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…?

FAST FACTS you should know about Taal Volcano!

In 2013, the Lord planted us in the beautiful city of Tagaytay wherein Taal Volcano was its main attraction. If you have been following the news, Taal volcano has been put under Alert Level 4, as it shows signs that hazardous eruption is possible within days
— Read on www.rappler.com/

Over the years, serene, quiet no more.

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:11

The events of the last 24 hours are again a reminder that today is the day of salvation. It has nothing to do with “global warming!” It more has to do with “global coldness” towards God. The Lord delays His coming while allowing the events we’ve witnessed in our lifetime to take its course, whether through nature or man made.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Press On To Know the Lord

As September comes to a close with limited fanfare it is with joy we get to report God’s work continuing in the lives of the saints here in Tagaytay and the Calabarzon region. The “ber” months have begun which is a signal for preparation for the arrival of Christmas here in this part of the world. All will soon be festive and “trafficky”.

After the blessed interruption the Lord allowed in late May, which is my heart surgery, it seemed like all would come to a halt when it came to ministry “activity.” It did not…

President Duterte of the Philippines

The Philippines at this point is the focus of attention from the rest of the world with President Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs. He may not have the sophistication of a high profile politician familiar with “p.c. speak,” however, he is a man of great conviction. He is after all, I believe, God’s appointed leader for the Philippines for such a time as this. Borrowing a statement from Pastor Chuck Smith, “All we get to do is sit back, pray, and watch God work.” That is what we have been doing.

Segue to the work the Lord began at BJMP in Biñan more than a year ago. When my condition dictated my limited activity for the remainder of the year, including that at the prison ministry, unbeknownst to me, the Lord had prepared men who would take up the mantle for the rest of the season beginning in July. Praise the Lord, as I was informed that the men and women at the prison were in prayer for me. As of this writing, they number nearly 500 in their small holding cell.

As the Lord revealed to Gideon (Judges 7:1-8), the men to be involved with the Bible study at the prison went through a similar screening process. What seemed like the ideal team at the start in my mind in July, was soon righted by the Holy Spirit by August.

Team in July: Nell, Julius, far right, Doy.

Good thing it’s HIS team. They are currently going through the book of John, with the inmates participating in the reading of His Word.

Team as of September: Jackson and Doy with BJMP officer

Praise the Lord! Jesus Christ is watching over His flock in the jail cells of Biñan. “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6, He never ceases. Tracts, Christian based reading, and Bibles have been distributed not just in the jail but in the town proper as well.

Bibles in Tagalog. More needed!

Doy distributing tracts in front of the old city hall.

The next narrative involves the on-going  work of the Lord to the women through Nenita. Before my confinement, the women began their study on the book of Ruth. Meeting at the center once a month, it seemed to proceed at a snails pace because of my surgery. As of late, they have been meeting twice a month and are due to wrap up by October.

“Ruthies,” l-r: Leilani, Grace, Cathy, Marj, and Lany.

I am blessed to have a godly wife who is faithful to her calling, to me and the people of God…“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”‭‭ Titus‬ ‭2:3-5‬ ‭NKJV‬

Not only at the center, dear ones! During an out of town visit to a church family in Quezon City, Nenita was treated to a pedicure and a massage. The spitfire that she is, that in no time did the women working there find themselves drawn to this woman of God. Nenita was teaching the Word. They all were listening…“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:17‬ Amen!

All ears.

Pray for these whom you’ve just met, some you know from the past, others just now. Keep praying for the work of God here in the Philippines. As Isaiah had written, “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.”

Let us keep in and partake of the ministry of intercession by the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our intercession.

Less than a month away before we all get to be with family and friends in the West Coast. See you then!

 Fall 2016 Advisory

Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28

The Bible Center” will  be on inactive status for Fall 2016. There will be  no classes offered both on-site and off -site for the semester, and the remaining SY 2016. MFHBC will be reopening in the Spring of 2017. 


We would love to have you join us in the Spring of 2017 and our thanks to you all for bearing with us at this time of resting.

 If you are a returning, or even a new student, click here, please complete and submit the enrollment form. You will receive the information you need via email…

~ Study the Word of God with us, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John‬ ‭17:17‬ ‭

~ You may also visit the other Calvary Chapel Affiliate campus in Dumaguete and inquire via this website and contact Ms Dyna Delamin.

Nenita and I look forward to a time of refreshing in our Main Campus in Murrieta CA during this time of medical furlough. Expecting great things from God, as we continue as our goal, to be in the great things of God. Stay connected with us, watch and pray with us, and we will be in prayer to see you in the Spring. 

In the meanwhile, continue trekking with us via FB, we’d love to hear from you! 



Grounded…What now heartache?

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.

Fiesta

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 commandmentsthis 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). 

Rehab team beginning with my wife, and doctor

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!

With every heartbeat…

“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?

Bayanihan, moving from one place to another in the spirit of community.
The wholeness journey of the repaired heart begins with the Physician in charge. An local illustration that comes to mind is the Filipino word bayanihantaken 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. 

Nenita, Alma, & Me…our inner self is being renewed day by day.
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.

Heart Beats…from afar

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 ESV 
June 15, 2016, two days after being discharged from the Philippine Heart Center (finally) here I am back home in Tagaytay. Altogether I had spent forty days and nights under the watchful of care of God. He used people who were more than willing to be used by His Spirit.

Those people begin with my wife, Nenita, our children, from our eldest son along with his wife, to our youngest. Friends and family from near and from across the Pacific. On May 1, my wife, along with our daughter- in-law insisted  I be taken to the ER “just to make sure it was nothing serious.”  This was all because I had looked ashen and had shortness of breath that evening. Lo and behold, it was serious enough that I found myself in an ICU for the first time ever. And so the journey of my heart began.
Reflecting back, it wasn’t really something I was pleased with. I mean, who wants to be confined in a hospital, its only for sick people, right? It was only later the truth spoken of in Jeremiah 17:9, about the condition of the human heart had meat and meaning to my condition then, before the operation, and even now.Dude, mine was sick to “da max.” I needed a major heart “overhaul.”

a visit after a month at the heart center. Thank you ladies and men.

It took more than a surgeon to rectify this ole heart of mine, I was under the care of One who had the steadiest hand of all when it comes to affairs of the heart.