Bible classes at “My Father’s House” begins October 10, 2018.
Complete form to receive enrollment information:
“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.”
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.”
Praise the Lord!!!
On July 20, the 2012 Ford Fiesta a.k.a. our vehicle had to be towed to the repair shop. Two days before the tow, the car would not “start.” Like a “smarty pantsy” fool, I positted all possibilities why it would not start. These included hypothesizing the following: it was too hot, affected the computer, lets wait for it to cool down; it won’t start when its sunny, lets wait for early afternoon; and there were other thoughts that crossed my mind as to why the car would not start. Like I said, foolish.
Roy, the service advisor, did the intake at which point I tried to sound “technologically adept,” he listened intently to my narrative on the history of the “non-starting episodes” of the car. Looking back, I think he might have thought me a silly rather than smart, maybe a “smart-fool?” Over the next two weeks, none of my theories ever panned out. It was like waiting for a diagnosis in which the doctor is unable to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong without going through a battery of tests. For two weeks we were without a “reliable” car, but thanks be to God for my brother in law Ricky, he lent us his car.
Interestingly, 108 days have passed since “my service advisors” were equally confounded with my condition. My wife later pointed out the parallel between my experience and that of the car.
The Fiesta had been installed with an after market GPS system which turns out is not compatible with the original specs of the manufacturer. In other words, the GPS was not properly wired because it was an “add-on” that Fords computer system rejected. What’s the parallel?
In Ecclesiastes 12:13, I am reminded of my whole purpose, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV; in the ESV translation, we are given of the same verse, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” How do I connect this verse to the car? Bear with me…The Bible tells me, tells you, that I am made in the image of God…you are made in His image and as we read in the preceding verse…I am to “Fear God and keep His commandments…this is the whole duty of man (what I get to do). That is my purpose. Consder these words, When “… God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good...” As far as God’s creation is concerned, it was all good.
But sin entered the picture, like that misplaced GPS, it was never part of the original equipment and ever since, there has been an incompatibility problem, a shorting of the car. Some days it will start, some days it won’t. Kinda like the flesh and the Spirit, Romans 7:15-20 and 8:6. As for me, I want to do what I want, did so before the operation, still do. Friends, the “heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart.” Instead of that infernal GPS, I should have been running on the “eternal GPS” (God’s Positioning Spirit) as evidenced in John 14:26 & 16:13.
I had to go through a quadruple by-pass because my internal wiring was in disarray that it shorted out from all my “past feastings”, and boy did I love to eat; the Fiesta? its wiring shorted because of a “foreign” gadget, it too, had to be re-wired and put in order. My part in caring for the car is to properly “maintain” it, as I must with myself.
Does this mean my heart can be continually abused again and again, by me? As in, I can eat what I want when I want to? God forbid!!! Of course I must needs to be mindful that my body is no longer my own, it never has been, it belongs to God (1Corinthians 6:19-20).
My corrective, next step, began in an emergency room (I had to be towed to it) in May, only to end up on an operating table several days later n May 28; since then, I have begun to go through cardiac rehab, which serves as a reminder to know my limits. Rather than exercising my “rights”, these days, I get to learn to exercise my “limitations” and let God be God in my life, and this leads to a “healthy life” in Jesus Christ, for Him, by Him, through Him!
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2Corinthians 4:16
There is always the proverbial “good news, bad news scenario” in our everyday walk as a Christian. But as the Word of God tells us, “…do not lose heart…” Ever since my life-threatening procedure , I’ve encountered, not nightmares or dreams, but visions of the “what if…maybe…is it possible?” myriad of passing thoughts.
Examples? Well, for one, here’s a thought that has crossed my mind once or twice in the last few weeks: “if they worked on my heart while the rest of my parts was placed on a machine, what happened to my conciousness while my heart was being worked on?” It’s like, were they (my heart and mind) ever disconnected? Answers? anyone?
