A Bountiful Dose of Nostalgia

With the recent passing of my 95 year-old aunt, I decided to share my diary entry dated 26 Sept 2009. On this particular day, typhoon Ondoy brought massive rainfall and caused severe flooding, death and suffering to thousands of people in Manila and neighbouring provinces. I happened to be in the Philippines at the time taking care of my mother on her deathbed. My cousin, Manay Susan, and I, along with my mother’s caretaker, and with the help of other family members, we’d take turns keeping an eye on her. There’s always someone watching her 24/7 making sure she’s alright. She passed away three weeks after I wrote this.

As I am writing this, the wind is screaming, the rain falls in torrents, thunder is rumbling, lightning is flickering in succession in the distance but seems to be moving closer. The heavy downpour, what seems like buckets of water, is pelting the windows relentlessly. When I was a little child growing up in Samar, there were thunderstorms, similar to typhoon Ondoy, that visited my hometown. In memory, there was more thunder and lightning, and I used to be so frightened of them.

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Today I want to be a discerning learner. I wonder what does it mean to be a learner who is made in the image of God? The world is full of learning opportunities for ourselves and others. And with the technology available to us today, almost all of the educational materials we need is at our fingertips. As Christians, how do we determine what is worth the cost, both in time and money, to invest in for education? Does it really matter if educational materials include the Christian worldview as long as biblical studies receive sideline attention?

When I was a baby Christian, I had to navigate those murky waters. I started out with The Navigators (an international, interdenominational Christian ministry established in 1933) discipleship program which had been used by the Navigators missionaries during my time at the University of the Philippines. All the reading materials available — pamphlets, books, etc., for me to read and learn from, came delivered into my dormitory. Despite the variety of Christian materials, the box did not include any bible. Back then I’ve only used the modern translation of the bible and didn’t own a copy of the AV or Authorised Version until I went to graduate school.

As time passed, I grew in my knowledge of the Word, and learned more about living as a Christian. I then realised the importance of having the Christian worldview included in the daily study of subjects. I began to understand that if Christianity becomes considered a Sunday morning or afternoon activity with a ten minute daily Bible study time, that faith can begin to wither as the brain compartmentalises who or Who has authority over the subject matter and hours of study time.

Now I choose to invest in educational materials for myself which integrate the true authority of God. When God is left out, subjects seem dry and without life. Materials lacking a mention of God’s place can be used discerningly with a sprinkling of salt to make them palatable. Mature Christians have a shaker full, but new Christians may not possess enough discernment to enhance dead subject matter.

These initial thoughts speak on what learning in the image of God means to me.