Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Worth 1000 (Part II: Siari "Misadventure")

333 magnify
This second post in the series is about our trip to Siari, a town south of Dipolog. It's an essay I wrote when I was about 10 as part of an assignment so try to ignore the rather awkward sentences you may encounter at times and the big words that I had a propensity of using. Image

Mario Dandi Dalman Romano

Aim: To write about our spellbinding trip to Siari (Spellbinding...I used that word?! I mean, it was just a trip a few hours from Dipolog...it's not like we went to Mount Everest.Image).

The long awaited outing came at about six-o'-clock Sunday morning. Tito Gerry came to our house to take us to theirs which had been selected as our gathering place (Take us to theirs...What was I thinking?) Just as we were about to depart (great...dearly departed...Image), Tito Bong and his family arrived with their jeep so we transferred from Tito Gerry's truck to the jeep. When we reached Tito Gerry's home, Kerme, Rebecca, and Sarah, Tito Gerry's children, chose to ride on the jeep. So now, there were thirteen of us including Tito Bong, Tita Marisol, Jared, Ana, Miko, Faithy, Mira and I and their maid while Papa, Mama, Tito Gerry, Tita Tessie and Manang Trina rode on the truck. Tito Bong drove the jeep and Tito Gerry the truck (duh...).

On our way to Siari we saw lots of things from rocky beaches and ricefields that looked like carpets to rolling hills and trees engulfed by sinister looking vines making them look like the trees in Neverland. We could also see the silhouette of Dumaguete in the horizon.

Inside the jeep we sang almost every song we could think of. At last, we reached the outer boundaries of Siari. Our first stop was Uncle Abdon's house where he gave us a hen. After we had rested, we went on but Tito Gerry had to stop because of a flat tire. While they were changing the tire, we ate ripe mangoes that we had acquired a little way from Uncle Abdon's (acquired...bought...gee...Image). We finished eating the mangoes just as the finished changing the tire.

The road was getting steeper and bumpier. Occasionally we could also see cows grazing peacefully on the hillsides while others were made to pull the plow.

We had all been warned earlier that there would be a ten-minute hike. So when we arrived at the place where we were to begin our hike we distributed the load. The younger ones were given lighter things to carry while the grownups carried the heavier things (obviously...Image). Our long confinement in the jeep made us frolicsome. So we ran ahead of the adults. Suddenly we reached a place where the road forked. So, we rested there. After drinking from our jugs, we decided to go left. This was a decision which we were to be sorry of after climbing up and down hills and walking through cornfields whose inhabitants seemed to be determined not to let us pass unscathed by hitting our faces with their long fibrous leaves. When the girls found out that we were lost, they blamed Kerme who had been on the lead. We found out that we were lost because the house with the small windmill where we were supposed to go was getting farther to our right instead of getting nearer. At first it was kind of thrilling but as we walked on since we didn't know which way to go all the girls started complaining that they were tired. Faithy put a hard-boiled egg on the road so our parents would see it and know which road we were in. Suddenly we saw our parents only two hills away but no matter how loud we shouted they couldn't hear us. It was so frustrating since they were so near yet we couldn't transverse the hills because of the steep sides and the long sharp leaves of the grass that were growing luxuriantly around. So we back-tracked and "searched high and low", as Mira said like the song "Climb Every Mountain" that we had been singing (umm...something should be rephrased here...Image). So we sang it again. We were still singing when we saw the house with the windmill in it and we could also see our parents waving at us. The sight of them seemed to revive the girls who had been lagging behind. They walked with new vigor and with a quicker step than before. At last we met one of Tito Gerry's hired hands who led us to a shortcut. When we reached the farmhouse we drank as much as we could.

After a brief but replenishing rest, we departed to see the rest of the farm. It was an enormous farm surrounded with hills as far as you could see. The vales were full of trees and vines of multifarious species (yeah, it just means 'many'). The vales were said to be the natural habitat of wild pigs whose meat was considered a delicacy. We could also see some carabaos wallowing in a muddy natatorium. We also saw Tito Gerry's alpine goat and I had a picture with it. The mountain ranges far away seemed to turn into a velvety hue. There were hills that were engulfed by cornfields while others looked as plain as a loaf of bread. The wind was so cool and you could smell its pureness. It smelt like grass and the view was so supernatural and awe-inspiring I felt like I was pirouetting on a fast-turning ferris wheel. We also ate the tiny flavorsome fruit of a tree called dom-on.

As we moved on to the place where they had let the horses graze, Tito Gerry went first since the two horses knew him. Miko and I rode first. It was great but because we rode bareback it became painful after a while because of the jolting and bouncing (ouch...I could just imagine...Image). The girls rode next and Mama laughed and shouted till she was put down. Just as we were about to go back, two of Tito Gerry's hired hands arrived with our largest water jug. We thankfully drank from it (uh...what else could we have done?). The water was so cool and refreshing we drank till the jug was quite empty. As we went back, we had some pictures taken with a white cow that was so tame you could ride and caress it.

When we reached the shanty we had a scrumptious lunch of chicken, cucumbers, ripe mangoes, pancit, etc. and since we had expended our water supply we drank a delectable but intoxicating drink if drank in large amounts called 'Tuba'. After lunch we passed the time playing games and telling stories.

At about four-o'-clock, we departed. Because of the long hike back to the jeep and truck and because we were so bone-weary we chose to ride on the kanga. It was a cart without wheels drawn by a carabao. The carabao chosen to pull the kanga was so obedient when you told it to kneel it would promptly kneel. The ride back to the jeep was fun. The driver sometimes made the carabao break into a gallop and we sped up and down hills and gullies. But there was one disadvantage. It was the carabao's tail. Every time it swatted at the meddlesome flies the mud that was still in the carabao's tail from its previous bath in the mudpond flew towards us and since there were so plenty of us we couldn't duck. When we reached the jeep Tito Gerry who had gone in advance was already warming up his truck.

When our parents who had been trekking on foot arrived we sallied out of the beautiful barangay of Siari. When we reached the outermost boundaries of Siari we stopped beside a store and drank a replenishing bottle of coke. The first bottle disappeared down the parched throats of about fifteen or more thirsty humans (what other species could have been riding with us?). The second disappeared just as fast as the first but the third was swallowed up slower than its predecessors.

Just as we were about to go on to Saluyong as earlier planned it rained. Because of the rain, Papa, Mama, Joshua, and Samson were forced to ride on the jeep since the truck didn't have a roof at the back. It was well that they did because the drizzle that merrily pattered against our roof suddenly turned into a raging downpour. Torrents of rain pelted the roof of the jeep and the sun's bright face was blotted out of the sky. The sun wasn't seen till we reached the outskirts of Manukan. When we reached the turning point to Saluyong, the sun was shining cheerfully to the west. When we reached the house of the owner of the pool we were going to swim in the sun was quite low and when we checked our watches we found to our surprise that it was already five thirty.

Meanwhile, Tito Gerry, Tita Tessie, and Manang Trina had a flat tire and this time it was the spare. But of these happenings we didn't know till Tita Tessie and Manang Trina arrived riding a motorbike. When we arrived at the pool itself, we changed our clothes before we submerged ourselves in the pool's refreshing and delightful water. At seven thirty we left Saluyong. Since the truck had a flat tire, Tita Tessie and Manang Trina rode with us. So now, three families were riding in the jeep. Most of us slept till we reached Dipolog. After dropping Tito Gerry's family at their house we ate supper at Bebing's ihaw-ihaw. When we finished eating we in turn were dropped in our home and Tito Bong and his family proceeded to their home in Dapitan City. It had been quite an enjoyable but exhausting trip for all of us and we had no sooner touched our beds when we fell asleep. I was so tired I put aside my dreams for another night.

Labels: , , , , ,

Worth 1000 (Part I: Yamaha Adventures)

333 magnify
I'll be posting a series of blogs with the heading 'Worth 1000'. It's taken from the site www.worth1000.com which was inspired by the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words". For each blog I'm going to select a particular photo from my album and post my recollections about the time, place, and the people in the photo.

To start everything off, I've chosen this photo taken at the house in Barra. I'm in the front with my dad driving and my mom carrying Mira in the back -- we're riding the family bike which had a reputation for having a 'reverse' gear (my uncle used to win many bets when wagering that it could run backwards). We went all over the city on that bike -- even when Mira got old enough to sit with me in the front. Mira being Mira, she couldn't resist doing stunts like jumping out from the front into a large puddle. Image Of course, we must've looked like a circus especially when we got a chihuahua and also let her ride with us out front -- it got us into trouble countless times when the dog saw anything worth chasing and jumped right out with the bike running full speed. Then there were the times when the headlights suddenly went out and I had to hold a flashlight out front for the rest of the ride -- Sicayab to Dipolog may not sound far now with the paved roads and all but to a little child trying to hold a large flashlight steady on a road dotted with potholes it seemed like an eternity.Image Surprisingly enough, after more than two decades the bike still runs, its engine starting up with a strong rumble that brings back memories of days gone by.

Labels: , , , ,

How Can They Live Without Jesus?

How Can They Live Without Jesus?

by Keith Gordon Green

How can they live without Jesus?

How can they live without God's love?

How can they feel so at home down here,

When there's so much more up above?

Throwing away the things that matter,

They hold onto things that don't.

The world has gone crazy, but soon maybe,

A lot more are going to know.

For maybe they don't understand it,

Or maybe they just haven't heard.

Or maybe we're not doing all we can,

Living up to His Holy Word.

Cause phonies have come and wrongs been done,

Even killing in Jesus' name.

And if you've been burnt, here's what I've learned,

The Lord's not the one to blame.

For He's not just religion with steeples and bells,

Or a sales man who will sell you the things you just want to hear.

But His love was such, that he suffered so much,

To call some of us just to follow, follow.

So many laughing at Jesus,

While the funniest thing that He's done,

Is love this whole stubborn rebellious world,

While their hate for Him just goes on.

And love just like that will bring him back,

For the few He can call His friends.

The ones He's found true who've made it through,

Enduring until the end.

The one's He's found true, who've made it through,

Enduring until the end…

Labels: , , , ,

WWKD (What Would Keith Do?)

Our local channel showed some clips about Keith Green late this evening. Since he died a year before I was born, I hardly knew anything about him -- except for some songs I could still remember playing on a beaten up cassette player. Here is an article I found written by a concerned fellow-labourer.

A Challenge to Melody Green
and Last Days Ministries

As you can see there are no links to any of Keith Green's songs, articles, or sermons. To be honest before you and the Lord, I intended to put them all online even if it was illegal, with the hopes that many people would download them and be ministered to by Keith's music, as I was 25 years ago when I first found Jesus. I believed in my heart that this is what Keith would want if he were alive today. I was willing to face jail and fines if necessary, all with the hope that some lost soul or confused Christian would be ministered to and/or receive Jesus from this music, as myself and many others have. And in all fairness and in the original spirit of LDM, I would have encouraged all who downloaded this music to send a donation of "whatever you can afford" to Last Days Ministries, not me.

BUT after praying and seeking the Lord first about it, I believe He has told me NOT to do this, but rather to challenge YOU (Melody Green and Last Days Ministries) to do this. To offer Keith's music downloadable off the internet and once again on a "whatever you can afford" basis, separate from the Recording Industries influence.

As someone who is out on the mission field full-time (as a result of Keith's last message), I have found it very difficult to obtain any of his music overseas unless someone sends it to us which is usually very expensive with shipping and customs fees and takes a few months to get here. As a matter of fact, I've been patiently waiting for 3 years now to be able to order on the internet but keep seeing the following statement. International Orders - At this time LDM is not taking orders outside the United States through the Internet. Please check back in the near future for changes in this policy. It is our goal and desire to serve those outside the United States, so we ask for your patience until we are able to offer our products internationally. Shipping to US only. But of course, I can give a donation to LDM over the net in less than a minute! Would you want to wait 3 years to receive donations from us overseas? :-)

Throughout the years I have given away most all of Keith's music that I've purchased to people who needed it more than I. But unable to purchase it again I turned to the internet and it was not very hard or expensive to find all of Keith's music online through Kazaa and Limewire! Knowing that this was probably not legal, I justified the downloading by thinking that "this is something that Keith would definitely approve of! He would want me to have his music especially as a missionary in a remote location." I also told myself that "I would just send a good sized donation to their ministry since that takes less than a minute." But the Holy Spirit convicted me that downloading music and even copying music is the same as stealing unless we have permission from the copyright owner.

This really hurts but I have deleted all of my precious Keith Green music (and others) that was downloaded "illegally". I downloaded the songs because I could not get them or afford to purchase them from you or your distributors. I understand there are some new music download services but they do no good to those who cannot afford them, or choose not to use credit cards. Plus they don't even offer the services yet overseas.

Another issue is the confusion of which CDs to purchase. Silver edition, Gold edition, etc...Most have duplicate songs. Thank God I now see there is one that has ALL of the songs included. This was the goal of this website. To be able to find ALL of Keith's music and materials in one place and that could be easily downloaded and spread freely on the information highway. With the ultimate goal of souls being ministered to and won for Jesus! Plus how fun and easy it would be to burn the complete collection on one CD or DVD that costs only 10 cents and go out and distribute them freely the same as gospel tracts to young people who never have heard of, would never purchase, or otherwise would never even think of doing a search for "Keith Green" on the net!

The harvest is still great. Please reconsider how Keith's music is distributed. The Lord graciously met your ministries every financial need years ago when you chose to trust in Him and put Him first above money by offering your materials on a "whatever you can afford" basis. Please return back to this. We love you and pray for a release of Keith's music to the harvest field on the information highways and hedges by setting you free from the bondage of the recording industry, in Jesus name and for His glory! Amen!

"What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."
1Corinthians 9:18

P.S...I am not Grumbling and Complaining. This is just a suggestion in love from a missionary (previously with YWAM) who is now ministering full-time as a result of Keith's music. I have sent emails in the past to LDM about this with no response or a response several months later stating that they do not ship overseas, which I already knew. The rest of the world needs this music too! How can we get it? How can we spread it? What if we can't afford it?

(What Would Keith Do?)

"Whatever You Can Afford"
A Challenge to all Christian Musicians

When Keith Green was alive he felt challenged by the Holy Spirit to offer his music on a "whatever you can afford" basis. If you had no money then you could have an album, cassette or some tracts for free with a limit of one per family/household. If you could give more than the cost then the excess would help to pay for the other materials given out for free. He was more concerned about getting the message and music out to souls hungry for Jesus than in making a profit and building up a musical empire full of wealth and material possessions.

I do not want to judge my brothers and sisters in the Lord who are Christian musicians today. There are enough doing that already. God alone sees your heart and knows your true motives for being in ministry. He cannot be fooled. But I would like to challenge you to do the same as Keith did years ago. If you truly are using your talents for the Lord and your music is meant to be a ministry in reaching the multitudes of lost souls for Jesus, then please offer it on a "whatever you can afford" basis also! Yes, there are expenses. But if you are truly called of God to music ministry and you commit them all to the Lord, He WILL meet every one of them. If He did it for Keith's ministry He will do it for yours also as long as your heart and motives remain pure before Him and you are truly called of God to music ministry.

Most all of the Christian recording labels are now owned by the big secular media companies. The money you are generating for them also goes to promote and sell artists who preach and live the exact opposite of Jesus. But with the technology we have today, you can easily bypass the Recording Industry, whose sole motive is to make a profit rather than to minister and save lost souls.

Labels: , , ,

In Memoriam...

"It's time to quit playing church and start being the Church (Matt. 18:20)" — Keith Green, as quoted by Melody Green in the introduction to A Cry in the Wilderness, Sparrow Press, 1993.

"I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!" — Keith Green

"No Compromise is what the whole Gospel of Jesus is all about..."For I tell you...no man can serve two masters..." (Matt. 6:24). In a day when believers seem to be trying to please both the world and the Lord (which is an impossible thing), when people are far more concerned about offending their friends than offending God, there is only one answer...Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him!" — Keith Green, No Compromise album, 1978.

Keith Gordon Green (October 21, 1953 - July 28, 1982) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and pianist originally from Sheepshead Bay, New York. Green is best known for his strong devotion to Christianity and his unwavering efforts to stir others to the same. Notable songs written by Green and/or his wife, Melody Green, include "I Don't Wanna Fall Away From You", "You Put This Love In My Heart", "Your Love Broke Through", and "Asleep In The Light", as well as the modern hymns "O Lord, You're Beautiful", "There Is A Redeemer", and "Create In Me A Clean Heart".

Early Life
Green took to music at a young age, and his talents were noted by major newspapers by the time he was only eight years old. Following a performance of Arthur Laurents' The Time of the Cuckoo, the Los Angeles Times wrote that "roguish-looking, eight-year-old Keith Green gave a winning performance," one that "stole the show". Green went on to play "Kurt Von Trapp" in a major production of The Sound of Music.

At the age of eleven, Green became the youngest person ever to sign with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) when he published, recorded and released the song "The Way I Used to Be".

In his early teens, with more than 50 original songs under his belt, Green was signed to Decca Records. Decca had plans to make Green a teen-idol, regularly getting the young man featured in fanzines like Teen Scene and on popular television shows like The Jack Benny Show and Steve Allen's show. Time Magazine called Green "a prepubescent dreamboat". His dreams of stardom were shattered, however, when Donny Osmond stole his short-lived spotlight and Green was quickly forgotten.

By his mid-teens, Green became heavily involved in drug use, eastern religion, astrology, and mysticism. After experiencing a really horrifying "bad trip", he abandoned drug use and also became bitter towards philosophy and theology in general. In the midst of his skepticism, as Green described it, God's love 'broke through' his 'calloused heart'. He began on a new path 'with Christ as his guru', but had many 'spiritual struggles' and hardships along the way. He married Melody Steiner on Christmas day 1973, and the two became involved in the Vineyard fellowship in Southern California, where they were introduced to Bob Dylan.

The Greens began an outreach program to their community by purchasing two homes (and renting five) to provide housing and care for prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless people. Eventually, the couple and the rest of their group relocated to Lindale, Texas, where the Greens founded Last Days Ministries.

Green began to release a series of albums in the new Contemporary Christian music market in 1977, after being signed to Sparrow Records and working on their Christian musical album Firewind (1976) with 2nd Chapter of Acts, Terry Talbot, John Talbot, and Barry McGuire. Two years later, Keith would shock many in the industry by refusing to charge money for concerts or albums. He insisted that his new label, Sparrow Records, let him out of his contract. The Greens then mortgaged their home to privately finance the album So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt? (with a guest appearance by Bob Dylan), which was then offered through mail-order and at concerts for "whatever you could afford". As of May of 1982, Green had shipped out more than 200,000 units of his album - 61,000 for free.

Last Days Ministries also began publishing a self-described "small, colorful magazine" called the Last Days Newsletter. The magazine featured articles by Keith and Melody as well as contemporary authors such as David Wilkerson, Leonard Ravenhill, and Winkie Pratney, all of whom lived in the area, as well as reprinting work by earlier Christian workers such as Charles Finney, John Wesley, and William Booth and his wife Catherine. The newsletter had such an impact on the Christian community at the time that many of the articles were reprinted as tracts.

Green was killed on July 28, 1982, when a small airplane owned by Last Days Ministries crashed on takeoff. Green had planned to give visiting friends an aerial view of the Last Days Ministries compound. Two of Green's children, three year old Josiah, and two year old Bethany, were also on board the plane, as was pilot Don Burmeister, and friends John and Dede Smalley and all six of their children. All passengers were killed in the crash. Crash investigators determined that the aircraft was nearly 500 lb (230 kg) overweight with 12 passengers and only 6 seats. Keith, Josiah, and Bethany Green are interred at Lindale Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Melody and two daughters, the youngest of whom was born after Green's death.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Flashbacks...Along Memory Lane?

1986 is the farthest back I can remember. We were living in Cagayan de Oro and my sis, Miracle was just a few months old. Villa Ernesto, Phase 2...or was it Phase 1? Sa naay Sanyo?

My earliest mem'ries are of the daily morning and late-afternoon trips to the beach (we were only two blocks away), making sand castles, hunting for hermit crabs ('umang') to play with along the crags and seaweed -- it drove my grandparents crazy to find hermit crabs crawling all over the house and they spent many sleepless nights wondering if the intermittent clicking that the claws of the 'umang' made on the marble floors were the sounds of a burglar trying to get in.

Then there were the bike trips we took around the neighborhood (my mom driving, Mira slung on a carrier, and me 'back-riding') while waiting for my dad to come home from sharing the Word at schools and colleges, the games with our neighbors Kit and Dino, Jay and Lani (I haven't seen them for around 17-18 years now), and there was my grandparent's dog, Enoch, who loved to bark at anything and anyone -- playfully, I might add, but to a three or four-year-0ld a bark coming from a dog twice your size is like a promise to eat you on the spot (a car ran over him while he was trying to negotiate the treacherous highway crossing to Phase 1 where many other dogs had already met their doom -- this news was met with some relief on my part). Of course, there were lighter moments with the dog when we were with 'Nang Anging and 'Nang Julie ('Big Eyes', we called her) -- when we were riding piggy-back, getting chased around by the dog actually became fun.

Those were the days of innocence, the days of obliviousness to the world around us. It was that golden age where a child is still unaware of the prejudice, the hate, the discrimination all around and everything that matters are the games, the laughter and the fun, the contentment of being with family, the sense of security when riding on the shoulders of your dad and feeling like you can conquer the world.

Labels: , , ,


A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering or pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to
the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers do not exist because if they did
there would not be people with long dirty hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers do exist! What happens is that people do not come to me."

"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too does exist! What happens is that people don't come to HIM and do not look for HIM. That is why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

I came across this story while surfing the net late last night after playing badminton. In a country that claims to be 'predominantly Christian', people tend to forget that a surprisingly large number of people actually try to refute the existence of God -- not to mention the equally large number of people who use science to marginalize the divinity of God. Of course, believing in the existence of a divine being is a lot different from actually obeying God -- but that is beside the point (I'll have another post on that subject, if i don't forget).

On the surface, many people claim to believe in God but deep inside they are also equally unsure about His deity or the inerrancy of the Bible. The Bible claims it is the word of truth, it says it is 'God-breathed', the Word of God -- but why should anyone believe it? The Bible doesn't try to convince a person to believe that, it only makes a simple statement,

"Jesus answered them, and said,
My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself..."

In other words, try it out. Find out for yourself. Then you will know if it really is the Word of God or just another book with divine pretensions.

Try it...

Labels: , , , ,

The Thinker

'The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity...'
Psalm 94:11

'Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.'
Psalm 139:23-24

'All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.'
Proverbs 16:2-3

'...Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.'
1Chronicles 28:9

'I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.'
1Corinthians 4:3-4

'For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.'
Galatians 6:3

'For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.'
Romans 12:3

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'
Isaiah 55:8-9

'For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.'
Hebrews 4:12

Labels: , , ,


We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
We spend more, yet have less;
We buy more and enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families;
Fancier houses but broken homes;
More conveniences, but less time;
We've cleaned the air but polluted the soul;
We have more degrees but less common sense;
More knowledge but less judgment;
More medicine but less wellness.

We’ve multiplied our possessions but reduced our values;
We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life;
We’ve added years to our life and not life to our years;
We’ve conquered outer space but not our inner space;
We’ve done larger things but not better things;
We've got more experts yet more problems;
We talk too much, love to seldom and hate to often.

We’ve learned to rush but not to wait;
We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality;
We have higher incomes but lower morals;
We build faster computers, to hold and process more information but we have less communication;
We’ve split the atom but not our prejudices;
We've steep profits but shallow relationships;

We drink to much, spend to recklessly, laugh to little, drive to fast, get angry to quickly, stay up to late, get up to tired, read to seldom, watch TV to much and communicate to little;
We’ve been to the moon but have trouble crossing the street to meet our new neighbor;
We write more but learn less;
We plan more but accomplish less.

These are times of fast food and slow digestion;
Big men but small character;
More leisure but less fun;
Two incomes but more divorce;
More kinds of food but less nutrition.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from
cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the
showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Labels: ,


“Well I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.”
“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”
“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
--George Bernard Shaw

"For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe...

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

That no flesh should glory in his presence.

But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1Corinthians 1:19-31


"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let hm become a fool, that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours..."
1Corinthians 3:18-21


"Knowledge puffeth up, but charity (love) edifieth.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
1Corinthians 8:1-2


"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
James 3:13-18


"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith..."
Philippians 3:8-9


"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Job 28:28

Labels: , , , , ,


What makes someone mature or immature? By what (or by whose) standards are they gauged?

I conceive maturity -- and immaturity, for that matter, to apply to many things. A person can be mature in age but immature in mind, immature in ways but mature of thought, mature emotionally but immature spiritually, immature in speech but mature physically. Who is more mature, the man who runs a business efficiently but cheats on his wife or the man who enjoys seemingly childish things but stays faithful to his wife and makes time for his family? The man who graduates with honors from the best univesity in the country but with no morals or the man who didn't get into college but makes sure to treat everyone fairly? The man who is childlike in speech but has profound thoughts and actions or the man who speaks of honor, duty, and courage but has no idea how to apply them in his life?

In the end, only God has the right gauge. When it comes to standards, only the standards of the one with the relevant authority will count -- all the rest become immaterial. Take constitutional law for example, the president may propose a bill that meets his standards but Congress may overrule him if the majority thinks it doesn't meet their standards. In the same way, Congress may pass a bill but if the Supreme Court finds it doesn't meet its standards it has the right to declare the bill unconstitutional. Of course, with God everything is under Him so all gauges should be set according to His standards. He never looks at the outward manifestations but at the inner man. Maturity according to His standards is gauged by the individual's maturity in His Word, his spiritual maturity. When maturity in that is attained, it can be applied to every aspect in life.

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
2Peter 3:18

"And beside this giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (Love). For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2Peter 1:5-10

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."
1Peter 2:2

"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:13-14

Labels: , , ,

Weird For The World

"And hereby we do know that we know HIM, if we keep HIS commandments. He that saith, I know HIM, and keepeth not HIS commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth HIS word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in HIM. He that saith he abideth in HIM ought himself also so to walk, even as HE (Jesus) walked." 1John 2:3-6

The Bible clearly states that anyone who claims to be a Christian must walk as Jesus walked. Many people will argue that this is too 'fundamentalist', too extreme. "How," they will say, "can you even expect anyone to come close to being like Christ?" Isn't that just what a Christian is supposed to be -- someone who follows Christ? Nowadays, the people liberally use the words 'Christian', 'Born Again', and even 'Born Again Christian' as if it were some kind of religion. Christianity is not a religion -- it's a way of life. It applies to an individual's whole life -- with each day, each action, each word and not just in church. People have a common tendency to compartmentalize their faith -- we usually act different in church, with friends, in business, even in our personal lives. Christianity is not something you can compartmentalize -- when one claims to be a Christian and calls Jesus "Lord", that person has a duty to do what pleases God. "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

Of course, when you preach obedience a surprising number of people will voice their dissent.

"You're preaching fundamentalism!" "You're preaching salvation by works!"

Au contraire. We preach Christ, we preach Christ crucified. Without a doubt, salvation is by grace through faith and not of works but the moment we accept that grace, the moment we are made clean, we have a duty to obey Him. "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." One cannot accept Him as Savior but refuse to accept Him as Lord.

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." Titus 3:4-8

Christians should live life not according to the dictates of the world but according to the dictates of His Word. Sadly, however, this is rarely preached in the pulpits. All over the world, you can hardly see a difference between a Christian and an 'unbeliever' -- nowadays, fornication, adultery, homosexuality and drugs are rampant in many churches. Most of the churches in the United States have even gone so far as to allow gay marriage and gay ministers. Conformity is the rule rather than the exception. As the Apostle Paul said, "This shouldn't be so." There should be a difference. In His Word everything is black and white, there are no gray areas.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

"For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do -- living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, ant they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." 1 Peter 4:1-5

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1John 2:15-17

He has taken us 'out of the world', He has purified us unto himself 'a peculiar people, zealous of good works.' We are the 'lights of the world' and the 'salt of the earth' but how can we be lights if nobody can see a difference in our lives? If we apply Christianity to our lives, if we apply His Word to our lives, Christ will shine in everything we do -- in what we say, how we do things, how we react, with the company we keep, in the way we live, in the movies or shows we watch, in the music we listen to, even in the way we dress. As a rule, however, once you apply His Words to your life the world as a whole will view you as peculiar -- in other words, weird.

A few months ago, we heard about a comment that we in the bible study were weird. It may sound derogatory to some but we choose to take it as a compliment. Jesus himself tells us that "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." It would have been normal for us to have been dismayed or puzzled by such a comment but we actually view it with a sense of humor. In fact, when I told Achi Joy about the comment she shared that verse and came back with an apt repartee. "That's why," she said, "from now on we will be called Weird For The World!!!"Image Touche...

Labels: , , ,

Don't Bend The Wire

Having been a teen until recently (ummm...well, four years ago to be exact) I know how right this post from SpunkyHomeSchool is about teens and the 'growing up' years. Of course, many of my friends (you know who you are) will protest my use of the word 'recently' -- to some, I'm already an ancient. Image Let them say what they want. Frankly, I still remember everything as if it were yesterday...well, maybe almost everything...

That said, here's the post from a blog '
dedicated to the ramblings of a homeschooling mother of 6...'

Jema at Rough Cut Gems is asking if the teen years have to be so turbulent. I have been a little hesitant to post on this because my own children are not yet grown up. So my credibility is not super strong but I am seeing encouraging signs. (Here are the blogs from my three oldest Kristin, Jason, and Joshua, for your scrutiny.) But I would like to share a conversation I had with my son.

A few months ago I took Jason (14) out to lunch. Actually, he suggested it and he was buying so off we went to Arby's for the 5 for $5 special. While I watched him eat his four sandwiches in the length of time it took me to eat one, we chatted about alot of different things. When there was a lull in the conversation I switched the subject to a scripture that I had been meaning to ask him about. Proverbs 22:36 says "My son, give me thine heart and let thine eyes observe my ways." This seemed like the appropriate time to ask him if we still retained his heart even though he was in the middle of growing from a boy to a man.

He grinned and said, "Mom, if you and dad didn't have my heart then do you think I'd be sitting here with you at Arby's right now?"

Good point.

So I pressed him a little on why he thinks teens seem to stray away and what could a parent do to keep a child from rebelling against them and the Lord.

He said, "Don't bend the wire." I was confused. What exactly does that mean?

He kept going. "Did you ever notice that a wire once it has been bent can't go exactly straight again. I've tried it. It can go pretty straight but you can never get the kink out completely." Now, I was really confused and wondering if my son really understood what I was getting at.

I asked him, "What does any of this have to do with you and teenagers?"

"Mom," he said, "You and dad are the wire and I am trying to get you to bend a little but don't do it. Don't give in to my selfish demands. I may recover but it will never be quite the same. Most parents don't understand that we want you to say no. The minute you give in it's all over. I want to believe what you believe but if you don't believe in it why should I?"

I got it.

This is from a son who was very difficult to handle at different times. The son who in his early years could send me into tears just by walking into the room. Now he was sitting across from me and telling me to stay strong and stay the course. I am sure there will be a few more bumps in the road before he takes on the full responsibilities of a man but I am following his wise counsel and I think he is going to make one fine husband and father one day.

He gave me a few more hints on the mindset of a teen that I hope to blog about real soon. But I'll be busy the rest of the weekend so it'll have to wait.


Labels: , ,

The Socialization Myth

More 'homeschool' blogs from another parent, '
an 11 year veteran of homeschooling her two children, from leaving public school in the elementary grades through high school graduation and into college.'

Socialization is what I refer to as "The 'S' Word". It scares off potential homeschoolers, paralyzing their families with fear, and causing their friends and neighbors to look at them with suspicion that they must belong to some political-fringe militia.

In reality, everyone has a socialization problem. Public schools are prime examples of bad socialization. When we took our children out of the government education system, we left behind only the people our children did not like playing with anyway. "Friends" we felt were bad influences could easily be forgotten about. The friends who remained were the ones my children saw most often anyway: church friends, neighborhood friends, soccer teammates, etc.

For the first few years, my daughter got together with her favorite public school girlfriends once or twice a year. That was as often as they all desired to get together, and it was more than enough to show each one how the three of them were drifting apart in their interests. As the girls matured through middle-school age, the public-schooled girls became increasingly "boy crazy" and focused on self-image. My own daughter developed new interests based on her homeschool experiences: reading historical Christian fiction and working with her collection of antique clothing buttons. As we met other homeschooling families, the old friends were gradually replaced with new friends with values similar to ours. It became increasingly obvious to our daughter and to us as parents that we held Family in much higher esteem than did many of our acquaintances. Sibling relationships were considered sacred to us and nothing or no one was allowed to interfere with them -- an opposite attitude from the one held by most former-friends' families. Friends can be highly over-rated; siblings will still be here long after friends move away.

My husband has handled many "socialization" questions from co-workers. Once, when asked, "What do you do about socialization?" he began by simply asking the person if they were referring to "good" socialization or "bad" socialization. That was all he needed to say. The co-worker took that ball and ran with it, saying, "Oh, I know what you mean! My own kid came home the other day, and he told me about what was going on at his school..." The question had been answered, and the distinction had been clearly made in his own mind: there are two types of socialization, and we have control over which type we subject ourselves to.

All of you who have been asked why you chose homeschooling over Christian school raise your hands. Aha! I see tentative fingers wiggling all over the blogoshpere! The hopefully well-meaning friend or family member posing the question probably assumed that Christian schools are a desirable place to obtain an education. But ignorance can be fixed. (My apologies to the wonderful, dedicated Christian schools that must be out there somewhere.)

When we were first investigating the alternatives to government school, we checked into our local Christian schools. I was as innocent as the next moron and also assumed that the private schools were brimming with shiny-faced cherubs as eager to learn about Jesus as they were to learn to multiply and divide. I had never stopped to consider what happens to the thugs, bullies, and would-be drug pushers who manage to get themselves expelled from the government institutions -- they get put into Christian schools! Their parents (often, parent -- singular) consider themselves incapable of dealing with Scarface-Junior and want to "leave it to the professionals." Must I be the one to remind them that "parent" is also a verb? (This is not to imply that single parents are destined to raise "behavior challenged" children. It does, however, mean that the houligans who get expelled from public school and plunked into Christian school usually have not been raised with two active parents present in the home. -- Join me in a round of applause for all the dedicated, single parents who are finding ways to homeschool!)

Time for another show of hands. You have heard: "Without proper socialization, your homeschooled kids will grow up in a bubble and never know what the real world is like." Wow, no hesitancy that time! Let's compare environments. Scene 1: Thirty children all approximately the same age, herded together in a crowded room, all doing exactly the same assignment at exactly the same time to exactly the same instructions, day after day, year after year. Scene 2: A handful of children of assorted ages, spread out all over the house and yard, doing independent assignments as they are capable, each lesson tailored to each student's interests and abilities, with the routine broken frequently for running errands with Mom or attending to family celebrations and/or emergencies. If Scene 1 appears to you to be more of a sterile "bubble" environment and Scene 2 appears to be different every day, every month, every year, then we agree. Homeschooled kids are the ones who truly live in the real world; public schoolers hear about the real world, but do not really experience it until they leave the institution.

Face it -- no one can love my child, care for my child, understand my child, or teach my child better than I can. Homeschooling adapts to the idiosyncrasies of life in a way no institution possibly can.

Finally, I will quote from my favorite homeschool T-shirts: "When you're homeschooled, there's no telling where you'll end up," picturing Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, with the noble faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln faithfully watching over the horizon of this nation. "Mt. Rushmore: The National Monument to Homeschooling" -- 'nuff said.


