My Dad My Superhero

Today my dad turns 83, what a supernatural miracle indeed as 2 years ago he’s been diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and the doctor says its literally a ticking time bomb that can explode anytime. My dad is indeed defeating the odds daily, he’s my real life super hero and everyday I get to spend with him is a miracle in itself.

But this is not the first time he has by God’s grace defeated the odds, through all his labor and hard work, he who just finished an elementary degree sent all 7 children to finished college in the university. Not every dad gets to do it for his children and we are so grateful he pushed himself hard to give us the best education. To date he was not able to get for himself any ¬†insurance, no retirement plans , no medicals as well, but even as he has faithfully provided for all of us, daily I get to witness God’s faithful provision on his life as well. Behind my super hero is my Ultimate Super Hero for all of eternity.

My dad also received Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the age of 74, that was almost a decade ago. Statistics would tell us that as people would age they are more unlikely to surrender their lives readily to God, but here’s an encouragement to all to never stop believing and praying for their family to have a personal encounter with God-for He who promised is faithful to complete what He has started in us!

But the greatest odds that he conquered was being the best father to all of us- he could have easily given up being married too young, disowned and forsaken by his own family , not having any proper jobs, no land to till (his skill being only that of a farmer) and having so many mouths to feed too soon in the marriage, but he didn’t. My dad persevered, he sacrificed, he gave his all, he was loyal and committed to our family, and though in the eyes of many he is far from what a perfect dad should be, he has been exemplary in all the things that mattered most and that is the most important thing for me.

I pray for my dad every moment that I can because although he has proven himself to be my real life super hero already Im praying for one more odds for him to beat that is to beat more years and be a grand father to my future children ūüôā Cheers!!

Cheers to all these impossibilities lovingly given by my Perfect Father in Heaven.

 

Lessons from the Legends: Standing Strong

Last Thursday we got the privilege to hear stories of faith, endurance and leadership from 3 legends in ministry, their messages were simple and uncomplicated but it really cuts through our heart and spirit and really spoke volumes to us. Today I’ll share my take on what Ptr. Ferdie imparted to us. Ptr. Ferdie Cabiling is one of the fathers of our movement, he’s been advancing God’s kingdom for decades and he’s one of the senior pastors that I know of who still hasn’t graduated from being a campus missionary as he’s literally evangelizing students every chance he has. He’s currently the director of all our Metro Manila churches.

Ptr. Ferdie’s topic was on standing strong to the finish and it was a breath of fresh air indeed specially with all the good transitions happening in our movement. By default yes we understand and we know that we need to stand strong and stay healthy in the ministry but truth be told along the way we have unnecessarily picked up weights and baggages that unconciously¬†have now accumulated, we have gotten used to and tolerated. I myself am guilty and and I couldn’t happier with God’s conviction in me though the process was quite painful.

Baggages can be as simple as an unhealthy habit that has grown too big over time, little compromises here and there, undisciplined emotions left unchecked, good relationships that requires necessary endings to experience what’s best. Whatever form it might have taken, we are currently carrying it all on our shoulder, we feel it, its slowing us down and taken its toll but we have still allowed, tolerated and indulge it.

The Bible was very clear on what we need to do with it: Hebrews 12:1

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” ¬†NIV

“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily strips us up” NLT

“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” ESV

Let us (intentionally, deliberately) throw off everything that hinders our complete devotion to God, our focus and single-mindedness, anything that distracts or misaligns us from His purposes and perfect will.

a. Throw off any guilt and condemnation of the past and even of the present. Focus yourself on God’s truth.

b. Strip yourself off any unmet and impossible expectations set on you even by good people (or you think they might have)

c. lay aside the pressures of this world, more so your towering expectations of yourself (say this with me: hindi ako perfect :))

d.  let go of legalistic mindsets and convictions, be wary of sticky ideas thats sounds so great and yet not bibilical

e. fight against accusations against your leaders, family, yourself and even God

f. kick out bitternes, anger, fears, selfishness, greed, doubts and unbeliefs

The Bible is clear that in order to finish this race and run with endurance, this we must aggressively do. What a breathe of fresh air indeed for everyone who’s heavy laden, for every heavy heart and downcast spirit. Breathe life unto us Lord. speak your truth in our minds.

