23 05 2017

There is another kind of ‘church meeting.’ It’s Hebrews 10:24-25. It’s a kind of meeting that came out of relationship. It is the by-product of our relationships. 
It’s guilt-free. “Is Monday night fine with you?” A brother ask. 
“No. Tuesday would be fine” was the response. 
“Ok. See you then.” That’s it. 
Not based on schedule or routine. “We should always meet on Wednesday night at 7pm.” And if we could not for some reason then we cancel it and do it next week, same day and time and place. 
Not based on program, “Our topic tonight is about Grace….next week is Love.” But our God-life itself becomes the topic. “You know I read something this morning,…and it makes me think…” someone might share. 
“A brother talk to me about what I did is wrong” another sister opened up, “and it help me see myself how selfish I am…” 
“You know what, earlier today as I went walking to the market I almost hit by a car,” one exclaimed, “but thank God it didn’t hit me at all.” A testimony, but you know it’s not the ‘religious way’ like “I want to thank God that I almost hit by a car,…(put up a smiley face with a little bit of reluctance to speak because you have to find the right words and phrase and yes religious terms) praise the Lord, I want to give all the glory to Him.” The person cannot normally speak. 
“I had a vivid dream last night,…” a single mother said, “what do you think is the meaning?” 
“The saints in our community just sent some help to another group of saints in another city” another brother shared, “they help a widow sister there to have her own room. And they needed more help.” 
“Where can we send? We want to help” said a couple who’s doing some business. 
Sounds familiar? 
It may not be because we have not realizes it or value it as ‘spiritual life’ because Christianity for us is not ‘living’. This is a relationship-based meetings, not meeting-based relationship. When we truly know each other and have become family to each other then our relationship is not ‘maintained’ by meetings.
When I went to India and a friend pick me up with his car full of saints. “Molong, tell me” he ask “are we church? Right now, this car is full of Christians.” 
To be safe I said “I’m not sure. Maybe?” 
“No.” He said straight “because we just knew each other. We do not have relationship with with each other.” 
Church is about relationships. Many churches have people yet lack relationships. Church is not just because you have relationships with the people there but because you also serve one another. Many churches have people and relationships but does not serve one another.

Do I have to go to church?

12 04 2017

Do I Have to Go to Church?
So, Do You Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian?
No more empty, striving, peace-less living. But, the Real Life you were created to experience, reveled in along with others who have also sold themselves completely to Jesus and His Church.

Many of us grew up having religious experiences that gave us a certain perspective of “church.” We concluded, “This ain’t nothing. This doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a bad organization. The organization I go to and attend on Monday morning from nine to five is far more organized, far more professional, with far more intelligent people performing their functions far more proficiently (and usually with more integrity) than what I see in this thing called ‘church.’ But I know I’m supposed to do this ‘church’ thing because it’s in the Bible.” Somewhere in the back of our minds and hearts we have different memories of our religious experiences. One of my memories, for example, is of my “pastor” coming over to my house and getting drunk on Saturdays while watching football with my dad. We all have our own stories that somehow discredit this thing called “church”, don’t we?
As a result, somewhere in the back of our minds we lost respect and awe for this thing called “church,” and in a sense, rightfully so, because most of what we saw didn’t really deserve respect. It was a contradiction. If you ask the average pagan or unbeliever to tell you everything they know about church, they could usually sum it up in one word: “Hypocrites.” Or, “Boring”, Both words are the same thing, really. Those words would be the very first things on the average unbeliever’s mind.
And for most of us, we grew up with those same sorts of concepts about the “church.” If we were on the inside because our parents were, then we would see the hypocrisy but think that maybe we could just fix things from the inside. And, you know, you can get accustomed to just about anything. You’d feel guiltier for not going than for going, so you begin to accept the hypocrisy as normative. You tolerate it and explain it away with “we’re only human” or “we’re all just sinners saved by grace.” You just create a theology to explain it all.
Seeing GOD Affects the Way You See CHURCH
They were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to prayer, and to the breaking of bread—all these things have to do with other people and have to do with the Church.

