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Famous Amos

Famous Amos is a brand of chocolate chip cookie which I really enjoyed eating when I was a kid. These cookies were always available in the supermarket here in the Philippines. Lately, however, I haven’t seen one at any grocery store. Maybe they stopped importing this brand of cookies here in Manila. I hope this comes back in our¬†country because it tastes really good. ūüôā

Pic-FAChocChips425g__59413_zoom

You may be asking why I’m blogging about a certain brand of chocolate chip cookie. Well, the reason there is because there’s a book in the Bible that I’ve read lately with the namesake: Amos. Thus the title ūüėÄ

However,¬†unlike the name of the brand of cookie “Famous Amos”, the book that I read from the Bible isn’t as¬†FAMOUS.

Were you surprised that there was such a book? I bet that a lot of us didn’t¬†even know¬†that such a book existed in God’s word. ūüôā

Usually, I tend to not have that much of an interest from books like Amos in the Bible (others would be Joel, Nahum, Haggai etc.). Sometimes I get the feeling that I think I’d have more insights and revelations from the more popular ones out there. What a mindset right?! :))

Last week, however, while I was reading the book of Amos, God broke this kind of thinking in me. A few verses from Amos struck me hard and even inspired me with the prophet’s life. Last week I encountered this passage of scripture:

Amos 7:12-16
And Amaziah said to Amos, ‚ÄúO seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13¬†but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.‚Ä̬†14¬†Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, ‚ÄúI was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15¬†But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‚ÄėGo, prophesy to my people Israel.‚Äô 16¬†Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

In this passage of scripture God called Amos to speak and prophesy against king Jeroboam of Israel as clearly seen in verse 11:

Amos 7:11
For thus Amos has said,¬†‚Äú‚ÄėJeroboam shall die by the sword,¬†and Israel must go into exile¬†away from his land.‚Äô‚ÄĚ

Amos’ job isn’t a very popular one.¬†I‚Äôd compare his job¬†to a modern day journalist whose job is to expose corruption in the government. It‚Äôs a very dangerous¬†job and risk your life with a kind of job as his. Amos was famous here, but it’s not the good kind of famous. He was infamous to the king and his officials¬†because they didn’t like him for speaking God’s word of truth to them. Amaziah, one of the king’s officials,¬†didn‚Äôt like what he saw and heard from Amos. That‚Äôs why in verse 12, Amaziah told Amos:

Amos 7:12-13
And Amaziah said to Amos, ‚ÄúO seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13¬†but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.‚ÄĚ

Amaziah didn‚Äôt like what he heard from Amos, that‚Äôs why he told him to leave them and not prophesy again. He told Amos that it‚Äôs the king‚Äôs sanctuary! It’s as if he’s telling Amos NOT TO DO those things because he was just an ordinary person. Who was he anyway to say those things in the king’s sanctuary?¬†I think for Amaziah, if the king doesn’t know you, if you’re not popular or famous, if you’re just an ordinary human being then it’s better not to speak up at all. He discourages that kind of a behavior from people like Amos. Sounds familiar?

Though we may not have really experienced this kind of treatment from anyone.¬†I believe that some of us feels like Amos a lot of times.¬†Sometimes we feel like we’re just a nobody in this world. We think we don’t have the background, the experience or the pedigree to have any say in the important matters of this world. Why waste our time in having a say in the important and essential matters of this world when nobody will even listen to us? Is this true for you? Have you felt the same way before?

