Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Preparing for That Day

I went to the wake of an aunt yesterday. Her daughter narrated how unprepared she was for her death although she was well aware of the life-threatening sickness of her mother. Choosing the appropriate burial clothes for her became a confusing task. She also had to frantically search for her mom's memorial plan because they never discussed where the document is kept. It's a common scenario as many of us find it difficult to prepare for the eventual death of a loved one. 

The thought of losing someone we love brings pain and fear that's why we brush it aside. Aware of this, the Lord Jesus Christ tried to comfort the grieving sisters Mary and Martha at the death of their brother Lazarus with these words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"*

Jesus died on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins but He rose from the dead and is now alive forevermore. Any person who believes in Him will eventually die, but will be given a new life together with Him where He is. In Christ, we have hope of being reunited with our dear departed who also trusted in Him. As we gain more confidence in this promise of the Lord Jesus Christ, our pain fades away and we gain courage to face the issue of death. Death then loses its sting. 

The book Life in the Middle shares practical tips on preparing for that eventual day. The chapter "Better Ready than Never" discusses things like filing important documents, creating pleasant memories for your loved ones, leaving a legacy and many others. Life in the Middle is available at CSM Book Store, National Book Store and other book shops. For overseas orders, you may email direct@csm-publishing.com. 

*John 11:25-26

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to Feel Happier and Younger

For the second time, I had my body scanned to determine my body fat and body age. My first scan a few months ago indicated that I have the body of a forty-six year old, almost two years younger than my chronological age. This time around, I was pleasantly surprised when the scan calculated my body age to be forty-three years! I am not 100% sure about the accuracy of this body scan but a verse I read this morning gave me a spiritual perspective. Psalm 103:1-5 says:

Praise the Lord my soul!
All my being, praise His holy name!
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and do not forget how kind He is. 
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He keeps me from the grave
and blesses me with love and mercy. 
He fills my life with good things,
so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.*

I feel younger because many good things have happened to me recently. Four weeks earlier, my newest book, Life in the Middle, was launched at the Manila International Book Fair. Two weeks ago, I visited Singapore for the first time mainly to attend a training seminar. I met my Asian colleagues and gained insights about my learning style and how I can improve and utilize it to mentor others. While I was away from home, I also received the wonderful news that my daughter was accepted to her first job and that my son's musical band won in a contest. And this week, I acquired my first smartphone. 

I thank God for these "good things" and many more. More than a good experience and a good material blessing, these things are a testimony of God's gracious and powerful work in my life, answers to prayers, and opportunities to be in awe as I discover new things. It's not just the achievements and material blessings themselves that make a person feel happier and younger but it's the joyful, grateful recognition that all these good things come from God. Do you want to feel happier and younger? Begin now to count your blessings and feel happier and younger. 

*Good News Translation