My Jehovah Jireh Indeed

Jehovah Jireh means the “YHWH Provides” in the Hebrew language. It depicts provision of the ONE who is able. I experienced this reality in three aspects of my life right now. Sharing here speaks of the testimony of Jesus in my life – past, present and future.

God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ever ask for or even imagine.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Ephesians 3:20

He provided money for the entire duration of my medical struggles. I didn’t even experience lack even when on a five month hiatus at work. Simply amazing.

Of course, I loaned some money to pay my expenses but with a good condition to pay it when able. Isn’t that amazing?

Favor simply means having what’s not merited for us. I believe in this truth all through my ordeals even until now.

He is the peace that passes all our understanding.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus… Philippians 4:7

God gave me peace of mind. Having been diagnosed has its challenges but even in this great challenges, I find peace believing God is able to heal me. Four people have spoken words of healing to me. Three people dreamed of my healing in fullness. Hundreds prayed for me.

Can I just say “thank you” for all those times of God’s testing if I can stay put and trust him more even in the midst of circumstances. 

For His grace is sufficient in my weaknesses.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”… 2 Corinthians 12:9

I have experienced being strong-willed, having the physical strength to do stuff I could do on my own. But as my senior pastor would say “it takes God to put me in bed for me to realize many stuff…” is true.

I spent the first month out of the hospital,immobilized to the point of my mom or brother cleaning me up. I even had myself bathed by my mom because I can’t bend down, my brother cleaning my dump, my other brother washing my clothes and papa fixing my food. I was messed up. But God’s grace is sufficient for my needs.

In my insufficiency, He is there. In my struggles, He is there. In my great need, He is there. Indeed, He is able.

Today, I shared my testimony at church because I had my lungs checked-up and got a negative results from two doctors, a fit to work per se. I’m pneumonia free after 5 months. The medicine works! God healed me!

Now to Him who is able to keep me from falling, be glory and power and praise forever more.

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The 2015 1st Quarter Mandate

I’ve been into the online world most of the times to let the day finish. It’s my way to make sure I can sleep straight at night because of the medications. I often sleep early a month ago ending myself to wake-up by 3AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep even if I want to.

But things change lately and part of it is to stay awake the whole day to make sure that by around 9PM, I can easily dose off to sleep. And yes, it’s pretty much a big help!

It’s 2015 and although I’m still in my recuperating stage, I need to get back on track for some things. This is to make sure that I also won’t forget some of my skills and critical thinking mindset. Of course, I’m not pushing myself to my limit. I’m taking it one small step at a time.

Just like a couple of weeks ago wherein I can’t even walk but decided to do something about it. I decided to walk without the aide of anyone else. Good thing I didn’t fell or bumped myself in doing so!

For this quarter, I intend to do some stuff which can basically help with my healing namely:

  1. Write a bi-weekly post on my personal blog (AlterEgo Project) and ministry blog ( The Forerunners Movement) to sedate myself.
  2. Try to roam around the grocery store twice-a-week to strengthen my legs and stamina in standing.
  3. Start helping out with the ministries I left behind like Generations Project, missions mobilization and preparing some training materials for some possible opportunities.
  4. Wait for opportunities to come up either in ministry or work.

I know the Lord has a lot in store for me but I must take one step at a time. It’s a prerogative to rest but I also need to have the will to live and be healed completely and without much complications.

Again, I rest my case before the Lord. I don’t want to rush things through and I’m all ears to what He intends to accomplish through these season.

2015’s Year of Jubilee

The year 2015 is my Jubilee year! I felt the nudge before 2014 ended that something is different for the year up ahead. I just know that it will be far more than what I’m imagining but at the same time challenging. It’s a transition stage as many would say.

For now, I just need to wait and rest. As the Lord showed his faithfulness for last quarter, I will see still His goodness to abound as I recuperate and wait upon the Lord’s direction for the year.

If you’re reading this post and felt the nudge to pray with me for my year, please do. It’s a new direction I’m facing and decisions have to be made that gave me peace even when it hurts. It’s a choice if I want to heal myself and stride to where and when He (my maker) leads me.

Thank you for reading.

Overcoming Life’s Expectations

It’s amazing how God can change our perspective. Back when I was in college, I feared for my future. It came to a point to even questioning God why I had to experience those circumstances before. But that was 10 years ago and God has changed and blessed my life like never before.

