Monthly Archives: April 2012

5 Vital Things to Lighten your Hard Chores

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Washing the dishes, mowing the lawn or ironing a pile of clothes is sometimes a bummer. Here some tips to help you lighten chores at home:

  1. Seek some help-call up two, three or a battalion of friends to lend a hand to you.
  2. Play some music-pump up the volume and enjoy some inspirations that will make your chores a walk in the park.
  3. Divide the chores-dividing the chores by giving each an interval to pause and rest.
  4. Choose the time of the day-what period of the day you are more in the mood or productive to get the chores done?
  5. Think of the reward- after the chore reward yourself with a 2 hour bath or tub of ice cream. Just think about the reward will lighten your work.

Anything you can add to this list? Please post it on the comment.

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Digitally Yours! Delighting Grace Interviews Edwin Arceo

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Whoa! That was my reaction when I check out the blog of Edwin Arceo, Corporate Communications of CBN Asia Inc (they produce The 700 Club Asia). The blog (www.edwinarceo.com) reeks  interesting topics like gadget reviews, social media, photography, health, Christian faith etc., things that is essential for your spiritual and digital life. With all this; is it safe to say he is the Tim Challies of the Philippines (minus the Calvinism)? Anyways, he opens up with Delighting Grace as I throw questions about Pinoy techies, gadgets, and being a blogger.

Delighting Grace: How do you describe Pinoys (Pilipinos) in terms of having the latest technology? Is it a good or bad thing?

Edwin Arceo:  Pinoys in general really want to have the latest in technology but cannot afford it. I know of some who want it only for the bragging rights.  For me it’s a bad thing. They get in debt. I know one who is now over 100,000 pesos in credit card because they have the latest iPhone, an iPad, game consoles. For me I save up first before I buy. That’s my rule…

Delighting Grace: What are things we should consider in using technology for church or ministry?

Edwin Arceo:  Technology is good for the church, no doubts there. My problem is with the church trampling on intellectual property rights. Pirated software for displaying worship music on screen. Pirated music so that the worship team can practice it or so that each member of the team can have their own copy to practice on. Photocopying whole books to save on costs. The list can go on. Its really bad because even the church condones it. If the church wants to use technology, we need to make sure that the testimony of Jesus is not stained because of these issues I enumerated.

Delighting Grace: Social media is on top right now so how do we as Christians make most of it?

Edwin Arceo:  Christians should seize the opportunity provided by social media. We can get easily connected with the unchurch because of Facebook. Once we are connected to them, sharing testimonies is a lot easier, practical and accessible there is no physical contact involved–yet. Social media opens people to the opportunity of being shared with the gospel. Meeting people you have not met in a long time, high school buddies for example, gives us the chance introduce them to Jesus in a non-threatening environment. When I share my blog posts on my Facebook account, my classmates can see them and it opens doors for inquiries about faith.

Delighting Grace:  Now in terms of buying new gadgets what tips could you give us especially for us believers?

Edwin Arceo:  Believers should not buy because of the marketing hype surrounding a new gadget. We should buy because we know how it is going to be useful to us, how it is going to make our lives more productive. Function is more important to me than form. I own an iPad and I use it in productive ways more than any other people I know who owns it. I made a blog post on my website on how I use it to make my investment worth it. We should also not buy on credit even on 0% interest and 12 months to pay.

Delighting Grace: Personally, how did technology change you, Sir Edwin?

Edwin Arceo:  I live with technology every day. It made life easier but also made life more hectic. It’s both a blessing and a curse. People can easily contact you and disturb you. I have to make a conscious effort to stay away from technology for even a few hours! I miss the days when there were no celphones, internet or computers. But then, I cannot also imagine life without them. 8-(

Delighting Grace:  Very well said. For you what are the techie must-haves for Christians? Can you give your top 5?

Edwin Arceo:  1. Apple iPad. Get one (if you can afford it) and get smart with the apps you put on it. If you can still afford a few thousand more, get the model with 3G. Decide that you will not upgrade to the next model because the build of this gadget is unbelievable. It can replace your computer, be it a desktop or a laptop. If you can’t afford it the next best thing for me is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Just get the right apps.

