Fortify Palawan…and beyond!

Draw your water for the siege!

Fortify your strongholds!

Go into the clay and tread the mortar!

Make strong the brick kiln!

Nahum 3:14

A message for God’s workers regardless of the position, from pastors, teachers, deacons, administration, missionaries, musicians, etcetera…this evening as Rod led the 2020 Fortify – Narra, Palawan team in a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. My initial thought was that I would speak this singular verse to the team. But I could not muster myself, to get up, and by the time I did, it was too late, P Rod had begun the last minute reminders for the team for the next two days, had I missed my moment?02/25/2020

Yet the Lord allowed this verse to stay with, He wanted me to consider the truth encapsulated in this word in scripture. At first, the word ‘fortify’ stood out as it is the theme of Cross Culture’s missions ministry. I searched and found the word six times (NKJV). In a way, it reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.

Though this part in Nahum was a warning for the Assyrians in Nineveh to ‘prepare’ for the siege expected from the Lord, it may very well be a warning likewise for the body of Jesus Christ, His church against the apostasy that was, is, is to come.

Breaking it down, thus the Lord’s revelation to me:

The siege is the Field God’s workers scatter seeds on; plow in; and reap from. It is a picture of the battle the missionary faces, which is all part of the ‘job description.’ Paul gives Timothy the reminder that he is like a soldier, enlisted by the Lord, there are dangers from without and within the church. Hosea 10:12 spoke of fallow ground as does Christ when He gave us the parable of the sower of the four kinds of soil.

The water we get to draw from is that which is given by the Holy Spirit… ‘out of him will flow rivers of Living Water’ (John 4:14; 7:37,38) The battle begins by drawing water, so we are not weakened/dehydrated/thirsty spiritually, we are called to ask Him to fill us with His water to allow us to stand fast against the onslaught perpetrated by the enemy (Ephesians 6:13-20). Therefore, be filled with His Word, being in prayer in the Word.

Fortify strongholds…the church…the body of Christ…in the ESV, strengthen your forts…the congregation, the assembly of believers. The call is to not neglect coming together so that we get to build each other up in the Word in word and in deed.

The Bible is full of warnings/reminders against apostasy, Paul spoke of it, Jude was passionate warning the church of certain men who creep in; the old testament reminded the nation of Israel through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and the prophets…don’t go far from the Lord!

Go into the clay…(the people that make up the church, teach the Word wholly) strengthen it, tread…clay needs to be molded according to the Potter, mortar is “a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”

Jeremiah 18:6; Isaiah 64:8, spoke of the clay being in the Potters hand; then in the NT, Paul reminds us that we are God’s workmanship created unto good works…Ephesians 2:10…which is why his call to us in Romans 12:1,2 being able to present ourselves, a living sacrifice, not because of us but because of Him Who called us.

Make strong… as we go through the siege, the Lord Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have tribulation…but we are to strengthen one another because He has overcome the world… we are to encourage one another…1Thess 5:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1Peter 5:10; Revelation 3:2 we are called to fortify each other and ourselves…in the Word, in prayer asking as we ought…2 Timothy 3:16,17

The picture we have is that of man who is made of clay is strengthened by the three-fold elements of water, straw, and baking through heat under the sun.

This is the church of Jesus Christ being built up, Peter uses an Old Testament reference of being living stones; the other is that the Lord is molding us to the image of His Son (Jeremiah 18:4; Romans 8:29, 9:21)that is done by those three elements mentioned in this last paragraph…a picture of the Triune Godhead working on a vessel honoring God, God’s masterpiece(Poiema)… are you surrendered?

Is the Potter having His way in you?

Are you being…?

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…

Study for Fall 2018

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”
Titus 2:1 NASB

Daniel

This class is a chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse study of the book of Daniel. Known as the “Apocalyptic Book of the Old Testament,” Daniel holds the keys that unlock understanding of the book of Revelation, as the two partner each other.

Some of the main topics of the book are the sovereignty of God, the biblical accounts of secular historical events, the preservation of Israel while in exile, and detailed accounts of major prophetical events.

Pastoral Epistles

The Pastoral Epistles of 1&2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon are indispensable guides for contemporary ministry. In this course, each book is exposited in order to gain an understanding of the biblical material. Additionally, major themes from the books and practical application are discussed with the goal of better equipping the student for ministry.

New Testament Greek 1

This is designed to equip the student with the basic skills of reading and translating Biblical Greek at the beginning level. The emphasis is upon building vocabulary and learning the basics of biblical Greek grammar so that the student acquires the necessary skills to read and translate selected biblical texts. Students are introduced to the pronunciation, morphology, and syntax of biblical Greek.

Beginning with learning the basic building blocks of the language such as the alphabet, vowels, nouns, adjectives, articles, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs, etc. Through building vocabulary throughout the course and learning basic sentence syntax, the students begin to use their acquired skills in translating selected texts.

Theology

This class consist of a survey of the main doctrines of the Christian faith. Attention will be given to the topics that include: divine authority and revelation, the nature and theological role of the Bible, the existence and nature of God, the three Persons of the Trinity, angels, man, sin, salvation, church, and eschatology.

