Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'Do you want to be well again?' John 5:1-3, 5-16

Today's Readings

'Do you want to be well again?' 

John 5:1-3, 5-16

1 After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem next to the Sheep Pool there is a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five porticos;
3 and under these were crowds of sick people, blind, lame, paralysed.
5 One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years,
6 and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in that condition for a long time, he said, 'Do you want to be well again?'
7'Sir,' replied the sick man, 'I have no one to put me into the poolwhen the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someoneelse gets down there before me.'
8 Jesus said, 'Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around.'
9 The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and started to walk around. Now that day happened to be the Sabbath,
10 so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, 'It is the Sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat.'
11 He replied, 'But the man who cured me told me, "Pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around." '
12 They asked, 'Who is the man who said to you, "Pick up your sleeping-mat and walk around"? '
13 The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared, as the place was crowded.
14 After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, 'Now you are well again, do not sin any more, or something worse may happen to you.'
15 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him.
16 It was because he did things like this on the Sabbath that the Jews began to harass Jesus.

Cure on a Sabbath

Today's Reflections

Cure on a Sabbath


Jn 5:1-16

1There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep [Gate] a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. 3In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. [4] 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” 7Thesick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool whenthe water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets downthere before me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” 9Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. 10So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’ ” 12They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. 14Afterthis Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you arewell; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. 16Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.

ILL FOR THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS.The man has suffered long—for 38 years. In spite of his illness,however, the man remains hopeful, patient, and optimistic. He is apicture of confidence in God. He firmly believes that someday he willbe healed. This healing now comes in the person of Jesus who sees hisfaith and confidence in God and instructs him to rise, take up his mat,and walk.

Let us always perfnrm good and nobledeeds. Let us help and heal. Let us make use of every opportunity to dogood. And let us not be discouraged if people turn out to be ungratefulor question our motives.

Name the person(s) you will help today.

Nothing but the truth

Today's Daily Bread

Nothing but the truth

Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen.     John 3:11 

When a witness takes the stand, he is asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and noting but the truth?” At one time, the words “so help me God” were part of that oath, as an appeal to the highest authority. Telling the truth to a court of law is absolutely essential because it can determine a verdict of life or death.

When Jesus talked to Nicodemus about the new birth and eternal life, He spoke “under oath.” Note how He prefaced His words in John 3:11. “Most assuredly, I say to you.” He used the Greek phrase “amen, amen,” which can also be translated “verily, verily,” “truly, truly” or “I tell you the truth.” In the gospel of John, Jesus used the phrase 25 times.

In his book The Unity Of The Bible, Daniel Fuller writes, “Jesus . . . did not speak for God but as being God Himself. Of all the biblical spokesperson, only Jesus attached amen to His own statements, thereby declaring that He Himself as God had the authority to affirm His teaching as reliable and true.”

The words of our Lord are the truth, and nothing but the truth. So believe them and obey them. Knowing the truth is a matter of life or death!   — Dennis De Haan

Lord, grant to me a holy zeal
That burns within my heart,
A zeal like Yours for truth and right
From which I’ll not depart.   — D. De Haan

READ: John 3:1-15
Christ Himself is the truth — we need nothing more.

The Bible in one year:
• 1 Samuel 21-24

Fear Of The Unknown

Today's Journey

Fear Of The Unknown

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called . . . . And he went out, not knowing where he was going. —Hebrews 11:8

HasGod ever asked you to do something that seemed unreasonable? Somethingthat took you into the territory of the unknown? What if He asked youto refuse a long-awaited promotion or resist a longed-for relationship?What if He called you to a remote part of the world or asked you torelease your children to serve Him in a faraway place?

Theunknown is full of haunting “what ifs.” Yet God often calls us to chartunknown territory as we follow Him. Obeying His commands to forgive, togive away our treasures, or to give up things that provide security andpleasure often leave us in the scary territory of unknown outcomes.

Imagine how Abraham felt when God asked him to move his whole family without telling him where they were going (Gen. 12:1-3).God also asked Abraham to persevere—to stay in an unknown land evenwhen the lure of past comforts may have threatened to seduce him andhis family back to their comfort zone in Ur.

Entering a new yearis like entering uncharted territory. The fear of the unknown couldcripple our capacity to follow God’s leading through the days ahead.Yet, like Abraham, when we cling to the One who knows all things, we’rein good hands—regardless of where He leads.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand. —Stanphill

Never be afraid to entrust the unknown future to the all-knowing God.

