Posts Tagged ‘ Pastor Jo’s Desk ’

Heart Matters

Mar 4th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Today most of the health education is focused on keeping the heart healthy. Why? More people die from a heart attack than any other killer. The same is true spiritually. God always begins with the heart, then works outward. Prov.4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.“ The heart is the totality of your MIND (intellect), your EMOTIONS (feelings), and your WILL (choices). It’s the place to which God speaks and moves.

The Bible describes the heart as inner capacity through which God connects us to Himself in worship and relationship — or, my heart becomes the place where that relationship can be betrayed. That happens when the heart is drawn away from Him. Yes the Bible has warned us many times that the heart can get turned and move us toward sin, and we’ll end up bowing to illegitimate altars.

Have you seen a clogged water-pipe, or a clogged sink? You see, all physical systems, over time, accumulate debris. It’s a sad fact of life. They get cluttered, and clogged, and congested, and that hinders the operation of the system. The same principle applies to other, non-physical, types of systems. Marriage relationships, for example, can become clogged with unresolved conflicts and un-forgiven offenses.

Beloved, if we’re not careful, our hearts can get cluttered up with the debris of sin. Our minds and hearts can be filled with the deposits of ungodly beliefs and attitudes. And that hinders our relationship with God. It hinders our fellowship with one another. It hinders our ability to experience joy, and peace, and power in the Christian life.  And what’s really tragic – even a bit frightening – is that we probably won’t even realize that it’s happening.

What am I saying? That when one falls away from walking with Christ, it’s usually a gradual process. Little by little, their taste for spiritual things diminishes. They lose desire for holiness, their zest for knowing God fades; so that the kind of spiritual activities which used to give them pleasure now seem dull and uninteresting. What used to be a blessing now seems like a burden. One way of describing it is that, although they still know the words of Christianity, but they’re unaffected.

And as the world seduces them, their tolerance for impurity in their own heart, and mind, and conduct, gradually increases. To be concerned about avoiding sin no longer seems important or worthwhile.  This is why guarding or protecting our heart is of highest priority.

Jeremiah 17:9Jeremiah 17:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  

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“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah says, my heart is not just polluted by sin but it also has great capacity to deceive and be deceived. I can fool others. What’s even more amazing, I can even fool myself…fool myself to think that I’m ”okay” when in reality I’m not!

What’s the solution? “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24Psalm 139:23-24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. wicked...: Heb. way of pain, or, grief  

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) Jesus has already given us a new heart. You just allowed it to be cluttered and crowded by things, people and the cares of life. Lay your heart before the Lord today and let Him cleanse it, renew it and change it.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY WORKSHOP – a workshop on how to study through the Scriptures effectively and designed especially for pastors and church workers.

Speaker: Ptr. Dan Finfrock

Date: March 19 to 21, 2012

Registration Fee: P100/head, includes lunch, snacks and materials

Venue: Calvary Chapel Training Center

Space is limited to 100 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservation or information please call CCTC and ask for Chona. And for more information, refer to the poster at the Admin Corner.

MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES – we are in need of more volunteers to teach in our children’s outreaches.  If you love kids and desire to be used by the Lord in children’s ministry, please approach Janice.



Business As Usual

Feb 26th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

As relief efforts continue to come, road damages are being repaired, life and business are in recovery mode, with lesser aftershocks felt, it seem it’s almost back to normal and business as usual for the people affected by the earthquake.

But as a church, as followers of Christ, can we really do business as usual? Is there time in these last days that we can just put down our shield and lay down our sword? Not really. It can never be business as usual. We should be in our Father’s business continually; continue progressing, learning, serving and pressing on to know the Lord and to make Him known to a world who knew Him not!

People are still dying without Christ and many slip into eternity lost forever! “Be always on “Watching and Praying”, Jesus said. If you aren’t watching, you won’t know how to pray. If you aren’t praying it doesn’t matter what you see.

Remember what Jesus said in Luke 17:26-27Luke 17:26-27
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  

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“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”

His message is that people across the world in that day were caught up in doing the ordinary things…business as usual. They were taking life as it came, just living day to day. And they were completely ignoring the warnings all around them. Rather than turning to God in repentance they were drifting alone with the prevailing culture, living lives characterized by the attitudes of the day. And Jesus says that is the way it will before He returns. But as a church it should be different! We’re to build our lives on God’s Word, we’re to guard our hearts and we’re to keep watching and Praying!

When we were on our way to La Libertad, we were warned about the bridge that was destroyed and we were led to take another route. This message may be called a road sign of warning. Some may look at a sign that reads: THE BRIDGE IS OUT, and say, “Oh, someone is just trying to scare us into taking another road; let’s go on the same way.” And they go on and plunge to their death. The sign was not meant to scare people, but to warn them of impending danger. The sign was put there, because someone cared and didn’t want others to perish. DO YOU CARE? JESUS CARES!

Beloved, 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!

Announcement:

WATER BAPTISM & FAMILY BEACH FELLOWSHIP this coming Saturday, March 3 at 10 am, Dulamal’s Beach House (Ate Asha’s) in Cangmating. If you want to obey the Lord in water baptism, please sign up at the back after the service.

  • It is a Lovefeast (potluck) affair so bring a dish to be shared.
  • Bring your own eating utensils.
  • Those who will be baptized please bring extra clothes.
  • If you need directions we have a map for you at the back.
  • If you need a ride, assembly place will be at the Quezon Park in front of Tops and Bottom, 9:00 am on March 3.
  • We need vehicles & drivers to transport people who need rides.  Please approach Noel or Janice.

COVENANT KEEPERS Movie Night tonight, Feb. 26 at 6:30 pm, CCD! Inviting all couples to come and join us!



The “Why” Of What We Do

Feb 18th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

The outreach to La Libertad was a blessing and so satisfying…not just because we gave some relief goods, but that because many gave their lives to Christ! More than food that spoils is eternal life that sustains the soul! That is always our priority, our focus and our goal. Whatever humanitarian aid we give is a platform to share the gospel. We’re not a social club, nor a humanitarian organization, we’re the church. And the church is to proclaim the gospel at all cost, in any way possible, at all times. Paul said, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season…” (2 Tim.4:2)

Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt.4:4) A simple reminder for all of us:  What digestion is to the body, meditation is to the soul. As we read the Word and meditate on it, we receive spiritual health and strength for the inner person, and this enables us to obey the will of God. You see the problem is we think that life is just about meeting our physical needs – that this is all there is! So we work and work, do this – do that,  study hard, nothing necessarily wrong with these things – but being consumed by just these things at the cost of neglecting the spiritual being – which is supposed to be the priority – is imbalanced and doomed to fall!

Jesus is saying, “Life is not just about bread but it’s about God who gives the bread!”  Why is this? Because we are a spiritual being. Man is consists of spirit, soul and body. And God who is Spirit is the only one who can satisfy the spiritual need of man! So if our focus is only the physical we will always be dissatisfied, discontented and lacking! Right after the feeding of the 5,000he 5,000
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se začne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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, Jesus said to the crowd who were looking for Him, “I tell you the truth, you’re looking for Me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…(Jn.6:26-27).”

Jesus’ words are clear: Put God first. Don’t spend all your energies and your efforts and your time, your resources, talents, and everything you have for that which is going to perish! Laboring for all the temporal, the material, everything that are seen is going to vanish away, but that which is unseen is eternal! Are you working only for the temporal? Only for the material? Only for the food that will spoil or perish? Or are you laboring for the food which will endure unto everlasting life? Food for the body is necessary but not the most important. What the people need is not food but eternal life which Jesus alone can give, for He is the Bread of Life!

