Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Do You See


If you are to make a list of things both positive and negative events that occurred in your life for 2008, place them in a scale, which of the two has the most impact? Another question is this: How would you determine if any event is negative or positive? What is your measuring tool in doing so?

The great thing about living life is the opportunity each day, not each year to have a new beginning and a fresh start. Lamentations 3:21-23 provides us a great reminder in this regard, "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (NIV)

Just observe each day that comes and the most obvious evidence of a new start would be the sun shining faithfully every day. And if you have not noticed it, then you are too busy to take the time to appreciate one of God's wonderful creations. As a matter of fact, this was the first act of creation, "God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. "(Genesis 1:5, NIV)

It is the little things of life that would make the big picture of what life is all about not the other way around. Even the insignificant details contribute to the significance of the whole matter. Let me illustrate for you to understand what I mean in a story called, "The Butterfly and the Flower: "Once there was a man who asked God for a flower and a butterfly. But instead God gave him a cactus and a caterpillar. The man was sad. He didn't understand why his prayer was not answered. Then he thought, "Oh well, God has too many people to care for," and he decided not to question. After some time, the man went to check up on the cactus and the caterpillar. To his surprise, from the thorny and ugly cactus, a beautiful flower had grown. And the unsightly caterpillar had been transformed into the most beautiful butterfly.

God always does things right. His way is always the best way, even if it seems all wrong to us. If you asked God for one thing and received another, trust Him. He will give you what you need at the appropriate time. What you want is not always what you need. Today's thorn is tomorrow's flower.

Whether we like it or not, we do not have the whole picture or the whole perspective of life in clear view. There are blind spots that we miss that cause us to be unaware of other things coming into play. And what we see does not really result in what they are for there is more to it than meets the eye. Thus, we must allow God to come into the equation. Furthermore, He is the only one that sees the bigger picture. Here's a scripture that would surprise you even more as stated in Isaiah 40:15, "Surely the nations are like a drop (of water) in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust". (NIV)

When we begin to see that no one on planet earth both living and dead; past, present and future has the answer to life's questions but God and God alone, you will see a different picture altogether. You will begin to see beyond any situation or circumstance you may have and they would not matter if they are positive or negative, because you have a new fresh perspective of life coming from God's perspective of your life. Therefore, if God sees farther than us, why not put our complete trust in Him? Also, the Sunday school song, "He's got the whole world in His hands" makes a whole lot of sense now because you are included in it.

As the New Year approaches, don't dread it but welcome it with open arms because you are able to see it and live it under God's care not yours.

Let's talk again!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Unity in Action

Yesterday, a whole day was spent to pray, discuss and strategize what JIL BC Churches and Outreaches expect in 2009. The JIL BC Management Team composed of pastors, coordinators and other leaders sought the Lord and each other's insight to attain the best and possible strategy for 2009. It was such an important event that we've taken the time off from each respective Sunday services to gather at the JIL Canada Prayer House in Mission, BC before the year ends. Though there were many things to discuss but we've covered the most relevant and will continue on to other things next.

Part of it was the opportunity to create the best team to fulfill the JIL Mission, Vison and Core Values. For the best way to come together as one is literally to come together in one place and decide to become united through our spiritual connection and intentional acts to develop unity.

During our prayer time, we have received the word that "new wineskins from discarding the old wineskins..." must be adopted to become fully focused on 2009. The old things must pass away for all things to become new. This is the direction we will have for 2009 and overflow will be seen. There's more to come. Watch out!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What Christmas Is All About

Allow me to share you some major reasons for celebrating Christmas:
  1. A Redeemer prophesied, Genesis 3:15, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will rush your head, and you will strike his heel." NIV
  2. A Child promised, Isaiah 9:6, , For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NIV
  3. A Son begotten from heaven, John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV
  4. A Saviour born in a manger, Matthew 1:21, She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." NIV
  5. A precious servant Mary who said yes to God's will, Lk 1:46-47, And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, NIV

In other words, Christmas is God's words, will and way fulfilled according to His time and agenda not ours.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Personal Thoughts

Hello!

As you are probably aware, Canada has entered it first winter with a whallop of snowstorm....Last Sunday morning, the total accumulated snow where I am - Vancouver and surrounding cities was more than a foot of snow. But there were other places that experience worst than us...They said that this was the first time after many years that snow has affected Canada from coast to coast. Well, what can you do? I think many are praying for snow to come and it did!!! And a lot, too!!!

In other words, we got stuck and cant' leave yesterday to go anywhere. But it was good, though for I had the chance to catch up with some work and watched some videos for my distance course - Ecclessiology.

Good thing the snow stopped or just took a break and will continue again this Wednesday or Thursday, I'm not sure! Let's just wait and see!

I'll try to post pictures next time!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The “Christ” in Christmas

Two women who were having lunch in an elegant hotel were approached by a mutual friend who asked the occasion for the meal. One lady replied, "We are celebrating the birth of my baby boy." "But where is he?" inquired the friend. "Oh," said the mother, "you didn't think I'd bring him, did you?" What a picture of the way the world treats Jesus at Christmas.


