Sexy billboards

Last night in the news, the Department of Transportation demanded the advertisers to get rid or change the location of huge billboards, especially those with sexually suggestive contents, along major Metro Manila roads. The reason is simple — it’s distracting to motorists.

It’s like this: most drivers are men, men are visuals in nature, sexually suggestive contents of ad billboards are attracting to men, which means, its just a matter of time before a 10-vehicular-involving-cars-and-buses accident happen along EDSA.

Let’s face it, its really distracting, not only that they are huge, it’s “inviting”. I’ll be lying if I won’t admit that I am also “distracted” by those sometimes when driving along EDSA.

Incidentally, this morning, while blog-hopping, I found very relevant posts from two bloggers. Read their takes on this issue. They’re ladies, so if you’re a guy reading this, I’m sure you’ll get a fresh perspective aside from the typical testosteronic point of view. :D

I grabbed these two images from them to deliver the point.

What makes this billboard relevant to telecommunications?
Ah, this kind is rampant in EDSA.

So, there you go. I agree, get rid of those billboards and be home safe.

Re-energize Your Life

Passion is what energizes life. It turns the impossible into possible. In fact if you don’t have any passion in your life you’re boring. Your life is dull, routine, monotonous. We can go so far as say if you don’t have passion in your life you are not living. You are existing.

A lot of people die before they die. Inside they just loose it. And for the rest of their life they just kind of muddle by. They get by. That’s not the kind of life God meant for you to live. He meant for you to live a life of passion and adventure and energy.

This Sunday, we’re going to look at how to re-energize your life. First part of the series is “Restoring Your Passion”. Find answers to the questions like, Why do I not have the passions for life that I used to have? Why have I lost that zip, that enthusiasm? What is the cause of this dissipation in my life?

Join us at Celebration Sunday @ Grace Place for a morning of fellowship, worship and a relevant message that inspires and energize. We are meeting at Tiara Oriental Hotel (near Makati Fire Station and Makati Post Office). Service starts at 10:30 am. If you have questions, please text GRACEPLACE <your name> <your inquiry> to 2299.

Offering Grace

Forgiveness – a word so familiar yet so hard to apply and often misunderstood. Here’re some familiar misconception of what forgiveness means:

1. Forgiveness is NOT conditional. We often thought that a person who offended us needs to repent and ask for forgiveness first before we forgive. The thing is, forgiveness is totally independent of them, it is all about you who are offended releasing that forgiveness even before the offender asks for it.

2. Forgiveness isn’t minimizing the seriousness of the offense. “Its ok, I forgive you. Its nothing anyway”, is a common thought. The reality is, if its worth forgiving, it must have hurt you. Leave it that way, because you don’t have to minimize the offense for you to forgive.

3. Forgiveness isn’t resuming a relationship without changes. After the forgiveness has been delivered, it is not expected that the relationship damaged by the offense will be back to normal instantly. It’ll take time to build trust again.

4. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting what happened. The truth is, you’ll never forget. But you can forgive, remember the offense but not feel the hurt.

5. Forgiveness is not your right when you’re no the one hurt. Only offended persons can deliver forgiveness.

What then is genuine forgiveness? How can I effectively release my hurt by forgiving the person who hurt me?

Remember how much you’ve been forgiven. When Christ died, he paid your past, present and future sins. No matter how big your sins are, Christ has forgiven you. By remembering the forgiveness you received from God, you will realize how undeserving you are to receive that forgiveness, which means you also need to forgive the person who offended you no matter how undeserving he is.

Relinquish your right to get even. Forgiveness is letting God do the pay back part of the process. Paul said, “… never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God…” Rom. 12:19

Responding to evil with good. It is always a temptation to repay the bad things done to us by a corresponding bad thing. On the other hand, forgiveness is repaying evil with good. Jesus said, “… do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

Repeat the process as long as it takes. When Jesus said you need to forgive 70 times 7 (Matt 18-21-22), he simply means, forgive as long as there is hurt. Forgiveness is an endless process. We need to release forgiveness as long as it takes because God himself does that to us – we keep repeating the same mistake yet God still forgives.

Restoring Grace

Every human being has a relationship, and good ones have to be maintained, especially the one we have with God. Unfortunately, there’ll be times when the passion we once have for God seems to wan. It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s like a slippery slope where one step leads to another. The story of Peter in Mark 14:27-72, will give us an insight on what causes believers to fall away.

1. Over confidence. (verse 29) It is pride in disguise. It gives us a false feeling of being strong in faith, when in fact it is like termites, slowly crippling us until we can no longer stand. It is because when we think that we are not vulnerable to sin we let our defenses down, thus exposing ourselves more to temptations.

2. Laziness. (v.37). When we stop reading the Bible; tired of going to the church; when we stop praying, we disrupt our relationship with God, hence it goes downward. The Lord instructed us that we should not stop praying so that we will not fall into temptations. If we stop doing what we are told to be our only protection from sinning, we make ourselves wander away from where His hands could reach us. Just like with our cell phones, ”we are out of the coverage area.”