OVERCOME

My small group discussion last night focused on why God allows hardships in our life. The activity allowed everyone to share their current dilemmas and apply God’s word in their own circumstances. It was amazing to see the group interact with one another. Another good thing that happened is that we get to learn the different struggles each of us faced and encouraged one another.

It was a simple fellowship with the exciting truth that God will always take care of us. This is the main reason why we can overcome anything in life. It’s because of what He did on the cross that we overcame sin and death, his grace and favor that allows us to go through difficult situations and come out victorious and because only of his mercy that we live in the promises of his words day in and out.

How about you? Are you struggling right now? How can God help through your circumstances? How do you intend to go through it? Do you have any concrete plans on how to solve it?

Your answers can impact everything you are going through and can change the very situation upside-down.

Here are a few learning from last night:

  1. The abundant life God offers is not an easy life but a journey filled with so many things, including tough experiences. It’s what makes life spicy. (John 10:10)
  2. We can overcome the world by God’s grace because He was able to do it for us. (John 16:33)
  3. He will take care of our future because He promised to do so but we have to do something by faith to get there. (Jeremiah 33:10)
  4. After tough experiences comes restoration and steadfastness ( 1 Peter 5:10)
  5. We have a new life in Christ because He died for us (Isaiah 53:5)

Be blessed today!

Thoughts On My Iloilo Experience

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.”  – Lamentations 3:21-22 
I was in Iloilo City last weekend for work and ministry. I had the great opportunity to minister together with some friends who are also into prophetic ministry. It was a great time to see God move in great heights as both young and old received restoration, encouragement and blessings during the event.
 
Significantly, almost 3/4 of the crowd were young people, they were scattered everywhere – sitting by twos on chairs, squatting on the floor and standing at the back. There was a group ageing 14 years old and as old as college students everywhere. Indeed, God is fulfilling his promise to raise up a generation for his purposes to be fulfilled in this season.
I had mixed emotions ministering to them last Saturday. Some of the people I’ve ministered to where young people who’ve been through a lot of difficult and shattering circumstances. Some have just learned that their parents are separating, students who fear for their future and even their own challenges accepting their personality identity. These are just some of the many concerns that they were pouring out when I started praying for them.
Looking at what happened last Saturday led me to think through a lot of things. I even asked myself on how can God move in this generation wherein difficult circumstances envelope their life? If only I could do something to turn their situation around.  
Like the stories I’ve heard, I’ve been through a lot growing up and it is only because of God’s grace and favor that I’m still alive and kicking. I also saw how the Holy Spirit moved through me with the gift of wisdom and knowledge when dealing with difficult kids and their situations before.
My own experiences growing up in a broken home led me to minister effectively to young people. God’s unending favor in my life, even with my current work and ministry opportunities speaks of a bright future I never thought of before. But more importantly, my own circumstances led me closer to the Lord and not far away from him. 
I may never know what will happen to the youth I’ve prayed with but I’m certain that God is in control in their situations. I know that God will mold them and prepare them for a good future. He will never leave nor forsake them even in their darkest hour and even in their triumphs.

My prayer is that this generation will not pray for an easy life or an easy way out of life but they will pray for strength, wisdom and will draw closer to God through their circumstances because He never fails.

Indeed, Christ’s invitation for the abundant life includes difficult experiences that will produce more grace, more wisdom and more favor coming from him.
But above all, I know God will produce in them the very purpose of his calling for this generation and, it will always be good just like how God made mine. 😉

Mercy Came Running by PCD

Luke 6:36 – Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

1 Peter 1:3 – Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Needed Rest

I’ve spent the entire day inside my room. For one, I had to do major clean-up after seeing so much stuff. Two, it was very gloomy outside and I don’t want to get wet. But more importantly, I wanted to be laid back on a Saturday and just relax.

A lot of people have mentioned that I’ve been losing weight lately, I’m assuming that it’s because of the things that I do. Just imagine doing four job caravans each month since March of this year. It takes effort to do marketing and promotions, the will to push through with the activities and grace to believe God will bless my activities. But it also takes your physical strength and gives so much stress at times.

But God’s grace is sufficient. He still allows me to sleep soundly at night. He even gives me a weekly massage at the comfort of my own home. Indeed, God is good (as always) to provide for me rest and comfort when I needed it most.

