Redeeming the Time

We had 21 young people attend the youth fellowship last night. Pas. Mike encouraged the attenders to spend their summers wisely and not to waste their time on foolish things. The text was Eph 5:15-16.

Dinner was hefty (thanks to the duo of Susan and Sudi) and was served prior to the devotions. I trust the minds of our teens were still alert as they listened. But they had no questions so it looked like they got the point.

Pam led some interesting games afterwards. After the enjoyment, we bade goodbye.

Time redeemed.

The Night Began with Dinner

The Night Began with Dinner

Then Teaching..

Then Teaching..

Then Posing...

Then Posing…

Then Thinking...

Then Thinking…

Then Playing...

Then Playing…

And Playing...

And Playing…

And Pretending.

And Pretending.

Worldliness

Worldliness can easily be shrugged off as a minor inconsistency to what is a normal Christian life. It is not as wicked as taking another man’s wife or even taking another man’s life. It is not as evil as blaspheming God’s name or reasoning out that He does not exist. Rather, the twisted logic goes, it is something that every believer has to live with as he goes about business in this fallen world with all of its material attractions and entertainments. Anyway, this problem will disappear as soon as the new world comes.

But is worldliness a benign threat that should cause no alarm or does it pose a clear and present danger to our souls? Should it be tolerated as a relatively harmless weakness or should it be viewed as a malignancy that eats up our spiritual lives and leaves our souls a barren waste?

We let our invited speaker, Pas. Mon Macapagal, pastor of the Cubao Reformed Baptist Church answer these questions in our recently held annual church retreat. Pas. Mon preached two messages on the theme “You and Me Against the World-The Church and The Individual Christian Against the World.”

We were reminded that worldliness is not just a way of life but primarily a state of heart. The change must therefore come from within. There must be a renewing of the mind, an ordering of attitudes to value those things which truly matter and not those things which are fleeting and temporal.

It was also pointed out that the temptation is so strong that a clear imperative had to be given by the apostle John in his first epistle for the children of God not to love the world. Included in that command is the duty to mortify lustful desires and boastful pride and the motivation to that duty by saying that the love of the Father is not with those who love this world.

We were then given a few practical directives by our speaker as to how to overcome worldliness beginning with examining the inclination of our hearts, then to setting the right priorities in life, being committed to resist the creeping influence of worldliness, availing of the means of grace to strengthen us, and making a stand for God and choosing to serve Him rather than the idol of money and material things. Last but not the least was the reminder that one of the sins that Christ died for on the cross was worldliness-a great motive for us to repent of this sin which so easily entangles us.

We missed a few people at the retreat but the fellowship of those who were there was warm and sweet. We thank God for using Pastor Mon in our midst and pray that the Lord would bless His ministry in our sister church in Cubao with abundant fruit.

May God use the messages that were preached to make MCBC a more heavenly minded church without ever losing its earthly usefulness.

DSC_0306

DSC_0307

DSC_0309

DSC_0315

DSC_0318

DSC_0319

DSC_0321

DSC_0323

DSC_0324

DSC_0326

DSC_0327

DSC_0328

DSC_0338

DSC_0329

DSC_0333

DSC_0334

DSC_0337

Enter March

Construction work continues with our building expansion. I was elated that a few of the workers including the engineers attended worship last Sunday. Adjustments were made as the rear entrance to the worship hall was no longer usable. The side exits have become the main entrance to the preaching area. Thanks be to God that distractions were minimal last Lord’s day.

My Office is Now in Ruins!

My Office is Now in Ruins! (3-2-15)

What Was Once the Entrance is Now a Gaping Hole

What Was Once the Entrance is Now a Gaping Hole (3-2-15)

Pray We Finish Before the Rains Come

Pray We Finish Before the Rains Come (3-2-15)

Meanwhile, it was good to listen to and critique the RBIPT students and the regular MCBC preachers as they took turns in expounding successive verses from the book of Philippians at the RBIPT preaching clinic. We opened the evening sessions to the public so that some members were able to attend.

May God use these sessions to improve the capability and effectiveness of the students in presenting the truth to people. We read in Acts 14 that God uses a certain manner of preaching to save the lost. Paul preached boldly yet with reliance upon the Lord.

Preaching Clinic (3-3-15)

Preaching Clinic (3-3-15)

We were also able to visit one of our college teens, Kathlyn, who was involved in a vehicular accident at the West Service Road near the Villamor flyover early Saturday morning. A drunk driver fell asleep on the wheel of her car causing her vehicle to smash the side of Kathyln’s car which was heading on the opposite direction. The impact threw Kathlyn who was sitting on the left rear side to the right side of the vehicle causing her face to hit some of the car’s accessories.

The accident created a monstrous traffic jam Saturday morning but thank God, all three victims of the accident are safe. Kathlyn suffered a huge cut on her forehead which has now been sutured. Please pray for her recovery. She is still experiencing headaches.

I took the opportunity of my hospital visit to point her to Christ and to be urgent about it considering the uncertainty of life. I told her to be thankful that God was good to her and spared her from more serious injuries.

Young people, be urgent in trusting Christ for salvation!

