Unfiltered ramblings

“…Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24,25

Since that weekend of March 13, 2020, the world has spiraled for the worst; getting a heaping of obfuscation here, paranoia there. These things can easily side-track us. “…fear not, be of good cheer…”. Jesus Christ has overcome the world! Our prayer is that as you read, you will be encouraged you, all to the Glory of our God and Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

As you flip through these pages, that these are “one mans” thoughts and observations through the lens of Scripture, the standard we all ought to live by. God’s truth becomes personal when I read and apply what His Word says to my everyday. What you have is our continuing journey for “such a time as this.

Leaving 2019, great hopes were in the horizon for the new decade, 2020 started with promise for my wife and I. This is our report…as of June 30, 2020.

The New Year was welcomed with at the home Errol (our son), his wife Cynthia, their children(Nathan, Anya (Nathania), and Nicolas) in their home. Nenita and I spent 2019 Christmas and New Year with them as in previous years.

1st On January 1, 2020, we drove up to Baguio (summer capital of the Philippines). Joining us were Lorenza, (Cynthias mom); coming along were friends: May, her husband Mike and their two children; and Boni, his wife Judith and their two kids.

Baguio City, family & friends January 3, 2020

That was how we kicked off 2020.

2nd …entering the second week, we settled in. But then, a passenger jeepney ran into us, a rear-right-end collision. The cost of the damage was not cheap, for parts and labor, however, the Lord provided the funds through two of the brethren. No one was hurt, thank you Lord.

3rd. Those were followed by the eruption of Taal Volcano near Tagaytay on January 12th. Portions of Northeast Calabarzon received a pungent dose of briny ashfall. You remember that Tagaytay was where MFHBC started the Lord’s work in 2013.

4th Spring Semester started the second week of February. Classes were held at Kingdom Ministries in Silang, Cavite. As you might recall, Pastor Sandy Molo had gone home to be with his(and ours) Lord earlier in December, the relationship the Lord forged between Bro. Sandy and MFHBC continues to this day.

5th The last week of February found us alongside the saints of Fortify on the island of Palawan, in Puerto Princessa, southwest of Luzon. Fortify, God’s vision received by Pastor

Team FORTIFY 2020 in Palawan

Rod Thompson, builds partnerships through the equipping of independent churches in the Philippines. Fortify first came to the Philippines via Tagaytay, the week my journey for a CABG4 bypass began in 2016.

We arrived from Palawan March 3, to continue the semester in Silang. The following week, Nenita celebrated her birthday, a Tuesday, March 10. The remainder of that week is as we say, shaped into what is now history.

6th The events we’ve witnessed and endured since that week truly is unfathomable. How that one weekend in March was transformed into a Sping nightmare in the Orient, and a Fall ordeal in the west. You don’t need me to rehash what we’ve all been through these last three and a half months, or 108 days beginning at March 13…but God.

Our students continued to stay in touch the first few weeks since that weekend in March. Thinking the “shut-down” would be short and temporary, we gave the students “homework” to keep occupied. They were to apply what they had learned in the past semesters, IBS/ Hermeneutics.

As circumstance would have it, most of the students faced limitations in distance learning. They all thrive on learning collectively and not individually, like a competition; in addition, they were faced limited WiFi and financial capabilities.

The first month, two of the students made the effort of submitting their assigned work. Demands of family along with other effects of the “quarantine” mandate from government, homework added to their already stressful days. The semester came to a grinding halt. The Lord has directed us to smoothly reboot the semester in August.

As we wait, I urge you pray our students. God has allowed this “interruption” all to His glory. For His body the church, that we may stand fast in His Word. This was something Nenita and I got to do. In addition to personal time with the Lord, we also found ourselves fellowshipping via the internet with other saints. These 112+ days showed me that I must needs to avail the much more of God’s grace from Jesus Christ, by His Spirit, thoughtfully and purposefully.

March, April, and May are normally the summer months. Curiously, when the government imposed the Philippines version of a “lockdown” and “ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)”during those months, we did not experience the anticipated heat. These were the months new words, acronyms, and phrases were introduced into our vocabulary: ECQ, flatten the curb, DOH, social distancing, CDC, virus, WHO, mask, and so on.

