Why offering thanksgiving to God is the best way to end a busy week

News, Events and Second Glances
The New York band gets ready to play "Ama Salamat," which translates to "Thank You Father" during one International Thanksgiving to God celebration. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

The New York band gets ready to play “Ama Salamat,” which translates to “Thank You Father” during one International Thanksgiving to God celebration. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

After a week of memorizing several book pages’ worth of information to ace that one test and raise your GPA, traveling from one job to the next, going through seemingly endless traffic on your commute home, running your weekly 5K, running numerous miscellaneous errands for the family, a person is entitled to feel, what’s the word, exhausted. Some would spend the weekend at the beach when the season permits it, the mall, the park, or even just going on a movie marathon at home in their respective lazy clothes with chips and sodas handy. But for a group of believers scattered all over the world, the weekends are reserved for one worthwhile activity no matter how hectic their week was. They wisely cap the week off by offering thanksgiving to God.

You might be familiar with this group of believers. If you’re on Facebook and have them as one of your friends, you might see their peculiar updates that are quite unlike the usual posts you see on your newsfeed. While Facebook sadly serves as the go-to venue for people to hate on others and spread rumors, you’d see these peculiar people sharing thanksgiving quotes to God, both inspirational Bible verses and inspirational Bible quotes, and even partner these up with articles and blogs that brandish their desire to spread spiritual joy to their Facebook pals. Majority of the peculiar ones who live in the Philippines go on a weekly pilgrimage to Apalit, Pampanga, while those who live in other nations go to their respective locale chapters – all of them giddy to offer thanksgiving to God.

Choir members of the Church of God International in New York sing a lively song of praise to God. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

Choir members of the Church of God International in New York sing a lively song of praise to God. Pauline Arellano, PVI NY

Despite a tiresome and hectic week, these people choose to sing songs of praise to the Almighty One: to express their heartfelt gratitude to God in song. For a week’s worth of deliverance, for His loving-kindness, for new duties entrusted upon them, for His unspeakable gift, for everything – even things that caused them sadness and pain, these peculiar people choose to offer thanksgiving to God over doing anything else.  They are well taught to put God first, among all things.


Bro. Eliseo Soriano, the Presiding Minister to these peculiar folks is never lacking when it comes to explaining the beauty behind offering thanksgiving to God. In his blog entitled Forever Offering Thanksgiving, Bro. Eli shares with his readers the things that he is forever indebted to God for:

“I am a grateful creation of my Creator, and I will forever be, with His help.  I have unspeakable reasons to be thankful to Him.  My being, my strength (and weaknesses), my wisdom (and ignorance), my abilities (and inabilities), everything I posses bespeaks of His power, loving-kindness, compassion, and grace that calls for praise and thanksgiving.” – Bro. Eliseo Soriano

 And he has taught the peculiar people to do the same – to give thanks unto God for everything in their lives.

 And so while the rest of the population relax or party the weekend away after a long and busy week, these people choose to pay respect and gratitude to the One who gave them permission to start and end the week in the first place, thanking God for the week that passed, and if it is His will, for the weeks to come.


Blessings in Disguise: Behind the Exiles of Jose Rizal and Bro. Eliseo Soriano

News, Events and Second Glances

Photo linked from Bro. Eliseo Soriano's blog entitled

Photo linked from Bro. Eliseo Soriano’s blog entitled “The Lucky Person I Am: Most slandered me” Blog: http://esoriano.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/the-lucky-person-i-am-most-slandered-me/ on Esoriano.wordpress.com

Yesterday, June 19, Jose Rizal would have celebrated his 152nd birthday. Jose Rizal, the champion of the Malay race, died facing a firing squad when he was just 35 years old. It was then that the Philippines lost a doctor, poet, linguist, artist, author, revolutionist, philosopher, activist, professor, and hero.

Before his untimely death, he was exiled in Dapitan. And though he was far away from those whom he loved, his time was not used in vain.

In a website chronicling the life of the national hero, his time away was not time wasted – he spearheaded the construction of an easier water system, taught farmers how to operate modern agricultural devices, learned how to farm himself, practiced medicine, taught students, collected specimens for scientific research, and wrote a book and some poetry.

One could say that his stay in Dapitan was peaceful and at the same time, fruitful.

Fast forward to today’s time, wherein another Filipino gentleman lives in forced exile due to rampant death threats and invented lawsuits. The gentleman is Bro. Eliseo Soriano, a preacher who exposes biblical truth at all costs – even at the cost of his leaving the country to continue his crusade on letting the truth of the Bible be heard.

It was in the latter part of 2005, when Bro. Eli left the country. From then on, following God’s will, Bro. Eliseo Soriano has traveled various parts of the world to preach God’s words. More and more coordinating centers are being established in the western part of the globe, and more is to come, with God’s mercy. Jane Abao,PhD gives a detailed and colorful read on Bro. Eli’s exile here.

Like the late Jose Rizal, Bro. Eliseo Soriano’s exile is fruitful – spiritually fruitful – as evidenced by the many emails he receives on a daily basis asking for services, baptism schedules, and the establishment of nearby coordinating centers.

His Bible-based question and answer program Ang Dating Daan is now translated in various languages. He holds Spanish and Portuguese online Bible Expositions. He travels weekly to different locations to meet and tend to the spiritual needs of brethren and visitors.

He maintains a faith-based blog. He answers any and all spiritual questions on Twitter. He gives a weekly dose of spiritual knowledge to the congregation during Thanksgiving celebrations and answers questions on the spot. He responds to questions via his email. He runs businesses to support the ballooning costs of propagating God’s words in more and more places. He regularly cooks for his family and broadcast staff.

All these, and more, the Filipino preacher does on a regular basis at an age more advanced than Jose Rizal.

Though both were exiled, Bro. Eliseo Soriano’s exile is not as peaceful as the late hero’s. The preacher who’s reputation is continuously besmeared  wrote in his blog entitled “The lucky person I am: Most slandered me”:

I believe using mathematical and logical calculations that, I am the most slandered man in the history of Christianity. The defamations being thrown to my person “go beyond borders.” I mean beyond the borders of the land of my birth, the Philippines. By using the most efficient cyberspace technology that is however lenient in terms of charging responsibility and accountability, my detractors were able to popularize these lies beyond borders.

Both of these remarkable men managed to make the most out of a situation they did not choose to be in.  Both men were exiled, but still, were able to see the blessing behind being afar from those they love. Both remained doing what they do best.

The word “interesting” would be an understatement to describe a conversation between these two men if they met, somehow.