Gratefully offended daily

Offense is one of  life’s inescapable reality, whether  we like it or not it will come our way. We all had our taste of offense whether we may be the cause or the receiving end. But how can I be grateful when the offense happens daily? How do you handle it? or take it?

As I was reading and reflecting on the lines of Isaiah 59:22

“but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

These lines speaks so powerfully of what separates me from my creator, SIN, that causes me to be independent from God. This reminded me that deep in my core, I am truly a sinner and nothing of it deserves God’s goodness and grace. That, by faith alone in Jesus and His finish work, we can only be save and nothing else. That we can have rich and have satisfying life. That forgiveness is made available and true freedom can be attained at the cross. That is the gospel!

Daily, I need to seek God, pray and read the bible and remind myself that only Jesus can save me, nor ultimately satisfy and give me fulfilment. My good works have no value, but only the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. My great representative in fulfilling the law that I can never fulfill. This is where the daily offense happen.

The truth is the gospel is offensive because..

  1.  It tells us we are not capable of saving ourselves.
  2.  It tells us that we need a Savior, more capable and powerful than us.
  3.  It tells us that we are foolish like a sheep that needs a shepherd.
  4.  It tell us that on our own, we will never amount to anything.
  5.  It tells us that human intellect is limited.

and a lot more reasons to be offended.

And yet I chose to embrace all this everyday. The truth is God’s truth is offensive. Our response is either humility and embrace Jesus in our life or be led away by pride, independence and arrogance.

God’s truth is offensive yet worth embracing and worth rejoicing. We will never know how wonderful the good news is unless we fully understand how really awful the bad news is. We need a Savior in the name of Jesus Christ.

For that I am truly grateful to the core. And I don’t know with you, with what you choose. But I pray that you may consider the truth and respond in humility, acknowledging that salvation, freedom and joy can only come from Jesus Christ.

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me.” – Tim Keller

 

Belief governs actions

I’m currently re-reading one of the old books I’ve been keeping, titled, “The case against Christ.”by John Young. On this blog I will share a portion on the questions about the church in the hope to help and encourage our next generation leaders be equipped and be in love with reading.

Until now I still hear this statement:

“It doesn’t matter what you believe provided you live a good life. Sincerity counts more than anything else. Is it what you do that matters, not what your believe.”

Statement like this are common when people discuss religion. The trouble is they oversimplify, for beliefs and actions are tied up together.

  • If you believe that gods are pleased by human sacrifice, then it is  tough on your children.
  • If your witch doctor believe that a hole bored in your head will cure headaches, it is tough on you.
  • If the terrorist who hijacks your plane sincerely believes in this cause,  you are in for a rough time.

In our present context:

  • If people believe that due process is not important, then we are all in danger of being executed anytime.
  • If a social media user sincerely believes in bashing against all those who goes against political beliefs in a way of shutting up people from sharing their voice and honest opinions, then, our freedom of expression is suppressed.

Belief brings a great impact to our actions.

We are right to value sincerity, but false beliefs – even sincerely held false beliefs- can be disastrous. Indeed the more sincerely your “doctor” is about boring a hole in your head, the worse it will be. And the most sincere terrorist is the most dangerous of all.

Belief governs actions.

  • Why was the nazis cause such havoc in Europe? it was because the believe that the German people were a super race, with a destiny to rule the world.
  • Why did the american government cause such suffering by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945? this was because they believed that this would shorten the war ( or that it would impress the Russians, depending on your view of history).

This connection between faith and action applies to everything. It is what a person believes that makes him or her an atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Christian or a Communist or a terrorist. Our beliefs are vitally important.

Changed life| Christiane Bulawan

“I thought I was doing the right thing. I found joy and fulfilment in having same sex relationship and immorality. I didn’t care what people would say. I was happy with myself and my choices even if I was being bullied and being taken advantage of.  All I cared was finding love and being loved specially by handsome good looking men.

But then the love and care that I was looking for was not enough. There was deep loneliness and emptiness that I could not explain. I thought I was living the life as it should be then I found myself in search for the real meaning and purpose of my being.

I rejected the idea of  attending Youth Service in Victory Ortigas where I was invited. I came once and thought I already knew God and that was enough. I was constantly being invited and I would always make my academic busyness as an excuse.

After a year, I invited myself and showed up in the Youth Service. While I was standing up during the worship time I felt the presence of the Lord for the first time. I felt complete, cared and forgiven. After the service, a campus missionary approached me and connected me to a Victory Group and to a person who led me to grow more in my relationship with God. I did not hesitate, for deep within I wanted a change in my life.

It was during the one 2 one discipleship I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My  desires for flesh was still there and so were my struggles. As I continued my journey for my personal relationship with Jesus, slowly I found myself turning away from my old ways and God gave me new desires in my heart that honor Him.  

Cristiane in the middle after his water baptism.

 I finally found the love that I was looking for. Truly, only God can satisfy the deepest desires of my heart and I am grateful that He replaced those ungodly desires and continues to replace it with what pleases Him. His love is so compelling that I started to share the Gospel to my schoolmates and even to those who bullied me.  The same Gospel that transformed me is the same Gospel that I am sharing to them; the message that brings salvation, hope and forgiveness that can be found in Jesus Christ. Indeed, the change has come in my life and it can happen to anyone!”

