“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable…do not run aimlessly…do not box as one beating the air…But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
“…that our hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ”
It is 2020. The New Year’s message on the first Sunday of January from our Sta Rosa home church was based on Proverbs 16:3 and 9, relating to making plans for this 2020. It is good practice. We ought to submit/commit our plans for each day and the future, big or small, to God. It is He Who establishes (superintends) our steps. It begins with examining our vision of God and who He really is to us.
It is in surrendering ourselves according to His abounding mercy, grace, and will that the plans we commit are established in the heavenlies. The Lord does what He does all to His glory and the question is, do we plan and do these things for His glory?
This brings us to the question, how’s your eyesight? “20/20 vision, as most believe is synonymous to perfect vision. Yet it is just a measure of eyesight. It does not at all mean perfect vision. You may be able to focus your vision at 20 feet, but still lack the ability to see five feet in front of you.”
(Hence the need for Opthalmologist and Optometrist care)
For spiritual eyes, the Lord gives us His Word, the Bible. Note the reminder on the description for 20/20, paraphrased it says”…you may see from afar, but up close, you couldn’t see a cobra if it were in front of you…” Such is the life of a Christian. I can say easily, “Oh, I can see …” but, what do I really see? Often, we only see what we want to see. Truth is, if I’m not personally invested in that person, I really don’t know him/her, do I?
It is the same when we say we know Jesus Christ. I can say for my part, that historically, I knew Him from a distance based on what other people said of Him. I was not intimate with Him, I knew of Him, not really knew Him. Paul in 1Corinthians 13 tells us that, “For now we see in a mirror dimly…“, that was where I was, all things Jesus Christ did was all I saw (dimly), I did not see Him personally…”but then face to face…” Is when He took hold of me, face to face with Him, when He opened my Spiritual eyes…”Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” I am getting to know Jesus Christ daily, more and more… all because of His goodness.
This is a reminder for me, for you, for us this 2020, let the Word of God examine our spiritual eyesight. We are called to examine ourselves, to test ourselves that we may continue daily in Him. In Genesis, the eyes play a part in the fall of man (Genesis 3:5-7), but God…the eyes also play a big part in man’s realization of his need to be redeemed (Luke 10:23,24)
In the first letter of John, the Lord tells us. “…all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.” In the middle of the verse, the eyes are seen being between “the desires of the flesh” and “pride of life“. His exhortation, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Thus we are to be sober minded in all things, to be watchful, to keep ourselves unstained from the world. The Lord exercises His sovereign will not with punity or malice in thought as some have believed, He is the loving God, consistent with His attributes. This is a truth we ought to realize sooner than later, it begins by allowing God’s Word to examine our eyesight.
That leads us to the question, do we see ourselves through the lens of men, or of God‘s? Most importantly, on whom do you have your eyes fixed on this year… and every year? The world? or God?
Click on select verse links to take you to Blueletter Bible
“…His way is in the whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” Nahum 1:3
We are well into the 2nd month of 2019 with last year quickly fading from view. What lies ahead in the coming months is known to the Lord. On our part, instead of speculating what it will shape out to be, we place our faith and hope in Him who promises to do all things well.
Nenita and I enter the seventh year of ministry at My Father’s House Bible Center (MFHBC) on the island of Luzon, and God has stirred the hearts of those He has partnered with us to hunger for Him and His Word.
It is a blessing being able to write this shortie of a newsletter from the Northwest in the state of Washington and report the goings on of God wherever and with whomever He has appointed for us to meet in this short hiatus. First of all, I can see snow from where I’m seated just as we had in Montana (photo above). A winter storm warning has been issued by the weather service. Precipitation (rain & snow) has been a constant companion of ours since we left the Philippines.
All this is a reminder of God’s faithfulness wherever we may be. MFHBC picks up where we left off in 2018. The new semester kicks off May 6, up in the province of Cagayan, northernmost part of the Philippines in the city of Tuguegarao. The semester is in collaboration with the TCPL (Tuguegarao Center for Pastoral Leadership) equipping the saints this part of the Philippines. We’re looking at a ten week stint interspersed with one or two block classes. God is doing His bidding in us, through us, for us. The journey the Lord is taking us in Tuguegarao has a multi-faceted purpose, to help train the Pastors and to minister to the Agta tribe of Bugatay in Penablanca. Praise the Lord indeed.
Not to fret, Calabarzon is not to be forgotten. Y’all must continue to pray for the church family in Cavite (Kingdom Ministries, Calvary Chapel Tagaytay, & Joyful Ruthies), Laguna (Without Walls ministries and SRV Bible Fellowship in Santa Rosa), and Batangas (Calvary Chapel Talisay) for the continuing ministry partnerships, church collaboration, training and equipping God has began.