Then there’s this other nagging question…I’ve got a saddle that helps regulate the mitral valve on my heart, a foreign object if you will, inside of me. Lately, I’ve been having this phantom itch across my chest…or is it? You see, these are some of the things that go on in my mind. Is it unique to me? Or does every person who goes through a Quad by pass go through these same experiences that I still do?
The wholeness journey of the repaired heart begins with the Physician in charge. An local illustration that comes to mind is the Filipino word bayanihan “taken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, town or community. The whole term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.” As well as the references we are looking at, there is a revelatory component in all these things I have experienced.
Bayanihan, as defined above is in Scripture…1Corinthians 12, which speaks of the unity of the body of Christ, different parts, make up the whole, always in tune with the other parts. One limb hurts, the other parts, though separated by distance, are affected. Therefore, the answer to my question as to whether the rest of me was ever disconnected while I was out of it, is no. I was connected, always have been, always will be connected in Christ.
Now, how does that relate to me? Parts of my whole was diseased. A scary word to use but thats what the cardiologist said to my wife after the angiogram was concluded. God, who promised me, “… He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6. This is one of the good news items I spoke of earlier, everything God does is always good. And He isn’t done with me yet. Still residing at this temporary address we call our physical body, waiting for the Lord to call me to our permanent address…”But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21
What does my quadruple by pass have anything to do with all this? I don’t know, but God does. That is my prayer for each one of you, family (wife, children, grand children), friends (close, acquaintances), and strangers (at least to me), grab hold of each day to bring glory and honor and praise to the One Who redeemed you, Who Redeemed the world. More of Him and less of yourself as my wife would say.
Once we’ve surrendered ourselves, the clouds of doubt and anxiety float away. Even after major surgery! Then, we can say in confidence, not in ourselves but to Him who does it all for us…”Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” You see, thats it, day by day with Jesus Christ. Moment by moment, all 86,400 seconds of every single day. Every second that my heart beats is a gift of God.
“Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments.”
Join us in prayer for the students who will attend our Fall 2015 semester. In the Philippines, or anywhere for that matter, deciding to attend Bible college is a life changing decision and one that is often met by spiritual warfare.
Please pray against any spiritual attacks, and for wisdom and financial provision for us and the students who we trust God will bring our way.
If you know of a recent high school graduate trying to make the all important choice on where to go for college, or anyone else, an aspiring pastor or ministry worker who would like to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ by studying His Word, the Bible, you can encourage them to apply now, we are accepting applications!
Jesus Christ taught us all that is important in His word, the Bible. The parable of the sower is a familiar lesson that each of us must take heart to. Let it be a reminder, an exhortation, a revelation to be heeded. It is important enough that the Holy Spirit made sure it is mentioned in three of the four gospels, Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:5-15.
Second only to the teaching about the feeding of the five thousand, which is mentioned in all four gospels, the parable of the sower is intricately connected to the Great Commission.
Let us review the passage…this is taken from the Gospel of Mark, ESV
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. And when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parables.
> In this last verse of this section the Lord calls for us to have understanding, of the Spirit, and to pay attention. Mark points out the reality of Jesus’ statement in verse 10, people hear it, but have no understanding.
And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”
“And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The sower sows the word.
> Jesus gives to us an illustration of a farmer scattering the seed, the Word of God. Not every place (heart) His Word is cast to is prepared to receive it, thus one requires the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the word of God.
And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
> The first type of soil is a path or road. A place that has been worn out by foot (vehicular) traffic. Remember, the soil is a condition of a heart. Because it is constantly trampled by the world, there is no chance for it to take root. The adversary of truth, Satan, introduces something that is not God’s truth.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
> Stony or rocky ground is a heart who hears God’s word, for a moment that person is excited about what they heard, but it does not go down deep into their lives, like the first; it is all on the surface. They endure while it feels good, but don’t make the time to read or study the word of God, that when they are teased about being “a Christian,” or threatened harm for being a “Christian,” they abandon that which they heard.
