Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1 Chronicles 21

I’ve set a goal to read the whole Bible. I do not know how long it will take me. There are guides available out there that suggest what books of the Bible to read for a more cohesive understanding but I opted to read the Holy Book chronologically, not by the dates they were written but rather how they were arranged in the Holy Bible of today.

I have read the whole New Testament but I’ve re-started reading it beginning with the book of Matthew.

In conjunction with this I am also reading the Old Testament. Today I have reached 1 Chronicles 21.

So, what were written in this chapter?

1. Satan caused trouble for Israel by making David think it was a good idea to find out how many people there were in Israel and Judah (v1)
2. David’s order to count the people made God angry, and He punished Israel (v7)
3. God made David choose how the LORD will punish him
a. 3 years when the land won’t grow enough food
b. The enemies will defeat Israel for 3 months
c. The LORD will send a horrible disease to strike the land for 3 days

4. David pleaded with God to punish him and his family instead (v17)
5. God told David to go to Araunah’s threshing place and build an alter there in honour of the LORD (v18)
6. David paid Araunah 600 gold coins for his threshing place (v25)…”I can’t just take something from you and then offer the LORD a sacrifice that cost me nothing.” (v24)

And here are my questions:
1. Why was God angry with David when he did the census?
2. Although David pleaded with God to punish him instead God still chose to punish the nation, why?
3. What significance has the number 3 in this story (3 choices, 3 years of famine, 3 months of defeat, 3 days of disease)?
4. What about the threshing floor, why did God choose to have His altar built there?
5. Who is Araunah?
6. How do these apply to my life?

If you have any insights please do not hesitate to share...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Battle is the Lord's!

For the past couple of weeks I have been reading the books of Samuel. I think I’ve got about 1 more chapter left to read of the second book.

One verse that was remarkable for me was in 2 Samuel 5:12. It reads:

“So David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel”

The above is the very essence of one of my favourite books, “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. It’s not about you!

In all the battles that David fought it wasn’t his might or the size of his army that determined if he’ll win or not. God decides his victory! David was aware of this fact from the time he was fighting lions and bears as a shepherd to one of his greatest victories when he defeated Goliath and up to the time when he was king over Israel. And all those triumphs were not for David’s glory but first and foremost for God and for the sake of His people.

That is why when David confronted Goliath he confidently said:

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

It is therefore comforting to know that regardless of the magnitude of our problems and how helpless we feel if we are obedient to God we are victorious!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I have done “25 Random Things About Me” months ago. But I was fortunate to get tagged again…

This list is more serious as opposed to the one I did before which was more frivolous.

1. I had a dog once.

2. I lived with my grandparents in Laguna till I was 12. During summer I go to Manila while the Manileá¹…os go to the provinces.

3. I used to shave my head “by choice” during summer. I tell colleagues it was a religious vow to stop the questions.

4. I care a lot about what I wear.

5. I prefer to wear glasses than contact lenses.

6. I take public transport to work to do my bit for the environment. Although trains are more efficient I feel safer in buses.

7. I'm delighted about Brillante Mendoza's win at Cannes but I'm annoyed at how Philippine showbiz media exaggerate the international successes of some Filipino showbiz personalities. Ruffa, anyone? Exactly!!!!!

8. I am an only child…I think.

9. My father was the one who inculcated in me interest in food and fashion.

10. My mother got me started in the kitchen.

11. My early kitchen ventures were not always successful but the people around me were always very appreciative.

12. I was mugged when I was 9. I was with an older cousin on our way to Bataan. I crossed the road to go to Jollibee to get us some lunch when someone suddenly wrapped his arms on my shoulder like he was my buddy. I remember feeling something sharp on my side. He took my wallet and my watch. Since then, I became very suspicious of anyone walking behind me too closely. I got over it eventually. My cousin got all the flak. I got all the attention.

13. I don’t remember the mugger’s face. I remember how he made me feel. My father took me to the same street a week after the event. I pretended I knew who we were looking for.

14. I enjoy sharing new food experiences with friends. As a primary school student I promise to foot the bill as long as a friend would tag along. I always kept my promise.

15. Also, during my elementary days, I felt really sad towards the “vendors” outside the school grounds. I save a bit of my “recess” money to buy from them.

16. I find it really difficult to cook for anyone I do not like. That is why I’ve given up on the “restaurant dream”.

17. I believe I could have done better in school if I have put more effort in my studies.

18. I got my degree overseas but I still hope one day I can finish my bachelor of economics at the UP.

19. I thought I was going to be a full time academic.

20. You wouldn’t know it but I’m no good at doing quick sums without a calculator.

21. I think at 16 years young I was too immature to decide a career for the rest of my life. I’ve changed courses several times. I started as a Chemical Engineer student but ended up as a Finance professional. I’m glad to have been given another chance later on.

22. I applied for all sorts of odd jobs as a student for extra money but no one seems interested. I wondered if I needed a degree to clean a car.

23. I planned to start my Finance career in Singapore. God had other plans.

24. I am very grateful to a Kiwi named Steve Wright for giving me my first big break.

25. I never thought blogging would become a hobby. I loathe essay writing in school.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


…And so begins another chapter in my blogging life.

When I first began writing online my intention was never for food to be the main focus…it just organically became that way.

But now I want to continue or you might say, begin again with the intention to fulfil my original intentions.

Salt – saltof.blogspot.com

Why Salt?

Although this is not going to be about food it is still about me…

Salt has been used in the Bible as a metaphor for a lot of things with the following verse as one of my favourites:

Let your speech be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one – Colossians 4:6

Salt’s preservative characteristic has always been highlighted pushing aside its other wonderful qualities that are just as important (maybe even more).

In the verse above, I believe “having been seasoned with salt” is less about preservation but more about “bringing out the goodness” of people through ones speech.

My pan de sal and ensaymadas would not be their brilliants selves without salt!

Can you imagine “nilaga” (Filipino Beef Soup) without it? You might as well drink hot water and chew rubber.

And doesn’t pineapple taste more pineapplely when dipped in a bit of salt? This is probably an acquired taste but salt, for me, brings out the sweetness of the fruit even more.

I just couldn’t help my self, could I? We’re back in the subject of food again. What I mean is, can you imagine how food in general would taste like without salt?

Let’s go back to the why…

Jesus said, in Matthew 5:13:
You are the salt of the earth…

I am just trying to follow…