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…?

2020…How’s your eyesight?


How’s your eyesight?

“…that our hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ”
Colossians 2:2,3

It is 2020. The New Year’s message on the first Sunday of January from our Sta Rosa home church was based on Proverbs 16:3 and 9, relating to making plans for this 2020. It is good practice. We ought to submit/commit our plans for each day and the future, big or small, to God. It is He Who establishes (superintends) our steps. It begins with examining our vision of God and who He really is to us.

It is in surrendering ourselves according to His abounding mercy, grace, and will that the plans we commit are established in the heavenlies. The Lord does what He does all to His glory and the question is, do we plan and do these things for His glory?

This brings us to the question, how’s your eyesight? “20/20 vision, as most believe is synonymous to perfect vision. Yet it is just a measure of eyesight. It does not at all mean perfect vision. You may be able to focus your vision at 20 feet, but still lack the ability to see five feet in front of you.
(Hence the need for Opthalmologist and Optometrist care)

For spiritual eyes, the Lord gives us His Word, the Bible. Note the reminder on the description for 20/20, paraphrased it says”…you may see from afar, but up close, you couldn’t see a cobra if it were in front of you…” Such is the life of a Christian. I can say easily, “Oh, I can see …” but, what do I really see? Often, we only see what we want to see. Truth is, if I’m not personally invested in that person, I really don’t know him/her, do I?

It is the same when we say we know Jesus Christ. I can say for my part, that historically, I knew Him from a distance based on what other people said of Him. I was not intimate with Him, I knew of Him, not really knew Him. Paul in 1Corinthians 13 tells us that, “For now we see in a mirror dimly…“, that was where I was, all things Jesus Christ did was all I saw (dimly), I did not see Him personally…”but then face to face…” Is when He took hold of me, face to face with Him, when He opened my Spiritual eyes…”Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” I am getting to know Jesus Christ daily, more and more… all because of His goodness.

This is a reminder for me, for you, for us this 2020, let the Word of God examine our spiritual eyesight. We are called to examine ourselves, to test ourselves that we may continue daily in Him. In Genesis, the eyes play a part in the fall of man (Genesis 3:5-7), but God…the eyes also play a big part in man’s realization of his need to be redeemed (Luke 10:23,24)

In the first letter of John, the Lord tells us. “all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.” In the middle of the verse, the eyes are seen being between “the desires of the flesh” and “pride of life“. His exhortation, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Thus we are to be sober minded in all things, to be watchful, to keep ourselves unstained from the world. The Lord exercises His sovereign will not with punity or malice in thought as some have believed, He is the loving God, consistent with His attributes. This is a truth we ought to realize sooner than later, it begins by allowing God’s Word to examine our eyesight.

That leads us to the question, do we see ourselves through the lens of men, or of God‘s? Most importantly, on whom do you have your eyes fixed on this year… and every year? The world? or God?

“Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!”

Lamentations 3:40; 2Tim 4:5; 1John 2:16; James 1:27; 1Peter 1:13, 4:7, 5:8

Click on select verse links to take you to Blueletter Bible

Hebrews

In the Fall of 2017…starts on August 30…

Image by: thehiddenmanna.org

The Book is divided into two sections: first, the superiority of the Son in His person and work (1:1-10:18); and second, the practical application of the superiority of the Son in the lives of believers (10:19-13:25)…we study these sections, chapter by chapter, verse-by-verse, “with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Heb 10:22).

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Hebrews 13:20-21

Come and see…join us, take Jesus up on His Word:
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29

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Gospel of Luke

Coming this Fall 2017
The story of Jesus Christ is the most important and most captivating story in all of history. In this class, you get to study this story as told by Luke in his Gospel.

The focus will be on the time, place, circumstances, and people involved in the events of our Lord’s time on earth…students will attempt to grasp a deeper understanding of Christ’s works and words, in light of Old Testament history and prophecy.

The ultimate goal is that Jesus Christ will impact your life as He did those first generation followers, leading you to love, worship, and serve Him as you serve others.

In Isaiah 55:11, God says…”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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Are you invested?

Just as the year started, we talked about making a resolve for 2017. Resolve as we apply it for the New Year or any time is: 1) to decide or determine firmly; and 2) to make up the mind. The opposite of having resolve may best be described as one who is double minded, in a manner of speaking one who cannot to decide to act one way.
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In the Old Testament, we see in Psalm 119:13 the psalmist expressing his relationship with God’s word in this way, “I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law.” There is nothing more enduring than the Word of God. The Word will do what it has been set out to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11). Which brings us to the next question, what will you…will we, invest ourselves in this 2017? The two listed definitions that best applies invest as it pertains to our relationship with the Word of God are as follows: 1) to devote; and 2) to lay out with expectation of profit.

We, the collective body of Christ at “My Father’s House” resolve to continue to be invested in 2017 and beyond, into the work God has called us, to “devote” ourselves in the teaching of His Word for the equipping of the saints, for the “profit” of all.

