lessons from a bible student falling into sexual immorality

it is sad — devastating — when you hear of a bible school student falling in fornication (sex) with a young teenage girl committed to his trust.

he was the leader of the young people’s group in our local church where the teenage girl was a part of.  he was also active in leadership in the community outreach of the church, the community (the house) where the teenage girl lived.

i loved the young brother.  i saw myself (when i was much younger) in him — full of zeal for the work of the Lord.  volunteering to help when there was a need.  where i was judged (for being too forward in volunteering, in my former church), i did not judge him, because i understood where he was coming from — with the desire to help out and be of service, having gifts of teaching from the Holy Spirit.

he once offered to help me out.  i had preached in the morning service of the church.  after the worship service, i was going to teach the ‘tagalog’ worship group as a substitute.  then in the afternoon i was also assigned to lead the bible study.  he (then) offered himself to me, personally — to help me out in teaching the tagalog service.  i gave the assignment to him without hesitation and second thoughts.  that was how much i loved this young brother, and sought to encourage him along the way of his seeking the Lord’s will.

it is so sad — devastating — that he fell into sin.  it is so sad — devastating — that he fell into sexual immorality of the kind.

two things call to my attention: one, my problem with the practice in the church, that when a young man expresses his desire to serve the Lord in the ministry, the church leadership immediately sends him to bible school or the ministerial Academy, for doctrinal instruction.  this (to my mind) is a very fatal error!  i think i agree with DM lloyd jones (i can’t quote him… yet.  as i am hammering off the cuff).  i won’t send a young man desiring to serve the Lord in the ministry immediately to the ministerial Academy — i will send him to L I F E!  live a life.  find gainful employment, find a wife, start a family and, above all — live a life!  then, after all’s been said and done, after so many years, and (probably) grey or falling hair — that’s the only time to consider serving the Lord in the ministry… again.

two.  secondly, a thousand thoughts spawn one overt action.  be very wary about what goes on in your head — in your thoughts.  in your thoughts, there is a world of evil!  in your thoughts, you sin against God.  but, you ask forgiveness directly and immediately from God.  but when those thousand and one thoughts are translated into action, then, you sin against your fellow man — and sometimes the law of the land!  and for violating the law of the land, you will be held accountable, because justice demands it.

i cannot offer any remedy for the second issue except sanctifying your thought life, and exercising double restraint on your actions through self-control.  but the first, ie, sending a young, inexperienced man to the ministerial Academy — that, to me, is a big No-No!  send him to life — first.  this is what i firmly believe in.  i don’t think the church will suffer any bit for this young man not to be in the ministry ‘serving the Lord’.  on the contrary, i think he will do the church a great deal of service by being out of the ministry, and proving himself a faithful servant outside the ministry (and qualifying himself) — first — before he even cherishes the thought that he is “in” and (thus) being of service to the Lord his Saviour.  let him show — first — by a good testimony (outside the ministry) that he is indeed worthy of the calling.  let him endure and overcome temptations pertaining to his personal relationships, to his personal faith, to life etc. OUTSIDE the ministry, before even thinking about letting his foot in the door.

this is my 2¢ worth.

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ketocayo: my first 24-hour fast

OMAD — the first time i encountered the term in the fb group, ketogenic ph (where i was recently added by a friend), i commented, “that’s what we called ‘stuff’ back in HS and college!” the OMAD ‘stuff’ i alluded to was… yes, DAMO.  grass.  MJ.

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but OMAD in ketogenic jargon stands for One Meal A Day — the practice of the 24-hour fast. in the 24-hour fast, you eat no solids, but may drink plain water, electrolyte water, coffee, tea, and broth.  today was my first time to try OMAD.

i’ve been regular in doing IF (Intermittent Fasting), another concept associated with keto WOE (Way Of Eating).  (jargon is social currency.  use it to blend in and not be seen or regarded as an outsider.)  i was already practicing a 16-8 IF, before i tried the 24-hour.

16-8 is a 16-hour fast, alternated by an 8-hour loading (eating) window.  during my 16-8 IF, i ate only two meals.  i coined my own term for it — TaMAD (Two Meals A Day).  there is no rule how many meals you can have during the 8-hour loading window — i can only handle two.  so i’ve been doing the 16-8 TaMAD (about 3 weeks) before i tried the 24-hour fast, OMAD.

the 24-hour fast.  the 24-hour ketogenic fast started 2 pm, saturday.  my family was in barrio fiesta celebrating the graduation of my youngest daughter.  order was crispy pata and kare-kare combo, with additional sinampalukang manok and inihaw na liempo.  gorged myself on my favourite knuckles, ligaments and tendons, with some pata meat.  had a couple of cuts of tuwalya (ox tripe) and laman from the kare-kare, of course, with bagoong alamang, with a bite of two of the scanty veggies that went with it.  had a bite or two of inihaw na liempo.  sipped sinampalukan soup and had the behind part of the chicken.

