SGBC Makati

I was invited recently to preach at the 3rd anniversary of the Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Makati. Though merely a few years in existence as a formally reconstituted Reformed Baptist Church, the work can trace its history back to a long 27 years.

It began as a church planting effort of Pas. Isidro “Boy” Dadula in Bgy Sta Cruz, Makati City, which he named the Sound of the Trumpet Ministry. For years, preachers from Pas. Boy’s church, a full-fledged Pentecostal church (the John 3:16 Fellowship of Las Pinas) would come every Sunday to lead the singing and dancing activities.

Later on, the group would change its name to Jesus the Messiah Fellowship. This was the time when Bro. Tony Reyes, its present pastor, would come into contact with the group. Bro Tony, who had a stable job at Nestle Philippines, and who himself was a regular attender at another Pentecostal ministry, the JIL Fellowship in Araullo, Manila would ultimately decide to cast his lot with the Makati group.

Meanwhile, in God’s good providence, Pas Boy was brought into contact with MCBC through its regular theological modules. His attendance in these compressed two-week courses would be the spur towards reformation. Radical changes began at the home church in Las Pinas before ultimately finding its way to the daughter outreach in Makati.

It would not be long when Pas. Boy would become a full-time student in our pastoral-training institute and Bro. Tony would follow suit, the latter resigning from his job at the brink of being promoted from a casual to a regular employee.

By this time, reformation was full-blown. Those who loved the singing, dancing and jumping more than the truth of God’s word made a beeline for the exit. The attendance in both groups, Las Pinas and Makati, dwindled to all-time lows. Yet those who remained stood for the truth of God’s word and He preserved them in it.

The rest is history. The Makati group decided that they had to start afresh. Now, it was Biblical practice and not emotion-led entertainment that was the rule. Thus in 2011 they covenanted as a true Biblical church with about 20 covenanting members. Since then, three more have been added to a Biblically-defined membership.

The group occupies no permanent meeting place. They have moved like bedouins from one place to another for a total of 15 different locations. From their beginnings in Makati they moved to Sta Ana, then as far as Paliparan, Dasmarinas, Cavite (where people coming from Fairview, QC would still attend!), then back to Pembo in Makati, EDSA in Pasay City, and now again in Cembo, Makati.

For those who want to drop by, the exact address is: Block 98, Lot 11, Juan Luna St., Bgy. Rizal, Makati City (just a few blocks away from the Taguig-Pateros boundary). But be wary of speeding tricycles, narrow streets often littered with parked vehicles, and not the least, parking without permission in front of someone else’s house!

They are just three weeks in their new place but they have already outgrown the area. They have to look for a more spacious home.

Their prayer requests: conversions among the regular attenders, faithfulness among the present members, and opportunities for evangelism in the highly populated area where the Lord has presently situated them.

May the Lord bless the persevering labors of our brethren in Makati!

Pas Tony Leads the Service. Very low ceiling clearance for taller guys like me..

Pas Tony Leads the Service. Very low ceiling clearance for taller guys like me..

Facade of Rented Meeting Place

Facade of Rented Meeting Place

The overflow crowd stay in the garage.

The overflow crowd stay in the garage.

Schedule of Services

Schedule of Services

Juan Luna St-normally filled with people but empty this Sunday morning.

Juan Luna St-normally filled with people but empty this Sunday morning.

No more space for new attenders. Need to move.

No more space for new attenders. Need to move.

Just Last Week

Praise God for answered prayer with respect to these events of the past week!

17 Attenders at Youth Meeting Fri Nov 28 PM. Pas Mike teaches on "True Freedom"

17 Attenders at Youth Meeting on 11/28/14. Pas Mike taught on “True Freedom.” They were each given a 2015 Devotional Diary.

44 Attenders at Davao City Pastors Conference

44 Attenders at Davao City Day-Long Pastors Conference (11/28/14)

Pas Steve preached on "The Gospel and Its Fruits"

Pas Steve preached on “The Gospel and Its Fruits.”

57 Attenders at Ladies Retreat (11/29/14) on "Self-Control."

57 Attenders at Ladies Retreat (11/29/14) on “Self-Control.”

Self-Control

Thanks be to God for the turnout at the women’s retreat last Saturday. Fifty seven ladies came to attend the whole day activity consisting of two messages, a workshop and a time of prayer, not to mention fellowship time over meals.

I did two sessions on the topic of self-control. This was actually a topic that they had suggested I preach on.

In the morning session, I gave three Biblical principles concerning self-control. First, that it does not come naturally. Our sinful natures are prone to excess and intemperance, sometimes even in what otherwise would be healthy activities. 