How about you? How are you doing with the many “messy” things life has to offer? How do you respond to stress and the level of toxicity on a daily dosage? How often do you unwind?

If you can’t answer any of those questions, I think you need to check and reflect how you would go about the next few weeks or burnout will be on its way. It is important to slow down and rest, even when we are busy.

Even our father in heaven calls us to rest by giving all the burdens to him:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

God’s rest is substantial and beneficial but above all, it’s a gracious opportunity to find strength in God’s promises on a daily dose. If your concern is that no one will take care of those stuff when you’re gone, God will do it for you. But you have to give it to him and he promised to give the much needed rest. Are you willing to that?

Have a tight rest and be blessed!

Forerunners: Raising Our Standards

I’ve been preparing for a short talk about “Forerunners” which is intended for the Regional Youth Leadership Summit. The session is intended for all youth leaders and ministers in our denomination.

Slide1

I wanted to talk about being a leader and becoming a forerunner. Please take note that unless a leader understands the uniqueness of the forerunner’s call can he truly capture the purpose why He is called to lead.

After thinking hard and praying for a passage, the Lord led me to the “Hall of Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11. For sure, men and women written down in the chapter were rightly called forerunners because of their feats for the Lord.

Slide2

Amazingly, I also found interesting principles and reality check in my own journey as a leader.

Slide3

This is mainly because they set the course of things, they heard from God and obeyed. Here are some famous biblical personas we can look into as good examples of being forerunners:

Slide4

Some common ground Forerunners have which is seen in the life of first 4 patriarchs in the “Hall of Faith”:

Slide5

But there are still more examples of men and women whom God has used in every generation, regardless of their own situations and circumstances. They have accomplished much and is recognized a few more verses down the chapter:

Slide6

The good news is, we have a part to play and unless we accomplish our part can there be the perfect accomplishment of God’s purpose here on earth.

Slide7

As leaders, we have been commissioned to follow our Lord and King. As young leaders, we must set a high examples to those whom the Lord has placed before us. Hebrews 12: 1 and 2 gives us biblical principles we can work on while accomplishing God’s call in our lives:

Slide8

Conclusion:

Forerunners are believers called by the Lord to accomplish his purposes in this earth. It is for this reason that we don’t tarry in doing good but become good examples of godly leadership – full of insight and action.

Let us remember that not all are called to become in the five-fold ministry but everyone is called for the great commission. Those who work for the fulfillment of the great commission are called forerunners because they too, accomplish much for the glory of His name!

You may download the presentation below for usage:

FORERUNNERS

Reality Bites Hard, Even In Politics!

Courtesy of Potentash.com

A few days from now and the Philippines will be voting once again on who will rule over us for the next 3 years. You probably heard the same old caravan songs, the “sirang-plaka” messages being melodramatic and probably, the person giving it was in the government post for quite some time (or a kin of someone who’s been there all along).

Looking at all the candidates and the dilemma of which our country is experiencing every election, how do we, as believers and Filipinos, deal with all of these? How can we consider ourselves as one who can bring change in a country in dire need of revolution?

But more importantly, what have we been doing to change the atmosphere (aside from praying) of our situation. I strongly believe that God has left us here in the Philippines to bring change and not just adapt (or suffer) to it. To build His kingdom on this earth, and not succumb to the political dynasties a corrupt and crooked world has to offer.

The Issue Is Not About Separation

Now, I know the issue about the “separation of church and state” but we also need to consider that the church (the body of believers) are the ones living in these states. We as citizens (and as believers) are given the responsibility to nominate and build our country’s governing authority.

Whether we like it or not, being passive or proactive of our political will is the authority given by our Creator, and how we use it, determines how our life can be. Simply put, why should we complain if we ourselves have not voted when election time comes. Why bash the government over poverty and bad governance wherein you’ve rejected your right to not place them there.

What do I mean by this? Just consider these things…

First, believers should vote. I often hear other believers saying they’re not voting because they are not seeing changes since then. But the question here is, if you’ll not vote to the candidates you believe can make a difference, that change you’ve been ranting about will not even happen.

We often pity ourselves that we don’t have the capacity to change the course of history but I do believe it otherwise. You and I have the god-given authority to determine who can bring the will of God even in the political seats of the land.