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an hour and a half stroll at the mall and an hour travel back home. 

siesta.

then i went for my (un)usual run (at 7 pm), a 40-minute slow jog.  pulse rate was 136 bpm.  i used to run late afternoon around 5 pm.  but when i heard of the ‘fasted run’ i began changing my running program.  i started running in the morning around 6 am.  done it twice already.  the 7 pm run was an alternative to the next morning’s ‘fasted run’.

usual tidying up of the house for the rest of the evening.  late into the night until the wee hours of the morning was spent devouring stuff on hydration, electrolytes, keto flu, etc., from articles, a video, and discussions on various threads in ketogenic ph fb page.  (learning a lot of valuable — crucial — information from the fb group!)  over a cup of BPC.

and as a result of new information gleaned from the evening’s harvest, i took two dashes of himalayan salt orally, to spike my sodium levels — i was feeling kind-a lightheaded and dizzy, and based on my research, there was a good probability that i was experiencing ‘keto flu’ caused by a deficiency in sodium, potassium, or magnesium.

sunday.  i had my morning BPC, with knorr beef broth.  the knorr beef broth (while i haven’t made my own bone broth yet) is also the result of hours of brow-burning about electrolytes and keto flu the night before.  then off to church with my wife, jane, and middle daughter, jikki (who i will soon add to the fb group.)  then back home lunchtime.

broke the fast about 1:30 pm, less than 24 hours.

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by not completing the 24 hours — did i break the law?  nah!

enjoy KETO WOE.  😋😋

 

eliz and CV

saturday was antithesis: in the morning, we were invited to a birthday breakfast buffet; in the afternoon, we went to a wake.  the birthday, was the 60th birthday celebration of a dear christian friend, eliz ‘maling’ francisco: the wake, the wake of an uncle, dr. cesar vicente san pedro, 87, who died of liver cancer.

there are no ironies — if ever there were — in birthdays.  in deaths there often are.  one of the ironies in deaths is that a death in the family becomes the occasion of happy reunions between siblings, cousins, relatives, and friends who haven’t seen each other in ages.  a death in the family brings us together, and the tragedy of death becomes a comedy of reunions.  an irony.  an irony on a tragedy…

maling is special.  she is one of a few.  she hosted the birthday breakfast buffet largely for her churchmates and us fellow christians (long-time friends) from all over (100-120 persons) — a huge blow-out!  she wanted to celebrate her 60th birthday with people closest to her heart.  the lady loves the Lord, and drives a silver jaguar.

 

at the wake of my uncle, it was a noisy reunion of cousins and close uncles and aunts.  noisy, filled with laughter and animated story-telling.  an irony on a tragedy…

i met CV, a 2nd cousin (son of my mother’s 1st cousin, the departed), the youngest.  i realized that for the past 30 odd years i have never talked to him — not a word — and not even exchanged a handshake greeting in countless clan reunions we’ve seen each other at.  yesterday was our first warm handshake, when i expressed my condolences to him upon our arriving at the wake…

“CV…” i said, “does that stand for cesar vicente, after your dad, cesar, and grand-dad, vicente?”
“his dad’s name is also cesar vicente,” my eldest brother rolly said.
“no, my name is cesar vincent,” CV said.
“ahh, tweaked,” i said…

CV, i learned, was a chef.  a would-have-been doctor like his dad and elder brother, paul, but chose another path — culinary arts.  he’s now the head chef at parq vancouver.  i asked him how he cooks scrambled eggs — gordon ramsey or anthony bourdain — to break the ice.  i said i didn’t like gordon ramsey’s scrambled eggs because they were “masyadong malasado” (too runny).  from then on, it was talk about chinese cuisine — herbs and spices, star anise, cooking wine, chicken powder, soup stock made from chicken, pork, and veal, century eggs mashed in congeee; pho, wansoy; bibimbop, kimchi — asian cuisine — after the ice breaker…

when it was time to go, i bade my cousins, uncle, and aunts goodbye.  i shook CV’s hand.

“at long last,” i said.
“oo nga,” he said.

 

 

paranoia

paranoia, the baseless fear that there is an evil plot against you; that people you see pass by your house are spies who are part of the conspiracy.