But in truth, God means for the Church, the Body of Christ, to be viewed with an awe, and if we aren’t viewing it that way, then we aren’t seeing it properly. In those who first saw the Church, there was a transition that took place. It was reported that those early believers “were filled with awe” when they saw the Church. Something very dramatic happened in their lives to the extent that they all abandoned their separate lives and were together and had everything in common. It’s not just, “Yeah, yeah, I know. They loved Jesus. They gave their life to the Messiah who they realized had come. They repented of acts that lead to death.” Something else happened, too. They were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to prayer, and to the breaking of bread—all these things have to do with other people and have to do with the Church. They instantly had a regard for the Household of God as something much more than a loose-knit affiliation of people who each believed in God. It was not just about praying in their prayer closets and then acknowledging these other people, “Well, they are Christians, too. I’m going to live for God, and they are going to live for God. So, we ought to at least try to get along and attend something together regularly.” That isn’t how the believers 2,000 years ago viewed the Church.
Instead, the way they viewed the Church affected every ounce of their being. When they saw the House of God, the gate of Heaven, something radical happened in the way they began to function with one another. They now saw their lives as actually belonging to each other, rather than themselves. It wasn’t just simply, “I believe the Messiah has come.” Something happened in the way they viewed other people. Something about Christ with His Head in heaven and His feet on earth was awe-inspiring to them and had a dramatic effect on their lives. It was a dreadful thing, not in the negative sense of course, but there was something very awe-inspiring about who Jesus was and is in His People on this earth. They saw it and they responded to it.
What is Church? What is a Christian?
The Bible defines Christians as ones who have forsaken all in order to be His disciple. They’ve lost their lives in order to find it. They’ve turned from sin…

From Jesus’ standpoint, for us not to discern the Body, is also not to discern Christ. For us to persecute the Church or minimize the Church or not esteem this thing called the Church is in turn doing the same to Christ. As I said before, we all grew up not esteeming the thing we called “church”. But the thing we were not esteeming was an institution. It was an organization. It was a religious group with some “belief system” that drew them together. But, in the average “church”, more than half of the attendees were not even new creations! If you were to go down any street in America, you’ll find that probably very few people in these “churches” who profess Christ and claim to be Christians are truly Christians, if measured against the Bible’s definition of a Christian.
The Bible defines Christians as ones who have forsaken all in order to be His disciple. They’ve lost their lives in order to find it. They’ve turned from sin and therefore can come to be called new creations because the old has been given away. They’ve died to sin and then buried it under the water. Most people wouldn’t come anywhere near a description like that. They want to live for themselves. They love the world and therefore the Scriptures say that they are enemies of God. They love the world and have not died to sin, therefore they are children of the devil (1 John 3). So, most of what we’ve historically called “church” really isn’t Church, from a biblical standpoint.
But, it’s not a measurement of maturity. It’s a measurement of what is the standard. Is the standard the Word of God? Is the standard the Life of Christ and the teachings of Christ? Is that what we live for? Is that what we are willing to die for? Or are we going to make little loopholes for ourselves? Are we going to try to create some other standard? “Well, let’s not take that too seriously. That’s not practical. If we live like that, someone might not like us. We might get sued.” Those sorts of human reasonings (which are wisdom from below, unspiritual, and of the devil—James 3:15), are what most religious bodies are built on. At the very least, most make great room for worldly wisdom.
The Church and Christ are Inseparable
If you are really a worshipper of God, you will worship Him like David did (as you can see throughout the Psalms) and zeal for God’s House will consume you.