Well if those things are true for you, I’d just like to encourage you how Amos responded to Amaziah’s comments about him. Reading his reply to Amaziah inspired me to emulate what he did. In verses 14-16, this is what Amos said:

Amos 7:14-16
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, ‚ÄúI was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.¬†15¬†But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‚ÄėGo, prophesy to my people Israel.‚Äô¬†16¬†Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

After reading Amos’ response to Amaziah, I¬†got encouraged. These are one of the few verses in this book that really struck me. It changed my mindset about how I see certain things. At first, like what I mentioned above, I felt that I won’t get too much insight or revelations from this book because Amos isn’t famous in the Bible. I was no different from Amaziah, I was treating Amos the same way! But God rebuked me as I read this passage of scripture. Amos’ reply to Amaziah was very commendable and I think so should be our response everytime people would look down on us. He had two responses:

First, he had a proper estimation of who he really was. He knew¬†that he was no prophet nor a prophet’s son. He wasn’t really as famous as Isaiah or Jeremiah in the Bible. He said that he was just an ordinary herdsman and dresser of sycamore figs. I believe that we should have the same response. We shouldn’t try to pretend who we are NOT. ¬†Let’s not try to pretend we’re someone else, or pretend as if we’re really something when in fact we aren’t! At the end of the day our true and real identities will be revealed¬†so it’s better to¬†just accept who we really are.

Second thing that I liked with Amos’ response is what he said in verse 15. That verse started with the word: “BUT”…”BUT!” Amos¬†didn’t let his background or who he was define what God can do in and through him. He wasn’t limited and boxed with his pedigree or occupation. Amos said that it’s God who took him from where he was and commanded him to speak the truth of His word to his people. What great confidence and what a great reminder! Amos said that it was God who told him to prophesy to the people of Israel:

Amos 7:15
“…But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‚ÄėGo, prophesy to my people Israel.‚Äô”

What a great and amazing yet humbling sight. Amos wasn’t FAMOUS. Yet, even though he wasn’t famous at all. Even though he didn’t have the pedigree or background, he didn’t let that stop him from letting God do great and amazing things in his life. I believe that the same is true for a lot of us today. We shouldn’t let our skills, experience, or reputation define what God can do through us in the future. Especially for us Christians, we know already that we’ve been set apart by God to do great and amazing things for him. We shouldn’t let our insecurities get in the way of our great destinies. After all, if it’s God who calls us, he’ll also be the one who’ll accomplish his work through us. Let’s just go and Let God. ūüôā If God tells us to do something, let’s have the same response as Amos which is obedience:

Amos 7:16
Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Personal

 

My ONE THING this 2015: THE GOSPEL

Happy New Year! 2014 had been amazing year! I hope it was for you as well. Look¬†forward for a more amazing 2015 to¬†you and your family. ūüôā

2015_2Here we go!

It’s that time of the year once again where we plan the things we want to accomplish for 2015, write our faith goals (Hello Prayer and Fasting 2015), write new years resolution or¬†write blogs¬†about writing new years resolution HEHE.¬†(Hi Paolo Santillan great blog by you: http://paolosantillan1215.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/new-years-resolution-2/).

Last December 31, 2014 my mentor, Pastor Daniel, wrote a blog:¬†http://danieltrinidad.com/2014/12/31/how-to-plan-through-your-2015/ to¬†help us plan through our 2015. Read it! It’s very encouraging and will help you plan your 2015 as well. What I like about his blog is he told us to: “Think about our “one thing” this year”. He said in his blog (paraphrased) that deciding on pursuing one major thing for 2015 helps you be more productive.¬†Having too many things to think about for next year may spread you too thin; you may risk not being able to accomplish anything or maybe just a few in mediocrity.

I found prioritizing that “ONE THING”¬†to be very effective as I recall how I started my 2014 last year.

MY ONE THING LAST YEAR: HONOR GOD
Last year I wrote a blog titled 10:31: https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/1031/ and in that entry¬†the main point is figuring out the importance of doing everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Now because I started that year like that, it set the direction of my 2014, always aligning things for his honor and glory. I also noticed in most of my conversations with¬†students that¬†this had been what was overflowing from my heart while talking to them.¬†The tagalog term is more familiar to¬†us: it’s been a “bukang bibig” for me. That one thing has now become something that has been deeply ingrained with me hopefully until the day I die. Thinking of your “ONE THING” really does help big time. ūüôā

HONOR GOD

MY ONE THING THIS YEAR: THE GOSPEL
Now for this year, after revisiting my personal mission statement and constantly trying to align it to God’s will. I decided that my one thing for this year will be the Gospel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I’m going to totally forget my one thing last year. What happens here is it builds up every year. To honor and glorify God: that’s my end goal, it’s my life purpose. However, I do realize that staying true to the accomplishment of that purpose¬†will¬†not be as easy.