We have come a long way since the first Christmas day more than 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born. Presently, it seems that we have removed him out of the whole Christmas picture and replaced with many other things such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and many others. We are caught up with finding the best gift for the people we love though I am not totally against it altogether but what is our purpose in doing so? If we are just going with the flow of things, then we’ve forgotten the real meaning of Christmas and John 3:16 would be a great reminder as it states, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)


Lest we lose its meaning and purpose, we need to go back in time and refresh ourselves with it. Celebrating Christmas is our way of remembering the promised Ruler to be born in Bethlehem to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for humanity. Micah 5:2 states, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (NIV)


There were many characters involved in this event, there was Mary, a young virgin woman conceived though the Holy Spirit as the angel Gabriel said but already bethrothed to Joseph; Herod the king who met the wise men from the East looking for the King prophesied to be born; the priests who knew where the birthplace of the Messiah but did not bother to go and the shepherds who’ve heard the news direct from heaven as reported by the choir of angels. These are not ordinary events but they were planned in heaven manifested exactly as desired by its Chief Architect for our benefit. What a great day to celebrate and remember indeed!


In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, "The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000." (one hundred quadrillion)


Yet the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ are more than eight prophecies. For example, God spoke to the serpent after Adam and Eve committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,and you will strike his heel." (NIV)


The birth of Christ on Christmas day was the culmination of this prophecy and the beginning of the implementation of God’s plan for humanity. The process of transformation for the Son of God to become part of humanity beginning from the womb of Mary was one of the many sacrifice to be done for humanity’s sake.


That’s why, to forget and leave out Jesus Christ in Christmas would be a great insult and grave sin. We will not have Christmas without Jesus Christ! He must be the foremost reason for the season or else we will just have another holiday to celebrate.


Somebody said, “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.” Therefore, let us have a real “Merry Christmas” because Jesus Christ is in it!


Let’s talk again!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Personal Thoughts

Praise the Lord and Jappy was finally well after just one day of rest and went back to school already. Yesterday, snow fell hard that caught many from Vancouver and neighboring cities quite surprised.

We need to cancel some appointments and just stayed at home and let it snow. My children are quite anxious as well if there will be school today. Just got an e-mail now announcing that their school is open.

Why do we want to take some off from school, I think it is just to have some mind break from academic pressures. No matter what, we just want to relax once in a while and snowy days are a good source of excuse. Oh yeah, there will be meeting tonight at church and I know some will be calling if there's any....let's wait and see.

Good thing that their school is just close by and the drive is only 5 minutes on a regular day. I will be shoveling some snow off the vehicle now and it will be cold, brrrr again!!!

Got to go now!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Personal Thoughts

Coming from Manila since October, the days thereafter were filled with many other activities. But they were all part of ministry activities that were necessary to do. However, it took its toll when I started coughing and having sore throat before the start of the Canada Pastors' Conference. Then I started to try the cough medicine "Buckleys." My goodness, the taste was really awful....but I believe it helped in relieving my problem and honestly, I don't think anyone could get used to the taste but it works, eh!!!

Yesterday, during my preaching assignment in Vancouver Churches, I had a hard time speaking due to remaining cough problem. Praise the Lord, I made it and finished it though with intermittent coughing. Well, the preaching assignment must go on. Thanks to Genis and he helped in doing the ministering before I preached in the afternoon.

Over-all, it was a great weekend. Though Jappy did not go to school today due to flu and I think the factor is the cold weather....

It is -6 in Vancouver today with -10 windchill and for us here..it is really cold..brrrrr!!!

Hope that our really cold provinces will not be offended at my whining!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SOWING GOOD SEEDS

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!" Curious, he yells: "Who are you?" He receives the answer: "Who are you?" Angered at the response, he screams: "Coward!" He receives the answer: "Coward!"

He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?" The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention." And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!" The voice answers: "I admire you!" Again the man screams: "You are a champion!" The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions."


Proverbs 11:25, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (NIV)

Proverbs 12:14, “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.” (NIV)

Someone said, “Think happy thoughts.” But I have a better advice that comes from the Scriptures as stated in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” (NIV)

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; Life will give you back everything you have given to it. Remember your LIFE is not a COINCIDENCE... it is a REFLECTION of YOU!

Therefore, you must be determined to overcome the dictates of the negative thoughts and press on to change your mind set. Jesus did it at the Garden of Gethsemane when he prayed three times this prayer, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” It was the moment of truth that the very reason He came was to die at the cross of Calvary and He was filled with the agony of what He will go through. Yet he overcame it when He affirmed God’s will in His life and decided, “Let your will be done.” And the rest was history. Jesus sowed His life and reaped lives then and now as a result of His sacrifice. He died for our sins so we could be redeemed from its curse. If you desire change, try Jesus and you will never be the same.