Prayer

All relationships involve communication and our relationship with God is no different. To grow in that relationship we must spend time in His presence and there is no greater opportunity available to the believer than prayer. One cannot be equipped to do the work of God without a rich prayer life. This course takes a broad look at prayer using the Bible as the primary source of instruction.

Hermeneutics

This class is designed to instruct students in the foundational principles and practices of Bible interpretation, giving you a framework with which to view all of Scripture. The inductive method of Bible study will be taught with attention paid to the various features of a text that contribute to the interpretative process. A special emphasis will be given to the role of biblical inerrancy, inspiration, objective meaning, problems in Hermeneutics, and the nature of Scripture itself.

Men’s Stewardship

Teachers, pastors, and various speakers, share from Scripture and exhort the men coming alongside them in their Christian walk. Topics pertaining specifically to men and their role as Scripture indicates are discussed.

“…so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine…”

Summer 2018

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is (has) risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,”
Luke 24:5b, 6

This is a reminder to keep our eyes, ears, and hearts on Jesus Christ. In this gospel account, the Lord’s disciples are reminded to exercise those senses (eyes=Why do you seek…?; ears/memory=Remember how He spoke to you while He was still-with you-in Galilee…) In the encounter with the angel the attention is directed at the source of all things, not ourselves, not the work, but on the Words of Jesus Christ, what He said and continues to say.

The Lord reminds me that I ought to look expectantly for Him to hear His voice in the ministry. Now that Nenita and I have moved to Santa Rosa, I stand guard; station myself where I ought; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me…”(Habakkuk 2:1-3).

Looking back, my hubris gets the better of me in specific situations; and when it does, I view such instances with a sense of finality. I mumble and say to myself, “Oh no, what have I done?” But the Holy Spirit is quick to remind me that nothing can separate me from His love; and that with God, all things are possible. The words of Jesus always comes at a time I need His assurance, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house…” In my mind the Spring semester was in full view, but by His grace, it has been pushed to be a Summer semester for His purpose. He knows best!

The Lord has brought us thus far in the first quarter of 2018:

1) MFHBC continues with “Off-Site” classes, a.k.a. “W.o.W – Word on Wheels” beginning in April out of Santa Rosa, Laguna. Because of the move and requests from two churches, classes have been rescheduled to start on the third week of April 2018, which is summer(in the Philippines).

2) MFHBC over the last six years, continue to establish relationships with existing fellowships, rekindling old friendships not just in Calabarzon(southern Luzon) but to include northern Luzon for the “…equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry.” We continue to follow His directive that more may know Christ and make Him known.

3) During this recent “spring” break, we were blessed to visit new places. As we did, we got to pray up the people we encountered. For the most part, the Gospel needed to be proclaimed; and equally important is the need for the Word of God taught at the small independent churches.

The move to Santa Rosa was explained in a previous newsletter, and is so ordained because the move allows us easier access to the “highways and byways” for the work we have been called to(this includes you…we’re in this together).

The urgency is a reality until the Lord returns. You may remember this phrase, “Go and tell, or they will go to hell” by Nenita, so yes, the work we are called to is urgent. The call is to reach the most number of teachable saints for the work of the ministry. The upcoming 2018 semester is out of the norm and is slated to begin with two churches, Kingdom Ministries in Silang, Cavite – down south; and Rock of Refuge at New Manila, Quezon City – at the center. Keep in prayer as the Lord wills, for a class to start with a local church in the Santa Rosa area.

As part of our preparation for the coming semester, we went on a retreat (step back), to seek His face and scout the landscape beyond CaLaBaRzon. Last June 2017, we visited Mariveles, Bataan (west of Manila) for a wedding, then to Baguio (north) to celebrate our 25th anniversary, these cities mentioned are far from Santa Rosa and Tagaytay, way north.

This 2018, we attended another wedding up in Baguio. It was a ceremony that had all the elements of what a wedding ought to look like, restoration, forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption. What a beautiful wedding, through it, God is glorified!

The grooms parents are Nenita’s friends from way back. They invited us for a road trip to a city in Ilocos Sur, named Vigan. It was a four and a half hour drive northwest of Baguio. It was cool to see this part of the country and spend time with friends…”are we there yet?

Before the Vigan road trip, we made new friends in Baguio, the parents of one of Nenita’s doctors. Meet Buddy and Marie Jose, and Buddy’s sister Tess. It was a pleasant and fun-filled first meeting over lunch, Baguio style: deep fried bangus (milkfish), tilapia two ways (fried, and stewed in mustard leaves and tamarind), duck cooked in coconut milk…Yummm. Introductions through stories were exchanged, it was like we’d known each other a long time and were simply catching up by giving updates about our lives.

In addition to visiting the countryside and making new friends, we got to spend time with the saints of Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Baguio. The family of God is awesomely large that wherever you turn, if you remain alert, you will meet brothers and sisters in the Lord you otherwise might have ignored.

These encounters are such an encouragement. We were blessed to sit down with them on Holy Wednesday to teach on the book of Ephesians for four hours as the Lord allowed it.

Do keep us both in your prayers to the Lord of the harvest, which indeed is plentiful, laborers are few. Let us press on together in the power of His might. Again, from Nenita and I, thank you for your faithful participation to His work through us. Praise God indeed!!! We love you.