The flight has been booked and I will be back in Ho Chi Minh in the first half of July. This will not be a personal vacation but a mission trip. I was invited to be a camp speaker at an over night summer youth camp organized by co-laborers in that country and I’ll be traveling with other team members to help with teaching youth, English training and providing drama and theater arts workshops to young people there. I’m preparing myself and the whole team of short term missionaries for things like sleeping on a day bed mattress in the camp and not on the comfort of an air-conditioned hotel room. There is also the possibility of getting the camp program disrupted since gospel sharing is not allowed in Vietnam but we are praying for God’s protection and provision for this trip. I need to raise at least $600 for this missions trip which is set to begin this week.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Yesterday, we celebrated the 9th anniversary of our church in Makati. We held our first ever church service there on May 25, 2003 after signing a 5-year contract and having the whole third floor tiled. Our celebration yesterday was very special because it was our last anniversary celebration at the Kalayaan Talipapa building (there is a wet market on the basement flooring). We will not be renewing our contract anymore but will be transferring to two small rooms on the second floor so we can continue our feeding ministry in the area.
With this transition, we won’t have a place to meet as a church during the week but for Sunday afternoons, we will be renting a function room at a hotel along Kalayaan Avenue near the Bel-Air area. We’re praying that as we move to this new location for our church services that we do not lose so much attendees and that we would be able to reach new people and families in the new area.
Posted by Jeff at 12:01 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Part of growing in Christ is seeing changes in one’s life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that when a person turns to Christ in repentance and faith he becomes a new creation. The Holy Spirit indwells that person and provides him or her the power to change.
Before turning to Christ, a person is enslaved by sin. But at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates that person’s spirit and is made alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes the changes for the better possible.
Posted by Jeff at 12:34 PM
Monday, May 21, 2012
Today, Brigada Eskwela 2012 kicked off at Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School and I had the honor to represent our organization, Breaking Point Foundation Philippines, as the school’s partner NGO. This week, we will be conducting seminars for incoming students who’ve had issues with their grades and behavior the previous year. We will be tackling the subject of obedience to authority to help them be reminded of how rules set by authorities protect them and provide benefits for them.
Another topic to be discussed is responsible relationships which we hope will guide them in making the right choices regarding romantic relationships. This topic hopes to prevent living a promiscuous lifestyle which often leads to prevent pre-marital sex, early pregnancies, early marriages, paternity testing and even suicide.
Aside from the Brigada Eskwela 2012, the roll out of the K to 12 Basic Education Program was also started for incoming and repeating freshmen in public high schools nationwide. They will now be entering a new curriculum and will go through Grade 7 to 10 (junior high school) and by 2016, start their two additional years in senior high school. It really is an honor and privilege to serve Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School in the way that we are doing now. We thank all the supporters of Breaking Point Foundation Philippines and our partner organization, Manna Worldwide through Sumulong Baptist Church.
Posted by Jeff at 9:45 PM
Saturday, May 12, 2012
After playing basketball last Wednesday I started feeling pain in my lower back. That was the second time in my active lifestyle that I felt that pain, the first was during the time I returned to playing football, around four years ago.
The lower back pain which I was feeling did not stop right away and even bugged me in my sleep and made me consider getting a memory foam mattress so my that I could sleep better. I went to the doctor the next day and found out that it was just lumbar strain caused by my tight ham string. I began to search for stretching exercises and found one and I immediately felt relief after doing the exercises. The pain in the lower back is not completely gone but it is improving everyday.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Hearing so much about The Avengers, even though I haven't had the chance to see it, has made me curious about the other movies made about some of the characters. The first movie I watched before the Avengers came out was Iron Man. After that and after the Avengers movie came out, I determined to see Captain America.
With the Incredible Hulk and Thor movie files just waiting in my laptop to be seen, my son and I decided to watch them. Too bad we were not able to finish Thor last night due to technical difficulties with my gadget and the tv mount stand and also because it was too late. We’re both hoping that we’d get to finally watch the different Avenger movies soon.
This Friday is my son’s 7th birthday and the day after is the celebration. I’ve been asking him what gift he wants for his birthday and am not at all surprised to hear that the toys he wants are those that are fit for a boy his age and not a Barbie or a hello kitty themed toy. He wants a red bike and a light saber. That would mean that I will need to start teaching him to balance on a bicycle pretty soon. I am excited to start the cycling lessons with him.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
There Is A Right Way to Handle the Bible: My Two Cents on the FB 'Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao" Let's Defend Every Word in the Bible'
I recently saw a link that was shared in Facebook, an "Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao: Let's defend every word in the Bible!" Being a pastor and a man who studies and teaches the Bible, I became curious about it and started reading. When I first saw the title I thought it was something that is for the Bible but as I read it, I found out it wasn't. It was a sarcastic reply to whatever Miriam Quiambao said or posted online about something.
As I further investigated, this note or article entitled "Open Letter to Miriam Quiambao: Let's defend every word in the Bible!" is a personal response to Miriam Quiambao's statements in Boy Abunda's Saturday night show, Bottomline where she, based on the reaction of many netizens, made statements about religion and homosexuality which offended people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. I did not see the show but I learned about it through an online article in Manila Bulletin. After that show, there were many who reacted in Twitter and this FB open letter is one of the reactions to that Saturday night episode.
As I read the article on FB, I started to see that it was a sarcastic response to Miriam Quiambao's stance on the Bible about homosexuality. And as a student of the Bible, which I believe to be the Word of God, written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is therefore true and the source of absolute truth, I can't help but share my thoughts on the open letter. First, I understand that the person who wrote the open letter to Miriam Q. was a man who reads the Bible as well. His knowledge of bible references was obvious. But his conclusions and interpretations were wrong.
2 Timothy 2:15-17 says "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene." There is a right, correct and accurate way to handle the word of God. A person cannot just go on reading the Bible and give a quick interpretation of its content. The friend of the person who wrote the open letter said it right, those "words should not be taken out of context."
The right way to interpret the Bible starts from observation - looking at the context, who the author is, who the original intended recipients of the book are and understanding the culture that they live in. Even the type or genre of the book has to be considered because different books of the Bible were written in different literary genres such as poetry, prophecy, letters/epistles and historical narrative (many books of the Old Testament were written in this genre) where identifying the author, original recipient, the purpose of writing and the culture of their recipients are very important to observe before making any interpretation. You do not approach the different literary genres in the same way - you do it differently. Without considering these things any person can make erroneous interpretations and derive wrong principles from the Bible which can easily be discerned by a sincere student of God's Word and eventually filter and throw it out in a tumbler compost.
The next important thing is to have the right attitude and heart toward the Word of God. Meaning, if a person believes that the Bible does not just contain the Word of God but IS the Word of God then that person must believe that the Bible is truth and is without error, that it does not contradict itself. So any contradictions one thinks is found has a right explanation that is consistent with the character of God and His attributes.
Either you believe the Bible to be this way, because that's what it claims to be, or totally scrap the Bible and say that it is wrong because its claims do not hold any middle ground where you just select what is convenient for you to follow, like most people do. It is either absolutely true or absolutely false.
So, for those who say that they believe in the Bible yet they cheer for this open letter to Ms. Miriam Quiambao, take a step back and think - because whether we believe it or not, the Bible is absolute truth and there is a right way to extract the universal principles from it and perhaps, if you are sincere about discovering God through His complete and final revelation, the Bible, read it for yourself and learn how to handle it correctly. As you do this, you will discover not just knowledge but true wisdom which comes through the Person whom the Bible is revealing - Jesus Christ.
Posted by Jeff at 11:54 AM