Considering

The Spring Semester is in full swing with three students, Cathy, Marge, and Ryan. It is always an exciting time each season to behold the beauty of God’s work here in Tagaytay…considering…
consider
“kon-sid´ẽr: In the New Testament the force of the word is brought out most vividly in Mat_6:26 (καταμανθάνω, katamanthánō), where it means to “examine closely,” as though the observer had to bend down for this purpose, and in Luk_12:27; Heb_10:24 (katanoéō, to “observe well”), while in Heb_13:7 the anatheōréō, “look up toward” or “look again at” is consistent with the reverential regard commended in the context. Used in the Old Testament for a variety of Hebrew terms, signifying inspecting (Proverbs 31:16), examining (Leviticus 13:13), giving serious thoughts to (Isaiah 1:3), it often means little more than “see” or “behold” (Psalm 8:3).” (ISBE)

There are many things to consider if we took the time to the reality of the days we are living in. Classes offered this semester include Inductive Bible Study (IBS), Theology, the books of Jeremiah / Lamentations and 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. It would seem like a random selection, but it is not. IBS is learning how to study the Bible on your own, unearthing the treasures found in the word of God; Theology has been defined to which I agree by Ryrie as “…the discovery, systematizing, and presentation of the truths about God.” These two subjects tackle the source of God’s revelation of Himself, in His Word, the Bible.

In the gospels, Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” Having said that…consider this…The west has veered way much to the left than the right over the last century, but has only manifested itself the last 40 years and gotten “worser and worser,” it has crept in slowly into the fabric of society. Especially since the media continue to coddle the likes of Soros, Obama, Reid who continue to spew their venomous seeds of hate, not only affecting the United States, but even to other parts of the world, including the Philippines own(DV, 3Lanes).

The book of Jeremiah and 1Peter were issued in times similar to the one we find ourselves in today, they each serve both as a warning and an encouragement. It is as Jesus said it would be, “…many false prophets will arise and lead many astray…and because lawlessness (anarachy) will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Jeremiah was chosen by God to point the people back to the Word of God, to return “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness…Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return.” Jeremiah 3:22a & 8:5; and then Peter reminds his readers, which includes us, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1Peter 1:13-16.

Therefore Consider…

This is a reality we face daily in that the Bible is being criminalized. During the time of Jeremiah, people didn’t want to hear God’s word, they wanted things that tingled their ears, make them feel good about themselves and put their lives in peril by not heeding God; then, during the days of Peter, persecution was the norm, people were faced with life or death if they confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. We Christians have been given the blessed opportunity to imitate these servants of God as they imitate the Lord Jesus Christ walking in obedience, which is where it all begins, doesn’t it?

This year will be no different, we get to press on and consider the work of God in our lives and in those around us, pressing on to His upward call. Come, join us in praise and prayer!

The Inductive Bible Study class in session includes Marge, Cathy, and Ryan. Marge and Cathy are holdovers from the “Joyful Ruthies” Women’s Bible study group Nenita started last year after my operation. One of the ladies we were expecting to join us, Lani, is not able at this time, she is pregnant with her first child. Rejoicing and praise all around indeed, keep lifting up those holy hands. Ryan is from Guilhulngan in Central Visayas, he is ea scholar via an anonymous husband and wife team from SoCal, praise the Lord.
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Also, you know that we have been at our location for four years and finally last Sunday we had a Bible Fellowship with our neighbors going through Psalm 1. Be in prayer for those who joined us: Dianne and her two children, Daniela and Jinella, Lito, Imong and Ryan, God’s scholar from Negros.

At the writing of this letter, welcome the arrival of our ninth grand-child in Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada, Jeremiah, all 7.10 pounds, 21 inches of him. God bless you Roda, great going! With the two men in her life, her newborn child and her Raymund, our son.gp3-a
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”
Jeremiah 1:5a

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Choices

Devil or the deep blue sea? Rock or a hard place?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,  we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

An ominous combination if ever there was one, to talk about two cities I am all very familiar with. Charles Dickens, we are told, was making reference to Paris and London, in the years of great upheaval in that part of Europe, the French Revolution. Wherever and whenever we find ourselves to be, there is the least that principle of two at work.

During creation, “God made (two) them male and female…” Genesis 1:27; good and evil; the American Revolution, there were the British against the Colonies; Civil War that followed was between the North and the South; then in this world of economics, we recognize the have’s and the have nots; in the Bible? You have the Old Testament and the New Testament. So yes, it is often a matter of “a tale of two cities.”

Like Dickens, I sit as an observant of two cities, near and far. The first is Manila in the Philippines, the second, California, USA. One is the place of my birth, the other of my re-birth. One was where I learned to walk and talk, the other where I learned to run and speak.

Wow, the days are quickly unfolding just as the bible tells us. Well, for the next few weeks, we shall look at two cities close to me now repaired heart, the Philippines and the USA. Truly, each has a tale to weave. One like an older brother flexing muscles for display, which is all it is these days; while the younger sibling tries to emulate the older. Both are completely lacking the balance of strength and substance.  Lets take a quick look at the two cities, beginning with the younger one, the Philippines.

May 2016, two landmark events took place in my life. On the 1st of May, I learned my heart was doing a lot of things it wasn’t suppose to do. I had been overworking it, leading to an enlargement and causing me to experince shortness of breath. In the final analysis, God had me go through a quadruple bypass, a CABG (read about it in previous or upcoming issues), along with repairing my mitral valve. The thing was, other than the shortness of breath, I did not exhibit the typical symptoms of a man going through a cardio vascular problem. Maybe I did, just didn’t know it. If not for the insistence of my wife and daughter in law, who knows where I’d be today. Thank You God for those two women in my life. 

The man God used to repair my heart. thanks Doc!

The second event had nothing to do with me, or did it? On May 9, the Filipino people went to the polls to go through a national “bypass” of its own.

They were to elect the next man, or woman, who would lead a people of more than 110 million over the next six years. Five people vying for the top spot of President of the Philippines. Over the last 30 years, the country has been overworked with pronouncements  of all sorts of promises, all in the name of “justice,”but the truth is, the nation was, has been, hemmorhaging morally, politically, socially, and spiritually. Was I like that? Will the people, like I did, wise up after years of unhealthy living? Needless to say, the operation/election was a success. Now that God has given me another chance to honor Him, will I? As for the Philippines, will the people take stock, not just of the leaders, but of themselves. 

Philippine Presidentiables 2016

Cause you see, just because the doctor says “we’ve repaired you…take these medicines…etc…” What they also tell you is the required rehab, re-conditioning towards a healthier lifestyle so that I get to maximize the use of my new heart. It will take at least 3 years for me to feel the effects of the heart operation I went through on May 28. What does the nation and me have in common? The repair has been done, but rehab continues. By definition, rehab means “a course of treatment designed to reverse the debilitating effects of an injury; to restore or rehabilitate.” I am going through rehab. The nation needs to go through rehab, morally, socially, politically and most import, spiritually. 

I’m realizing for myself, that rehab isn’t accomplished with simply doing x number of sessions, then you see results right away. No! The old bodybuilding axiom, no pain no gain, holds true in every aspect of life, it holds true in the matter of my heart and the Philippine nation. I had to get repaired where I was produced, just like other products; but in my case, my warranty repair was covered by God.

With my lovely wife Nenita and rehab doctor.

As for the Philippine nation,God is willing, are you? He says to you, to us, “Come!” He also says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2Chronicles 7:14

Will you? Think about it, see you next time as we talk more about the”two cities” in my life. You may have more than one city as well, selah…lets…