ANNOUNCEMENT:

1. H4U Medtech on Monday, Feb. 20, at 7 pm at the Silliman Amphitheater. Please come out and support our H4U and pray for a fruitful harvest!

2. The Living Vessels will be holding an Evangelistic Valentines Dinner on Feb. 25, Saturday at 6:30 pm at Bethel Guesthouse.

  • The Theme is “The Greatest . . . . An Affair of the Heart 2012” with theme verse, “And now these remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Cor. 13:131 Cor. 13:13
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.  

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  • Registration Fee is P250.00 / person
  • Limited slots only
  • Registration is ongoing.

Please approach Lorraine or Gerchelle Yam for inquiries.  This is an evangelistic event, so please invite, or better yet, sponsor your unbelieving friends, relatives, and co-workers.  This is open to all college students, young professionals, and young couples.

3. Mark Your Calendar: WATER BAPTISM  and BEACH FAMILY FELLOWSHIP on March 3 at 10 am, Dulamal’s Beach House in Cangmating. If you want to obey the Lord in water baptism, please sign up at the back after the bible study.

  • It is a Lovefeast (potluck) affair so bring a dish to be shared.
  • Bring your own eating utensils
  • Those who will be baptized please bring extra clothes.
  • If you need directions we have a map for you at the back.
  • If you need a ride, assembly place will be at the Quezon Park in front of Tops and Bottom, 9:00 am on March 3.


Are We Listening?

Feb 11th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

The earthquake last Monday surely got all of our attention. Saddened and heart-broken by the devastation, it made me think of what really matters most – and it’s God, His Word and the souls of men and women. That really, all the material world as we know it will soon pass away…and sometimes…just like that! Rom.8:22 says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Remember when God finished His creation, it was a good creation (Gen.1:31), but today it is a groaning creation. There is suffering and death; there is pain, all of which is, of course, the result of man’s sin. Note the words Paul used to describe the plight of creation: frustration (Rom.8:20), bondage, decay (Rom.8:21), and pains (Rom.8:22).

However, there will be an end to all these. Jesus compared it to a woman in travail. There is pain, but the pain will end when the child is delivered. One day when Jesus returns on earth and establishes His kingdom, the groaning creation will become a glorious creation! Let us then pay careful attention to what the creation is telling us. It’s not only that creation declares the glory of God, it also declares to the world the nearness of the return of the Son of God!

But not only God is speaking to the world through the groaning creation, of course most of all from God’s Word, He is also calling out for people to repent and turn to Him through circumstances happening in the world today.

The May 1984 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC shows through color photos and drawings the swift and terrible destruction that wiped out the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79. The explosion of Mount Vesuvius was so sudden the residents were killed while in their routine: men and women were at the market, the rich in their luxurious homes, slaves working. They died amid volcanic ash and superheated gases. Even family pets suffered the same quick and final fate. It takes little imagination to picture the panic of that terrible day. The saddest part is that these people did not have to die.

Scientists confirm what ancient Roman writers record—weeks of rumblings and shakings preceded the actual explosion. Even a warning sign of smoke was clearly visible from the mountain days before the eruption. If only they had been able to read and respond to Vesuvius’s warning!  There are similar “rumblings” in our world:  earthquakes, the nuclear threat, economic woes, breakdown of the family and moral standards. While not exactly new, these things do point to a coming Day of Judgment. People need not be caught unprepared. God warns and provides an escape to those who will heed the rumblings. And the escape is Jesus Christ! And if you are a follower of Christ then that should be primary in your heart and mind right now – how to make your life count by pointing people to the only savior Jesus Christ.

Ask yourself, “Who or what is most important in my life?” 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.” I pray this to be true to all of us.



Guidelines For The Guide-Seekers

Feb 4th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Psalm 25:12Psalm 25:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.  

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″ – “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.” What a promise for those who fear the Lord…guidance, direction. Notice it says, “He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.” There’s already a way, a path chosen by God for us – and it’s the best way, because He knows what is best for us. Our responsibility is to let Him lead us and guide us to that way He already set for us. How do we do that? Get out of the way! Don’t get in the way of God in your life by stubbornly pursuing your own agenda, your own selfish ambition.

How can you be sure you’re making the right decision? Sometimes it may seem as if God plays hide and seek when we’re trying to know His will, but that’s not the way He operates. He wants to give us clear direction. The real question is, “What do you need to do to hear His voice?”

Clear the pathway. We have two main obstacles that hinder our discernment: sin in our life and our own strong desires about the situation. To receive the Lord’s guidance, we must repent of all known sin and make our desires secondary to His.

Exercise patience. Sometimes it takes a great deal of strength to stand still when everything within you is shouting, “Hurry! Time is running out!” But if you rush ahead of God, you may miss His will.

Persist in prayer. The Bible clearly instructs us to keep coming to the Lord with our concerns. As we continue to pray, He will gradually weed out anything confusing until we come to His conclusion about the matter.

Search the Scriptures. The Word of God has an answer for every need, and the Holy Spirit knows just how to point us in the right direction. There were times while I was reading the Bible that a verse jumped off the page and supplied the exact answer I needed to make an important decision.

So often when we’re faced with a critical choice, all we want from the Lord is a quick answer. But He delights to meet with us in order to deepen our relationship with Him. Don’t let the urgency of your need keep you from enjoying the intimacy of His presence as you seek His will. Don’t just go for His answer, go for Him. In the process of seeking  is where you know Him more.  This is intimacy with God!

Psa.25:14 says, “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”  God makes known His will, His ways to those who fear Him. The word “covenant” here was not merely a conditional contract, offering rewards in return for obedience, but a privileged and intimate relationship of friendship. The friendship of the Lord is with those who fear Him. Didn’t Jesus echo this truth to His disciples? In Jn. 15:15Jn. 15:15
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15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  

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, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” God favors with His presence and guidance those who trust and love Him.

Announcement:

THAI MISSION 2012 TEAM! We still have 6 slots opened. For ministry leaders and those whom Ptr. Jo has personally invited, deadline for your final decision will be on Feb. 12.  If there are still slots available, we will be opening it up to the church volunteers/workers and the deadline for your decision will be on Feb. 18.

The Living Vessels will be holding an EVANGELISTIC VALENTINES DINNER on Feb. 25, Saturday at 6:30 pm at Bethel Guesthouse.  the Theme is “The Greatest . . . . An Affair of the Heart 2012”.

  • Registration Fee is P250.00 / person
  • Limited slots only
  • Registration starts today, Feb. 5, 2012

Please approach Lorraine or Gerchelle Yam for inquiries.  Please invite, or better yet, sponsor your unbelieving friends, relatives, and co-workers.  This is open to all college students, young professionals, and young couples.

FYI:  H4U CBA is on Feb. 13, at 7 pm at the Silliman CBA grounds and H4U Medtech is on Feb. 15, at 7 pm at the Silliman Amphitheater.  Please come out and support our H4U and pray for a fruitful harvest!

Pray for the SUNDAY SCHOOL KIDS OUTREACH on Feb. 18, 2012, 3-5 pm at Habitat Candau-ay.  If you want to get involve and donate the GIFT SHOEBOXES or a cash donation of P300 , please submit it  to Gaily Echin or Lolit Jo, or at the table at the back.

