No short-cuts

No short-cuts

By Augusto A. Kho

Duty Free Shop, Airport Road, Paranaque

October 20, 2018 (Saturday); 2:15 pm

Updated: October 27, 2018 (Saturday); 9:55 am; Fortunata; Valley II, Paranaque

Quality means taking no shortcut and getting no substitutes – Carmen’s Best


Carmen’s Best

Women’s shopping is no joke. While men can do shopping in barely an hour, women cannot. Women take very long hours shopping because they meticulously check every detail of what they wanted to buy unlike men who are more lax and hasty.

So when my wife Nelids asked me to give them a company to shop with her younger sister, Jasmin at Duty Free Shop at Airport Road, Paranaque I was a bit apprehensive. But I finally showed up at past 1:30 pm while they were there over an hour earlier. Jasmin Lang is 10 years younger than my wife, a balikbayan from Macon, Missouri, USA.

While we whisked our way from chocolate stores to apparels department, my wife took notice of what she said a very good yummy-tasting ice-cream with a brand name, “Carmen’s Best.” Hmmm. And it is truly amazingly very tasty indeed and creamy as well while I feasted on pistachio flavoured one. On the wall, I noticed Carmen’s Best quote that reads, “Quality means taking no shortcuts and getting no substitutes for the finest ingredients…” Hmmm… From there my wild imaginations began exploring again.

Will someone out there compromise quality? I bet that mass production works out most for mediocrity for whatever reason. Will you and I would compromise quality as well?

But for those who aspire for a very high standard of quality they knew that higher investment is needed like finest materials, hard and engrossing labour, patented artistry and formidable skills for highest perfection for the craft.

So when I read Carmen’ Best quotes it reminds me of Israel when they travelled from Egypt to the Promise Land.

Shorter Defined

Shorter “ in KJV translation “near” from the Hebrew word “qarob” (kaw-robe) means “near (place, time, or personal relationship); shorter (in approach).”

The word “shortened” in Matthew 24:22 and Mark 13:20 is derived from Greek “koloboo” means “to curtail” or “to dock.” Dock when used as a verb means “to cut off the end of a body part of” like cutting off your journey from starting point then halting it in the middle of your trip.

Filipino short-cuts

Short-cuts” is ingrained in the Filipino value-system perhaps much become worst in the 1990’s.

These short-cuts are in the form of Filipino values like pakikisama, kumpare or padrino system, kamag-anak incorporated, lagay or pasuksok to name a few. Short-cuts simply mean not going through a legal or normal process but uses connection if not grease-money or bribes to get one;s goods or services done in the most fastest way. This is very common in government agencies though if we are just brave enough to speak up for the truth. Bribe or “gift blinds the eyes of the discerning,” as the Bible puts it (Deuteronomy 16:19)

A long process

There is no short-cuts to God’s chosen vessel in terms of character-building.

  • Abraham. Abraham means “father of a multitude” (Gen. 11:27).Though Abraham has a large household of over a thousand souls there was no son of him that can be his legal heir. He was a sojourner (pilgrim) for the next 75 years living in tents. God promised Abraham to bear his own son to be named Isaac and it took him 25 years to received the promise (Genesis 12:1-3). And perhaps in between Genesis chapter 20 that Isaac was born. Twenty five (25) years in fulfilling a promise, there was no short-cuts to God.

  • Noah. Noah build an ark that God commanded him to built before the flood came to save himself and his family. Easton wrote that it took Noah and his sons to build the ark for the next 120 years (Genesis 6:14-16; 3). Noah means “rest” and he lives for 500 years (Gen. 5:25-29, 32). One fifth of his life on earth or 120 years has been spent in the building of the ark, there is no short cuts in God.

  • David. David was the 8th son of his father Jesse, a shepherd boy tending the sheep of his father; armed with flute, club, rod, staff and a slingshot ( 1 Samuel 17:34-35). Prophet Samuel anointed him a king when he was still a lad perhaps at age 14-16 (1 Samuel 16:14-15). He fled, hid and lived on rock, wilderness, in mountains, crags and ravine of Engedi fearing his father-in-law, Saul, king of Israel who sought to slay him (1 Samuel 23:25-29). He finally became under divine direction at about 30 years of age (2 Samuel 2:1-4; 2 Samuel 3:1-5). It is estimated of about 17 years that David took the crown of a king after the death of his father in law, Saul. That 17 years of struggle is not God’s short-cut in the making of a king.

