Syria Keeps Bleeding

The back portion of the room was emptied as almost everyone made a hurried descent to the front where we were waiting.

The translator just said, “turid alsalata?” (You want prayers?) She then motioned to everyone to come forward if they wanted to be prayed for. That was perhaps one of the most effortless altar calls I’ve ever seen, almost Billy Grahamic in its euphoria.

I’m used to praying for people. I shuffle, group, lay hands, and pray for prayer requests on envelopes from people in the church I help pastor every single week. And I have been doing that as part of the staff for 12 years now.

This one was different.

The people who have attended this gathering were mostly Iraqis, Syrians, Arminians, and Kurdish people displaced by war in their home towns. Most of them are part of the millions of refugees who fled to Lebanon at the thick of the IS heightened terror in their towns. As the interpreter would tell me where they were from, I thought, “these are the places I hear on CNN—-Aleppo and Damascus in Syria and Mosul, Iraq.”

One by one we would ask them what they might want us to pray for. A frail old woman in her 80s, with her voice breaking, told me she only wanted to see her son before she dies. They got separated in the thick of the chaos and she fears that her son is dead. When I started praying, it was my voice that was breaking. There was this lady who would trade everything just to have a family reunion, she just wanted to see everyone so she could hug them. Another one wants the war to be over so they can go back home and rebuild their lives. There were dozens of them. Armed with no English at all, their eyes say it all. Eyes that have seen the most evil potentials of men, horrors that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

It was a great relief when I was told that the war with IS could be over in a year or two. But just recently, Ghouta in Syria, home to almost half a million people half of which are minors, was bombed in an effort to purge rebels off their turf. With the complexity of the situation, we understand that this could not be entirely a battle with IS alone, but it yields the same result—-death. I’m praying that despite the reality that this terror is foreign to us, we will ask for God’s sovereign mercy over the land of Syria. I ask of you, beloved, fervently pray for the people in that part of the world. #SyriaIsBleeding

Not All is Lost When all Seems Lost

Losing is integrated in life just as success is. If there might be anyone who’d ra ra ra & switch you to believing all of life is about winning, either that person is a liar or is living in denial, because even the epistles of Paul are all about prison, poverty, and perseverance.

To confront the reality of losing as what this read is does not mean we’re devoid of faith. Because after all, faith by description, is a current exercise looking into a future state. So the exercise of faith thrives in gloomy situations.

If you evaluate it properly, you’d realize it’s a little more difficult to proceed with the next episode of your life if all of your being is thrown into something that has suddenly dissipated.

Like the shore water that reveals the variety of corals when it retreats during low tide, losing surfaces that which we truly hide.

Where Christ is not just an additive or a supplement to augment, there is an unrivaled joy that no matter the losses, there are reasons to hope.

If Christ is the true treasure we keep then not all is lost when all seems lost.

“To live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Paul

And it was so


The book of Genesis starts by narrating how dark, formless and void the world was. (1:2) But the chapter ends in total contrast as it states that everything was very good! (1:31)

Darkness, formlesness and voidness are not good. When God did something about it, everything became very good.

Genesis records that darkness, formlesness, and voidness were dealt with a series of “And God said” (1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24) and culminated with: “And it was so.” (1:30)

God said it and it was so!

Continue reading “And it was so”

How should my quiet time end?

Man with Bible

A quiet time is an alone time with God. It is an opportune moment to tune in and quietly listen to God’s personal directives for us. But these moments are not just descriptive of how our time should be with the Lord, it focuses more on the fruit of those precious times—a quieted heart for the restless soul.

1 Samuel 1 records in detail how Hannah would have her “quiet times” in a not so quiet way. She was in an emotional whirlwind that was devastating her.

Hannah pretty much had problems like what some of us have today: She was barren (1:2), she was persecuted (1:7), she felt like her husband didn’t understand her (1:8), her leader misjudged her (1:14). With all the problems she had, she wept bitterly before the Lord.

Continue reading “How should my quiet time end?”

The man who was naked & wounded


Nothing can be worse than seeing a guy running around naked. This isn’t a frat initiation. John Mark’s record tells of a guy who was  insane, naked, violent, strong, dirty, yelling, and worst— night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. (Mk.5:5)

This guy’s demonized.

Continue reading “The man who was naked & wounded”

Winning an Argument


I came across a heated argument between two parties with diverging religious views. Both parties made their case to prove the other wrong.

How do you win a religious argument? To win a religious argument is not to argue at all.

Except maybe on a platform that requires a thourough case for the Christian faith, one has to be precisely careful not to utilize oral or written threads of arguments to win souls for the Kingdom. This is of course not setting aside occasions that call for apologetics.

Here’s why:

1. It produces quarrels.

2 Tim. 2:3
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

If at the end of the day you come out victorious with a confident argument, you are still not victorious if you haven’t inched your “opponent” closer to the saving knowledge of Christ.

You gain a more determined enemy crafting a more persuasive case to exact revenge on you.

2. It is unprofitable and useless

Titus 3:9
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

Note: unprofitable and useless.

You get how many hours a day to spare talking about or preaching the gospel? If those few hours are spent arguing and quarreling, it’s such a waste of time. While you waste time, remember that a soul is wasted.

I recently talked to someone telling me that it’s now the Last Days so we need to be more vigilant with the Devil’s tactics and bla bla. I almost blurted out: Since it’s the Last Days, might as well double time on Christ’s Last Words: Make Disciples.

So, how do you really win an argument without actually arguing?

My good friend Rye Delubio gave me a very good illustration. He said a dog who holds fast on its bone is determined to keep its bone. Once you try to take it from him, he bites and he bites hard. The only way to get the bone is to provide him with a savouring meat. That way, it leaves its lock on the bone and proceeds to eat the meat.

Arguing is like forcefully taking someone’s bone. It gets too messy and not to mention bloody if you do that.

The only way to win a person without resorting to a hostile argument is to present them with something better than the all dried up bone they have. In most cases, it’s the irrefutable argument of a changed life. Nobody can refute a changed life. At the end of the day, your life–a life changed by the gospel–is your winning piece.