Mark Your Calendar: WATER BAPTISM on March 3.  Details will be announced later.



Luck Or Lack Of Trust

Jan 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

The Year of the Dragon is the Chinese zodiac year of 2012. To them it symbolizes wisdom, strength, success and happiness (Revelation 12 tells us something else…go look that up). No wonder the other night I saw a lot of shows on TV that featured Feng Sui experts, giving advice and guidance on the right way of positioning one’s furniture, doors, etc.. For what? For good luck.

LUCK. You certainly can’t count on luck. There’s a true story of a couple. They were thrilled. The winning number for the lottery had just been announced, and that exact number was on their ticket. The grand prize was $12 million. They were jubilant—at least for a few hours. Then lottery officials found that there had been a proof-reading error when the winning number was published. The ticket wasn’t worth $12 million after all; it was worth nothing. It had all been a mistake. The next day the man died of a heart attack.

When you hear that true story, you may say, “What rotten luck!” But I think all luck is rotten. Every story where luck is the main theme will eventually have a sad ending. You may disagree and think luck is important. You may like lotteries or casinos or some other kind of gambling. You may use good luck charms or lucky numbers to improve your chances, and you may avoid certain things that might bring you bad luck. The trouble with luck is that you can’t really trust it. You never know whether luck is going to be for you or against you. You can be praising your good luck one moment, only to find out the next moment that your luck has gone bad. If you’re like the man in the story, your faith in luck can give you $12 million dollars one day and then take it away and kill you the next day.

If I had to go through life depending on luck, it would drive me crazy. In this New Year, I couldn’t bear to think that everything that’s going to happen in 2012 is just a random jumble of chance events. I couldn’t handle the wondering and worrying. I couldn’t feel safe or secure. But I don’t believe in luck…so should every person who professes to be a Christian. I believe something much, much better than luck. I believe in the unchanging faithfulness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.13:8), so His faithfulness is unchanging. As we are already 22 days in the New Year, depend on Jesus’ faithfulness to give you joy and security which money can’t buy, which human technology can’t achieve, and which human attacks can’t destroy. Our inventions can fail at the worst possible moment, and even when they work, our inventions can’t meet our deepest needs for love, forgiveness, holiness, and eternal life with God. Human help can’t replace Jesus’ faithfulness, and human attacks can’t defeat Christ’s faithfulness to His people.

As His followers, we are to look only to Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith, and to His Word inspired by the Holy Spirit, for guidance in every area of life. Don’t look to the stars to guide you, look to the One who made the stars. Trusting in “luck” is simply a proof of a lack of trust in the One who made everything and who knows what’s best for you.  Trust Him today. Trust in Him alone.

Announcement:

YOUTH CAMP 2012 is fast approaching! Inviting all college and high school students to start praying to be able to join this year’s Youth Camp. Church, especially parents, support us through prayer and in our fundraising activities.  Bake Sale starts today — so please grab a snack on your way out!

Want to serve the Lord? Here’s an opportunity for you to grow and serve  our God in His house—come and join the USHERING MINISTRY of CCD! More ushers are needed during 2nd service. Please sign up at the back or approach Lyne Labbay or any of our ushers.



New Year Hope

Jan 8th, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Psalm 23:6Psalm 23:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. for ever: Heb. to length of days  

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“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” No anxiety, fear of the future, or worry about tomorrow in these words of David. Because God is good I can expect His protection and provision. I can expect that no matter what happens to me this new year, God will bring good out of it somehow. It will always either be for my own good, for the good of other people, or for the good of His kingdom. God is a good God. We don’t know what the future holds but we do know Who holds it.

“Surely goodness will follow…” What does he mean by that? Obviously David had disappointments in life. Not everything good happened to him. He’s saying that good things will always come out of whatever happens even the bad, the evil, the difficult. God will insure that good will come out — it will follow whatever happens to David and to us. The great promise that God has given to believers: Romans 8:28Romans 8:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  

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, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  That’s what it means “goodness will follow me”. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, disaster in the life of a Christian that ultimately God won’t bring good out of. Eventually, He’ll bring good out of it. Now, not only goodness will follow you but “…love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Other translation the word is mercy). What is mercy? Mercy is grace in action. Why do we need mercy? Because we’re imperfect. We stumble and fall, blow it, make mistakes. In the future you’re going to falter! So this year, you need not only God’s goodness, you need His mercy. You need His forgiveness, pardon, healing.

You’re going to experience many different kinds of days in life. Happy, sad, sick, depressing, lonely, difficult — that’s why we fear the future — we don’t know what’s going to happen. But you will never face a day without God’s goodness and mercy with you if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ. He will be with you all the time.

And…”I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” That’s one of the most important little connections we see in the Bible. It connects yesterday and today with tomorrow. God says, “I’ve got this great life planned for you and it’s for My glory and surely goodness and mercy will follow you through it, BUT that’s not the end! I’ve got something else at the end!” He builds it to a crescendo. David ends this Psalm by saying “We’re going to heaven!” Jesus saves the best until last. With God it just keeps getting better and better. With the world, it’s getting darker and darker…but to a Christian our hope is getting brighter and brighter! The best is yet to come.

Beloved, we were made to last forever. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. But it’s just as true that one day we’re going to be with the Lord. Heaven was made for Christians, for those who trust in Jesus.

Announcement:

ATTN:  Elders’ and Ministry Leaders’ Prayer/Fasting and Year-long Planning is scheduled on Jan. 20-21, 2012 at CCTC starting from 6:00rom 6:00
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se začne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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pm (Friday) until 10:00 am (Saturday).

Living Vessels Fellowship (Young Adults) is now scheduled every Friday, 7:00 pm at the CCD. Please come on time as we will be joining the Living Stones Youth and College Core groups for opening prayer and praise & worship.

For those who ordered CCD t-shirts – the printshop is still recovering from the flood.  We will just inform you when your t-shirts are ready for pick up.

Please keep PTR. CHUCK SMITH in prayer as he undergoes tests and scans for his lung cancer.

Come and stand in the gap with us as we intercede for one another.  Join us every Tuesday at 5:30 pm, here at CCD for our INTERCESSORY PRAYER MEETING.



No Fear For The New Year!

Jan 1st, 2012 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

It’s a very interesting trip. Thankful to the Lord for the time of reunion and fellowship with my family. But to live in Manila, it’s not the same anymore. Changes have occurred in every aspect. I felt like a stranger sometimes. Nonetheless it’s a good break. Now we’ve come into the New Year.

For so many people it’s a time for new beginnings, new resolutions, new commitments. People will start dieting again, exercising again, “trying” to be disciplined again. I’m reminded of a man who, after thoroughly enjoying his holiday meals and snacks, got on his bathroom scale and sucked in his stomach. His wife saw him, laughed, and said, “Sucking in your stomach doesn’t help.” Ralph said, “Sure it does. It’s the only way I can see how much I weigh! It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”

As the calendar changes, we’re reminded that time changes things. A few seconds is enough time for an accident or earthquake to shatter one’s life. A day or two is enough time for a stock market to plunge, a job to be lost, a flood, tsunami, or earthquake to bring ruin. A year is more than enough time for conflict to wreck a marriage or for cancer to end a life. Time changes things, and not all of the changes are favorable.

