Monthly Archives: August 2010

Others better than ourselves

Foolish and selfish. Now foreign tourist will take second thoughts before going here.And our police force is not that good either. Too slow and not thinking that much-arresting relatives in the sight of the media. And the media? They need to have a macro view of our country.
The ombudsman,the media, the mayor nor his fellow policemen did not hijack,held hostage and pulled the trigger on those 8 innocent Hong Kong nationals. He is not a patriot-he is not thinking the repecussion on his actions on his fellow Filipinos in Hk. His brother? He is a gun-toting hotheaded police that the service can do without.
He deserves punishment in the here and now-as well as in the hereafter. The other people mistakes are only professional-but his is MORAL.
His plea that he is innocent of previous charges is drown now by his later actions. If he can waste other people lives-surely a little extortion is within his capability-whether it is true or not.Now in the hereafter-he will learn true justice in the hands of Eternal.
We rather die that others may be able to live. That what our Lord taught us. That is what is to be a Christian. Others are better than ourselves.
Other think upside down. Too much importance is place on oneself. All our yesterdays,skills, wealth and even our tomorrow is for those who will come after us. That is the lesson of life. We are not important. Only after realizing this-can we start living true to our reason for being.

The King, the future and Judgment

Preached on August 15, 2010


The need for relevance may drown out the voice of the Lord-We need a word on our finances, health- education, weather, environment, and even our leisure. For we have a lot of things to do and we need to make wise decisions. For there are relevant things that we need to prioritize.

But these things we need to see only through his eyes –from his priorities and perspectives.

We will know what is really important in this world-if we first listen to His heart- and not from our cares.

The Title of my message is “The King, the future and Judgment”

This pertains to the 3 points division of the message and our text:

  1. Verses 2-6 Before the King
    1. Disobey v 2
    2. Resign/Desertion v 3a
    3. Rebel and Question v 3b-4
    4. Discernment: Time and Procedure v 5-6
    5. Verses 7-9 No power to hold the Future
      1. No one has the power v 7-8
      2. Person over others v 9
      3. Verses 10-13 Judgment will come
        1. The Wicked honored v10
        2. The Wicked not executed v 11
        3. It will be well v 12
        4. It will not go well v 13


  1. Read Verse 1 :

Wisdom makes the face bright-and soft: though he does not have all the answers to all the questions-he has at least the right perspective on situations.

I remember of Pastor Maas about the Old Pastor always seating in the train station who always smiles when a train leaves the station….

Wisdom is really needed like in the situation of a minister of a king. Solomon is one such king and he has studied it-with his God-wisdom-he has decided to share his knowledge here. Oriental, Near East Monarchs or Kings held absolute power –such as the Pharaoh, the Caesars, the Alexanders, and sTsars. Much like Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse tung and Idi Amin of this world. There are few good and great kings. Much of them are worse and evil. And we must be wise in behaving before them.

If we are commanded by him- good or evil –what are our options?

  1. Verses 2-6 Before the King
    1. Disobey v 2-If we are commanded to do something wrong or distasteful or evil-we may opt to disobey and not follow his command. Except that it should be not done lightly. For we are commanded elsewhere in Scriptures to submit to authorities and some have sworn (contract) to obey them. And there is a threat of punishment from then king in verse 5.

If we disobey them-it will be interpreted as arrogance and disloyalty so we have to use this as last resort.

  1. Resign from the position-desertion or AWOL v. 3a

This may not be in-front disobedience. It will be seem an indirect actions-but it will be ultimately be seen as a disobedience too. Much like when workers flee from the presence of their boss-so they will not be asked to do something-or like my children who pretends to have an earphone and listening to music.

  1. Conspire with others to rebel –v 3b to 4

This is the most dangerous. It was used by Enrile and Ramos, Gringo Honasan, Against Erap, Against GMA-and it is a testimony to our forgiving attitude that few died doing these. But but for others-this is seen as treason –and meted with death or incarceration. Remember Valkyrie-about the plot to kill Hitler-they died by hanging or firing squad.

