Train of Thanks 12-13

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

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I am making a back-to-back version of my Monday thanksgivings because of, *umm, confession* complacency. But let me redeem myself with some of the awesome things that happened to me for the past two weeks. For God is good and greatly to be praised!

  1. I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to attend the National Leaders Strategic Conference and Retreat (NLSCR) of Foursquare Philippines for the second time, recently held at Davao City Foursquare Gospel Church. Hearing from the national leadership and working with the district leaders to plan and envision the future of the denomination to be a missional movement for the cause of Christ is an overwhelming experience. I thank God for letting me witness how driven the pastors are in accomplishing the Great Commission.
  2. I was able to meet the Christian Education directors and representatives of the 27 districts of Foursquare churches in the Philippines. Incidentally I also represented my district for the National Foursquare Youth Presidents meeting. Issues were discussed, questions were raised and not a few pictures and groupies were taken. In the end, plans we’re ruled out and some matters were settled. Working with the Christian Educators and Youth Leaders from different regions is a both encouraging and refreshing.IMG_1141
  3. Would you believe that this is the first time I boarded a plane? Now I am scrapping it off my bucket list. 🙂
  4. Barry Buzza, former national leader of the Foursquare Church in Canada served as the NLSCR plenary speaker with his lessons on serendipities on the life of David. I really appreciate the extent of his preparation, carefully examining the life of David and drawing out 70 conclusions that relates to the pastorate. I thank the Lord for His revelations through Dr. Buzza’s series of preaching.
  5. I was dared and I survived durian shake! Haha! Also, the MMND delegates for NLSCR, of which I am a part of, had the chance to bond as we roam around Davao and munched on the sumptuous meals (a lot of eat-all-you-can places, mind you! I was able to fill myself with 3 different sessions of buffet breakfast and lunch. One of the best part of the (food) trip was the grilled tuna and kilawin! Awesome!
  6. My guest blogging invitation did materialize! I thank God for the wisdom that I was able to share my biblical insights on how to move on from your past mistakes and how to keep on moving forward. I thank Ms. Charmaine of Organized Lunacy for hosting my blog post. Visit my guest blog here: (link)
  7. When I came back to Manila, I catched up with some of my best buddies and we ended up in Bieter Sizzling Place at B.G. Molina St. Parang, Marikina City. The place is oozing with colors and fun illustrations, which complements the friendliness of the staff and the creativity of their menu. It’s as if I am warped inside a video game. We’ve decided to visit the place again some other time.
  8. I thank the Lord that my online purchase, a stretchable belt bag for my biking sessions, reached me this time. Unlike my previous purchase, I don’t know where in the world it landed. I was also able to buy an arm sleeves and gloves, which I first used for my Mt. Talamitam escapade!
  9. I feel overwhelmed and encouraged every time I sit in the Sunday school class of the teenagers. I feel like I am going back in time when I was just like them, listening to the testimonies of my classmates and sharing my own. I see the future in the young generation today. Thus my conclusion, whatever way we shape the youth of today will be the kind of mold the future will have. Kudos to all the educators who willingly share their lives to the young generation.
  10. We were able to conquer the summit of Mt. Talamitam! I don’t want to spoil the moment because this has to go on a separate post. But praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation!

There you have it, my two-week thanksgiving roundup. What are the things that you are thankful for the last week?

Train of Thanks 10

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

To those who made a commitment to their New Year’s resolutions, this first week is usually filled with strongest drive to push through certain goals. Be it a fitness goal, financial goal or notching one’s bucket list, don’t give up! This week’s a jumpstart!

