aas the evening rain continues to trickle down the front porch’s awning, not as strong as a few hours ago,  Ms Goofy  sitting on her hinds stares at the small puddle being created by the rain. She looks sad but who wouldn’t be. Such ambiance of a cold wet night does exactly that to all of us. More the reason why  such nights bring memories of love lost and some not.

imagesFate has been kind with yours truly. I have been blessed with wonderful children and a very understanding and strong willed wife. Of course how could I do without my furry associates too 🙂 Though the years have been catching up with us it has not diminished  the love we have for the Church, Sugo, EGM, and his family. In fact we had never thought that God in his infinite wisdom would choose to forestall Judgement Day with a final reckoning of what we are experiencing now. Sometimes, how you’d wish a Terminator would suddenly appear and destroy “Skynet” and restore sanity among the chosen.

When our brother suddenly hits rock bottom from being well off a few months back or suffers a serious injury or sickness, the usual response or advise of our ministers would be, “Kapatid, mag-suri ka kung bakit pinahintulot ng Diyos na mangyari sa iyo ito [Brethren, recollect and ask yourself why God permiited this to happen to you].” But when you hit  big time, the interpretation is pag-papala [blessing].

Why is anything negative attributed to sumpa [punishment]? And to ask God for forgiveness. What if you hit big time through drugs or illegal means but no one knows about it, this would be interpreted as a blessing from above. Much so if you know how to use your blessing  to good use like donations for the chapel building, treating the ministry to Starbucks, Max’s, and the like.  And in the end if they found out how you earned your riches how would the church respond? “Ang pagpapala ng Panginoon ay dumarating sa ibat ibang paraan [The blessings of the Lord descends in many different ways]”. Actually, that was the answer I got when I asked a minister why a brethren is allowed to work as a GRO abroad and function as an officer of the church when she returns to the country. Parang malayo ang sagot [The reply seems distant].

Observe our brethren, the poor ones especially the poor Officers of the Church who can’t buy a decent uniform for their functions or even just an ordinary member who lives on a day to day basis.  How long have we been taught that offering substantial amounts to the church is the key to wealth on earth. How long have we been offering since our baptism? Sum it up, the Thursdays, Sundays, Special Offerings, Yearly offerings, Donations. etc. Has this not been enough to our God and Creator to reward us with abundance? Why then does the majority of us still remain poor. If you ask this question to the church, their reply is, “patience is virtue,” god will choose when to reward his children. And if an active member dies poor despite having offered so much during his lifetime, the explanation is, “God chose to have this particular child remain poor so that richness would not be the cause of his disfellowship from God” In short a no-win situation.

So, let’s ask ourselves, we offer on the belief and faith that it pleases God and that we will be blessed. Now, look around you, who still rides a jeepney, bus, tricycle or even still walk to church every Thursday and Sunday for the worship service while officiating ministers arrive at the chapel in their SUVs , Honda Civics, and Toyota Altis? Remember there was a time ministers also walked to church, ate in carinderias, and enjoyed street food. No, we are not undermining the ministers. Just stating a fact that once upon a time their feet touched the ground. Now their supremo flies around all Europe in a private jet on a diplomatic passport with a whole entourage in tow.  Teaching patience and perseverance while donned in Bally shoes, Gucci belts, and a Rolex watch.

Now ask me, do I still give offerings during worship service? What do YOU think?

By the way, the key to growing rich is not through offerings alone, you have to work towards it, and work really hard to attain your goal. Read all the rags to riches story of our icons here in the country from Henry Sy to Lucio Tan. They all started from rags. So to instill in the minds of the disillusioned that offerings alone is the key to wealth is BS.