If you say you love God desperately, don’t you dare try to undermine or underplay the relevance of loving the House of God, loving the work of God’s hands, loving the extension of God’s heart, loving the visible of the invisible God (as Paul said in Colossians).
It’s essential that you see the connection between loving God and loving His Body. Don’t pompously think that you love God, but loving His Body is secondary in importance. “I can be a Christian, but I don’t need the church.” Wrong. Because God in His infinite wisdom said that Jesus Christ is the head of His Body, and IN His Body He has chosen to invest HIS SON as “the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” COULD there be someone who says they love Jesus, but wouldn’t want THAT?! Unless you are a daily part of a local body of true Heaven-Born Believers, a Lampstand (not simply an “attendance-based” clergy-laity organization), you are missing SO much, for yourself and your family. A REAL Church is to be a daily Christ-honoring, Christ-centered, Bible-believing people who are walking in obedience to God—not just talking about it.
True Love Expresses Itself
If there is someone you love desperately, what do your mind and your heart want to do? You have to find some way to express that love. If I love someone, my mind is going to be creatively finding ways to express it by always thinking, “How could I do something special for them that would make them smile or take a load off their shoulders? How could I creatively find a way to get into their heart, into their life and to just do something special, with no need for anything in return? I just want to give.” When you really love someone, you just want to give. That’s the way it is with God, too. If you really love God, there is no way you can draw some line between loving Him and expressing that love in His House—with a zeal, a passion for the House. If you really want to serve Him, there aren’t a lot of ways to do that with a God whom you can’t touch, and whom no one has seen or can see, as the Scriptures say—the only immortal, invisible, great, and awesome God. How can you wash His feet? What other ways do you have to love Him if you don’t love His House and are not consumed with zeal for His House as was King David and Jesus?
So, loving His House is not an irrelevant point. But you being captured by the vision of loving His House is not a replacement for loving God. It is the overflow of loving God. Don’t you dare replace loving God with loving His Church, but understand that they are inseparable. Loving His Church is the overflow of loving God. If you are really a worshipper of God, you will worship Him like David did (as you can see throughout the Psalms) and zeal for God’s House will consume you. There is no way to separate that.
When the House of God is built on a foundation of walking in the light and a willingness to hear the Word of God and respond to the Word of God with Jesus as the standard, then there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can hold us back.

The Church must be built on the right foundation of obedience to Jesus and lives that are devoted to following Christ. These are not lives that claim absolute perfection, but they are striving for it and accepting nothing less while walking in the transparency with God and each other between here and there. So, if I see a particular sin in my life, it’s not the end of the world. If that sin has occurred in my life today, it is the end of the world, spiritually speaking, if I say, “I don’t care. That doesn’t matter. Mind your own business. Get the log out of your own eye.” When I refuse to walk in the light (honest transparency with real people who know God), refuse to humbly submit to the Word of God, and refuse to turn to God and the other believers around me in God’s Family, that’s when it’s all over. This is the verdict, Jesus said: Some love the light; some love the darkness. That’s the issue that divides.
When the House of God is built on a foundation of walking in the light and a willingness to hear the Word of God and respond to the Word of God with Jesus as the standard, then there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can hold us back. If, however, at any point, regardless of how mature we may be, we decide that we don’t really need the standard of the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus, when something less than the character and the full measure of the stature of Christ is acceptable to us, when we push away from any light that shines on the discrepancy between where Jesus is at and where we are—that terminates our existence as the people of God, at least as a Church, as a foundation that God can build His House on. That reverence and awe for the Church, the Head in heaven and the feet on earth has to be restored. That’s the point.
It’s a very simple Biblical idea. It’s not a deep, far-fetched concept, but people despise this revelation of the Body of Christ. They despise this idea of being joined one to another, being members of one another. These are gruesome terms to people who want to live selfish lives. They have no desire for the House of God. Zeal for themselves consumes them and they are not going to lose their lives. In fact, that’s a repulsive idea to them. They want to have what they want. They want to be gods who control their own destiny and perhaps others’ destinies as well. But to lose their lives as Jesus did, to make themselves nothing, to become a slave to others even to the point of death if necessary—those are despicable, scandalous ideas. Not only will they not do it, but they will also mock and blackmail anyone else who desires to live that way.
If you see this revelation of the Body of Christ in your lifetime, and give your life to this heart that God has for His House, you will be mocked and persecuted beyond belief. You will be called every name in the book. It is something very supernatural because satan despises that sort of agape love. To lose your life for the sake of others is a terrible idea to those who will mock and persecute. They think, “You can believe what you want to believe, but don’t you dare love people even to the loss of your own personal identity, possessions, and even life. Don’t you dare do anything terrible like that. But, if you want to believe a certain set of things, that’s fine. Just make sure you live selfishly, loving a worldly sort of lifestyle like everybody else does, and it will be fine. Just stay plugged into this socially acceptable, cultural, normative, satanic, American, matrix lifestyle…and don’t you dare ever love anybody. Then, you will be fine.”
However, if you’ll embrace this revelation of the Body of Christ in your lifetime, you will also experience the Reality of the Fullness of the Life you were created for. No more empty, striving, peace-less living. But, the Real Life you were created to experience, reveled in along with others who have also sold themselves completely to Jesus and His Church. 


