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.

Post Script:

   Recently, our Ministry Coordinator has assigned a sister  and myself a territory of our own.  The sister and I are both disabled.  Our territory is a 58 unit, three floor apartment, with an elevator.  This gives us 58 roofed doors, in a row, a few meters from each other, to visit regularly.  Perfect for our need and physical capacity.  

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 6,761 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 4,481 views while overall stats shows a total of 15,993 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  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: