CREATED FOR RELATIONSHIPS

Man was created to be a being in relation. In the book of Genesis, following the creation of Adam, God declared: “it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable help for him.” Genesis 2:18. This shows that God intended for man to find a mate, raise a family and live out His plan for him.

But the referenced words do not just point to man’s need of a marriage partner; they also indicate that man is social being and is at his best and fullest when in a relationship rather than trying to find meaning in life as a lone ranger or a hermit, away from the society of fellow human beings.

John Donne penned the following words which have become a classic:

“No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me;
Each man’s grief, is my own.

We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother;
Each mas as a friend.”

We can thrive only in relationships. We need each other. Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century, carried out a rather cruel and cruel experiment. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. He decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of the human voice. He reasoned that they would eventually speak the nature tongue of man. Wet nurses who were sworn to absolute silence were obtained, and though it was difficult for them, they abided by the rule. The infants never heard a word — not a sound from a human voice. Within several months they were all dead.

Research also shows that single men are jailed more often, earn less, have more illnesses and die at a younger age than married men. It has also been shown that married men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer. Further, women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers. Married or not, relationships keep us alive.

We note then that social relationships are not just there for our comfort or convenience. They are for our very survival and for better health and greater success in the business of living. In fact the Carnegie Technological Institute has stated that 90% of all people who fail in their life’s vocation fail because they cannot get along with people. So it is good to know how to related with them so that we can have more success and greater happiness.

And to assist us in polishing our human relations skills, here are a few reminders which have been adapted from the Bible Tract Bulletin:

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF HUMAN RELATIONS

  1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
  2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourtenn to smile.
  3. Call people by name. One’s name is music to his ears.
  4. Be friendly and helpful.
  5. Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is genuinely a pleasure, and if it isn’t, learn to make it so.
  6. Be genuinely interested in people. You can like almost everybody if you try.
  7. Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.
  8. Be considerate with the feelings of others. There are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the other fellow’s, and the right one.
  9. Be alert to serve. What counts most in life is what we do for others.
  10. Add to this is a good sense of humor, a big dose of patience, and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded manifold through life.

May we find greater meaning and joy in life as we live our lives according to God’s plan.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOU

Three ministers were arguing about what each considered as the best version of the Bible. One said that the King James Version was the best because it is closest among all the Bible translations to the original languages in which the Bible was written. The second minister expressed preference for the New International Version because it is in the language of the modern day common man. What good is truth if it is not understood by the reader? he asked. The third however said he preferred his mother’s version the best. When his two colleagues expressed surprise that his mother had her own version of the Scriptures, he explained that his mom reads the Bible and then lives the truth out in her life.

And that is what Bible truth is all about. It is supposed to be read, understood and lived out in the life so that it not only transforms the life of the reader but also serves as a powerful testimony to people within the sphere of one’s influence. This was what Paul meant when he wrote to the Thessalonian believers: “[Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:3.

This is of vital importance because in a busy and materialistic world that we live in, our lives may be the only Bible that would be read by others. And so the question for us is: What kind of message do people read from the Bible of our lives?

The following poem by Arthur McPhee nails this point:

The Gospel According to You

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Are read by more than a few,
But the one that is most read and commented on
Is the gospel according to you.

You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day
By the things that you do and the words that you say,
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true,
Say, what is the gospel according to you?

Do men read His truth and His love in your life,
Or has yours been too full of malice and strife?
Does your life speak of evil, or does it ring true?
Say, what is the gospel according to you?

May the love of Jesus and the good news of His salvation be seen and read in our lives as we live our lives each day.

TRIBUTE TO DADS

As we celebrate Father’s Day weekend, we pay tribute to the fathers in our congregation for what they are and what they do to keep our families going.

We live in an age when the family is under siege and the role of the father is diminished and downplayed.

We however affirm and validate that the father is the most important cog in this wheel of the home because it is the father who is its spiritual leader. It is the father’s responsibility to lead, guide, protect and provide for the members of the family. When the father fails in the tasks, the home crumbles and falls.

The enemy knows this and so he has focused his fury on the home because the home is the basic unit of the church and society and as the family and the home go, 90 go the nation and the church. And he has concentrated his attacks on the fathers of the home because he also knows that as the father goes, so goes the home.