The good news is that, amid so many changes, there is one unchanging reality you can always count on. Hebrews 13:8Hebrews 13:8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.  

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says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Jesus never changes, and His faithfulness to those who believe in Him never changes. “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (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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). Have you ever had a rough ride in an airplane? Turbulence tosses the plane this way and that. An air pocket makes the plane drop suddenly, and your stomach jumps into your mouth. As you near your destination and come in for a landing, the plane shakes and sways in the wind. When it reaches the runway, the plane bounces a few times before screeching to a stop. After such a wild and bumpy ride, what a relief to be on firm ground! It feels great to have both feet standing on something solid.

So too, if you’ve been blown this way and that by turbulence and changing times, it feels great to have both feet standing firmly on the rock-solid reality of Christ. Faith in Jesus brings security and stability you can’t find anywhere else. Your health can change, your relationships can change, your finances can change, weather patterns can change, economies can change, technology can change, governments and national boundaries can change, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Changing times don’t change the Lord. All other things, even the very earth and sky, are changing. The Bible says earth and sky are like clothes that eventually wear out and must be changed. “But,” says the Bible of Jesus, “you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Hebrews 1:11-12Hebrews 1:11-12
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11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.  

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So in this New Year, with all its challenges, trials and battles (it may sound repetitive, or a cliché), PUT YOUR HOPE IN THE ROCK SOLID THAT IS CHRIST! He’s return is soon. Look up! For your redemption draws near!

Announcement:

Our Visayan Service resumes next week, Jan. 8.

ATTN:  Elders’ and Ministry Leaders’ Prayer/Fasting and Year-long Planning is scheduled on Jan. 20-21, 2012 at CCTC. Please mark your calendar.



Christmas’ Hope

Dec 25th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

The pain is still there, the wound is still fresh, many are still mourning. Here in Dumaguete, and much more in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, the worst hit, people are still trying to recover from the devastating flood that swept them one week ago. They’re on rebuilding mode. Losing a house and material things is one thing but losing a loved one is unimaginably worst. It will be the darkest Christmas to many…the saddest, the loneliest.

But this feeling is not far from the time Jesus the savior came into the world. For at that time, Israel was controlled by the might of Rome and Herod was just their puppet. He’s a wicked man. Rome was responsible to feed 60 million slaves, and there was famine in many parts of the empire. Morally, the world was held captive by idolatry, immorality, superstition and fear. These were desperate times in Israel, times of darkness, weariness, injustice, disease, and economic desperation. And in the midst of all these, Jesus was born.

He is Immanuel, “God with Us.” And this is the Christmas news: “God is with us.” God is with you! May not the glitz and glitter of this season blind us to the real light that is shining that is Jesus.  May we not be preoccupied with the superficial during this season of the year. And may the power of Christ’s presence bring healing grace into our lives.

Remember: Christmas is not just a baby in a cradle, but also the God-man on the cross. The angel said to Joseph, “You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins!” Christmas without the Cross is not Christmas at all! The Cross is the ultimate goal of Christmas. And yet the story does not stop there –after the Cross is the Crown! Jesus resurrected from the dead and He’s alive forevermore! Because HE is risen our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life. We have hope in this life and the life to come. That’s the good news of Christmas!

Beloved, with all the uncertainties in the world today, the fear and insecurities produced by the worsening times, one got to have a sure foundation, a secure future and a hope. And that hope is Jesus Christ! When all the scaffoldings of life are removed, our earthly security is shaken and man’s promises turn out to be a false hope, HOPE IN JESUS!

Those soft little hands fashioned in Mary’s womb were formed so that nails might be driven through them. Those cute little baby feet would one day walk up a dusty hill carrying a cross. That tender head would one day bear a crown of thorns. The baby grew up, died on a cross, was buried for three days, and again, so that anyone can have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. And in that relationship one receives forgiveness of sins and life eternal.

A HOPE-FILLED CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Announcement:

There will be no VISAYAN SERVICE today Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.  Our visayan congregation is invited and encouraged instead to join in any of our two English services in the morning. This is to give them more time to spend with family in celebrating Christmas Day and the New Year.

Thank you church for your generosity in our Christmas giving.  You have tremendously blessed our outreaches.

  • You have given more than enough that we were also able to bless not only our brothers and sisters at Ptr. Romy’s church in Scandinavian Village, but we were able to give clothes to all 98 families at Scandi.
  • We will also be extending help for our brothers and sisters, especially in our Visayan Service affected by the flood. If you still desire to make donations in cash or in kind, you may channel it through the office.

The OFFICE will be closed Dec. 26-28.

ATTN:  Elders’ and Ministry Leaders’ Prayer/Fasting and Year-long Planning is scheduled on Jan. 20-21, 2012 at CCTC. Please mark your calendar.



It’s Christmas Season

Dec 10th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Before you get so busy and stressed out with buying gifts, parties and preparations, keep in mind what it’s all about.  What is THE RELEVANCE OF CHRISTMAS? GOD CAME TO EARTH. When Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed at the Island of Leyte on Oct.20, 1944, fulfilling his promise to return, that was big news. That is nothing compared to the news when God invaded earth. It was big news when man landed on the moon and walked there. It’s bigger news when God landed on the earth. (See Jn.1:1 & 14). Jesus Christ is God Himself. It was God that came to earth!

God invaded earth. That is the relevance of Christmas. We must remind ourselves that Jesus did not begin His existence in the manger at Bethlehem. He was without beginning. Jesus even declared in John 8:58John 8:58
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58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.  

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– “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” If you were God and were going to come to earth, of all the ways you could choose to reveal yourself, would you come as a baby? As a human being? God did. The reality of Christmas was that Jesus Christ was a real man, flesh and blood, bones, hair. He was a real person, not a myth, fable, or a nice story. The reality is that God came to earth and God became a man. Why would He? If God had wanted to communicate with dogs, He would have become a dog. If He wanted to communicate with birds, He would have become a bird. But God wanted to communicate with people so He became a man.

A few years ago, the singer, Joan Osborne sang a hit song that asked, “What if God was one of us?” Her lyrics posed the question, “If God had a face, what would it look like?” This song expresses the human longing to see and know God. However, Joan Osborne never answered her own question concerning what God would look like if He walked the earth. But the Bible does answer that question—God was one of us and He looked like Jesus. Oh yes, God was one of us, but even better . . . He was fully God and fully man.

Our God has not remained remote and unapproachable – He has come to us in person. He did not just write us a letter. He did not just send us a representative. He did not just speak His laws from a mountain. He came to us as one of us. The Infinite became an infant. The Eternal One became a little one. For what? To die for our sins! Jesus didn’t stay in a crib in a manger. He grew up went to a cross and voluntarily laid down His life for us. He didn’t have to. He was God. He could have called 10,000 angels and stopped the process at any point. He did not have to go to the cross. Nobody put Him there without His permission. But He did…because of His love for us (Jn.3:16)

Christmas is JESUS. The best gift you could give to anyone this Christmas and to every season of life…is His love!

Announcements:

If you still have your H4U ID with you, please return it at the office. We will recycle it for the next H4U.

Final Sunday to order Calvary Chapel T-shirts! Please order at the back after the service.

We are now accepting donations, in cash or in kind, for our yearly Christmas gift-giving for our outreaches.  This year we will be preparing a TOTAL OF 350 FAMILY PACKS, so we  need the following:

  • 14 sacks of rice (2 sacks already covered)
  • 350 packs of 1-kilo brown sugar
  • 700 cans of sardines
  • 350 packs of (25 or 50 grams) coffee

The 350 packs of bihon are already covered.