Ptr. Ferdie ended his message us by reminding us we have this help:

  1. Cheering Crowd- men and women of faith from ages ago to our current leaders, mentors,family and friends. Look out for for them, reach out to people that will inspire and encourage you to run with endurance.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“Since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith ” Hebrews 12:1 NLT¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†What I gleaned from Ptr. Ferdie’s message was to have a posture of confidence¬†as we are running this race, he would say words like: ¬† ¬† ¬† “Every time Im preaching and leading, I know (Ptr) Steve is backing me up, I know the apostolic team is behind me cheering me on”. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† He recounted how he literally cried seeing all the pastors and even Ptr. Steve joined him at the finish line of his Run 50 across the Philippines. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† To all you leaders and ministers out there, never believe the lie that your pastors and mentors are not rooting for you, they believe in you, they want you to finish and succeed. Never mistake the personality, manner nor frequency in which it has been conveyed mislead you into thinking this is not truth.
  2. Champion Coach: Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:2 NLT ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Jesus, the one whose applause only matters, is never out there to see us stumble or fall,rather He has finished the line, won the victory for us and is now walking us through and the only reason that keeps us standing strong. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I’m cheering for all of you!!

 

 

Traveling and faith building part 2

A few days ago my flight has gone and I was left behind as my visa for this dream gift trip has yet to arrive. We live near the airport and the constant sound of airplane passing by is cutting thru my heart. I don’t ¬†know what God’s plan is but Im still believing that another way will be provided amidst all odds. Today Im going to look back again at God’s faithfulness to remind myself that though i might not get to understand all of His ways, His will is always good, pleasing and perfect. May you get encouragements as well as you journey in this faith building called traveling.
There’s a part 1 to this blog by the way and you can find it here:
I was looking for a very simple video to explain how our muscles grow and i found this one:
I find it very unique that before our muscles actually grow, they are first torn and we have to experience pain, before the proteins take action and repair happens.
How apt is it in real life that its almost parallel to how we build our faith muscles, so many seemingly random circumstances turning upside down before turning right side up, so many things will come up, so many questions to be answered before we see God’s actual purpose slowly unfold. No matter how much we try to wish the process is not such, God’s give us grace to endure, hope to keep on moving and faith to keep on looking forward.

Traveling to another continent: The Kenya Missions Trip

There’s a long but beautiful back story to this but for now Im focusing on the journey itself.

I’ve always dream of going to Africa-aside from being really fascinated with their culture, all the people i’ve met from there has easily become my friends and of course the safari!!

One day i just found myself being given an opportunity to join our first ever church-planting in Nairobi Kenya, I have mixed emotions about it. The thought of going to another continent, learning a new culture and planting a church happening all at the same time was quite (understatement) overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, by God’s grace, my leader’s affirmation and my friend’s and family’s support, I finally have the courage to go.

First there was the visa needed, I have 3 failed visa attempts going to the US before so this was the first challenge. I tried applying online but after a week long of trying to submit it nothing’s happening, please bear in mind that this was 2 weeks before i have to fly out. I tried doing the manual way but then they are asking new requirements not on the list. Just when i thought of giving up, i tried one last time and then it went thru. Three days later, it was approved miraculously.

Then it was time for the flight to be booked. As all my trips has been historically beating the deadline against all odds, this was no different. Im supposed to fly out Monday and I have set that Friday the week before, provisions by-faith should come otherwise i have to resign that Im not supposed to go. Friday came- I was full of faith!! yeah cmon!
But instead I wasn’t I was in fact too tired of convincing myself to believe
I was crying, praying and wondering why am I going thru this all over again.¬†Then a message came and then a call and with it come’s the miracle of God’s provision.¬†I cried lots because again God proved Himself to be faithful and on time.¬†Kenya here I come!!

You would think that the storm had passed and there’s no more test but wait there’s more.
Hours before my supposed to be flight,there was a problem with my ticket
All my bags are literally packed and yes Im ready to go
After 2 hours of never ending phone calls and follow ups.
Yes I almost barely made it to my flight
But I did and I would never trade any of all these crazy experience for a smoother one

God gave me a crazy opportunity
He approved my visa in 3 days
Provided for my airfare in a week
Rerouted me to a better airlines in 2 hours
I have no contribution to this except my
fears,
tears,
doubts
complaints

Looking back i should have:
a. been more grateful than fearful of every God-given opportunity
b. looked for supernatural provisions than what my feeble sight could see
c. celebrated amidst the last minute mishap knowing that victory was already won

Next time I’ll do better, even as the faith muscles has been torn to pave way for a bigger one ūüôā
Cheers to you who’s believing for an impossible miracle
To you who’s situation seems to be hopeless
To you holding on amidst all circumstances