“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Jude 20,21
“…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…”
Classes are scheduled to begin August 25 through December 11, 2014.
The class schedule will be finalized in August. Review the classes, pray, and take action.
“The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all. ” CHSpurgeon
The hot summer is upon us and we are praying that God will help us settle in the new domain… I will be lying to you if I say that I am in my usual joyful self. “If God be for us who can stand against us?” But right now, it seems there is no end in sight, walking by faith truly takes on a deeper meaning when you are living this kind of separated life. So blessed that when I am in my weakest point, Rizty is faithful to encourage me.
I wish I could indulge myself in vain musings about “could haves, should haves and ought to’s” with you all , if only to vent and have your ears as sounding boards…but I know that even this is authored by pride, and God isn’t pleased by such behavior. I covet your prayers my dear sisters…not to mention your financial gifts. God knows what we need and we all have been chosen to go through much tribulation with fear and trembling before entering the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22.
We have been to five wakes and burials of relatives, two aunts on my mother side, two first degree cousins and one nephew, who I met again after 25 years three weeks ago at the wake of the first aunt who passed. Does this make sense to you?
At the funeral of my second aunt, she died at age 98, God was pleased to have me share the Word to some 200 near kins and next of kins and by His grace confessions were made and salvation in the name of Jesus received. “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Charles Spurgeon expresses it for me quite well today in his devotional Morning and Evening.
The now experience of being separated from all the creature comforts of our life in the USA have been a test in our patience and faith…Riz and I laugh about this one specific and really mundane pest of not having a refrigerator. Get ready to share our joy!
We bought a used one for P 6,500.00 plus delivery of P500.00 on the good advice of my brother. Mura daw (cheap he said)…and it was, because we have canvassed many times and the 12 cu.ft, 2 door that we got would normally cost P 28,000.00. I am writing this so you can laugh with us…sharing a joke here. That was over a month ago when it was delivered. It came to us dirty and we had to really fumigate it (there were remains of cockroaches and other critters in the rusty, not rizty, compressor area), and when we finally came to, after cleaning it for two hours and plugging it…voila! It didn’t give cold air.Wow!
So we waited, and that was 2 o’clock in the morning….we waited till the next day….nothing and the next….still hot air. The story continues…
After telling my brother, who was quick naman to drive again from Biñan to Tagaytay, he found the copper tubing broken and surmised that while transporting it someone might have held on to it and it broke, releasing the freon!
To date, we do not have a running refrigerator (ref for short) and this 2nd hand ref that we got, my brother took the fall and reimbursed me and still sits in the kitchen occupying space waiting to be picked up and fixed so he can sell it to another party!
Our number 1 son loaned us his old personal sized ref which has been kept in a bodega for years; and we got to use that for a week…then the freon also went out on us. It was fixed and after two weeks came back to us only to die gain after another week! So how do we thrive?
We go to Andoks (a chicken fastfood the likes of El Pollo Loco) for a P 50.00 meal every once in a while as a treat. Or we feed on pineapple, kangkong (a type of spinach), and buko(coconut) which we can buy from street-side vendors. There is also talbos ng kamote and malunggay (which I get for free anywhere I can find it), Skyflakes crackers and pan de sal and “Ques o” (a cheese brand that isn’t quite Tillamook, but it is still some kind of cheese) which we get at Robinsons or at an SM grocery, depending on the budget we have. Are you laughing with us yet? Oh please do….
Such is our separated life and what can we say?
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” Phil 4:4
Whatever pleases God, we will embrace in joy…Though we are caught in these petty but can be trying (sometimes, like lately?) nuances of this new adventure, we are reminded daily…
Even when it tries your patience, count it all joy…Even when it seems hopeless, count it all joy.
And in everything give thanks…
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:3-11
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting.” Job 8:21
Highways & Byways Update!
Praise! For the month of November, Nenita was used by God once again, seven people made a confession of faith and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
The Lord speaks volumes, always, in both intensity and content (as in volumes of books). It is simply a matter of how close our ears are to His heart. Consider Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11,12, do I really take the word of my Lord for all that He says? If He tells me to stand on a mountain top, am I alone? I am not, He is there. We must be so close to the beat of His heart that we do not even miss a whisper, a still small voice, when He says something to reveal Himself and to teach us.
Such was the case this morning. It actually began Sunday morning while meditating on His word. Friend, I was racking my brain on what the verse was saying that I asked a brother at church if He had any insight on what God was saying on that verse. The Holy Spirit told me to move on, I did.
Today, He showed me these in John 12.
What is a grain, a kernel of wheat; this is what the Lord compared His physical life to. You go out to the rice field, wheat field, wherever, there is hardly anything but land, waiting to be cultivated and be used. When the grain or seed is planted into the ground, it breaks forth and produces something that will sustain those who harvest it.
Shall I, who profess Jesus Christ as my Master and Lord, not desire to be planted where His pleasure is? Like a grain, I can be blown in the wind, broken, grown where I’m planted, die, and let the Word of God be my sunshine and the Holy Spirit my Living Water.
This is what our Lord addresses in v.25, if we continue to love our life on this side of eternity, I, we will lose it in the next; the opposite holds true to those who do not allow the things of this world be their security and considers this life as nothing compared to the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ and making Him known.
Jesus did not stop there, He gives us a choice, “If…” we serve Him, we must follow Him and if we do, we will always be with Him and He gives us this promise, “If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor…” How wondrous a promise is that? The Father does so not because of anything I did, but because of Jesus Christ.
