Friday, December 8, 2017

The US Declaration of Independence is Scriptural

From: https://media.buzzle.com
   The United States Declaration of Independence says “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”  

   In simple terms, it says, when events are showing that it is necessary for one people to separate from another, nature and God entitles them to assume their own power among other powers on this earth.  In short, it acknowledges that sovereignty is God given as the unchanging Bible of the Founding Fathers of the United States and ours states in Romans 13:1, “for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.”

  The Declaration of Independence continues.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

   I am not a lawyer however, in my humble opinion, the words “all men are equal… unalienable Rights to Liberty” ended slavery.  The right to the pursuit of happiness, which is not found in the constitution of the Philippines, is the footing of the divorce law.  The Filipinos will need to adapt this in their constitution if they are serious about having a divorce law.  The Philippines is the last remaining country without divorce in keeping with the Catholic’s rejection of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:32, “However, I say to you that everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of sexual immorality, makes her a subject for adultery,” Jesus clearly says divorce was allowed “on account of sexual immorality,” or he would have said, anyone divorcing his wife commits adultery with no exception.

   The Declaration of Independence continues.  “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

   In the end, the signatories of the Declaration pledged their own life, fortune and honor to each other with mutual faith in God’s protection.
  
   “I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him.  It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

See also:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Guarantee to Life is Constitutional

   The United States Declaration of Independence guarantees “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  In October 1972, the US Congress passed the Social Security Amendments of 1972.  Under this Act, Congress amended the Medicare law to extend coverage to individuals who were under 65 years of age, if they had End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and had (or were the spouse or dependent of someone who) worked long enough to qualify for Social Security.  Before this law, only 65 years of age and over are entitled to free, no premium payment Medicare.

    The US Congress enacted this historic Medicare entitlement for dialysis, the first to cover a particular diagnosis under the guarantee to “life”.  A particular diagnosis means this Medicare law does not cover other illnesses, however terminal, i.e. Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease, etc.  It only covers ESRD.  The justification for this is that patients with Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease, etc. can go on remission and live.  The dialysis patient will surely die in a matter of days or weeks without dialysis.  There is no remission for ESRD but dialysis would rehabilitate a big proportion of the patients.  They can work, pay taxes and support their family and the economy, but only if they have the lifesaving treatment they need so badly. 

   The US law provided for a budgeted program authorizing appropriations of “such sum as may be necessary” to financially assist U.S. citizens or legal immigrants, as it states, “aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence...Financial assistance was to be for any costs which individuals are unable to pay from funds otherwise available to them,” which in short, means rich people with means to pay for dialysis are not entitled to the free coverage.  

   Although the unit costs of dialysis seems high, the technological advance could bring them down.  “For example, Dr. Sam Kountz, a transplant surgeon at the University of California, has reduced his costs to $8,000 per transplant or no more than any major surgical procedure.” (From: Biomedical Politics, 1991, Chapter: Origins of the Medicare Kidney Disease Entitlement: The Societal Security Amendments of 1972)  

   Another study in the US showed that lives could be saved if ESRD patients can afford transplantation, otherwise, those will be unconstitutional needless deaths.  A national program of kidney transplant through the Social Security Administration was enacted.  

See also:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Qualification for Friendship

   God created angels, a lot of them.. (Genesis 1:1)  Jesus said when he was arrested, “do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than 12 legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53)  The word legion was a military term commonly used by the Roman army.  It meant a group of at least 6,000 soldiers.  Jesus said “more than” twelve legions, it is speculation to figure out an exact number.  So twelve legions of 6,000 angels would denote a minimum of 72,000 angels.  No angel ever lacked company.

   The Bible says that man was created in God’s image.  Adam was given one Eve to be his wife and friend.  Giving Adam more than one would have instituted polygamy.  A look at other creatures shows that God did not intend for creatures to be without friends.  Birds fly in flocks.  Wild horses, buffaloes, elephants, etc. all run in herds.  Those animals were not trained by man to seek each other and converge.  In the wild, only God speaks their language.  Only he could have given those creatures the instinct to befriend and be a friend.

   For us, humankind, friendship is not easy.  There’s the cultural differences between nations.  Within the same land, under the same flag lies the racial division, the conflict of interests, social stratification that divides people based upon their occupation and wealth.  