Labels: , ,

'Why Do We Educate?' from SpunkyHomeSchool

I read the following post about two months ago and the author strikes me as a dedicated parent who truly believes in what she is doing and knows why she is doing it. In this blog a mother of 6 homeschooled children talks about what education should mean. She has many biblical and very inspiring insights into homeschooling and parenting.

Chris O'Donnel and ExPat are having a blog conversation on education. ExPat threw out this challenge.
So I ask you, Mr. O'Donnell, do you know why you are teaching your children what you are teaching them?
Well, I'm not Chris and I don't attempt to speak for him (He does very well on his own.) but I thought I'd jump in and share a little about why we educate our children. Here goes. (For long time readers this is a slight revision of an earlier post.)
Who defines the "educational goal"? Before we can ever begin to think about how we are to teach a child, we must decide why we are to teach a child. What is a "well educated child"?

I had a mother call me sometime ago. She had received my name from a mutual friend and she wanted to home educate her son. He was currently enrolled in the local public school. Her first question was what she needed to buy to home educate. Before answering, I asked her a few questions. My first question was "Why do you want to educate your son?

She responded with a series of reasons on why she no longer wanted him enrolled in the local school. "Okay, so you are dissatisfied with the public schools", I replied, "But that doesn't answer my question. Why do you want to educate your son?"

She then replied with the some of the benefits of home education and how they do so much better that the public school. I responded again, "I am glad you want to home educate but you still haven't told me why you want to educate your son?"

She was getting a little frustrated so I rephrased the question this way "Move past the method of education and ask yourself , "Why do you care that your son knows anything about anything?"

She paused mementarily and then said, "Well, I guess I would like for him to make a good living for himself so that he can afford to do the things that he wants to do and to be happy. And a good education will do that won't it?"

"Sure it will, but let's take that and move forward about 30 years. Your son is now a famous millionaire who can afford to travel the world. You are back here in Michigan sitting in a nursing home. He pays all your bills but only visits sporadically. He is happy but you are ignored and miserable. Would you consider yourself a success at the education you have provided?"

"No", she admitted. She began to realize that academics was only a part of a well educated adult.

She then turned the tables on me and asked me why I educate my children.

I responded, "My children's success is not determined by a degree or a dollar. That a well educated child is one who knows and loves the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loves their neighbor as themselves."

She acknowledged that these were not her goals but that she didn't really know what an well educated child would be for her. This is sad.

The point of this story is not to convince you that my educational goal should be this mother's educational goal but to illustrate that the goal must be defined before the methodology can be determined. I could have given her a list curriculum to buy but she probably would have found it unworkable for her (maybe even offensive!).

WHY we educate must be determined before we decide HOW to educate. The public schools have a reason to desire a uniform, "equal", edcuation for its citizens.

But an equal education is a fallacy because we will never all have the same educational goal. Thus, what one may call a success another would call a complete failure. This is the great dilemma of the public schools. "Equal education" only works with a uniform goal. A goal which works well for the state but usually leaves the individual out in the cold.


Labels: , , ,


A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"

DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"

SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"

DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily.

SON: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"

DAD: "If you must know, I make $20 an hour."

"Oh", the little boy replied, with his head down.
Looking up, he said, "Daddy, may I please borrow $10?"

The father was furious, "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such childish behavior?"

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

"Are you asleep, son?" He asked.

"No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier," said the man.

"It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $10 you asked for."

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. "Oh, thank you daddy!" He yelled.
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father.

"Why do you want more money if you already have some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.

"Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."

Share $20 worth of time with someone you love. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts.

As Harvey MacKay put it, "Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back." In the world of today, we have so many 'time saving' inventions/gadgets and yet we never really make time for the things that matter. They say, 'Time is money' but time is more valuable than money. You can always make more money but you can't make more time.

Labels: , ,

Badminton vs. Tennis

Badminton vs. Tennis

Statistics don't lie. The speed and the stamina required for badminton are far greater than for any other racket sport. At the 1985 All England (Tennis) Championships, Boris Becker defeated Kevin Curren 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. At the 1985 World Badminton Championships in Calgary, Canada, Han Jian of China defeated Morten Frost of Denmark, 14-18, 15-10, 15-8. The following is a statistical comparison of those matches.
   Tennis   Badminton

Time: 3 hrs & 18 mins 1 hr & 16 mins

Ball/Shuttle in Play: 18 mins 37 mins

Match Intensity*: 9 percent 48 percent

Rallies: 299 146

Shots: 1,004 1,972

Shots Per Rally: 3.4 3.5

Distance Covered: 2 miles 4 miles

* The actual time the ball/shuttle was in flight, divided by the length of the match.

Note that the badminton players competed for half the time, yet ran twice as far and hit nearly twice as many shots.

Labels: , , ,

The Triple Filter Test

Greek philosopher Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day he came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"

"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me, I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."

"All right," said Socrates, "so you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about my student, even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter -- the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"

The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

Here is a useful lesson that we should apply as often as possible -- especially since human beings have an irrepressible urge to gossip. The Bible itself is full of exhortations about that.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth."

"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

Really, what could be more detrimental to a friendship than saying something unfavorable about someone to another person who is not involved? Why not say it straight to the person involved instead? If one doesn't have the guts to directly say what he or she wants to say to the individual in question then what is the purpose of saying it to someone else? Doesn't the Bible say "go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone?" As an experiment, try striking up a conversation with anyone and see how long it takes before something derogatory is said about a common acquaintance. It should be interesting to see if you even get past the fingers of one hand when counting the persons who didn't say anything negative about someone else in one sitting.

Labels: , , ,

Points to Ponder

"Many people profess Christianity. Very few live it -- almost none. And when you live it people may think you're crazy. It has been truthfully said that the world is equally shocked by one who repudiates Christianity as by one who practices it."

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."
G.K. Chesterton

"Christianity: an interesting concept; however, no one keeps true to the practice."
Thomas Squiers

"The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced."
Elton Trueblood

"Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder's than any other agency in the world."
Richard Le Gallienne

"The greatest service that could be rendered the Christian peoples would be to convert them to Christianity."

"And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him...he that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He (Jesus) walked." 1 John 2:3-6

"And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46

Labels: , ,

How Far Our Society Has Degenerated...

Breaking News: ATLANTA (AP) A government advisory panel has recommended the routine vaccination of 11- and 12-year-old girls against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

I still remember the days when this problem used to apply only to those in their mid-twenties -- and then only to the so-called 'promiscous' ones. At least in those days, even though fornication as a sin was hardly preached, there was still a kind of social taboo against pre-marital sex. At present, it's so widespread it's a fact of life. Of course, the fact that people have a certain aversion to mixing 'social' and 'educational' issues with 'religion' doesn't help anyone. One can hardly blame the youth of today for acting as they do when nobody ever taught them what to do. "But we do have sex education", people would argue. We do have that -- but sex education doesn't teach kids that God views fornication as a sin, it doesn't teach kids about immorality. Sex education teaches that fornication is ok -- just use a condom.

