Friday, July 29, 2011

Debt Ceiling Dispute Between US Senate and Congress: What's Happening To This Great Nation?

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  –Ephesians 6:12

It was around 10:30PM. I was looking up at the sky which was filled with thick, dark clouds. Just the other night, a number of stars dangled from this very sky which now appeared quiet and gloomy. Suddenly, a cool wind blew against my face and into a nearby tuba-tuba tree, shaking its leaves out from their slumber. Then a thought came to me – sometimes things are not what they seem to be.

Right now in the US, the Republican-controlled Congress locks horn with the Democrat-controlled Senate. The topic of dispute is the deficit-reduction plan; the Demo wants to raise the debt ceiling, hence continue to borrow money to pay off debt and finance national growth while the Rep wants to lock the current debt ceiling or at least temporarily raise it and then cut spending. What makes it critical is the fact that both houses should arrive at a resolution before August 2 or else the US government defaults national debt. This is unprecedented, and this is very bad not just for USA, but the entire world as a whole.

As the world watch, glued to the edge of their seats, let me ask this question: Is this just a mere battle of political will between two powerful forces in the US government? Or is this something else?

Sometimes things are not what they seem to be. What we see in the lower and upper house of the US government is not just a mere intellectual or political battle between brilliant lawmakers, but a battle as ancient as the time itself, the battle between good and evil. Yes, it’s a spiritual battle, as well. And it’s not good Republicans versus evil Democrats, and vice versa, either. It’s the innate goodness within men (lawmakers) versus the evil desires planted by the ancient enemy of man, Satan.

 Picture this. As the US lawmakers earnestly sought out the best solution for the good of their country, Satan and his demons came to secretly spread seeds of confusion, doubt, fear, mistrust, selfish motives, accusation, etc. among the lawmakers. The Enemy’s objective – create division which will lead to destruction – and from what I saw in the news today, they seem to be winning. Or are they?

This crisis in the American government is not purely intellectual and political in nature, but spiritual as well. It is my belief that what makes the resolution difficult to hammer out is not the lack of brilliance or statesmanship, I believe that these men are the cream of the crop or they won’t be there, but the lack of awareness that they are not only engage in intellectual debate, but in spiritual battle as well. Indeed, this situation calls for unity and prudence, but for this to happen under the current situation, prayers and fasting are needed as well.

Now as you settle in the comfort of your living room in front of your TV awaiting for news updates, let me remind you that the battle does not only rage red and hot in the confines of the Capitol, but also right inside your own living room, inside your heart and mind. Yes, not just the US lawmakers, but all of us are at war against these hidden forces of evil, so let us all put on the armor of God and believe that behind those thick, dark clouds God’s love, goodness and glory twinkle, awaiting for the right time to shine through. And He never fails.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.   – Matthew 22:21~22

A giant wall of dust rolled through the Phoenix area last Monday. It was so high it reached 900m and created winds of 40 to 48 kmh, with gusts of up to 64kmh according to the National Weather Service. Based on the report I read in the web, the visibility was down to less than 400m in some areas.

When I saw the picture of the long line of cars before the ominous haboob, I got mixed feelings – don’t blame me, I haven’t seen one in my entire life. I was relieved for those drivers who were leaving the giant dust wall, and scared for those drivers whose car were heading directly to it. I can only empathize with the latter; they knew that what they were about to enter was dangerous, but they have to get to their next destination.

Isn’t our life’s journey very much like this? We plow through life jumping from one appointment to another, from one task to the next in our to do list. As a result, we get used to our daily routine and put on hold our spiritual growth in favor of economic progress until a giant dust storm snaps us out of our trance.

For two months I cannot make myself write for the Daily Snacks. There were many reasons I can enumerate, but I can sum it up in two words, dust storm. But God was so good because that period of low visibility was not solely meant to make me suffer, but really to teach me a very important lesson which I want to share to you today.

“The moment that I (you) do not like to pray is really the time that I (you) need to pray for at this moment the enemy is given a measure of control over my (your) feelings to tempt me (you) to abandon my (our) God.” 

Loving God is not about following a wonderful feeling; it’s about making the decision to come to Him even if the feeling is not there. And here’s the surprising part: afterward, out of this decision comes a wonderful feeling.

When it hit me, I felt like the Jews in the passage above; I was amazed with God.