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
> Seeds that fall into thorns hear, or pay attention, and take some action…but they encounter three things: cares of the world (distraction), deceitfulness (delusion) of riches, and desire (longing) for other things. If I seek these things rather than getting to know God in His word, what was sown gets choked (drown, strangle, or pushed out), which leads to an unfruitful life.
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
> Good soil are those who hear the Word (believe), accept it (obey) and bear fruit (evidence in lifestyle). A surrendered life is one that produces the fruit of the Spirit, see Galatians 5:22-25
Where does the Great Commission fit in all this? Jesus says,”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
To disciple means to teach. To be a disciple means to learn from our Teacher. He promised, that He will be with us, even to the end. Without the teaching of Jesus in the life of those who have been baptized, how will one grow? 2 Peter 3:18 Selah…think about it.
For Fall 2014:
Description & Objective
The Epistles of John are intensely practical letters addressed to Christian readers. They warn against the dangers of false teaching and exhort believers to live a life of obedience to God and love for their brothers and sisters. Its controlling theme is fellowship with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ in love and truth.
The goal is to allow the letters of John to teach us how to base our lives upon the true doctrines of Christ and His Person, and to live our lives in a way that pleases Him in truth and love.
Description & Objective
This course is designed to give the student a thorough working knowledge of Ephesians, studying verse-by-verse and including the major doctrines presented in the epistle helping them in its rightful interpretation. We will see a glorious picture of Christ and His Church and the plan of God for His children. We will appreciate even more the extent of Christ’s loving work for us and what He desires of us.
By the end of the course, the students, 1) will be acquainted with Paul’s style of writing and know the historical background of the book and how it fits in with all of his other writings, especially Colossians; 2) have a greater understanding of who/what the Church is as the bride of Christ; 3) have the confidence in the knowledge of the wealth that we all get to share as part of the Body of Christ and therefore; 4) demonstrate the ability to explain the message of this book to others.
Description & Objective
There are two key theological themes of Exodus, based on the two main parts of the book. The first is “God is the Deliverer”; the second is “God the Covenant-Maker”. We will study these themes as we look at Exodus verse-by-verse.
To receive a clear understanding of Israel’s plight as the chosen people and how it parallel’s to those called by God.
Description & Objective
This course is a verse-by-verse study of the Gospel of Luke. We will attempt to follow the admonition of Jesus when He said, “…take my yoke and learn of Me…”
To learn what the Bible teaches us for victory in our daily walk with Jesus. To change those things that need to change in our lives according to the Word of God. To make a difference in our Christian life and to encourage others by our example.
INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY
Description & Objective
The way we read and understand the Bible really affects the way we live. Since we make decisions based on how we understand the Bible, it is important that we read the Bible in a healthy way that leads us to the right conclusions about God, ourselves, and the world we live in. In this course, we will learn how to study, interpret and apply the Bible soundly.
By completing this course, you should (1) develop a good understanding of the basic nature and general content of the Bible; (2) develop a deep appreciation for the Bible; (3) learn how to study and interpret the Bible; (4) learn how to apply the Bible correctly and practically; and (5) become ready to communicate the results of your studies to others.
Description & Objective
This class will focus on the theological and practical elements of mission work. We will study the biblical basis of missions, focusing mainly on the life of Paul in the book of Acts and some of his epistles to learn the principles that ought to be applied practically in our own missionary endeavors.
At the end of this course, students 1) will have a better understanding of what it means to be a missionary and recognize the call to go…in the light of God’s Great Commission; 2) should begin appreciate the life of the many missionary pioneers and the trails they have forged; 3) will be able to apply the principles of “going and telling” and be inspired to get involved in God’s work to reach the world; 4) will get the basic essentials of missionary service.
Description & Objectives
The class will consist of a survey of the main doctrines of the Christian faith. Attention will be given to the theological role of theology, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, man, sin, salvation, church, and personal eschatology.