Who's to blame? Television, for one. Promiscuity is not only promoted in almost every teen show, movie, or music video -- it is actually glorified. But does the blame rest squarely on the shoulders of the producers? No...the greater weight if not all the blame rests on the parents. Every incident is a direct result of the parents' failure in their responsibility to train up their child. As Michelle Rodriquez so elegantly put it on an interview about her role in The Fast and the Furious, "You raise an asshole in your house, you'll get an asshole. If you raise up your kid to be an asshole, he's gonna be an asshole whether we made this movie or not". 'Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it'. A very basic teaching but one set aside by even 'conservative Christians'. As 'good stewards', all parents have a God-given duty to guide their children in ALL decisions until they are mature enough to make their own decisions. The very fact that even the children of pastors are engaging in pre-marital sex should show us how far we have strayed away from 'The Way'. In today's culture, having more than one relationship at any given time is not just commonplace -- it's a status symbol. You have one boyfriend or girlfriend, you're OK. Two, you're good. Three...you're smokin'... -- and playing around with additional 'prospects' is SOP, by the way. Just don't get caught. But if you do get caught, at least you get to add the poor fool in your 'trophy list'.

Nowadays, fornication is seen as part of growing up but the Bible clearly states that anyone who commits it cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Sadly for everyone, it is hardly preached to the youth of today -- what is being preached is 'safe sex'. Fornication is now just a word that only prudes use and if you preach against it you become labeled as 'ultra-conservative' or 'laid-back', 'behind-the-times'.

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 1 Corinthians 6:15-20

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication...of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21

Labels: , , , ,

The Birds and the Bees (Tech Age Version)

Thanks to Achi Joy -- now we know.
Image Image

A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers: "Well son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!"

Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:
Scroll Down


You got Male!

Labels: , ,

Insights...'Eternal Sunshine of the Med Student's Mind'?

Here is a preview of what med school can do to you. Image I got the following post from my bestfriend's blog. She just finished Med. Tech. and is now into the first year of medicine proper -- that should explain the half-crazed definitions you are about to read. Image hahaha By the way, she's in this very unhealthy relationship with an entity named Harper. Day in, day out she's always with Harper -- she even spends most of the night with Harper! Image This...this...thing...is taking up all her time. Who would've thought she'd end up with...a...book! haha Yeah, Harper Biochem... Image

From Cressilda Chan's blog:

Warning: The following post you are about to read is a product of a mentally-exhausted freshman med student who is desperate to find an avenue to release her pent-up energy. Read in your own discretion.

A. The table ANATOMY- a strong, sturdy, reliable wooden piece of furniture. PHYSIOLOGY- used for placing the absurd amount of books on, to write notes on, to occasionally bang one's head upon.

B. The med books ANATOMY- for the standard freshman, consists of the Biochemistry textbook, Physiology textbook and Histology textbook. PHYSIOLOGY- is very useful for finding information and also for stabbing with using any one of the following materials.

C. The writing apparatus
ANATOMY- consists of a variety of writing materials, from pencils, to ball pens, to sign pens, to highlighters.
PHYSIOLOGY- perfect for driving deep into the textbook and can also be used to write with and to highlight almost all of the words in the book.

D. The handy notebook
ANATOMY- a spring-bound long notebook that will never have enough pages in the long run.
PHYSIOLOGY- used for writing notes during independent study time, perfect for doodling when the brain cells start to play with themselves.

E. The cup
ANATOMY- a plastic, porcelain, or glass holder.
PHYSIOLOGY- used for holding any liquid beverage for making sure the student will always need to make the effort to walk to the comfort room or else will have to relieve her/himself in the chair.

F. The mp3 player
ANATOMY- a electronic device that plays music into the ears of the student as the night wears on.
PHYSIOLOGY- perfect for keeping up and for making the student aware of his or her surroundings as the family members are sound asleep in the bedrooms.

I would like to thank Harper's Biochemistry, Guyton and Hall's Textbook of Physiology and Bloom and Fawcett's Histology for my reference material

I would also like to acknowledge Pilot for my pen and Stabilo for my highlighter

My thanks to Nescafe for keeping me up at night

And finally... my acknowledgements to my brother... for waking me up in the most inappropriate times to say that it's time for school.

Labels: , , , ,

Homeschoolers are WEIRD!!!

Say what? Homeschoolers are weird! Having been a homeschooler from pre-school to college that is one of the many derogatory comments I have heard from misinformed people who think ‘homeschooling’ means ‘no schooling’. The list goes on, “How will you learn anything?”, “That’s boring!”, “What about socialization?”, “How sure are you that you are getting a proper education?”, “How will you learn to communicate?”, “How will you know how to live in the real world?” Now, for those who honestly have no idea what “homeschooling” means here is a definition from Wikipedia.org:

Home education, also called homeschooling or home school, is an educational alternative in which children are educated at home by their parents, in contrast to the compulsory attendance which takes place in an institution with a campus such as a public school or private school.

In short, homeschoolers do get educated – just not by a public or private school. Still, the question remains. Does it work? Of course, it does! Don’t take my word for it, though. Take a look at official statistics from the research of government and non-government organizations in the United States.

Home school students do exceptionally well when compared with the nationwide average. In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBS and TAP batteries, home school students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts (Figure 1).

Because home education allows each student to progress at his or her own rate, almost one in four home school students (24.5%) are enrolled one or more grades above age level (Figure 2). It should be noted that home school scores were analyzed according to the student’s enrolled grade rather than according to the student’s age level. In other words, a 10-year-old home school student enrolled in 5th grade would have been compared to other students in the 5th grade, rather than to his age-level peers in the 4th grade. Thus, the demonstrated achievement of home schoolers is somewhat conservative.

On average, home school students in grades 1–4 perform one grade level higher than their public and private school counterparts. The achievement gap begins to widen in grade 5; by 8th grade the average home school student performs four grade levels above the national average (Figure 3).

Another significant finding is that students who have been home schooled their entire academic lives have the highest scholastic achievement. The difference becomes especially pronounced during the higher grades, suggesting that students who remain in home school throughout their high school years continue to flourish in that environment (Figure 4).

The grade equivalent score comparisons for home school students and the nation are shown in the next graph. In grades one through four, the median ITBS/TAP composite scaled scores for home school students are a full grade above that of their public/private school peers. The gap starts to widen in grade five. By the time home school students reach grade 8, their median scores are almost 4 grade equivalents above their public/private school peers (Figure 5).

Education Policy Analysis Archives EPAA Editorial Board

Lawrence M. Rudner

Dr. Rudner is with the College of Library and Information Services,
University of Maryland, College Park

He has been involved in quantitative analysis for over 30 years, having served as a university professor, a branch chief in the U.S. Department of Education, and a classroom teacher. For the past 12 years, he has been the Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, an information service sponsored by the National Library of Education, U.S. Department of Education which acquires and abstracts articles and manuscripts pertaining to educational assessment, evaluation, and research; builds and maintains on-line databases; publishes articles and books; and provides a wide range of user services. Dr. Rudner holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (1977), an MBA in Finance (1991), and lifetime teaching certificates from two states. His two children attend public school.


In 2003, the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) conducted a survey of over 7,300 U.S. adults who had been home-educated (over 5,000 for more than seven years). Their findings included:

* Home-educated graduates are active and involved in their communities. 71% participate in an ongoing community service activity, like coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighborhood association, compared with 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages from a traditional education background.