2. If you will spend on apps for your iPad, make sure to spend on a digital version of your Bible. The iPad changed my daily Bible reading habits. I paid $13 for a copy of the New Living Translation of the Bible.

3. A digital point and shoot camera like the Canon S100. I recommend it because of the great reviews it has already received from sources I respect. Read the manual first though. Memories are important.

4. A smartphone that can sync with your computer that can sync with your iPad. Isn’t it great that your computer, ipad and Smartphone contains all the same contacts, calendars, tasks and notes?

5. Not really techie but you need a sturdy, discreet looking bag that can contain all your tech without looking like you have over 80,000 (iPad: 36K, Canon S100: 26,000, Phone: 18,000) pesos worth of gadgets.

Delighting Grace: What a list! Your blog (www.edwinarceo.com) is a fusion of the digital and Christian life. So please tell us how did you start your blog?

Edwin Arceo:  I started my blog because I love writing. I also love to teach and share about my faith in Jesus. I’m also a photographer and designer. I wanted to have one place to write about all these things but most especially about my faith. I was playing with blogs in 2009 but did not really get serious until October 2010 when I decided that I will write a regularly updated blog. The posts I write about faith comes from my daily reading of the Bible and what God impresses on me that I should share about.

Delighting Grace: Any parting word for those techie Pinoy Christians who might be reading this and want to buy the latest gadget.

Edwin Arceo:  Buy a gadget if you have a job. If you don’t have a job, get one and don’t let your parents buy it for you especially if you know you cannot afford it yet.

Delighting Grace: Again guys for the latest in gadgets, technology, the Christian faith and everything in between, I recommend Sir Edwin’s blog. Thanks for this opportunity Sir Edwin. God bless you and your ministry….

 

10 Things You Should Know About Creating a Quote Blog

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My quote blog, One Battle At A Time (http://1battleatatime.tumblr.com) started out of love of quotes I text from my mobile phone to Christian friends. I decided to put up a blog in order that I won’t lose some of the quotes and to find a wider audience. From then on, my quotes had its own home at Tumblr and people can access it. In the process of posting blog quotes I learn a lot. So I would like to share with you some important things to know if you want to create your own quote blog.

  1. Do it for the glory of God. This may sound cliché but it should be. It maybe for some other reasons why you do it (one of the reason I made 1 battle at a time is my response to other quote blogs who aren’t posting Christian quotes). But you should put the main reason is for God’s glory. Make that the first priority. Put it on your prayer that whatever you post will inspire people and lead them to know about Christ.
  2. Be sure you love reading. If not then start cultivating a habit of reading even if you’re not creating a blog.
  3. You should love books. I love books and I read them. I collect them. I check National, PCBS and BookSale often. I search Google for free books too. To push it further in my case, love the books you like to read, love the books you don’t like but should read and books either you love or don’t love that you should read but you won’t be able to read because of some reasons. Not only books but booklets, magazine even sermons. Because that’s were you find worthy quotes for your blog. And don’t forget, do it for your spiritual growth not for the sole purpose of blogging.
  4. Get the right book (or the sources) and start getting quotes. Get books you previously read. It will be easy if you have marked them already. If you haven’t read a book and start quoting, it will be much difficult for you.  Scan thoroughly for hidden gems. Get the quotes that mention something about Christ, God or the Bible etc. It will also be wise if the author is quotable. Take for example John Piper and E.M. Bounds post in my blog. You can find great quotes in every paragraph of their books.
  5. You should love blogging. I’ve been blogging since 2004. Not only love blogging but read blogs and follow blogs. I read blogs by Tim Challies and Desiring God. Read also blogs that will also enhance your blogging skills with tips and advice like Bit Rebels. In that way you get some idea about blogging.
  6. Choose a blog site. Wordpress and Blogger/Blogspot offers FREE blogging site. But I prefer Tumblr for a lot of reason.
  7. Choose other outlet other than your blog. If you have Twitter or Facebook or your mobile phone (which I also use) that will be good. It is useful for reaching wider audience and promotion of your blog. In my case, Tumblr is connected to those two social media site, so if I post something on Tumblr it will automatically post on those sites. What I like about Tumblr you can auto post and make it a daily installment posting. Great!
  8. Be consistent. Have your own pace on posting quotes. Don’t push yourself but make sure you post often to make your blog updated.
  9. Be original. Even if there are gazillions of websites or blogs out there with Christian quotes, make room for originality. Find it and it will be worth it.
  10. Know the rewards. Its enough that in your little blog you glorify God but it also comes with an extra. Meeting new friends, getting liked and commended positively (or negatively), reblogged, guesting on another blog etc are great perks too.