GOSPEL

You see, because when sin entered humanity, it destroyed our original design to glorify him in all¬†that we do. Because of sin,¬†our design to honor God got¬†derailed. However, because of the gospel we are can now be¬†back on track to our original purpose. Below are two¬†things about the gospel that will hopefully help widen our perspective about it. Hopefully as you understand the gospel more, then you’ll realize the need to go deeper with it¬†in order to live a life that glorifies Him.

The-Power-of-God-cover-photo

1) The GOSPEL saves us from the PENALTY of sin

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,…

Sin in and by itself does not bring any glory to God PERIOD. The gospel saves us from the penalty of sin. No doubt in that, I believe that most of us know this already. However, the problem comes when our understanding of the gospel gets limited to this fact. While it’s true that the gospel is the only way that we can enter heaven and have eternal life. While it’s true that the gospel is the ABC of Christianity what’s NOT true is that it is only limited to those two things. The next point helps us understand how powerful the gospel is in helping us live a life the honors God.

2) The GOSPEL saves us from the POWER of sin

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,…

We all know that sin is powerful. We may have already been saved from its penalty but it can prevent us from living a God-honoring life. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the POWER of God. We have to realize that the gospel is MORE powerful than sin. WE are not more powerful than sin, left on our own, sin leaves us helpless, but with the help of the gospel we can live out our purpose in Christ.

Upon meditating the last few days of 2014 and taking a look at my personal mission statement. I realized and was reminded once again of the POWER of the GOSPEL. That’s why I decided this year to focus on the thing that will fuel and empower me to¬†live a life that glorifies his name: THE¬†GOSPEL.

In summary:

THE GOSPEL GIVES ME THE POWER TO LIVE A LIFE THAT HONORS AND GLORIFIES GOD

How about you? What’s your ONE THING for this year? ūüôā

Happy New Year! Onwards to 2015!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Personal

 

That ONE important thing I missed in the book of PROVERBS

For the past few¬†weeks, I’ve been reading and meditating on the book of Proverbs again for my quiet time. The last time I did an in depth study on this book was almost three years ago when I turned 25. Now, since I’m entering a new season of bigger responsibilities I just felt that I should read it again to get practical insights and gain more wisdom, especially in decision making.

Proverbs

A proverb is defined as “a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.” There are many verses in the book of Proverbs which contains short, timeless pieces of truth as observed by the authors of this book. In one section of the book of Proverbs, specifically in Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, these are where you’ll find most of the “short pithy sayings”. Most of the¬†sayings that you’ll find here are contrasts, for example:

Proverbs 10:4
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth”

In this proverb, laziness and diligence are being contrasted, and seeing the conclusion that both brings.

Having said that, if you’ll look at Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, there are more than 340 proverbs that you’ll find in¬†those 13 chapters. This is the part of proverbs that we usually remember. This is the part where we get our most quotable quotes in the book of Proverbs, quotes about diligence, prudence, wisdom and so on and so forth. In fact, I surveyed a few of my friends and asked them what comes to their mind when they think of the book of Proverbs? My friends said that things that automatically pop in their minds are: wisdom, diligence, fear of the Lord and so on and so forth. In fact, if I were to ask you, what comes to your mind when you think about the book of Proverbs, you’ll most probably say the same things. These are also the same thing that came¬†to my mind! As I mentioned earlier, I read the book of proverbs more than three years ago, I used that book as my quiet time for 30 days. I even wrote a blog to note my top learnings from that book:

The top learnings from my blog more than two years ago are divided into two categories: Wisdom for work and Wisdom for relationships. Here’s the top things:

Wisdom for Relationships
1) The value of holding your tongue
2) Quarelling
3) Covering Offenses
4) Patience vs. Temper
5) Rebuke

Wisdom for Work
6) Diligence vs. Sluggishness
7) Prudence
8) The downfall of trusting in one’s ways
9) Planning and seeking advices to ensure victory
10) The advantage of wisdom vs. wealth and riches

Now, the reason I’m saying this is because after reading the book of proverbs again for the past few weeks. I tried to do a simple analysis on the 340 proverbs in those 13¬†chapters. What’s my Math and Statistics skills for anyway? HAHA. Might as well put them to good use.

