Sunday, September 8, 2019

Grieving never means not being strong enough

by Al Sabado

How many times do we hear people tell the bereaved, “Be strong”? Or have we been telling that statement to people who just lost a loved one?

I've heard that many times since few weeks ago, when my dearest father passed away. I know people meant well, but grieving is never about being weak or not being strong. The truth is, strength comes in allowing ourselves to grieve naturally as human beings.

So today, I told one of my siblings, “Let’s take the time to grieve. No rush...”

Grieving means facing the pain of losing a loved one. No explanation required. No skipping the process. No holding back those tears.

After my dearest father passed away less than a month ago, I still cry. I can laugh and smile certain days. But I still cry and I probably will every time I remember him.

I miss my father so much. And I am so grateful to the Lord for him—my close friend, a loving father to us his five children.

Yes, I grieve and I take the time to do so...

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.--(Matthew 5:4)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Weak and beggarly elements: Observing days, and months, and times, and years

God's Word says,
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." (Galatians 4:9-11)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Repost: Is cremation Biblical?

At least two of my siblings signified their wishes to be cremated when they die. But I objected and told both of them that when they die and if I'd still be around, each of them will have a decent burial, just like our mother's.

When we read God's Word, we can note that Christians buried their dead, not cremated. Any wonder why God hasn't shown us in the Holy Bible examples of burning the body of deceased loved ones? Because cremation isn't Biblical and it's not God's way. Cremation comes from pagan origin. God has repeatedly shown us in the Scriptures the special way of burying the dead through the lives of believers such as Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, David, and the Lord Jesus Christ. If we claim to be believers of the God of the Bible, don't we follow His ways?

You may do Google search or visit the link of "Cremation: What Does God Think?" to read more on the subject.

From Al's Google+

Monday, September 19, 2016

Homemade almond milk and wheat bread topped with chopped oregano leaf

We didn’t have bread this morning and I felt not going out to buy from the store. But I remembered the wheat flour (a kilo for Php60, about 1 USD) I bought the other day from St. Ellen store here in Marikina—my ultimate source of baking ingredients. (They also sell nuts, walnuts, raw whole or slivered almonds, high-grade chocolate for baking, and cake boxes, among others.)

I didn’t have yeast and thought it better not to have it. So I searched for a simple recipe on Google by typing “homemade wheat bread without yeast” and clicked one of the options that led me to the page of Yeast Free Bread by But I couldn’t figure out from the page whether I’d have to knead the mixed ingredients, so I looked further on YouTube and found Roberta L TV, where I learned to simply mix all dry and wet ingredients in a bowl. Thanks for that cool demo, Roberta! I was excited to see the mixed product that I ran outside, picked a few oregano leaves from across the street (our kind neighbor’s vacant lot), chopped a piece, and sprinkled it on top of the mixed bread—ready for baking.

After a 20-minute preparation, the bread’s all done in 40 minutes. Now we have freshly baked wheat bread on the table. The result? I say, it's great! I'm happy with it. Since the bread has no yeast, the texture of a thick slice is heavy and chewy, which is ideal for heavy breakfast, then just a thin slice for light snack. What I really like about it is that I know what's in it—no strange stuff added. 

My homemade wheat bread topped with chopped oregano leaf. The oregano leaf I used was big enough, I thought, but you can use more if you prefer, for a generous sprinkle of oregano. Other toppings or mixes (e.g., raisins, slivered almonds, walnuts, etc.) are possible.

Oh, the almond milk, yes, I’ve also tried making it at home, because the consistency of the almond milk my sister buys from the supermarket looks so thin. I wasn’t (and still am not) convinced it’s truly nutritious. So I was quite pleased to read Diana Herrington’s article, “Why I Don’t Buy Almond Milk,” where she also shared her easy-to-follow Almond Milk Recipe. I’m prone to cooking and making food out of basic ingredients, especially when I don’t have all the ingredients in our kitchen. So my version of almond milk is simply the blend of almonds and water. (That’s one cup of almonds soaked 12 hours in plain water. Use that same water and add more, equal to three cups.) The rest is enjoying a glass of it. I recommend the use of strainer upon pouring the juiced almonds on the pitcher to further eliminate almond sediments.

My glass of thick homemade almond milk. Notice its thickness compared to the ones sold at the supermarket.

Almonds are rare where I live, but I found they’re available from stores that sell baking ingredients, just like St. Ellen, which sells a kilo of almonds for Php940, about $20 USD. And because almonds are costly, you’ll opt to make sure not to throw or waste the almond pulp, which makes sufficient flour base for making cakes. I just tried making almond pulp cake loaf. 

A small slice of almond pulp cake loaf (over an inch high) I made yesterday.