Visiting Kathyln in Far-Flung St Luke's QC

Visiting Kathyln in Far-Flung St Luke’s QC (3-8-15)

My She Get Well Soon!

May She Get Well Soon!

Men of Prayer

Though all are commanded to pray, it is the men who are to lead in prayer. They are to be leaders at home and leaders in Christ’s church. But just as the apostles confessed their inadequacy at this heavenly engagement, we, much lesser men, readily admit of the same difficulty. However spontaneous this exercise may be, we need to be guided as to how to pray.

That was the rationale of our men’s retreat last Saturday. The subject was “The Godly Man’s Prayer Life.” 

The first message tackled the issue of the private prayer life of a man. While a number of reasons could be given as to why we pray, we merely focused on the most basic: it is commanded. Hopefully, this would not be the only reason why we pray. I am sure there are loftier motives. But why the need for a command at all?

The answer is sin. Sin detracts us and hinders us from drawing near to God. It makes us disbelieve God and it causes us to believe in ourselves. It makes the glitter of the world more attractive to us than the unfading beauty of our Savior. It pictures God as unforgiving and unapproachable whenever we come with a heavy heart, convicted of sin.

That is why we need to be commanded. We need to be told. We need to be encouraged. We need to be taught that we can pray without ceasing because God has His hears open to our cries at all times. Approaching God as repentant sinners, undeserving of the least of His mercies, we should never expect to be turned away!

The second message dealt with the practice of public prayer, that is, leading in prayer meetings.

There is a component of public prayer that is absent in private prayer, and that is the element of edification. The men who lead at a prayer meeting do not pray their own personal prayers (much less their personal devotions), they are acting as the voice of the whole congregation as the church draws near to God. Thus, they must pray loud and clear enough to be understood by all.

The bugle call in an army must be distinct enough for the soldiers to know that they are not being called to chow but to attack the enemy! The same is true in public prayer. How can the saints express their agreement when the prayer of the one leading is so indistinct it sounds like gibberish? Or how could the people say amen when they are lulled to dreamland by the circuitous route the prayer takes towards its destination?

The men have to be direct to the point. Long prayers are not necessarily more pious. In fact, God knows what we need even before we begin to pray.

Thanks be to God for the reminders. I pray that the retreat would stimulate more private prayer among the men. In addition, I pray that there would be more edifying prayers in our prayer meetings.

We’ll see this on Thursday!

DSC_0258

DSC_0260

DSC_0262

DSC_0266

DSC_0271

DSC_0273

DSC_0275

DSC_0277

DSC_0279

DSC_0281

DSC_0282

Farewells

Farewell to sister Dinna who is leaving tonight for New Jersey, USA. She will be away for four to six months as she meets up with hubby. We will miss her!

DSC_0246

DSC_0245

DSC_0243

Farewell too to our regular attender Stephen who is moving for good to Cebu. We will surely miss chatting with him after the services!

DSC_0283

Farewell too to Mommy Lily of Molino Grace Bible Church who is now with Christ in glory. May the Lord comfort the family during this time of grief. After preaching at the funeral, I posed with daughter Duch and granddaughter Natalie.

DSC_0284

Day One

Today marks day one of our actual building expansion program. I say actual because day one really started when we began praying that the Lord would provide an extension to our meeting place.

We hope to double the 200 seat capacity of our present building to 400 to comfortably accommodate present as well as future members and visitors. The Lord has tremendously blessed us over the years and this would be our third expansion program after our church building was built in 1989. The last one was in 2011. Indeed, we believe that although men plant and water, the Lord causes the growth.

Presently, one half of our Sunday attenders are either visitors or unbelievers. Half of this consists of the members’ children–a captive audience for the regular preaching of the gospel. The majority of the other half comes from our Bible Studies in the community.

Although we are encouraged at the numbers, we will rejoice with unspeakable joy if our friends and loved ones would also know the Savior whom we know. We are not content in merely seeing a building filled, but a building filled with saved sinners.

May we not therefore slacken in prayer. For after we have done our duty of evangelism, even if aggressive and without let up, the results are exclusively in the Lord’s hands.

We look to the Lord to provide all of our needs. He is a God who hears and answers prayer. May He raise up a multitude for Himself in the community where He has called us to labor. But along with this, may He provide an appropriate meeting place where they will be able to worship Him wholeheartedly as well as undistractedly.

To God be the glory in MCBC.

DSC_0249

DSC_0250

DSC_0252

Linda and Brenda

Birthday greetings to sister Linda who celebrated her birthday yesterday together with youngest son, Conrad. Linda is one indefatigable senior who has served the Lord with gladness ever since she became a member of MCBC. Her unchanging prayer request is for the salvation of her family.

DSC_0199

DSC_0206

DSC_0213

DSC_0217

DSC_0225

DSC_0202

DSC_0203

DSC_0204

DSC_0205

DSC_0220

DSC_0222

DSC_0226

Please pray too for sustaining grace to sister Brenda who is suffering from cancer. She will be out of the hospital today, having been confined for a few days due to an infection arising from her low immunity. Providentially, her whole family (except her mom) was there when I visited so I was able to chat with them and do a brief devotional and prayer.

DSC_0229

DSC_0230