I carefully copied and pasted all 340+ proverbs for a few days then tried to group¬†them according to the category where they’l best fit, in my own opinion anyway! As usual, there’re categories like diligence, wisdom, the tongue, correction that stood out. However, what surprised me the most is that I discovered another category of these 340+ proverbs which I totally missed out as I’ve read this book before. This category, in my opinion is actually the biggest category which we can group all these 340+ proverbs, this group contains more proverbs than any other category we can find in those 13 chapters. When I saw and learned about this last week, I was so dumbfounded that I can’t believe I missed it all the while! I guess this the reason why we really have to study scripture. This is the reason why we can’t let our feelings interpret what the word of God has to say.

One thing

Ok so I’m already making this too long for you already. To satisfy your curiosity, the biggest category in those 13 chapters and 340+ proverbs is the category that talks about RIGHTEOUSNESS or a RIGHTEOUS PERSON. That’s right! That’s more than 14% of those 340 proverbs.

BIG DEAL right?! When I learned about that, I was like, “OKAY! So what’s the importance of that?” at first. However, I realized that there must be a purpose why there’s so many proverbs that talks about righteousness. I can’t just easily dismiss it like that. So I tried to learn more about that word.

What is RIGHTEOUSNESS anyway, or what does a RIGHTEOUS PERSON look like? When I hear the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I think of people who are good, nice, religious, holy maybe? That’s why maybe the word never resonated for me in the book of Proverbs. However, as I researched on the word, I realized that it was way more than my perception on it at first. The word RIGHTEOUSNESS is defined as such in http://www.gotquestions.org:

“Dictionaries define ‚Äúrighteousness‚ÄĚ as behavior that is morally justifiable or right. Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness.”

RIGHTEOUSNESS¬†is more than just a nice person, it’s more than just good behavior. RIGHTEOUSNESS¬†goes beyond those things and is supposed to be associated with morality, justice, virtue and uprightness according to gotquestions.org. As I looked at most of the proverbs which contains the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I noticed that RIGHTEOUSNESS some of the things it is associated to:

A PERSON WHO HAS INTEGRITY
Proverbs 20:7
The righteous lead blameless lives;…

A PERSON WHO RUNS TO THE NAME OF THE LORD
Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

A PERSON WHO SPEAKS LIFE
Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,…

A PERSON WHO HAS JUST PLANS
Proverbs 12:5
The plans of the righteous are just,

After reading all of those things that describes a righteous person, my perspective on it totally changed. I now love righteousness! This is what a righteous person looks like. Now I realized why there’s so many things written about it in the book of Proverbs.

After having all of these revelations, I realized that if I really desire wisdom and if I want to make the right decisions and choices then I have to be a RIGHTEOUS person. A righteous person again, is someone who has integrity, runs to the name of the LORD, has just plans and one who speaks life.

Basically, to summarize everything I said above, a righteous person, is a person who does WHAT IS RIGHT. If you want to have wisdom in your decisions in life, then ask yourself that question: “What’s the RIGHT THING to do?” I believe that God through the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us in making the right choices and gaining wisdom in the choices that we make. God bless! ūüôā

*Disclaimer – The topic of RIGHTEOUSNESS¬†here talk about what proverbs tells about it and does not contain the whole view of the BIBLE. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Personal

 

Four things I learned from my M.S. in Mathematics degree

Don’t worry the learnings I posted here are not related to any of my Mathematics subjects. Read on! ūüėÄ

Last Saturday I graduated from my M.S.¬†in Mathematics program which I started to take¬†last May 2010. This has been such a sweet journey for me. I saw God’s faithfulness in my life as I completed the program. I really wanted to take-up PH.D in Mathematics and Statistics but I just know in my heart that God has called me into full-time ministry. The good thing is that God allowed me to finish my M.S. at least which was more than enough for me.