2016 was memorable in many ways…

– In May, the Philippines, elected Rodrigo Duterte as its new President; while the United States recently inaugurated its 45th president in Donald Trump. Though located miles and culturally apart, they are connected to each other more than both men will ever acknowledge. They both have love for their respective countries, each ran on unconventional platforms that many traditionalists frowned upon, and yet the majority of the people voted for them…pray for these two men.digong-donald-110916
– I underwent a CABG and mitral valve repair, in the common lingo, a quadruple bypass open heart surgery (can it be done any other way, than opening up my chest?). A reminder, I am no longer my own…1Corinthians 6:9
– There are many more events: terrorism continues, government corruption, media bias, attacks on law enforcement, celebrities pretending to know the plight of the common man, and so on…I note only these events only because they were personal to me.

Before leaving California, this question came up several times, “How do you feel about returning to the field? (The mission field)” Interestingly, I could not offer an immediate answer that was genuine. All I know is my wife and I draw our strength from the Lord. It isn’t a matter of how I feel but will I obey and follow our Lord.
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What does 2017 hold for the Bible Center?
– We are anticipating five/six students to join us in Tagaytay
– “Off-Site” teachings are being prepared by the Lord, which may include these locations, Quezon City, Santa Rosa, Montalban, even in Dasmariñas and Magallanes in Cavite.
– The Lord’s ministry at BJMP continue as the faithful resolve to be invested in HIS work. (Matthew 25:36)

The two words we have examined today, resolve and invest, are qualities we see Jesus Christ practiced when He first came, qualities He exhibited to His disciples…He had resolve, (Matthew 16:21, John 4:4, wherein He was determined to accomplish to reach as many people with His word); and He invested His life teaching the disciples, Matthew 28:20; Mark 4:2, Luke 13:10, John 7:17…

It is only fitting for us to follow His lead…being always ready to go, just as Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me (us).”

Many of you resolved to invest your time with us in prayer along with your resources to further God’s work in Tagaytay and beyond…Let us press on!
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Cheers and God bless you.

It’s tiiime…Fall 2015

“Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments.”
Psalm 119:73

John-3-3

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!

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We would love to hear from you and be encouraged.
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Choose life

The events and headlines that dominate our lives today, they seem to be taken straight out of the bible. The tragedy of three days ago, 20 children (ages 6-8), along with six adults were gunned down by a man twenty years of age.

All around, it is a tragedy, it is a tragedy because as a people, as individuals, we pick and choose what we call a tragedy. Anything done with the intent of harming a child, an innocent, is unacceptable in the eyes of God (Mark 10:14).

The world calls what happened in Newtown, Connecticut terrible, but if I may, ask this of all of us, how is what happened three days ago any different from the children being aborted? Why is there no outrage? Why is that?

This is not to minimize what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, but as a society, we decide what we call evil; we even hurl such accusations to one another. But if we are to be intellectually and emotionally honest, we must consider these questions. It does become easy when we hear, “Lone gun man kills 20 children…” Aha, there it is, did you get it?

If we are able to assign blame to one person, that is easier to assign blame, it becomes a tragedy and we are up in arms about it. In the case of abortion, “which is legal and expedient…” it becomes okay to kill. How are the two any different? Both ways are killing the innocent, and it is a tragedy.

You will find throughout the pages of scripture that people offered their “already born” children as sacrifices to so-called deities, they believed in the need to spill of innocent blood. For what? So they can benefit from their child’s death, in order to have a bountiful harvest? To atone for their sins? To continue to live a lifestyle of debauchery?

Thrones and kingdoms have been threatened by the birth of a child, the most famous of all is that of Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:18). Children are easy targets because they are helpless, they are precious in the eyes of God. Evil will seek the weakest of us. As parents and grandparents, vigilance is required.

The LORD grieves for all those children? ALL OF THEM!!! I believe He is all-merciful and loving, it is with confidence I can say that He receives these little ones into His kingdom, immediately. But how about us? You…me…this tribe we call humanity, well consider this…is there yet hope?

A news reporter was on location in Newtown; he called the death of the 20 children a “mini-holocaust”. Really! Is he kidding? Have you read the definition of the word? And what do we call the death of the countless others, unnamed, unknown children lost through abortion? A necessary evil? A woman’s right to choose?

When we prefer to cower behind such arguments steeped in legalism and the so-called “freedom of choice”, we have to call it what it is, call it sin, call it murder. The thing is, ever since the fall, we’ve believed the lie that we can conform God and His law according to our ways.

Something is terribly wrong, collectively and individually. Only the truth, the love of Jesus Christ is able to heal the land, transform hearts of the people, your heart, and mine.

Can one voice make a difference? Yes, you can. The Lord Jesus heard and listened to the blind beggar Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Let us call on the Name of the Lord, ask for His grace and mercy; let us not be double minded, instead let us be singular in purpose, to love God, to follow Him, all the days of our lives. Let us equally treasure what is precious in His sight, the children. Matthew 6:33 outlines what is important, “Seek first the kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things shall be added to you.” Note, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, not ours; and ALL, not some things, but ALL shall be added to you.

Daily, let us come before His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants…” Deuteronomy 30:19

and most important of all

You shall love the LORD your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5