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Shelter from the Storm

Oct 11th, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, God's Love

You could hear it coming. My wife Lolit went to our room’s window wondering what she was hearing. I heard it too. It sounded like an old air-condition engine, according to her. Coming from afar slowly approaching, my wife standing in front of the window, feels the coolness of the air, until it fell…and it fell hard! The rain came down hard! Yes, at the time of this writing it was raining. And I heard from the news that some parts of our country are experiencing a storm.

“Storms have a way of revealing what is real and lasting…”

I remember watching many great storms that hit Metro Manila. I watched those storms peel shingles from roofs and send them flying through the air like feathers, I thought, storms have a way of revealing what is real and lasting. In times of our deepest crisis, we gain wisdom that enables us to discover who we really are, of what we are truly made, and what life is seriously about. I’ve seen storms uproot trees and wondered how deeply rooted am I in the Lord. It is not the storm without, but the enemy within that poses our greatest threat.

There’s a story of a ship that was caught in a storm. The frightened crew hears a terrible crashing sound below. Immediately the men know what it is: a cannon has broken loose and is crashing into the ship’s side with every smashing blow of the sea! Two men, at the risk of their lives, manage to fasten it down again, for they know that the unfastened cannon is more dangerous than the raging storm.

“How does one weather the storms of life?”

Many people are like that ship—their greatest danger areas lie within their own lives. How does one weather the storms of life? An old seaman said, “In fierce storms we can do but one thing. There is only one way to survive; we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

Beloved, this is what we must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there. You must stay upon the Lord, fix your eyes on Him and, come what may— winds, waves, seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers—no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness and His everlasting love in Christ Jesus!

“Fix your eyes on Him… come what may… no matter what… hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness and His everlasting love in Christ Jesus!”

“Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…..No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom.8:35-39)!” That’s the best position you can be most secure – in His love! The rain may fall down hard but His love is your everlasting shelter from the storm.

The God of All Comfort

Sep 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Faith, Hope, Trust, From Pastor Jo's Desk

This is the topic based on 2 Cor. 1:3-4; 5:5-72 Cor. 1:3-4; 5:5-7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7  

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, I had the privilege to share during the first CC Missionaries Fellowship held last week at CCTC. How timely, how fitting and how relevant the topic not only for missionaries who experienced difficulties in the field but to all of us who are all subject to weakness, pain and trouble.

“Seeking God in our trouble should be our first response…”

Let me just share with you an excerpt from my notes: Have you ever known someone who was ill, and the doctors have done all they can do, so they say, “the only thing you can do now is PRAY.” When a sick person hears that, they sometimes frown and say, “Oh no! Has it come to that?” In other words, they act as if prayer is the last resort. But seeking God in our trouble shouldn’t be our last resort; it should be our first response!

He is the One “who comforts us in all our troubles.” My favorite word from that verse is “in.” Where is God? Well, He’s everywhere, of course. But the Bible says He is with us IN all our troubles to comfort us. Now, our modern use of the “comfort” has robbed it of some of its strength. To us, it’s a soft, sentimental, soothing feeling. We even use it to described a soft, fluffy covering for a bed, a comforter. But in the Bible, “comfort” is an action word. It’s the Greek word “parakaleo”, which literally means, “one who comes alongside to help.” It’s the same word Jesus used in John 14-16 to describe the Holy Spirit. Our English word “comfort” comes from a combination of two words that means “with strength.” The “fort” in comfort reminds us of the word fortify, or fortitude. So, to comfort means “to come along someone and to give them your strength.”

“God comforts us IN all our troubles…”

Let me give you a visual definition of “comfort.” Imagine an elderly man or woman is standing at the bottom of a steep set of stairs. They look up and wonder if they can make it. If you see their need and then come alongside them help them up the stairs, you are giving them comfort according to the Bible meaning of the word. If you see their need and just yell, “Use the handrail!”—that’s not comfort. Or if you yell, “Go use the elevator around the corner!” That’s not comfort. In order to comfort them, you must come alongside them and physically give them your strength to help them.