Masters

I really enjoy Mathematics (Advanced Mathematics) which is not what 99% of the world’s population would say HAHA! Even as I learned so much from the advanced Mathematics courses like Abstract Algebra, Linear Algebra, Combinatronics of Finite Geometries, Game Theory and other fields. This M.S. journey also taught and reinforced in me a lot of other intangibles which I know I’ll bring wherever God will lead¬†me. Here are four intangibles that my M.S. taught and reinforced in¬†me:

1) The power to create

This is also known as creativity but somehow that word is not associated much with Mathematics. The reason being is that people think Mathematics is a closed science, meaning there’s no more new discoveries in this field. This is a wrong mindset because Mathematics will never run out of things to discover. It’s been there ever since the dawn of time and will continue to have new fields and new discoveries as long as time is in existence.

When I¬†started working on my Thesis, this was the most difficult part of my M.S.¬†because for the other subjects: I just have to study my notes and make sure I pass the tests. For the Thesis however I have to produce something original. At first I was thinking how can I do that? Is it really possible? I started this year just brainstorming and thinking of ideas which I can use for my thesis. By the grace of God he led me to ideas and concepts which my Thesis adviser approved and allowed me to work on. I presented and defended my paper with no reference papers as a starting point. I got nervous when one of the panelists asked me for references, but I said that I didn’t have any and based my paper on the nature of my work. Praise God it was approved though!

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.10.26 PM

Creativity is something that human beings are designed to do! After musing on this I remember that verse in Genesis saying:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” –¬†Genesis 1:27

We are created beings made after the image of a creator! God gave us the ability to create and be creative. Amazing! Of course I’m not saying that we can create out of nothing, only God can do that. ūüôā

2) Thinking analytically

As someone who loves Mathematics and was¬†an undergraduate of Statistics, I would think that I was already someone who thought analytically. When I was taking up¬†this M.S. I realized that I was far far from someone who was one. The challenges and problems that my M.S. gave me was a far cry from the problem sets in¬†College. I thought my M.S. in Mathematics was going to be easy but it was not. I really have to think hard and deep when we’re given problem sets. There were times that I’d almost give up but by God’s grace I didn’t go down without a fight.

This is a very powerful intangible for me because my boss would always tell us that we should always think about the things that we do. We ought to make sure that we have enough reasons and evidences whenever we’re going to initiate a new project or make a change. My training in my graduate course helped train my brain in thinking deeply and analytically. ūüôā

Gears

3) The limitation of the human brain

I remember during the first term of my M.S. in Mathematics. We were given problem sets to solve. It was take home! I’d imagine all college students rejoicing whenever you have a take home exam. However, for those taking up M.S. in Mathematics. That may not automatically be good¬†because whenever you have take home exams it only means that the questions will be way way harder that what will be¬†given in a 3 hour test.

There are some questions that I’m not able to answer, it was just so difficult. The proofs of some questions can be seen online but even if I read the proof I still have a difficult time understanding it! We had a basic subject¬†like Real Analysis which was just out of this world.¬†There were moments wherein I thought to myself why did I ever take up this course!? It was so difficult!

9781482216370

I realized that our human brain has its own limitations. If for the field of Mathematics alone, which is a pure science and where subjectivity is almost null, how much more limited our human capacity is to understand the complexity of life! I’m reminded of the verse in Isaiah:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,¬†neither are your ways my ways, declares the¬†Lord.¬†For as the heavens are higher than the earth,¬†so are my ways higher than your ways¬†and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

There will just be some things that we will never fully comprehend because of our limitations. That’s a fact and the sooner we admit and surrender to that the more we’ll trust in God in his plans and purposes for our lives. In this life, understanding and science are good but both are limited. God never called us to try to understand all the complexities in the universe anyway. He calls us to trust in him.