Another noticeable result due to shutdown of factories, minimized movement of motor vehicles, and people, pollution was also on a hiatus. The air we were breathing was cleaner, the sky was bluer and clearer, walking outdoors was conducive to everyones health, then government imposes limitations on such a “healthy” activity.

Nenita further reflected how the Lord has used the shutdown to bring revival, restoration, and rest to weary lives.

1) give earth time to heal from our reckless attitude toward it (Psalm 60:1-5);

2) allow families to be restored to Him, and to each another(Galatians 6:1-5);

3) remind His body, the church, to remain faithful (Jude 20, 21);

4) call attention to a Christ rejecting generation to God’s gift, His love, His Word to be received (Acts 2:38,39, 4:12; 2Corinthians 6:2).

Our dependence on the internet became evident these nearly four months. Again, an instance where evil meant to use for bad, God has used it for good: the Gospel reached the once unreached; Christian fellowship continued online; bible studies became more accessible; Church became a reality for many, no excuses; and many more.

On the ground was a little more challenging as we had more physical face to face, up close and personal encounters others (security guards, neighbors, soldiers, community enforcers, and so on). Regardless of how I view this “_demic,” which I believe to be a ruse, my main duty is to exhibit Christ in me to all men (Roman 13:3). Did I always succeed? No. But because of the grace of God, I am always able get up each time I fall.

Because we do not have a television, Nenita and I were more tuned to reports coming from the USA through the various “non-msm” information outlets off the internet. As Oswald Chambers calls it, we got to exercise the “ministry of the interior,”prayer, as the Lord brings to our remembrance those He reveals through the news, President Trump, our nation, Rodrigo Duterte, the saints around the world.

All in line with what we are called to do, “…seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace…”; “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving thanks be made for all men…kings…all who are in authority…that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life…”

The months rolled in and out, we welcomed the new days as we experienced breathing room, for everyone. These days of isolation, the Word in Jeremiah comes to mind. The prophet was told by God to limit his social and personal activities; that was what the Philippines did the first three months of the _demic. This country is a people who loves to celebrate, looking for any and every reason to do so, during the days of ECQ, no celebration or mourning of any kind was allowed.

However,we got to celebrate; on May 28, the arrival of Isadora Jr., youngest grand-daughter to date; then in June feasted on God’s blessings for the birthday’s of Nicolas (11) and Cynthia; on the 21st of June, twenty-eight years of love and grace, our wedding anniversary.

Where we go from here is in His hand. We’ve committed the remainder of the year to Him who called us, which includes a planned sabbatical. Thank you for your faithfulness in coming alongside us through these last seven years.

God bless you and your house, Rizty & Nenita.

Don’t be swayed

15 more days…then what?

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin…We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one…we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true…in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
1John 5:18-21

We all are counting the days when we can all go back to “normal.” I shudder at the thought that I should go back to doing the normal things before the Wuhan/CCP virus invaded. What has this event taught us about ourselves? About the world around us? The people from other countries? How different are we from each other? No difference.

It is amazing really how God has allowed technology to be used for His glory. Much like Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him because he was their father Jacob’s favorite, so they threw him into a pit, then sold him off for cash. But God allowed it and watched over Joseph all those years he was in Egypt till He brought Joseph to prominence. Because of that, with confidence in God, Joseph reminded his brothers with those words in Genesis. Consider the words spoken thousands of years ago and apply it to the world’s state, to yourself, this time in human history.

The perpetrators of this weaponized corona virus (my opinion) meant it for selfish reasons, whatever it is they intended, God allowed it for good. Families have re-acquainted themselves with each other (husband with wife, fathers with children, children with mothers, brothers with sisters); homes are cleaned (spring cleaning); books on the shelves are being read; church has been brought back to its roots, the home; the air is cleaner; skies are bluer; and most importantly, the Word of God, the Gospel is reaching places the pre-virus world had not seen.

Dear ones, do not be swayed by what the world is saying, instead, look around you and see that the Lord is good. Beware of those who try to give you a narrative filled with untruths and deception. I encourage you to ask the hard questions no one dare ask regarding anything, even regarding this virus. Don’t be content with what this or that person says, learn for yourself.

Use this extra time to exercise prayer, logic and reason. Isaiah 1:18 invites us to, “Come now let us reason together...” and again in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” In Hosea, a reminder is given, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge…” and in the book of James, the invitation is given, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all liberally…” therefore, ask!

