Thursday, December 27, 2012

Natural death, which results from illness or degenerative processes, is the antithesis of mercy killing. Even when life could be prolonged by medical treatment and is not, the death that may ensue is a death from the underlying illness, not a result of the withdrawal of care. The withholding of medical therapy is reasonable when the treatment is disproportionately burdensome (that is, the therapy - not the disease - is hard on the person) and relatively ineffective ("futile"). In other words, we are not ethically bound to use unwanted, non- beneficial therapies that serve to only prolong a person's dying. In fact, not doing so shows profound respect for the boundaries of natural life.

Read more at A Christian Response to Euthanasia

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Don’t Be a Scrooge This Christmas

FROM  Dec 19, 2012 
Bah! Humbug!” These two words are instantly associated with Charles Dickens’ immortal fictional anti-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was the prototype of the Grinch who stole Christmas, the paradigm of all men cynical.
We all recognize that Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean person - stingy, insensitive, selfish, and unkind. What we often miss in our understanding of his character is that he was preeminently profane. “Bah! Humbug!” was his Victorian use of profanity.
Not that any modern editor would feel the need to delete Scrooge’s expletives. His language is not the standard currency of cursing. But it was profane in that Scrooge demeaned what was holy. He trampled on the sanctity of Christmas. He despised the sacred. He was cynical toward the sublime.
Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day.
Read more at Ligonier Ministries

Monday, December 17, 2012

What is a Reformed Baptist?

The term ‘Reformed Baptist’ best refers to those who adhere to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) in practice as well as in theory.

The name ‘Reformed’ refers to the distinctive historical and theological roots of these Baptists. There is a body of theological beliefs commonly referred to as the ‘Reformed’ faith. Such great biblical truths as sola fide (justification by faith alone), sola gratia (salvation by God’s grace alone), sola scriptura (the Bible alone is the basis for faith and practice), solus Christus (salvation through Christ alone), and soli Deo gloria (the fact that God alone is to receive glory in the salvation of sinners) are all noted hallmarks of the Protestant and Reformed faith.

Yet, the Reformed faith is perhaps best known for its understanding that God is sovereign in the matter of man’s salvation. This is to say that God has, before the foundation of the world, chosen or elected certain sinners for salvation. He has done so sovereignly and according to His own good pleasure. Additionally, the Reformed faith teaches that, in time, Christ came and accomplished salvation by dying for the sins of those elected by God. Furthermore, the Reformed faith teaches that the Holy Spirit, working in harmony with the decree of the Father and the death of the Son, effectually applies this work of redemption to each of the elect in their personal conversions.  As a result of this emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation, the Reformed faith also promulgates the ‘doctrines of grace’: doctrinal truths which set forth the total depravity of man, the unconditional nature of God’s election, the limited or particular nature of Christ’s atonement, the irresistibility of the effectual call and the perseverance and preservation of the saints.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Competent Evidence of Identity, Cedulas
By Atty. Jose Mari Benjamin F.U. Tirol

While the Rules require the presentation of competent evidence of identity, it does not mention community tax certificates or cedulas or residence certificates which, prior to the effectivity of the Rules, were the only documents that parties to instruments were required to present to notaries public. 

On February 19, 2008, the Supreme Court amended Rule II Sec. 12 (a) of the Rules and enumerated the acceptable competent evidence of identity: 

“(a) at least one current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph and signature of the individual, such as but not limited to, passport, driver’s license, Professional Regulation Commission ID, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, police clearance, postal ID, voter’s ID, Barangay certification, Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) e-card, Social Security System (SSS) card, Philhealth card, senior citizen card, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID, OFW ID, seaman’s book, alien certificate of registration/immigrant certificate of registration, government office ID, certification from the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) certification; x x x” 

Read more at The Advocate

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Losing my Edge

When your initial enthusiasm fades, you need a plan if you're going to bring your best to your calling

There have been successes for sure. I cleared some ministry hurdles. Our church has successfully launched a second campus. We've fought for, and achieved, a healthy organizational structure. We've reworked our statement of faith, and re-articulated our core values. In many ways, we have successfully made the transition from an internally focused fortress to an externally focused fragrance.
In the midst of it all, I went from single man to married with two kids. I've gained some respect in our congregation. But now I am tired. And comfortable. I look forward to just kicking back with "Friday Night Lights." And that deadly sin called acedia (sloth, "not caring") lurks around the corner.
I felt genuine surprise when sloth crept in. Like many energetic young pastors, I figured it would take a lot more to diminish my reservoir of drive. Few have accused me of being talented, but I am driven.
William Carey, the great missionary to India, once remarked that his only real gift was that he was a plodder, plodding through adversity. That resonated. I wasn't the greatest athlete, but I plodded. Not the smartest student, but I plodded. Not the most eloquent preacher, but I plodded. I got to where I needed to go. And now, sloth threatens even that.

Read more at Leadership Journal

Monday, May 21, 2012

When the Unsinkable Sank

Leadership lessons from the deck of Titanic

10 Tips for Counting Cash

Plus, best practices for making cash payouts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Walking Like Steve

When my friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness, he taught me about dying, and living, well.

While visiting at the hospital I told Steve that I didn't know how to pray for him.
"Just pray I will walk the walk God has for me," he replied. Throughout the days that followed, Steve never asked for healing. He didn't mind us praying for it, but he seemed to believe it wasn't the path God had for him.
Steve didn't fear death. He feared dying. He was afraid of the difficulties that cancer and its treatment might require. His greatest desire was that he would "walk the walk." He wanted to die well, to leave a strong legacy for his boys. He did, and he left one for me too.
Read more at Leadership Journal