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.

Tuguegarao 2020 Vision

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

These are the classes being offered in January to April 2020 in the Cagayan Valley. Review the classes listed below, read the description; pray, commit your heart to the Lord, surrender to Him anything that may present itself a hindrance in your desire to please Him; complete the enrollment form below, follow the instructions and email it. You do your part (obey), put your trust in Him.

Tuguegarao 2020

HERMENEUTICS/INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY(2 CREDITS)
Hermeneutics is the study of the system of rules, principles and methods applied during interpretation and explanation. It is considered to be the art of exegesis and translation.

This class is designed to instruct students in the foundational principles and practices of Bible interpretation, providing a framework with which to view all Scripture. The inductive method of Bible study will be taught with attention paid to the various features of a text that contribute to the interpretative process.
Special emphasis will be given to the role of biblical inerrancy, inspiration, objective meaning, problems in Hermeneutics, and the nature of Scripture itself.

ACTS (3 CREDITS)*
The class studies the book of Acts exegetically. Attention is given to biblical principles exercised by the early church and how those same principles apply today. Importantly, emphasis is given to the role the Holy Spirit has in the building up of the Body of Christ. Students are encouraged to use Acts as an example on how to cultivate a Spirit-led and mission-driven relationship in the Lord.

ROMANS (3 CREDITS)*
The class is a verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans, a book regarded as the most systematic presentation of the doctrine of salvation in the Bible. Students will look carefully at how the saving life of Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, does transform lives.

EPHESIANS (2 CREDITS)
The objective in this class is to give a student a thorough working knowledge on the book of Ephesians, one of the prison epistles. A student will study the book verse-by-verse, which includes major doctrines presented by Paul. Students will see a glorious picture of Christ, the Head, and His Body, the Church.

COLOSSIANS (2 CREDITS)
This class is an exegetical study on the book of Colossians. Attention is given to the Lord Jesus Christ, the central theme of the book. Students will consider His majesty, pre-eminence, authority, sufficiency, and fullness that we might grow in faith concerning how to walk in His provisions for abundance of life! With the verse-by-verse study, you will have the opportunity to extensively correlate passages from other portions of Scripture.

I CORINTHIANS (2 CREDITS)
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul demonstrates how the Gospel relates, redeems, and transforms culture. Paul addresses numerous topics such as schism, sexual immorality, marriage, singleness, idolatry, and disorder in public worship to name just a few. 1Corinthians shows that sanctification comes by faith in Christ alone.

II CORINTHIANS (2 CREDITS)
The purpose in this class is to study the history, context, and theology of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. Paul wrote this letter to dispute false teachers and build up his readers. Emphasis is placed on the basic hermeneutical principles of observation, interpretation, correlation, and application. As a student, you can expect to gain an appreciation of Paul’s painful autobiography.

OT372 I & II SAMUEL / LIFE OF DAVID (2 CREDITS)
I & II Samuel is an in-depth look into a time period in the nation of Israel when they moved from being a nation that had God as their king, to a nation that would be ruled by a man. These two historic books of the Bible give us a clear view of three individuals who played a major part in the history of the nation, King Saul, King David and the prophet Samuel.

You will learn much about God and the type of person He chooses to work through from both the triumphs and the tragedies of these three men who helped shape the course of a nation and history.

JOHN (3 CREDITS)*
This course hopes to bring transformation to the student through a verse-by-verse study of John’s gospel; it is designed to impart exegetical understanding leading to a Christ-focused passion through the text, for His glory. The book is recognized as the unique fourth gospel that offers a portrait of Jesus Christ like no other book of the Bible.

CHURCH HISTORY (2 CREDITS)
This course is designed as an overview of the major events, movements, doctrines, and people associated with the growth of the Christian church from the apostolic era until the present. Consideration is given to the Church’s doctrine and practice, and how we can learn from past generations of Christians.

CHRISTIAN LIVING (2 CREDITS)
This is a unique course designed to introduce students to the committed Christian life and all of its practical aspects. Attention is given to understanding and applying the Bible, prayer and fasting, growing in grace, marriage and relationships, and special topics related to the Christian life.

REVELATION (3 CREDITS)*
The Book of Revelation is a prophetic work of great importance. In this class, the Book of Revelation will be taught exegetically in order to help students achieve a clear understanding of its teaching regarding Jesus Christ, the Church, and the future.

New Student, click here.

Returning Student, click here.

Inductive Bible Study

Coming this Fall 2017…beginning the last week of August 2017…


Inductive Bible Study
The purpose for this class is to teach and encourage students to study the Word of God by observing, interpreting, cross-referencing, and relevantly applying the message of Bible passages to their lives.

In Luke 11:28, Jesus says “…Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

“Come and see…”

Learn with us…

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

New Student
Returning Student

New Testament Greek

Coming this Fall 2017…beginning August 29…

A general overview of New Testament Greek grammar and syntax…we begin translating from Greek to English…learning grammar, syntax, exegesis, and diagramming…little memorization required in this class…we use tools like Greek-English interlinears and analytical lexicons…let the Spirit speak to your hearts plainly; “…The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” John 16:25

English translation above is John 3:16-17 ESV

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 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

Why study the Bible…an invitation

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

Is the daily grind (life) more than you can handle? Jesus says…

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

“And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.
John 6:65

and promises…

“…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
John 7:37-38

The question is, what “season” are you in? We don’t pick and choose where we are born in, but the same statement given by God to two men in the Bible, we find to be true in our own lives, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you…I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5; and the salutation of Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…”

Both Jeremiah and Paul were called by God, just as you are called by God. He has revealed Himself to us in His written Word, the Bible; He has revealed Himself in creation; and more importantly, He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father

Where do you find Jesus Christ? In the pages of the Bible, in Scripture! In a Messianic Psalm, in 40:7, the Lord through David says, “Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of Me“, in the King James it is rendered, “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me…” A verse later repeated in Hebrews 10:7.

Whatever season you may be in, know that God is involved! He reminds us of this in Ecclesiastes 3. God knows all about us, what He desires is for us to know Him, not in the intellect, but as intimate as possible. That begins by knowing what His Word says, the Bible.

The people around us ought to know the truth of the Word of God not just by what is written, but in the life we live. If we believe God is revealed in Jesus Christ, is He glorified in the life we live? Do they see Christ in us? Do we preach Him not just in words, but actions as well? How? We…you begin by knowing Who it is you worship, know truly what the Bible says. Not a regurgitated response from someone else (priest, pastor, deacon, teacher etc…says), but the truth the Holy Spirit reveals, He is both Author and Revelator of the Bible. It begins with you making the time.

We should not pick and choose where and when we exhibit our Christianity, but as the Lord orchestrates…any time…any place…that is the moment. Paul reminded Timothy, and by extension…us, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” How can one “convince, rebuke, exhort, if you do not make the time to study God’s Word to communicate by word and deed God’s truth.

Thanking the Lord daily…

As my wife fervently reminds me about reading and studying the Bible, it’s not just a have to…it is something we get to. “The purpose of the Lord is His will for you.” (or vice versa) Let His life manifest in yours by studying the Word of God. Jesus promises, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

God says in Isaiah 55:11…”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 mfhbc.org and contact us at mfhbcinfo@gmail.com, or go straight to…
New Student
Returning Student