Sunday, May 25, 2008

Marijuana a safe drug? Tell that to accident victims.

Is Marijuana A Safe Drug?
In 2001, I once had a colleague that kept arguing with me that smoking pot was absolutely safe. He even argued that it made him learn faster. He was probably in his mid-50's and he kept telling others around him that it was fine.

A few years later, I caught up with him again and I visited his house to see how he was doing. He was unemployed in an area with 3% unemployment, depressed, and he threatened to kill people that "did him wrong". It seems like his heavy use on marijuana, coupled with whatever issues that was troubling him, has brought on severe paranoia, laziness, and depression. Thankfully, he did seek professional help.

The most intelligent civilizations on earth has smoked weed, from the Assyrians to the Chou Dynasty. They were all essentially wiped out of course (probably by non-users - lol). While this practice is ancient, its only within the last few years that people started learning its harmful effects not only on mental behavior but its effects physically.

While tobacco use in the United States is becoming less and less an acceptable vice, marijuana use is increasing especially in junior high and high school.

Where Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than Tobacco

Read a compiled list of recent studies showing where marijuana is more dangerous than tobacco, not only in terms of mental ailments but physical effects.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Philippines RCBC bank massacre ignites outrage

"For the love of money is the root of all evil..." 1 Tim 6:10 (KJV)

An Entire Country Grieves
Since I have been preparing to move, I haven't seen any local news as of late. When I went to an RCBC bank, my teller friend asked me with a sad expression if I heard the news. I wished I didn't ask, but I was too curious. "What news?", I said. "They killed everyone at our branch location in Laguna."

I was extremely saddened to hear this. And to hear it from a member of the RCBC family and seeing the hurt, that was even more distressing.

While bank robberies are common throughout the world, it is very uncommon for bank robbers to kill unarmed people. A thief isn't usually a murderer, unless he is already a murderer and he turned into a thief. When a Fifth Third bank I frequented often in Florida was robbed, nobody got hurt.

So I'm puzzled about this bank robbery. Such madness, why would you seek to kill if your only motivation was to steal? Take the money and go, don't hurt civilians and innocents who are only trying to earn a living.

Judging from the other photos (I didn't post the pictures inside the bank for the respect of the victims and their family), this robbery was well planned. They broke in, they lined up the employees, and executed them at their post. This fiasco wasn't a crime of passion, it was a cold, calculated murder.

Root of All Evil
One of the most misquoted verses in the Bible is found 1 Tim 6:10. Some people tend to pass over this and say that "money is the root of all evil" when the exact verse states the "love of money" is the root of all evil (or to be exact, the Greek context says all kinds of evil).

For sure, the love of money was the prime motivator of this massacre and it is an example of how such lust for greed no matter what the cost can sow the seeds of strife in our hearts.

I'm saddened to hear news reports that this could possibly involve law enforcement or military personnel. To those that are highly esteemed in public office, to those that we trust to keep our safety -- take the full, stern warning of this biblical advice. The way to this dark road is a subtle one. You compromise one decision at a time and in the end, you find yourself in a situation where your public office, your position of trust is nullified to a position of corruption.

May the victims rest in peace, may God comfort those families that are hurting, and I pray for those troubled souls that committed this crime, it is better to give up now or face justice in the end.

"Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person." Deuteronomy 27:25


  1. 2 of 6 bank robbers were 'allegedly' men in uniform
  2. RCBC's Official Statement

Help needed in Burma!

Luke 12:48, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..."

ADRA is already responding. Help us.

May 16, 2008

As told by TEDDY DINH (Associate Country Director for ADRA Myanmar)

"Everything is lost. Everything," said Teddy Dinh, associate country director for ADRA Myanmar, in a telephone interview in which he recounted his near death experience in the Irrawady Delta when Cyclone Nargis came ashore.
What is left of the hospital in Piyansalu. ADRA is providing food to the survivors in this area.

When the cyclone hit, Teddy and his staff were busy constructing a jetty as part of a tsunami rehabilitation project in Amageley village in Pyinsalu Sub-Township, a distant patchwork of islands and rivers in the extreme south of the delta region. Although the storm grew near on Friday, May 2, Dinh and his staff continued their work despite hearing radio reports of 50-60 mph winds. Even as news of strengthening winds continued, they remained certain that the storm would pass south of their location, and that the impact of the cyclone would not amount to much.

Around 3 p.m., and with winds starting to blow stronger, it became apparent to them that the storm would in fact be serious, if not deadly.

"We have to run," his staff insisted.

Teddy grabbed a sleeping bag and a blanket, and together with his son and his staff began looking for a hiding place to ride out the storm. By now, it was obvious that they would not be able to escape the approaching storm. The boat they planned to use was gone. Trying to run was not possible either, as the winds were too strong, and they could not even open their eyes. They managed to run to a rice storage facility, packed with seven or eight feet of rice, where they took shelter with 150 other people.

Through the evening the water level around them continued to climb. When the water reached the building, it rose to three or four feet above the rice.