Now, how can we tell if people enjoy what we cook? Quietly observe. For example, in my case, when my dad finishes a slice of cake while dropping compliments about the food, I know my cooking is good. But if he's quiet and gets no second serving of what I cook, I know my cooking is bad. I'd figure out what went wrong; the temperature I applied must be too high, I probably added too much salt, or I forgot to put sugar, etc. But hey, my dad ate more than a slice and said I could sell my [almond pulp] cake loaf! So, place your order now! :)
Kidding aside, again, look for the baking stores nearest your place when you want to make your own homemade almond milk—a wonderful alternative, especially when the supermarkets you go to run out of almond milk supply.
Enjoy! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Repost: "What Is Contemplative Spirituality and Why Is It Dangerous?"

Al Sabado

Shared publicly  -  9:07 PM

The person I referred to in one of my blogs ( is a committed member of the Baptist Church. He told me he hasn't heard of "contemplative spirituality" and I suppose many others haven't heard of the same either.

Brennan Manning, a contemplative proponent, became a familiar name to me, in over a decade that I attended Bread of Life Ministries (BOL). The BOL pastors are probably among the most vocal when it comes to promoting (and practicing) such spirituality. Some who left BOL, aren't much aware (or they probably are) of such dangers lurking in this spirituality that they've brought it with them upon transferring to other churches, such as CCF.

If you haven't heard of contemplative spirituality and its dangers, please continue reading by visiting the link below. Good evening.

DISCLAIMER: I am posting the following link for information only and not for endorsing any affiliations of the author.
Return to Journal Index Menu | Go to Main Menu. Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1997 -- Volume 10:19. What is Contemplative Spirituality and Why is It 

If your church leaders fail to warn you of doctrinal errors . . . beware

Al Sabado

Shared publicly  -  3:16 PM

What do supposedly Bible-believing churches teach these days? I look back and find traces of danger, which many church leaders now embrace and feed the flock. Following are just a few examples:

1. Recently, upon reading Ray Yungen's "A Time of Departing" (pp. 190-1), I learned that Chuck Swindoll is now into contemplative spirituality (see the dangers thereof, 

In Philippine setting:

2. "Practicing the presence" was a subject matter of Bible study when I was still attending Bread of Life Ministries, an evangelical church with numerous outreaches locally and abroad. Who would think that such practice is a "dangerous" discipline of the New Age Movement, and probably other groups that do not (and refuse to) recognize Jesus Christ as the Lord.

3. "Cultural redemption" is also a hot topic of Ed Lapiz in his congregation, Day By Day Ministries, which I also attended for some time. But what does God intend to redeem: the human soul, or the culture that we can't even bring with us to the grave?

4. A "package full of assorted candies that give you cavities" was what I found at the Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF) church program menu. CCF hasn't denounced to this day its adherence to Rick Warren/purpose-driven life/church, and its leadership seems to be "content" using The Message in teaching God's Word. The Message, by Eugene Peterson, is a Bible translation that fails to address Jesus Christ as the Lord, but master (the same title that Judas used prior to betraying the Lord Jesus), among other serious doctrinal issues.

What does your church teach? If your church leaders fail to warn you of doctrinal errors, but promote ecumenism, feel-good gospel, and the like, beware . . .

The Message Bible: A Mystic Mess

Turn from weak and beggarly elements

Al Sabado
Shared publicly  -  12:01 PM

I was a college freshman in 1989, and a devout Catholic at the time, when our theology professor in Miriam College assigned our class to read the Ten Commandments and to bring to class our Bibles. Our family has a super huge and heavy Bible at home, so I thought I'd drop by National Bookstore and buy something handy (a King James version, which I still use to this day, now with its brown and crumbling pages).

Little did I know that homework would turn my life around, as I first read through Exodus 20, verses 4 and 5:

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" (Exodus 20:4-5,

My eyes were opened, because nearly all my younger years, I prayed and bowed down to the images in our home and everywhere else I found them. I've stopped doing all that.

I've also stopped praying novenas and the rosary, because God's Word says, we should not use vain repetitions in prayer:

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." (Matthew 6:7-8,

I've also stopped praying for, and to, the dead, such as Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the countless saints that the Roman Catholic church has taught its followers to venerate. For the Lord Jesus has said,

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6,

The Lord Jesus is the only way. And if all that is what God's Word says, then

"... We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29,

I've also stopped celebrating Christmas. My reason for that is similar to why I'm no longer celebrating birthdays and other similar occasions ("Un-celebrating birthdays, a liberating experience," God's Word says,

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." (Galatians 4:9-11,

Note in that passage a stress on "weak and beggarly elements."

Some people say it's wrong to read the Bible as it is written, literally. But if God means something else other than what He says in His Word, then what a mean God could He be! But no, God is not mean, for us to misunderstand His Word. God has freely given us the Bible so that we may understand Him, His will, His promises, for all who hear and abide by Him.

The God of the Holy Bible is the Living God, who created life and all that is in it ( He hears us. He loves us so much that He doesn't even make us guess where we go once we die. Our eternal destiny has an ultimate security, if we choose to trust in His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you made that choice? If you haven't, I pray that you will ...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16,
Evaluation of Christmas Selections in the LIVING HYMNS Hymnal ...The LIVING HYMNS Hymnal was used as a base for this evaluation because it is the one used by the church 

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...