  1. One of my goals for this year is to read a lot of books, and I don’t want to limit myself with self-help, practical Christian living books and books about faith and theology, but I will relive the joy of reading locally published selections. I am glad to have read (and re-read) Bob Ong books since Christmas and just this week I have finished Lumayo ka nga sa Akin and ABNKKBSNPLAKo?!, 12th anniversary edition. It has amused me, as always – Bob Ong’s wit and way of writing. But more than just giving me a good laugh, he made me think hard of his life choices. He chose to go against the flow, against the norms of writing conventions. Of course, he got flak at first, but his counter-culture desire to voice himself indeed made a difference. I feel thankful for his testimony, that in order to make a difference, you sometimes need to be different.image
  2. I was invited to write a guest post! Unfortunately, I haven’t started yet and I am still praying about what I’m going to write about.
  3. I bought a new bike saddle to help myself from long, painful rides.
  4. My new saddle’s first duty was when our expanding team of bikers went as far as Morong, Rizal to eat Again, I am no food blogger but I do love to eat. Budbod House’s specialty, offers interesting menu (which I failed to even take note or take a picture of) only budbod tapsilog, and the one I ordered – Budbod Rice Special a yang chow of sort with lechon kawali, salted egg and a few slices of fresh tomato.

     

  5. My Christian Worker’s license under Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Philippines is again officially renewed. Held at Max’s Restaurant, QC Circle, I joined almost 150 pastors and church workers to renew commitment to the ministry of Christ through the church. While the program is nowhere near perfection – there were couple of bloopers and miscoordination, but what matters is how we value what was given us, what’s the ultimate reason behind the program. To those who attended, it is about the cause of Christ of bringing the good news of the gospel to every home in every community.

 What are the things you are thankful for this week?

Satellite PM: Growing Larger and Smaller at the Same Time

Jesus didn’t say to “wait and make disciples”, He commanded us to “go”.

The church mentioned in the Bible does not refer to the structure, the building, nor the organizational system of the pious. The church in the Bible most accurately refers to every individual who has received the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives. If you have a personal relationship with the only Savior Jesus Christ, then you are the church. We, as Christ believers, are the church.

Seeking obedience to the commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples”, the church’s thrust is to get out of its comfort zone and move to where the “lost sheep” are. Jesus didn’t say to “wait and make disciples”, He commanded us to “go”.

But in our context, we understand that the church also refers to the people who gather to worship the Lord and fellowship with one another and ultimately being guided by the Bible. In the heart of every healthy church is the desire to be a living organism, not just a growing organization. Seeking obedience to the commission of Jesus to “go and make disciples”, the church’s thrust is to get out of its comfort zone and move to where the “lost sheep” are. Jesus didn’t say to “wait and make disciples”, He commanded us to “go”. And it is a stern instruction!


Last Wednesday, instead of our usual Breakthrough Service/Prayer Meeting held in the church sanctuary, the leadership has brought the program to seven different locations. The church is bringing the Prayer Meeting right at the doorstep of the members, and it is actually an exhilarating idea!

To be honest, I was a bit doubtful at first whether it will get support from my churchmates. When people are used to spending their Wednesday nights in a familiar territory like the church sanctuary, it will not be easy to break the habit. But it takes a step of faith before you can spiritually move forward.

And glory to God, I can say that the church have overcome!

Our church, Marikina Foursquare Gospel Church, is again an expectant mother with potential seven daughter churches (or additional Bible studies) within and outside Marikina. If it is the Lord’s will, we are about to witness a plentiful harvest of souls as we extend our reach towards our neighbouring communities. It is always encouraging to see the church growing larger and smaller at the same time. Larger because there is a healthy increase in attendance, and smaller because people are joining care groups and Bible studies. Just like the early church, leaders are being sent to where the people are and proclaim the good news of the gospel wherever they were sent. This is a church in action!

Here are some pictures from our pilot Satellite Prayer Meeting:

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Slowly, all by God’s grace, we claim the realization of our vision statement:

Marikina Foursquare Gospel Church is a group of Spirit-filled believers whose lives are driven by God’s purpose, rooted in His Word, grounded in His love, equipped for service with the goal of winning and discipling families and communities for Christ.

And with this, the challenge is to #PrayPaMore! #TrustPaMore!

 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

* Photo credits to Kuya Benj, Bro. Jun M., Ate Ruth P., Kuya Rey T., Sis. Elena B., Sis. Mimi dL., Teacher Jet G. *