12 weeks & 1 day


The awesomeness of God’s grace is overwhelming as we inch our way past the 12th week mark. We cannot comprehend the overflow of God’s provisions. Everyday is truly a day to ccelebrate. Thank you Lord!
25 weeks to go!

ANO HANAP?

…Kinilaw na kanin sa tanghali,
Merienda mo’y sinigang na ube…

Hindi pa naman kami umaabot sa lebel ng “LUTONG BAHAY” ng Parokya ni Edgar…pero kung kinakailangan, why not! Sa ngayon, Maggi instant chicken noodles ang pinaka kakaibang pagkaing kailangan kong hanapin! Take note, hindi lucky me o payless…kailangan MAGGI!  

Madali namang mapasaya ang asawa ko, natataon lang na wala yung mga bagay na hinahanap-hanap niya sa sandaling gusto niya. Buti na lang at maunawain ang aking asawa, tatanggapin na lang niya kung ano ang meron. Kaya nga ako napangasawa…hahaha!

Sa puntong ito, gusto ko lang iparating na handa akong ibigay ang lahat ng gusto niya sa abot ng aking makakaya. Hindi ko susukuan ang parating na hamon. Kahit adobong kulani ng kubang kalabaw na lumaki sa bukana ng bulkang mayon ay gagawan natin ng paraan.

Minsan lang ito…kaya go lang ng go para sa ikabubti ni baby! Ipush mo lang pag…kahit ano pa hanap mo!

4:22 am

It’s the first morning of 2017…and my wife is snoring her way to a deep sleep as I climb into bed with my post new year celebration getup. Who would’ve thought that we would reach 2017? As hours became minutes, and minutes turned to seconds, the reality of another year was slowly coming into fruition…gosh, i’m getting old for this.

2016 is now a distant memory. Everything that happened then can be considered last year’s stories…even if it was just hours ago. We are now about to start a new year full of opportunities…so practice writing your date writing skills and take out 2016 out of your system! Let’s ride the 2017 bus to new opportu ities.

So as i close my first post for the year, let me just say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! 

This is TJ, dozing off

4:40aM

BOOK COVER DESIGNS (11-18-2016)

After being IDLE for months in designing, I’ve finally made a comeback!

Below are four approved book cover designs for print and digital posting.

 

FOCUSE WEALTH by Jeffrey Keill and ROSE TINTED MEMORY by Michael Fryer are both available at  www.PerissosMedia.com

 

WHO'S REALLY IN THE MANGER by Michael Fryer and Jerry Kuzma's 5th PRAISE & WORSHIP Volume – HOW TO IGNITE YOUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP IN 7 DAYS are available at www.IgniteMyWorship.com

All praises to Him who gave me all good things!

MAKING A COME BACK

…is just so hard…

For months, I’ve been enjoying the pleasures of self. I have been feeding my egotistical desires without any regret. I have been succumbing to the lust pattern of my flesh…the cravings for approbation and power. I was going down so fast that I never realized the damage I was doing to myself and the people who genuinely love me unconditionally. I was a wreck…and still am…but now, I’m going back.

Back to the One Who loved me first. The One Who died for me even if I was still His enemy. The One Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross. The One Who knows my name. I’m going back to Jesus. Not that my position in the family of God has been compromised. Romans 8:38 & 39 is clear that nothing can separate me from the love of the Almighty. But, even if I am secured on the inside, for the past few months, I have been living a lie as stated by 1 John 1:6.

I have been teaching and leading prayer and leading worship
routinely…a hypocrite at best. There were times when the Holy Spirit rebuked
me to recover and confess my sins, but the evil I have chosen has already
engraved a path of least resistance in my conscience that it took only a couple
of minutes before I was back in the cradle of sin. Pseudo-happiness took over
the joy I once had with Bible Doctrine. A mistake that happened one small
choice at a time.

Now…I am crumbling on the inside. My norms and standards are slowly picking up the pieces. Doctrine is once again renewing my mind so that I can have the strength to not conform to this world. I cannot fathom the depth of God’s grace, mercy and compassion.

Just as I was reading a portion of my scheduled 12-week devotion
with my wife, I was brought to tears reading this principle “Every event in your life must be understood and interpreted by the Scriptures, for the God revealed in scripture does not change.” Then it goes to Malachi 3:6.

We are so blessed to have an Immutable God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And it is because of His mercies and compassion that we…the broken and sinful…are not consumed. So how stupid am I not to go back?

Para sa Kanya o Laban sa Kanya

 

Nasanay tayong mabuhay na hindi pinapansin ang Diyos. Nasanay tayong magpaka-manhid sa mga mumunting kalabit Niya at magbingibingihan sa mga bulong Niya. Nasanay tayong magdahilan…gumawa ng paraan…lahat ng pwede, basta hindi lang magmukhang corny or uncool.  