There are situations that we –we rather obey God than men-Acts 5:29

And who can stay the hand of a king. He –once in a while consult with others-but he does not need to. He can do whatever he pleases.

  1. Or we can wait for the proper time and procedure/response/manner v. 5-6

A wise man will screen out or filter his feelings and his need for immediate action. A fool will blurt out what he is thinking-and will show his true feeling in his actions. Nagpapakatotoo daw-pero this is dangerous before a superior-especially a King who has power over life and death.

Parang stocks iyan-may time para mag buy o sell o hold on to things. Parang bakit ngayon lang gumagawa ng Shopwise sa Pacita. Dahil ang Sm nasa Tunasan at Sta Rosa na. Wala nang mas malapit.

Bakit yung iba ay bumibili lang pag sale at not before.

Wisdom teaches us to be patient-wait for the proper time and manner of actions. Esther was able to save her people because she waited her turn to be called and lobby her position for her people. Same with Nehemiah who was able to rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem-for he knows how to wait on Darius the Mede or Artaxerxes.

2.  Verses 7-9 No power to hold the Future

  1. No one has the power v 7-8

Even the king is powerful-he is also limited. He cannot know the future.Here the King shares with common humanity. He cannot control the wind, the time of his death.And when a war is started-one cannot take time-out in a battle. Di yan touching rubber or bomb sack or taguan na laro –na may time out muna. In real life-many things happen all at once –thus you cannot halt it.

Just because you have the power-the money-the guns-you can delay the day of judgment. Those who killed the journalist and women –should know this. It will still some. Those who massacred people in Bosnia, Laos, North Vietnam, Burma and so many places in the world-will face death later.

We willcomment on the wind later.

  1. Person over others v 9

There are times that one man had a lot of power over other men. And this is not right. He uses this to take advantage of the situation-to accumulate more wealth, power, over other men.

But they don’t know that as they dehumanize other men-they too-changed. From men to monsters. God can forgive any sins-but as we go deeper in our sins-either in depth or breadth-it affects our souls-our selves-and it gets harder to repent. The sin, the flesh and the devil had taken control of us- And it is to harm that our control over others –is really a lost of control of ourselves. It harms us.

3. Verses 10-13 Judgment will come

a)       The Wicked honored v10

But sometimes it does seems so –the wicked when they die or thrown out of office-they are evn honored to be given wake or necrological services inside the churches-temple-places for those who are holy and live a good life. But since they are still powerful-it seems that people forgot how to treat them rightly.

b)       The Wicked not executed v 11

And then there is a delay in judgment-it seems they have long life. They can even have the finest doctors from abroad. Their sons and grandchildren are around their bedsides when they sick.

Some weak men-take this that there is really no God who sees –and they are tempted to do more evil. For we do follow the herd. If there is line here-we follow it without asking. If no one will take notice of our evil actions-we thought it means that it is allowed. See in our garbage we throw in the windows of PUJ/PUB. Why in Hkong or Singapore –we are law-abiding? For justice there is swift and regular. No if or buts.

c)       It will be well v 12

But there is an assurance that later those who fear God will be taken care of. In this life-and especially in the next-which is longer.

d)       It will not go well v 13

The wicked will be cut short. His shadow will not lengthen. Later God will cut his life short.  And this true. They don’t exist forever. Whether they are powerful now-and even like Kings.