Five years ago, the Lord opened the Prison Ministry through the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management & Penology) in Nenita’s hometown of Binan and has now been endorsed to the Rock of Refuge Christian Church in Quezon City. The new opportunity of Prison ministry work in the BJMP outpost of Santa Rosa now awaits us.
Pray for the continued growth in Medical outreaches, Ministry Partnerships, Church Collaboration to Train & Equip the body of Jesus Christ, the church, in the Philippines. We all are in this together and we are grateful saints indeed!
Your faithful prayers & gracious financial support fuel these:
1) Teaching Sites in Tuguegarao(north), Cavite & Laguna; Palawan (South);
Building up of the church in Bugatay & Apayao (North)
2) Santa Rosa & Biñan BJMP Prison Ministry Teaching & Medical Missions
3) Ministry Partnerships & Church Collaboration to Train & Equip
4) Committed Workers & Students to enter the Lord’s Harvest
5) Continued Faithful Enthusiasm as Ambassadors of Christ
To give, please go to https://mfhbc.org/giving/
“And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure,
for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.”
In our theme verse, 1Peter 3:15, 16, the students of MFHBC learned and dug for gold nuggets of truth what it means to “sanctify” or “honor” Christ the Lord as holy. Looking back on our rear view mirror, it is as important as keeping our eyes ahead to 2018.
The goal that every man/woman be presented complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28) Here at “My Father’s House“, God continues to do the work He promised we (that includes you)get to be a part of. The fall of 2017 saw us planted in the heart of the city of Silang, about 10 kilometers away from Tagaytay, we came alongside Kingdom Ministries to pass on how to mine God’s truth to group leaders.
When classes began on September 5, the room was filled to capacity. The excitement of something new proved too much to resist for these men and women. They flocked to this “old” new thing, studying the Word of God as He intended for all. The sense of joyous expectancy were with these students, coming to learn NT Greek, Inductive Bible Study, Theology, and the Gospel of Luke. They shot off from the gates like a rocket…and then…the truth of the parable of the Sower soon was manifest over the coming weeks, beginning in mid October leading to December. Keep praying with us for these (Jude 20-24).
Glory and praise belongs to the Lord in all that has been accomplished in Fall 2017. The prayer of the Lord in you are being realized in this area of ministry here with us in the Philippines, such as:
1. The Lord opening the offsite teaching ministration at Kingdom Ministries in Silang.
2. The continuing partnership with the Rock of Refuge Christian Church testifies to the unique relationship that exist amongst God’s children without focusing on the “brand.” They are co-workers to the BJMP inmates in Biñan, Laguna, and together we all have been blessed by many fruits of salvation.
3. Then there is the women’s Bible fellowship, Joyful Ruthies faithfully come together. Praise God for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
Towards the start of December, Pastor Ren Sabio, one whom God has used in our lives, visited us along with his niece and parents,”Pops” and Mom. Every year since we’ve been here, God is faithful to press us forward through visits from the church, His body, through folks like you, and this year the Sabios.
Not only that, MFHBC hosted aspiring film maker Melissa, her cast Janine, Jude, TJ and Kevin for the weekend before Christmas. The Indie film titled “Enough” in English will be entered in 2018’s Cine Malaya Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
* For the next place of God for us. Pray with us for the right place in wisdom, that His will be done on the where and when, that the how be manifest by Him (Hebrews 11:10).
* For the coming Off Site Spring 2018 semester; for current and future students to be wholehearted and steadfast in their trust and dependence upon Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Pray for churches to be single minded towards Christ, that we all come united in His Body being the Bride until He returns. Jude 20-24
* Pray For the BJMP prison ministry; for the inmates and the officers who are hearing the Gospel, to be transformed as they hear and believe and make confession with their mouth Christ Jesus in their lives. Romans 10:10
* Pray For our ministry partners, Rock of Refuge Christian Church(RRCC) and Kingdom Ministries of Silang (KMS), their pastors and leaders in training to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2Peter 3:17
* Pray For the Ladies of Joyful Ruthies Women’s Bible Study that by their model, other women(young and old) will know Christ in the teaching of His Word, and in their actions win many to Jesus. Titus 2:3,4
* Pray the Philippines be transformed by the Word of God. For us not to be weary in this field of dreams and to keep on being joyful in His strength as we continue to sow in the fallow grounds. Hosea 10:12