Deadline will be on Dec. 18.  Distribution to the outreaches will be on Dec. 20.

If you have some old but usable clothes that we can give to our Outreach Pastors and their families, please submit it at the office.



And He Did It Again!

Dec 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Amazed by His grace! Awestruck by His love! Humbled by His power! Once again Jesus did it! Victory in His name! Thank you church for all the prayers, encouragement and support in every and any way. We’re all witnesses of His wonder-working hand during the Hope For You concert. We all share in the victory and the blessings of the harvest.

It’s such a blessing to see all the volunteers working together, each doing their task faithfully and united in the cause of Christ. Like Paul I could say, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:31 Thessalonians 1:3
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3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;  

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What is a healthy church? Does it have anything to do with buildings, budgets or programs? Nothing necessarily wrong about these things but they are not the things Paul took note of that made the Thessalonian church a healthy church. And those same three building blocks will undoubtedly make our church continue to grow healthy and strong.  They are a “faith that works”, a “love that labors”, and a “hope that endures”.

A FAITH THAT WORKS – Genuine faith in Christ inspires. It is the kind of faith that produces works. Faith in Jesus Christ isn’t just some speculative, intellectual agreement, but it’s an energetic and productive force that propels us to good works. (Read Eph. 2:10Eph. 2:10
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10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ordained: or, prepared  

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LABOR PROMPTED BY LOVE – Now if faith looks backwards at what God has done, love looks upward and around, as it finds specific ways to demonstrate love for God and love for other people that does not expect something in return. The word “labor” here means hard work resulting in exhaustion; the exertion that brings on physical weariness…to groan because of the struggle that is required in order to accomplish the task.

What could possibly be the motivation for undergoing such exertion? Paul says the motive is LOVE. Any other motive won’t do, any other reason is weak and inferior and will not last. Many of you here, because of your love to Jesus and to the church have exhausted yourself; you have labored faithfully — in that I thank God for you.

ENDURANCE INSPIRED BY HOPE – If faith looks back, love looks upward and around, then hope looks forward. The word “hope” in the Bible means “to look forward with total confidence.” What keeps us going amidst trials and difficulties? Because of the hope that one day Jesus will come with His rewards – that indeed our labors in the Lord will not be in vain! So because of this future hope we have, we are able to bravely face whatever was thrown our way and endure the trials!

So here we have the triad of faith, love and hope. The 3 building blocks that makes a church a healthy and thriving church. Faith looks back at Jesus crucified, love looks up at Jesus glorified and around at other people, and hope looks forward to Jesus coming again. Thus, every Christian is a BELIEVER, a LOVER, and a HOPER. Thank you church for being one!

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Thank you for those who were involved in any way in the preparation and during the Hope For You concert.  Thank you for being a blessing.

ATTENTION Hope For You Committee Heads – we will have a debriefing this Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 pm here at CCD.

If you still have your H4U ID with you, please return it at the office. We will recycle it for the next H4U.

Final 2 weeks to order Calvary Chapel T-shirts! Please order at the back after the service.

We are now accepting donations for our yearly Christmas gift-giving for our outreaches.  We will be preparing a TOTAL OF 350 FAMILY PACKS, so we need the following:

· 14 sacks of rice

· 350 packs of 1-kilo brown sugar

· 700 cans of sardines

· 350 packs of (400 grams) bihon

· 350 packs of (25 or 50 grams) coffee

Deadline will be on Dec. 18.  Distribution to the outreaches will be on Dec. 20.



Tonight’s The Night

Nov 27th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

After all the prayer, planning and preparation, the time has come to witness once again God’s amazing grace to be displayed in the lives of souls saved tonight. We pray for a great harvest but we rejoice even for one – even as the angels in heaven rejoice over one soul saved. Remember the Parable of the Lost sheep (Luke15:1-10), how the Shepherd left the 99 to search for the one lost sheep?

It can be scary to be lost. Years ago when I was in college, I was driving through Manila, in the Quiapo area… I got lost. I spent about two and a half hour wandering through the busy, confusing streets of Manila trying to find my way toward Quezon City. How many of you have ever been in a strange building or city and gotten lost? It can be a distressing experience, but you were only lost temporarily, because you are here today!

In this passage Jesus uses the word “lost” to speak of the spiritual condition of being eternally lost. The word L-O-S-T is one of the scariest four lettered words in the human language. You see a lost soul is the most tragic condition in life. There were individuals who at one time were very wealthy, but because of some unwise investments, they lost it all. It’s terrible to lose a fortune, but that’s nothing compared to the tragedy of a lost soul.  Through the years of being a pastor, I sat at the bedside of people who had been strong and healthy, but had become helplessly sick. It’s terrible when someone loses his health, but not nearly as terrible as a lost soul. You can lose your mind, and it’s not as tragic as a lost soul. You can lose your character, and it’s not as bad as a losing your soul. Death will heal the loss of a fortune, or a loss of health or a loss of a mind–but a lost soul is for eternity.

Jesus elsewhere said, “What would it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” We are all like a lost lamb at one time in our lives. Jesus can never find you until you admit you are a lost sinner. That’s the bad news, without Christ we are lost. But the good news is Jesus searches for us in order to save us. Jesus Christ, the Shepherd and Overseer of our Souls, will climb the steepest mountain, cross the widest river and cover the farthest and the outermost area just for a lost soul. He not only has the biggest heart, the fondest affection, and the kindest compassion for a lost sinner; He has the broadest shoulders to lean on and rest upon. He can lift, bear or haul an individual of any size, in any shape or condition on those shoulders. He is never ever tired of tending sheep, bearing sheep, or holding sheep. And the lost sinner can rest comfortably, travel peacefully, and return safely with Him!

Have Your way tonight Lord Jesus. Draw people unto Yourself. Find the lost and bring them home, for Your name’s sake and for the glory of the Father.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

TONIGHT is HOPE FOR YOU Concert at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex! Invite your unsaved relatives and friends!

Reminder  for all H4U Dgte Team, especially the H4U COUNSELORS, USHERS, and  SECURITY men:  Check-In time at Macias will be 6:00 tonight.

Our H4U tshirts are now available. Please get it after the service at the back.

The CCD Office will be CLOSED whole day on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and morning of Wednesday, Nov. 30.  Prayer Meeting will resume on Dec. 6.



7 Days To War

Nov 20th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Yes, H4U Dumaguete is seven days away, and yes it’s not just lights and sounds, definitely not an entertainment; it’s not just another concert, it’s more than music – it’s a war! Every time we deal with the souls of men and women – it’s a battle. For every time the gospel is proclaimed, deep within the spirit there’s the tug o’ war between the Spirit of God and the god of this world who has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor.4:4).

Satan actively opposes the preaching of the gospel. That’s why we must be aware of the reality of spiritual warfare. Whenever you are talking to a non-believer about Christ, there are invisible forces at work to keep that person from becoming a Christian. I’ve seen so many weird things happen just at the point when a person is considering whether or not to accept Christ.

Have you experienced witnessing, say to a couple, that when you’re about to ask them if they wanted to accept Christ, their little baby started screaming, and you have to stop the conversation. Or, talking to a man about turning his life over to Christ and when you’re at the point of asking him if he wanted to pray and receive Christ his cell phone rang. He looked at it and said, “I’ve got to get this excuse me.”  Or, have you seen flies fly around a person’s head; dogs bark; or television sets suddenly get louder. Satan will use anything he can to distract a person at the point of salvation.

