have been assumed to be okay since you could walk and you are very much alive.

Respect and compassion. Let us make the decision not to let it slip through our generation. Contrary to what society about respect being earned, respect can also be shown even to the people we deem are not worthy of our respect. Let us be compassionate to people who may be going through some of the things that may seem irrelevant or insignificant to us ( perhaps maybe losing their files due to an infected computer).

The depth of how a person feels over a certain loss is not in the intrinsic value or objective value of the object lost, but in the ascribed value of that object in relation to the person who lost it. In other words, we do not measure the pain of other people according to our scale of pain assessment, but through theirs.