   Thus, we might find it difficult to develop friendship with people from particular regions, or religion, or social status.  Rules of friendship I learned as a child playing in the streets of Pasay City taught me that having a friend starts with me.  If I can’t be a good friend, I don’t deserve to have one.  

   A backstabbing friend is not a friend, backstabbing is a result of envy and resentment.  Real friends can be happy for the other’s blessings.  Real friends understand that their differences are not cause for hate.  Instead they empathize and commiserate.  After you have extended genuine friendship towards someone and it has not been reciprocated, it’s time to let that bird fly away.  A one sided friendship is not friendship.

   Does God have a friend?  “O, our God, did you not drive away the inhabitants of this land from before your people Israel and then give it as a lasting possession to the offspring of your friend Abraham?” (Chronicles 20:7)  Abraham was called Jehovah’s friend because out of all the characters in the Bible, Abraham was the only one willing to give up his own son, Isaac, for Jehovah who gave up his son Jesus for Abraham and all of us.  May I repeat, a one sided friendship is not friendship.

See also:
The Standbys of Makati City 
The Standbys of Pasay City  
Sesame Street versus Ibarra St.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Preaching Leadership

   It rained all night last night.  It was still raining this morning.  The rain totally washed bird poop off my car, Trixie, that’s the name of my 2008 Toyota Matrix.  As I drove off to go to dialysis I saw a postman walking in the rain to deliver mails.  I realized how the mailmen are unsung.  We all take for granted the privilege of receiving our mails right at our mailbox rain, snow or shine.

Rural mailbox 
   In the Philippines, homes do not have a mailbox.  In Kentucky, I found that I can put my outgoing mail either with Postage stamp on it or some change in my mailbox then raise the little plastic red flag to alert the mailman.  He will then take my outgoing mail back to the post office so I don’t have to go there myself.  Here in San Francisco, we have mailboxes mostly attached to the house and no red flags.  

   Outgoing mails have to be dropped at the USPS collection blue box, another thing we don’t have in the Philippines where you have to go to the nearest post office.  

   Jehovah’s Witnesses go door to door, on foot, to bring Bible literature for free as service to God.  San Francisco is known to have steeply inclined streets.  Now imagine senior citizens, with aching hips and knees, walking up and down those streets to reach every door without exemption, because the Bible said, “And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.” (Acts 5:42)

   Every congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a ministry coordinator to manage the distribution of doors among the members out preaching on any particular day.  My congregation was blessed with a ministry coordinator who is a retired mailman.  He knows the entire territory like the back of his hand.  He knows the steep streets, the homes with stairway to the front door, the street parking availability against street cleaning schedule and which elderly member can manage those conditions.  He drives the group to the top of the hilly street so they can walk down instead of climb and catch them at the bottom.  He assigns homes with stairways to younger members and the one level homes to the elderly, all while patiently dealing with conflicts among members going through second childhood.

   The result is immeasurable comfort and joy for the members and efficiency in the ministry for Jehovah’s purpose.

See also:
The Art of Preaching 
Talking to Closed Doors 
Google It

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Milestone

   My first book, THE EMAIL ORDERED WIFE was completed in 2012.  I created FILIPINATHENANDNOW.COM in 2013 for the main purpose of promoting my books.  I never realized the blog would provide its own worth until I posted The Shallowness of Youth.  The article gained a few pageviews then, suddenly in 2013, jumped to 3,450 pageviews and all from Ukraine!  That put it at the top of popular post list.

   Ukraine President Yanukovych was ousted on 22 February 2014 followed by Crimea’s annexation by Russia in March.  Crimea was a part of Russia since the year 1783, until 1954, when Crimea province was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR by a decree of the Soviet Union.

   After the Russian annexation of Crimea, the pageviews from Ukraine trickled down.  Clearly, the political changes affected the territories of Ukraine and Russia putting 5,525 pageviews credited under Russia.  But to this day, The Shallowness of Youth, a totally unpolitical article, remains on top of the most read article list with 3,728 views while overall stats shows a total of 13,587 from Ukraine.  I was fired up by the historical and political impact on my humble blog.