Got that picture? Because that’s what God does when He comforts us IN our troubles. He doesn’t just call out from heaven, “Hey use the handrail!” He comes alongside to help you. How? Through His Word as the Spirit gently reminds us of His promises. Through His presence and the spiritual strength He provides. And also, through fellow believers! That’s why we need to stay connected to the church!

Psalm 46:1Psalm 46:1
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46 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. for: or, of 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  

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– “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” God doesn’t want to be your 911 number, He wants to be your 24/7/365 number—your EVER-PRESENT HELP—right now. So turn to Him first, not just when things get really bad and you’ve run out of all your other options. And when you do, He comes alongside you to hold you and strengthen you!

The Blame Game

Sep 4th, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, Temptation

blameIDYes they still go at it. They’re still pointing fingers on who’s to blame. Yes, those responsible for the failure of the hostage-taking crisis should answer to the law. But it seems that all they do is play the blame game. Someone has said, “If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.” The first people on earth, Adam and Eve, first played it so it’s not surprising that the children would follow. The Lord God asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?” Yes,” Adam admitted, “but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.”

“Often we seek to blame others for our behavior and our failures…”

Adam both blamed the woman and God who gave him the woman! Then the Lord God asked the woman, “How could you do such a thing?” “The serpent tricked me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” It was the classic “The Devil made me do it,” defense! Yes the Devil will tempt us to do wrong, yes he wants you to fail as a Christian. But you don’t have to. One of the greatest promises in the bible is found in 1 Corinthians 10:131 Corinthians 10:13
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13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. common...: or, moderate  

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, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”The bible never says that we won’t be tempted, but it does say we don’t have to give in to temptation.

Now, how often in our lives do we seek to blame others for our behavior and our failures on others? ‘It was because of my parents, or my teachers, or my friends. They led me astray.’ Beloved, when you blame others, you give up your power to change. And so you don’t need to change if it was someone else’s fault that you sinned. Very seldom do you hear someone say “I sinned, it was my choice, nobody forced me, tempted me or enticed me, I did it because I wanted to.” And there’s no forgiveness for that.

Many suffer for years with a guilty conscience because they are not willing to come to the place where they acknowledge their sin. They will not call it what God calls it. We all tend to cover up sin and make it sound nicer than it is. “No this is not sin, it’s a weakness!” “No, this is not gossip, it’s just telling you this so you can pray.” We use pleasant names to describe it. Thus, we try to cover over our sins. But we can never be forgiven while we do this, for the first step in the process of forgiveness is an acknowledgement of sin. Not trying to cover it up, blame others for it, justify, rationalize or make excuses for it! But when we stop protecting our sins, and confess them, then we receive forgiveness and the process of restoration begins. And we not only regain a better relationship with God – a peace with God, but we also feel His peace within and at peace about ourselves!

“So, confess, admit, open up… and you shall be free!”

The truth about Forgiveness

Jul 31st, 2010 | By | Category: Forgiveness, From Pastor Jo's Desk

As believers, many of us understand intellectually what it means to be forgiven. We know that Christ’s death atones for our sins. By placing our faith in Him, we are saved into an eternal relationship with our Lord that never changes. Even though we may still sin after becoming a Christian, we know that when we turn to the Lord with a repentant heart, confessing our sin to Him, He washes our sin away. First John tells us that when we confess our sin, God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:91 John 1:9
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9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

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“It may seem like our sins are beyond God’s forgiveness…”

Yet sometimes, people discover that they are unable to find that feeling of reconciliation with God. No matter how often they confess and after doing all that they can to make reparation for their sin, they still feel as if they cannot be forgiven. It may seem like their sins—things like pornography, drunkenness, abortion, or adultery—are beyond God’s forgiveness. They continue to carry the burden of their guilt along with them each day, weighed down by a feeling of permanent distance in their relationship with the Lord.

Perhaps the waters of guilt have washed over you, and you feel like you are sinking in sorrow and regret. What could be preventing you from moving beyond your past and feeling forgiven? I have observed a number of mistaken ways of thinking that are common among those who struggle with past sins. I’ll only share one (but the most common) due to lack of space. Crossing over these thought “barrier” is a major step on the road to feeling forgiven . . . and free.