Second, that it is a grace and a duty at the same time. Those who have the Holy Spirit in them will manifest the fruit of self-control. But the Spirit uses means and it is our duty to exercise and cultivate self-control in every department of our lives. God works in us as we work out our salvation.

Third, that self-control is a mark of Christian maturity. It is a requirement of church leadership but it also ought to be seen in everyone as well, as a virtue to strive for.

After the morning message, we broke into five big groups and I asked the ladies to identify five areas where they thought women were lacking in self-control. I was amazed that every group had identified the tongue as their first and foremost weakness.

In my afternoon message which was supposed to identify six areas where I thought women were weak in self-control, I only had the tongue as number two. I had emotions as number one–I thought that that was where women had a problem. I was wrong; fifty women could not be wrong! They had tongue first and emotions second.

At least I got both even if the other way around. A few quipped later and told my wife that the reason I put emotions first and tongue only second is that the pastor’s wife is not madaldal. But truth is my wife is neither talkative nor emotional!

My list included money (like impulsive, unplanned purchases), time (from malling to sleeping), beauty (excessive spending and attention to physical appearance) and food (unhealthy and excessive eating)–all of which were in their lists. Plus, they had others like abuse of friendships, thinking too highly of self, undisciplined thoughts, and worry.

After identifying these weaknesses, we studied a lot of Bible verses that addressed these areas and spent a time of group prayer asking the Lord to help each one address these sins and to grow in the grace of self-control.

The women testified that they were helped but they were not the only ones who profited. The whole activity was beneficial to me as well, not just in being more informed about women but also by becoming more aware of my own deficiencies.

May the Lord cause all of us to grow in the grace of self-control!

Group 1

Group 1

Group 2

Group 2

Group 5

Group 5

Group 3

Group 3

Group 4

Group 4

Whole Group

Whole Group

Lunch Fellowship

Lunch Fellowship

Snack Fellowship

Snack Fellowship

Ladies All

Ladies All

Ladies Plus Us

Ladies Plus Us

Youngest Lady Attender

Youngest Lady Attender

Sprechen Deutsche

I congratulated him in the German vernacular when his team won the recent World Cup in soccer; in turn he greeted me in the same language on my birthday. In fact, he gifted me with a nice jacket from Germany’s national carrier Lufthansa, not the one worn by aircraft mechanics, he claims, but the one worn by the managers. He thinks I look more like a manager than a mechanic. Laugh out loud! 

This was actually the second Lufthansa jacket I received from him. The first one, a rain jacket, he gave me a few years ago. Maybe that’s the one worn by the mechanics. I got promoted!

Deacon Dick has stayed put in one office for the past 25 years–the German embassy in Makati. Talk about loyalty! Even if he may not qualify to write for Der Spiegel, his long association with people from the Deutschland has made him pick up enough Vokabel to make a small German dictionary.

But it’s not only Germany that’s his business. He has been a faithful deacon for many long years at MCBC. There was a time when his forte was church fellowships; now he is in charge of benevolence concerns.

His family just moved from Paranaque to a high-rise condo in Manila for practical reasons. The children are studying in universities situated nearby the place and wife Melba is both teaching and studying in an adjacent school.

They rent a unit on the 26th floor. Didn’t they lose their exercise space in a nice, quiet park nearby their former dwelling? Not really, the family has engaged in a newly created sport called stair-climbing. It doesn’t only work during brownouts but going up and down the 9th to 29th floors using the staircase has become a regular fitness routine since they moved to this smog-filled city.

I am encouraged at this family especially in the way that both Dick and Mel have labored to rear their children in the things of Christ. God has blessed their labors by saving three of their children, with the fourth and last also professing the name of Christ. Hopefully, the last would be interviewed soon and the family would be the envy of all–complete in Christ!

Eldest Bridget is graduating from music education next year while Ingrid is taking up fashion design and at her spare time experimenting with cooking at home. Gerda is in college taking up secondary education while youngest Martin is in Grade 7 and a former class president.

With everyone professing Christ in their home, the parents are now looking beyond the borders of their immediate family. They are presently inviting their relatives over to their new place and Dick is engaging them in “dinner-evangelism” (or, more accurately “dinner (first) then evangelism”). I have heard that instead of being offended, their loved ones actually appreciated the activity and looked forward to returning! May the Lord bless these efforts in reaching out to loved ones!

Let’s be in prayer for this family: First, that the teenage children would remain pure and faithful to their profession of Christ. And then, second, that the parents would overcome particular challenges that they face at the moment, not with respect to relationship, but with respect to more mundane concerns. May the Lord provide for all of their needs!

