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


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 is really cold..brrrrr!!!

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

Thursday, December 11, 2008


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....