3. Fear of disapproval. (v.54). We worry so much on what others might think on our affair with the Lord. We fear rejection, judgment, ridicule or harassment from others if they learn of our affiliation with God, the closet Christians. But Jesus said, “If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my Father with the holy angels.”(Mark 8:38 NLT).

4. Convenience. (v.54b). One of the greatest challenges we face is the temptation to live selfishly, one of which is when we want to have a comfortable faith, the one that fits in our schedule and our lifestyle. The pattern starts when we become too busy to pray, too hard up on money to share, and too bored to listen to a grieving brother.

“There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). But still, disobedience to God’s instructions has its consequences: You’ll hurt yourself; you’ll hurt somebody else; you’ll feel awful about your life. Fortunately for us God’s grace dictates NO rejection for us (believers) even when we sin, because:

His love Is unconditional. The Bible says so, and we can’t put a question mark where God has put a period.

Salvation isn’t based on our performance. Because if it does, His blood seal on our salvation will be null and void.

Jesus has already taken my punishment. The Law of Double Jeopardy where we can’t be convicted of the same crime twice also applies in the laws of heaven. God can’t punish us for our sins because Jesus has already paid for it 2000 yrs.ago. But this only applies to those who accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Jesus understands my human weaknesses. Jesus is very patient with us because, “(He) understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin.” Heb.4:15 (NLT)

Because God doesn’t hold on to grudges. When we sin what was loss was our fellowship with Him, but never the relationship. Once we become a child of God we will forever be one, for how can you unscramble an egg.

There’s only one thing to do when we sin. RETURN. If we made one foolish step, all it takes is just one step backward and we will find God waiting for us,smiling.”With great compassion I will take you back”. Isa. 54:7 (LB)

Summarized by Joyce Gamboa
Grace Place celebrates every Sunday, 10:30 am at Tiara Oriental Hotel, Makati City. For inquiries, questions and directions to the location, please text GRACEPLACE <your name> <your message> to 2299.
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Liberating Grace

The human search for perfection winds its way through history. Every man and woman longed for a perfect job, perfect mate, perfect child. It’s called perfectionism. The Bible says it is foolish. We were made free from sin through Jesus Christ, which is a free gift. Perfectionism tempts us to put conditions on this grace because we are trying to prove our worth by being perfect, a performance trap. It can actually harm us: (1) It defeats our Initiative. If we wait for the perfect time, perfect situation, we’ll never get anything done; (2) It damages our relationships. People normally doesn’t enjoy the company of those who nags them to be perfect; (3) It destroys our happiness. “I’m too thin, too fat, etc. Trying to be perfect is impossible, doing so will rob us ,on the true meaning of life.

Good news is we can still break free from Performance trap and R.E.L.A.X. In God’s Grace.

Realize that nobody is perfect. We are all sinners, no one is perfect — except Jesus, and the world we live in is not perfect. It is a no-brainer and yet we lose the grip on this truth. There is a big gap between our “real self” and “ideal self”, and if we try to make ends meet between these two we’re going to lose our minds because it’s not going to happen. If this reality bothers us, remember that God created us, detailed up to the smallest mole in our feet, and He NEVER commit mistakes.

Enjoy God’s unconditional love. Before we consider our self a servant of God, we must acknowledge that, first and foremost we are a child of God. The difference is that a servant’s performance is base on what he does, while a child’s performance is based on who he is. God loved us simply because He has chosen to do so. Comparing His love to our imperfections and weaknesses is like belittling what He already injured for us on the cross.

Let God handle things. Being a creature of God, it’s not in our job description to gain control over things, it is a job meant for Him alone. “Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”.1 Peter 5:7

Act in faith, not fear. We have been saved by grace, so we shall live by grace. Fear tries to steal our joy away. So when life is heavy and we are afraid, think that we can go through the situation, not with our own strength, but by His grace.

eXchange my perfectionism with God’s Grace. Are you tired of the pressures of being perfect, as what the society dictates? Are you burned out with the rat race of trying to nag yourself of un worthiness? God is perfect and we are not. The only way to attain perfection is to be connected with that “perfect one”. Let go of this disease of perfectionism and accept God’s grace, because from heaven’s perspective grace is enough.

God designed a way for us to be dependent on Him, He made us imperfect. 2 Cor.12:7-9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. All of us is still under construction, and as we go through our life’s journey with Him, He’ll be faithfull to complete what He has started with us. Because only Jesus can make us into the people we were meant to be.

Summarized by Joyce Gamboa
Grace Place celebrates every Sunday, 10:30 am at Tiara Oriental Hotel, Makati City. For inquiries, questions and directions to the location, please text GRACEPLACE <your name> <your message> to 2299.
Listen Now!