16 03 2017

“Hey uncle, thanks for the ice cream” says James, “and can you bring a cake next time?” He is about five years old. 
Just got back from visiting a family of saints in the city. About an hour drive on my motorbike. The father of James came to visit us here and another father came too. We did some work together helping Albert and Jomie’s plant business. We ate together, laugh, discussed things and be encouraged. As it’s time for them go home I drop James father to their place. It’s when I bought some ice cream for everyday and bread. And here it is, James, certainly the younger giver I have ever witness. He prompted to write this story. 
He holds one box of ice cream in his hands and roams around and told every kids, his cousins and nephews about 15-of them all I think. Pack in a small community in a small house. After he shows everyone the ice cream he took the other box, as I bought two for everybody, and again he roams around showing everyone. Then every kids brought their own cups to get a scoop of ice cream. James, is busy roaming around encouraging and calling every one to get some ice cream. He actually held in his hands different cups for everybody, one by one. “That son of mine loves to share.” The mother says to me. 
As I watch him going back and forth giving every one their cups of ice cream, I heard him speak “Mom, how about grand pa?” Her mom told him to get a cup for grandpa. He went. 
After everybody got their own ice cream, yes even me I got a cup too. James came back and says “where is mine, momma?” Her mom gave him a cup of ice cream and says “is this all? It is small!” 
I burst with laughter. 
Moving backward years ago when he was just about months old at the hospital, as he was sick, he is a sickly child. It’s when I met his father and his mom beside him. After a week or two, I baptized his father and his father baptized his wife and they baptized their son and so on. 
Today, about 3 years since then, the relationship is still there. No need of ‘master of ceremony’ to have that. No meetings, no follow ups, no religious programs whatsoever but just a lot of relationships – family. 
You know in most churches what a ‘family’ is to them? It is when you belong in the same ‘group’ or ‘denomination’ such as ‘Jesus Reigns Family’ because they attend the same gathering and they are on one group as a ‘committee.’ But have we really ‘become’ family to each other? Where were you when one of their child is sick? How about when a mother needed milk for her child? Can we meet together without an agenda? Just because we are family!! 
Church is family. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Seek the kingdom

