‘Is God anti-gay?’ | Inquirer Lifestyle

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In reaction to my recent piece on Good Manners and Right Conduct, someone messaged asking if the old tradition of “mano po” would be taught in schools. I don’t really know if this will be part of the curriculum. I doubt it, seeing as how old customs seem to be losing out in today’s lifestyle.

How do I feel about it? I wish. I have always loved this old Filipino way of showing respect and politeness. We may not see it often enough, but happily many people still do it.

Just the other day I was introduced to a young college student and with a smile, she bowed respectfully, and quietly took my hand, to touch her forehead. It felt good. It almost made me forget the young boy who earlier had barely looked in my direction when we were introduced. Well, he did offer a fist bump and I didn’t know what to do.

My great-granddaughter Leia does the cutest mano po I have ever seen. She is curious, inquisitive, and wants to see your face, so she holds your hand to her cheek while she peeks at you from under it. Precious!

‘Is God anti-gay?’

Reservations are briskly pouring in for a two-day series of conferences with Sam Allberry, renowned pastor, teacher and author from the United Kingdom.

Allberry will be in the country on an invitation by Without Walls Ministries Alabang in partnership with the Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) Alabang.

“Is God anti-gay?” is the title of the series. The first meeting will be held June 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the CCF Building. It will be for church leaders, pastors and church workers. Entrance is P250. CCF is located at the Madrigal Business Center in Alabang.

An evening session will open at 6 p.m. free of charge.

On June 15, Allberry will speak at Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, and will preside at the Sunday celebration of Without Walls Ministries June 16 at Cinema 1, Alabang Town Center (withoutwalls.ph, tel. 0915-6486955 and 0961-2509999).

Allberry is a British pastor based in Maidenhead, United Kingdom. His credentials are impressive. He is editor of The Gospel Coalition, global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and author of “Why Bother with Church,” “James For You,” “7 Myths about Singleness,” and his latest bestseller, the gospel-grounded, Christ-centered “Is God anti-gay?”

The answer, by the way, is a loud and resounding NO!

Keep stress away

A friend posted an article online that offered a list of 101 coping mechanisms one can adopt to combat stress or avoid it altogether.

It caught my attention. I found it timely and helpful. All of them made sense but several actually stood out as if they had been written with me in mind.

Here are a few, and my thoughts.

Exercise. Stand up and stretch.

I recently saw a program on the internet called “Sitting Tai Chi” and I thought, “Aha, that’s for me.” It included testimonials from people of age who swore by it. I asked my granddaughter to download it for me and she ended up treating me to a wonderful experience.

I am doing the exercises every other day. It is a 51-minute routine, quite tame, and looks silly at first blush. But I have begun to enjoy its benefits. For starters, I sleep better.

The list continues.

Do not rely on your memory. Write it down. Make copies of important papers.

How many times have we panicked wondering where certain documents are? This is great advice for super seniors.

Unclutter your life.

Clean out a closet. True. Messy surroundings can be stressful.

Then there was a bunch of pointers that tugged at the heart.

Smile; say something nice to someone.

How easy is that? After all, we don’t know what that person is going through. It does not cost anything to just be nice.

Write a note to a faraway friend.

Suddenly you hear from a long-lost friend, and the note says, “I’m thinking about you.” What a great morale booster that can be.

I remember receiving an unexpected message once long ago. It was an apology from someone who, after a couple of drinks, had said some mean things to me. I had forgotten about it, although at that moment her words had stung. Almost a lifetime later she writes, “I’m sorry.”

I replied. I told her all was forgotten. We have since kept in touch. Just one little note restored a friendship.

And the list goes on. Here are the rest of my picks.

Say hello to a stranger.

We can’t imagine how something so simple, so easy, could brighten someone’s day.

Look up at the stars.

I wonder if we can see them through all the pollution? But I remember one “starry starry night” in Baguio when we thought we could pluck them out of the sky.

Walk in the rain.

The last time was in Hawaii. They call it liquid sunshine. I was caught in a downpour and loved it. Today it may be hazardous to my health.

Read a poem. I do that often.

Plant a tree. That’s in my bucket list.

Buy yourself a flower. Somehow this last one makes me sad. I don’t know why.



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