DO, dont think.

18 11 2013

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Yesterday as we’re on our way to north Cebu, we stop by to a terminal for my teams breakfast, seeing a bakery I wonder if I could add some more breads ready to eat. I ask how much each and negotiate to lower the price and offer to buy it all. I did. A pack of slice bread is about P32 – 37 (about $1) and it can put food on a stomach of 5 members of the family. What a brilliant idea, not heavy to carry, it’s in the plastic already ready to give. So, a part of distribution would be to buy all slice bread packs and hand them over to families.

As you pass along the highway where the eye meets the land at Cebu, people are all over the street having signs or shout at “Help me” and going back to main city they shout “Just some leftovers” or “just some water please.” Broke my heart, what a need for food.

Seeing the big sign going to north written in a mess up plywood and paint saying, “Thank you for helping the typhoon victim” I cried. And going back saying, “Keep it up.” It’s not normally traffic going north, but this time it took us long to go there and back, probably its Sunday and most families and small companies are giving relief goods. Many people, normal people went to help in every way. My heart leaps for them.

I encourage every Filipino to do something, your P2,000 ($50) can get a snack of juice and cookies to 300 starving children. Buy them at La Nueva, and get a friend with a motorbike or a small cab and start giving smiles to kids. Don’t just do a painless alms giving, remember that a slice bread pack feed a family, you know better than that. Get involve, not just give, but also go. It’s only a 2-3 hour drive from the city. Give up your coffee at Bo’s or Starbucks for awhile and take a ride to North Cebu, be on the ground. For goodness sake, at least for once in your life stop watching news and talk, but do something about it. Wanna have compassion to our people? Then get out and be with them.

Jesus did, “when He saw the multitude He feel compassion on them.” He took a chance to make a history, now not just the Bible has been written about Him but also people wrote books. Although it’s sad that while others are on the ground helping, some people wrote books!

We took chance to do things differently, we come as disciple makers while we demonstrate the life of the Kingdom. Just here while disciples were doing-things-together packing food they made disciples. Their unbelieving friends were invited to help the victims and then they ask questions as we live a life that demands it, kingdom living, then they make them disciples. That’s how you make people ready for the Lord: live the life of the Kingdom together daily, that makes them curious and ask questions then when they ask. “Why are you guys doing this? Why are you like this? You are so different.” Then you respond, “Are you interested? Do you really want to know? Then I’m gonna have to make you a disciple first.” And you can start making him into a disciple. So, we have two baptisms the other day then.

Molong with the saints in Cebu.





Discipleship By Life

19 09 2013

“Discipleship” in today’s implications is based solely on ‘teachings.’ Teaching for a purpose of having the ‘right doctrine’ that leads to more mere knowledge about God. Example, on Discipleship Lesson 3: Prayer. But teaching a group about prayer doesn’t lead them to pray. To learn how to pray is to pray. God will give you the work, and the work will teach you how to do it.

“How do you do teaching Molong?” someone ask me. Although, the tune is obvious: if no one is teaching, then the disciples doesn’t grow. But Jesus is the Vine, we are not. How do we do teaching now in a family-community context without ‘going to church’ but being one?

Well, I don’t do ‘discipleship’ but I do make disciples. We go out and walk and make friends and make disciples. We don’t stay and sit and soak and sour in a religious box. I don’t do “Bible Study” but we do discuss and study the Bible, we don’t do “prayer meetings” but we do pray a lot. We don’t do “meetings” but we meet a lot because it’s a family. And because it’s a family, there are ‘fathers and mothers in the Lord’ as well as ‘children in the Lord’ and because you don’t raise a son or a daughter by the book but you teach him/her how to cook, how to clean, how to plant, how to read and write, how to weld, how to sew, how to fix the light, how to paint, how to make a table, how to create something, how to invent something, ….. that’s how we do ‘teaching’ here.

All happened in the house, in a family atmosphere where there are “hundreds of mothers, brothers, sisters, houses, possessions, persecutions and even eternal life!”

When a native tribal leader was asked, “What did the missionaries did to you?”

“Well, they taught us about God” was his quick reply. And with a sad face he added, “but they never taught us how to live.”