Second, believers should be wise. Let’s face it, sometimes we vote for the people we think we know. We consider fame and popularity (in our own terms) and consider them as appealing candidates.

But have we ever research about them? Have we checked their accomplishments as ordinary citizens who are not yet on their desired posts? Have we managed to consider even their own family backgrounds?

It takes effort to have wisdom and I hope, you’re even considering your options based on track record and not just on their caravan songs or commercials.

Third, believers should promote “good governance”. Why even consider this? One voice can’t be heard clearly and that person couldn’t do it alone. He might bring a new “voice” to an old platform but has a lot of things to consider as well.

I know some local government officials who are close to pastors and considers them as great advisers. They often invite them to meetings and asks for great advise. So, do you think our pastors can be good motivators for good governance? Just check how their local churches are doing and you can answer that yourself.

I’m a strong believer that God has placed pastors not just to take care of the church but to govern it. Again, the people in our churches are the ones working in the community, so I would assume that the man of God is the best voice to stir the men and women in government to do the right things and bring change.

Reality Bites Hard

The effects of the upcoming election will not be felt immediately. It will be a painstaking experience from both sides of the coin. It can be a good or bad experience but either way, it will determine how we’ve used our votes.

But what if everything I’ve mentioned here makes sense? 

I don’t know whether the churches acts on it’s will or be passive about the upcoming elections. I even don’t know if the outcome of the votes will be God ordained or manly made. But one thing I believe can happen, each single vote, if used wisely, can drive change that can go beyond any legacy man can bring.

Lastly, let’s not use the “lesser evil” method and really vote for who are rightfully qualified and not just because they bear the cooler taglines or family names.

Investment is a BIG WORD

Trade makers would probably use the word “invest” or “investment” as often as they can, especially during business talks. All of us probably knows about investments one way or another.

Investments is a BIG word for some and an easy act for others. Some of us takes time and effort to invest immediately while others would give in a split second after hearing someone talk passionate about it.

Whether you’re one or the other, one common ground for all of us is that “investment is all about having FAITH”. Yes, I said it right – FAITH makes us decide to invest.

Why?

Hebrews 11:1 shares that “FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

You see, this verse doesn’t just apply to our faith in God alone. Having faith, includes believing for others – their passion and causes often, which often leads us to believe that helping them achieve these things is a worthwhile cause.

It simply implies that because of God’s faithfulness in our lives, we therefore believe also in the possibility for others to achieve theirs and we help do it.

I am a strong believer on investing my time, effort and resources for the youth and for others. I believe that whatever I splurge out, time I spent traveling from places to places and even,my time to pray and study for any youth activity is an investment for the future.

I may never know what will the outcome of these sacrifices but one thing’s for certain, I have FAITH in them, because I too experienced that kind of faithfulness.

You see, investing in other people’s lives is our business. Unless we believe in them and help them reach their dreams and potential can we only hope for a better future. I for one, is a testimony of God’s faithfulness through the lives that was touched only by faith, the faith to see and believe for something that has not yet come to pass in my life.

There were a lot of people who believed in this skinny kid back then. People actually believed that I can do something and so they helped me raise my funds, paid for my registrations and even prayed and helped me grow as a believer. Some even took time to rebuke me and mentor me.

My brother, whose also passionate about God and youth ministry is a very good example. He started a small bible study in a certain school for an entire school year, meeting every week after class. He talks to them, encourages them and sometimes even give his own money for support (and to think he was out of school youth at that time as well).

One of the high schoolers heard the gospel through his sharing, continued with her walk with the Lord, was discouraged and persecuted by her family but she really hang on to her faith in God. It was just a couple of years ago when she came back home and learned that her family came to know the Lord and even supported her studies in bible school after their reconciliation.

Now, she’s pastoring somewhere in the north of Cebu and is helping her husband in church-planting for our local denomination.

I can probably write down a lot of things about how a lot of people in my life shared their own lives and invested their own lives, resources and time for others because deep down within, they believe their investing for something better.

Let us try to examine our own faith journey and consider the many opportunities we were able to bless others but more importantly, let’s focus on people who have invested their lives and resources for us. They are actually worthy of our “thank you’s” and prayers as well.