So I exhort you precious church, pray, pray, pray. 1 Pet 5:81 Pet 5:8
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8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  

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– Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” On the night before His death, there in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples to “watch and pray that they not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:40-41Matt. 26:40-41
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40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  

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; Mark 14:34,38Mark 14:34,38
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34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.  

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).“ The disciples thought that it was just another evening, but as they dozed and struggled to keep their eyes open, the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God was being waged in their midst. We must not give in to the same temptation to think that all is well and let down our guard.

You see beloved, Satan’s chief strategy for your life and mine is to keep you off your knees and keep you occupied and distracted.  But he trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!  What makes prayer such a powerful weapon? It keeps us tapped to His power. A prayer-less life is a powerless life, and a prayerful life is a powerful life. Prayer itself is not the thing; it is the Person behind the prayer. The stress here is not the power in prayer, but the powerful Person we talk to! We will never win any spiritual battle without prayer, but the primary strength we have in this warfare is our relationship with God.

Thank God, as I always say, we’re fighting a defeated foe and it pays to know that we’re fighting not FOR VICTORY but FROM VICTORY Jesus won for us 2,000 years ago!

ANNOUNCEMENT:

H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex! Invite your unsaved relatives and friends!

NIGHT OF PSALMS TONIGHT at 6:00 pm for a time of worship and prayer for our H4U Concert!

For those who signed up for  PHYSICAL SET-UP:

  • Set-up day will be this Saturday, Nov. 26
  • Assembly time will be at 8 am HERE AT CCD (NOT YET AT MACIAS).  We will meet here for a time of Devotion and Prayer.
  • For the ladies, please bring your own broom and rags.

We will be printing again our H4U DGTE T-SHIRT. If you want one, please bring your own black t-shirt and P60 pesos for the printing cost and submit it here at the office.  Don’t forget to write your name on your shirt.  Deadline will be tomorrow Monday (morning only).

A few more H4U POSTERS & FLYERS available for distribution.  You may get it at the back after the service.



The Fight Of Faith

Nov 12th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Zero crime rate. Very light traffic. The whole country connected. Filipinos united. Is there any other day that all these become a reality? Only one. One event, one man. It’s the Pacman! Every time he steps on the ring these happen.  Yes, as most of us know, this day he will fight again. It’s his third fight with The “El Dinamita” Juan Manuel Marquez. I’m sure most Filipinos will be glued again to their television or radio today (I’m glad that we as followers of Christ love Jesus more!). So who is going to win? All the months of training, the hours of preparation, and the amount of discipline and determination to win will be known today.

This reminded me of Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 9:251 Cor. 9:25
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25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  

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– “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” An athlete must be disciplined if he is to win the prize. Discipline means giving up the good and the better for the best. The athlete must watch his diet as well as his hours. He must smile and say “No, thank you” when people offer him fattening desserts or invite him to late-night parties. There is nothing wrong with food or fun, but if they interfere with your highest goals, then they are hindrances and not helps.

The Christian life is a race – not to compete but to complete the course He has marked out for us (Heb.12:1c). It isn’t for salvation but for glorification – receiving rewards from Him who qualified us in the race. As in all sports, we have to obey the rules both in our training and in our performing. Any contestant found breaking the training rules was automatically disqualified.  In order to give up his rights and have the joy of winning lost souls, Paul had to discipline himself. If we want to serve the Lord and win His reward and approval, we must pay the price.

Only one runner could win the olive-wreath crown in the Greek games, but every believer can win an incorruptible crown when he stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ. This crown is given to those who discipline themselves for the sake of serving Christ and winning lost souls. They keep their bodies under control and keep their eyes on the goal. Beloved, we have the Holy Spirit working in us to make us disciplined Christians. Discipline yourself to read your Bible consistently, apply them daily; pray continually and keep your eyes on Jesus constantly!

Paul had one great goal in life: to glorify the Lord by winning the lost and building up the saints. To reach this goal, he was willing to pay any price. He was willing even to give up his personal rights! He sacrificed immediate gains for eternal rewards, immediate pleasures for eternal joys. Don’t be disqualified! Instead fight the good fight of faith!

Announcement:

BEREAN “Getting Deeper” class has already resumed last Tuesday.

Please continue praying for our H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.

More VOLUNTEERS needed for the following:

  • Pick-up type vehicles and drivers to help us transport stuff to Macias.  Please approach Noel or sign up at the back.
  • Physical Set-up  for Nov. 26 (Saturday) and Nov. 27 (Sunday).  We need help in transporting our chairs to Macias and in cleaning up the venue.  Please sign-up at the back after the service.

H4U POSTERS & FLYERS are already available if you want to help out in distributing it to establishments and campuses. Please ask permission first to store owners or campus authorities before posting the posters You may get it at the back after the service.

NIGHT OF PSALMS at CCD on Nov. 20, at 6:00 pm for a time of worship and prayer for our H4U Concert!



Happy 26th Birthday CCD!

Nov 5th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

Last Friday, November 4 (the official date) marked our 26th church anniversary. So happy anniversary to everybody! Jesus is faithful indeed! All honor, glory, power and thanks belong to Him! He is the Head of the church. He is our goal, our life, our strength. He is the meaning and the purpose of church-life and the foundation of this spiritual family.

But what are we about as a church? Paul summed it up in Colossians 1:28-29Colossians 1:28-29
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28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.  

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– “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” It’s all about Jesus and His people becoming like Him.

If Christians, such as you and I, fail to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ, no one else will.  As good as some organizations are, generally they will not tell of Jesus Christ. The Lions Club, Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, whatever club – none of these will tell the good news of Jesus Christ dying for our sins and people don’t have to go to hell.  There are many things the world can do as well as the church. Entertain, sing, counsel, draw crowds, build buildings, but there is only one thing the church can do that the world cannot . . . offer salvation of the soul. That’s our focus.

Jesus’ mandate to the church is to go and make disciples, baptize them and then teach them to know and do all that He has commanded us (Matt.28:19-20). We’re not seeking to build organizations, we’re seeking to develop PEOPLE. As Paul said, his goal is to present everyone perfect in Christ. Paul understands that His first goal is to reach people with the Gospel and then develop them in their Christian life. In other words, this is discipleship! We should all be in the process of growth, of becoming more like Jesus every day. Our focus is not on numerical growth, but on spiritual growth. We don’t want to just build buildings, we want to build believers. We’re all about transformation, not just information. We’re called to develop people, not just produce events. We want to see people grow not just show up.

Perfecting has to do with helping them to grow up – to reach their full potential, to get closer to the end product. It means helping them to become like Jesus. And this implies that we’re to commit ourselves to people for the long haul. It doesn’t happen overnight. The goal is more than just their initial salvation.  The purpose of everything we do in ministry is to bring individuals to mature Christianity.