   I was motivated to make the blog a part of my ministry.  I wrote down my personal insights on Bible stories and passages that may or may not necessarily reflect my religious organization’s teachings.  The blog, as an instrument for preaching, is not a part of ministry statistics because I have no way of knowing if the pageview led to www.jw.org.  As for pageviews of the Biblical articles, it has reached conservatively 5,190.  Only Jehovah who can read the heart of the readers can judge the merit of my blog preaching.  “For Jehovah searches through all hearts, and he discerns every inclination of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

   Today my blog passed 100 thousand pageviews.  That is nothing to brag about considering the internet can deliver millions.  Four out of ten articles on the list of popular posts are about dialysis.  This blog has given me a venue to relay personal knowledge as a patient about kidney disease which remains in the dark despite millions of patients dying from all over the world.

See also:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Memory is Selective

   Memory is selective.  Sometimes we remember only the good times.  Some people only remember the bad.  When divorce happens, what memories are left behind?  Here are mine.

   He flew me business class from Manila to Kentucky but that's nothing. Even with my Philippine peso salary I could buy that myself.  I'd just have to save up.  That flight kicked off my midlife journey.
   He arranged for our riverboat wedding on board the  Southern Belle riverboat, docked at Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The wedding package required a Tennessee marriage license, so we got that.  We had the ceremony on the promenade deck with the mountains and the Tennessee River in the backdrop.  It was officiated by our Riverboat Chaplain.  The Bridal bouquet, keepsake champagne glasses, buffet dinner for two and dinner cruise were included.  I was 55 years old and he was 60.  The photo shows us looking like  eloping teens in blue jeans.  So I guess, yes, we were happy that day.

   He booked a Honeymoon Hills Gatlinburg Cabin for our honeymoon.  It was in the middle of the forest but had all the amenities of a city home for our convenience, like cable television and a complete kitchen.  There was a red heart shaped hot tub at the foot of the bed surrounded by mirrors like the one on the photo.

   He bought me shiny gray silk pajamas I didn't even want. I'm used to flannel or cotton. But he insisted.  I still remember how smooth the silk felt on my skin.  I looked fabulous with it on me!  

   I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I told him from the get go that he doesn't have to give me anything for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's and I can't give him anything either. During the entire marriage, he insisted on giving me $150 for every occasion.  I was to get myself something  and show him what I bought.  I guess because he didn't want to go to the ladies section.  Looking back, that was sweet of him!  

   Funny thing, what I appreciated was the collection of Rascal Flatts hits CD he made for me.  I have moved from home to home, to another state and changed cars.  I still listen to the CD.

See also:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pogonophilia, I Plead Guilty

   Pogonophilia is a fixation on men with facial hair.  It mostly manifest in women with love for mustached or bearded persons.  I believe this differs from Trichophilia which is said to be sexual hair fetishism.  Why do I think so?  I have been guilty of Pogonophilia long before there was a name for it.  My condition is more on the fashion statement rather than sexual.  Touching facial hair is not my thing.  

   My Pogonophilia started with Filipino movies in the 50s where the villain always had facial hair to make the good guy easier to spot.  To this day, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines are dissuaded from wearing facial hair.  It gives householders they meet during door to door ministry an impression of villainous intention. 

   In high school, the guys I dated all had starter mustache Filipinos call “balahibong pusa” which means soft as a kitty’s fur.  After graduation, in college, every guy in campus was a fan of Che Guevara, at that time.  A mere four years from puberty had textured the boys’ facial hair stronger, thicker and trimmable into whatever suits their illusions of manhood be it Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or George Harrison.  
Che Guevara, Fidel Castro
From: pbs.twimg.com

   The first guy I ran off with had a goatee and only a goatee.  One year later the goatee blossomed into a full beard and mustache Filipinos call “balbas sarado”.  He grew it when he was out of town to surprise me although I never mentioned to him my fascination with the mustache.  He came home and blew me away!  From that moment on, I saw him as larger than life.  He was every action star in a movie.  I got pregnant.  To this day, no man real or movie character has ever approached his level of machismo in my eyes.  Two of my ex-husbands after him were clean shaven but both tried to grow a mustache as if they all could sense my Pogonophilia.  They didn’t quite make it. 


   Fast forward to 2006, I remarried to an American with rather long blond hair and mustache.  I still didn’t know back then that my psychological condition had a name nor a cure.  Even if science invents medication, it’s too late for me.  I am now 65 years old.  My ship sailed a long time ago.

See also:
Liam Hemsworth in My Eyes 
Picture of Being in Love 
Losing No.1