– Christiane Bulawan; changed by the love of Christ!

Christiane is now one of our Youth leaders in Arellano University – Pasig. Recently, he made a post on facebook status.
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“I don’t want to be called ‘sis’, ‘gay’ or  ‘bhesty’. Because that is not the identity God gave me. I want to be called ‘bro’ or by my real name. The old has gone, the new has come.” – Cristiane Bulawan

ONE CONFERENCE 2016

Every Nation Campus Philippines held an event called ONE Conference last July 30, 2016 at PhilSports Area. 5,500 student leaders representing various campuses in Metro Manila participated.

Why ONE Conference?  We are one team, one campus ministry, under one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And together we are one in bringing the gospel in the campuses and communities. 

Here is a short recap video of ONE Conference.

Campus 101 by Ptr. Jon Dolor

Great notes by Zam Urbano a the school of Campus Ministry.

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Campus Ministry 101 – Notes from Ptr. Jon Dolor in the School of Campus Ministry

Security
– we are called to DO ministry not make it grow.
– we are called to DO ministry and He’ll make it grow.
1 Cor. 3:7
– God doesn’t measure our numbers, He measures our faithfulness

– a title/position can never give security like identity in God can.
Rom. 8:15

Vision
– If a vision is from God, it’s always too big for us to achieve apart from God.

Is your vision for your campus ministry too big enough to achieve?

Volunteerism
– you don’t volunteer to something you OWN.
– when you allow your volunteers to OWN the ministry, you empower them raising volunteerism to the next level.

Discipleship
– The next generation is always an endangered species.

We are intentional in raising and developing young leaders.

– Events attract crowds but events…

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Mobile Apps | Youth Leader Starter Pack

As our Youth leaders’ are excited to go back to school, they are also excited to have their allowance back. But at the same time they are also excited to fulfill the Great Commission. What is the most basic app that would help them in their mission of changing the campus and changing the world?

1. The God Test 

Because evangelism is a lifestyle, doing the God test is a great tool to help you engage your schoolmates. Start the conversation about God and join the global survey. The God Test App is both available for android and IOS users.

The God Test App

If you want to know how to do the God test, you can visit http://www.thegodtest.org, which has video guide on how to use it or you may approach your Every Nation Campus coach.

 
2. One 2 one Discipleship App

This app is designed to help you walk in faith those made the decision to accept Jesus as Lord and saviour.

one2one

Helpful features:

  1. 121 Discipleship Journey tracker ( helpful in tracker which chapter you last shared to your classmate.
  2. Different 121 Language versions (includes English, Tagalog, and other foreign languages).

 

3. Bible app

Never go without this app, although you may be using the printed version when at home, this apps comes handy and on the go. Sometimes we are on the morning rush and don’t the time to read and reflect upon waking up, whether you are on the jeep or bus. You can still have the time to savour God’s words on the go.

There are so many app versions out there, I am using YOU version and bible.is. Both provides an option for audio, as the bible say’s faith comes from hearing the message.

 

4. Dictionary

This app is helpful not just in our academics, but even in understanding God’s word. As leaders we value understanding and clearly defined words.

dictionary

 

5. Podcast

Victory App provides you podcast from your Victory Pastor preaching and sermon base materials. If ever you miss the preaching or want  to hear other preachers. This app is both available in android and IOS mobile phones.

victory app

Another app on IOS is the podcast.

podcast

 

Relationships | Why dispose? 

On my previous blog, I wrote about relationships and how they aren’t disposable.  I shared about how my friends and I overcame the challenges and how to stand firm in saying “no” to disposable relationships. These are the friends I found in church who are truly for keeps. They have been a blessing and indeed, as described in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  That is why I truly value them. 

Now, let’s talk about the people who we allow to influence us . Among the key relationships within our circles, Identify among them who you need to move to your outer circle of influence or totally disconnect with, due to it’s unhealthy influence in us. The Bible warns us about that in 1 corinthians 15:33, It says;

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Let me share with you other versions to help us better understand it.

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Spot on these quote…

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People who we choose  as friends are the people who we allow to have influence in our lives. The bible says in Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

We need friends that point us back to God in whatever situations, Who are  honest and sincere to point out our shortcoming, mistake and sin and walk with us in our faith and vision in in life. However we do not completely dispose those who we feel that brings us aways from God’s purpose,but leave enough space to keep the line open for us to share the gospel and minister to, and even have them in our prayers.

Here are a few questions to ponder on our current relationship that we allow to influence us most?

  1.  Are my friends empowering me to live a Godly life?
  2. Are my friends pushing me to go deeper in my intimacy with God?
  3. Are my friends building up my character and faith in God?
  4. Are my friends tolerating me in my worldly and ungodly ways?
  5. Do they speak the truth? and choose not to please me?

We need Godly men and women in our lives, that will help us grow deeper in our faith and relationship with Jesus. People whom we keep close to our hearts that remind of faith, vision and direction in life. People who stand along with us in our journeys and battles.