“We have made our particular sin out to be uniquely bad and Christ’s payment to be inadequate…”

“What I have done is too bad. I know that God is forgiving, but I cannot be forgiven for this.” This barrier ensnares many sincere believers because it gives such a strong appearance of sadness over sin. It feels like a righteous response; we don’t want to downplay the gravity of our sin. Yet an honest look at the above statement shows that it is not really humble nor is it true. In effect, it implies that Christ’s death was not enough to pay for all sin. It is as though we are saying, “Maybe His atonement covers the sins of the rest of the world. But Jesus’ death cannot cover this.” We have made our particular sin out to be uniquely bad and Christ’s payment to be inadequate.

What a far cry this is from the truth! If our sin is an exception to God’s forgiveness, then Scripture lies because it declares, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved” (Acts 2:21Acts 2:21
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21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  

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). No exceptions! The truth is that our sin is no worse (and no better) than the rest of humanity’s. All sin is evil in the Lord’s sight. Yet Christ’s death is sufficient(see Colossians 1:20-21Colossians 1:20-21
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20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. having...: or, making 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in...: or, by your mind in  

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; Hebrews 7:24-25Hebrews 7:24-25
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24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. an...: or, which passeth not from one to another 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. to the...: or, evermore  

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). It is more than enough—many, many times over—to cover all the wrong we’ve ever done and will ever do. No sin is beyond God’s forgiveness. Hallelujah!

As we remember the Lord today at the Communion table, rejoice in that truth and give Him thanks!

Stop, Look and Listen

Jul 17th, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, Godly Life

A tree fell and it caught our TV cable that made it snap and resulted in a 2-day cable-less existence. That was ok. No big deal. But when our internet connection, for whatever reason it was cut off, that’s another story. It affected me, my work and the kids…their assignments and all! Now that’s a big deal! One day without it…it was okay. 2nd day, it’s still kind of ok, but when it was 3rd day, we all started squirming, feeling restless, incomplete that we can’t connect. Yes, Globelines took a long time coming to fix it. But then, I realized something. Those times without TV cable and internet connection were actually a good thing. We had more time together as a family, more time with the Lord in prayer and His Word, more time with just thinking, meditating, just there being still before the Lord. And I really began to like it.

“Our modern age suffers from a great lack of depth in our walk with the Lord…”

I think of the early church that had not much distractions like we do today. What we have in this present time produces shallow relationship with God. Our modern age suffers from a great lack of depth in our walk with the Lord. Many distractions work against a deep, substantial relationship. Jesus said that in the last days, the love of most would grow cold (Matt. 24:12Matt. 24:12
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12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  

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). He warned about the traps that would hinder a deep relationship with Himself. He mentioned the cares of this life: the pressures of making a living, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for more and more things (see Matt. 13:3-23Matt. 13:3-23
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3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. offended: he relapseth, or, falleth into sin 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  

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"We know a little about everything, but not much about anything..."

Our electronic age brings further distractions. Television, telephones, cellphones, the world wide web and computer games constantly flood our minds with all kinds of stimuli and ideas, gobbling up time we might have spent in meditation upon God. We are living in an age when man has become very, very broad, but not very deep. Through the mass media we can now bring up many subjects. We know a little about everything, but not much about anything. And our relationship with God has suffered as a result. In many ways, the days of the apostles were far better to our own. More readily than today, they were able to have the kind of communion and fellowship with God that creates character God can use. Think about Paul, the apostle, when he walked from Jerusalem to Caesarea, about a three-day journey. He wasn’t listening to music or keeping up on the local news. He was surrounded by nature – by the trees, the flowers, the animals. At night he would wrap himself in his blanket and look up at the stars. How could he not think about God and His creation and His works? Solitude is very conducive to communion with God, to meditation on God.

" In Solitude... Stop, look and listen to the God who made you... He wants an intimate relationship with you."

