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christmas-alphabet-letter-17983699s Christmas slowly takes shape, let us welcome the day with this short clip I found at FB. Many of you I’m sure have already seen it. Who wouldn’t have, it has already garnered more than 50 million views worldwide.

 

Cats and dogs they say live for 10 to 15 years and some longer. Ms. Goofy’s been around for almost 4 years now. Caty on the other hand for just 2 years and her kits nearing their first birthday. We are an odd happy lot. We cherish life as it comes and try to grasp and enjoy its joyful experiences while we still can. Our furry friends though they may not know it has helped us make it through in so many ways; kept us company with a keen insight when we are sad. Ms Goofy has always kept me company when I’m alone and quiet. She senses it and tries her best to comfort me. I smile back, cuddle her, and ask her, “My dear Ms Organic, how can I be of assistance?” Well, I call her Organic to remind myself that she’s not running on batteries.

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Ms. Goofy and Caty asks, “My dearest Sanggu, who do you think we are? Now you see us, now you don’t  🙂

My wife and I with our furry family usually take walks during a clear night and we are a sight to behold – ever loyal and alert watchful eyes of Ms. Goofy guiding the way while our cat family following from behind. Everyone smiles and says hello. We smile and wave back. a-jolly-christmas-from-frank-sinatra-remastered-coverChristmas lights have started to twinkle around the neighborhood giving a pleasant colorful hue in the evenings not to mention that song from ol’ blue eyes, ” I’m dreamin’ of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Where the treetops glisten and children listen …”

“Mahal, have you been to Cloud 9?” I subtly ask my wife. She stares at me and says, “Matanda ka na, hindi mo kaya, don’t push it.” “Hindi yon!” I blurted out, “Cloud 9 na nasa Antipolo!”. “Ah yon, maganda nga raw doon, may hanging bridge pa raw and you can see the whole of Makati and nearby towns including Laguna Bay but I’ve never been there. Just heard from some friends of mine.” “It’s quite impressive,” I say, “based on the images from internet. Let’s go there, tonight.” “Hmmm that would be nice” says my wife,  “.Your daughter’s visiting  so we can all go together. It’s also super moon night.” “Ok then, let’s go”.

I set my mobile GPS for Cloud 9 Antipolo and we were off. Just less than an hours ride from our place. We had dinner at a resto overlooking Laguna Bay, Makati, Ortigas and the rest of the towns surrounding it. Nice place, pinakbet was good but the sisig needs improvement. Corn soup was okay too. No single servings, always good for two to three. No aircon too, since it was located on an open hilltop. Air was rather hot and humid so maybe December – January would be more appropriate and comfortable to visit the place. Yes there was that hanging bridge but we didn’t attempt it. And that over-hyped scheduled super moon, nothing out of the ordinary or maybe it was still too early. From a scale of 1 to 10 my wife gave the place a 6 (10 being excellent). She hates walking on slopes. The place is all slopes as you can see   🙂

I try now to avoid the stress that comes with the problems of the church. Family is priority and we try to live a Christian life the best way we can. What with the Sugo and Ka Erdy gone, the church now is just that – an organization being run by men using God as its fulcrum in maintaining its survival and pretension of abundance to the watching public. I’ll say it again, no interference is needed, the boat is sinking. Just a matter of time. No amount of offerings from new convertees will be enough to salvage the huge debt incurred by this administration. “Bwisit and utang” is well defined.

Many of our friends are still active members in the Church and continue to hold office participating in every activity initiated by the Administration. All of them especially the elder ones are aware of what is going on but refuse to make a stand and opt to keep silent. Better to be quiet than to  be the talk of the town they say. Their resolve and conviction remain firm that in God’s time the Church will be restored.

Though we may disagree, at this stage and time, no one has that authority to preach what is or what is not. Open or Silent Defenders. It’s a matter of choice. Individual choice. And that should be respected. The Sugo and Ka Erdy are no longer here. Where do we address our concerns? EVM, the Sanggunian? We are a house divided. No father, no mother, only the siblings left to fend for themselves. What is to be expected?