After-dinner Coffee

After-dinner Coffee

One Big Happy Family

One Big Happy Family

Couples this time..

Couples this time..

Throwback II

Church History Course Nov 4 to 14

Church History Course Nov 4 to 14

Wacky!

Wacky!

Time to be Serious!

Time to be Serious!

SGBC Cebu Singles Visit MCBC

SGBC Cebu Singles Visit MCBC (11/02/14)

GCBC Iligan Singles join us as well

GCBC Iligan Singles join us as well

Dinner Fellowship Time

Dinner Fellowship Time

Iliganons Prefer the Outdoors

Iliganons Prefer the Outdoors

Cebuanos Prefer the Indoors

Cebuanos Prefer the Indoors

Now merging over food

Now merging over ice cream

Superbutman

You could see in her Instagram account that she loves to eat out. This may not be a daily habit, but when it happens, it becomes a sweet time of bonding with family and friends. Her fave is pizza-although she served pansit and pichi pichi when I visited her family’s hideaway just about 200 meters from where I live. At least, they all start with p.

Her favorite color is yellow although her office uniform is a striking navy blue and previous to that was fiery red. The only yellow on the logo of their company is the sun and stars on the Philippine flag emblazoned on their aircrafts’ tails.

Nevertheless, Ruth, is a picture of contentment. She has been working with the nation’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, for the past three years and she’s satisfied. Her pay will not make her rich, but that’s not important. To her, meeting people from all walks of life everyday (or should I say every night) is enriching in itself.

Her domain is the pre-departure desk that prepares passengers to board their aircraft on cue. There was a time when her shift prevented her from attending morning worship at MCBC but now things have normalized. Her shift, which begins at 9:00 pm and ends at 5:30 am handles mostly regional flights that depart late at night and the first domestic flights in the wee hours of the morning.

Ruth, alias Superbutman, was saved through the preaching ministry of MCBC in her college days. She has been a member of MCBC since 2007. She is the third in a brood of five. Her father was my jogging partner for many years. But what delights me the most about their family is how the Lord has been working to save each member one by one.

First it was the mother, then the father, then the second, then Ruth, then the first, and lately their youngest, Alyssa, became our newest member. There’s only one left and I pray he gets saved too. There may be nothing we can bring with us to heaven of our earthly possessions but to have our family intact in glory is joy unspeakable!

Pray for Ruth. Though the prospect of meeting people, a few of them famous (and having your selfies taken with them), makes her look forward to each night, she confesses that there are struggles too that test her faith and patience. Uncooperative workmates, complaining passengers and of course unbelieving suitors are part of the job and need spiritual fortitude to face.

As to church, Ruth is a quiet, friendly and unassuming member who loves kids and yet can get along well with fellow singles and older adults. She has a hospitable heart. My prayer for her is that the Lord would keep and preserve her from the many things that could distract her and cause her to turn away from Jesus. I pray too that if the Lord is pleased to provide a partner for her, that he would not come from alien territory but from the household of faith.

Fly high Ruth!

xx

I visited Ruth’s family in their new place.

Ruth wearing her new PAL uniform

With Pet Pussycat

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Can’t take you with me to work

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Off to work for the evening flights

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Posing Muna Tayo

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Brother Chebs and Mommy Alice

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Deo Gifts Me With a Steak Grilla

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Kasyang Kasya Kami sa Place Nila

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Ok a solo pix for you too.

 

 

Throwback

Deacon Mario Leads Senior Moments 10/25/14

Deacon Mario Leads Senior Moments 10/25/14

Good to see Dick and Lita attend and Lola Istang return

Good to see Dick and Lita attend and Lola Istang return

Alice is the games master.

Gamesmaster Alice tests the seniors for steady hands.

Kaya naman pala e.

“Who said I can’t do this?”

Oh no! Down again!

“Ooops! Why do these cups keep on falling?”

Posing with the October celebrators

Posing with the October celebrators

Kain!

“Let’s have some lunch!”

This time it's bday fellowship for me 10-29-14

This time it’s bday fellowship for me 10-29-14

Nice Ambiance

Nice Ambiance

Thanks for the Wednesday night fellowship

Thanks for the Wednesday night fellowship

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Alice leads a trivia quiz about me.

Alice leads a trivia quiz about me.

Clyde was the preacher of the night

Clyde was the preacher of the night

France was overall winner at 42 seconds!

France was overall winner at 42 seconds!

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Nursing cough and colds on my birthday