I would rather teach the person how to cook an egg than teaching him how to do Sunday school on Sunday’s. Christianity is a way of life, not a series of religious meetings.





Apostolic Hub

19 11 2012

APOSTOLIC HUB

taking house/simple/organic church deeper


An apostolic hub is where Christians live together from “house to house.” and begin “sharing everything” that they have with one another. They don’t “buy and sell” from each other or “borrow” resources from each other, but they make everything available to be used up as a “gift” in service to one another. No one owns anything for himself or herself, (except their wives and husbands) everyone shares what they have and therefore own everything. Because they share everything, there is no needy person among them. They are not just “Christian neighbors” who happen to live next door; they are a family!  They don’t ‘support’ a brother; they ‘help’ a brother. 

An apostolic hub is basically, a “spirit” where three things happen: gather, kill and cast. Whenever people follow Jesus, He gathers them to Himself then He kills them, “deny yourself, take up your cross”, let’s go to the cross and crucify you. The life that you knew is over. From now on follow me. In our churches, we gather but we don’t kill. We let each one live as he pleases and fail to teach them to deny their very lives. Then Jesus after killing the person, that’s why we burry (baptize) them, casts them out (in Greek, the word ‘ekballein’ used in Lk 10:2 is the word used in the process of driving out demons) to the field saying, get out and be fruitful; get me some followers to serve me and my family! Today, leaders train other ‘to-be-leaders’ in order to have their own followers. This is not how it is in His Kingdom.

An apostolic hub has four kinds of people with them: 
1. Orphans and widows. In the society, no one takes care of them, God has given them to us (Jas1:27). God adopts us as sons and daughters and as good followers of God we adopt orphans as our own and look after the widows. If not us, then who would do this? Orphanages are not God’s idea, it is a human convenience that replaces adoption.  
2. Spiritual Dad and Mom. They are the “mature spiritual parents in the Lord,” the apostolic dad and the prophetic mom, nourishing, caring, coaching, equipping and releasing their “children in The Lord”. (Ep 4:11-13)
3. Skilled workers with business projects. There are talented and creative people, entrepreneurs who would initiate businesses to advance the Kingdom (Acts 18:1-5) to help the above mentioned to freely do what they are called to do. Especially the spiritual dad and mom to be financially cast out to initiate kingdom movements. Phil 4:15. 
4. Poor people. The last on the list is the unbelieving poor around them. (Mk. 14:7) That is, the poor that is ‘outside’ of them because there is ‘no poor among them.’ Christians take care first those that are in the ‘household of faith’ or else the outside screaming need of injustice and poverty will suck out the entire budget very quickly and we will deprive our own family and miss the purposes of God’s family. We are God-driven; not need-driven.

Remember the kind of church that Jesus said, “a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden”? It is exactly what David also said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brethren DWELL TOGETHER in unity.” The New Testament recognition of ekklesia in a given city is not by religious edifices or numbers. There is one ekklesia in Thessalonica, one in Ephesus and they live like the ‘church in Jerusalem’. It is the first church and it is our model today (Acts 2:42-46) to follow. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for unity is not about doctrinal unity. Leaders of organizational churches are busy trying to create another doctrine that would somehow unites us, while their own churches are in chaos. Some build churches this way and others that way, showing the obvious that we don’t really know what we build. Simply said, it is not our job to build churches. We steal His job of building ekklesia. Imagine, 44,000 different brands (denominations) of Christianity is competing and hindering Church as God wants it. Looks like Jesus cannot marry a beautiful Bride but a harem. 

In the words of Aristides, when sent by the Emperor Hadrian to spy those strange creatures known as ‘Christians’, having seen them in action, he returned with a mixed report. But his immortal words to the Emperor have echoed down through history: “Behold! How they love one another.” This is one of the profound comments made regarding the early church life (Church Swindol). Wolfgang Simson has a suspicion that the early church “although hate one another, yet still love one another.” Mike Peters along with other 300 saints who live ‘from house to house’ had this experience with one another saying, “we love each other because we hate each other.” 