Investing might be a big word for many of us, but when we invest in young lives, even the simplest of things can bring BIG impact to the lives of many.

So, have you invested lately?

A Pair of Slippers for Christmas

Christmas will always be about giving and sharing blessings to everyone we love. It’s also the time wherein we celebrate God’s goodness in our lives and testify of the great blessings given to us through the year.

I also believe that it’s a season wherein we have the great opportunity to give back to the community.

The young professionals and adults group of Word International Ministries – Bacolod recently launched it’s year-end project called “Tsinelas for Christmas” with the goal of blessing young and old with a new pair of slippers.

The group aims to raise funds to buy 1,000 pairs before the year end and give it to less fortunate kids in Bacolod City.

Just imagine small kids running around wearing new slippers on the streets. A child’s smile as she picks a simple and colorful pair before the Christmas eve. Call it silly but just experience a parent’s smile when we are able to answer their simple prayers and desire to bring new things in this season of giving:

The Challenge

One thousand pairs of slippers starts at one step of faith. Take part to reach 1,000 pairs of slippers to less fortunate kids this Christmas. I invite you to join us reach this goal before December 25th and become a blessing even in simple means like giving a pair for the sake of showing kindness to others.

We have nothing to promise but the opportunity help fulfill this  cause and bless these children and their families. Our goal is to gather young kids and have the opportunity to pray with them and become a blessing to them.

If you’re interested to take part of this initiative, feel free to send me these details through the following:

Your Full name:

Mobile No.:

Amount/No. of Pairs:

Mobile: +639177019164 / +639298865615

Email: virsilva613@gmail.com 

or Comment through this page or send me the following details:

Pray with us and thank you for taking part for this initiative!

Empowered for A Higher Purpose (Conclusion)

My prayer is that out of this crowd would rise up men and women of God who will bring impact to Bacolod and the Philippines.

You may have experienced great difficulties in life growing up but God has allowed you to go through that season to prune you, to mold and refine who you are. He has given you a new life, so use it wisely that He may be glorified.

You may be part of the wiser (older) generation or perhaps a high schooler or college student, probably someone who is working and in a mid-life crisis; God is not done with you yet. He still has a purpose and a plan why you are still here.

The great commission has yet to be fulfilled in our lifetime. There are still a lot of people who is in the big and narrow road that leads to death and hell. You have been given to change all that. God has placed you where you are to be his testimony. You are born for such a time as this.

And lastly, I’d like to use the words of Isaiah to end this simple message.

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

Will you answer the call of the harvest field?

Will you stand up in faith and believe that God is not yet done with you yet?

Do you believe that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it?

Will you answer God and say…           

 “Here am I. Send me!”

Empowered for A Higher Purpose (Point 3)

We are empowered for greatness… (v. 9-10)

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

The bible has a lot of verses to talk about God choosing someone to fulfill something great. Consider the history of Israel and how God fulfilled it’s purpose – Joseph, out of his situation as a slave, a prison supervisor and as governor of Egypt saved the ancient world and the people of God from starvation. Moses, although he grew up as an adopted son of the daughter of Phaoroh, raised and bred in the kingdom was molded in the wilderness and stood up for his people, Israel. I believe this was the first time wherein God showed his great power through the miracles Moses performed. He saved the Israelites after 400 years of slavery.

Do I have to tell you about Joshua? Caleb? Rahab? Esther? Ruth? David? Isaiah? Jeremiah? Nehemiah? Daniel? John the Baptist? Stephen?

The names could go on but my point is, God will always use someone from his generation to bring impact to this world. It may be of great or small value to us but God has been faithful to raise men and women of God who has continued the race set before us.

I believe David made the right lyrics on Psalm 145 saying:

 “God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.

    There are no boundaries to his greatness.

Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
    each one tells stories of your mighty acts….”

God was faithful to the full extent of his promises to David. It was through his offspring that you and I received what was promised. It is through Christ’s work that God has redeemed you from your past, changed your perspective of life and brought you favor after favor after favor.

I wanted to really get the gist of what verse 9-10 and here’s what I learned:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We were personally hand-picked by God (chosen people), a people prepared for service (royal priesthood) to represent God (holy nation) whom he dearly loves (special possession) that we may testify to God’s goodness and become united as one only because of God’s mercy and grace.

