A Fearless Warrior…

777_1119795379-c1By:  Nerissa B. Pe Benito

A soldier is tasked to uphold the Constitution and protect the freedom of his country.  He will spend days with physically challenging training, working and serving together just to perform proficiently in his oath as a soldier.  Wherever the war is, troopers exist either in a battling mood or inanimately found deserted on a cold zone of human conflicts.  Who  could be that dedicated and protective as them?  Their bravery is for what after they die?  Citations, medals and all the accolades, I feel, are all corruptible things which they cannot bring to heaven once they die.  I hope their gallantry will not be only remembered by people who knew them but for God to see the distinguished valour they did in their lives as soldiers of men. 

God has an army of people also and there are many who turned out to be fallen soldiers who diligently served their purpose as His warriors in the battleground of proliferation of Truth.  I believe they made a worthy battle for the Lord to end their lives, as they endure the hardness of becoming a faithful soldier until their last breath.  Bro. Eli Soriano leads the global propagation of salvation (in our time) which is not only for his race but for all races.  One who takes the action of a fight not against the flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) unlike soldiers who are combatant people to fight for their country and people. He roams around the world to do God’s battle to pull down of strong holds (2 Cor 10:4) sans tormenting physical war.  He is unperturbed  yet feisty to defend and uphold God’s wisdom.

Bro. Eli Soriano is truly a fearless warrior in the battlefield of salvation.  I believe no other religious leader has done or is doing the same thing as he does in this present time…

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Where Christmas has Gone?

by Nerissa B. Pe Benito

If the cool, breezy December air has to be the comparative guideline of what a Christmas is, positive.  Surely Christmas time envelopes around places! 

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,

Jack Frost nipping on your nose,

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,

And folks dressed up like Eskimos”

 

It is only the first day of August.  I had just came from office when this song (definitively called the Christmas Song was composed in 1946) is aired on radio.  My prying eyes caught some old folks in the bus to get nostalgic and develop  moist in their eyes . September comes and a good number of houses are already adorned with blinking, colourful lights. Here comes October and airwaves hit numerous Christmas songs every hour.  Big department stores appear to be all set for Christmas shoppers.  And why not?  Hundreds of twinkling little stars seem to lose their way back to galaxy shimmers brightly in these shopping places! The coming month November, if you think is a nightmare for  a warm welcome to celebrate yuletide season gives one a reason to kick you out of being a killjoy.  Store displays become merrier with the added visibility of candles (because many stands beautifully and fragrantly scented as well), flowers are interestingly arranged (fresh and artificial), and supposedly scary masks for trick-and-treating (aren’t frightening at all in the presence of loud, cheerful Christmas songs heard all over the store).  It is almost impossible not to be blinded with the brightly coloured lights that dances joyfully in every streets and corners of Makati and other city hubs.  Me, I am still in awe how I didn’t miss coming to office with my eyes half closed. And you’re right. December it is!  Everywhere I turn my head to, practically every houses I see are adorned with colourfully illuminated lanterns that sashay their beauty in the longest and most festive season of the year. 

 

I had all these scenes spin so freshly in my head that I am close to being awarded a ticket by this traffic law enforcer as I was caught in haze of which way to turn to.  Whew, thanks that he is not a hungry crocodile he “bites” my reason.  And it had happened probably because I have not been in busy places at night time for as long as I can remember.  Especially in a busy month like December.  And especially so I am not soaked in this practice for good seven years already! 

Big shopping places are not as well decorated and not many brightly coloured festoon adorn them anymore.  Buildings seemingly not well prepared to embrace yuletide.  Nor many houses twinkle happily at night.  There is lame plays of Christmas songs, so I thought too.  Are DJ’s had gotten old they forget to play them every so often?  I look around my neighbourhood, market places, fruit stalls and some small commercial areas.  Looks like number of people here has not increased nor decreased.  I have not seen and felt an excitement in them, considering they have waited this occasion for so long.  Or are they, really?    This is also a time when parents like to give little pleasure to their children by buying them new clothes or a new pair of shoes no matter how modest.  (But what if they could not anymore? )  This is also a time any household could be a bit lavish on preparing food in their dining table.  Ham, quezo de bola, fruits and either a kind of pasta or noodle dish are traditionally shared on the noche buena of almost every common family,  (And what it they don’t have any but bun and cheap instant noodles?)  Isn’t it a howling cry of penniless pockets!   Which is a reflection of an ailing economy, so I thought. 

But most of all, I think religion has something to do too with the changes in this Christmas tradition especially in the Philippines.  Controversies regarding it has been exposed and  scrutinized both in writing and heard as well in all forms of media (we could possibly think of). Only if people will be truthful and just be honest, once and for all, they’d say they see Christmas in a paler palette now because they had understand the truth about it.  That somehow they mellowed in anticipation of the yuletide. Enthusiasm about Christmas softened because they learned Jesus Christ is not born on the 25th of December morn, maybe they are now in doubt whether Santa Claus is  a girl or a gay.

My father in law used to accompany me in most bible expositions of a very popular preacher in the Philippines where all these were learned.  He is in a name of Brother Eli Soriano.  He could be heard in radio.  I could see him exists around the cyberspace.  In tubes, seen now around the world.  And what I’m telling you is, this is only about one subject.  Could you just imagine the many more issues we will discover if we are hooked on listening to him.  And it is not just about Christmas… 

Not observing Christmas or all soul’s day or holy week is not enough if you are one of those who ignore God’s heed.  Where this leads you to afterall?

Itch in Marriage

by: Nerissa Pe Benito

 

 

Blissful is how new spouses would describe their vow of union together.   Couples for that matter like to live a happy life ever after.  But according to the research “The Nature and Predictors of the Trajectory of Change in Marital Quality for Husbands and Wives over the First 10 Years of Marriage,” published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology, married couples’ assessment of the quality of their marriage starts to sink rapidly just after the “I do” and continues downward through the first four years. 

 

Partners  would start to have checkered disputes right after living under one roof together.    Capping a toothpaste would be one big argument  after a while.  Even spattered   water on the kitchen floor becomes a big deal.  Now it is a question of who wash the dishes or folds the laundry.  These are only few imaginable mundane things  that irritate spouses.   And who will not think now that bigger issues like money, children and sexual relationship be a source of marital strife?  

 

Successful and happy marriage does not happen overnight  They need to work at it everyday , 24/7 because love encompasses wide array of connections and relationships which supposedly should center on God first.  Next, honesty and  trust and fidelity.  

 

In the course of marriage, one spouse or both  partners will often struggle with strong feeling of jealousy when they see one another paying too much attention to other people aside from themselves.  When husbands are not as appreciative and as affectionate as in the beginning of their relationship or not spending romantic evenings with their wives anymore or do not  walk hand in hand any longer or simply forgetting  to say those three little words, eventually erode away  a close bond  between spouses.

 

Money matter comes in also as a significant factor in marital conflicts.  There is now a conflicting attitude on the importance and use of money like how to spend the money and who decides on what  to spend it on.  

 

There is no perfect marriage but there are many couples who have managed to patch up their differences to arrive at working on a solution to keep their union alive and vibrant.  To  attain a surviving union, one has to give up on his own identity, interests and opinions.   The couple should have a willingness  to work hard at keeping their relationship healthy .  Compromise is use as a survival  technique which is  a signal of enthusiastic offer to work together.

 

Most couples I know said God is the center of their relationship, I am now tempted to ask them why are they so eager to save a declining marriage yet thought of so little in a failing marriage with God.  Why then seemingly  He is out of view?