Two Conferences

I was treated to two pastors conferences these past two weeks which brought refreshment to my own soul with respect to things most especially related to the ministry. The first one was the conference sponsored by the Higher Rock Christian Church which was held at the UP Theatre in Diliman, Quezon City. The place was so cozy with nice, cool air-conditioning and soft, comfortable seats that if not for the fact that the preacher was engaging it would have been easy to drift into dreamland. I have been there before to watch rock concerts when I was still an unbeliever; thank God that I am now listening to preaching.

The guest speaker was Dr. Steve Lawson of One Passion Ministries (and also of John Macarthur’s Master’s Academy and RC Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries) and the theme was on preaching with precision and power. Although I have listened to many a conference sermon of Mr. Lawson on Ligonier, this is the first time I have listened to him live and also the first time to hear this topic.

Dr. Lawson is an exceptionally gifted preacher. His messages were well-organized and clear. He uses pithy statements that are catchy. His illustrations were lively and at times humorous. His style was one that would prolong the attention span of one who easily loses focus like me.

The conference too was professionally organized, hats off to the organizing team of HRCC.

An added bonus was that a few Reformed Baptist pastors were treated to a luncheon where they could come up close and personal with Dr. Lawson. I appreciate the fact that among 800 or more who attended the conference we were a few of the 50 who were invited to a hefty lunch that Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the other conference was held at the Quezon City Evangelical Church, an old Chinese congregation established in the 60s. The speaker was Dr. David Van Drunen of Westminster West in Escondido, California whose office, he says, is just a wall apart from the dean of the Reformed Baptist Studies in the same school, Dr. Jim Renihan.

Dr. David Van Drunen is the Robert B. Strimple professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster. He has authored a few books as well.

The topic was on the Solas of the Reformation in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the 16th century Reformation. There were about 200 attenders mostly of the paedobaptist kind. It was open to women.

Although we were not able to attend the second day of the conference, the messages that we heard were enough to prod us to do a series on the Solas of the Reformation probably in October, Lord willing. This will be our own church’s recognition of the 500 years of the Reformation and the rich spiritual heritage that it has endowed on the present-day Christian church, such as ours.

Too Dark to Take Good Photos; All seats taken at UP Theatre.

We got a nice notes manual, free pen and a free CD!

A Chosen Few Were Treated to a Hefty Lunch

Who would not be happy at a buffet in a pastors conference?

 

With Bro Arnel of CREC, Pas. Mon of CRBC and of course Pas Mike of MCBC

It was a good time of fellowship with my fellow REBAP pastors.

Bro Bob of HRCC welcomes those invited to the luncheon.

Dr. Lawson takes some questions at luncheon-interaction.

Van Drunen Conference; this is the huge LED Display at the QC Evangelical Church.

The outlines were projected on the large LED screen in front.

IMG_3133

But this was their screen saver.

REBAP Pastors Chat with Dr. Van Drunen

This time no lunch was served so we hied off to a Chinese Tea House in Banawe for KKB lunch fellowship.

 

Farewell to Becky

MCBC bid farewell to its long-time pianist last Sunday, June 11. Becky would tie the knot Monday June 12 with her fiancĂ© Jeremy who belongs to another church. We would have wanted the couple to stay at MCBC but the groom has responsibilities in his own church. We have to submit to the Lord’s will.

Becky practically grew up in MCBC. She was there right from the start. She became a member at a young age of seventeen and has matured steadily over the years. After studying college in America she returned home and became the regular pianist for the church–first in the afternoons and then in the mornings. After my mom, she is probably the best piano player we ever had. We will sorely miss her playing.

Becky is quiet, reserved and shy–as I know her, a woman of few spoken words. She holds the record for my shortest pastoral oversight meeting ever. While some ladies (and even men) could use some self-control in talking as they answer questions that I ask them, Becky is mainly content with yes, noes and I don’t knows. She scrimps on elaboration. Anyway, I’m not complaining. Doing an oversight meeting at the unholy hour of 1:00 pm after teaching twice on a Sunday morning and having a hearty lunch at noon is not the best time to have long conversations!