10 03 2017

“Why Jesus says, ‘Seek first the kingdom’” I ask John, a conscious young man in his 20’s , “and didn’t say ‘Seek first the King’?” 
Without hesitation he quickly reply “Because it is where the King is found.” 
I was surprised how he got that revelation. 
Of course, The King can be found in the people He rules. He cannot be found in the people who do not respect Him as King. The people who has no king lives a life of ‘doing what is right in their own eyes.’ Eats from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, not from the tree of life. 
The King, Jesus, is found in the people where His laws are obeyed. His people is not lawless. The King has laws that govern His kingdom. Many Christians believed we only have to obey two laws: love God and neighbor. If you are Australian and you come to my country and I let you drive my car, but since your country is driving on the left side of the road you ought to obey your laws there here. So here you are, in my country, driving on the left side of the road, not for long you will hear people yelling at you “Right, right, right!” And you replied to them, “love your neighbor! love God! let me drive in the left side!” Simply two laws cannot run a country. 
The Kingdom, is where His domain is. The people who live the kingdom life that when people who are outside the kingdom sees them, then they will know that they have a king. They are living not as kingless people. “They must a king” when they see them “because they are not living life as they want to live and to whom they want to please. 
One night I have a dream and it is like watching a movie. That there are two kingdoms: one kingdom has a king but the other one has no king. The kingdom that has no king ‘knew’ well enough that their king is still coming to reign over them. And while their king is away, they have to behave as if they have a king. And so they live. 
On the kingdom that has a king, knew this other kingless kingdom and thought how vulnerable the people are. This king has a brother and at the same time his adviser. “Why don’t we entice them? Let’s invite them for a game and if they lose we make a bargain?” The king was pleased with the idea, “And what is the bargain?” the king inquired. “That we rule over them!” The brother replied. 
And so it happened, the kingless people accepted the offer. At the end of the day, they lose and so submitted themselves to another king to rule over them. In the dream, I saw a platform was set up for an inauguration: the transference of their loyalty from their king who went away for awhile to king of another kingdom. The king came with his army, and the executioner. Anyone who does not submit to the king, his head will be cut off in front of the king and the people. 
As I saw this scenes in my dream from a rooftop, I was in a rooftop. There was a pole with a rope, I glide myself going down and ended my foot in front of the platform. “This is not your king.” I shouted at the top of my voice, “Your King is still coming! You know better than that. Do not submit yourselves to this King!” 
In my dream, I saw myself rescuing people from the executioner. I actually killed two of the kings soldier and save a couple of people from them. And so as I spake of these words to the people I pointed my finger to a house where the people I’ve rescued saying, “Let’s join them!” But the people relied, “No, that house is burning with fire.” Implying in my dream means ‘full of the holy spirit.’ 
But the people refuses to go inside the house. My dream ended. 
Christians have accepted the game that Satan wants us to play. It is called religion. The opium for religious people. At first, they should have not accepted the offer to gain whatever that ‘other’ king has promised. They should have had continue living the life of the kingdom, behaving as if the King is present with them in the spirit which gives life – to live the kingdom life. The Holy Spirit was not given to you to do religious work. It was given for Jesus to rule over you. So, as my friend Daniel Zeigler in his ‘not-for-sale’ book Right Here Right Now he says: Any ‘church’ that isn’t based on each member having Jesus rule in their hearts as King is not the ekklesia we read about in the New Testament. In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter if you have the most informal, friendliest, least traditional life-style of any religious assemble on earth. If the kingdom of God isn’t within you, what you have isn’t the kingdom of God. 
So begin asking God for it. And position yourself to be a part of it by submitting your own heart to His reign. Then call others to do the same. 
And by the way, that young man John after hearing the gospel of the kingdom message was baptized the same day, that night at 8:30.