Keep this in mind and I believe that whatever comes your way no matter how tough is no match to what the Lord Jesus went through for us. Begin to sow good seeds and you will reap a great harvest in return. Galatians 6:7 states, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (NIV)

Let’s talk again!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ministry Updates-JIL Canada Pastors Gathering

The recently concluded JIL Canada Pastors gathering yielded many results that will provide direction and inspiration to all JIL Canada Pastors. 2009 will be the "Year of Overflow." I believe it will be a reality. I have seen that the growth and addition of new Pastors releases new opportunities for greater growth. There is an excitement and anticipation of new things occurring in 2009.

This year's conference has many varieties in it. We had a complete band to start with. The Music team provided an excellent job in assisting this year. Thanks a lot!!!

The program was geared towards balance of topics in spiritual, practical, ministerial and computer tips as well. There was a time for Soaking in the Spirit Session last Sunday morning. Though there was a fire commotion at 5:30 am from the 16th floor that day, bringing all the guest down at the street with pajamas on, it was a little glitch to a great event. Well, it was also an early exercise from 11th floor and back after half an hour. No sweat!!!!

We had time for a special dinner fellowship and some bonding time at Whistler, BC. Altogether, the time was well spent from beginning to the end. I can't wait for next year's event.

Until next time! I'l try to post some pictures also....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ministry Updates-JIL BC Events - Re-Encounter Weekend

Yesterday and today was the JIL BC Re-Encounter with 25 delegates and candidates to become new Cell Leaders. Praise the Lord and they completed their JIL 12 journey including this Re-Encounter weekend. A big congratulations to all of you!!!!! Just keep your eyes on the prize, i.e., Jesus Christ. You have to prepare now for your SOL 3.

It was a complete success full of God's favor and blessings. Our food was prepared by the cooking team from JIL North Vancouver Church... Thanks guys for the best food there is and cheers for the the whole Re-Encounter team headed by Ptr Myra Paguntalan who also celebrated her birthday yesterday and spend it with all of us. Happy Birthday again!!!!

To the whole team...congratulations for spending your time this weekend. May the Lord bless you for your labors....

One could really never know what will occur. What I have learned is to come with a ready heart for what God wants to do. After all, it is His time and will that happens anyway. I was there as His vessel to release His desire and purpose being His servant as well. Together with the teaching team...the experience was all worth it.

Over-all, it was another evidence of God's enduring faithfulness and grace that causes us to exclaim praise and worship to give Him the highest form of glory....Thank God for His abiding presence always...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Personal Thoughts - God's Mighty Embrace

Allow me to share my thoughts in written form towards God's love that I received.

A Mighty Embrace


You have looked into my heart wanting it yours

You have peered in to my soul wanting to satisfy

You have touched my life wanting to come in

And said, "You are mine forever."


Here at this place I am restored

Here at this place I am healed

Here at this place I am renewed

By your mighty embrace


I am never the same because of your love

I am never the same because of your grace

I am never the same because of your touch

And I say, "I am yours forever."


I hope that you are ministered knowing that God's mighty embrace is always near...

Living Life over Despair

Whether we like it or not, we are faced with the reality of life and death. Many of us even dread or get depressed whenever a birthday approaches or someone dear to us passes away. Just this past week, one of our church leaders was in a vehicular accident with serious injuries that led to her death. It was so sudden that many of us, especially her family were caught by surprise. How do you live through such ordeal when you are caught in such a situation? It was such an unexpected event that we were still in shock even up to this time. My only thought when I heard the news was, “Just like that, she’s gone.”

Job had the same experience when his ten children suffered a great and terrible freak accident as described in the Scriptures, “While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead." (Job 1:18-19)

Death will always be part of our lives - whether we like it or not. But how should we react to such event? Let me share how Job reacted, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

One may say, “I cannot do that!” I’m not Job! That may be true and accurate but how we react is our choice. Job’s initial reaction was due to the fact that he had a strong faith in God’s character and ability. Unknown to Job, Satan’s attack on his integrity and faith was what caused these unfortunate events to occur in his life in the first place as stated in Job 1:9-11, "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

Job passed the initial test that Satan unleashed to prove his faith in God as stated in the Scriptures, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22)

You’ll see that though Job lived in a different time and generation, his life is strikingly similar to ours today. Each person will be able to relate to Job’s life one way or another. But one thing that will probably differ is how we react to situations that cause us great pain and suffering.
When you are not aware that such things will happen, then I’m sorry to say that you are very ignorant and na├»ve of what life is really all about. I’m not criticizing nor putting down anyone but we should realize this fact of life.

Let it not be said about you that you showed genuine faith in God during positive and good times but went on a downward slope and crumbled during the worst of times. Our consistency must be seen in situations both happy and sad – that is when you will begin to thwart Satan’s suggestions that we are only believers during good times but, curse God in our difficult moments. Therefore, let’s prove Satan wrong and let us prove that faith in God is not conditional but unconditional based in God’s character.