Are you doing that? Are you involved in the building up of fellow believers? Are you willing to be stretched for the sake of your brother or sister’s growth in Christ? Quite honestly, some of you have perhaps gotten comfortable. You’ve stagnated in your growth. You’ve stopped trying to get to new heights with God.  Whenever you and I stop growing, you start wilting. But whenever you go beyond what your normal experience is and do what God is calling you to do, you will get to see yourself reach new places with God. We do things like these to grow other people and to give you a chance to grow. That’s why we do it. This is what we’re about.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

1. BEREAN “Getting Deeper” class resumes this Tuesday, Nov. 8.

2. Please continue praying for our H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.

3. H4U DGTE COUNSELORS’ TRAINING this coming Saturday,  Nov. 12! From 9 am till 11:30 am. More COUNSELORS needed from our church as back-up. Ministries that are encouraged to help out in counseling are the following:

– The Choir                                    – Medical Team

– Hospital Ministry                 – Bible Students

– Missions Fellowship            – Outreach Pastors

– Sunday School Teachers

We are also opening this up to anyone who desires to be part of the H4U Counseling Team, provided that you have been attending CCD for at least 6 months. Sign-up sheets are at the back.

4. VOLUNTEERS needed for the following:

  • H4U Ushering Team. If you desire to be part of the ushering team, please sign up at the back.
  • Vehicles and drivers to help us transport stuff to Macias.  Please approach Noel or sign up at the back.
  • Physical Set-up  for Nov. 26 (Saturday) and Nov. 27 (Sunday).  We need help in transporting our chairs to Macias and in cleaning up the venue.  Please sign-up at the back after the service.

5. H4U POSTERS & FLYERS are already available if you want to help out in distributing it to establishments and campuses. Please ask permission first to store owners or campus authorities before posting the posters You may get it at the back after the service.

6. NIGHT OF PSALMS at CCD on Nov. 20, at 6:00 pm for a time of worship and prayer.



Party Or Funeral?

Oct 30th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

As All Saint’s Day come and many people will be remembering their dead loved ones, it came to my mind Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 7:2Ecclesiastes 7:2
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2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  

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that says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.” Let me ask this: Shall we go to a party or to a funeral? Which is better? Many people will choose the party, because the mood is upbeat, and the music is loud. People get silly and there is much laughter.  But what eventually comes from a party? Some people get drunk and do foolish things that result in wrecked cars or wrecked marriages.

A man once told of his encounter with death. He went to a funeral home to pay respects to a relative who had died. The cause of death was murder and the relatives were grieving.  He remembered how confused and distraught they all looked as the coffin was lowered into the ground in the cemetery. On that day he said he thought many hard thoughts and came to many painful conclusions.  He resolved to change the way he lived. He saw death as unpredictable and inevitable, and he dedicated himself to a closer walk with God. Many of the things that had troubled him intensely suddenly seemed to be so light in the face of death. He cleaned up his life. He became a better friend to his friends, a better relative to his relatives, and a better employee to his employers.

So why are funerals better than parties, according to Ecclesiastes? At parties we escape reality, we try to forget our cares…at funerals we come face-to-face with the meaning of life. A party may be a good occasion to blow off some stress, but a funeral is a place to reflect and learn what life is really about—this is an occasion to prepare for the day when we too will depart and stand before God.

I suspect that if we knew we only had a year or so left on this earth, it would change how we live. More importantly, the Bible says that the time to believe, to trust Jesus Christ as savior, is today…tomorrow may be too late.  Rather than pursue empty pleasures and seek a comfortable life, we need to pursue holiness and seek God. If we reach the end of our days with faith and a good reputation, it shows that we know the true value of things. Many people live in an escapist culture, and have constructed for themselves an oppressive, materialistic prison whose spiritual emptiness is all too obvious.

The point is: Every thinking person must take into account the fact of death and should have a philosophy of life which enables him or her to confidently face that inevitable appointment. Now, how can we face death?  The gospel tells of the saviour, and His name is Jesus, who, “through death, destroyed him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and who delivers all those who, through fear of death, are subject to lifelong bondage (Heb.2:14)! Thank You Lord Jesus for Your victory over death…and our lives are worth the living because You live!

Announcement:

BEREAN “Getting Deeper” class resumes on Nov. 8.

Please continue praying for our H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.

H4U DGTE COUNSELORS’ TRAINING on Nov. 12! From 9 am till 11:30 am. If you desire to take part in the harvest then reserve this date!

NEW CCD T-SHIRTS for sale!  This is a fundraising project to help out our Karen brothers and sisters. Samples are displayed at the back.  Please pay as you order.



All From Him And All For Him

Oct 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

I can’t believe that my daughter Shekinah just turned 18 last Wednesday! She was just one year old when we came to Dumaguete 17 years ago. Indeed, how time flies so fast! But my wife and I are so thankful to the Lord to have raise up a baby to a young lady; from a Daddy’s girl to a Jesus-girl! That’s really all we want for her – to be a follower and a lover of Christ, to be what God designed her to be, to be what the Holy Spirit intends her to be. She belongs to the Lord anyway. We’re just stewards of His gifts.

And talking about stewards, what is it? Who are they? A steward was a slave who was given the responsibility of managing the master’s house. If you have ever been on a ship, you know what a ship’s steward is. Or if you have ever been on an airplane, you know what a steward or stewardess is. That person does not own the airplane or anything on the plane. The company owns everything, but he or she is entrusted with its care.  That steward has been given the responsibility of taking the goods that belong to a higher authority and dispensing it to the people for their benefit. That is a steward – on an airplane or ship – and in the spiritual realm as well.

Now, God has appointed all Christians to be His stewards on earth. Stewardship is not an option, as Paul points out about his own calling. As the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30Matt 25:14-30
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14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. talents: a talent is pounds ten shillings 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

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) shows, Christians will be held accountable for the way in which they manage God’s affairs as stewards. These matters include extending the church’s ministry through the preaching of the gospel (Col 1:24-28Col 1:24-28
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24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; to fulfil...: or, fully to preach the word 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: in: or, among 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:  

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), supporting the church financially (Acts 4:32-37Acts 4:32-37
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32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.  

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), and ministering to the sick and needy (Matt 25:31-46Matt 25:31-46
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31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.  

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), so on and so forth.

Now we all have different amounts of money, and spiritual abilities that God gave, but what are some of the things all of have been given equally by God? I can think of at least three gifts we’ve all been given in equal amounts —

(1) Time – I’m not talking about the length of your life, because that varies. But each of us has the same amount of time each day–24 hours. Even though we have the same amount, wouldn’t you agree some servants to a better job managing those 24 hours in terms of doing business for God? How do you use your time?

(2) Truth – As servants of God, we all have the same instruction manual, the truth found in God’s Word, the Bible. God hasn’t given me any more truth than is available to you. What do you do with the truth you know?

(3) Opportunities to serve God. All of us have opportunities to serve our Master. Some servants just do a better job of taking advantage of those opportunities. How’s your service? Someday we will all be judged by how we use all the gifts God has given us and be rewarded for them. And no, it’s not the reward itself, it’s the pleasure to bring glory to God through the rewards we shall receive. For the more crowns, the more we have to lay down at the feet of Christ, and sing “Worthy, worthy, worthy…You alone are worthy, O Lord. For You alone deserve all the glory!”

Announcement:

Please continue praying for our H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.

H4U DGTE COUNSELORS’ TRAINING on Nov. 12! From 9 am till 11:30 am. If you desire to take part in the harvest then reserve this date!

COUPLE’S RETREAT on Oct 30-31, 2011 (Sunday pm – Monday NN) at Camp Lookout, Valencia.

