Meeting God in Every Turning Points of our Lives Part 1

Galatians 1:17 “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”

 

Encountering God should be the endeavor of every professing Christians. Meeting Him is not just looking forward for the day we will see Him in heaven but also to know if His presence is in every milestones of this earth journey of a believer.

 

Paul has been accused of not conforming in the will of God and aligning with those of the apostles by his critics. The apostle to the Gentile defended himself by stating it is divinely set out by God. He points out 3 turning points of his life that he met God. But before we look at those points we Christian should first ask ourselves the following questions:

 

  1. Have really met God in the following turning points?
  2. If indeed we encountered God, can we show changes that came about that encounter? Can we see evidence, like a before and after photos that God did changed us?
  3. Much tougher question: Do we really have something to point to, if we really are Christians experiencing God?

 

(To be continued next week…)

 

 

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Guy Kawasaki and the Evangelism of God

Reading the words “brand evangelist” made me chuckle. I ask myself “Is this a joke? Are they serious?” Of course it’s not a joke. There is such a position in the business world particularly computer and the internet. Apple Computers applied this strategy in the mid-1990’s as the company is being pulled down because of how Microsoft dominates the computer market.

One of the proponents of this is Guy Kawasaki, who put out a newsletter in 1996 called “The EvangeList” to serve “good news” about Apple and its products. As Guy points in Leander Kahney’s book, “The Cult of Mac” that he “decided instead to convince the press, we would become the press.” His job is to make Mac-fans to unpaid zealots for Apple. And it was a hit. Apple was saved. Thanks to the near-religious enthusiasm done by Kawasaki. It mobilized people to believe on the brand and denounces other competitors.

Leander Kahney shares the secret of Kawasaki’s triumph:
“Kawasaki was one of the first people in the technology industry to link evangelism and business. A Christian, Kawasaki was heavily influenced by religious evangelism. He attended Billy Graham’s School of Evangelism to learn about it and intentionally used a lot of religious terminology in EvangeList and in interviews…”
“Christianity has 30 percent market share, and many of their techniques have applications to business…”

Guy Kawasaki pin points the success of an ‘evangelist’:
“Looking back, maybe one of the reasons we succeeded is that we were too naïve and ignorant to know how difficult our task was. The key to evangelism is a great cause. If you love the cause, you’ll find a way to make it succeed…I just know how to take a cause, fall in love with it, evangelize others to share it, and change the world….” (The Cult of Mac by Leander Kahney pages76, 82 and 83)

As I think about it, if evangelism can be explain in terms of marketing approach, it would be just like a man-made paradigm that this world can offer. But it is not. Evangelism may have some components that the world can copy but they can’t plagiarize the powerful force behind it, which is God (to which Kawasaki might point as the great cause). He is the author of salvation (Heb. 12;2), he predestined who will be saved (Romans 8: 29-30), He send His Son to die for the elect (Ephesians 1:4-5, 1 Peter 1:2) , He enables Christians to preach the gospel (1 Co. 2:130, He opens the hearts of people to accept the gospel (John 6:44-45; Acts 11: 21, 16:14)and He prepares them for the good work with perseverance (Ephesians 2:10; John 15:16-19) . We cannot fathom how God works through these events but He did. We might not understand it but God gave us enough information. All its working is from God. Therefore, it is God’s evangelism. He owns the message and the messenger. He did this so that no human can boast that he can save himself apart from God. All in all God is sovereign and we must accept this truth.
With that thought, are we prepare to share Jesus to everyone? God has done the part and He will enable you to fulfill His gospel. Can we identify ourselves with what Paul said in Romans 1:15-16?
“So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

 

How God Answers an Impossible Prayer Part 2

2 Chronicles 20: 15-17

 

Lets continue last week lesson on “How God Answers an Impossible Prayer” by looking at vs. 16-17:

 

 

 

“To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 

 

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”

 

1.)    It comes with a command (v.16) – With that encouragement and promise God ask us to go. Face the problem we are on. Is it trials over your family, school or maybe spiritual struggle we don’t see solutions? God say “Go and face that problem”. And see how it will be answered God’s might way.

2.)    It comes with God being exalted (v. 17) – As you accept encouragement, claims its promises and obey the command, you will see God moves to it. have you seen God working in your impossibilities’. There’s lots of it in our lives that we tend to forget and be thankful for. In the end of it all it is God who will get all the praises not us.

 

So what are the benefits when God steps in for our impossibilities?