So, to the fathers, we say thank you for all you do. We respect, appreciate, value and love you for who you are and what you do. And we pray that the Lord blesses you as you continue to faithfully carry on your God-given tasks. Following is a poem for fathers.

A DAD IS
A Dad is respected,
because he gives his children leadership.
A Dad is appreciated,
because he gives his children care.
A Dad is valued,
because he gives his children time.
A Dad is loved.
because he gives his children the one thing
they treasure most – himself.

Happy Father’s Day.

FORGIVENESS AND BODY WEIGHT

In my reading I came across an interesting study about how the state of the mind specifically as it relates to forgiveness or grudge holding can literally have its effect on body weight and the way a person is able to carry or lift himself up.

At the Erasmus University in the Netherlands, researchers asked people to write about a time when they either gave or withheld forgiveness. They were then asked to jump as high as they could, five times, without bending their knees. Those who had forgiven the ones who wronged them jumped an average of about 11.8 inches, while those who continued to hold grudges jumped 8.5 inches. The study showed that there was a huge difference in how high the two groups could jump and is a startling illustration of how forgiveness can actually unburden a person.

We sing songs about the burden of sin in our hearts being lifted at Calvary. We talk about being weighted down with the load of guilt. And how we feel so lighthearted and happy once we receive Gods forgiveness and offer the same to those who have offended us. Scientific evidence is corroborating this Biblical truth. It is no longer simply symbolical but is literally true.

Let us thank God for His forgiving grace and let us be ready to offer it those who need it from us. This brings joy to our hearts, spring in our footsteps and the load of hatred, resentment and bitterness off our souls.

TRUE EDUCATION AND ITS GOAL

Graduation time is here and all around an we can see trappings of success and results of hard work and steely determination through the years. Marching gowns and togas, diploma, medals and scholarship awards are all over Congratulations to all of our graduates this year. You are deserving of all the accolades. And we praise God for making it possible for you to achieve success in your school work.

Some of you will be proceeding to the work place and will start looking for jobs that will match your skills and training. The rest of you will want to reward yourselves with a carefree summer break while you prepare for a new term as you make your way to the top of the education ladder.

What all of you must remember is to make sure you have obtained or are obtaining an education that is true and that you are fulfilling the purpose and goal of this kind of education. This is not a school that we graduate tram. In fact it is something that we are enrolled in for as long as we live and while we are on this side of heaven.

The servant of the Lord says true education is that which trains youth and students for the life that now is and the life that is to come (Fundamentals of True Education, 327). She also has said that the object of education is “to restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created” (Education, 15-16).

If you feel that your education has trained you for life here on earth and prepared you for the life in the earth made new; and if in your soul the image of God is being restored and you are steadily and surely moving to the perfection in which man was created., then you arc experiencing real educational success. And this success is greater than any of the degrees, diplomas and awards you have earned or will ever achieve.

So again, congratulations. And wishing you more success in your educational pursuits.

MINI CAMP MEETING BLESSINGS

The weekend is over and the meetings are done. As we look back we can praise God for the worship experience we have had and the wonderful fellowship we have enjoyed. I have listed down a few of what I believe came as a result of these meetings. They are the following:

  • We have been reminded of how privileged we are as we look at ourselves and the blessings or have and enjoy here at Central Filipino Church through the eyes of our guests.
  • It was an opportunity to spruce up our facility. We did clean-up work and put things in order in the way that everything is pleasing to the eyes, particularly in the sight of heaven.
  • It gave us the privilege to work together, helping and supporting each other with the things that we need to do in hosting such a big event.
  • Our eyes were opened to events that are happening in the social, economic, political and religious world that we are living in and awaken us to the realization that we are indeed living in the closing moments of this earth’s history.
  • Much of what we heard are not new (last day events, principles of healthful living, medical missionary work, etc.) but they remind us of the fact that we know so much but practice so little. Let us live out the truth that we know and has been revealed to us and let the truth effect a revival and reformation in our lives as we get ready for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in latter rain power upon the church.

In the epistle of James (1:22-25), he says that we should be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Anyone who simply hears the Word and does not practice it is like the man who looks at himself in the mirror and goes on his way forgetting what he has seen about himself. But when we practice the truth and do what ace have heard, we are of all people most blessed.