Unfiltered ramblings

“…Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24,25

Since that weekend of March 13, 2020, the world has spiraled for the worst; getting a heaping of obfuscation here, paranoia there. These things can easily side-track us. “…fear not, be of good cheer…”. Jesus Christ has overcome the world! Our prayer is that as you read, you will be encouraged you, all to the Glory of our God and Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As you flip through these pages, that these are “one mans” thoughts and observations through the lens of Scripture, the standard we all ought to live by. God’s truth becomes personal when I read and apply what His Word says to my everyday. What you have is our continuing journey for “such a time as this.

Leaving 2019, great hopes were in the horizon for the new decade, 2020 started with promise for my wife and I. This is our report…as of June 30, 2020.

The New Year was welcomed with at the home Errol (our son), his wife Cynthia, their children(Nathan, Anya (Nathania), and Nicolas) in their home. Nenita and I spent 2019 Christmas and New Year with them as in previous years.

1st On January 1, 2020, we drove up to Baguio (summer capital of the Philippines). Joining us were Lorenza, (Cynthias mom); coming along were friends: May, her husband Mike and their two children; and Boni, his wife Judith and their two kids.

Baguio City, family & friends January 3, 2020

That was how we kicked off 2020.

2nd …entering the second week, we settled in. But then, a passenger jeepney ran into us, a rear-right-end collision. The cost of the damage was not cheap, for parts and labor, however, the Lord provided the funds through two of the brethren. No one was hurt, thank you Lord.

3rd. Those were followed by the eruption of Taal Volcano near Tagaytay on January 12th. Portions of Northeast Calabarzon received a pungent dose of briny ashfall. You remember that Tagaytay was where MFHBC started the Lord’s work in 2013.

4th Spring Semester started the second week of February. Classes were held at Kingdom Ministries in Silang, Cavite. As you might recall, Pastor Sandy Molo had gone home to be with his(and ours) Lord earlier in December, the relationship the Lord forged between Bro. Sandy and MFHBC continues to this day.

5th The last week of February found us alongside the saints of Fortify on the island of Palawan, in Puerto Princessa, southwest of Luzon. Fortify, God’s vision received by Pastor

Team FORTIFY 2020 in Palawan

Rod Thompson, builds partnerships through the equipping of independent churches in the Philippines. Fortify first came to the Philippines via Tagaytay, the week my journey for a CABG4 bypass began in 2016.

We arrived from Palawan March 3, to continue the semester in Silang. The following week, Nenita celebrated her birthday, a Tuesday, March 10. The remainder of that week is as we say, shaped into what is now history.

6th The events we’ve witnessed and endured since that week truly is unfathomable. How that one weekend in March was transformed into a Sping nightmare in the Orient, and a Fall ordeal in the west. You don’t need me to rehash what we’ve all been through these last three and a half months, or 108 days beginning at March 13…but God.

Our students continued to stay in touch the first few weeks since that weekend in March. Thinking the “shut-down” would be short and temporary, we gave the students “homework” to keep occupied. They were to apply what they had learned in the past semesters, IBS/ Hermeneutics.

As circumstance would have it, most of the students faced limitations in distance learning. They all thrive on learning collectively and not individually, like a competition; in addition, they were faced limited WiFi and financial capabilities.

The first month, two of the students made the effort of submitting their assigned work. Demands of family along with other effects of the “quarantine” mandate from government, homework added to their already stressful days. The semester came to a grinding halt. The Lord has directed us to smoothly reboot the semester in August.

As we wait, I urge you pray our students. God has allowed this “interruption” all to His glory. For His body the church, that we may stand fast in His Word. This was something Nenita and I got to do. In addition to personal time with the Lord, we also found ourselves fellowshipping via the internet with other saints. These 112+ days showed me that I must needs to avail the much more of God’s grace from Jesus Christ, by His Spirit, thoughtfully and purposefully.