  1. We as masters, supervisors, team leaders-sometimes we hold the life of our subordinates-and their families –in our hands. We tried our best to decide in wisdom and fairness to others. And we don’t want t be accused of dominating others to their harm. We want to make the lives of others for the better. We don’t want others talking in our backs-saying that they hope that we are dead or burning in hell for the oppression we apply against them. We dare not –make unbelievers blasphemed the name of the Lord-because of our harshness or injustice we pursue those under us. For we are mere stewards of the authority and power given to us.
  2. As subordinates, workers-we dare not disobey, desert, or rebel against our supervisors or masters-because of small things-petty things. We must accord to them proper respect and obedience. We dare not speak ill or against them in their backs. We must wish them well and pray for them. So that they will wisdom, health, guidance as they lead us. There might come a time when we have to resign and even combat against them face to face. But we must first know the proper time and manner to express our disagreement with them. But yes-there are some circumstances that we rather obey God than men

Like my 2nd job-Safety engineer-LLDA- bribe for more time on effluents and sewerage treatment plant.

  1. It seems that these are all commands that we need to do. And it is hard command. It gets harder as we grow older. Where is grace? Where is the Lord?

The king who has the powerful word and who really can do what he pleases –is the Lord Jesus. And he knows everything even our future –And yes the wind? The same word for Ruach-Spirit –proceeds from him-and he has control over him. No battle, no wars –no death happens without his Sovereign will.

He is also the one who entered the Temple to clean it. And yet the first time he came here-he was not considered righteous –but as wicked and he died outside the city. Judgment against hi was fast-in fact illegally so.

Yet because of him-those who fear him-wll will go well with them. His death and resurrection makes sure that t will be so. He guaranteed it.

It is to him that our truest loyalty resides-we can be sure to give hearts to him because he will never be unfair or put us into an unjust situation-for he had already gone through it-And he can sympathize to those who experiences evil in this world. To Him –it will be easier serve with our whole lives. So don’t hold back-he is not human king or master filled with mistakes and imperfections.


Read Ephesians 6: 5-9

Slaves and Masters

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

A Hand on Wisdom and a Net

Preached on July 19, 2010


I talked last time the need to prioritize preaching the Word. That we don’t have any message –the man of God mentioned in 2 Timothy 4, except the on that was given before. We don’t have to manufacture our own message-so as to impress our hearers. We just have to read, listen, interpret, illustrate and apply the message that was originally given to the apostles, prophets and lastly by the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes –because of this mandate-preachers of the Word –either follow a lectionary –as we do-or preach through a book series-so either by topic or by book the people of God is exposed and trained in all of Scriptures.

But sometimes this is not easy for the preacher. It is sometimes hard to study-and harder to explain in front the congregation what the Lord means in His Word-sometimes we come to some of his hard sayings. Not easy to swallow-and does not make his herald popular with his hearers.

The 2nd Part of Ecclesiastes 7 is such one passage-For our time with women liberated and have more opportunities for growth and financial freedom-Solomon’s view seems antiquated and sexist-that is offensive to the sensibilities of the women in the congregation.

But don’t close your ears yet-you may not like what I am about to say-but listen to the Word-and respond to it-and not to my foolish and inadequate ramblings or thoughts on the Word.

Maybe you can discuss it in your homes and bible study group-and there find the right application that the Lord is telling me-and may have failed to share it to you.

I am an earthen vessel-and the glory of the Lord in His Word cannot be contained on such frail flesh like mine. I have my day-to-day problems that affect my understanding of the Word.

The Title of my message is “A hand on wisdom and a net”

This pertains to the 3 point division of the message and our text:

  1. Verses 15-18 Hand especially v. 18
  2. Verses 19-22 Wisdom especially v. 19
  3. Verses 23-29 The Net especially v. 26


  1. Hand- In Public Life

Verses 15-18 Hand especially v. 18

In his short and fleeting life-Solomon has seen it all-and it is not always Math precise. It is not 1 plus 1 equals 2. The Lord reserves the final tally on what has happened in this life and will be happening-it is all in His Time-not our own.

When we face people-we must have an editor in our minds before we speak or act:

ILL: Publication- article for magazine or internet-better to have an editor to check your grammar, if it is easy to understand and cannot be misunderstood-or there are things that have to said or not said.

So in our actions with respect with other people. We cannot live insisting our way always even if we are right. We will only get disappointed. The world will not follow our way. We need to wait on other to mature and get the habit of acting favorable with our request and demand.