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this was the kind of paranoia that afflicted me.  it was not a constant fear, but manifested itself from time to time, in episodes, like spells. it also manifested itself in a couple other ways:

when i am in a public place like a cafeteria or restaurant, and see a group of people in a huddle — i was certain they were talking about me.  they weren’t saying good things about me, but nasty, unkind things.  sometimes, alone in my bedroom, i could even hear them talking, i could hear their voices through the walls.

but my nastiest and most horrifying experience of paranoia was seeing (in my peripheral vision, when i look slightly down) the faces of people sitting across from me melt and disfigure into hideous demons frowning at me.

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all this was a result of drug abuse.  i had already quit.  i was already into rehab.  but the damage that drugs have caused in my brain’s perceptions of reality remained.  my problem wasn’t merely psychological, it was physiological — drugs have messed up my brain’s bio-chemical equilibrium.

i was regularly injected with an anti-psychotic drug to correct the chemical imbalance in my brain that caused the hallucinations — the paranoia.  i was also given depressants to slow down my thoughts and make me droopy and drowsy, unable (now) to further conceive conspiracy theories.

after six months or so of drug treatment, the chemical imbalance was corrected and my brain had altogether ceased from inventing malevolent plots plotted against me… and involuntarily conjuring up frowning demon faces.

keto: LCHF diet (part 2)

one hard fact of life: to admit you are OBESE.  i am obese, by BMI standards.

i began keto (ketogenic), the low-carb, high-fat, minimal protein (LCHF) diet weighing 235 lbs. with a BMI of 34.7, (it was quite liberating to admit squarely that i am obese).  i had a very good excuse and a license to keep my pot belly — my year-old grandson loved to sit on it when i carry him.  having a pot belly (i duped myself into believing) was a grand dad’s special privilege!

after six weeks into keto, i lost 7 lbs. and now weigh only 228 lbs. with a BMI of 33.7.  it might not be a huge weight loss, but “7 lbs. is 7 lbs.” (according to a doctor-friend that i consult).  and it’s 7 lbs. lost.

i recently suffered a big setback — my allergic cough kicked in.  i wasn’t able to run and do my core strengthening exercises for ten days, these past 10 days.  i have a feeling this had a slight effect on the outcome of my blood chemistry, and (probably) my blood pressure (BP).

i promised myself in keto: LCHF diet (part 1) that i would have my BP checked and get a blood test.  i have done that.  i also promised to undergo a (treadmill) stress test and see my cardiologist.  i haven’t done that, but will do so later.

“i made myself a promise to have my blood pressure checked, to get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc… and (if necessary) another one for ketones.  i also need to undergo a (treadmill) stress test, and see my cardiologist.”

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apparently, my BP is still high (in the ‘red zone’).  i hope this lowers down in the next six weeks, when i resume my running program.

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thankfully, all numbers in my blood chemistry are within range, except for HDL which is slightly below the minimum.  if i had continued with my running and strengthening program, and had not stopped because of my allergic cough, i suppose my HDL and LDL numbers would have reflected better results.  this is according to webMD:

“Increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by getting regular aerobic exerciseExercise also helps relax blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.”

the only problem was i did not get baseline numbers before i went into keto for comparison — to know if my lipid profile improved or what.  i went into keto blind, without any baseline stats.  bloops!  anyway, now i have the numbers to compare with the results of my blood test after six more weeks.

 

it was quite unfortunate that the season for avocado in the philippines (normally from may to september) had already passed before i went into the keto diet.  avocados would have been my best source of good fats, and i love avocados.

my high-fat diet now mainly consists of pork fats, morning and evening doses of VCO (virgin coconut oil), morning and evening bulletproof coffee, and coconut cream based sardines or mackerel.  once-a-week we have salmon (head or belly).  i snack on roasted almonds and (sometimes) peanuts.  i eat lots of vegetables — dark green leafies, especially.  i also practice an eight- to twelve-hour intermittent fasting (IF) regularly; and a high-carb ‘cheat day’ to correct any possible incipient hormonal imbalance.

i have lost at least 7 lbs. doing keto.  i hope to lose more weight in the next six weeks, ending my 12-week keto LCHF program on december 5.  by that time, i expect my BMI to lower, my BP to lower, my total cholesterol to lower, my HDL to go higher and my LDL to lower; and my belly to become flatter for my “after” picture — for ‘keto: LCHF diet (part 3).

i am not hard core… just a street rat.  😋😋

 