Somebody said, “I find the great thing in this world is, not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it — but we must sail, and not drift nor lie at anchor.”

Let’s talk again!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Personal Thoughts-Undignified Worship

It was a great time what transpired last week in JIL BC Churches. A new level of worship has occurred that swept many of the participants both in the Worship Nights and Worship Breakthrough. Personally, I had the chance to really express myself in ways that I know had given my Lord Jesus a great time as well. I know now that it is called "Undignified Worship."

Just watch this video with the lyrics and you will understand what it means to be "Undignified" in our worship- all for our Lord.




The events that I've mentioned were events that I had the chance to become undignified. Though I may be a Pastor, but I am a disciple and a worshiper of the Lord as well. And my Lord is worthy to be praised in ways that will bless His heart and honor Him even if it seems foolishness to other people watching. It is because I am only concern with how my "Audience of One" thinks and feels. When He is happy, I am happy, too!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

JIL 18th Anniversary Celebration

Seeing that the JIL Church in British Columbia has reached its 18 years is a testimony to what God is able to do with people whose their lives were given to Him. Responding to God's call is an important decision that any genuine believer of God will have in their lifetime. I have responded to God's call to pioneer JIL BC 18 years ago with a handful of people and this time, He is not yet done to show what He could do further.

Yesterday, the celebration was about Him and His faithfulness throughout the past 18 years. However, He is not yet done but each and every year is another opportunity to see new things. This celebration was made special with the commitment of the JIL BC pastors, leaders, workers and congregations from JIL Vancouver 1&2, North Vancouver, Surrey Newton & Fleetwood, Burnaby, Richmond,Victoria, Nanaimo, Multicultural and Whistler.

They've worked hard to make this event successful and glorious. Congratulations to all of you once again for an excellent job!

Part of this year's celebration was the participation of Sis Edith Mendoza, the JIL Worldwide Music Ministry Chairman as the Anniversary Speaker together with the Musikatha Team namely, Paul, Marlon, Graham, Karmi, Dinah, Joan and Joey. The whole atmosphere during the celebration was filled with great excitement and anticipation for what will transpire. And sure enough, God honored our event with a manifestation of His presence during worship, the preaching of the Word and ministering time. What an awesome time it was to be in such a place!

The facility of Red Robinson Theater in Coquitlam, BC was transformed at the moment as place of worship and praise to the audience of One- The Lord Jesus Christ.

What can I say after 18 years? I'm ready and looking forward with excitement and renewed passion to do God's will with God's people in the JIL Church.

Again, congratulations to all JIL people! Be ready for another year of challenge with an overflow of God's mighty favor to all of us!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

School of Evangelism

One of the key aspect of being inspired in doing what we need to do is to find the right avenue to do so. In my life as a disciple of Jesus, attending conferences to enhance myself in ministering effectively is a great opportunity. That's why when the Billy Graham School of Evangelism came to Vancouver this month, my wife and I decided to attend the second time. Our first time was last year in Seattle. But this time I made sure to encourage other JIL Pastors and leaders to join us this time.

For three days from Nov 11-13, 2008, we were being fed and given the challenge to focus on the Great Commission of Jesus as witnesses of the Gospel message. There were many sessions and speakers that provided personal testimonies, challenges and timely words for the task of the Gospel.

Altogether, it was a fruitful three days and worth going to. I will attend again given the chance. I am excited especially for those who came along to attend. I believe that God re-energize in all of us a new passion and fire for the Gospel message.

Let's talk again!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Night to Remember!

Last night was the JIL British Columbia (BC) Night of Praise, Prayer and Thanksgiving for our 18th Anniversary celebration on November 16, 2008. From 7:30-11pm, we spent our time focused on God's promise, power and presence. JIL churches from Vancouver 1&2, North Vancouver, Surrey Newton and Fleetwood, Richmond, Multi-Cultural and Burnaby were there to complete the event.

But before we started the program last night, we have received the news of the passing away of one of our brethren and co-worker in the Lord from JIL Burnaby Church, Jasmine Javier. Jasmine was involved in a vehicular accident in Delta last night and succumbed to serious injuries that caused her death. In spite of this news, we have persevered to continue the program last night.

Jasmine is our VIA Head in JIL Burnaby Music Ministry and one of our best Worship Leaders. She will be sorely missed by all of us especially her radiant smile and countenance exuding a deep love for God and worship. Yet we will hold her dear in our heart even as she passed from this life to the next....with God in heaven. May she fills the heaven and drowns the choir of angels with her worship before God's throne.

The JIL Church family extends its deepest sympathies to the Javier family. We need to extend a special prayer for the Javier family especially Bro. Bobby and Sis. Bernadette being Jasmine's parents as they go through this difficult time.

I believe that this is where we come as their spiritual family to just be there for them... just allow our prayers to permeate their situation with God's peace and comfort, to cry with them and to mourn their loss. As Ecclesiastes aptly put it, "there is a time for everything."