The reminder is clear dear friends, not all who “serve”, follow Jesus. Think about that for a moment, Matthew 7:22. When we serve the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, we must do so out of a willing and joyful heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Once we do that, we follow Him closely. How many instances do we hear the Lord say “Follow Me” in the Gospels? When He called Levi, Philip, John, Andrew, the other disciples, the young rich ruler; when Jesus says “Follow Me” you should only do one of two things, either you do or you don’t.
Luke 18:22-23 is an example of one who preferred the luxuries of this world, and Jesus was saddened by the young mans choice; and there is that of the sheep, John 10:27, who hear and know His voice and they follow Him. At the end, as the Lord says to Peter, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You (Rizty) follow Me.” Two words that has turned the world upside down, simply because those who heard “Follow Me”, followed the King of Glory!
Imagine yourself following Jesus so close that you can hear the beat of His heart, you can smell the sweetness of the very Breathe that brought you life, as you follow Him, He is in front of you. On the day of judgment, or any day, accusations are hurled you way, your name is called. As you stand before the Father, He only sees one Person, Jesus Christ, the Son who took the penalty for all our sins. Did you get that? We follow Jesus so close, that as He prayed in John 17, we become one with Him, as He and the Father are one.
Honor is received by grace and humility, and not by coercion and pride, take care that you follow the way of your Lord Jesus.
A flower, grain, or any plant once it has gone through the entire process of being built up, there will always be a scent that is unmistakable, you immediately know that the smell comes from this fruit or that flower. Do you follow our Lord so closely that people can easily smell Jesus in you? In the darkness, does the Light of Jesus shine in your life?
Do not waver, follow Him!!! 1Kings 18:21.
“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Aug 18, 2012
I left before 12 noon and dropped off my dirty clothes at the Citrus Laundromat by De La Salle University. The Lord led me to WalterMart along the way. I got some 3-in-one Nescafe coffee, saw the myriad of sweet treats trying to figure what I can bring as a cake of sorts to celebrate Dada’s 53rd birthday with the Yakal Bible Study group.
After much thought, I decided to make tuna sandwich and got chocolate cupcakes with yummy vanilla filling, along with the coffee and the memory of the Pancit Bihon na binalot sa dahon ng saging that we shared the previous Saturday.
My next order of business was to fuel at the Petron Gas Station along the highway which is becoming “my” Avanza’s regular pit stop.
His name is Johnny Asuncion and he got to be the first of ten souls reaped for the Lord’s harvest that day. What a nice way to begin the day, he gave me fuel for my car and I shared with him fuel for his life. The energy that keeps on going…the Holy Spirit.
The Lord kept me in good company, the drive was smooth and easy that I had an hour before the Bible Study, which was scheduled for 3 PM. The Lord guided me and I found myself at the Eternal Gardens Memorial Park. I realized I had not visited my Tatay’s and Nanay’s gravesite. My mother passed in 2010 wherein I was not able to see her interred, it just seemed perfect that I found myself there.
I couldn’t find their location and was helped by Ipeng, one of the caretakers who also couldn’t locate it…I was ushered into the office and by God’s design found out that there was another body, two even, buried next to the space that was my mother’s.
Ipeng showed me the location and before I knew it, I was asking him if he knew that eternal life is promised to both believer and unbeliever. “Do you know where you’re heading to, knowing that death is always staring at you everyday?” He said he was an INK and had moved to Biñan from Davao and haven’t been active in his faith. He also was not able to bring his wife into the INK faith.
What a door the Lord has opened! After sharing the truth of the Gospel, with tears in His eyes he said he wanted to have an assurance that he is forgiven and will have eternity in heaven. We prayed together and the angels praised the Lord in heaven, and he knew it! I told him that now that he is born again, he can lead his wife in this new life that he gets to live in faith in the Christ who loved him and died for him. That was number 2.
I was just in time for the Bible Study, our second. While waiting for the others, I had John, my nephew rehearse the music for some songs that we sing at CLC. I got to talk to Lina who is the Yaya for my two grand-nieces and she got saved too (#3). We started singing, and since my sister-in-law is an “evacuation center” for three families displaced by the flooding in Biñan, one family joined us. They came with three children, ages 4, 5 and 7 years old. The songs had to be adapted so the kids could learn and sing with us. You should have been there…I had no doubt that the angels were praising the Lord with us!
At the end of our study, I knew that God wanted this family saved and so it was, after letting them know that their good works and their practices won’t save them, I asked, “Do you both have the confidence that you are going to heaven when you die?”
The wife said boldly that she was confident. I asked how she was sure and she said because she does good and follows the rules, like the 10 commandments. I asked her if she really hasn’t broken any of the commandments and she said again that she hasn’t. I told her that she just lied to me and to the rest of the group.
Tell me have you ever stolen loose change from your parents when you were little? Have you always obeyed your parents when you were growing up? Have you never lied about going to school when you actually did not?
And that my dear is how we address our Catholic cousins…after I explained the truth about man’s natural tendency to sin and that only Jesus can forgive her, all of them agreed that they need to be saved.
God was pleased to see all of them (4,5,6,7,8,9), even the little ones praying for forgiveness and confessing that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Even Naty (10), Koyang’s ex- Yaya finally made a confession this time. She was the only one left behind two years ago during my last visit when the household made a confession as I led them.
God is so good. He has been preparing these souls just for me to reap and all for His glory. I do not deserve to see His goodness and faithfulness but He lets me be part of His harvest because He chose me. That I should go and bear fruit for His kingdom…John 15:16
There we have it….ten souls that day. The number of righteousness. They have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ. And I got to see it happen….O, praise the Name of Jesus!
Sunday. I took them to a church nearby thinking it will be good that the church is close to them, they can really get involved and learn to serve. I got it all figured, I forgot to really inquire of the Lord. The short end of it was they got to make a public confession of their new-found faith.