 

pancake house: ang liit ng mundo (part 2)

may kasabihan, “ang liit ng mundo!” o “small world!” na karaniwang bulalas ng mga magkakilalang nagkikita sa isang bahagi ng siyudad, bansa, o mundo nang hindi inaasahan o sinasadya.

naka-schedule kaming magkita at magkape ng isa sa mga best friends ko nung high school (sa Ateneo) na si randy cepeda.  suggestion nya sa pancake house sa vira mall (Vmall), 2 pm.  magwa-1 pm pa lang, nasa Vmall na ako at hinahanap ko kung nasaan ang pancake house, sa likod daw kasi ng Vmall ayon sa text ni randy.  eh nasa gitna ako ng napakalawak na tiangge ng Vmall, di ko na matunton saan ang likod.  e di magtanong sa guard.

“guard, saan banda ang pancake house?” tanong ko.
“ahh, dun, sir, sa may tapat ng mcdo sa dulo,” sabi ni guard.

gilid pala ng Vmall yun, at (natanto ko kay randy afterwards) ibang pancake house ang itinuro ni guard sa kin.  datapwat, lumabas ako at naglakad sa malapad na sidewalk sa gilid ng Vmall patungo sa tinuro ni guard.

nakaka-ilang hakbang pa lang ako, nakita ko isang napaka-pamilyar na mukha ng isang lalaking makakasalubong ko.  huminto ako sa paglakad at tinitigan ko sya.  nakatitig din sya sa kin habang lumalakad papalapit.  nagtititigan kami hanggang sa magkita kami.  si noel “nono” pascual, isa din sa mga best friends ko nung high school (sa National Teachers College na nilipatan ko, 3rd year), na huling nagkita kami mga more than 30 years ago.

small world!  😋

niyaya nya kong mag-lunch sa bahay nila (kasama nya misis at unico hijo nung magkita kami), eh dahil may oras pa naman akong susunugin, magwa-1 pm pa lang naman, pinaunlakan ko alok nya at sumama ako.  napakalapit sa Vmall ng bahay nya, 5 minutes away lang.

masayang reunion at mahabang kwento… 2 pm ipinahatid ako ni nono sa Vmall.

nagkita kami ni randy mga 2.30 pm sa pancake house, nag-order ng kape, at ikinuwento ko sa kanya na habang naghihintay ako, nagkita kami nang di sinasadya ng isang kaibigan na matagal ko nang di nakikita.

coffe at pancake house 10_08_2017

“painter sya,” sabi ko, “kilala daw sya dito, may sarili nga syang ‘reserved’ parking dyan sa multi-level car park.  noel pascual…”
“noel pascual?”
“oo, noel pascual, bakit, kilala mo?”
“small guy?”
“oo.”
“eh, pare, co-parent ko sa la salle yan, when our kids were in grade school, classmate ni fonz ang anak nya.”

small world… indeed!  😋😋

 

‘savory’ chicken sunday

jane and i love eating at ‘savory’ (that’s sah-voo-ree not sei-vo-ree, ha, well at least that’s how jane and i say it) in SM baliwag.  not in the other branches that we’ve eaten at — only this one in SM baliwag.  we’ve eaten at this ‘savory’ branch about a dozen times now in the past couple of years, and we’ve never been disappointed with both the delicious food and the friendly service, unlike in other branches.  and today, we’re having lunch here.

our tastes are very simple, and we don’t order lavish meals when we dine out.  it’s really just a simple pairing of a chicken combo dish (jane’s order) and a plate of miki bihon binondo-style (my order).  and yet, we even share this.

for the combo dishes, a quarter chicken comes with either sweet and sour pork, salt and pepper pork, or salt and pepper squid (which jane often orders,) with turon, and iced tea/four seasons.  at P255- it is very reasonably priced.

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the miki bihon binondo-style here is fantastic!  it has (for its toppings) bits of pork, shrimp, chicken liver, quikiam, and lots of veggies.  also at P255- it is very reasonably priced.

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but today is different.  it’s not just jane and i who’s having lunch at ‘savory’.  jikki, our second daughter, is with us.  she came with us to church (at sovereign grace baptist church in baliwag) this morning.  it’s good we can again come to church together.  we have missed this for a long time.  hopefully, in the coming weeks, our youngest daughter, meg, can also come with us and bring her 1-1/2 yr old son, skyler, to church (he can join other kids in sunday school) with us.

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i would have loved to eat my pancit noodles using a pair of chopsticks, but they don’t have chopsticks at ‘savory’.  but, i still had my fill of their delicious miki bihon binondo-style pancit. 

i am master mian tiao!

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