A TIA Is Your Stroke Warning


A TIA Is Your Stroke Warning


Find out how a TIA is different from a stroke, and what having a TIA could mean for your future health.

Mini-stroke. Little stroke. Pre-stroke. Warning stroke. These areall terms used to describe a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, whichcauses the symptoms — but not the damage — of a stroke.

No matter what you call it, a TIA is a big red warning flag that indicates you are at major risk for a more serious stroke.

TIA and Stroke: What Happens

A TIA, like an ischemic stroke,is caused by a blood clot blocking an artery and preventing blood flowto an area of the brain. The blockage during a TIA is only temporary,usually causing symptoms for no more than five minutes, and typicallyfor only around a minute, although they may sometimes last longer.

Becauseblood flow to the brain is restored after the TIA, no damage is done,and the person having a TIA doesn't suffer any lasting side effects.During a stroke,the blood supply to the brain is cut off for a significant period oftime, causing damage to brain cells and a number of complications andside effects.

TIA and Stroke: Understand The Connection

Noteveryone who has a stroke will have a TIA to warn them beforehand. Andnot everyone who has a TIA will go on to have a stroke, but many will.More than one-third of those who have at least one TIA will have astroke.

A TIA can't predict when a stroke will occur,however; it only serves as a warning flag of your increased risk of astroke. But that doesn't mean that a TIA doesn't require medicalattention and transient ischemic attack. A stroke can occur any time after a TIA but most often will strike within a year.

TIA and Stroke: Risk Factors
The risk factors for a TIA are similar to those of a stroke and include:
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Heart disease,atherosclerosis (clogging or hardening of the arteries), diabetes,sickle cell anemia, sleep apnea, migraine, and artery diseases
  • Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, obesity, alcohol abuse, and cigarette smoking
  • Family history of stroke or TIA
  • Being older than age 55
  • Being African-American

Peoplewho have these risk factors should make lifestyle changes that canreduce the risks that can be controlled and also improve overallhealth, thus lowering your risk of TIA.

TIA and Stroke: Symptoms and Warning Signs

Thesymptoms and warning signs that you're having a TIA are similar tothose of a stroke, but remember that a TIA doesn't last as long anddoesn't leave lasting effects. To spot a TIA, look for:
  • Speech problems, slurred speech, or difficulty speaking or comprehending
  • Paralysis and weakness, which may occur in a leg or arm or in the face, usually on one side of the body
  • Vision problems, such as double vision or loss of vision (may be in one eye or both)
  • Balance problems, including losing your balance, difficulty walking, and losing coordination
  • Headache, which is usually severe and with no known cause

Ifyou have any of these warning signs — even if they go away after just afew minutes — it's likely a TIA. As with symptoms of a possible stroke,you should seek immediate medical evaluation if you notice symptoms ofa possible TIA because you never know how far behind a stroke may be.If you spot and treat a TIA early, you can reduce your risk of having amore serious stroke that could cause significant damage.

"Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him." John 5:17-30

Today's Readings

"Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him."

John 5:17-30


17 His answer to them was, 'My Father still goes on working, and I am at work, too.'
18 But that only made the Jews even more intent on killing him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he spoke of God as his own Father and so made himself God's equal.
19 To this Jesus replied: In all truthI tell you, by himself the Son can do nothing; he can do only what hesees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does the Son does too.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he himself does, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you.
21 Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses;
22 for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the Son,
23 so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father. Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him.
24 In all truthI tell you, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one whosent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement such a person has passed from death to life.
25 In all truth I tell you, the hour is coming -- indeed it is already here -- when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who hear it will live.
26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself;
27 and, because he is the Son of man, has granted him power to give judgement.
28 Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice:
29 those who did good will bome forth to life; and those who did evil will come forth to judgement.
30 By myself I can do nothing; I can judge only as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

The Work of the Son

Today's Reflections




The Work of the Son


Jn 5:17-30

17Jesus answered [the Jews], “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” 18Forthis reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he notonly broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, makinghimself equal to God.

19Jesus answered and said tothem, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own,but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son willdo also. 20For the Father loves his Son and shows himeverything that he himself does, and he will show him greater worksthan these, so that you may be amazed. 21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. 22Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, 23sothat all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever doesnot honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24Amen,amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one whosent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but haspassed from death to life. 25Amen, amen, I say to you, thehour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of theSon of God, and those who hear will live. 26For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. 27And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29andwill come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection oflife, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection ofcondemnation.
30“I cannot do anything onmy own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do notseek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”

I AM AT WORK.The Jews try to kill Jesus because he calls God his own Father, makinghimself equal to God. Jesus explains his relationship with the Father.He is one with the Father in the work of saving mankind. He is the onlyway to the Father. He reveals who the Father is.

