“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
Coming this Fall 2017…beginning the last week of August 2017…
Inductive Bible Study
The purpose for this class is to teach and encourage students to study the Word of God by observing, interpreting, cross-referencing, and relevantly applying the message of Bible passages to their lives.
In Luke 11:28, Jesus says “…Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Visit http://www.mfhbc.org and contact us at email@example.com, or go straight to…
The Spring Semester is in full swing with three students, Cathy, Marge, and Ryan. It is always an exciting time each season to behold the beauty of God’s work here in Tagaytay…considering…
“kon-sid´ẽr: In the New Testament the force of the word is brought out most vividly in Mat_6:26 (καταμανθάνω, katamanthánō), where it means to “examine closely,” as though the observer had to bend down for this purpose, and in Luk_12:27; Heb_10:24 (katanoéō, to “observe well”), while in Heb_13:7 the anatheōréō, “look up toward” or “look again at” is consistent with the reverential regard commended in the context. Used in the Old Testament for a variety of Hebrew terms, signifying inspecting (Proverbs 31:16), examining (Leviticus 13:13), giving serious thoughts to (Isaiah 1:3), it often means little more than “see” or “behold” (Psalm 8:3).” (ISBE)
There are many things to consider if we took the time to the reality of the days we are living in. Classes offered this semester include Inductive Bible Study (IBS), Theology, the books of Jeremiah / Lamentations and 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. It would seem like a random selection, but it is not. IBS is learning how to study the Bible on your own, unearthing the treasures found in the word of God; Theology has been defined to which I agree by Ryrie as “…the discovery, systematizing, and presentation of the truths about God.” These two subjects tackle the source of God’s revelation of Himself, in His Word, the Bible.
In the gospels, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” Having said that…consider this…The west has veered way much to the left than the right over the last century, but has only manifested itself the last 40 years and gotten “worser and worser,” it has crept in slowly into the fabric of society. Especially since the media continue to coddle the likes of Soros, Obama, Reid who continue to spew their venomous seeds of hate, not only affecting the United States, but even to other parts of the world, including the Philippines own(DV, 3Lanes).
The book of Jeremiah and 1Peter were issued in times similar to the one we find ourselves in today, they each serve both as a warning and an encouragement. It is as Jesus said it would be, “…many false prophets will arise and lead many astray…and because lawlessness (anarachy) will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”
Jeremiah was chosen by God to point the people back to the Word of God, to return “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness…Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return.” Jeremiah 3:22a & 8:5; and then Peter reminds his readers, which includes us, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1Peter 1:13-16.
This is a reality we face daily in that the Bible is being criminalized. During the time of Jeremiah, people didn’t want to hear God’s word, they wanted things that tingled their ears, make them feel good about themselves and put their lives in peril by not heeding God; then, during the days of Peter, persecution was the norm, people were faced with life or death if they confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. We Christians have been given the blessed opportunity to imitate these servants of God as they imitate the Lord Jesus Christ walking in obedience, which is where it all begins, doesn’t it?
This year will be no different, we get to press on and consider the work of God in our lives and in those around us, pressing on to His upward call. Come, join us in praise and prayer!
The Inductive Bible Study class in session includes Marge, Cathy, and Ryan. Marge and Cathy are holdovers from the “Joyful Ruthies” Women’s Bible study group Nenita started last year after my operation. One of the ladies we were expecting to join us, Lani, is not able at this time, she is pregnant with her first child. Rejoicing and praise all around indeed, keep lifting up those holy hands. Ryan is from Guilhulngan in Central Visayas, he is ea scholar via an anonymous husband and wife team from SoCal, praise the Lord.
Also, you know that we have been at our location for four years and finally last Sunday we had a Bible Fellowship with our neighbors going through Psalm 1. Be in prayer for those who joined us: Dianne and her two children, Daniela and Jinella, Lito, Imong and Ryan, God’s scholar from Negros.
At the writing of this letter, welcome the arrival of our ninth grand-child in Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada, Jeremiah, all 7.10 pounds, 21 inches of him. God bless you Roda, great going! With the two men in her life, her newborn child and her Raymund, our son.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”
From Jackson Sia
The sky was dark and gloomy as we drove to Biñan for the prison Bible Study. We were praying that the weather would cooperate. By God’s grace, the downpour did not occur until we reached our destination. Praise the Lord! God is in control. I was really blessed by His providence.
Prior to the study, we handed out gospel tracts to the visitors already there. We had a short chat with a jail guard, we inquired what the inmate’s needs might be. He answered,“toiletries…tsaka pagkain (and food).” In addition, we inquired what their needs were, he and the members of their detachment. The guard seemed surprised by the question, but at the same time pleased. He answered, “toiletries din (as well), tsaka (and) office supplies para sa (for the)office”.
The study we have the privelege of leading these men and women through is the book of John. On this day, we were wrapping up chapter 3, a narrative on Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus and being born again.
Most of the inmates seemed to be listening and were saying “amen” to what kuya (older brother) Doy was teaching. One may not be entirely sure if that “amen” was a real amen or a mockery. All we know is what Scripture has promised about the Word of God… “It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. We were just as blessed seeing them intently listening to the gospel. Kuya Doy told me he saw an inmate become teary eyed. Why? Only God knows. Pray he would truly repent and his hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and many like him, that they would truly “repent.”