Shorter route

Shorter route may be the easier way, but at what cost?

I just had a dinner with Carlo working in Cargo Logistics and Jonie working as Liason Officer in an Insurance Company at Conrad Grills Restaurant along Domestic Road right across Air Asia this Friday, October 26, 2018. They both confirmed that “grease money” helps them to deliver their cargo on time. In cargo handling, he who bribes will be given the priority.

Taking the short-cuts measures one’s integrity. This is true when we bribe others than doing the normal or conventional manner. What we want to accomplish may be taken through a shorter route or easier way but it corrupts one’s character in one way or another.

No short-cuts

There is no short-cut in God. God will always do the normal and conventional way. The process may be long yet it the right way.

So when I read Carmen’ Best quotes it reminds me of Israel when they travelled from Egypt to the Promise Land. Such is God’s standard when the Lord took no shortcut in dealing His own peculiar and chosen people, the Israelites. Thus it reads:

When the Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, through that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. 18 So God led the people around by the desert road,” (Exodus 13:17-18 / New International Version (NIV).

The word “shorter” is being translated as “near” in KJV and Easy English, “nearer” in ISV or “nearby” in NET.

Today, the travelling time by bus from Egypt to Jerusalem will only take you for twenty (20) hours. To Bible commentators, the travelling time from Egypt to the Promised by foot will only take seven (7) days. Then why God brought the Israelites from the land of Pharaoh to the Promise Land for the next 40 years?

Why God did not take a shorter route or short-cut for the Israelites’ journey to the Promise Land?

  • First in KJV, it reads, “that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines...” We should be God-led and not men-led that will lead God’s people. The word “led” in Hebrew “nachah” (naw-khaw) means “to guide” or “to govern” according to James Strong. The way of the Lord may be tedious or long but it very sure.

  • Second, passing through a longer route in the Red Sea contrary to a shorter route to Philistine is a form of Water Baptism in the Old Testament according to Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 10:1-2. Paul said we “should not be ignorant.” Ignorant in Greek “agnoeo” means “to err or sin through mistake or to be wrong.”

  • Jeremiah 2:6 reads, “Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?I love this verse.

The journey from Egypt to the Land of Promise is not a short-cut one. It long, tedious, risky and enduring. The trekking is too hazardous that you and me will pass through the wilderness, deserts, pits, drought, death’s shadow; a land that no man no passes through and no one there lives – like a ghost town.

The longer route takes endurance of God’s people to mould their character and to put their full dependence and confidence on God’s provisions. 1 Corinthians 10:3-4, “And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

The Red Sea which is a longer route, not the short-cut is like a “processing zone” where man has to go through according to Paul “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness,” (verse 5).

Wilderness is both literal of figurative, taken from Hebrew word “eremos” meaning “desolate, uninhabited, deserted and neglected (if addressed to a person).

The wilderness is described by Peter ass “These are wells without water” if you choose “the way of Balaam,” a shorter, travelled way to fame and money(2 Peter 2:17, 15). Balaam is a symbolic of a false teacher according to James Strong.

God is a God of Grace but His abundant grace must not be taken for granted or abused. While grace of God is biblical “super-grace” is not.

The Red Sea journey is given to us as an “example” according to Paul (1 Corinthians 10:6) so that “we should lust after evil things” that the Israelites lusted before. This including idolatry (be in literal or in the form of money, fame, power and position); fornication or any unlawful sexual desire” (verses 7 and 8); tempter or enticer of Christ (verse 9); complainer or grumbler just like those who are ranting in a word-war at Facebook (verse 10).

The word “murmurer in Greek “apollumi” refers “to one devote or given over to eternal misery in hell.” Apollumi is derived from the Greek word “apollyon” or “abaddon,” the destroyer in Revelation 9:11,

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

God-led route given to Moses

Last year, we were given a chance to trace back the longer path which is the God-led route given to Moses when he was commanded by God to bring His people out from Egypt. From Egypt we took this route:

Egypt from Land of Pharaoh – Red Sea – Marah – Sin – Rephidim – Mt. Sinai – Aqaba coast overlooking the coastlines of Arabia and Jordan – Eilat (borderline of Egypt and Israel) – Dead Sea – Jerusalem.

(See NOTES below)

Why God brought the Israelites to the Red Sea?

Why God brought the Israelites to the Red Sea and not to the land of Philistines though it is nearer?