March, April, and May are normally the summer months. Curiously, when the government imposed the Philippines version of a “lockdown” and “ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)”during those months, we did not experience the anticipated heat. These were the months new words, acronyms, and phrases were introduced into our vocabulary: ECQ, flatten the curb, DOH, social distancing, CDC, virus, WHO, mask, and so on.

Another noticeable result due to shutdown of factories, minimized movement of motor vehicles, and people, pollution was also on a hiatus. The air we were breathing was cleaner, the sky was bluer and clearer, walking outdoors was conducive to everyones health, then government imposes limitations on such a “healthy” activity.

Nenita further reflected how the Lord used the shutdown according to His good purpose:

1) give earth time to heal from our reckless attitude toward it (Psalm 60:1-5);

2) allow families to be restored to Him, and to each another(Galatians 6:1-5);

3) remind His body, the church, to remain faithful (Jude 20, 21);

4) call attention to a Christ rejecting generation to God’s gift, His love, His Word to be received (Acts 2:38,39, 4:12; 2Corinthians 6:2).

Our dependence on the internet became evident these nearly four months. Again, an instance where evil meant to use for bad, God has used it for good: the Gospel reached the once unreached; Christian fellowship continued online; bible studies became more accessible; Church became a reality for many, no excuses; and many more.

On the ground was a little more challenging as we had more physical face to face, up close and personal encounters others (security guards, neighbors, soldiers, community enforcers, and so on). Regardless of how I view this “_demic,” which I believe to be a ruse, my main duty is to exhibit Christ in me to all men (Roman 13:3). Did I always succeed? No. But because of the grace of God, I am always able get up each time I fall.

Because we do not have a television, Nenita and I were more tuned to reports coming from the USA through the various “non-msm” information outlets off the internet. As Oswald Chambers calls it, we got to exercise the “ministry of the interior,”prayer, as the Lord brings to our remembrance those He reveals through the news, President Trump, our nation, Rodrigo Duterte, the saints around the world.

All in line with what we are called to do, “…seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace…”; “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving thanks be made for all men…kings…all who are in authority…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life…”

As June rolled in, we welcomed it because there was more breathing room, for everyone. These days of isolation, the Word in Jeremiah comes to mind. The prophet was told by God to limit his social and personal activities; that was what the Philippines did the first three months of the _demic. This country is a people who loves to celebrate, looking for any and every reason to do so, during the days of ECQ, no celebration or mourning of any kind was allowed.

However,we got to celebrate in June two birthdays (Cynthia & Nicolas) and of course our 28th wedding anniversary, all in God’s time.

Where we go from here is in His hand. We’ve committed the remainder of the year to Him who called us, which includes a sabbatical in December. Thank you for your faithfulness in coming alongside us through these last seven years.

God bless you and your house, Rizty & Nenita.

Run with us…Spring 2020

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 imperishabledo not run aimlesslydo 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

Your PDF copy here…

2020…How’s your eyesight?


How’s your eyesight?

“…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. ”
Colossians 2:2,3

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?

“Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!”

Lamentations 3:40; 2Tim 4:5; 1John 2:16; James 1:27; 1Peter 1:13, 4:7, 5:8

Click on select verse links to take you to Blueletter Bible

Seven Years…

…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/

Christmas 2017

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
.”

Micah 5:4

Three’s

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.

Final IBS class…Koinonia

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 “oldnew 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.

P.S.
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.

God is sending everyone and anyone our way…we look forward to seeing you here soon.

Pray

* 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

Why study the Bible…an invitation

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

Is the daily grind (life) more than you can handle? Jesus says…

Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.
John 6:65

and promises…

“…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
John 7:37-38

The question is, what “season” are you in? We don’t pick and choose where we are born in, but the same statement given by God to two men in the Bible, we find to be true in our own lives, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you…I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5; and the salutation of Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…”

Both Jeremiah and Paul were called by God, just as you are called by God. He has revealed Himself to us in His written Word, the Bible; He has revealed Himself in creation; and more importantly, He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father

Where do you find Jesus Christ? In the pages of the Bible, in Scripture! In a Messianic Psalm, in 40:7, the Lord through David says, “Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of Me“, in the King James it is rendered, “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me…” A verse later repeated in Hebrews 10:7.