Jesur works and acts in accordance withthe will of the Father. This refers, first of all, to the work ofgiving life. The Father wants us to have the fullness of life. Jesusgives his life so that we may have eternal life.

Pray: “Lord, please help me believe
that nothing will happen today
that you and I, together, will not be able to handle.”

Your Faithful Friend?

Today's Journey

Your Faithful Friend?

“For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies” Psalm 57:10
Juniorhigh school can be one long intensive seminar on drama inrelationships. I am convinced that any psychological malfunction in mylife today is directly traceable to those two years of school. Okay,maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but junior high did teach me alittle about fickle friendships.

I was minding my own businesswhen one of Nancy’s friends came up to me and announced, “Hey, did youknow that Nancy likes you?” To be honest, I had never given Nancy asecond thought until that moment, but suddenly I was intrigued. My maleego was suddenly stirred and I liked the idea of being liked! So Ipassed my message back through the string of friends that had conveyedthe message to me. That is, of course, how junior high romance works. Itold my friend, who told another friend, who told Nancy’s friend, whothen passed the message back to her.

“Joe says that he likes you too!”
Butby the time my message got back to Nancy, she no longer liked me! Forthe first time I was singed by the fickle flames of romance.

Alot of our friendships are like that, aren’t they? We look back acrossthe landscape of life and see different friends popping up here andthere—our buddies from junior high, the girl we took to the prom inhigh school, the college roommates, the co-worker from the cubicle nextto us. We realize quickly that many of those friendships, oftenconsumingly important at the time, fade into dim memories leaving usthinking, “I wonder what happened to…”

Even more disconcerting isrealizing how fickle we are in friendships. In honest moments, we couldlist the people we no longer get in touch with, or the phone calls wedon’t return. In life, solid, faithful-to-the-core friendships are fewand far between.

I wonder if you and I bring that same dynamicinto our relationship with Jesus? When we first meet Jesus, He iseverything to us! But as time wears on, we tend to drift away. When wasthe last time He heard from you? When was the last time you sat down tohear His voice and fellowship with Him?  As the old saying goes: ”IfGod seems far away, guess who moved!” You may have gone on to otherinterests, but thankfully He hasn’t lost interest in you. He, more thananyone else, remains there waiting for you as your faithful friend!

Thepsalmist often sings of God’s undying love for us. And I need to tellyou that it’s not the kind of love that rides on emotions or favors. Itis an expression of God’s enduring, rock-solid commitment to you as Hisbeloved, and it is often linked, as it is here in Psalm 57:10, with Hisunfailing faithfulness. In fact, the psalmist literally cannot get hismind around the extensiveness of God’s love and faithfulness, concedingfinally that God’s love “reaches to the heavens” and His faithfulness“reaches to the skies.” In other words, it is without limit and withoutend.

So when you receive word that God loves you, please knowthat it is not a junior high school fickle, fleeting kind of love. Itis a life-changing, eternally satisfying offer of a fulfillingfriendship with your Creator. Today He stands knocking at your doorwanting to come in and spend some quality time with you (Revelation3:20). Go ahead, open the door of your heart—it’s your faithful friend!

  • In what ways have you experienced the fickle nature of human relationships?
  • How have those experiences shaped your understanding of a relationship with God?
  • Read Psalm 108:1-5. How do these verses encourage you about the faithful nature of God’s love?

The thrill of discovery

Today's Daily Bread

The thrill of discovery
( Updated March 21, 2012 

How sweet are Your words to my taste!— Psalm 119:103

When I was a small boy, I simply wasn’t interested in major league baseball. Then one day I went to the ballpark and saw a game for myself. That changed everything! I began reading about the various clubs and invested a boy’s fortune on books and magazines about the players and the game. I kept a file on each team’s roster and started a scrapbook on the New York Giants. I knew the lineup of every baseball team in the National League, and every week I could quote the batting average of each player. I had been captured by the thrill of great discovery.

A similar thing happens when we commit ourselves to God and hear Him speak to us through the Bible. His voice is so compelling that we want to hear it more than any other voice that speaks to our soul. As we start to discover the treasures of the Bible, we want to find out all we can about the blessings God has given us in His Son Jesus Christ. Even though some passages remains difficult to understand, because of our new motivation they become delightful challenges instead of obstacles.

