Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who Is My NEIGHBOR?

My newest neighbor, from Vanuatu -- Geraldo Duduni.

Ronna, my kavalagi neighbor, with some Fijian and Indian neighbors .
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test JESUS by asking Him this question: "Teacher, what must i do to receive eternal life?"

JESUS replied, "What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?"

The man answered, " `You must love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, `Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
"Right!" JESUS told him. "Do this and you will live!"
The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked JESUS, "And who is my neighbor?"
The Church at the Beach is my neighbor...


Thelma Bobo (92 years old), Ann and Dennis...are my neighbors.

Jesus replied with an illustration: "A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

"By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.

This homeless asleep by the post office door is my neighbor. So is Kathy Garzon, who takes in the rejected, the homeless, those needing a second chance at life, at her Second-Step Home.

"A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
"Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.


These young skate-boarders and their audience are my neighbors.

"The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. `If his bill runs higher than that,' he said, `I'll pay the difference the next time I am here.'

"Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?" JESUS asked.

The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy." Then JESUS said, "Yes, now go and do the same." (Luke 10:25-37)


All creatures, great and small, are my neighbors...(these ones were a bit shy!)



Please donate. ALL donations will benefit the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. VINAKA VAKA LEVU! 


Thursday, January 21, 2010

JISU on the Road

i heard these two stories, almost like parables... and here they are, re-told as a combined story, illustrated with photos of Germany from a past visit... and made complete with a happy ending!

JISU was all alone on the road, walking along its dusty edge. A driver who was late for his usual afternoon golf game zoomed past in his Hummer, kicking up a cloud of dust -- so did another, in a huge Ford truck, hurrying to catch the Charger game on his giant-screen tv.

A young driver, bored with the long drive home, stopped his sleek vintage Mustang, with a shriek of the brakes, and let Him in. The youth found JISU intriguing; and they talked of deep things, baring their souls as if they've been friends for many years.

After an hour of sharing stories, the young driver noticed that he was almost home. His demeanor became one of barely contained impatience, for he was eager to get back to his friends to tell them all about his eventful road trip.

He said, "Hey, buddy -- sorry, but i have to let you off here. It was good talkin' with ya!"

The young driver stopped the car with another shriek of the brakes, and clicked the unlock button for JISU's side. JISU got out at the town's main street. He gave the driver a piercing look and waved goodbye as the car pulled away with a jerk, burning rubber.

Soon after, a good and kind man picked Him up. He's a middle-aged business man, a long-time member of the big church in the center of town. This very good man kindly invited JISU for dinner. His wife and three kids were used to his good works and weren't surprised at this new "project."

They dined together and had a very good and proper time. After dinner, they all went to do their own thing.

The good and kind man invited JISU to rest awhile, even gave Him the guest room. And the good and kind man retired to bed...then got up in the morning as usual, did his 9 to 5 job, got busy, then busier, then busiest ever! and forgot all about JISU in the guest room.

JISU, not one to impose without wholehearted invitation, quietly left, leaving a note which simply said, "Look up."

As JISU continued His journey, many people passed Him by, quite a few even tried to run Him off the road! Finally, as He neared the far end of town, a beat up van slowed down and a haggard looking fellow gestured for JISU to get in. The driver was obviously sick, very distraught, for he was lost. He opened the door to let JISU in, glad for His company. They had immediate rapport...two travelers on the road, each on a mission.

JISU asked the man if he needed help driving, as he seemed unfocused. He answered, "Oh i'm fine! Just a little tired." The tired man drank another pick-me-up cappuccino from Starbucks... and they drove on another few miles. The man got sicker, his malady he knew not what -- he just knew his aching head felt like a water-logged balloon ready to burst.

JISU said, "You're not looking well at all. May I help you in any way?"
The very tired man, his face now ashen, said, "Well, can you just help me steer for a little while? My right arm seems to be going to sleep."

And they drove the car together for quite aways -- until his left arm began to go numb too. JISU said gently, "I know you are not well. Let Me drive. I will take you home."

At last the man confessed of his reluctance before, "Okay, but this means i'll lose the three-tier 24-karat gold trophy and $1,000,000 prize money for driving in this solo cross-continent race. The judges will disqualify me for letting You drive this car to the finish line."

They paused at a rest stop...a vista of green pastures and still waters -- the man, exhausted; JISU, calm and expectant. The man, beat to the core, met JISU's eyes, whose only expression was overflowing love and compassion. The man gladly handed over all the keys -- trusting Him at last to do all the driving...man to Man, they shook hands -- and exchanged places.

JISU sa rauti au...JESUS is enough for me. And not only does He hold all the keys to my "car" -- He holds the certificate of ownership.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, i plead with you to give your bodies to GOD. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? (Roman 12:1)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Filipino JEW

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the SPIRIT, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from GOD. (Romans 2:28-29, NKJV)

Years ago, someone gave me the moniker Filipino Jew. i'll call her "Jaundice" -- for her eye, her point of view, was such -- jaundiced and sickly. Her mindset was ultra-worldly, and she aligned herself with the worldly generalization about Jews...negative, lop-sided and blatantly prejudiced.

At that time, i wasn't yet a born again CHRISTian and didn't know much about the history of Jews as GOD's chosen people, nor did i know much about their national heritage and culture. (Chosen people, meaning the children of the promise -- of the covenant between Abraham and JEHOVAH -- as written in the Torah -- Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-5; the Holy Bible -- Galatians 3:8-9; and even the Qur'an -- Surah 2:83, 3:187, 5:12, 17:104, 26:59.)

But even in my ignorance, i knew that the moniker was derogatory. i was sickened inwardly, but i played along, not knowing how to reply until the next day (i was very slow with regurgitating comebacks then). Jaundice (in her own ignorance) meant it as an insult, for i was then (and still am) frugal by nature. i'm not materially wasteful (though i'm not a pack rat either) -- i am not careless with money or things, but neither am i care-full.

i still remember today how i allowed that passing comment to bother me and how that name Filipino Jew banged around the walls of my mind over and over, far into the night. The next time we met, i had a rebuttal ready: Jews in general were very intelligent with their finances, as the banking industry and business world attest to their might in the financial arena. Their love for education, their forceful drive to succeed, and their passion for their Jewish heritage are recognized worldwide, albeit grudgingly. Having said all this, i then thanked Jaundice for the backhanded "compliment."

Today, ironically, Jaundice's moniker is my Reality. i am a Filipino Jew! Romans 2:28-29 explains this conclusion:

For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with GOD. And true circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by GOD's SPIRIT. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from GOD, not from people. (Romans 2:28-29, NLT)

i may not be a Jew in the physical sense, with Jewish blood coursing through my veins -- but i am indeed a Jew in the spiritual sense -- by the shed blood of CHRIST JESUS flooding through and through the infinitesimal quarks of my bodyheart&soul. i am a Jew by adoption, through my faith in YESHUA of the Jews -- the Messiah, the Son of GOD.

Today and forever, i humbly and gratefully live my new heritage -- "Filipino Jew," In CHRIST JESUS.


Please donate. ALL donations will benefit the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. VINAKA VAKA LEVU!