Though we may have this situation hanging with us as we celebrate our anniversary, I believe that this will be a grand opportunity as well to declare God's faithfulness that no matter what we go through whether for us or against us, we will be determined to remain in His care and to let our faith resound even greater in times like these.

Lastly, let the whole world know that we have a strong anchor in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour for "He will never leave us nor forsake us."

God bless us all!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SEIZE THE MOMENT

The arrival of the global positioning satellite (GPS) technology was a welcome relief for many drivers that do not know how to read a map. No matter the variations and brands, it sure helped a great deal. I just recently obtained one for my own use. I have heard about it a long time ago but never had the time to get one until I was in Netherlands and saw it in action. I was fascinated with it and decided that when I came back to Canada, I would buy one just like that. Sure enough, it became a useful tool for me. Just imagine that up to a minimum of four satellites are focused on this little box to guide anyone that uses it.

How does it work? I have listed three things below that I believed this little box initially provided me with;

1. It showed new directions from what I was familiar with.

2. It showed my estimated time of arrival (ETA).

3. While driving, it reminds me of the direction that I need to follow in order to reach the direction I gave.

I believe there are more things beside what I gave but I will learn more as I get familiar with it. But the most fascinating of all was its ability to be a little box with great potential. There are many things that one could discover when explored thoroughly. It was such a great invention that made any driving easier, especially mine. Although, it was also designed to verbalize its commands that borders to being an annoying box yet when one is alone, it becomes a companion to avoid being sleepy at times. I’m afraid that the time of using maps is nearing to be a thing of the past, though most unlikely.

The dawning of the GPS technology has given me quite a lot of insights in daily living. The problem with many drivers like me is moving from what we know and trusting a small box to provide the direction we need. There were times that I felt it was not reliable and even thought of it being wrong altogether. Yet, I was proven wrong many times and gave me many lessons that I want to share with you.

Before he left, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit for daily living. In John 16:13, Jesus spoke on the Holy Spirit’s job description, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (NIV) From this, the Holy Spirit became like the GPS given to us by Jesus to guide and provide us of what we need to know according to God’s will. Moreover, he leads us closer to it. But our main problem is this: our inability to listen carefully to his instructions and most of the time we even dare to go against his will.

There were many times that he spoke of God’s will and counseled, “Seize the moment!” Unfortunately, we missed it and went our own way. But like the GPS, when we miss our supposed exit, it will recalculate to tell us the next. And when we ignore its instruction, the result will be delays. The same principle applies when we have the same attitude with the Holy Spirit. Though he will remind us that we missed the mark, he will not give up on reminding us until we follow his way.

Let me share some important insights for you to remember:

1. Believe immediately and never hesitate to follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Listen carefully to His voice.

2. Always react positively and not negatively when faced with an instruction that we are not familiar with.

3. Lastly, to attain success in great measure, yield wholeheartedly and not half-heartedly.

God opens many doors of opportunity at the most unexpected time and situations. Therefore, we must always be ready to seize the moment and grab the opportunity to do his will when given the chance. Just like the GPS technology, we are being watched and guided by the Holy Spirit who is able to see ahead of us to reach a successful destination.

Let’s talk again!!


Friday, October 31, 2008

JIL Virginia Ministry Update

We just came from visiting the East Coast of USA specifically Virginia yesterday. Pastor Monette and I flew from Seattle last Oct 22 via Chicago to Washington Dulles airport. It was a very early flight at 6 am arriving at 4pm the same day. There were two specific destination that we needed to visit during this trip: Roanoke and Virginia Beach. There were important tasks to do in these two locations and praise the Lord that they were successfully accomplished.

In this trip, we were joined by our resident pastor in JIL Arlington, Ptr Jess Maghacot; Pastor Arnel Aquino from San Diego and Ptra Bless Abalos from Miramesa, CA. From Arlington, we drove to these two locations: to Virginia Beach from Arlington after 3 and 1/2 hours. After few days, we were off to Roanoke for a 5 hour trip. Then, after few days, we were back to Arlington for a 3 and 1/2 hour trip. They were quite exhausting yet they were most beneficial to all of us filled with sharing stories to fill the time. In short, the driving trip was all worth it and there was laughter and fun shared. Will we do it again given the chance? Yes we will!!!

Over-all, this ministry trip opened many doors of opportunity for much learning and wisdom in dealing with key issues at hand. Although there were important activities to attend to, yet we did not miss to visit key places of attraction as well. I will share some pictures next time....

But no trip will be complete without doing ministry time. Last Wednesday being the the last night, I had the chance to share in a joint cell group of JIL Arlington "Seize the moment of God's opportunity." It was also a special time of fellowship and getting to know each other. Though it was our first time to meet the JIL Arlington congregation, the JIL connection was there. Altogether, we had fun especially sharing what God has in store for them after the sharing time and ministry.

