Sunday, April 26, 2009

Missed Opportunities

The story is told by Peter Kreeft of an immigrant family on a ship from Europe to America. They were poor, so poor that they had to spend almost all of their money on the ticket. What they had left over for food was only enough to buy bread and cheese. All they ate were cheese sandwiches. The young boy, Hans, said to his father, "Dad, please, give me some money for an ice cream cone. I hate cheese sandwiches!" His father said, "Son, we are poor. Cheese sandwiches will keep you alive until we reach New York; the streets are made of gold, and we will eat whatever we want." Not satisfied, Hans continued to beg for money so his father gave him some change for an ice cream cone. The boy disappeared and didn't come back for two hours. When he did come back he sported a big fat tummy and a huge smile on his face. "Hans, did you get your ice cream cone?" "You bet, Dad. And then another one, then a steak, and then apple pie." "What? You bought all that with the money I gave you" "Oh no, Dad. It is free! It comes with the ticket!"

If we analyze this true story, we can reach various conclusions. Obviously, this immigrant family did not realize that the food comes with the ticket. Perhaps they were misinformed or they had trouble speaking the language. Were they quiet and shy, not wishing to mix with the other passengers? Whatever the case, they missed out on some great food.

Somebody said, "Four things come not back, — the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity." Many have missed obvious opportunities because they were simply not aware that it was what they were waiting for. Looking far ahead when it is clearly staring us in the face is a common occurrence among many people. But the majority just give up altogether and surrendered to "que sera, sera" mentality. They would argue that it is useless and wishful thinking. That's why, many have been overtaken by others' keen aggressiveness and unyielding determination to pursue opportunities and open doors.

The book of Revelation shares an important insight, "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." (Revelation 3:7, NIV) This verse provides us a timely reminder of how we should view the events and opportunities that come our way. When we begin to think about it, it is either we force our way into every opportunity with a "hit and miss" experience or look at every situation whether positive or negative as an opportunity and see results. However, if we will allow and trust in God's ability to open the opportunities for us, I believe we will go through life without any struggles whatsoever. But bear in mind that I am not endorsing a laid back mindset like the story of Juan Tamad and the guava fruit. While he was able to reach easily and pluck the fruit but because he was lazy, he decided to just wait patiently for the fruit to fall right into his waiting open mouth.

You might find this a funny story but believe it or not, there are many that have adopted this kind of attitude. They patiently wait for an opportunity to come at their door when in fact; every aspect of life has one already waiting for us to grab it. The ability to distinguish what is a right opportunity from a wrong one is clearly marked. Yet many have opted to go the wrong way due to narrow-mindedness and utter desperation. Remember that a gloomy perspective dulls the ability to see great opportunities. Therefore, aim to change the way you see things that nothing is impossible to those who believe in God because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). And this is optimism at the highest level. What are you waiting for? Never look at you circumstance but look towards God instead.

Let's talk again!

Worship Service as Angels See it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


After the ministry trip from Europe, it's time to get back to ministry work in British Columbia, Canada. The recent Encounter Retreat 2 weeks ago was a huge success with more or less 65 delegates from JIL BC Churches. Right after was the Area Pastor's Meeting of JIL Canada in Mission, BC for a week. There were many new things discussed and reviewed past discussions as well. The JIL BC Prayer Gathering was held last Friday. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend due to the Pastors' Meeting. Just last Saturday, a water baptism was held with 45 candidates that publicly declared their commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives. Most of them were Encounter attendees.

Altogether, it was an immensely exciting time to see these things happening with the JIL people and churches. The ministry continues to grow as we fulfill the tasks we have received. One key component of doing ministry is the accompanying joy in seeing God's favor and blessing manifesting as we faithfully do His work.

This year, we have just begun to see great and mighty things that will overflow in all aspects of our lives. Let's continue to believe this year as an overflowing year of God's blessings!

God bless us all!!!