Since the quarantine/lockdown, our five classes for the semester have been placed on a Long Distance learning mode. Our four students, were given their assigned readings and “home works”. Sadly, all four have not been able to send in their work/s online amid varying challenges (technical and financial). It is with confidence in the Lord we pray they continue to receive wisdom and understanding from Him as we all enter our 45th day of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in our area.

Our student #1 is a mother of two small girls, she has her hands full, her husband works overseas; student#2 serves her family since the start of the “ecq” days (she’s got two girls as well, older); and students 3 & 4 are in the dark. Pray for these four.

Where we are today, started before the week of March 10, 2020. Do you remember what you were doing when all of this began? That week, Nenita had just celebrated her birthday and had just finished teaching classes, Isaiah and the Gospel of John, that Friday afternoon, we had an impromptu “potbless”.

Before that, beginning the last week of February, we were invited to join the 2020 Fortify conference in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, southwest of Manila. We joined the brethren who flew in from SoCal, Reliance Church, Temecula, and Calvary Chapel Vista, CA. It was a fruitful week in the Lord. 3) While in Puerto Pricessa, we’d heard rumblings about a virus from Wuhan.

Celebration of my wife’s birthday should have continued that week, or so we thought. As that weekend began, suddenly these acronyms, words and phrases dominated internet and local news: CDC, DOH, WHO, ECQ, PPE, quarantine, quarantine pass, lockdown, corona virus, social distancing, N95 face mask, face mask, covid, covid 19, CCP virus, wuhan virus, China, novel corona virus, shutdown, amelioration, stimulus checks, unemployment, etc…

For those of you who know me(my wife specially), questions abound in my mind regarding this added event of 2020. They include the: what, where, how, when, who, why. The year 2020 is proving to be filled with stories worthy of praise for God…

1) In early January on a Sunday afternoon while spending time with the grandchildren at a local mall, Taal volcano near Tagaytay erupted after 43 years of silence, reminding us in the CaLaBaRzon area that it is no longer idle as many believed. Ash was blown into cities northeast of the volcano, that included Santa Rosa, it wasn’t a dry kind of ash, it was wet with a briny smell. The volcano is after all surrounded by what once was salt water, but is now a freshwater volcanic lake.

2) After that, we (Nenita and I) found ourselves in a “bumper to bumper bender” with a passenger jeepney. We were hit from behind. With the incident, the Lord allowed us to experience Philippine law at its finest in the city of Santa Rosa, Laguna, which surprised us, from the traffic enforcer to the police investigator to the fiscal’s office to the fiscal himself, all of whom exemplified courtesy and respect. This episode with the bumper rolled through March, with the offending party (not us) making arrangements to settle the damage incurred by our vehicle through the Fiscal’s office.

It is April 30, has anyone really figured out what’s going on? The only way I’ve approached the predicament we find ourselves in, is holding fast to Whom I believe. The narrative we’ve been given is one of dire and dread, leading those who are faint of heart to lose it. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ reminds and calls to you, to me, “Do not fear any of those things you are about to suffer…” This tale being weaved regarding the man-caused virus, has been allowed as a 1) reminder to believers; and 2) a call to an unbelieving world.

Jesus Christ spoke the words above in a letter He wrote through John the apostle for the church in Smyrna. Much like us today, despite the unknowns, the church was called to remain faithful till the end, you and I must do the same, hold fast knowing in Whom you have believed. In the words of my wife, it’s not who we are anymore but Whose we are.

Take this opportunity to spend more time in His Word, being in prayer for our leaders and the world at large, and consider these: What has God shown you of Himself during these quarantine days? How has He revealed His love to you? In all this, Who is Jesus Christ to you today? Press on!

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

Visit mfhbc.org and contact us at mfhbcinfo@gmail.com, or go straight to…

New Student
Returning Student

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.”

Visit http://www.mfhbc.org and contact us at mfhbcinfo@gmail.com, or go straight to…

New Student
Returning Student

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.
psalms-1-1-2

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.
hgcc-collage

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!
phil417

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.
Prov-3-13 captioned

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

Follow Me!

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.Pillow case vendor Nanay Linda chooses to follow Jesus

“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.”
John 12:24-26

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.
Lost? Not anymore!
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.