 

a.)    Fears are fleeting as we fear not.

b.)    Dismay fades away as we find encouragement from God.

c.)     Impossibilities disappear as we find Hope in God.

Book Review: Bedside Blessings by Charles R. Swindoll

If you don’t know who Charles or Chuck Swindoll well you won’t be able to read this post. This blog won’t exist either. He is one of my writing heroes and also in the line of writing down a sermon. He has this gift to explain Bible text and gives practical application on it. That’s why his books is on my top list (even if he is not a Calvinist).

Beside Blessings is a daily devotional with a very short inspirational message. What I like about this devotional, it short but the message still have this profound impact to readers. That’s what I call the “Swindoll Magic”. Taken from various Chuck Swindoll books (which I haven’t read) this is such a treat for those who are not familiar to his works. With bite size of godly wisdom I’m sure you’ll look for his books.

I think Beside Blessings is geared for people four kinds of people. One, those who are new to devotional and wants something short. Two, for those people who are so busy and tired. So they will have no excuse for not having a quite time before they sleep. Three, old people who can’t read that long for a devotional. Four, for older kids who you want to teach to give time for God every evening. In either ways this devotional delivers inspiration and encouraging thoughts that will wake you up blessed and refresh the next day.

Highly recommended this devotional is truly a blessing to everyone who has a desire to seek God in a very precious minute of the night.

Book Review: Daily Grace for Teachers

If someone asked you who is the most influential person in the planet some might say it is the teachers. Not just in the secular place but those humble Sunday School teachers. Their influence to shape you to who you are today is indispensable. The way you will view the world is gradually created by teachers who imparts wisdom and knowledge you need to know. And hey who won’t forget your terror teacher who pushes you to be the best.

Daily Grace for Teacher is fitting devotional to teachers to reflect and ponder God provision to them on the daily basis. When I open this book, the format and how it looks remind me of the Early Light Devotional that comes from In Touch Magazine by Charles Stanley. Filled with encouraging stories related to teaching, this devotional knows what a busy and a tired teacher needs. Something to teach the heart and soul of the teacher who seeks spiritual food.

Spiritual insights from Christians giants from yesteryears (Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, John Bunyan) and contemporary ones (John Maxwell, John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe, Charles Stanley) graces the Week Ending section. Truly this is a special section you will always look forward in the weekend. Not only that but the quotes section on most of its daily offerings is striking to the heart. Grace For Today gives quotable that will surely cheer you up and make you think.

Daily Grace for Teachers is the perfect devotional for teachers who need spiritual and biblical strength. As our Sunday school teacher commend on this it really helps her especially when she is teaching the children. A devotion that is not trying to jump in the devotional bandwagon but true to its commitment to nurture the needs of one of the most influential profession on earth.

How God Answers an Impossible Prayer Part 1

2 Chronicles 20: 15-17

 

“ And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

 

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”

 

As King Jehoshaphat end his earnest prayer for deliverance, God sends his answer through Jahaziel. In the midst of the inevitable war, which overwhelms the people of God, here comes the divine reply to what seems a bleak moment for them. Have you come to the point that you’re drowning in distress and trials and can’t see the light in the dark tunnel? God is the God of Possibilities and let’s look on how He will answer your impossible prayer:

 

1.)    It comes with an encouragement (v. 15) – “Be not afraid nor dismayed”. We might be hanging our head so low with problems but here is God giving encouragement. Believers, why not check Psalms for some uplifting words from God. God will speak to you to that book. And remember, nothing else can wipe your fears and anxiety than God who says” Be not afraid nor dismayed”.

2.)    It comes with a promise (v. 15) – “For the battle is not yours but, God’s”. This is not your fight but God will display His power for your enemy. Are they ridiculing or dragging you down because of what you believe? Are they prospering because of their evil devices? God’s promise will not be broken because God said it and He will ensure He will do it.

 

(to be continued next week…)

Eric and Leslie Ludy on Godly Contentment

In their ground breaking book “When God Writes Your Love Story”, couples Eric and Leslie Ludy shares what it means in having contentment in Christ in your singleness:

A relationship is not meant to make us into a whole person—only Jesus Christ can make us a whole person. Marriage should never become that gold medal we strive for that will finally make us ‘enough’. We must learn to be ‘enough’ right now, just as we are, in Christ alone.

While getting married someday may bring us great joy, we truly do have a reason to be happy and content no matter what season of life we are in—because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. True contentment can only be found in intimate love relationship with the Lord, not in anything else, including a romantic love story. Singleness can teach us thus contentment. In this season we can learn what it means to have peace and joy in Christ, no matter what our circumstances may be. And in a culture that is always longing for something more, ‘…godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6: 6 NIV).