Ron Mc Kenzie, in his book “Being Church Where We Live”, believes that the early church way of living ‘from house to house’ is not a principle to follow but only a ‘default system’ that when someone wants to be part of the Kingdom people, “a city that is set on a hill” then he knows what to do. The reason behind is because they want to ‘obey everything that Jesus commanded’ including the 58 one-anothering. They change their priorities and literally decide to be of ‘one mind, one heart and one accord ‘ and live next door to each other obeying the King – their Head, together as His one body. 

That’s why Wolfgang Simson says that a hub is a ‘spirit,’ not much of a location. If it were a location then any human initiation with money, land and resources, without the Spirit of the living God will be able to do it as well. 

The word ‘fellowship’ in Greek is ‘koinonia’ that is connected to the word ‘dwell together’ meaning ‘they are of one mind and one heart, one common life, one common joy and pain, one common purse.’ In his book, Revolution Without Dancing, Mike Peters describes it as, ‘if one buys a ship then everybody owns it.’ That’s what exactly the early church did. “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had – so there was no needy person among them.” Acts 2:45.

Christians in a city or town, living far from each other and meet once a week for ‘listen-things-together’ and not ‘do-things-together’ like in a house/organic church life-style, cannot simply comply the one-anothering alone how much more the ‘koinonia?’ 

The apostle Paul, in his apostolic journey ‘didn’t stop here and there to preach from house to house’ (Acts 20:20). He stayed in those locations as one of them, as a spiritual parent giving birth to spiritual children, nourishing, imparting, bringing gifts and encouragement to the saints. 1Thes. 2:8, Rom 1:11-12. Whenever Paul traveled, he stayed ‘from house to house’ not ‘from hotel to hotel.’ He stayed where he can do things together with other saints, not do a seminar or conference to them and at the end sell his letters for a $24.99 each. 

Imagine a life of ekklesia in our own city like this! 

I don’t know about you, but in the end, not only God longs to look at the fruit you bear, but also me. I want to see it with my own eyes and enjoy His favor. 





Part Two: BUTUAN TRIP

16 08 2012

Another late at night table conversations again with just Ronie, Jomie and I. This time his struggles of catching up people that needed to be baptized immediately has been delayed. And there are already some of them who are backing out.

“Why, you cannot baptize them directly?” I ask Ronnie.

“They are still on their working time,” he spoke in a soft voice, “these people are bakeshop workers.”

“Well, since the owner allowed you to hold Bible studies to her workers why not ask for a couple of minutes to take them to a nearby sea or pool or let her buy a big water drum to use it for baptism just at the back of her shop?”

“I already ask her permission but it was too late. Probably next time we could do it.” Ronnie is very excited about making disciples, he is sure now that he knows how to make people disciples of Jesus. It is however a normal struggles for beginners. Especially when you are used to preaching to the crowds or just sharing the Good News to someone hoping to let them do a “sinner’s prayer” and gave them ‘new’ life without burying the ‘old.’

We had the same experience here in Cebu when I made Albert a disciple, not until Albert made Jomie a disciple that both of them were baptized together. But I only baptizes Albert, and let Jomie help me out. And after I baptized Albert I let him baptized Jomie and I help him out. Passing the baton of not just making disciples to the next generation but also doing baptisms is important for multiplication. I suspect, in Acts 2, after Peter’s preaching to the crowd, there are those who was ‘cut to the heart’ and ask, “What shall we do to be saved then?” Three thousand souls were added to the church that day. How did they do baptisms then? In Jerusalem there are pools around to use for taking baths. More than 30 of them scattered in the city. So, they divided the crowds among the 120 disciples with Peter and baptizes them all in one day. Probably baptizing each other too.

From Albert, whom I made and baptized, he is the first person that I make a disciple of Jesus two and half years ago. And on his wing alone, he made 42 disciples up to the 12th generation. Actually, its Jomie and him partnering together. Several times, both of them made two, each take on each one and within just 5-6 minutes they baptizes the person already. Many stories after stories from their sites www.albertpacquiao.wordpress.com and www.pation.wordpress.com

Read the rest of this entry »