Like Jesus Christ, we are to become like him and become God’s representative.

As believers, we are equipped to bring testimony of His goodness wherever we are.

For the sole purpose of the work of the ministry…

 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

God did not only give us experiences to teach us who He is, he also equipped us for such a task. God gave our ministers to equip us as God’s ambassadors. He called you and I to bear witness to his goodness wherever we are. Doing our part, offering ourselves when the need arises builds strong relationship that unites us and give us better understanding of who Christ is.

In the biblical perspective, God has placed ministers over us to train us for ministry, (1) enabling us to work with them and (2) break down barriers for fellowship and fully grasp and understand who Christ is and (3) experience full spiritual growth and maturity through Christ Jesus.

But more importantly, Ephesians 4:13 speaks of spiritual growth which comes from service.

Empowered for A Higher Purpose (Point 2)

God gave this new life for a purpose –

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

Peter referred Christ as the living stone whose message was rejected by many in his time and even after his death. And like Christ, and many people who followed in his footsteps, we will experience challenges and sufferings in life but also reminded them that God is building them up to become “spiritual houses” which actually refers to men and women who represents him in this world.

Although a lot of people rejected this very message and hope, there are some who have accepted this message and received this hope that comes from Christ Jesus. These people are filled with life, vibrancy and joy that brings a life that honors what the Lord has done in their lives.

The Message Translation speaks of this verse this way:

Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life (which refers to Christ). The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God…  

What does this mean?

It means that Christ did not just come to save you from your wretched life; He also called you for the abundant life which includes service. He gave us this new life that we may be able to testify of Christ’s goodness that we may also grow in him.

God placed us where we are to become his ambassadors, men and women who will boldly speak of his goodness, of the message of hope we received and declare like Peter and John’s very own words when they were asked to keep silent to the hope they profess in Acts 4:20:

“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

My friend, can you just stay silent to what God has done in your life? Do you keep silent when favor and blessings come your way? Do you keep silent when the Lord took you out from darkness and let you come into his marvelous light?

I don’t know about you, but I definitely WILL NOT BE SILENT AND WILL KEEP ON SPEAKING OF WHO GOD IS IN MY LIFE!

Just to share my short testimony, I was 13 years old when I started my journey as a believer. It was not a smooth road knowing that by the age of 18, there were a lot of things going on in my life. My parents were having issues, I was not sure of my identity in Christ and I was in depression.

In 2002, my sister ran away with her boyfriend and my parents got separated months before that. My younger brother was doing badly as well. But it was in that summer time that I prayed intently to the Lord. I told him that no matter what is happening, I will serve you only and only if you promise to protect my family and you will not lay hold off me.

That was 10 years ago and the Lord has been faithful. God used those situations to build my character and increase my understanding of him. It was through those situations that the Lord was able put in my heart how to deal with other young people experiencing these things.

My sufferings became an avenue to share my testimony of the Lord’s goodness. And I was able to effectively encourage young people, give them hope and challenge them even in the midst of serious situations.

If the priest in the Old Testament time offers sacrifices to God at the temple, we, as the New Testament believers are called for the same calling by offering sacrifices through our life.  If you’re a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ at this present time – you have been commissioned to become his representative wherever you are.

The life we live (the things we do to honor the Lord) even in difficult situations – whether at church, in our homes and where we work, this is our spiritual act of worship. This is what the author refers to as our “spiritual sacrifices to God”. It’s bringing thanks to our Lord and Savior because of the good things he has done in our lives.

Empowered for A Higher Purpose (Point 1)

 

1 Peter 2: 1-3 says

(NIV)

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you h

ave tasted that the Lord is good…”

(The Message)

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.

1.   We are called for a new life –

After Peter encouraged the believers and reminded them of their hope, he directly rebuked them on what was going on in the church. There were hurtful talk among them, jealousy and hypocrisy. He encouraged them to grow in their relationship with the Lord, dwell in the word of God because of what Christ has done for us.

I believe Peter is also reminding us that Christ has called us to a new life because we have experienced God’s goodness through the cross. We no longer live by our own selfish reasons but must continue to journey life with the mindset of a man set free by sin and death. This new life can actually be summed up by the words of Apostle Paul in Galatians saying:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

A new life reflects Christ in it.