Today, in a fast-paced, crowded, information-overload generation, you’ve got so much stimuli coming into your brain that you can’t commune with God and have a time of real spiritual enrichment. Our whole society and manner of living has taken us away from simplicity. We are not as close to God as the saints of old, and that may be one reason why we do not see much of His power evidence today as it was back then. Because a prayer-less Christian is a powerless Christian. A deep-abiding faith in God is nurtured in solitude.

So, beloved, from time to time, turn off that TV, close that computer, shut off that cellphone…and listen. Stop, look and listen to the God who made you – He who desires to be with you and show you things in His Word; He who loves you and wants an intimate relationship with you.

Reality Check

Jul 10th, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, Temptation

Now that our H4U Ozamiz is already done and is now a part of our church history, never think for a moment that the warfare we are engaged in is over. For life as a whole, much more the Christian life is a life of warfare! We are called to a battle, not to a life of ease; to a battle, to a warfare, to a wrestle, to a struggle” (see Ephesians 6:10-12Ephesians 6:10-12
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10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. flesh...: Gr. blood and flesh spiritual...: or, wicked spirits high: or, heavenly  

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). The word which Paul uses here actually refers to wrestling. It’s the kind that you see in a high school or college gymnasium, the kind where two guys are entwined with one another and are trying every kind of move that they can think of to pin the other guy to the ground. It’s the kind of battle where you have extremely close contact with one another. And yes, sometimes, if not most of the time, the struggle hits close to home…it’s very personal.

We cannot afford to put our guard down. We need to be in constant look out in prayer of the fiery darts that the enemy throws at us. Our enemy is relentless looking for opportunities at our weakest point to attack us. And one of the most dangerous places and times for temptation, for the Devil to attack is when we feel comfortable, successful, easy and light – just like King David’s fall when he was feeling secure, successful and comfortable! Of course, our ultimate rest from it is when we finally see Jesus face to face, but until then, we are engaged in a spiritual battle – whether we like it or not; whether we accept it or not! That’s the hard reality of life!

So how do we face this? Paul wrote, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Eph.6:10). The human will does not generate this strength. It is not mere resolve, determination, or self discipline. While all of these are inherent in spiritual life, they are derived from true strength. There is a human attempt to be strong. We have all tried this. However, there is no ability in us to be strong in the face of a spiritual warfare. The strength is from the Lord. We have no sufficient strength of our own. All our sufficiency is of God. It is not our strength that equips us to stand; it is God’s strength invested in us when we submit to God.

To be strong in the Lord is to surrender and fully submit our heart, mind and will to Him. That is why James 4:7-8James 4:7-8
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7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  

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tells us that the power of resisting is found through submitting to God (“Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you”). The devil does not flee from your power, but from God’s power within us that overcomes him. We have the promise that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Resistance is no longer measured by our strength, but the strength of God who draws us out of temptation.

So, beloved, as Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Always be in prayer mode and know that His strength is our strength!

Christ, Christians and Change

Jul 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, Godly Life

Most of us were glued to our Television last Wednesday as we watched another historic event in our country, the inauguration of our 15th president, Benigno Aguino III. We heard his speech, simple and straight to the point, promises were made, as usual, but spoken straight from the heart, to the heart of the Filipino people…a people longing for true change. So, we all wish, hope and pray. And we can certainly contribute to this change as citizens of this country. But one thing is missing, one thing is lacking, one thing never emphasized…and it’s the most important of all – the God of the change! For only He, through Jesus Christ, can bring true change. It all starts in the inner recesses of man – the heart. And only He, who searches hearts and minds, He who weighs every motives and intentions of the heart can reach it, mold and shape it….even cleanse it – making it new. And that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ! Nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.

This is then we, who call ourselves followers of Christ, come in to effect change. How? Colossians 4:5-6Colossians 4:5-6
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5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.  

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tells us how (Go read it) – First is PRAYER – Pray for open doors (and hearts) to share Christ in your workplace, neighborhood, home and wherever you are. Always be in prayer mode. Second is BE WISE IN THE WAY WE ACT – To be wise in the way we walk means that we’re careful not to say or do anything that would make it difficult to share the gospel. Often this simply means that we need to remember that those who don’t yet know Christ are watching us. Beloved, we need to be careful about the way we act because people are making decisions about the validity of Christianity based upon how we’re living. Somebody wrote – “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day, I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way, the eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear.” When we pray, God will give us open doors, let’s not shut them by our behavior! But rather, allow our behavior to be the means that God uses to open doors.