The course goal is twofold: 1) Deepen your personal knowledge and faith in Christ through organizing and understanding essential theological issues along with how they relate to each other; 2) to equip you with the tools to become a more efficient evangelist as it pertains to clearly articulating the gospel message and its accompanying doctrines.
The books the students got to study this semester include: The book of Acts, Gospel by Matthew, Isaiah, and Romans; other subjects offered are: Inductive Bible Study, Apologetics, OT Survey 1, English, and Lectures.
Yes! Quite a mouthful, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
“Holy Week” in this part of the world concluded without much incident. Depending on your perspective, that may be good, or not. Tradition plays an integral part of life in the Philippines, whether you’re from the north or the south, the status quo is something people are content in doing.
Earlier, I mentioned that reality had set in; actually, reality is already, for those who minister to the Lord through the study and teaching of His Word.
There is no doubt that God has called us to not just proclaim His good news, and now, entering the second year as “Word-smiths” in the Philippines, the truth that it is He who opens and closes doors. Like His servants of centuries past, we find ourselves in unfriendly waters, or should I say “indifferent”.
The Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, in saying his farewell to the Ephesian elders this side of life, he exhorted, encouraged, and warned them. Reminding them of the calling he received and by extension you and me, given by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout the book of Acts, we see the work of the Holy Spirit evident in His work. Paul went through seasons appointed by God, just as my wife and I are going through. In North America, Europe, parts of Asia and South America, and maybe even Australia, for the most part experience four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter.
The Middle East, Africa, Asia and Southeast Asia, do not have those four seasons. A running comment about the weather here in the Philippines is that it has three seasons, hot, very hot, and very, very hot.
Summer is upon the Philippines. If you’re not acclimated to the weather of a different country, it could take awhile before you get adjusted to it. The sweltering heat could drain your energy, mentally, physically, and yes, if we do not depend on His river of Living Water, spiritually.
Throughout his missionary assignments, Paul faced “summer” wherever he turned. The gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings were met in a variety of ways, unbelief, violence, and as mentioned earlier, indifference. Paul faced these things head on; he had received his commission directly from the Lord Jesus.
His life had been threatened, he was beaten and jailed. When he set foot in Athens, he witnessed idolatry at its finest; arriving in Corinth, the practice of sexual immorality. Some commentator’s say that this point while in Corinth, what he had gone through and had seen weighed heavily on his heart. He kept “pressing on” preaching and teaching.
And the Lord, who knows the heart, “… said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” Acts 18:9-10
The Lord has been gracious towards us that He has spared us the direct bodily injury the saints of old had endured for His Name sake. It is what we have heard and seen around us, with family, friends, government, the cities and towns, the culture of the flesh, these are the heavy weights pressed on our hearts.
To be witness to the indifference, the callous hearts, the truth of what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah is evident here in Tagaytay:
And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, while their hearts are far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment taught by men,”29:13
As if the onslaught of what He is revealing to us about the people we are called to minister to was not enough, He strengthens our faith and dependence on Him. The tent-making, the financial source He has used this one year and a half has been diminished drastically.
Only a few in California have received and shared the vision of teaching the Word of God here in the Philippines, we continue to hope and receive support from the churches. That they may, we may, all partake and lay up treasures in heaven and be part of HIS work.
God knows every fiber of our being, as husband and wife, and individually, He is faithful to bring us back to His word, which is life. The Lord God Almighty spoke and reminds in His Word, I always need reminding:
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the One who enlisted him.” 2Timothy 2:3-4
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2Corinthians 4:8-10
Jesus Christ is the Hope of Glory. Despite all that we have seen and heard, the seeming indifference towards the Word of God, He promises in Isaiah 29:14 the continuation of the earlier verse:
“Therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”
He will finish what He started, we get to be a part of that work.
What we get to do daily is to present ourselves to the Lord, as “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship,” to entrust the day, all 86,400 seconds…our hearts, soul and minds to Him. Not to be tossed to and fro by the stormy waves of the sea, but to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
More on the fortnight.