Category Archives: College

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.”

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Names and Faces

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”
Psalm 103:14

The word anniversary is described as “the date on which an event occurred in some previous year; the commemoration of such an event on that date in following years.” The next step, is remembering that anniversary. Is that tricky? Remembering? Throughout a year, dates are marked for a reason: a birthday, a wedding anniversary (attention men!), Mother’s day, Father’s day, graduation, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, and oh yeah, let’s not forget Valentine’s day which is followed by tax day. Like clockwork, these are observed by many of us, one way or another. Of course, different countries mark specific dates meant to remind the people, whether good or not so good events unique to that nation or country.

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Higher Ground CC family

Throughout the Bible, we are taught that God reminds creation to remember events, places, actions, and people. The nation Israel was reminded of their Exodus from Egypt, their condition before and after slavery, “And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.” Deuteronomy 15:15.

In the New Testament, Paul quotes Jesus, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1Corinthians 11:24-25

“Let the little children come to Me…”

In both passages, notice the “R” word repeated. So if the Lord shows us that these events are worth remembering, one from the past, the other in the future, therefore, if it’s important to Him, it should be learned by us to keep these in mind, to remember.

The sad reality is, we pick and choose what to remember. We’ve even been introduced to make excuses, with phrases like “selective memory, mis-remembered, mis-spoke” and a few others, all for the purpose of defending ourselves, that silly pride. But He, the Lord Jesus Christ knows that we will have “lapses“, which is why He assures those who believe in Him, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26

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The question is, do we remember events, places, things, and yes, people along with the things they say, people whom God has put in our midst for our edification and correction? Do we remember to thank God in those instances? Or do we choose to simply make an excuse and say, “Ooops, sorry, I forgot!” We do that, we’re in bigger trouble than we think. Thus He reminds us (there’s that word again), “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.“Revelation 2:5

Zambales

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Because of these truths we’ve just reviewed, here is one way to get started to apply remembering” in my life today…in this issue, you’ve noticed names, names of family (near and far) and friends (old and new), some I have seen face to face, while others, not yet, who in the past year of 2016-2017 have been privy to my “heart journey“; included are places the Lord has allowed Nenita and I to visit during the past year.

This is my exercise in remembering, to give thanks for you, as you all remember us in prayer, for God’s work in the Philippines…and the love we received from you always. For my “new heart.” There may be some of you not included in this list, looking forward to hearing from you, thank you for understanding…like I said, I’m still exercising to remember. In all this, “I thank my God always when we remember you in our prayers…”Philemon 1:4

IBS Spring 2017

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11

What now?

What do you do when you are in dire straits? A place we call “between a rock and a hard place.” When trying times hit you, when rain pours without letting up…do you? orrr…do you do?

1. NOTHING!
How hard is it to figure this one out? Simply do not act. Never make a decision when cobwebs are in your mind. When we put things in our hands, the likelihood of making matters worst is highly probable.

Sit things out. Take slow, deep breaths. Allow your nerves to settle. Separate yourself from all forms of noises. You will be the wiser for it.20130806-153830.jpg
Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.” Acts 19:36

2. PRAY!

Most of the time, praying is the last thing on our mind when we occupied with worries. We are thinking of the next step, how to do things, or where to go.100_7642

As hard as it can be at times, praying is the best weapon we can wield in times of doubt. To pray at all times is the one discipline we all tend to disregard but needs to be our best defense. Regardless of your situation, talking to God about your present chaos, confusion, struggle or whatever you find yourself into, is the best move to make.

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You, In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters, They shall not come near him.” Psalm 32:6

3. BE!

Being still is not a usual affection for us. We come into this world expected to make noise. A newborn’s first encounter with the world is not a gentle welcome, but a slap on the butt. Crying is the first sign of life.
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Noise becomes the norm. Action seems to be the answer for everything. The days of quiet strolls, leisurely walks in the park, weekend picnics with friends, Sundays with family, these are slowly coming to an end. Yet, it is in thoughtful exercises that our minds are sharpened. Being, is a lost art.

…In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. But you would not….” Isaiah 30:17

4. WAIT! Silently. God who began a good work in you will complete what He started. He doesn’t rush, He is the Owner of time. What is your hurry?
Wait
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5

Spiritual service…

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Romans 12:1

It looks like I’ve been given the chance to get caught up with my writing today. Romans 12:1-2 is indeed a good discipline for all of us.

