Posted in Living a Life

Are You Resting in the Shadow of the Almighty or Hiding Under the Cloak of Religiousity?

false religiousity

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91: 1)

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. (1 Peter 2:16)

There’s a need to evaluate ourselves on the basis of the Bible verses shared above.

I have known a lot of people who have mastered religiousity but neglected the most important element of the Christian belief, which is LOVE.

These ‘religious’ people have the skills and capability to quote scriptures on any situation of life but fail to manifest the true meaning of loving God above all else and loving one’s neighbour as they love themselves.

People who are hiding under the cloak of religiousity to exact their evil ways are more dangerous than those who are upfront with their evil intent.

There are some Christians who are good in quoting Bible verses out of context and delight in using them to “arm twist” people who are also religious but vulnerable.

They expect people to treat them more highly than they think because they are smart in Biblical knowledge, zealousness in prayer, pastor-like behaviour but they fail in showing the fruit of the real Christ disciple, primarily humility.

To paraphrase what the Psalmist said in Psalm 91:1, one is resting in the shadow of the Almighty if you are dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.

Let us not hide under the cloak of religiousity and pretend to follow and serve God, when in fact we are serving our own personal agenda and gain.

Let us rest in the shadow of the Almighty and be honest and just in our dealings with one another, deeply and sincerely aware that in God’s shelter, nothing is hidden.

Advertisements
Posted in Inspirational, Living a Life

I Think We Are Not Supposed to Die Alone

6am, May 30, 2014.

I think we are not supposed to die alone.

Sometime between 1am and 5am this morning, our little budgie, the one with a broken leg, the one whom the others were picking on, the one we tried to save by separating her from the healthy ones, our little budgie died.

We were going to take her to the bird doctor tomorrow—even made an appointment last night—but it was too late.

Lester's Dear Budgies
Lester’s Dear Budgies

I had a feeling she was not going to last the night. So I asked her, before I went to bed, to hold on just until we could get her to the doctor; but I also said, not to hang on just on our account. And she left. Perhaps, the injury was too much to bear. They say that birds have a way of keeping the appearance of being well; and so when they look unwell, that means they really are unwell and past “saving.”

And last night, she looked unwell. Call it instinct for self-preservation—this hiding one’s “injury;” this keeping suffering from others. And it makes sense—the law of the jungle is, “the fittest live”—so one must not show injury. One must keep suffering to one’s self.

From my point of view, human as it is, keeping one’s suffering from others is a marker of thoughtfulness—an expression of consideration for the other. But, I won’t turn it into a normative expectation.

Human community should be free and open enough to share both joy and sorrow, blessing and curse. Community and loneliness.

No one should be forced to die alone. No one must live in loneliness.

I made the choice of intervening when I saw our other budgies “bullying” the injured one. I thought my separating her from the others was a way of protecting her. Maybe that was right, maybe that was wrong.

I am not a bird expert. But, one thing I noticed, even though I kept her in a cage close to the others, separated only by the bars of the cage—so they could still hear each other, see each other. I noticed the others kept “looking” for her, kept in proximity of her.

And, I noticed, too, that last night, our injured one was trying to “re-join” the others. And when I opened her cage to feed her and to make things comfortable for her, she did not move away from my hand, she even allowed herself to be touched.

Maybe she was just too injured to move away. But then again, maybe, as a social species (budgies are supposed to be that), that is their “instinct”: to be with others even to the very last. And maybe, the “bullying” behavior was not intended to harm, but was an expression of “community” between them, even an attempt to care for the injured one.

And if so, I made a huge, terrible mistake. I took her away from her companions—and I probably should have not done that. It seems that her last acts of life were to rejoin her group. And interestingly, when I came down this morning, instead of being greeted by the noisy cackling and chirping of our budgies, there was silence. I think the others knew one of them was gone.

No one should die alone—or be forced to die alone. No one. Not even our injured budgie.

I will never know whether I did the right thing or not. But that is neither here nor there. The fact is, our injured budgie left us last night. And she did so quietly in the night, without making too many demands on us or on her companions. And this is her gift to our frail, oftentimes arrogant and self-centered human sensibilities.

We need to learn—I need to learn—to live in ways like our little, injured budgie.


Lester Edwin J. Ruiz

About Dr. Lester Edwin J. Ruiz

Lester was a faculty member of New York Theological Seminary in New York City beginning in 1997, where he was professor of theology and culture.

He became vice president for academic affairs and academic dean in 2006. As associate professor of political science at International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan, he taught courses in peace and world order studies, international relations, and politics and culture.

A graduate in pastoral care and counseling from Ottawa University (Kansas), he holds the Master of Divinity with an emphasis on religion and society and the PhD in social ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.

Ruiz is co-editor of four published works, including Re-Framing the International: Law, Culture, Politics, with Richard Falk and R.B.J. Walker. He has contributed numerous chapters to books and has been widely published in journals and other periodicals.

Active in social media, like Facebook, Lester shares his ideas and reflections on a variety of topics. We have taken the opportunity and permission to share his thoughts on the death of his pet he blogged on Facebook. Thank you Lester.

– From Worry To Glory


PHOTO CREDIT: Lester Edwin J. Ruiz; Association of Theological Schools; Joven Baloyo (Featured Image)

Posted in Inspirational, Living a Life

Earning a Living or Living a Life?

 

For all our desires and ambitions in life, are we earning or living it?

We are in the common human concept that we must work and earn a living. We have heard that if we wanted happiness and a blissful life, we must strive hard to earn it.

While it is true that we must earn a living let us acknowledge also that there is more to life than just earning our keep. We ought to be living a life, too.

 

We should remember in Matthew 6:33 to “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Whatever your undertakings in life are, whether you are earning or living your life, let’s take a pause, watch the “Of Desired Things” video above and contemplate.

ALL PHOTOS ARE OWNED BY JOSE TELESFORO LIMBAGA

Please share this post by clicking the “SHARE” button below and select Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.

Also, like this post too by clicking the “LIKE” button below. THANK YOU.