How to make a person decide to follow Christ 

6 03 2017

A 4th generation disciple named Jimton arrived at my house with his cousin John. They came to help me set up something in my yard. It’s actually the iron grill that hit my foot and gave me ten stitches three weeks ago. I can start walking now and slowly back to work. The grill needed some finishing. It’s to put hammocks around and let my grape vine climb too. 
Jimton was made a disciple by his brother named Christian. And Christian was made by his cousin named Jason. And Jason was made into a disciple by Albert. Among them – Jason, Christian and Jimton, it is Jimton who mostly is doing the job of making a person into a disciple. When I say ‘making a person into a disciple’ it simply means the introduction or introducing Jesus as King to the person and the person decided either to follow Christ or not. The next step to do is still need to be done after baptism. 
We are working the whole day today(Sunday) together. Planting and replanting, arranging and cleaning. Albert and Jomie had their new business set up which is to offer company offices to put our plants for beautification. In other words, rent a plant. For so many many things that they have learned like fixing home appliances, cooking, sewing hammocks, building houses and toilets in our hubs and other things, finally something that stands out – landscaping. They love plants and they’re making a serious business with it. They found their niche. 
Jimton, a disciple, came with his cousin John, not a disciple yet) to help something. When the iron grill/bar was fix with a cement, three of us sat together in the lawn relaxing. That’s when I started sharing the kind of life we have here and where we got it from – the early church. 
After some explanations I decided to get my bible and started quoting Acts chapter 2 and 4. Along the way he mentions about religions, catholic statues and other belief. Quote some scriptures from Psalm 115 which is talking about idolatry. He also ask about ‘going to church’ and I quoted from Moses about the temple to Paul about us ‘being the temple’ now and ‘how do we worship’ in Romans 12. As jomie is cooking our dinner, surely he overheard us and says to me later after his baptism “he is serious.” As we went on discussing we are stuck talking about the King and His kingdom. 
“From Jesus first words when He started His ministry” I started sharing, “He said the ‘kingdom of God is at hand. It simply means ‘I am the King and I am bringing My kingdom with Me to establish here on earth.’ And on Jesus last word in the cross He also said about His kingdom. When the thief says ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ Means that this man believes that Jesus is the King! Because He has a kingdom. What kind of king who has no kingdom?And what kind of kingdom who has no king? 
All these I spoke to John along with Jimton. While I’m in conversation, Rhuel came, who also was made into a disciple by Albert. He sat down with us, introduces him to John. Jimton and Rhuel knew each other already. Going back to our conversation. 
“See, the thief got it right along this time in the cross. He heard about this Jesus as a king. If you and I were born in their time we would never hear about ‘going to church’ but only if you want to be a part of the kingdom or not. Are you in or out? 
“Unlike the religions of today, all are the same. You go to church? They go to church too. In fact, their churches (buildings) are better than ours! You got a pastor? Well, they have priest and bishops, what’s the difference? You sing some worship songs? They sang too. You are slain in the spirit and crawled on the floor? They climb walls my friend. They cried, they dance, and jump. What’s the difference? 
“Christians now a days made Jesus their Savior alone but not King. ‘Save us from sins Jesus’ they cried. ‘Save us from our sicknesses. Save us from our debts. Save us from calamities! But let me do what I want, when I want, how I want to live my life!’ Such a kingless statement. We prayed this prayer for a long time then ‘Our Father, Who art in Heaven. Holy is Your Name. My kingdom come…!’ 
“But Jesus came as a King! And He has a kingdom! And He has subjects! He has a law!…..” 
John made me stop and listened to him. He said “Yeah, I read the commandments of Jesus.” 
I said “what?” 
“I read it just there in your door.” He replied. 
I left them for awhile as they work to drop something and that’s when he approach my door which has a poster of the 75 commands of Jesus. The Constitution of the Kingdom. 
He got the idea there first. No wonder he is serious about it. I explained more about the Jesus as King and His Kingdom. About an hour or so. Then we are invited for dinner as Jomie done cooking chicken with onion, garlic, black pepper, green pepper, red chilli, mix with soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce. As we are together I ask John to make a decision. “So, do you want to be a part of the kingdom of God or not? Are you in or out?” 
“I want to.” He said. 
“There is something that we needed to do for that to happen.” 
“What is that?” He ask. 
“Denying.” I said straight. “What does this mean? Jesus says ‘if you want to follow Me you must deny yourself.’ It means that all you have believed at this time on going backward, yesterday, last week and month and years since you were young – you must not believe that anymore. The idolatry, the sorceress, the belief that that’s not based on God’s word you must believe it as a lie. And you start believing what Jesus said now in His Word, in His 75 commandments. 
“Second, the wages of sin is death, means you are dead because of your sin, Ephesians 2:1. Yes?” 
He nodded his head. 
“If you are dead what are we going to do with it?” 
“Bury me.” He said. 
“It’s called baptism. The burial of your old self which is the result of sin. The burial of your sin also. And that how you enter into the kingdom.” I explained the difference between baptism in Catholics and other religions. 
“Seek first the kingdom.” I continued. “John, do you know why Jesus as King ask us to seek the ‘kingdom’ first and didn’t say ‘seek first the king?’” 
Without hesitation John replied “it is in the kingdom that the king can be found!”
Wow! His quick answer gave us some chills. “I didn’t expect answer from him!” Jomie says. “That’s a hard question” he added. 
“Exactly. Wow” I am amazed. “You got it. Of course, where else unless it’s in His kingdom! It is in the place where He is obeyed. Where people do what they ought to do not do what like to do.” 
I explained the difference of democracy style of governance and Anarchy. Our country is democracy. Jesus kingdom is anarchy. “In democracy we can say what we want to say” I shared “but in the kingdom your opinion is not invited.” And I shared many differences to make sure they get it. 
After dinner we head directly to the ocean for baptism. It’s about 8:30 in the evening already. Albert, Jomie, Rhuel and Jimton does the baptism. I stayed at the shoreline watching the starts praying for them. After going up from the water they all laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit. John confesses his sins to God right there and then. As they walk back to the shoreline closing by I overheard Albert took the time to instruct John what to do next? 
“Go to those people whom you sinned and ask their forgiveness. Example, you took his watch or money, go to him and confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. You may have to repay him back and do it.” Albert gave some instructions. 
“And also go to those people who has sinned against you and say you forgive them. Example, say’do you remember that you didn’t pay me back your debt? I forgive you. You are forgiven. You don’t have to pay me back anymore. Debt canceled.’ Something like that.” Albert continued. 
“And when you think you are done,” I said to John “come back for your next step ahead entering the kingdom of God. This stage is only the beginning to cleanse you and purify you.” 
Handed John a new bible with a print out of the 75 commands of Jesus for him to start obeying. I shared a lot of daily stories of getting things done explaining the ‘teach them to obey’ commands that it didn’t say ‘teach them to have bible knowledge.’ One will walk limping without the other because they do not now how to obey. Worst than dropping an iron grill on your foot! 