God’s offer for us does not start and end with salvation from condemnation but also a journey to live a full and abundant life which can only be experienced by following in his footsteps. And we live this new life by faith, faith that God who began this good work in us will be faithful to complete it – if we are willing.

Christ enables us to leave the past behind but it’s our choice to become Christ-like on a daily basis –

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” – Philippians 3:8

Empowered for A Higher Purpose (Introduction)

The bible shares a lot of stories on how God is able to use simple and available men and women who stands in the midst of circumstances and created change that brought impact to their world. Great examples like Joseph, Moses, Daniel, David, Esther, Ruth, Josiah have been given to bring insight and inspire us to do more.

But what drove them to do what has to be done?

What ignited them to stand even in the midst of chaos and tribulation brought honor and glory to God’s name?

How do we, as a person, as a believer stand up and bring glory to God’s cause?

Today, I would like to share to you a few insights of what I learned through the years as a believer, as a leader and as a minister. I honestly believe that God has called me to minister and it’s for this purpose that I stand before you now and prayerfully, challenge and hopefully empower you for service.

Let me lead you to one of the epistles believed to be one of the last messages of Peter to the church. Let’s open our bible to 1 Peter 2:1-10 and read through what his message was to the churches (please take note of the plural form) in the provinces of the Roman Empire, where Turkey is now located.

Brief Background:

It was written by the Apostle Peter to the churches scattered across the Roman Empire. It is also believed that the letter was written around 64-67 AD when the believers are scattered after the persecution broke out in Jerusalem.

Peter’s audience also included new converts which were the fruits of Paul’s first journey to these provinces. Let’s also take note that the audience doesn’t just speak to a certain church but a couple of churches or house churches in the province.

The letter was written to bring encouragement and hope to the believers who were experiencing a lot of persecution because of Christ. It also gives clear direction on how the churches were doing and the false teaching that was spreading among them.

Chapter 1 started by greeting the believers in the province. He encouraged them to continue with their walk with the Lord and the hope they have received through what Christ had done. He also challenged them to show love and build up their relationship with one another as Christ has shown when he was here on earth.

Our focus for today is on the 1st part of the 2nd chapter of Peter. I believe that his message to the believers in his time is still timely and important for today. And if we want to become great in God’s kingdom, we must go back to the basic.

Point 1: God has called us for a new life

Point 2: God gave this life for a purpose

Point 3: God has empowered us for greatness

Conclusion

The Preview: Life at 29 Series

“Remember your creator in the days of your youth…”

One verse that has taught me a lot about life.

The verse depicts a clear picture of where I am now, where I’ve been and what I’ve done for the past 28 years of my life. Looking back through the years showed me things that I’ve missed doing or wished that I continued to do. I wanted to include a list of these things but suddenly realized that doing so would just make me discourage and regretful.

One good quote from Facebook reminded me to not look at my present dilemma and focus on where I want to be, be what I want to be. In short, PRIORITIZE.

As I venture life as a middle-aged man, I’ll be sharing about my new priorities in life and redefine my goals. I also intend to have a game plan that would stretch from 5 years to 20 years depending on the path I’ll take.

But of course, I’m thanking God for those missed opportunities because it taught me that life is a one cycle opportunity and if we don’t grab it,it can definitely be gone in our life forever. Looking back may bring regret but looking forward will probably bring blessing from what God has called me to do.

If You Die Today, Where Will You Go?

We were riding in our Uncle Bebe’s pick-up truck, going back to the house from Pamplona Golf course for a late afternoon joyride before dinnertime. There were more than 12 of us squeezed in to that small pick-up, noisy with all the sharing and laughter every time our family gets together. It was December and all our relatives, including my mother’s siblings went home for the long Christmas break.

It was a fun-filled afternoon when suddenly, Auntie Conie, the wife of Tito Paul asked me something which I couldn’t even answer immediately. It sounded tricky and answering it might possibly be a trap for a kid like me.

Remembering the conversation back then, it went something like this:

Auntie Conie, “If you die today,where will you go?”

Auntie Conie: You only have 5 minutes to answer the question…

Me: Uhm, heaven?

Auntie: Why heaven?

Me: Because I’m good? I go to Sunday schools and church almost every week.

Auntie: But are you sure you’ll go to heaven because you are good?

Me: No? Yes? Basta heaven ako.