Whatever season you may be in, know that God is involved! He reminds us of this in Ecclesiastes 3. God knows all about us, what He desires is for us to know Him, not in the intellect, but as intimate as possible. That begins by knowing what His Word says, the Bible.

The people around us ought to know the truth of the Word of God not just by what is written, but in the life we live. If we believe God is revealed in Jesus Christ, is He glorified in the life we live? Do they see Christ in us? Do we preach Him not just in words, but actions as well? How? We…you begin by knowing Who it is you worship, know truly what the Bible says. Not a regurgitated response from someone else (priest, pastor, deacon, teacher etc…says), but the truth the Holy Spirit reveals, He is both Author and Revelator of the Bible. It begins with you making the time.

We should not pick and choose where and when we exhibit our Christianity, but as the Lord orchestrates…any time…any place…that is the moment. Paul reminded Timothy, and by extension…us, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” How can one “convince, rebuke, exhort, if you do not make the time to study God’s Word to communicate by word and deed God’s truth.

Thanking the Lord daily…

As my wife fervently reminds me about reading and studying the Bible, it’s not just a have to…it is something we get to. “The purpose of the Lord is His will for you.” (or vice versa) Let His life manifest in yours by studying the Word of God. Jesus promises, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

God says in Isaiah 55:11…”So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Visit mfhbc.org and contact us at mfhbcinfo@gmail.com, or go straight to…
New Student
Returning Student

June 21, 25 Years and counting…

“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that He has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 9:9

I thank God for my wife for all the years that have been and the days yet to come…YES! We celebrate in our marriage God, Who for these twenty-five years by His grace…”for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…

I praise God for my wife, thank you dear Jujubee for always being obedient to God. All those years I thought I’d navigate life just fine on my own…”Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18

And He did through Nenita. His help arrived in my wife. Thank you dearest Jujubee!

In commemoration of our celebration, here are twenty-five (25) events often remembered on June 21:

1. 533 – A Byzantine expeditionary fleet under Belisarius sails from Constantinople to attack the Vandals in Africa, via Greece and Sicily.
2. 1547 Great fire in Moscow, 2-3,000 killed
3. 1607 1st Protestant Episcopal parish in America established, Jamestown
4. 1661 Treaty of Kardis: Russia & Sweden sign peace treaty
5. 1788 US Constitution comes into effect when New Hampshire is the 9th state to ratify it
6. 1834 Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.
7. 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road begins.
8. 1898 – The United States captures Guam from Spain.
9. 1900 – Boxer Rebellion. China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, as an edict issued from the Empress Dowager Cixi.
10. 1905 – Philosopher, author and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris.
11. 1948 – Lord Mountbatten resigns as Governor General of India (formerly the last Viceroy)
12. Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York.
13. 1952 – The Philippine School of Commerce, through a republic act, is converted to Philippine College of Commerce, later to be the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
14. 1953 – Benazir Bhutto is born Pakistani financier and politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan.
15. 1964 – Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game in a 6-0 victory over the New York Mets.
16. 1973 – The Supreme Court ruled that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.
17 1977 Menachem Begin became Israel’s sixth prime minister.
18. 1982 – John Hinckley Jr. was found innocent by reason of insanity in the shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three others.
19. 1989 – The Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment.
20. 1993 English mathematician Andrew Wiles proves last theorem of Fermat
21. Father’s Day (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Uganda, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, United States)
22. Go Skateboarding Day
23. International Yoga Day (international)
24. Day of the Martyrs in Togo
25. 1992 – Rizty & Nenita celebrate marriage!!!

The heart of her husband trusts in her, ​​​​​​​and he will have no lack of gain. ​​​​​​​​​​​She does him good, and not harm, ​​​​​​​all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31:11-12

Praise the Lord!!! ​​​