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Early 70s. I was just hanging out with a few friends outside the chapel when my attention was called by one of the assigned Manggagawa here at our locale in Cubao. “Tawag po kayo ni Ka Daniel (Lapid).”  Ka Lapid had been frequenting our locale for the past month officiating the daily doktrina in the chapel.  He had a way of preaching that you never got tired of listening and would want to come back for more. That would explain the crowd simply increasing each night. Anyway I proceeded to the office and greeted Ka Lapid with, “Magandang gabi po.” “O, ikaw pala kapatid”. He stood up from his table,  approached me and lightly touched my shoulder.

Image result for daniel lapid images“Meron po akong ipapakiusap kapatid. Nakarating sa akin na ikaw pala ay magaling gumuhit. Bukas po mangangasiwa sa lokal si Ka Erdy at ang paksa ay tungkol sa pagtalikod ng unang Iglesia. Sa pakiramdam ko para lalong maging malinaw ang pagtuturo ay gumawa tayo ng isang chart na nakalagay doon ang tatak ng pagtalikod tulad ng “666” at yong simbolo ng “Vicarivis Fili Dei” ang korona ng Papa”. 

I drew up the chart and submitted it to him. He glanced upon it and  his wide grin showed that he was satisfied. The next day during the worship service Ka Erdy cut short his sermon about the turning of the true church into a false one led by the Catholic church. He said, “Kung meron lang sana tayo pisara dito (blackboard) magiging mas malinaw sa inyo ang lahat.” At this point Ka Lapid stood forth and brought out that chart. Ka Erdy noticed and uttered, “O, meron ka palang naihanda, mabuti naman at makita ng lahat.”

After the sermon, I fell in line to welcome Ka Erdy. Ka Lapid was slightly behind him. After shaking his hands Ka Lapid recognized me and  pulled me to the side. “Salamat kapatid, nagamit rin ang ginawa mo. Naramdaman ko kasi na hahanapin niya yon.” I never expected that coming. Gratitude. Seldom felt these days in the Church.

Wala kasing ere ang mga ministro noon, maging Tagapangasiwa o karaniwang Ministro. Nakikihalobilo ang lahat. Tawanan dito tawanan doon. Isang dahilan kayat ang kapilya pagkatapos ng pulong o pagsamba ay hindi nawawalan ng tao. Di tulad ngayon, parang napapaso ang kapatid sa kapilya. Nagmamadaling umuwi at baka biglang may hihingin 🙂

The good old days. No Philippine Arena, no year end countdown (where worship services are postponed to give way to the celebration), no world-wide walks where the brethren gather shoulder to shoulder in the sweltering heat or shivering cold while the officiating ministers and their families stay inside comfy hotels nearby. Ka Flor** even had the nerve to post his picture with his son/grandson on Facebook inside the Manila Hotel at the time. Or the 4 Horsemen who scuttled out of the City of Dreams when an attendant recognized them.

fam prayerDecember 31 for most brethren were then reserved for the family. At exactly 12 midnight almost every household in the church would gather in their homes together with father, mother,  kins,  and offer a heartfelt prayer to the Creator – our ultimate Father in heaven. Recognition for the blessings, guidance and protection of the family. There were no dry eyes after that prayer. Jubilation would follow with food abundant.  Those were the days … days of the Sugo and Ka Erdy.

I’m no minister but anyone who has a keen eye to the changes can truly say – ito ang sinasabi ng biblia na pinaka matinding pagsubok na dararanasin ng Iglesia bago ito malagay sa kaningningan at darating si Kristo. Kelangan malagpasan ng Iglesia ang pagsubok na ito at mapatunayan na nakasalig ang pananampalataya sa Diyos at hindi sa kaninoman tao bago darating si Cristo. Hindi darating si Cristo kung nasa marumi pa ang kaniyang magiging “esposa”.  Ito ay tinuring na isang banal na “kasal” ni Cristo at ang  kaniyang kawan at kelanman hindi maaring ikasal si Cristo sa isang “marumi”.  This is not mere banter by William Smith. Ask your local minister or better Bibliko and they’ll confirm it.

Ang sabi siguro ng Diyos, “Ano kaya kung maglalagay ako ng isang masamang tagapanguna sa Iglesia, susunod pa rin kaya sa akin ang mga anak ko?

Well, it finally happened. Mind you, if God didn’t want it to happen, a snap of the fingers would have sufficed then we would have all lived happily ever after. This is perhaps the final test – the test for purity of gold.

“New Living Translation 1 Peter 1:7

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

There are many prophecies in the bible. Too bad the Sugo and Ka Erdy are not around. Maybe King Eduard would like to do the honors. Please explain to us the following verses found in the bible Ezekiel 28 verses 1 to 10 and don’t say it pertains to Lucifer, it does not.

A Prophecy Against the King of Tyre

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “ ‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel ? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud. 6 “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “ ‘Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, 7 I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor. 8 They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. 9 Will you then say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. 10 You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners. I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ” 

In a few days we will see the light of a new year. Not as important though as we recognize the birth of Ka Erdy on the 2nd day of the new year.

Happy Birthday po. Wish you were here, missing your love and guidance so much  …

 


And as the year ends here is a poem by  Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist,  shared by our dear friend Mario.

MY SOUL HAS A HAT 

I counted my years
& realized that I have
Less time to live by,
Than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure
But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings
where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed,
knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience
To stand absurd people who,
despite their chronological age,
have not grown up.

My time is too short:
I want the essence,
my spirit is in a hurry.
I do not have much candy
In the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans,
very realistic people who know
How to laugh at their mistakes,
Who are not inflated by their own triumphs
& who take responsibility for their actions.
In this way, human dignity is defended
and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people
who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life
have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts.
I am sure they will be exquisite,
much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives
& the second begins when you realize you only have one

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY DEAR FRIENDS!!

fireworks-o