To be honest, I couldn’t answer the question directly. It was not just a tricky question, it was hard to answer for a 13 year old boy who did many things displeasing to my parents, and eventually to God. Of course, I answered “heaven” but deep inside, my heart was fearful and I was uncertain on to what basis will I live in heaven if I die that very moment.

It was 1997 when that question was asked and 4 hours later, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior through my Auntie Phoebe’s simple sharing of the gospel. I was with my siblings, sitting in the living room listening to my auntie while everyone, including my parents, were intently focused on what we were doing.

It was the greatest gift I received that Christmas and looking back to what happened in that fateful night, I still believe in my heart that it was the most important decision I have ever made in my 28 years of existence.

If asked with the same question again, my answer will still be the same. Only this time, I know why I’m going to heaven and what awaits me when I die.

How about you, do you know where you’re going if you die 5 minutes from now?

If not, I have good news my friend, and that good news is that Jesus Christ, who lived 2,000 years ago has died for you and your sin. Sin, which is described as active rebellion against God, has been paid full by Christ through the penalty of death by crucifixion.

If you want to know more on how you can go to heaven and live a life pleasing to the Lord, the video below shares a simple message about how you too, can have eternal life and start a brand new life through the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I sure hope that you finished the video and decided to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. If you want to know more on how to grow in your spiritual life, you may contact me by sending a simple email at virsilva613[at]gmail.com.

Today is not too late for you to experience what truly is God’s plan for your life! Thank you for reading and God bless!

Learning from the Seasons of Life

I was 13 years old when I committed my life to the Lord. The years after that was a roller-coaster ride of knowing God, growing as a believer, becoming a back-slider, a committed church worker and a pew-shiner. I could probably jot down almost everything that happened to me  but nothing beats the lessons of certain experiences in my life that had made me stronger and wiser today.

After more than a decade of being a believer, God all the more showed me that He is very present and relevant to me now as He was in biblical times. Beyond the history books and reformations, God was still in the business of touching  and changing people one person at a time.

I thank the Lord that He chose me (and many others) to experience who He is and blessed me with many life-changing experiences I can call my own. Indeed, I believe that God exists and that everything that happened to me was mapped by someone far more greater and powerful than I could imagine.

Of course, I have to admit that I’m still a product being refined through the loving hands of our Creator and King. Looking back at my blog posts through the years showed me how God has shaped me, a guy from the province, to becoming who I am.

But how does ten years of knowing the Lord and keeping your faith strengthen a single guy like me?

I’d like to share with you a couple of things on how God led me where I am today and the very opportunities he has given me through the seasons of my life.

For the next few blog posts, I’d be sharing to you tidbits of certain lessons the Lord has taught me through the years. My purpose in sharing these things through my blog is not for fame or readership.

The objective is to encourage anyone reading my post, challenge them to become better and share the very core message I’ve  kept in my heart through the years. May you be blessed in the next few posts prayerfully!

Samsung Galaxy Ace, Blackberry Curve and Me

A couple of weeks ago, my team mate sold her hubby’s android phone for only P 10,000.00 and I grabbed the opportunity to buy something good out of my income. I mean, who would dare not buy a Samsung Galaxy Ace on a mark down price of P 3,000.00 on the market?

It’s a good phone and I’m loving every bit and parts of it. (Shuckz!)

And after a couple weeks (again) later, I decided to buy a blackberry curve 8530 phone at P 9,000.00. (Uhm, I hope you’re not SHOUTING in disbelief!)

Okay, call me “crazy”, “gastador”, “stupid”, “unwise spender” and all the other names you can call me but I already did and nothing changes the fact that in this economic crisis and my 13th month bonus, I wanted to spend on something I’ve been vying and dying for almost more than a year now.

But here’s the catch: I bought the two phones on an installment basis and I’m nearly ending on the first item I bought for and the other one lacks half the amount to close the deal. In short, I’m not wasting an entire 13th month bonus and my monthly salary for a “luho” that is too hard to say “NO” to!

So, which of the two phones would you think will last longer? Which one is better in terms of specs, applications and aesthetics? And how does both differ from each other?

(Share your thoughts please…)

And before I entirely forget, this opportunity led me to delete 348 contacts out of 708 on my old phone. I guess that’s something to go “gaga” again.