There’s nothing like opening your heart to Jesus, the living Word, to make the Bible, the written Word, come alive. It will change your life. — Haddon Robinron

How rich the truths within
     God’s Word —
What gems beyond compare!
By faith we can discover them
When study joins with prayer.  — D. De Haan

READ: Psalm 119:97-104
When you open your heart to the
Savior, He opens your mind to the Word.

The Bible in one year:
• 1 Samuel 25-28

Monday, March 19, 2012

AFC  Challenge Cup 2012

Azkals edge Palestine in high-scoring duel, grab 3rd Place!


                     Philippines            vs          Palestine
                                 Younghusband    4', 24'                      Abuhabib 20', 67'
                 A. Guirado  44'                                           Attal 79'     
J.Guirado, 69'           

Kobe Bryant dunks it over Pekovic [3-16-12]

Today's Video : NBA


Kobe Bryant dunks it over Pekovic [3-16-12]

Yeh , baby ! Another Black Mamba trademark slam over a taller big man!

Watch this...

7 ‘good’ habits that are bad for your health

 Healthy Living

7 ‘good’ habits that are bad for your health

Think you know what’s good for you? You may be surprised. Take a lookat these seven seemingly good habits that can actually be bad for yourhealth.

Drinking water
While we are probablyall familiar with the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day,more recent research has suggested that there is actually no scientificevidence supporting this recommendation and that drinking excessiveamounts of water can actually be dangerous by lowering theconcentration of salt in your blood. Health-conscious water drinkersshould also be wary of the trend for drinking bottled water, as studieshave suggested that the chemicals (phthalates) from plastic bottles canleach into water and disrupt hormone levels.

Talking over your problems
Talkingthrough your problems can be a great way to gain some perspective andget things off your chest. However, studies have suggested that, aftera certain point, rehashing and dwelling on problems can actually be badfor your health. According to research, revisiting and analysing thesame problems with friends (“co-rumination”) can lead to anxiety,stress disorders and depression. Next time a problem arises, by allmeans talk it over with a friend, but try to focus on problem-solvingrather than simply dwelling on the issue.

Sipping on mocktails

Learn 5 good habits that everyone should be imbibe. 

Youmay think that by swapping cocktails for mocktails you are doing yourhealth a favour, but this may not actually be the case. While cuttingdown on alcohol is beneficial for your wellbeing, mocktails are oftenhigh in refined sugar which research suggests is just as damaging andaddictive as alcohol. For a safer swap and a shot of nutrients, makesure you stick to mocktails made from pure fruit juices instead ofthose made from syrups.

Early morning workouts
Whilea daily workout is great for your health, studies suggest that gettingup for early morning exercise may not be as ideal as it seems. A studyby a researcher from Brunel University, Middlesex, found that heavytraining sessions early in the morning can compromise the immune systemand put athletes at increased risk of bacterial and viral infection.While a morning jog or gentle exercise session is unlikely to put youat risk, it may be better to save heavier workouts for later in the day.

Taking nutritional supplements
Weall know that vitamins are good for us, but relying on nutritionalsupplements can actually be bad for your health. Separate studies haveshown that high doses of vitamin supplements including iron, magnesiumand vitamin B6 raise the death rate of older women, while takingvitamin E can increase men’s risk of prostate cancer. While certainpeople may be required to take vitamins (those with low levels ofvitamin D, for example, or vegans who may be deficient in vitamin B12),for most people a better approach is to opt for a varied diet full offruit and vegetables which will give you all the nutrients you need.

Slathering on sunscreen

Officialadvice for many years has warned about the dangers of skin cancer,causing many of us to take measures to cover up in the sun at alltimes. However, while it is extremely important to protect your skin,experts have more recently advised that little and frequent sunexposure is good for us, preventing vitamin D deficiency, which canlead to rickets, osteomalacia and depression. Official advice in theUK, where rickets has recently made a comeback, is to spend 10 minutesin the midday sun without sunblock each day before covering skin up.

Switching to low fat foods
Whengetting started in healthy eating, it is tempting to opt for low fatfoods in order to help keep off excess pounds. However, cutting out‘good’ fats such as omega-3 fatty acids could be detrimental to yourhealth. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds,not only help to keep skin supple and wrinkle-free, they are alsoessential for good brain and heart health and can help preventarthritis.