Let’s for a moment think out of the the box. EVM’s cry has always been –

“Outside the INC, there is no salvation. Salvation can only be obtained while in the Church. Expulsion means damnation and eternal misery in fire and brimstone”.

capture_2So, let’s go around this premise. How  big and great is God’s love, the Creator of heaven and earth and His relation to us His children? Without going into definitions of God, let us discuss the number of people who would be saved come Judgement Day based on this doctrine. Membership of the INC runs at approximately 3 to 5 million worldwide. So granting only 5 million will be saved from the total world’s population of 7.5 billion (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/) , you have only 0.06 percent that will be saved. But wait, the claim is exclusivity no salvation outside the Church. Not here on this earth or elsewhere. We are talking here of Christianity alone and not other sects that comprise the religions of the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups). A question also arises when we think that all these religions base their beliefs as taught by their own Messiahs or Messengers. Their position on exclusivity and conviction of worship to their God is the same as the rest of us. But to contest their claims would be difficult because we do not share the same book on which we base our fundamental beliefs. There is no benchmark so how does that make their belief wrong? 

capture_3Going back, how big is God’s love? A mere 0.06 percent of 7.5 billion people pegged for salvation? Let’s go farther out of the box, much farther.  Above this earth. Well, He did create the heavens too didn’t He?

“The Universe is all of time and space and its contents. It includes planets, moons, minor planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, and all matter and energy. The observable universe is about 28 billion parsecs (91 billion light-years) in diameter. The size of the entire Universe is unknown, but there are many hypotheses about the composition and evolution of the Universe. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe)


“With at least 200 billion galaxies out there (and possibly even more), we’re very likely talking about a Universe filled with around 1024 planets, or, for those of you who like it written out, around 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in our observable Universe (
http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/01/05/how-many-planets-are-in-the-universe/).”

So when you think about the number of zeroes behind that 1 to make out 1024 planets, (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) you begin to ask yourself, “Out of all these billions and trillions of planets out there, will God only take particular interest of a race of 0.06 percent of people from a speck of dust in one insignificant corner of His vast universe? ”  Highly unlikely. Not so big a love I should say, based on the original premise of no salvation outside the church. And we are talking only of intelligent life as we know it, as we comprehend it.  A benchmark we created. How about life outside those parameters? How about the possibility of a parallel universe? Science fiction? 

Are Parallel Universes Real? … In fact, an infinite number of versions of you may exist in an infinite number of other universes. The idea sounds like science fiction, but multiverse theories — especially those that are actually testable — are gaining traction among physicists. (Mar 22, 2016) https://mic.com/articles/138595/are-parallel-universes-real-here-are-physicists-leading-multiverse-theories#.JDfaGD5C7

 

Before anyone gets the idea that Brother William is turning to the Dark Side, I’d like to say that I posed this question to a seasoned minister so many years ago. And his answer –

“Tahimik tayo doon kung saan tahimik  ang biblia. Kung saan tayo tinawag na sinasaklawan ng gayong pagtuturo, doon tayo susunod dahil yon ang Kaniyang kalooban”.(We are silent where the bible is silent. Where we are called, there shall we serve for that is His will, that is His choice.)

One of our readers dear John Trinidad aptly explains this when he wrote –

“Albert Einstein was asked the same question early on in his career: How will God find us in the vastness of the Universe? and he answered after some contemplation “It depends on the kind of God you believe in”. Later on in his twilight years he states that he is not religious in the sense of salvation and faith. nor is he an atheist but he profess his admiration to whoever have created the Universe in as much that only what has been revealed or discovered as far as science goes.”

tumblr_lw22nbamxu1r7zaoqo1_500I rest my case….(because Japanese ramen is brewing in our kitchen and my taste buds are acting up. So are Ms Goofy, Caty, and the kits). Happy holidays my dear friends and brethren. Enjoy the season, forget all the pagan insinuations. Without the season, there would be no extra cash in our pockets and just maintain your focus.  Merry, Merry “Christmas” everyone!