Monday, April 27, 2009

two baptisms, two wet ones to go please

My little boys haven't been baptized yet. I'm in the process of finding out the proper procedure to get them baptized at FAPC. So far, I understand that at least one of the parents must be a member of the church (me) and that I've got to take a confirmation of faith in their name.

The sacrament of baptism (one of the two sacraments instructed in the Bible; the other being the Lord's Supper, performed on the first Sunday of every month) in the Presbyterian church and in most Protestant denominations is different than in the Catholic Church. I grew up with the belief that's best to have a child baptized as early as possible in his/her life to cleanse off the Original Sin (Adam and Eve for eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge; Therefore, if a baptized child were to die, the child would automatically be accepted into Heaven for being a pure soul (an angel, free from all sin). As a matter of fact, I was baptized less than month after being born, about the same time I almost died.

to hell and back

Religion can be included in parapsychology (study, understanding, dealing with the supernatural like ghosts and demons; The belief of Satan (Lucifer, Hades, the Anti-Christ) and Hell (the Kingdom of Hades, the Underworld, the Void, etc) are a part of many religions and an essential part of Christianity.

I've experienced horror that may only be explained as spiritual yet demonic. For a long while, I couldn't sleep because of the horror of feeling what I understood then as my soul ripping and escaping my trembling body. Now adding this experience to the rest of the paranormal horror that I've gone through (haunting, possession, etc), I'm convinced beyond doubt that both Hell and Heaven do exist -- hence the existence of pure evil and pure good, a Devil and a God.

Monday, April 20, 2009

no longer enough

As much as religion (going to church, Bible study, being an active or some what active member of the congregation, volunteering and even becoming a member of FAPC) has helped me tame my personal demons, the reality is that my anxiety hasn't diminished. Sometimes I feel like my level of anxiety has worsened in the last year or two or that the dosage of my medicine is no longer enough to stabilize the chemistry of my brain (acquired resistance to medication or drug) and therefore its functions. Then again my doctor doesn't agree and he's prescribed again the same dosage for my medicines.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a whole new experience, pt. 2

(maudy, Latin for mandate;
Service divided into four parts, not three as it's usually broken down.
* Call to worship
* Worship -- reading from the Gospel of John, the Last Supper; remembering one's baptism (getting sprayed with holy water, three times, no less; Randy getting sprayed by Scott without warning) and communion (the two sacraments instructed by Jesus)
* Reading of the Shadows (tenebrae, Latin for shadows;
* Loud sound (gong played by Paul) in complete darkness that symbolizes the earthquake when Christ died during the eclipse; leaving the Sanctuary in darkness
** Maudy Thursday serves as an introduction to the Holy Friday service, which concludes with the celebration on Easter Sunday.

* I arrived 30 minutes late (12:30pm), but I stayed till the end (3pm). I wouldn't really know everything that took place. I kept passing out thanks to all the medicine that I'm taking.

* The church was crowded to the roof literally (full house, including the balcony and the chapel).
* Scott - "Jesus is on the loose."

In all I spent five hours in church this past week, much more than I'd have expected to stay in church.

almost immediately, thanks

Without getting into details, on Wednesday night I asked for three in favors in a prayer, during the Twelve Stations of the Cross. One of them came true almost immediately as I was told the next morning (too much, too good, too soon to be a mere coincidence) -- thanks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I've been a church-goer before, but I've often stopped attending. For over 13 years, I didn't attend church and the last one was Saint Patrick's Cathedral (Catholic). Now I'm even a member of FAPC and I truly hope this new religious experience doesn't fade away. I want it to last forever.

a whole new experience

It's Holy Week and last night was the Twelve Stations of the Cross (6:30pm), which was an odd experience of spiritual self analysis. I don't know what to expect of Maudy Thursday (7pm service) or Holy Friday (Seven Last Words, three-hour service starting at noon) other than being services in almost complete darkness with melancholic music. As noted several times, this is a whole new experience for me.

a private person

This past Sunday the church bulletin had my name printed as one of the persons who had joined the church ( in the March 2009 class. Although I'm an obsessively (OCD) private person (never sharing my name or any other information especially with strangers), I did feel a level of pride and accomplishment seeing my name in the church bulletin.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


So this past Sunday, I became a member of FAPC. What am I supposed to feel right now -- pride, accomplishment, fellowship, belonging, salvation or perhaps some other state of mind that I fail to understand or simply remember? Am I now a Presbyterian or a Catholic going to a Presbyterian church? Does any of this matter?

At least I know that it surely doesn't make me a better person at all. Another thing I can say is that I like the concept and ideology of the Reformation of the Church.. As a child growing up Catholic, I had trouble understanding several concepts like saints and those prayers that you'd repeat whose meaning is practically lost after repeating several times. Considering that Catholics should pray every night at least "Our Father" and perhaps "Holy Mary" since the age of three (more or less) a person would repeat each at least 2,556 times by age ten, at least 6,209 times by age twenty and so on. Since most people live at least to the age of 75, a person would have repeated the same set of words (prayer) at least 24,471 times, which most likely by this time has lost its meaning. At least in the Reformed tradition, a person would thank, ask, talk or at least interact in some level directly with God with his/her own words coming from the heart rather than repeating another person's prayer as a broken record caught in a loop.