Used Book Finds: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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You won’t be surprise if I’ll feature it here in Used Book Finds. Next to the Bible, this is one of the most read books in Christianity. The allegorized adventure of Christian, easily understood by children and theologians alike. The reading is engaging and I love how Bunyan tells this beautiful story. This edition of “Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan” is published by Zondervan Publishing House 1974 with a groovy cover art. I have another copy of this book, published by Moody Press, but for some unknown reason I lost it. But anyways, I got this book at BookSale ((a second hand/used book store in the Philippines) for 30 pesos. Hope in your digging you’ll find this book and be touched by its message.

Hey guys, have you read Pilgrim’s Progress? Please post it on the comments.

7 Things You’ll Like about Tumblr

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You might have heard about Tumblr but didn’t give a second look. You might already have FaceBook and Twitter. But there are lots of things you might like about Tumblr that those social media sites don’t offer. And here is my list of it:

  1. It’s a blog and social media site combined. It’s like Twitter not bound in 140 characters. So you can instantly read, watch and listen to post.
  2. Creative people abound. Pictures, articles, videos, quotes and music are the stuff that the Tumblr community dishes out. It inspires and energizes you to be creative also.
  3. Auto and delay posting. Yes you can publish post in the pace you like. Good for people who wants their post in daily installments.
  4. Connected with FaceBook and Twitter. Your post on Tumblr automatically post on those social media site.
  5. You can jazz it up. Friendster, Multiply and MySpace (does anyone remember those?)lets you tweak the look of your site. Tumblr makes it easier because of its themes and add ons like music, videos etc.
  6. The heart shape “like” button ^_^
  7. Reblogging. You reblogging (or being reblogged) of post can go along long way.

Teen Level Up! Delighting Grace Interviews Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy

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Isn’t time for teenagers in your church to be leaders? Do you want their voices be heard? If your answer is ‘yes’ then read on. Delighting Grace caught up with Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy. Rachel graciously answered our questions about youth ministry, empowering teens and more:

 

Delighting Grace: Rachel, tell us why youth ministry matters to the church?

 

Rachel Blom: I think youth ministry matters to the church for several reasons. First of all, each person matters to God no matter how old or young you are. Society tends to see young people as kids, but they can contribute so much. Look at how God uses teens in the Bible, like David, Mary and Timothy. I’m convinced teens and youth can play a crucial role in the church – if we let them and help them in this. Secondly, it’s proven that it’s important to solidify your faith when you are a teenager. People who have a strong faith as a teen tend to keep their faith as an adult. That’s why we should invest in youth ministry to bring young people to Christ.

 

Delighting Grace: What can you say about churches that somewhat undermines youth ministry? How do we show that youth ministry is important?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the Bible should always be our starting point. It’s important to show how God has used teens throughout the Bible. God can use teens and young people in a mighty way if we allow Him. Often, current testimonies of teens about the impact of their youth ministry do wonders as well.

Most of the times churches who are somewhat against youth ministry are afraid of something. They may be afraid youth ministry will become its own church, that they will preach a different gospel, that the teens won’t come to church anymore, etc. In such occasions it’s very important to just talk with each other and get a clear picture of what these fears are. Youth leaders need to be understanding here and need to be humble and submissive to the ‘big church’.

 

Delighting Grace: What are the common problems do we encounter when we minister to teens?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the most important problem is to help them realize what truth means. Teens often pick and choose their own truths based on all the info they get, but we need to show them the only Truth who can save you. Also, I think that as witnesses, we often have the problem of not practicing what we preach. Our life, our actions, has to match our words otherwise our testimony and ministry is powerless.