Sa huli, dalawang bagay lang yan – para ka ba sa Kanya o laban sa Kanya?

Paano ba mapaparangalan si Cristo?  Paano ba naluluwalhati ang Diyos?
 Wala kang pwedeng gawin o ibigay sa Diyos para maluwalhati Siya.
 Hindi sa mga bagay na ginagawa natin nadadakila ang Diyos, kundi sa
kung ano ang ginagawa Niya para sa atin.  Naluluwalhati Siya kung
nabibiyayaan Niya tayo.  At para mabiyayaan Niya tayo, kailangan nating
magkaroon ng kapasidad na tumanggap ng biyaya Niya.

Kamakailan lang bumili ng larong Monopoly ang kapatid ko. Tuwang-tuwa yung pamangkin kong 3 taong gulang lang. Siyempre, pwedeng-pwede niyang paglaruan iyon, kaya lang may problema. Hindi siya marunong maglaro noon. Wala pa siyang konsepto ng pera, ng pagbili ng mga ari-arian, etc. Pagdating ng panahon, pwede niyang laruin iyon, pero hangga’t wala pa siyang kakayahang mag-addition o maintindihan ang gamit ng pera, hindi niya mapapakinabangan ang larong iyon.

Ganyan ang konsepto ng kapasidad. Sa tuwing pinipili mo ang Diyos, sa
tuwing pinipili mong sundin Siya kaysa problemahin ang sasabihin o
iisipin ng iba,  lumalaki ang kapasidad mo. Kasi kung idadahilan mo
yung ibang tao kaya ka nag-aalangang sumunod, para mo naring sinabi sa
Diyos na hindi Niya alam kung ano ang katumbas ng pagsunod sa Kanya.

Alam ng Diyos ang mga plano Niya sa buhay natin (Jer. 29:11) at wala Siyang ibang hangad kundi ang ikabubuti natin.

Para ka ba sa Kanya o laban sa Kanya – nasasaiyo kung paano mo sasagutin iyan.

MY LAST SUNDAY IN AMERICA

“Every Praise, every praise is to our God…”

That was the song that stuck to my head while I was on Crossway Baptist Church –  the second church we went to last Sunday. Every little thing that happened to me on my trip to the US is a realization that everything is due our God!

Last Sunday was memorable to me since I was able to see the sending church of Pastor and Ma’am Hooge. An auditorium that seated 2000+ people and numerous room for Sunday school. They have classes for almost everyone. Kids to grandparents, singles to couples, students to workers, old timers to new comers, everyone had a program they can go to. It was amazing to see how God has been working in Highstreet Baptist Church. Pastor Hooge also drove me by the original building which was bought by another church. God is indeed good!

Then, after having lunch with the Merits, who by the way told me that they “miss y’all back home,” Sir and Ma’am brought me to ma’am Hooge’s uncle Bob who once had a 20 piece guitar collection. He’s 90+ years old and still plays like Chet Atkins. He let me play the one and only guitar in his collection. It was a privilege!

After quite some time, we headed to Crossway Baptist Church, another big church, for the evening service. Paula Buscho, Pastor and Ma'am Hooge's only daughter, is part of the Praise and Worship team there. They introduced me to a great praise and worship leader, Mark Mathes, who is also the composer of the song "Sometimes it takes a mountain" that is sung in one of the Gaither DVDs. He invited me to join and observe their practice run upfront and got extra blessing when they let me join the team during their evening service. It was really a blessing…my knees were literally shaking in fear and excitement…mixed emotions at its best. Now, I have a new friend in the ministry of music.

Church hopping last Sunday was fun, but nothing beats the fulfilment I get whenever I am in Faith Baptist Church – South Metro. A lot of people have told me that 2 weeks in the US is not enough…that I should extend my stay. Yes, 2 weeks is not enough to understand and really take in the culture of America, but I am more interested in going home. As the famous line said “There’s no place like home!”

SLAP IN THE FACE

When realizations in life hits you so hard that it feels like an actual slap in the face!

Two nights ago, while attending a convention here in Warrensburg, Missouri, a unique message about sin were given to an audience of over 2000 students and a handful of adults. The text was taken from the story of Jacob and how he purposefully lied to his father just to get the inheritance. I thought – a common message that was fit for the average teenager…but never have I been soooooooo wrong! A different light into this story made me question my own Christian living. The speaker didn’t hold back…and it felt like heads were rolling from the bleachers of the auditorium.

We have bought into the mentality that certain sins are harmless and that we could get away with some…just like jacob did with her momma’s be-like-Esau plan to fool Isaac. Well…you sure could get away with it, but the effect would last longer than you think…for Jacob, it was 20 years or more before he wrestled with God.