Trust in the¬†Lord¬†with all your heart,¬†and¬†do not lean on your own understanding.¬†In all your ways¬†acknowledge him,¬†and he¬†will make straight your paths.¬†–¬†Proverbs 3:5-6

4) The grace and sovereignty of God

Relating this point to my two other previous points. The more limited I see myself the more I’d be reliant on the grace and sovereignty of God in my life. There were moments in my M.S. exams where I thought to myself “How can I possibly pass these subjects!?” They were just too complex and complicated. If a professor gives us a problem that¬†are just out of our league I don’t know how we could have ever passed those exams. My Thesis got delayed for one year because of my work. It was very tough to manage both at one point. For three terms I would start out by saying “I’m going to start on my thesis” but for three terms there were no original ideas that were popping out of my mind. This 2014 I was able to start and finish it, but looking back and pondering on the journey of my thesis, I knew that I couldn’t have done it on my own.¬†It was just the grace of God that I was able to finish my M.S.

That’s where I realized that it’s true that it’s not by our own works but it is the grace of God alone. The grace of God is the reason¬†why we can do all the things that we do right now. We can never be too arrogant in life. Hopefully our response will be¬†to continually thank him because of his grace in our lives. ūüôā

But he said to me, ‚ÄúMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.‚ÄĚ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hope you find these learnings helpful for you! Always trust and depend on the grace and sovereignty of God in your lives. That’s the best thing you can do in your life every single day for the rest of your lives. God bless! ūüôā

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Life Lessons, Numbers, Personal

 

Tags: , ,

Book Challenge

I am accepting this challenge from my friend Perci Paras to name the top 10 books that have impacted my life.

top10books-300x250

I am excluding the Bible here because it is in a class in itself. It cannot be possibly compared with other books that we know.

Here are the top 10 books, but I think I can’t put them in order because they¬†made an impact in different areas of my life. Here goes:

10) I Kissed Dating Goodbye

This book helped my develop my convictions in guarding my relationship with the opposite sex. I encourage all students and  all single professionals (whose season have not yet arrived) to read this.

9) The Meaning of Marriage

Don’t let the title of the book think that this is only for married couples. This is a great book for everyone since one day we’re all going to get married (well for most). Tim Keller gives a great Biblical insight on the purpose, essence, mission etc. of marriage. I think that when people read this, they will have a realistic viewpoint of what marriage is all about and correct certain false expectations about it.

8) Who Moved my Cheese?

This is a book about change. You can read this in an hour or so! This book helped me view CHANGE differently and how to navigate through all the unexpected things that this world will bring. I wrote a blog recently about this. Check it out!

7) Living by the Book

How to read your Bible! As a new Christian I wanted to get the most out of my Bible reading experience. This book inspired me to read it more and more and more! Because of this book, I’ve meditated on the Bible and got the best out of it! This is a classic and is very reader friendly too.

6) The Life You’ve Always Wanted

A book about spiritual disciplines. I recommend this especially for those have been longer in the faith already. John Ortberg is one of my favourite authors because of his very candid yet profound writing style. This book helped me view life differently especially with the way I pace myself, my prayer life, reading the Bible and living a well balanced life. I still need to revisit this book from time to time to get better at the other spiritual disciplines.

5) The Calculus 7

I’m a Math Major, need I say more? This book helped me appreciate derivatives, integration, series and limit all the more. One of the best Calculus books, if not the best, for all college students.

4) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

This really has to be at the top 5. I believe my top ten will change the more I read and as the years pass, but I believe nothing can replace this on my top 5. I’ve been applying those 7 habits ever since the time I read this book and continually use them. A lot of leadership books have their roots in Stephen Covey.

The reason I put these next three books is because I did not just get a good idea from them, but because their leadership have had an influence in my life as well. They reached thousands of people with their leadership including mine. That’s why these three are very powerful to me.