Do not be over compulsive and even irritating with your own righteous causes- some people will get needlessly offended and might retaliate in violence. Thus the good man may die early. Some are not irritating –

And yet the good they also die young too. And that is good thing to do what is right-to protect the helpless, the poor, the weak and those who are defenseless-and sometimes they have to do it because no one else can.-There it is our duty to do good –even if it means a life foreshortened by violence.

But in general-we don’t need to be right always, all the time, all the days of our life. Sometimes love can cover a multitude of sins-irritants, mistakes, insults.

Sometimes, Jollibee and McDonalds and Chowking do not give 100 % customer satisfaction.

Also the TV Series Monk-when his wife died violently-he reacts to the world by being over compulsive in cleanliness and arrangement-because that is the only place where his world is in order-outside it is violent and in disarray.

But we also don’t need to become infamous due to our wickedness-We cannot push our luck. Someday –we will find our recompense.

Story jeepney driver honking at the back. The driver is a policeman-so he went down and aim the barrel of his revolver at the face of the honking jeepney driver. That stunned all-Mahirap pag nakatagpo tayo ng katapat.

Remember Ben Tumbling, Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, Hitler, Idi Amin, -due to their excessive wickedness –it galvanize others-those with authorities to collectively bring them down. Anger with common experience of oppression –unites people with different agenda and motives to take down a common oppressor. Remember the Japanese in World War 2, Marcos in recent memory. Instead of retiring at Paoay, Ilocos Norte –he died at Hawaii.

A true believer in the Lord God will (Micah 6:8) know what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” Folowing righteousness-not his own-and evading and ceasing from doing wickedness-he will be able hold in his hand both very relevant guidelines for life and be not an unnecessary of men’s anger.

This is the Hand of the righteous in Christ-and not righteous in oneself. He knows how to listen to the Spirit and the Word.

  1. Wisdom- In Our own Musings-private life (as we speak to our selves)

Verses 19-22 Wisdom especially v. 19

The Trojan War is unfortunate war-It started with the illegal desires of Paris for Helen-then ended in the death of Hector –who only wishes to protect his city-state-his family in the hands of Achilles –because he mistakenly killed Patroclus-favorite nephew of Achilles –when he assumed the armor of Achilles. And then the whole city fell to the Greek. All because of a woman.

Beauty fades-but wisdom does not. A wise man-or a king could have averted such an insult to Menelaus-her husband-so that the thousand Greeks need not sail for Troy.

Sometimes power and might is not the answer to our problems. Nor even money.

Humility, patience and being contented with what we have are.

Did USA defeated Communism in Vietnam? Muslim militancy in Iraq now? It is different when US and other allied nations joined together to defeat Germany, Italy and Japan in World War 2-and Iraq when it invaded Kuwait –and when Al Qaeda holed up in Afghanistan.

Yes there is a time to face the school bully-but there is a time when you will never win a battle with a larger and stronger person-and it is better to befriend him than anger him.

Thus wisdom is better than ten strong warriors or champion. Lives are saved that way-than fell into unwinnable war.

We will not always win in this world-Every person owes God-Yahweh the Lord-we cannot demand that He always sides with us. There is no ADAM-human that is righteous, which means –he is truly good and does not sin. An indictment to our species. We are sinners-and we cannot demand good things for us. We better use wisdom to live in this world. Wisdom is best use of knowledge available to us. It is a perspective that gives light to what we know or what we can know.

Sabi nga ni Oliver Wendell Holmes “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience”.

When I was young in meralco-we have a lot of grievances with our leaders-like they are not impartial-just in giving merits to us-that we are not doing everything for the benefit of his people That they are inconsiderate-and they are just thinking of themselves. And then 1 by 1 –our generation are taking the place of our leaders who retired. And the they became us. We are also not impartial and inconsiderate of our team members. And what we speak in the back of our leaders-we also hear in our backs-when they thought we are not listening.