Third, MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY – This phrase is a commercial term and means to “buy up.” It’s the picture of finding something on sale and buying all you can afford because the price is so good. Likewise, we’re to buy up every opportunity to speak for Christ when we see one. Time is short, life is short. Every moral decision is important, every opportunity is important. It’s going so fast. Make it count. How? Redeem it. Find ways in which you can say, `I don’t need to waste this time because I don’t have a lot of time left!’ And fourthly, GRACIOUS SPEECH – Our wise walk should lead to wise words. If our actions are right, then we will earn a hearing. Don’t blow that opportunity by using words that are harsh, judgmental and hard to understand. Use words that are gracious, merciful and will make people want to hear more. How can we make the gospel attractive to them if our talk doesn’t match our walk? May our confession match our profession!

Beloved, we are not called to be so heavenly minded with no earthly good, for we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Live it out and true change will happen through the power of the Spirit of Christ!

Where True Victory Lies

Jun 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Faith, Hope, Trust, From Pastor Jo's Desk

At the time of this writing the H4U team is all set for our Ozamiz outreach, all geared up for another battle…the battle for souls of men. It is not easy to fight battles. We can’t imagine the how hard it is unless we’re in the middle of it. But we know this in some degree – in the battles we fight each day. Some battles are a bit closer to home. Sometimes neighbors disagree; sometimes people battle not with guns or fists, but with words. There are also battles of ideas. If you believe in God and the Bible, you may find your beliefs under attack in the college classroom or in conversations with unbelieving friends. But I believe some of the fiercest battles are those fought inwardly—within oneself. They are private battles with pain or physical illness, depression, financial difficulty, grief, worry, stress, frustration, loneliness, temptation, and you could go on and on.

The question is: How are we going to find our way through? Well, the Psalmist, David the king, gives us the answer. His day, too, was one of trouble: “May the name of the God of Jacob protect you” (Psa.20:1b). There is where our refuge lies — in the name of the God of Jacob. Only God is adequate for the situation. If you are not resting upon the God of Jacob, you will never make it. What do you and I do when we face a day of trouble? We tend to panic, don’t we? We want to cast about for some kind of maneuver to accomplish what we want. We tend immediately to start manipulating, bringing pressure, trying to use trickery or dishonest methods in the situation. But the God of Jacob is our refuge and trust. David closed his psalm with these words – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm (Psa.20:7).”

Chariots and horses were the most dreaded war machines of David’s day. The world today has its sources of confidence, too. But they will not suffice. There is nothing wrong with them, as such, except that they are not adequate for the task. David well knew that horses and chariots are needed in battle, but he also knew that if they are all you are going to trust in, you will not have much of a chance. Horses and chariots are not enough without the Lord of glory behind them.

What do you trust in today? What are you relying upon? There are many modern equivalents to these horses and chariots. You could say, “Some trust in ancestry and education; but I will rely on the Lord my God for power.” “Some trust in tranquilizers and pills but I will rely upon the Lord my God.” “Some trust in wealth and property, but I will trust in the name of the Lord my God for provision.”

Here is the note of faith, the quiet, confident expression of a man who has learned where true power lies, the only source of power in the world. And so he says, “I am not going to trust in anything secondary, but I will trust ultimately in the working of the Lord my God.” David’s confidence in the saving power of Jehovah assured him of victory. Beloved, we do well if we do the same!


Jun 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Forgiveness, From Pastor Jo's Desk

Somebody once said, “Anyone can have a child, but it takes a special man to be a father.” I wholeheartedly agree and even add that ‘it takes total submission to our Father in heaven to be a father!’ Being a father is much more than performing a biological function. It is about loving and caring, guiding and sharing.