But while she may not be loquacious in talk she is prolific in reading and writing. She pours out her heart in kilometric blog posts mainly about school, friends and book reviews. She is a good blogger and being an English teacher I cannot question her grammar. I forget about what it was but there was a time when I did question her about something she wrote and I got clobbered in an interesting debate on words.

I remember a time when we were doing evangelistic work when she corrected me for something which she felt I said wrongly. This is the reason why when I’m at the pulpit I would sometimes turn to her and ask her if my grammar was right. As far as I can remember, she has always nodded and said yes. Well and good! Now, my resource person is leaving. Sad.

Jeremy meanwhile is the librarian of the school where Becky teaches. Talk about compatibility, the bookworm gets hooked to the librarian. Who else?

These are a few of my memories about Becky. As the Lord has used her in MCBC, may He do too in the place where He is bringing her. Our loss is another church’s gain. May the Lord bless her new life together with Jeremy. And may she continue to be useful in the work of the Lord in the new home where God has placed her.

Bye Becky!

During Our Pre-Marital Counseling Session

Here are pictures of the fellowship the Sunday (6/11) before the wedding. Becky’s loved ones and friends came over to worship with us and to spend time with her on her last day as a single person.

First of June

It’s the first of June. The first five months of the year passed by so quickly. Yet the opportunities never run out. Here are some recent evangelistic events.

Senior Moments (05/20/17). Pray for our unconverted seniors. My topic was on Mutual Encouragement.

The passing away of Chippy’s mom gave us opportunity to preach 8 evangelistic messages and establish contacts for future Bible Study (5/19 to 5/29).

A Bible Study was began with Choy’s mother and workers in his junk shop near Multi (5/24). They were receptive.

I also had the chance to visit and talk with Dave, Choy’s son who was involved in a motorcycle accident and broke his leg.

Choy’s Family has moved from Cavite back to Paranaque.

Lola Linda invites future OFWs to MCBC services (5/27).

I give time to my companions to mingle with the ladies after the regular Saturday Bible Study.

TNCs 36th Anniversary

I was privileged to speak at the 36th anniversary of The Neighborhood Church (TNC) last Sunday, May 28. Of the 36 years, I was told, 21 are as a Reformed Baptist Church.

This was not my first time to celebrate the joy of God’s blessing with them. I have spoken in at least three anniversaries of TNC, one in their old box-type meeting place somewhere in the vicinity of their present location–this was in the late ’90s. Another was when they were still meeting at the second floor of the noisy Chow King Restaurant in Caloocan. The last time was when they were still relatively new in their present meeting place.

The group has grown tremendously in the blessing of God over the years. God has used Pastor Noel Cunanan (who went home to be with the Lord a few years ago) and now Pastor Joel who replaced him to oversee this flourishing work in the center of densely-populated Caloocan City. The church presently has 58 members and is involved in various ministries.

There are regular ministries to the different categories of church members: singles, seniors, married, professionals and youth. They also have provincial endeavors in far flung places in the north: Bacarra in Ilocos Norte and Guimba in Nueva Ecija. Family relations have given them opportunities to conduct regular evangelistic ministries in these places.

They are also regularly helping out in a church planting work in Antipolo City whose core group have recently embraced the Reformed faith. A member regularly goes there to oversee the work of reformation.

They have also had evangelistic campaigns in the highly-populated area of Libis Espina, their meeting place being situated in the midst of a talipapa near the Caloocan City Hall.

May the Lord bless the Neighborhood Church and its various ministries and mission works. May He grant their great need of a meeting place which does not flood during the rainy season. May He also provide laborers for their out-of-town mission works.

I thank God for the warm reception that we experienced last Lord’s day. May the ties that bind us as sister churches ever grow stronger as the years pass.

The meeting place is on the 2nd floor of the building.

The theme of this year’s anniversary.

Deacon Nelson leads the service

Pas Joel leads in the pastoral prayer.

There was a renewal of covenant at the service.

I asked permission to take a photo before I preached (right side).

Their numbers have grown (Left Side).

Group picture after the service.

Lunch with former MCBC member Tina and husband Nelson.

With the Leaders

Cunanan siblings became members in 2014.

With Brothers Danny, Rey, Nelson and Pas Joel

Former MCBC member Tina and daughter Nikki.

With Nelson, Tina and Nikki

With Pastor Joel’s Family

The Writing is on the Wall