The answer is because God “led” Moses to pass to the Red Sea.

Red Sea is being called now as Suez Canal or Gulf of Aqaba (among the Arabians). Rea Sea means “sea of reeds.” Because the Red Sea is where Moses was led by God as the divine way and there was no other way other than God prescribed.

Only those who “led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God,” (Romans 8:14)



For Moses, no short-cuts

For Moses’ life in building him as a man of God is no short-cut.


Moses was a Levite, a son of a priest but adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter, a princess. Moses was brought up in a place and educated by the wisdom of the Egyptian who was then the most prominent in the whole world ( Acts 7:22). He became a mighty general in Ethiopia, “skilful in deeds” (Acts 7:22) and being “honoured” back to Egypt. Being discontented as “Egyptian” he knew he was a Jew and tried to find a place among his countrymen as “hero” (Exodus 2:11) according to Easton.


Moses’ tour to the miserable working place of the Hebrews drove his passion to set them free, but on man’s way and not in God’s way (Hebrew 11:25-27) until by indignation, killed an Egyptian and hid his body on the sand. His murderous act reached the ” (Exodus 2:15) fled to Midian and hid there for the next 40 years as wanderer (Acts 7:30). Until an “angel of the Lord appeared to him,” (Exodus 3). For the past 40 years shepherding the flock of his father-in-law-Jethro in Midian harness his character and trimmed down his pride and arrogance and learned to endure the lowly task of shepherding. From a warrior-hero to a farmer-shepherd is too self-shaming to bear but he let his old-self go.


Moses, a very temperamental person and a murderer spent 40 as a fugitive in the land of Midian learned to depend and to wait on God. It was not a shorter-route in building him up as a person and as a leader. When he brought His people from Egypt to the Red Sea where God led them, he is taking a longer route, not the short-cut in the same way God took him 40-year to build him as a man of God. It is the same way, when God deals us in our life journey. For God, there is not short-cuts (Exodus 13:17-18). Just like to this man - “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth,” (Number 12:3).




  • Scriptures quoted in KJV unless otherwise specified

  • God-led route given to Moses

Last year, Nelids, Isaac and myself together with other 500 other Christian pilgrims followed the route that Moses took in bringing God’s people from Egypt to the Land of Promise, Jerusalem.

From the capital city of Egypt in Cairo, we passed through the Giza Pyramids and crossed over the Red Sea and took a 1-hour stopover in Marah (Exodus 15;23) where the people of God grumbled against God and nearly stoned Moses to death. From Marah we continued our journey passing by the wilderness of Sin and Rephidim (Exodus 17;1) until we reached the feet of Mt. Sinai . Mt. Sinai is where the Jews pitched tents for quite a time while Moses climbed the mountain for the next 40 days where he received the Ten Commandments which is “written by the finger of God,” (Exodus 31:18).

When we were on board on 12 tourist buses and left Cairo on May 30, 2017 at around 7 a.m., we arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai at 3 p.m. That is around
7-hours journey.

We stayed at a Resort Hotel in St. Catherine which is around 3,500 feet high at the foot of eastern part of Mt. Sinai. We stayed there for a few days seminar and prayer as well. We also climbed the 7,500 feet summit of Mt. Sinai where Moses received the 2 Tablets of Stone and where Elijah took refuge King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel sought to slay him.

We left St. Catherine, Mt. Sinai on a Sunday, June 4, 2017 and resumed our journey exactly the same route where Moses and the 1-Million Jews took his people from Egypt to Israel. We passed though the Aqaba Coast overlooking the coastlines of Arabia and Jordan. When we left 7a.m. on that day, we arrived at Eilat, an Israeli border at 1:00 pm. . From Eilat we resumed our journey passing by the Dead Sea at around 7pm. We arrived Jerusalem between 8-9pm. The total number of hours we consumed on that journey is 13 hours.

Today, the travelling time by bus from Egypt to Jerusalem will only take you for twenty (20) hours. To Bible commentators, the travelling time from Egypt to the Promised by foot will only take seven (7). Then why God brought the Israelites from the land of Pharaoh to the Promise Land for the next 40 years?

Why God did not take a shorter route or short-cuts for the Israelites’ journey? The answer is because God directed Moses to pass to the Red Sea.

  • Led

The word “led” from Romans 8:14 in Greek “ago” means “induced or driven “ by God.