A father recognizes the importance of making time for those he loves…

A father is the head of his family. He does this, not out of insecurity, selfishness or pride, but out of the desire to be an obedient servant of God. (Eph. 5:22Eph. 5:22
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22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  

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) A father offers wise counsel so that he may lead his children to a path of righteousness. He is slow to anger, yet demands respect. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; …” (Genesis 18:19Genesis 18:19
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19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  

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) A father is strong, reliable and confident. But, a father is also tender, loving and understanding. “In everything, do to others what would you have them do to you…” (Matt. 7:12Matt. 7:12
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12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  

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; Psalms 103:13Psalms 103:13
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13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  

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). A father is a good provider. As long as he is capable, he is willing to labor hard to provide shelter for his family, and food on the table … “if any would not work neither should he eat” (II Thess. 3:10ss. 3:10
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10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem.  

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A father recognizes the importance of making time for those he loves. A study shows that fathers of preschool children on the average spend 37.7 seconds per day in real contact with their youngsters. In contrast, the study indicated that children watch television approximately 54 hours per week. The average teen in our churches spends only 2 minutes a day in meaningful dialogue with his dad. 25% of these teens say they have never had a meaningful conversation with their father—a talk centered on the teens’ interests. “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6Proverbs 22:6
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6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Train...: or, Catechise in...: Heb. in his way  

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) A father is not judged by how much he earns or how many material goods he provides. What does matter to his children is if he has been a “father” to them.

Does your child need your love and forgiveness today?

There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers! Does your child need your love and forgiveness today?As what you have abundantly received from our heavenly Father (the knowledge of Him, His grace, mercy forgiveness, and love), which are far more important than silver and gold, give them NOW to your children. HAVE A MEANINGFUL FATHER’S DAY TO YOU DAD!

Important Announcements

Feb 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

Our Visayan Service will be moved to 3:30 pm starting in March next month.

YOUTH CAMP 2010 is fast approaching! Tentative schedule is 3rd or 4th week of May.

· Start praying for the youth who will attend.

· Please support those who have difficulty attending camp due to finances—support our BAKESALE, WORKDAY, etc.

· We also welcome those who want to sponsor a youth. Approach the table at the back.

Pray for Ptr. Jo and the H4U Team as they minister to 5 Calvary Chapels in Cebu for a Praise & Worship Seminar and Night of Psalms on Feb. 20-21.

Feb 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

Pray for Ptr. Jo and the H4U Team as they minister to 5 Calvary Chapels in Cebu for a Praise & Worship Seminar and Night of Psalms on Feb. 20-21.

END TIMES UPDATE in our Berean Class this Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7:15 pm here at CCD.

Feb 17th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

END TIMES UPDATE in our Berean Class this Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7:15 pm here at CCD.

Special Valentines Event at PTA Rooftop in Bantayan

Feb 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

COLLEGE CORE MINISTRY invites you to a Special Valentines Event: STAYING PURE WHILE WAITING—Song of Songs 8:4.

Venue: PTA Rooftop in Bantayan

Date: Friday, February 12

Time: 7:00 pm

Invitation is open to all college students!

For more information contact:

Aaron or Ptr. Jerry

The Triumph that was 2009

Jan 31st, 2010 | By | Category: Highlights, Media, Photos/Slideshows


Calvary Chapel Dumaguete looks back on the year 2009 celebrating God’s faithfulness! Indeed He is the God of the Breakthrough!


Rest for the Weary

Jan 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Faith, Hope, Trust, From Pastor Jo's Desk

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” (Psa.62:1). If you are of average weight and height, here is what you will go through in an average 24-hour period: Your heart will beat 103,689 times. Your blood will travel 168 million miles, as your heart pumps approximately 4 ounces per beat. You will breathe 23,040he 23,040
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Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

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times, inhaling 438 cubit feet of air. Your stomach will take in 3.5 pounds of food and 2.9 quarts of liquid. You will lose 7-8 pounds of waste. If you are a man, you will speak 4,800 words. If you are a woman, you will speak close to 7,000 words. You will move 750 muscles, and exercise 7 million brain cells. No wonder we’re tired!


“How long would this continue…how long should I hold on…would this ever end?”