The Shack: Quick Notes 

3 03 2017

Please read my story.

I don’t know. But what can you say about this?

My mom was saved through reading the book. She’s a hardcore catholic almost everyday at church and activities. Her friends are priests and nuns and leaders of groups. She reads the book four times and says how wrong the belief of the Catholic Church are. She has been listening to me whenever I share the gospel. She decided to get baptized.
I was surprised anyway. But what can I say? What’s more interesting to me she hasn’t stop being friends with her catholic friends and priests, she continued to communicate with them. Unlike us ‘the christians’ forget our old friends after we are saved.
More? The reason behind my mom indulge herself in catholic activities is because my dad has another woman. And what kind of woman? A born again christian woman. Yes, she too is hardcore born again believer, going to church and donating and supporting pastors. How’s that?
Want More? Yes. The reason I was saved and my entire family members ‘clan’ , yes, clan. Because she sends me to a youth camp meeting and I decided to follow Jesus and even heard God called me to minister to people someday. That’s when a bunch of folks in our clan got saved. And I was baptized next day at the camp. All it started because of that ‘another woman’ of my dad who’s a born again ‘christian’ and who’s the very reason why my mom indulge herself in being a catholic.
What can I say? What can you say? Even now, talking with my siblings how did that happen and where is the connection to make sense of that situation we could not fathom.
My life is full of surprises. I am sure if I write a book it be labeled as ‘heretic’ too?
Here’s a quote I cannot forget during my first year of being a christian: whatever Satan designed evil in your life, God can turn it into good.
Some younger generation watched the movie also and yes, all cried a lot. I ask them “what have you learn?”
“That we must forgive the person who does wrong to us.” They said in agreement. “Or else we cannot love them.” Sounds not bad at all.
The movie touch my heart. Yes, I lost our first son. That’s quite justifiable right? But you know what? Most ‘theologians’ I know have lost their feelings. Surely they win a lot of arguments but surely they’ve lost a lot of good friendships too.
Do you know why I am so open? A professor once told me: ten years ago your belief/theology now wasn’t there. So you think ten years from now it won’t change?
That professor have masters of divinity of whatever. He once challenge every one saying “want a debate with me? I am the first Hebrew and Greek scholar in the Philippines.” Everyone just responded with a laugh. When I shared to him about God being a woman, he replied: “God has a mother side too!”
“God’s ways is higher than ours.” I don’t need to quote a scripture to back that up. I know that most who will read this claims to know The Shack is heretic. “His thoughts are higher than ours.” Folks, should we demand a question from God? Question His method? Or should just enjoy His benefits. God is mysterious, live with it.