The Early Church Security System

17 05 2012
The early church was so set up that it gets its security system in their Lord and the saints, the church. “No one is poor among them for they owned everything.” Such ‘koinonina’ is so attractive to the world that though they were forbidden to speak the Name of Jesus but their benevolence, their love towards each other have reach to the ears to those that are outside of them. One of the most profound comments made regarding the early church came from the lips of a man named Aristides, sent by the Emperor Hadrian to spy out those strange creatures known as “Christians.” Having seen them in action, Aristides returned with a mixed report. But his immortal words to the emperor have echoed down through history: “Behold! how they love one another.” (Chuck Swindol)The early church is obviously a part of a secret kingdom: The Kingdom of God. In Whose King gathered those who are His own, redeemed them, make them a people, the ‘ecclesia’ who has His domain and by and through them starts building His own Kingdom. Such loyalty have formed them into ‘one heart and one mind’ that because of their King and one another and that they are able to look and watch another’s back, literally they transferred their residence next door to each other. It is the pattern that is called “from house to house.”

Such desire came from above Who is Divine but chose to be clothed with human dirt and live in our neighborhood (Jn 1:14). If we really love those people whom we serve then we must be willing to live among them where we can ‘encourage and exhort DAILY so that no one will be entangled by sin.’ We have to be awaken to the truth that when a sinner becomes a saint then he becomes our brother and so a part of our family. So what could be the point of ‘going’ without living ‘with’ them? Jesus says, “Go, eat with them, stay with them and model My Kingdom that is in you there. Tell them that the Kingdom of God has come upon you, through you.” He didn’t say, “Visit for two hours, heal the sick, cast out demons, invite them to your church, ophs, don’t forget to put on some lotion against mosquitos and alcohol for germ-free, and after you’re done with your two hour visit, go back to your hotel and bath for four hours.”

Where could be the visible ‘scene in action’ of loving one another for the world to see the Kingdom of God abode amongst His people? The modern church building with its weekly meetings, grafted with some cell stuff movement and borrowed methods, foreign to the early church is the only one we’ve got. If one questions me if we really have to follow the early church way, my answer is why not? What patterns do you follow except what is early enough that you and i were not even born yet? The modern church which has not only has fragmented meetings but also fragmented lives in the community they live in. This is impossible for almost sixty ‘one-anothering’ commands to fulfill. The early church model of ‘house to house’ is so designed not for individualities isolation and interest but to corporately follow it’s Lord’s Head as we are His body. It is important for us to align ourselves for growth purposes: its “whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph.4:16)

Growth doesn’t come by just simply having endless meetings.  Yes, the early church ‘meet daily’ and that is possible because they live ‘from house to house.’ They don’t do ‘daily-meetings,’ they do ‘daily-livings.’ When we meet weekly, that means we talk what we ‘daily do’s’ because we know nothing of each others lives on a daily basis.
See, the psalmist David, the king of Israel understand the blessing of living together. He said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to DWELL TOGETHER in unity! …For there the Lord commanded the blessing – Life Forevermore.” (Psalm 33:1-3) I don’t know about how you read this. But it didn’t say, “meet together” in a weekly basis. The “meetings” we have is only a by-product of our daily-life-together.
Where and who do you live your daily life with?

May you have a rich relationship with Christ,

Molong




Quick Conversations on Making Disciples

26 02 2012

Jenny: a 22 year old woman working in a Japanese company. She has made her co-worker a disciple and her 3 brothers and her mother.

One Sunday we’ve baptized 5 college girls and we’re having dinner together as our Lord’s Supper. “So, have you made any disciples yet?” I asked.

“Two.” She replied.

“Did you baptized them yet?”

“Yes. This week.”

“How did you made them? Can you tell us your story?”

“We are sharing each other’s experience about our boy friends,” she started, “and she realized something different inside me so I told her that I am a disciples of Jesus.”

“What is a disciple?” My friend ask.

“‘Well, this is my life before,…’ I shared to er my old life story.” ‘And this is my life now…”

“I work time shifting, so there are several breaks for taking our meals and snacks, so every day we have 30 minute talk. Next day I was surprise when she ask me: “Jenny, can you make me a disciple?”

“I did and that night at her boarding house, in their comfort room, we fill up something with water and dunk her.”

She shares this story in front of about 20 saints in the table while having our dinner.

 





Video: With the Saints in Vigan

13 02 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uplTE51e14&list=UUqUJyP45ve6LIdoAqUaCFoA&index=1&feature=plcp