 

Delighting Grace: Is there a way to determine that this one teen will be big someday? If I bring you to our youth ministry and line a group of teens, if you have to choose, who will it be? Is it possible to do that?

 

Rachel Blom: Most of the times it’s fairly easy to pick out the leaders, but that doesn’t mean they will be the ones to be ‘big’. God has a funny way of picking unlikely candidates for big jobs, people who at first glance don’t seem to be a good fit at all. So I don’t think you can make such a prediction, it really is up to God. But often those who have servant’s hearts will go far…

 

Delighting Grace: Do we need to really empower teens because for a fact they are young for it?

 

Rachel Blom: I think teens aren’t too young for anything. I wouldn’t entrust them full responsibility and they may need

adult supervision, but I’m convinced they can do much more than we often think. The Bible tells us that God gives spiritual gifts to each and every believer. It doesn’t say these are only given to adults, so teens who are committed to Christ have them as well. So yes, we do need to empower teens and install in them a great sense of purpose, a knowing that God can and will use them if they are willing to obey and follow.

 

Delighting Grace: Personally, how do you shape teens fit for leadership?

 

Rachel Blom: This is a tough question. I think it’s a combination of knowledge, practical skills but above all character that you’re going for. You can teach certain practical skills, like leading a Bible study or holding a meeting. Those aren’t that hard to teach. You can also share knowledge about leadership, the Bible, etc. But the most important part is character, because without a servant’s heart a leader isn’t any good. Character is hard to teach, that’s a matter of discipleship and mentoring in small groups, preferably one on one.

 

Delighting Grace: What about the parents? Some will take this leadership thing as a burden? How can someone avoid this assumption?

 

Rachel Blom: I think it’s about convincing parents of God’s calling. Again, look to the Bible for examples of parents like the parents of John the Baptist, Samson, or Samuel. Their child received a calling by God and as parents, we need to obey. The parents need to support their teen or youth in this and help them become the man or woman God wants them to be. In that way, parents can share some of the burden.

 

Delighting Grace: As a mom, how can someone employ leadership to their own children? Is there a difference in strategy for that kid from your church and your own?

 

Rachel Blom: In your own home, being a good example is of even more importance. Your kids will do what you do, not what you say. So as a parents, as a mom, you need to be very aware of this. My son is four years old and I’m trying to model the kind of relationship with God to him that I want him to have. So we don’t just do standard prayers, we talk with God and about God and involve Him in everything. I’m trying to show him who God is from a very early age on.

 

Delighting Grace: Before we end this interview, please invite our readers to your blog. Your blog is such a blessing especially for those of us who are ministering the youth.

Rachel Blom: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share what God has taught me throughout the years with others, especially with regards to youth ministry. I’d love for you to come and visit my blog on www.youthleadersacademy.com May God bless you where ever and how ever you are serving Him!

 

Delighting Grace: Thank you Rachel, God bless you too!!!

7 Unforgettable Mountains Mentioned in the Bible

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Mountains have a significant place the Bible. Major biblical events took place in this place. So I gather the 7 most prominent and gave some brief info:

  1. Ararat (Genesis 8:4) – after the global flood, the ark of Noah rested here till the waters subdued and after that everyone in the ark came out and propagate.
  2. Moriah (Genesis 22:2) – this is the place Abraham offered Isaac. Eventually in the reign of King Solomon, his temple for God was built over there (2 Chronicles 3:1).
  3. Sinai (Number 3:10)-this is where God gave the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) to Moses.
  4. Carmel- this mountain had a showdown between Elijah (the prophet of God) versus Baal’s prophets (1 Kings 18: 17-46).
  5. Mount of Beatitudes- (Matthew 5:1) scholars’ points out this place is located within the vicinity of Capernaum where greatest sermon ever delivered by Christ Himself.
  6. Calvary- Golgotha or the place of skull, this mountain (technically it’s a hill like the Mount of Beatitudes) this is where our Lord and Savior was nail to the cross and died for God and our sins (Mark 15:22).
  7. Mount of Olive or Olivet- lots of evens in Jesus earthly ministry occurred here. Most notable events is on this place Jesus ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:12).

Anymore you might wish to add? Please mention it at the comments.