Let me extend a big "Thank you" to our host Pastor Jess and his family with the JIL Arlington family for their hospitality, generosity and fellowship. Oh yeah, Pastor Arnel and I even had a a haircut there courtesy of Bro Jomeng....Thanks again!!!!

For the team that was with me, it was a great partnership....Until next trip....JIL Arlington, get ready and prepare, your time has come to do God's mighty purpose!

More to come!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Learning the ABC of Obedience

Obedience is a learned trait. For example, to train a dog the proper way of learning things and in the right way, an owner might choose to bring the dog to an obedience school. Children in their young age are trained to obey as part of their development and preparation. All our life, we have been trained just to become obedient in the right way, of course! Interestingly, Jesus learned obedience as well as the book of Hebrews declared in Hebrews 5:8, “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” (NIV) God himself testified about King David of Israel’s obedience this way as Stephen shared in Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' (NIV)

Let me share how obedience is best illustrated: Stonewall Jackson received a note from his commanding officer, General Robert E. Lee. The note read, "Please see me at your earliest convenience." Jackson immediately began the 5 mile hike across treacherous and dangerous countryside. Shortly after he started it began to rain. It rained for the rest of his journey. By the time he reached his commanding officer's tent, he was exhausted and soaked. Almost too tired to walk, he stumbled inside and blurted out "I made it" to those inside. The General snapped back, "What are you doing? I said, See me at your earliest convenience." Stonewall Jackson stood somewhat confused and exclaimed, "Sir, your slightest wish is my supreme command."

If there is an institution that best teach the principle of obedience, it will be the military. I know because when I was in Manila during my high school years, I was enrolled in Cadet Military Training. For four years, it provided me principles that I still have even up to this day. The most common expression was, “Obey first before you complain!” and “What you see, what you hear, when you leave, leave it here!” I do not know how some of you will react, but it gave me additional foundation in my character development and personal principles in life. Though the training was harsh but it was part of what it was made of. There are no regrets for me being part of that program and I was glad I chose it then.

There are two kinds of obedience that Jesus shared in Matt 21:28-32, "There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' "'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went."Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.” (NIV)

What a clear distinction Jesus made between two groups of people when it comes to obeying God’s will. It is it not about who you are but your response to His will. Clearly, it is the state of the heart that matters the most not just what comes out of the mouth. The judgment is not on what was said but the action done after the instruction was given. Though the words spoken are sincere, the response should always be from an obedient and willing heart. Or else, it will be just plain flattery and hypocrisy. Obedience is a choice and a decision on an individual basis. No one can make you obey unless you are willing to. Therefore, obedience is total submission to God’s will even if you do not fully understand its cause and effect in your life. God never forgets those who obey Him with all their heart, strength and mind.

Let’s talk again!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

JIL 30th Anniversary - Part 1

Wheww!!! What a great time it was to be part of a grand celebration of 30 years. Truly it was another experience of God's faithfulness. Seeing many faces expecting God's move was truly exhilirating. Most especially, this was the first time that majority of the JIL International Pastors have attended.

I am most excited seeing JIL Canada Pastors become part of such a huge celebration. Finally, they were there to see first-hand and to feel being up there on the stage overlooking the throngs of people who've attended the event. Wait until you hear their first-hand testimonies and experiences as I believe they will share to their respective congregations.

My whole two-weeks with my wife, Pastor Monette were jam-packed with ministry assignments (especially me!!!) but she had her share of ministry sked as well. Yet it was all worth it, especially when it involves ministry development.

During the next days, I will share bits and pieces of specific events to complete the whole story. For now, let me just say that this year's celebration was one of the best that I've experienced. I am praying that more JIL people from the International will come to attend and to experience what we had for themselves.

First and foremost, I thank God for His favor on the JIL Church and the JIL people as a whole. Congratulations to all JIL people worldwide for being faithful.

To Bishop Bro Eddie and Sis Dory Villanueva and their family together with the JIL family...our prayers for you will never fail. God bless!!!!

Until next time.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Right Direction

An individual without direction is like Alice in the fairy tale Alice in Wonderland. In a conversation between her and the Cheshire Cat, Alice asked, "Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the cat. "I don't much care where," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the cat.

Many have been trying to search diligently and seek patiently the right direction for their life. There is an intense desire to better life as days and years pass by yet the “how” still seems unknown to many. How does one know if you are traversing in the right direction? Is being married with this person the right choice? Is this course the right way? These are all valid questions that need valid answers.

There are those who trust their instincts in regards to making choices. Yet many is stuck and surrendered to whatever comes their way. Though, there is a bit discomfort at first but for lack of a better option, they’ve just decided to just give in. Both of these actions are extremes that need to be evaluated and applied on a case to case basis. Also, because of the many choices presented to us, conflict within us arises. Thus, we become unstable and double-minded especially true when we allow other people to give opinions, the choice becomes even more difficult. Remember that every situation we are in will contribute or confuse any right decision made.