Read up, John 3:3-21
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Before leaving, we asked for their their prayer requests. Many listed down prayers for their families; and silently perhaps for themselves (as most of them feel lonely and neglected. ) As I read through their requests, it is hard not to have mixed emotions. It is a joy to read that they are putting their hope in God, but at the same time…they had to go to prison before realizing their need for God. Not religion and empty worship, but true fellowship with the Living God. “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” Luke 20:38
Pray for the inmates and their families, the jail guards, and for us. May people be regenerated. May God be glorified in this ministry.
P.S. Here are some samples of the inmates’ livelihood products. The wallets, however, costs as low as 60 and as high as 150. The rags are not yet available. Any income generated from these is used to buy the needs of the inmates and the facility.
October 8, 2016
…we just finished the Bible study at Biñan city jail, began by reading John 4:1-21. It was a wonderful scene seeing the men and women again closely listening to the Word of God. The study centered on the living water and worshiping in truth and in spirit. Both men and women gave their prayer requests and we were truly the one being blessed after the sharing.
Like the rest of the country wherein prison facilities are impacted by the influx of surrenderees, the count at the BJMP in Biñan is at 576 inmates occupying cramped quarters. Pray for these and those like them, God bless you all!
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God...” 2Timothy 1:8
Devil or the deep blue sea? Rock or a hard place?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
An ominous combination if ever there was one, to talk about two cities I am all very familiar with. Charles Dickens, we are told, was making reference to Paris and London, in the years of great upheaval in that part of Europe, the French Revolution. Wherever and whenever we find ourselves to be, there is the least that principle of two at work.
During creation, “God made (two) them male and female…” Genesis 1:27; good and evil; the American Revolution, there were the British against the Colonies; Civil War that followed was between the North and the South; then in this world of economics, we recognize the have’s and the have nots; in the Bible? You have the Old Testament and the New Testament. So yes, it is often a matter of “a tale of two cities.”
Like Dickens, I sit as an observant of two cities, near and far. The first is Manila in the Philippines, the second, California, USA. One is the place of my birth, the other of my re-birth. One was where I learned to walk and talk, the other where I learned to run and speak.
Wow, the days are quickly unfolding just as the bible tells us. Well, for the next few weeks, we shall look at two cities close to me now repaired heart, the Philippines and the USA. Truly, each has a tale to weave. One like an older brother flexing muscles for display, which is all it is these days; while the younger sibling tries to emulate the older. Both are completely lacking the balance of strength and substance. Lets take a quick look at the two cities, beginning with the younger one, the Philippines.
May 2016, two landmark events took place in my life. On the 1st of May, I learned my heart was doing a lot of things it wasn’t suppose to do. I had been overworking it, leading to an enlargement and causing me to experince shortness of breath. In the final analysis, God had me go through a quadruple bypass, a CABG (read about it in previous or upcoming issues), along with repairing my mitral valve. The thing was, other than the shortness of breath, I did not exhibit the typical symptoms of a man going through a cardio vascular problem. Maybe I did, just didn’t know it. If not for the insistence of my wife and daughter in law, who knows where I’d be today. Thank You God for those two women in my life.
The second event had nothing to do with me, or did it? On May 9, the Filipino people went to the polls to go through a national “bypass” of its own.
They were to elect the next man, or woman, who would lead a people of more than 110 million over the next six years. Five people vying for the top spot of President of the Philippines. Over the last 30 years, the country has been overworked with pronouncements of all sorts of promises, all in the name of “justice,”but the truth is, the nation was, has been, hemmorhaging morally, politically, socially, and spiritually. Was I like that? Will the people, like I did, wise up after years of unhealthy living? Needless to say, the operation/election was a success. Now that God has given me another chance to honor Him, will I? As for the Philippines, will the people take stock, not just of the leaders, but of themselves.
Cause you see, just because the doctor says “we’ve repaired you…take these medicines…etc…” What they also tell you is the required rehab, re-conditioning towards a healthier lifestyle so that I get to maximize the use of my new heart. It will take at least 3 years for me to feel the effects of the heart operation I went through on May 28. What does the nation and me have in common? The repair has been done, but rehab continues. By definition, rehab means “a course of treatment designed to reverse the debilitating effects of an injury; to restore or rehabilitate.” I am going through rehab. The nation needs to go through rehab, morally, socially, politically and most import, spiritually.
I’m realizing for myself, that rehab isn’t accomplished with simply doing x number of sessions, then you see results right away. No! The old bodybuilding axiom, no pain no gain, holds true in every aspect of life, it holds true in the matter of my heart and the Philippine nation. I had to get repaired where I was produced, just like other products; but in my case, my warranty repair was covered by God.
As for the Philippine nation,God is willing, are you? He says to you, to us, “Come!” He also says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2Chronicles 7:14
Will you? Think about it, see you next time as we talk more about the”two cities” in my life. You may have more than one city as well, selah…lets…