A Followed Leadership or A Leadership Followed? 

19 02 2017

A Followed Leadership or A Leadership Followed?

Sure you’ve heard this quotable quote somewhere in leadership forum:
“If you call yourself a leader and no one is following behind your back then you’re merely taking a walk.”

Sounds familiar? Institutionalized churches all over the world that demands leadership positions are merely taking a walk.

But what about being a disciple; a ‘follower’ of Christ? Jesus commands us to go and make disciples. This means we will have those that will follow us. According to the above mentioned quote, this defines us as “leaders”. If we are called a leader that means we have some “followers” behind our backs following “us,” right? If we draw people to us then we are making disciples of “us”.

Let’s search the Scriptures, specifically the New Testament of “people-following-people” other than Christ. I found six instances:

1. The ‘John the Baptist’ health Leadership

John the Baptist was a lone voice calling in the desert, preparing the way for the Lord not even knowing who the Lord is (Jn.1:31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Lk.7:19 “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”). People followed John and became “his” disciples (Lk. 7:18 John’s disciples told him about all these things). Enter Jesus, there is for sure the climax.

He met Jesus at the river Jordan and everything changed for him. He quickly realized that for

Jesus to increase, he must decrease. From then on he points out to people in Jn 1:34, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” Jn 1:36-37 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

John’s disciples became followers of Jesus. John was an extra-ordinary man. First he makes his own disciples then later we see him ‘releasing’ them to be Jesus disciples. If you have met Jesus, you naturally don’t want to increase and hold. This is healthy.

2. The World’s System of Leadership.

And Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘you know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men hold them in subjection [tyrannizing over them]. Not so shall it be among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, Mt. 20:25-26, Amplified Bible (AMP) “Not so among you,” Jesus says. Why? Because you are all brothers. And again he says in Mt. 23:10-11, Amplified Bible (AMP), And you must not be called masters (leaders), for you have one Master (Leader), the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Basically, Jesus says here that the kingdom of this world seeks greatness in a way to dominate other people. But the Kingdom of God is not about having authority over people and control them but helping them how to follow the Real Master, Jesus, and by doing this you are great by serving your brother. Paul also emphasizes in Ro.12:2, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world.”
3. The Ephesus Solicitation of Leadership

Paul in his exhortation to the Ephesian elders “commending [them] to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build [them] up…” does not worry about leadership at all but warns them about it. “Also, from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20:30-32. Poor Paul had to warn everyone night and day for three years with tears against those who are craving for leadership!
4. The Corinthian Election of Leadership

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 1 Cor.3:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5. The Diotrephes’ Empire Leadership

3 Jn 1:9-10 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
A Diotrephes empire is usually run by a strong or manipulative personality that rejects the bigger picture of the Body, and fails to give and receive fellowship with other members around them. This guy is probably the first one who started the denominations and is black listed as a warning to avoid.
6. The Nicolaitan’s Veneration of Leadership
But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev. 2:6 Nico means a conqueror and Laitan refers to laity the common people. Nicholas, one of the deacons of Acts 6:5 was an intellectual person and so dominated the gathering, would not allow others to speak. So it was no longer a participatory church and Jesus does not like such a church where the clergy conquer the laity.
Unfortunately, this kind of leadership (clergy and laity) style of putting down people is found in most of the churches today. They are not only the ones who think they know better than anybody else but worst, they think they are closer to God than anybody else!
The word “leader” appears quite many times in the Scripture but unfortunately they were never referred to or used among God’s people. Strictly speaking, Jesus and the apostles forbade using those very titles. Paul, James and Peter maintained themselves to be a “servant” (Rom.1:1; 2Pet.2:1; Jas 1:1)