* Home-educated graduates are more involved in civic affairs and vote in much higher percentages than their peers. For example, 76% of surveyed between the ages of 18 and 24 voted within the last five years, compared with only 29% of the relevant U.S. population. The numbers of home-educated graduates who vote are even greater in older age groups, with voting levels not falling below 95%, compared with a high of 53% for the corresponding U.S. populace.

* Of those adults who were home-educated, 58.9% report that they are "very happy" with life (compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. population). Moreover, 73.2% of homeschooled adults find life "exciting", compared with 47.3% of the general population.

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), a U.S government agency, has published multiple articles on home education. Here are excerpts from one which examined several studies on home-educated children socialization:

According to the findings, children who were educated at home "gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in society...at a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children.


The researcher found no difference in the self concept of children in the two groups, and maintains that "insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that home-schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children."

Proponents argue further that the social environment of traditional schools:

* strongly inhibits individuality and creativity,
* follows the standards set by the slowest students,
* involves bullying, recreational drug use, early sexuality, defiance, criminality, materialism, and eating disorders.

and that socialization in the wider community:

* leads them to see adults, rather than peers, as role models,
* better prepares them for real life,
* encourages them to be more involved in youth, church, and sports organizations,
* helps them develop an independent understanding of themselves and their role in the world, with the freedom to reject or approve conventional values without the risk of ridicule,
* teaches children to deal with a variety of situations and people,
* still provides for interaction with conventionally-educated children after school hours in their neighbourhood and in other after-school activities.

Cafi Cohen -- author of And What About College? How Homeschooling Leads to Admission to the Best Colleges and Universities -- spent two full days observing public school classes. During those days, she kept track of administrative time versus on-task time. On-task time is roughly defined as students really doing something - reading, writing, listening to lectures, etc. Cohen discovered that less than one hour out of each six-hour school day was spent on-task. The bulk of the day was spent on administrative duties: taking attendance, collecting homework and reports, making announcements, passing out supplies, preparing for activities, cleaning up, and discipline - perhaps the biggest time-waster of all.


Almost 25% of home school students were enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools.

Home school student achievement test scores were exceptionally high. The median scores for every subtest at every grade (typically in the 70th to 80th percentile) were well above those of public and Catholic/Private school students.

On average, home school students in grades 1 to 4 performed one grade level above their age-level public/private school peers on achievement tests.

Students who had been home schooled their entire academic life had higher scholastic achievement test scores than students who had also attended other educational programs.

There were no meaningful differences in achievement by gender, whether the student was enrolled in a full-service curriculum, or whether a parent held a state issued teaching certificate.

The statistics all show that homeschooling does not provide inferior education. On the contrary, experts agree that homeschoolers are the highest scorers in nationwide achievement tests. Ok…but what about SOCIALIZATION? The ever recurring question when people find out that you’re ‘homeschooled’. Official studies state that "insofar as self concept is a reflector of socialization, it would appear that few home-schooled children are socially deprived, and that there may be sufficient evidence to indicate that home-schooled children have a higher self concept than conventionally schooled children." In our society, however (especially in the Philippines), there is a bias against anything not conforming to anything traditional. People who deviate from the traditional course become pariahs from society and are labeled as ‘non-conformists’, ‘crazy’, ‘selfish’, ‘weird’, or simply ‘stupid’.

My parents were the first in our area to dare to ‘homeschool’ and our family has experienced first-hand the prejudice that people have toward ‘non-conformists’. Our family became the outcasts of society, the essence of all things weird. Almost nobody wanted to be associated with us except for a select few who ‘tolerated’ us but still thought we were weird and pitied our ‘homeschooled = no education’ state. Happily for my sister and I, our parents persisted in their ‘craziness’ and homeschooled us all the way. No regrets, whatsoever. After about two decades of homeschooling in our family, people have started to change their minds – some even going so far as to also homeschool their own children. With all the things going wrong with the educational system in the Philippines parents are finally starting to wonder if maybe those crazy, stupid, weird, non-conformists were right after all. People who were once among the most rabid opponents of our being home-schooled have suddenly started praising our education and many have even become proponents of the very system they once lambasted publicly.

Sad to say, the system that produced my parents (both being honor students and valedictorians, my mom being first in her class and valedictorian from grade school to high school and getting top grades in college) does not work, or should I say, has ceased to work. It has been degraded to a point where students in that system are taught to hate learning and teachers have absolutely no idea what they’re doing. What child wouldn’t hate learning when he or she has to wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get to school on time then get home around 6 or 7 in the evening after having lessons crammed into their brains (the teacher being content to just throw out assignments without bothering to explain them – there’s the tutor for that). What’s more, right after dinner or during dinner there’s the tutor who’s going to be around ‘til around 10:30 in the evening to explain everything that the teacher didn’t explain – sometimes, if not most of the time, the tutor is that very same teacher. Now where’s the sense in that? You pay extravagant fees to the best schools to give your child an education then right after school you pay the same teacher to explain to your child what she taught them that very same day. Teachers nowadays don’t care whether a child learns or not, they’re just there to hand out assignments everyday, right? As if those assignments are even worth anything. What does a 7-year-old child learn from being given an assignment to type 50 poems and submit them by the next day? Typing? Students in our system even have trouble reading and understanding written english up to the 3rd and 4th grades and they’re expected to type fifty poems by the next day?

The state of our educational system is in such a deplorable state that students don’t retain anything that they’ve been taught. All they do is memorize dates and formulas for the next test and forget them to memorize the next set of dates and formulas and they don’t even have any idea about the details. Ask any high school graduate what he or she remembers from their 4 years in high school and a very large percentage will say “nothing”. Our system is such that even high school students have trouble with reading comprehension. How is it possible for high school valedictorians to fail a college entrance exam? Impossible as it may seem, it does happen.

One easy way to measure the quality of traditional schooling with homeschooling is to take the diagnostic test. In the past few years honor students, valedictorians, and many of the brightest students took diagnostic tests in schools offering the “homeschool curriculum”. Every one of them fell back 2 or 3 grades. The quality of the homeschool curriculum is such that if you graduate high school under this curriculum your grades will be among the highest in the country.

Education is not just cramming all kinds of information into a child’s brain until he or she can’t take any more – it’s about teaching a child to love to learn, to explore and be creative. The traditional system does exactly the opposite. We are in an age where “high standards” mean more homework, more tutors, more extra curricular activities, and lessons that are way above a child’s level. No thought is given to how much a child has retained or understood, just as long as he or she memorizes everything by the next exam. A student under the traditional system spends 9-13 hours every day studying and there isn’t even much assurance of passing grades – unless, of course, you pay an extra ‘fee’. Now compare that with the homeschool system. A minimum of 1 hour each day is required, no homework, no lessons above your level (you can’t move on to the next lesson if you don’t understand the current lesson), and passing grades are guaranteed – for most students it’s not a question of whether you will pass but whether the grade is perfect or in the 90’s.

To this day, many people are still opposed to homeschooling. Its opponents far outnumber its proponents but the results are undeniable. Every day, more and more people are having second thoughts about their beloved traditional system. Who knows, the day may come when people will say, “those weird traditional schoolers”. Come what may, this ‘Weird Homeschooler’ considers it an honor and a privilege to be counted among the few but steadily growing community of ‘weirdos’.

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." -Socrates

Labels: , , , , ,