No one is perfect-and we are not. We have a lot of defects. And as we grown old and powerful or influential or rich-we tend to be too sensitive-and are easily offended. It is perhaps our High blood pressure speaking. And if we are always offended by what we hear-I am sure we will die easily. Let us realize-we will never be the perfect friend, employer, supervisor or person in the world. In our brief fleeting life-let us just do what we do best and what we can still do in our strength-so that the next generation can take and add to us.

Sabi nga sa movie ng Platoon-na starring si Charlie Sheen-I have seen the enemy-and the enemy is us”.

Some can be paralyzed by criticism that they will no longer try anything lest they offend others. In this way –their life stops to a halt-and they are no longer effective for the kingdom of God. We must repent everyday-and then gain strength for the day’s challenges and opportunities prepared by God to us

  1. A Net (Spread by the Enemy to distract Us)

Verses 23-29 The Net especially v. 26

The pursuit of Wisdom –does not mean we will be always wise-or that we can hold it in our hand-and it will no longer be gone. Wisdom is deep-and new situations and information tends to confound us. There is so much more to know and evealuate.

Only God –in his wisdom-infiniteness-can grasp all things-from beginning to the end. From beyond beginning to beyond the end. He is forever more knowledgeable than all computers combined. He can know all the combinations and all permutations of what can, may and will happened. And no one can outguess or out flank him.

Sa fastfood –may tinatawag na combo meal-di ba? Sa Tekken –at playstation games ay may combination moves. At ito’y limited lang- though marami-Si Lord? Million and billions and googlilion moves and combination ang alam niya. And He knows it all without trying even to focus-it is always present to him.

Tayo para pumasa sa mga test-we need to study, focus our brains and read and practice. And yet we cannot grasp it all. It is too deep.

Tapos alam niyo mangyayari at seryoso na kayo mag-aral?


Along comes a woman… sabi nga ni isang song.

When we are ready to “seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.”

Along comes a woman. And we do warn our binata about this. Do they listen?

I can remember the days in high school when I am in deep thought –thinking about all the ramifications of the philosophy Sartre and Bertrand Russel- I met my first crush. And my days and nights are disturbed forever.

So when I was at UST –trying to solve problems in Differential and Integral Calculus-along comes a woman. And a woman is harder to solve-you don’t know what methods or procedure will solve the problem-that is a woman.

And you know-women know that men can get crazy figuring them out.

Solomon had more of the share of the problem than we have. Sabi nga “Women are like wine-they taste better with age-but in excess they are your greatest headache in the morning.”

And Solomon has “had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Kings 11:3-4

Compare the account of Solomon’s wives 1Ki_11:1-8 :

see especially also Pro_2:16-19

(16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words,

17 who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;

18 for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed;

19 none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.)

; Pro_5:3

(1 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,

2 that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.

3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil,

4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;

6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.)

Woman-ishah is a distraction to him-especially the seductress/temptress.

Her heart is snares and net- matsodim va charemayim. Two words use to capture fish or animals-while the other are cages or those used by Vietnamese to kill their enemies-

Which means-they entrap their prey and then hurt them good so that they will be imprison (esurim)  in her hands. They are trapped forever-unless healed and liberated by others.

I am not speaking to young men only but to their mothers and also to the wives of men trapped by this women. We must be able to heal their wounds first-meaning forgiveness and acceptance –before we can be able to released them from their imprisonment. Clearly we need more –once they are already trapped and imprisoned by them.

“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”

I call this women-vortex-black holes- no light can be found in them. And it is to our peril, men to be near them.

Parang gamu-gamo tayo umiikot sa ilawan-pag tayo ay nag-apoy ay mawawalan tayo g pakpak upang makalipad palayo sa kanila.

I know this from experience-though I have not fallen carnally/ sexually- I was drawn in my midlife crisis- when I was 41 years old to woman half my age- All I wanted is to help her in the office and maybe bring her to the Lord-but no-as times goes by-she needs more and more of my help. Without the intervention of my wife and my best friend I will not be freed from her helping and helping her.