3) The Lego Principle: The Power of Connecting to God and One Another

Great book about valuing relationships. God really did put it simply: Love Him, Love others. It’s simple but not easy. I learned the basic relationship principles from Pastor Joey Bonifacio: TRUST, LOVE, FORGIVENESS and COMMUNICATION. These four never fails.

The LEGO Principle.final front cover

2) Wiki Church: Making Discipleship Engaging, Empowering and Viral

Discipleship changed my life, it can change your as well! However, this book are for those who are already discipled. I encourage you, especially if you’re reading this to read this so that you will be inspired to make disciples and be the difference our society longs for. Discipleship can change the world! Jesus himself said to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES. This book simplifies discipleship and makes it exciting.

Screen-shot-2012-03-29-at-4.58.43-PM-219x300

1) 100 Years From Now: Sustaining a Movement for Generations

This book talks about the core values of our Every Nation Church all summed up in one phrase: Honor God and Make Disciples.

100_years_from_now_cover_art_1024x1024

I really wrote around 20 books but I cannot put them all here because I’ll break the rule of¬†the challenge. I’ll just write them here just like any other top 10 blog would do. HEHE:

Others that did not make the top 10 but still made an impact in my life are:

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Courageous Leadership, Habitudes, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Case for Christ, Next Generation Leader, Communicating for a Change, Christ-Centered Preaching, The Principle of the Path.

Share yours! I nominate LifeBox Malate to post their top ten blogs and all Victory Group Leaders in LifeBox Malate. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Leadership, Personal

 

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A walk to constantly remember

For the past week I’ve been reading the book of Genesis chapters 5 and 6. Genesis 5 talks about genealogies from Adam to Noah while Genesis 6 talks about Noah and how his ark was built.

While I was meditating on these verses, what struck me the most in those two chapters was the phrase: “walk faithfully”.

Genesis 5:24
Enoch WALKED FAITHFULLY with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Genesis 6:9
This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he WALKED FAITHFULLY with God.

Here were two men of God who clearly found favor in His eyes. I think it’s obvious that the common denominator for Noah and Enoch was that they both “WALKED FAITHFULLY” with him.

When I researched on the Hebrew meaning of that word, the Hebrew word was “Halak”. The idea behind this word is an intimate relationship of two people and this is more than just “walking” in the literal sense.

More than our achievements, more than the things that we do, more than our pedigree, family name, etc. What God really wants from us, what pleases and ultimately what’s important for Him is our walk with Him.

As I think about all the heroes in the Bible from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Nehemiah, Paul, Peter etc. This is the common denominator that stood out. Even though they themselves are sinners and failed many times. God wasn’t really concerned with what they achieved (because it was all His work anyway), what he was really concerned about is their walk with Him. Our walk with Him.

How about you? How’s your walk with God? Are you prioritizing achievements or work over your relationship with Him?

God will always be more concerned with us walking faithfully with Him.

Have a great day ahead! ūüôā

Feet on the Beach

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Discipleship, Life Lessons, Personal

 

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The Voice – Week 1

ImageLast Friday we started a brand new series titled: “The Voice”. This is a four week series which addresses the pressing issues that students face today. To know more about these pressing issues come to our brand new LifeBox Center at 3/F of University Mall to find out. We promise that you will not be disappointed. ūüôāImage

Pastor Daniel asked me to share a message during the first week which was titled: “Blind Auditions.” The topic for the first week was about Purpose. Personally I was so glad that I was assigned to speak last week because Purpose has been one of the burning issues in my life. This is one topic I really feel most passionate about when I go up there on stage to speak. I was talking to a student (Pao Santillan) the other day and I said that I had so many things to say unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I was only given a limited amount of time. Given the chance I could have spoken and taught for 3 hours or more. ūüôā

My one simple point from last Friday was this:

“We are created for HIS purpose.”