  • Registration fee per couple is P300 (open for donations).
  • What to bring: packed dinner & breakfast, bible, notepads, tent/sleeping bag/mat for men. The women will be accommodated in the cottages.
  • Assembly time: 3 pm at CCD on Sunday, Oct. 30.
  • We need volunteers for vehicles, documentation, and first aid
  • Sign-up sheet is at the back.
  • If you have any questions, please approach Dennis or Daisy Casocot

NEW CCD T-SHIRTS for sale!  This is a fundraising project to help out our Karen brothers and sisters. Samples are displayed at the back.  Please pay as you order.



Where He Walked Or How He Walked?

Oct 16th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

“The tour of all tours”, in my opinion, is how I describe our recent Israel trip. You don’t just get to see and experience the life and culture of another country and race, but to be able to walk where Jesus walked, to be in an actual location where most of the Bible took place. And to mingle and interact with the Jews, is indeed a special thing. The reality though, is that most of them do not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as I mentioned in my previous pastor’s note. This is no surprise for Paul the apostle did mention of Israel’s hardening in part (Rom.11:25), but one day all Israel will be saved (vs.26).

It’s so exciting to walk where Jesus walked, but it made me think of a deeper issue: Are we willing to walk how Jesus walked? The apostle John wrote, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (NKJV – “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”) I know that in and of ourselves we cannot perfectly walk as Jesus did. But as we abide in Him and His words abide in us, then we bear the fruit of becoming like Him. And soon we see how we learn to walk as He walked.

So how did Jesus live? I believe it’s summed up in Eph.5:1 – “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Jesus exemplified perfect love. Jesus walked in love for us by meeting our greatest need: He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us. Paul says that this act was like a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  We are not loving as Jesus loves unless it is costing you something – your rights, your patience, your time, your resources…etc.

You know, people don’t always need a sermon on the love of God – sometimes they just need a friend that will hold them tight, who will put their arms around them! To walk like Jesus means that love translates into action. So, who do you know that needs love today? Maybe, it’s a friend that was just fired from the company. Could it be the stranger on the street, the kid addicted to drugs at the local jail? You can fill in the blanks. Loving others means seeing them as people and not things nor obstacles that hinder.  You see them as yourself with the same problems, difficulties, yearnings and heartaches. They are no longer people doing something to you but someone you can do something for.

I Jn 3:16-18Jn 3:16-18
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  

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– “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”  May we walk as Jesus did in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Announcement:

  • We are in the process of constructing our extension roof.  Sorry for the inconvenience. Please take precaution in entering the sanctuary.
  • Please continue praying for our H4U Dumaguete this coming November 27, 2011 at the Lamberto Macias Sports Complex.
  • NEW CCD T-SHIRTS for sale!  This is a fundraising project to help out our Karen brothers and sisters. Samples are displayed at the back.  Please pay as you order.


The Bible In 3D

Oct 8th, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

And so our Holy Land trip has come to an end. So humbled and awed of the privilege the Lord has given to me and my wife. It will never be forgotten. It’s a faith-enriching, heart-changing, and mind-enlightening experience where the very rocks and stones testify to the authenticity of the Scriptures…they make the Bible alive…a proof to its reliability and divine authorship.

There are so many stories to tell, so many insights to share, but obviously the space here is not enough. But there’s one particular place we went to that brought to remembrance a particular event in the Bible. Our tour guide brought us on top of the Mount of Olives overlooking the Dome of the Rock (a Muslim territory) and the old City of Jerusalem and the walls around it. He pointed out to us on the eastern side of the wall what probably be where Jesus stood overlooking the city and wept over it (see Luke 19:28-44Luke 19:28-44
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28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.  

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). I can’t help but broke into tears too due to the hardening of the heart of the Jews of today! Our tour guide himself was a Jew who doesn’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah. He’s very bright in fact he’s an archaelogist and a historian. Believe me we had some deep conversation about Jesus. He’s hardened. But at least I got to know the Jewish side of the reason why they don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah.

But when Jesus wept over Jerusalem, He was weeping over the fate that would come upon the nation. He predicted Jerusalem’s destruction that was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Roman General Titus laid siege to the city. Nothing changed since then. Most Jews are very religious yet have rejected Jesus. Here’s lesson #1: You’ll never know peace until you surrender to Jesus. This is why Jerusalem will never have that until they surrender to Him, which the Bible prophesied that many of them will during the Great Tribulation period.

2nd lesson: That which makes Jesus cry should also break our hearts – Jesus looked at the spiritual blindness and superficial belief in Jerusalem and He wept. When was the last time you wept over our country? Our city? What breaks your heart? Steve Jobs of Apple passed away and many are saddened and wept tears, which is very normal. But how many Christians’ hearts are broken to the fact that if he’s not a Christian he went to hell?

If our tears are measured over the last 5 years, how many had been shed for the unsaved? We aren’t really going to have an eternal impact on our city until we carry such a burden. Will you pray, ”God burden my heart. Lord Jesus make my heart break for what breaks Yours!” Shalom!



Teary Eyed In Tel Aviv

Oct 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: From Pastor Jo's Desk

The moment we landed in Ben Gurion International airport, I couldn’t help but be teary eyed. And I wondered why I felt that way. And its for two reasons:

1) Humbled by the grace of God. Who would ever think that my wife and I would one day visit the Holy Land? In and of ourselves it’s impossible. It’s only by the grace of God.

2) To actually mingle, brush shoulders with God’s chosen nation, the people of Israel! I don’t just read about them anymore, I don’t just preach about them anymore, I actually see them and is with them. That may sound shallow to many but if you understand about them as written in the Scriptures you will be in awe. For they are, their very existence, is fulfilled prophecy! Them being in their homeland is an undeniable proof of the reliability and divine inspiration of the Bible.

Israel is the divine time-clock of world history and by watching what is happening to the Jewish people, it’s possible to determine what stage has been reached in the last days program of God. When Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 the Jews were dispersed and scattered worldwide. A century ago there was no Israel. The world and even many of the Bible scholars during that time would never thought nor imagine that Israel would become a nation again.

Yet God is true to His promise. On May 14, 1948 the world witness the re-birth of the nation Israel. As soon as the state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948, Jews from the 4 corners of the earth – north, east, south, and west went home. After almost 2,000st 2,000
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se začne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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years the Jews again had a national homeland. It was a restoration unique in human history.

No other nation has been dispersed among the nations for at least 2,000st 2,000
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se začne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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years and was restored to their homeland and still remain an identifiable ethnic unit. They never lost their identity and so is their language. Hebrew is now the language spoken by the Jews of Israel. Oh it’s a thrill to me hearing them speak Hebrew before my very ears! It’s the only dead language in history that has been restored.

A prophecy was given that a time will come that Israel would once more become fruitful as a nation. “In the days to come Jacob (Israel) will take root; Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the earth with fruit.” (Isaiah 27:6Isaiah 27:6
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6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.  

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) This verse has literally come true because today Israel grows some of the best fruit in the world. Ever heard of Jaffa oranges? We have tasted it here and its so pulpy and delicious! They export fruit to every continent on earth except Antarctic!What we see transpiring in the Middle East is all because the fig tree has sprouted leaves, it budded…just as Jesus predicted!

Beloved, if the Jewish nation today is one of the most remarkable evidences of fulfilled prophecy and proves the trustworthiness of God’s Word, be assured also that all the promises given to you as a child of God, and as one belonging to the church, will surely come to pass! Rest on His promises today.

“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:192 Peter 1:19
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19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  

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)