I am thankful in how the Lord used Pastor Dave Shirley for the lessons I received in the multiple classes I was privileged to take during my term at CCBC (and much to my regret, if I had known him sooner I would have taken all of the classes he taught).

They have been wonderful reminders from the Holy Spirit of working out our salvation with fear and trembling through the presentation of our bodies as living sacrifices for this is our reasonable spiritual service. And for a season, I get to pass on what I have been taught to the children and teachers here at CLC in Dasmariñas, Cavite in the Philippines.

God is truly the Lord of the harvest. I am just always exceedingly grateful that I get to be His instrument. It is all about presentation of our bodies. When our eyes, mouth, ears, nose, hands and feet, our whole body, the heart most of all, are offered to Him as a sacrifice…you can be sure that it will be living in Christ.

The Greek word for present, parastesai, denotes a coming alongside. We get the word Paraclete, the Holy Spirit who comes alongside every believer.

In essence Paul tells us that Jesus wants us to present ourselves alongside Him. It is so cool!

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2

Remembering..

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.” Malachi 3:16

Imagine the Lord listening to and hearing every conversation you have about Him with a friend.

About all the things that He has done, the things that He is presently doing and the things still future that you are confident He will accomplish for you. Imagine.

You should be ecstatic to know that according to His Word, He writes them all in a “book of remembrance“. You ever wonder what this book will contain as far as the stuff you’ve shared all these years? To a long-lost friend? To your husband or wife as you spend an afternoon hiking up the hills in Winchester?

To your sons and daughters as you shared a meal and family time with them?

What about the person who sat next to you enduring 16 hours of cramped seating on your flight to India?

Or the exchanges you’ve had with those who came to you as a client, and sat them on a chair for consults, only to find out that like you, they also love and fear the Lord? Are you remembering?

Our Father remembers all those “God talks” you’ve had, and will continue to have in the years to come. With Jesus, He shares your joy and even makes the time to write them all and keep every line stored in a “book of remembrance”!

Oh, what God will do to to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Imagine that.

Noah Webster says it means, to recall, to remind.

Chuck Swindoll expounds it even more, and I have not forgotten it. To remember, according to CS, is “to act in one’s behalf”. The archaic definition is “bethink” which really just means to cause (oneself) to consider. Imagine this my friend, when God remembers, He causes Himself to consider in your behalf! He acts in your behalf!

So the next time you ask God to remember you or His promise to you, think differently. Bethink. Consider Jesus and act in His behalf. It is my hope that you do.

A couple more verses for you to consider.

“Then God remembered Noah…” Genesis 8:1

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.'” Ecclesiastes 12:1

Bethink what God records in the “book of remembrance“.

Unreached-Reached

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 9:36

In Metro-Manila, and in places the Gospel is shared in the Philippines, people receive it readily, but often, they are left without a church family to help them grow. They are left as orphans; they do not grow beyond their salvation. These we refer to as the “unreached-reached” people group.

Many do not get to experience the joy of sanctification and service, making them fair game to the false teachings that surround them.

This is the heart of My Father’s House Bible College, that our Filipino brethren may be duly equipped in the Word of God. That they would experience the joy of fully knowing Him, and making Him known. Just as we have known Him.

That these “unreached-reached” will be brought the whole counsel of God by native missionaries, and no longer be tossed to and fro by the false doctrines that run rampant in their midst. Be in prayer that the Lord will raise faithful Filipino church planters to come alongside His good work.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2Timothy 3:16-17

This is it!


“And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Three years ago, we went home to the Philippines and our expectations were simple. Rest and relaxation. Twenty years had passed since we’d travelled together.

Little did we know that all we were doing was scouting the land. There was reason God showed us once again the need.

In Metro-Manila, and in places the Gospel is shared, people receive it readily, but often, they are left without a church family to grow up in. Many do not get to experience the joy of sanctification and service, making them fair game to the false teachings that proliferate throughout the country.

The objective is to train and equip disciples who will go out to teach scripture to the thousands of “unreached-reached” peoples and plant churches throughout the Philippines wherever it is needed.

And that will be done through God’s call for a Bible College.

Won’t you prayerfully consider how you might be a part of this work in the City of Tagaytay?

* Here are some pictures of the planned site.