(When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy, pg. 134, Published by Lighthouse Inspirational Books and Gifts 2002)

Book Review: Every Teen Girl’s Little Pink Book (Special Gift Edition) by Cathy Bartel

Just had this funny thought. Since “Little Pink Book” is for girls (and its colored pink) I might as well consider “Little Black Book” is for boys J (well they didn’t get the color right, it should be blue not black). But kidding aside, with the success of the “Little Black Book” series by Blaine Bartel who else should write a specific version for girls. This collected works of Blaine Bartel’s better half, Cathy Bartel is on one side similar to Blaine’s book and on another, it stands out from “Little Black Book.” Both have a catchy name and have capitalized on the “Little Book” brand. The content however in case of “Little Pink Book”, Cathy added more “spice and everything nice” to this volume for teen girls who wants to be what God wants them to be. It is more of a devotional book unlike the “Little Black Book” although it includes some top list. And as I scan the pages, I can see the heart of the author on two things the book carries: salvation and Christian living which has more emphasis that the “Little Black Book”.

Cathy Bartel penned a book that is a product of being partner with Blaine Bartel for two decades couching teens. You can read the whole story on the end part of the book. As I have said about Blaine Bartel on my book review of “Little Black Book”, Cathy knows what teens want and what teens need to know.

Opening the book, a big burst of pink (or should I say P.I.N.K. or Pray, Initiate, Note, Keep) comes out along with beautiful designed interiors, inspiring quotes, Bible verses, godly and delightful stories. “Little Pink Book” is not just an eye candy of a book but something that will inspire and encourage teens and young adults. “Little Pink Book” will bring out the positive and godly vibes to every teen who will read it. This volume is a worth read and oh don’t wait someone gives it to you, just grab a copy now!

Book Review: Every Teenager’s Little Black Book (Special Gift Edition) by Blaine Bartel

Wrote a book review of this book way, way back but not in this collected format of the 4 books. I was looking for something that I can invest to our young people in the church and something they will actually read. So I brought and collected these small books titled “Little Black Book”. I find it an enjoyable read so I hand it over to our group. Our young people read it, loved it and it never returned to me since then J

“Every Teenager’s Little Black Book” is no different with the separated ones only this time it is compiled in one volume. The design and the content are the same. But since it is bound into one volume it is for me the most recommended format. Bartel’s book is so special because the content really speaks to teens and this can be considered “ultimate guide for teens” book. Bartel’s 20 years mentoring teens reeks in this book and that he is able to deliver what teens want and what teens need to know. Beginning to its opening chapter (or book) Bartel zooms on what matters to youngsters: self-image. This book is written in a top list style (like a countdown) that gives an irresistible read every time. The book covers basically everything from sex, friendship, leadership, setting goals, God, love, marriage, money, future faith, etc.

So let me dip you on what’s in store in reading this book:

4 Signs that You May Not Be Ready to Date

5 Keys Characteristics of the Right Person

5 Things You’ll Wish You’d Learned 10 Years after Graduating

4 Reasons Not to Try Too hard

5 Ways to Attract New Friends

6 Enemies that Will Try to Steal Your Confidence

These and tons more of the good and godly stuff that “Every Teenager’s Little Black Book” can offer. Whether you’re a teen who want to shine or an adult who want to know about you teens, let Blaine Bartel feed you with advice and tips from this awesome book.

NightKAP Batangas City

A cup of cappuccino at Starbucks in a rainy August 5 evening is what you call cool. Adding some godly chat with other Christians for the greatest cause for Christ you might as well call it super awesome.  And it has a name, its “NightKAP”. “

NightKAP” is a meet up organized by SEND Philippines that aims to have a friendly and cozy conversation about mission and the great commission. Held at Starbucks Batangas, the venue made the event more laid-back and loose (although some of us are a bit shy). We came from different denominations, age and ministry backgrounds to share thoughts about those two topics that matter to the body of Christ.

Helen Tan of SEND moderates the event as nine of us took turns to introduce ourselves, how we get to know SEND and our perceptions on the different angles of mission.  Each of us shared remarkable stories about how God is moving through our ministry. Blend in some laughter here and there, the hour pass so fast that our two hour affair is not enough. Anyone for round 2?

For more information about NightKAP you can check out SEND Philippines or their Facebook Page.