Proverbs 3:5-6 provides a clear glimpse of what should we do especially if you will seek God’s help in this regard. It goes like this: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

You see, only God knows the future and He is the only one that could provide the necessary guidance towards it. Let’s look at the example in the life of Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, “The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (NIV)

Looking at this example, observe that God did not tell him where he will go but only mentioned that He will show the way towards it. Then the promises of blessing were added to emphasize God’s intentions. There was a specific direction from point A to point B yet no mention to what will happen along the way was missing. This is exactly where faith in God’s promises kicks in for those who will trust God’s way. He has a clear direction towards the way and guaranteed result when obeyed. Abraham’s response was critical to the fulfillment of God’s plan. He needed to have faith in God’s plan.

Unfortunately, this is where many are stumped at the idea of putting everything in God’s hands. They shudder at the thought of not knowing the specific details of any venture. This is due to the fact that we were taught not to do it this way. Furthermore, when we let go of something, we think that everything must go our way or no way. Besides, one might say, “Trusting other than my own instinct even God Himself is a red flag and a “no-no”.

Well, it is a choice that each one must make. We could continue to do what we think is and receive unsatisfactory results as a hit and miss style or God’s way already proven as tried, tested and true. With God, it is always a sure thing! We know that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham because even after more than 4,000 years, Abraham is still a very important figure to three major religions in the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. What more do you need to be assured that God knows what He is doing?

Let’s talk again!

Ministry Updates -JIL BC Events

The past two weeks for us was filled with major events: a special day for a senior couple, two JIL Churches' aniversaries and a baby dedication.

Last week, Tatay and Nanay Colocado celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in JIL Burnaby Church complete with all the trimmings from a wedding format to renew their vows with a fun-filled reception afterwards. This was the first time to have such a celebration and it was truly wonderful. Witnessing such longevity is a testament to God’s faithfulness of one of His greatest creation-marriage. God bless Tatay and Nanay for being an example to all of us through their marriage life.

The following day, we were off to JIL Victoria for their anniversary celebration. It was an excellent time to showcase what God has done in the past 9 years. Seeing the people who were there since the start and still serving faithfully provides great encouragement to all of us. I fully remember how we travel weekly to Victoria in those early pioneering years to provide guidance and leadership. Well, looking at them now, it was all worth it. Congratulations to JIL Victoria for reaching this far. Be ready for more!!!!

This past weekend, a child dedication was held last Saturday morning with one of the JIL Vancouver 1 Church member. One of the highlights was exhorting the parents and the sponsors of their responsibilities to provide direction and God’s principle for raising up a child. And being able to do such activity is a privilege to declare God’s glory.

During the afternoon, JIL Richmond celebrated their 10th anniversary. A decade of God’s faithfulness was declared to all who witnessed the celebration. The whole leadership was excited and brimming with joy as the celebration began. It was a simple celebration filled with exuberant atmosphere that showcased JIL Richmond’s desire to live God’s life. One of the highlight was the Kiddoz presentation of “Livin’ Inside Out.” Everyone was delighted to watch how these young kids shared through song and dance God’s principle of living a Christian life victoriously. High five to the JIL Kiddoz for an excellent job. Thumbs up to JIL Richmond leaders and workers for a job well done especially to Pastor Ben and Gina Pelayo for their untiring dedication and commitment to JIL Richmond’s growth. Congratulations, y’all!!!!

Finally, JIL Seattle had their quarterly Prayer and Healing Service yesterday and off we went with the whole family. I spoke on faith focusing on Moses’ encounter with God as His faith was built up through God’s manifestation of power. A special time of prayer was done to those who came to the front. The Lord honored the gathering and I believe that it was a great opportunity to plant God’s seed to the first-timers who came to attend the service. Thanks to the JIL Music Ministers from JIL Burnaby, Surrey Fleetwood, Newton and North Vancouver for their support. Pastor Raymund Dagampat and JIL Seattle leaders and workers have done an excellent job as well. Keep it up!!!!!

Now, we are preparing to pack for the upcoming trip to Manila for the 30th anniversary celebration of JIL Worldwide on Oct 5. Please pray for its success and God's protection as well.

Until next time……..

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ministry Updates-JIL Canada Area Pastors Meeting

This past week (Sep. 8-12, 2008) was another round of the quarterly meeting of the Area Supervising Pastors and Regional Coordinators of JIL Canada composed of Ptr Evelyn Licayo, Area 1 (Alberta); myself as the Area 2 (British Columbia) and Regional Supervising Pastor (JIL Canada); Ptr Bong Gonzales, Area 3 (Ontario) and 6 (Quebec); Ptr Mary Juarana, Area 4 (Manitoba) and 5 (Saskatchewan); Ptr Rose Gonzales (WIN Canada); and Ptr Monette Navo (JIL 12 Canada).

Altogether, it was a week of discussion towards fulfilling the JIL MVV and strategies for JIL Canada. We had time for everything that will create a wholesome meeting to avoid stress and pressures. I believe we have done that in this quarter.