At the moment God appeared and started battling it out with Jacob, the Almighty then did something…He asked the same question Jacob’s father, Isaac, asked back then…”WHO ARE YOU?” After 20 years, Jacob was given a harsh reminder of what he did to his earthly father…now, would he do the same to his spiritual father and claim to be someone else?

Finally, at the end of the struggle…Jacob finally told the truth. He said “I am Jacob…” in his language, it was like saying…”It’s me…the deceiver.” I’m glad it didn’t end that way…I’m glad that grace was greater! Because in the end, God said…nope…not anymore! From now on, you’ll be called…ISRAEL.

From a deceiver to a powerful nation…what a slap in the face…by grace!

– just another quickpost –

LOVE

Last Sunday, I received a letter from one of our young people. She was among the first batch of outreach kids we ministered to when our church held its first youth camp. As how things usually go during and after youth camps: she accepted Jesus as Savior, became active in the church’s young people, and then, she gradually stopped attending. She would attend during special services or if the church has an event, but other than that, we don’t usually see her. I do not know how long she has stayed in church or how long or how many times she has stopped attending but lately, she started being active again. She even volunteered for our VBS and has expressed her desire to be involve in the various ministries of our church.

To get back to the letter I received from her, it is very humbling to see someone experience God’s love and be changed by it.  I was reviewing my old blog and saw this post from March 2010 and thought of sharing…

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As a kid, the memories I had of my 2 lolas were of the exact opposites.  I remember getting awakened by my lola on mornings during weekdays to prepare for school, my breakfast ready with milk or a hot chocolate drink that goes with it or my bath prepared for me.  Of course, my ate was treated differently.  Lola will wake her up and tell her to get her food, eat breakfast and take a bath…along with a reminder to move fast or we’ll be late for school. That along with numerous occasions where she expressed her favor towards me led to my being teased as lola’s favorite by our relatives.  Well, admittedly, I really am lola’s favorite apo but during those days, I never did acknowledge that…until we transferred to the province.  This time, we lived with my mother’s side of the family. The lola who used to prepare my bath or my breakfast is now a million miles away and was replaced by the lola who prefers to give MILO or bread to her other apos because we were not her favorites.  Talk about being on top then ending in the bottom of the rank.  I was demoted from being the favorite to being among the not-so-favorite.

I remember how part of my reason for trying really hard to be the best in school was so I could somehow get her approval.  Aiming for the pilot section when I entered 1st year, impressing my teachers, making sure that I get in the honor roll, aiming for the next higher rank every grading period…until it became too impossible to get her approval that I just had to stop.

Have you ever tried so hard to gain someone’s love and approval that if you were given the power to grant whatever they wish for, you would?  Or have you had a person’s love and approval but you choose not to believe it instead?  

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I hope that you’ll learn to understand that He loves you.  As one song goes, nothing you can do can make Him love you more and nothing that you’ve done can make Him close the door.  He loves you and He died on the cross for you. For my fellow believers, on the other hand, I hope that you’ll remember that like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, God does not care what you have done, HE JUST LOVES YOU AND WANTS YOU TO KNOW THAT.

To quote Max Lucado: God did what we wouldn’t dare dream.  He did what we couldn’t imagine.  He became a man so we could trust Him.  He became a sacrifice so we could know Him.  And He defeated death so we could follow Him . . .Only a Creator beyond the fence of logic could offer such a gift of love.

Child-like Faith and Spiritual Cliches

 

“Sometimes obeying God is waiting on His timing.”  

 

In our church’s second campus, we have been giving the older kids responsibility in teaching the younger class’ lessons. We arranged them in pairs and have them take turns in handling the 4- to 9-year old class. To assist them in fully understanding the lesson, I translate it in Tagalog and just send the lesson to them thru Messenger. 

This week’s lesson was about Isaac – The Son of Promise and one principle struck me: “Sometimes obeying God is waiting on His timing.”  We’ve heard this time and again…wait on God’s timing.  Wait on Him, His timing is always perfect.  God always keeps His promise so you can trust Him to keep His Word…

…”Spiritual Cliches”, we have lots of them.  An instant answer to a troubled friend, some words of wisdom to encourage, but as “spiritual” as we may sound, how have we understood these “spiritual cliches”?

As overused, unoriginal or uninteresting these statements may be, it amazes me to see how kids believe these with all their hearts.  Yes, God indeed keeps His promise.  Yes, His timing is always perfect.  

Oh to have child-like faith.  Devoid of the idea that something is cliche.  Because as cliche as it may seem, that is the truth and choosing to not believe it will not change that fact.  I think we all need to go back to being children.  

So even if the PT results are always negative, or I get left out when mothers are recognized, or I hear another pregnancy news – let me be reminded of that cliche: obeying God is waiting on His timing.  Because He knows me, loves me, cares for me, and He has nothing but the best in store for me and my hubboy.