But there is weariness much more draining than physical fatigue. It’s the kind of weariness you feel when you just don’t know if you can go on another day. It’s the weariness a father feels when his child is doing wrong. It’s the weariness a friend feels who has been abandoned or misunderstood. It’s the weariness a wife feels whose husband has rejected her. It’s the weariness which can take a toll on even the most seemingly successful individual – even a child of God, a servant of God.

Have you ever become so weary, so tired of life’s battles? And worse, all your resources – material, emotional and mental are already depleted that you have nothing left so you just want to give up? If anyone was ever weary, David was (read Psa.62). He had grown weary from the constant assaults of his enemies! He is so worn out and tired that he is about to fall down and collapse. David asked what we also ask when we are in the midst of troubles, “How long?” “How long would this continue…how long should I hold on…would this ever end?” Yet in the midst of his weariness he is able to find rest – where? In a Liquor Bar? In Drugs? In Entertainment? No. In God alone (read vs.1) –

Beloved, there is place of rest for the weary – and it is in God alone. Jeremiah 6:16Jeremiah 6:16
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16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.  

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– “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.” When we are in the weary times of life, it is as if we have reached a crossroads and we must now choose which way we will go. In this passage God is telling us that we must choose the good way because that is the only way to “find rest for your souls.”


He listens. He cares…. simply REST in Him!

The opposite is there is no rest for the weary when they will not listen to God and choose to go their own way rather than “the good way.” What is “the good way” that Jeremiah wrote about? It is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:6John 14:6
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6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  

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). He also said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28Matthew 11:28
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28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  

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). Truly, Jesus is the good way — the only way — that provides rest for our souls. Call on Him. Pour all your heart out. Let go. Let Him fill you with love and grace. He listens. He cares….and simply REST in Him!

Under His Wings

Jan 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk, God's Love

As I was watching a basketball game the other day a thought came to my mind, as if the Spirit of God gently reminding me – that Life in general is not a game! Oh we wish it is! But not so! Most of the time it’s a battle, it’s a struggle; a lot of tears and pain, heartaches and hurts. Beyond the smile and the laughter is a hurting and weeping heart – crying out for love, pleading for help, begging for relief! We live not in a fantasy world nor in video game world, but in a real world of sin and trouble! What do we do when life turns to the worst? When the battle rages and we’re in the thick of the fight? When our enemy is gaining ground and we’re losing our grip? Psalm 46:1-3Psalm 46:1-3
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46 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. for: or, of 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; midst...: Heb. heart of the seas 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.  

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– God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”


When life presses in upon us, when trouble comes, then we can know that we have a place to run to. God is our refuge and strength. It does not matter what form the trouble takes, or how it is delivered, or how long it stays. God alone is our accessible, protected place of refuge and retreat. We can hide there and know that nothing can get through to us unless it goes through Him first. In any battle you need a safe place…a fortress where you can go to rest and recoup and think. One of the most beautiful pictures of spiritual refuge is found in Psalm 91:4Psalm 91:4
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4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  

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where it says, “God will shield you with His wings.”

Have you ever seen little chicks hop around, chirping, pecking, doing “little chick stuff”? If the mother hen becomes aware of a predator or a threat to her offspring, she responds by lifting her wings and within seconds, all the baby chicks disappear underneath them. Now, the predator sees nothing but one mean-looking mama who just dares the enemy to take a step forward! She is a refuge for her children…..she is their protection. Now eventually, the chicks will have to crawl out and face the real world again. But for a season, there is nothing quite like the soft shelter of those wings—the downy feathers caressing their heads; the mother’s warmth stilling their shakes; her heart’s steady beating gradually calming their fears.

And God delights in spreading His protective wings and enfolding His frightened, battle-weary children. God is our refuge! And one way that we let God be a refuge for us is to simply talk to Him about our struggles. Psalm 62:8Psalm 62:8
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8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.  

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says, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” So the passwords that open the gates into the refuge of God are the soul – wrenching words that flow out of our hearts, when we finally decide to trust God enough to tell Him about our struggles. Somewhere in the middle of taking that step of faith, the gates open, and God’s wings extend.