That is 5 years ago and later I found out that during the same time I was helping her-she was wrecking the family of another my co-employee. Beware of women-My sons-they can make you off track in one single collision.

Truly – “He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her”. It is God who makes a way to save us from the seductress or temptress.

Remember –when your mother or wife says that naloloko ka dun sa isang babae-more than often-tama sila. Mai-ingat mga kapatid. I might be exagerated to you now-but when you are there and blinded by her-you cannot see right. Others beside you can see through her schemes.

Don’t underestimate the weapons within in their disposal. Samson was blinded by the Philistines because of Delilah, Solomon ruined by her wives, Tiger Woods by her women-and James Yap by Joy ba?

The final verse is perplexing and controversial:

27 Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things—

28 which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.

29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.

The word –man – there is ADAM- and not ISH-which means MALE. ADAM means –humans (both men and women) So Solomon is saying that a HUMAN in a thousand –he found one upright-but this human is not a woman.

Parang Sexist di ba? I have read from Plato to the the Babylonian Talmud spoken by the Rabbis-the low regard for women.

But somewhere –Solomon extol teh virtue of women –as wife and mother in :

Proverbs 12:4 (An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, )

Proverbs 18:22 (He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.)

Proverbs 19:14 (House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.)

Proverbs 31:10 (An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.)

Solomon –I think is prophesying about someone else- the only man who is sinless and righteous and will not be entrapped by women. He will be forever faithful to her until the end of time.

But verse 29 points to the fact that all ADAM-human-is made upright-straight-like a ruler. He was the crown of his creation- the inheritor of his kingdom-his universe-there is no wayward thoughts in him.All are focused in following his will fromthe heart.

But then He began to think thoughts independent of the Lord-and in his heart and mind-he tries to escape His gaze-his presence-his witness-and so in his heart he first became a sinner- he tries to make a way a road in his heart how to think –differently from the one prepared for him.

And so his inventions –machinations-his excuses-get more and more complex. It has not stop in our time. Darwin,Marx,Freud,Sagan,Dawkins, are those who first philosphiz how toescape the gaze of the Eternal in our soul. And we cannot escape from His presence. Our hearts are now like a maze –a labyrinth which we will bring to our deaths.

And yet it cannot hide from the Lord who is always present.-Only one man is always open to that gaze-for He has gazed upon since Eternity.

The only righteous and sinless ADAM is also the only one among thousand who is upright and straight all the way.

And yet –he is taken away –killed-slained when he was just young .But this is not for his own righteous cause alone.It is His Father’s –it is for our sake-when we are powerless,defenseless and trapped by the cage , net of the devil-he set us free from our fetters and liberated us. By His death-we are made alive!

He cannot save all of  us-but He can save all the Father has given him. He will remain faithful to His Father-and to his bride-the Church-until the end of time.  No snares and nets of the temptress will hinder Him. He will prepare the kingdom for His father-so that we will again become upright-justified before His Father-who made us.


  1. To those in sin-like those who are self-righteous, impateient, easily offended by what others act or said because of him/her- We can now accept our imperfections and repent of it-and start to be forgiving of others.
  2. To those held by the power of sin-of a woman- Pray, repent, return to your wife and children. You may consult with the elders to help you in your struggle. You cannot do this alone-You need prayer support and guidance and accountability.
  3. To the young men and women-Do not think that this time of your life that you are being hindered and prevented to enjoy life by those older than you. We can see through you because we have been through it before. Allow us to help you. We only have but one lord to satisfy, glorify and please.
  4. To the leaders and would-be leaders of this church-Be aware of the plans and schemes of the devil-If he cannot trip and trapped you one way-he will try another. But always –we are more than conquerors and victors in Jesus-our Christ! We must always hide behind His Armor and Shield.

To end this let us read:


Read Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.