"It was like a tsunami," he said.

Outside, the winds had reached cyclonic speeds. He and others inside the warehouse held onto posts to avoid being blown away. They remained hiding from 5 p.m. until midnight, when the storm began to subside, and the water level started to recede. At that point, they decided to look for a new place to hide, and went to a Baptist church in the village where they could spend the rest of the night.
People in the Labutta camps using the cooking equipment distributed by ADRA to cook the rice that is also being distributed by ADRA

"It is normally a 10 minute trip," he said. "But this time it took hours, because of all of the debris on the road."

When they arrived at the church, they found nothing but devastation, as the building had been completely flattened by the cyclone, with the bodies of 25 people, mostly women and children, still inside. They walked on, finally finding shelter in a partially collapsed building, where they huddled together with other survivors, waiting for dawn to arrive.

When Saturday morning came, they returned to the church where they found the dead. They dug a mass grave and buried all the bodies in it.
Streets in Labutta are crowded with people who have lost everything ADRA prepares to distribute medical aid

Dinh, his son, and staff were very hungry and thirsty, since they had not eaten any food since Friday. They drank coconut water and ate the meat from the top of the coconut. Some of the other survivors ate the meat of the livestock carcasses lying in the streets.

By 6 p.m., Dinh had arrived on foot at another village. Here, he borrowed a boat and returned to Piensalu to look for the rest of his staff. When he arrived, there was complete devastation. Nearly everything was destroyed and many bodies were floating in the water. The staff, however, had only suffered minor cuts.

Despite the tragedy, Dinh remains undaunted.

"The staff really feels the need to help the people there," he said, "and every day they travel back to Piensalu helping to clean, distribute food, and transport people back to Labutta, and Myaungmya."

ADRA is already responding. Help us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kudos to sisters - Stacey wins film award; Trish wins election

Going to get some bragging points out regarding my sisters.

Congratulations to my sister, Stacey, for winning the Audience Choice Award in the SONscreen Film Festival on April 10-12! Only in her starting years as a film student, she's already winning awards in California. Woo hoo!

Please include me in all your film credits as "Dohboy" please.

And my youngest sister Trish gets re-elected again to the student council! This time, she gets the majority vote and is the new president. She's now in Washington, D.C. in student leadership seminars.

First, school elections. Second, run for governor. Next, U.S. presidency. Then world domination.

Kudos to Stacey and Trish!

Happy Mothers Day - May 11, 2008

I don't know about you but my year's been busy and grueling, but despite our busy lives, let's take a moment to remember the one who gave birth to us, that nurtured us until we learned how to walk on our own two feet.

Happy Mothers Day to my mother, to my wife, and to all others.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A reflection on Colossians 2:14 - Law nailed to the cross?

Col 2:14 (KJV)
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross... (KJV)

I heard a sermon today aganist the idea of antinomianism (there is no more Law for Christians). One of the main verses in contention is Col 2:14. It was a classic one I have heard before and it was delivered well. But I feel strongly about this particular verse and how it has not been critically analyzed by a good portion of Christian denominations.

Let me breakdown the two arguments:

ANTINOMIANISM: According to Col 2:14, the Laws of Moses such as the Ten Commandments no longer apply to a Christian. They are merely 'suggestions'.

SERMON COUNTERARGUMENT: According to Col 2:14, it's the Ceremonial Laws (ie: sacrificing lambs) that no longer apply to a Christian.

ANTINOMIANISM states that the Ten Commandments (found in Exo 20), the laws handwritten by God, was cancelled out by Christ dying on the Cross. In short, there is no need to be concerned of the commandments of God. The laws, from forbidding against adultery, to not murdering people, to keeping the Sabbath day holy -- working six days and keeping the seventh holy, all of this would no longer be required by God.

Most Adventist Christians, contend that Col 2:14 is specifically about ceremonial laws, about "ordinances" that's nailed to the Cross. This is supposedly why we no longer celebrate certain festivals, or why Christianity no longer needs to slay lambs on an altar like in the Old Testament.

My view: Both positions are incorrect.

The debate partly is dependent on the original Greek phrase in Colossians. The KJV phrase "handwriting of ordinances" is "cheirographon tois dogmasin". A modern translation has the phrase placed in this manner:

Col 2:14 (ESV)
by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (ESV)

While the KJV and ESV are translating the verse correctly, the ESV has it in the correct context. Cheirographon usually is applied to handwritten bonds, contracts, or debts. Dogmasin refers to legal requirements or demands.

Nothing in the verse says the law was nailed to the Cross, but rather the bonds of the laws itself. This is good news for Christians in both sides of the antinomianism argument -- because it basically means death was defeated when Christ died for your sins.

Paul, the author of this verse, wrote an earlier letter to the Romans that reflect very similar sentiments that I'm sure everyone can appreciate:

Rom 6:14 (KJV)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)

Aren't you happy that through your faith, the wages of sin was nailed to the Cross?


  1. Meyer, Elizabeth (2004). Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World.
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.