Not our friend’s purpose, not our parent’s purpose, not even our own purposes, but we are created for his purpose and his purpose ALONE. The reason I said this is because in Colossians 1:16, it says there:

“…all things have been created through him and for him.”

By simple reasoning, we can derive that since we are included in “All” and since it says there that “all things have been created… and FOR HIM.” I crafted that one simple point: “We are created for HIS purpose”

Back when I didn’t have a personal relationship yet with Jesus Christ, I really didn’t understand this concept ¬†well because I wanted to live life for myself, for my own purposes. I wanted to do what I thought I wanted to do for myself. Basically, I don’t want God’s purposes. What I didn’t know is that ever since I was a child, there had been many voices in society that have molded and shaped my way of thinking.

One of my life purposes before was to find that one special girl in my life that would “complete” me (as corny and as humiliating as that may sound). Looking back I now realize that my mind was shaped by all the media that surrounded me. Movies, music videos, and songs that convey a message that our life purpose is primarily discovered by finding our “one true love.” The problem with that way of thinking is, 1) What if that “one special someone” leaves you? 2) What if it doesn’t work out with her? 3) What if you realize that even in the company of that “loving someone” you still feel an emptiness inside? 4) What if after we find our “soulmate” we realize that we still want to do so many things in this life that we can’t accomplish because of our responsibility for each other? And so on and so forth. I’m not saying that relationships are bad, I want to make that clear. I’m for relationships and in fact I’m looking forward to that day when God prepares that special someone for my life (cheesy) :). I just want to emphasize that finding our life purpose in relationships alone is not the ultimate thing.

I also talked about finding your life purpose in achievements, success, money, fame, etc. I’ve been there in a way as well. I graduated with honors after studying college in DLSU-Manila. I landed an above average paying job in both of the first two companies I worked for. However, even with those things, I wasn’t able to find my peace and fulfillment.

The pursuit for our purpose in life seems to be quite elusive to a lot of people. Great minds in history have tried to develop philosophies, ideas, and ways of thinking just to answer the question: “What is the meaning of life?” One of the biggest proof that I know that this has been a question that people are looking an answer for is the book: “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. To date, this book has been one of the best-selling (if not the best) non-fiction book there is in the market with over 30 million copies sold!

PurposeDrivenLife

I’ve talked to many people who seem clueless and confused about their purpose and direction in life. People I admire who have great skills and talents but they still are not sure what their purpose in life is. There were a lot of times I myself gave up and found life to be meaningless. During times like those, I felt no drive to be excellent or do the things I’m supposed to do because a meaningless life will give you no drive to continue on in life. The “Why?” in life matters. It matters too much even with the little things, that’s why we see/hear a lot of kids ask the question “Why?” Why do I have to study? Why do I have to do that? What’s the purpose of doing these things?

Unless we have a good and solid answer to the question of “Why?” either we will have no drive to do the things that we’re supposed to be doing or we will just go on with life with different reasons. The sad thing is after we’ve accomplished those reasons, if they’re wrong, we’d feel empty inside.

Plumb’s song titled: God Shaped Hole says: “There’s a God Shaped Hole in all of us and it’s a void that only he can fill” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_DbnBCVGPc)

I believe, know for a fact, and not only those things but experienced it personally as well that the only way we can fill that God Shaped Hole is thru God himself (obviously). My ardent hope is that you will fill that God-Shaped hole inside your hearts only thru God and God alone. ūüôā

I ended last week’s message with two verses:

Colossians 1:15

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Our purpose in life has been made known to us thru God’s one and only son: Jesus Christ. Back when sin destroyed our relationship with God, Jesus Christ came to restore our relationship in him. Jesus also came so that our purposes in God can be restored as well. He did say in John 10:10:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

If we want to experience the fullness of life and all its purposes, we can only find it thru Jesus Christ. To live life to the full, to live life the way that it was meant to be it all starts with a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. ūüôā

See you this Friday for the second part of our series: “The Voice” the title is “Battle Round” what’s this next pressing issue that students nowadays face? To find out come join us! ūüôā

 
 

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