VICTORY @ 25 TEASER 2

This one you can’t miss!  This is our 25th Anniversary as a church.

Registration starts 9:00 am through TicketNet, SM branches and Araneta Coliseum.  Php 150.00.

See you there!

COTTON CANDY FOCUS

I took my 5 year old son, Ryan to a professional basketball game (PBA).

He was enjoying the game for the first 2 quarters. However, when half-time hit, there were hawkers that were selling all kinds of stuff – from Pizzas to Pepsi, ice tea to ice cream.

One particular item caught my son’s attention… cotton candy.

He asked me to buy it. Wanting to be a kind and generous father, I got him one so he can enjoy the game while eating it. But as the game progressed, I noticed that he was more consumed about his cotton candy than the game that was actually pretty exciting.

I thought about how sometimes we start off wanting to live our lives for God but along the way, we get distracted. We’re excited, we’re focused and we know why we’re there. But stuff comes along and we lose our focus.

I guess that’s exactly why God, no matter how generous a Father He is, doesn’t give us everything we ask for right at the moment we ask for it. He knows we’ll end up focusing on the blessing more than the Blesser.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:2)

JOY VS. HAPPINESS

A lot of life is based on the decisions we make… what to do, what to eat, what to wear, who to go with, WHO to serve, when to do what we need to do.

I have yet to hear a telephone receptionist lash out on a caller right off the bat, though I am sure it has happened before. S/he comes to work and decides to be good at what she does – greeting, giving instructions, forwarding calls undergirded by the fact that she has to be nice and cheerful. This has to happen whether she’s had a bad day or not.

Everyday, we have an opportunity to choose. We can start it deciding that it would be a great day (whether it ends up being a good one or not but still learning from every moment) or get sidetracked into misery by every unfortunate mishap.

Tim Hansel made a comment in his book years ago that never left me ever since. He said, “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.” Deep breath… read it again… “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional.”

Happiness is based on “happenings” but joy goes deeper than that. You can have joy in the midst of the toughest circumstances in life.

There will always be stuff to ruin our day. The question is not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens to us. That marks a leader and a disciple.

Choose joy.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

VICTORY @ 25

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43RjyOq78uE 300 250]

LEADERS ARE READERS. BUT WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE READING?

Never really grew up reading.  Never liked it.  Never enjoyed it.  I know, I’m such a bum.

While my classmates would read Hardy Boys and Sweet Valley High (yes, they were boys… I know, weird, right?), I would be out playing basketball, tumbang preso, baseball and getting smelly.

However, through the years, I’ve ‘forced’ myself to like reading because I realized I can’t grow (spiritually, intellectually, leadershipically… making up words now) if I don’t read.  Started as a “have-to” but now becoming a “love-to”.

I still read veeeerrrrryyyyyy sssslllloooowwww, but I think I’m making progress.  Much of reading is a discipline, not really a natural inclination, at least for me.

But if I read 250 words a minute, this would mean that in 20 minutes, I could read 5000 words.  An average book has about 400 words to a page.  So in 20 minutes, I could read about 12 1/2 pages.  So if I discipline myself to read 20 minutes a day, six days a week, that would be 312 times 12.5 pages for a total of 3,900 pages.  If an average book is 250 pages long, this means I could read 15 books in one year.

Achievable?  Definitely.  Now all I need is discipline.  So help me, God.

“MOM’S DEAD, DAD’S IN PRISON…”

Bernard Marquez introduced me to a young girl who’s story gripped my heart.

Arlene (not her real name) is 12 years old.  A couple of years ago, her mom was stabbed with a knife.  Unfortunately, the knife went in too deep that it reached the heart that caused her death.  Sadly, the man she got into an argument with was her husband.  Now, Arlene has no mom and dad’s in prison.  She currently lives with her grandmother.

But since then, she has found hope.  She met Jesus.  At a very young age, she gives her life to Jesus.  With the KC bucks she gets as prize in Kids Church, while everyone saves up for a nice toy or gadget, she saves it to buy her very first Bible.  She devours it and reads it day after day, walks to church every Sunday and gets her life radically changed.

She attended our Boot Camp (preteen camp for 10-13 year olds) a couple of weeks ago.  While her situation remains the same, her faith has been amazing, focusing on her relationship with Jesus who alone can bring hope, security and identity.

Reaching the next generation has never been easy but hearing testimonies like these inspire us to continue to do whatever it takes to bring the gospel to young people like Arlene.

KEEP UPGRADING

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTvZcnfz3BQ]

“LOVE-TO” NOT “HAVE-TO”

Key thoughts from Day 2 of our Biblical Preaching Seminar by Nomer Bernardino.

1. The preacher needs to be convinced of his calling and the awesome importance of his task.

It is important to be clear on this.  Otherwise, what we do becomes a ‘have-to’ rather than a ‘love-to”.


2. The Preacher needs to cherish, grow and guard His own love affair with God.

The more full our souls, the more we can preach without running dry. (Haddon Robinson)

The pulpit is no place for borrowed blessings.  They must flow out of the minister’s fellowship with God in order to be fresh and exciting. (Wiersbe and Wiersbe, The Elements of Preaching)

3. The preacher needs to immerse and delight in the Word of God again and again

Psalm 1:1-2. Meditate on God’s word day and night.

Psalm 119:97.  Oh how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all day.

4. The preacher needs to have a genuine love for his flock.

5. The pastor needs to take care of his family

While it is true that God does not looks at outside appearances but the heart, the congregation does not see as God sees.  What they see is the pastor’s personality, the way he raises up his family and how his children are doing.

It’s very easy for pastors to unconsciously neglect their families, who are longing to be discipled and cared for by the pastor, while waiting, suffering silently.

Some pastors are only awakened when there’s a tragedy.  It is not accidental that Paul wrote that leaders should manage their households well.

Our families are our first line of defense and encouragement from the enemy and from the pressures of ministry.  But when neglected, they may become the pastor’s waterloo.

6. The pastor needs to take care of himself and his health.

While bodily disciplines are not as profitable as the pursuit of godliness, there are obvious advantages in taking care of our physical well-being, and more importantly, this is the will of God.

Preachers are gross violators of sabbaths.

7. The preacher needs also to learn to hear the voice of God and discern the work of God through other people.

THE 2-FOLD TASK OF A PREACHER

Listening in Pastor Nomer Bernardino’s teaching about Biblical Preaching, I gathered so much. There’s a renewed passion and fear of God in delivering His word.

He lays down 2-fold task of the messenger:

1. To present the true and exact meaning of the biblical text. We have to be able to say, “Look at what God is saying.”

2. To present God’s truth in a manner that is relevant to the contemporary listener. We have to be able to say, “This is what God is saying now, to you…”

LOVERLY

Janina’s my 10 year old daughter who loves to sing.  I just love listening to her sing.  So here goes…