God delights in spreading His protective wings …enfolding His frightened, battle-weary children…

Jesus is our refuge even when what seems permanent and unchangeable changes. When the world seems to crash in around us, He is still there. When the world does not make sense, He is still there. When the problems overwhelm us, when we are afraid, when we are hurting, God is still there. He’s an ever-present help! Thank You Lord!

Haiti Earthquake

Jan 15th, 2010 | By | Category: End Times, From Pastor Jo's Desk

More than 100,000 people were feared dead Wednesday after a cataclysmic earthquake with 7.0 magnitude in the Richter scale struck Haiti, filling the streets with corpses and burying thousands under razed schools, hotels and hospitals. Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed. What a devastation! As many people are, my heart breaks and go out to the victims and to the survivors. Pray that God would use whatever happened there to turn hearts to Jesus Christ!


He wants to tear down the scaffolding and reveal the unshakable realities that are eternal…

GOD TODAY IS SHAKING THINGS. He wants to tear down the scaffolding and reveal the unshakable realities that are eternal. Too many people are building their lives on things that can shake. But a Christian can be confident, for we shall receive an unshakable kingdom. In fact, we are part of God’s kingdom today! Now what shall we do as we live in a shaking world? Listen to God speak and obey Him. Receive grace day by day to serve Him with reverence and awe. Do not be distracted or frightened by the tremendous changes going on around us. Keep looking to Jesus Christ and run with perseverance. While others are being frightened we can be confident!

ESTABLISH YOUR PRIORITIES. When you begin to establish priorities, you have to decide just where God stands in your life. So ask yourself, “Who or what is most important in my life?” And I’m hoping that your answer will be, “My relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is most important to me.” If so, then put that at the top of your list of priorities, & say, “This will affect my decisions, my scheduling, my relationship with others, & my whole outlook on life.” The next in the list is your family. If you’re married – Your wife; if you have small kids – Your kids. They’re growing up ever so fast. These are precious moments. Don’t let them get away. Make sure that you spend quality time with your children. Make sure that your family is very high on the list.

And if you are single, listen to Paul’s advice: “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man/woman is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he/she can please the Lord. Her/His aim is to be devoted tot he Lord in both body and spirit (1 Cor. 7:32-341 Cor. 7:32-34
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32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: that belong...: Gr. of the Lord 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.  

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).” And for the church as a whole – let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and the harvest field – for they are ripe for harvest; and let’s continue to be faithful to His Word and to help others know the Word – to disciple them – for this is Christ’s mandate for the church!


See to it that we do not refuse Him who speak (Heb.12:25). God still do speak through His Word…

See to it that we do not refuse Him who speak (Heb.12:25). God still do speak through His Word and His creation today. Is anybody listening? Are we listening, church? We have this ever shining hope in our hearts, are we sharing it? Do we tell others of this hope we have in Christ? Why not when God wants to use you to be a messenger of hope in this ever darkening times! Jesus’ return is near. Is anybody listening?

“Lord, grant us ears to hear, eyes to see, hearts that are yielded to You only. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

Covenant Keepers Fellowship on Jan. 24 at CCD

Jan 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

COVENANT KEEPERS on Jan. 24 at 6:30 pm here at CCD! Inviting all couples to come and join us, Ptr. John Michaels will be our guest speaker.

Reminders for Thailand Trip Preparation for April 2010

Jan 15th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

THAILAND TRIP 2010 – we are in the process of finalizing our TEAM for our Thailand Trip this coming end of April.

· If you are interested to join continue to pray and approach Janice.

· Please start saving for the airfare of around P10,000.

· Your passport should not expire within 6 months of our date of return from Thailand. So make sure your passport does not expire until Nov. 2010. If you need to renew your passport, renew it ASAP.

Ladies Retreat starts Jan.22 at 5:30pm ends Jan.23 at 4:30pm

Jan 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Upcoming Events & Activities

LADIES’ RETREAT starts on Jan.22 at 5:30pm ends Jan.23 at 4:30pm. The main speaker will be Dianna Michaels of CC Spring Valley and the Theme is: TO LIVE IS CHRIST. Registration fee is P50. Please see the poster at the Admin Corner for more information.