God was pleased as all of us did our role to ensure that JIL Canada will be aligned to God's mandate.

God bless you Partners in God's vineyard....See you again in Manila for the 30th Anniversary celebration of JIL Church Worldwide!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

JIL Ministry Updates-JIL BC WORSHIP CAMP AND CONFERENCE 2008

If there is an event that will stir up a renewed passion to praise and worship God, this was the place to be! The three-day event last Aug 29-31, 2008 was held at the JIL BC Prayer House and Retreat Center with 24 participants from the JIL BC Churches Music Team Heads of the Worship Team (VIA) and Instrumentalist Team (JAM). The sessions were all pointing towards excellence in fulfilling each ministry as assigned to both teams not just on Sundays but each day of their life.

One of the major impacts of these two events was creating a clear picture of what a Music Minister looks like and it was received with enthusiasm. Now, I believe will begin to usher a new level of praise and worship for every VIA and JAM; Sound System and Graphics members of how a team must function together for God to come and inhabit the praises of His people having a united heart and mind for this goal…..

It is an unbelievable time together as God’s lingering presence came down to stamp His approval for entering His throne with a mighty praise…

Congratulations to all participants, leaders, workers and all who took part in this events. Be ready to experience a new way of praise and worship!!! Become excited……..Hallelujah!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mssion Trip -JIL Alberta

I would say the this trip would be one of the most memorable in terms of how Pastor Monette and I were concerned in ministry activities done. We spent two weeks ministering in two locations: JIL Edmonton and JIL Calgary hosted by Pastor Evelyn Licayo, the JIL Alberta Churches Supervisor with Pastor Amy Vilog as well. Of course we took this opportunity to insert some family bonding (and shopping!) but only after the ministry commitments were completely done.

Let me begin my update for the first week we were there: There were two nightly seminars (Thursday and Friday) done for JIL Edmonton Churches from JIL West 1, 2 and South Edmonton. There was a one day JIL 12 Summit for JIL Alberta Cell leaders attended by more or less 200 Cell leaders from Alberta Churches from 10am-7pm the next day (August 16). Pastor Monette and I shared the 3 lessons for the day. The encouragement to continue God's work in every churches were greatly emphasized. All were more than willing to do it for God's glory. The conquering spirit is alive and well!

The following day (Sunday) was JIL Alberta 21st Anniversary celebration with yours truly as their Guest Speaker with “Year of Conquest” as its chosen theme. The whole place was filled with joy and excitement to celebrate God’s faithfulness. God truly honored the celebration with His presence and favor all throughout. Praise the Lord!!! Congrats JIL Alberta for conquering!!!!!

Then, a one day Preachers Training Course was held in JIL West Edmonton Church facility from 10am-7pm accommodating more or less 60 attendees of JIL Alberta. It was such a fun time for all to learn and re-learn principles for effective preaching of God’s word. Also, Pastor Monette and I shared the 4 lessons for the day.

We were off to Calgary by Wednesday and conducted two nights seminar that day and Thursday focusing on the theme of “Partnership.” It was a two-part series of teaching that JIL Calgary Churches from the four congregations gathered to hear. Truly it was an opportunity to see the desires of the JIL people to grow in their partnership with God personally and corporately as a church. One of the many highlights was the prophetic gesture of unity to strengthen the leaders and congregation’s commitment to one another as they conquer different places with one vision and mission. Thanks very much to the JIL people for the fellowship you’ve shared in those two nights.

The next day we traveled back to Edmonton to prepare for the nuptial of Joal and Abigail. They’ve requested for me to do it and booked it last year. It was a very beautiful wedding of these precious brethren beginning from the entourage, ceremony, reception and up to the end. The whole atmosphere was charged with expectation for the next part. There were many surprising and unforgettable moments yet done with such elegance and care to the delight of everyone present. Congratulations again to both of you!!!!

Finally, the next day (Sunday) I was assigned to preach in West Edmonton 1 and 2 services respectively. I thank God for the strength and inspiration from God. It was such a wonderful time. Thanks JIL West Edmonton congregations for the time well spent. God bless you greatly!

But of course, my whole family is so grateful to the JIL people in Alberta for their hospitality, generosity and fellowship. My children commented that it was a special time for them not just they went to West Edmonton Mall specifically going to Galaxyland rides and swimming in the Waterpark inside the mall (Yes, there is a waterpark inside the mall!) but spending time with the other PK’s (Pastor’s kids). Thanks very much!!!!

It will be one of our ministry experience recorded as the most maximized yet fruitful two weeks. Everything was there. What could you say? But thanking the Lord for the great opportunity to serve Him this way. We left for Vancouver last Wednesday (August 27) preparing for the upcoming JIL BC Worship Camp from Friday to Monday. I will update you about this next time!!!! Thanks for reading!!!

Please visit: www.jilcanada.org under Alberta for pictures. Happy viewing!