Monthly Archives: October 2013

Mission Minded: Delighting Grace Interviews Trent Rollings of SEND Philippines

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God calls all Christians to be sowers of His precious gospel to all nations. This of course is not an easy task. We need to count the cost. But the reward outweights the cost. Our ultimate reward: a glorified God through missions. DG got hold of Trent Rollings to talk about mission, culture and SEND Philippines.

Delighting Grace: Hi Trent…so why here in the Philippines? What did you find in the country that lead you to come here?

Trent Rollings: Nitoy, thanks so much for this opportunity to share my story. My first opportunity to come to the Philippines was back in 2005 on a short-term missions team. To be honest, before that trip I knew very little about the Philippines and really had no desire to even visit Asia or to become involved in long-term missions. At that time I had just graduated and just wanted to go on short-term missions in Africa. God had other plans, however, and so my team was sent to the Philippines instead.

We ended up staying in the Philippines for 2 months travelling throughout Luzon putting on evangelistic events, and to my surprise I loved it here. It was also on that trip that I felt a calling for me to be in long-term missions, although I didn’t know that I would eventually return here. It was only during a second short-term trip to the Philippines 2 years later also for missions that I really heard the calling to come back to the Philippines as long-term missionary (minimum 4-year term).

Delighting Grace: As we talk over Facebook and Twitter, you really know some Tagalog, which is so cool.So how does language barrier affect missions to other foreign country? How long do you have to adjust also interms of the culture?

Trent Rollings: Haha ya, I was required by SEND to learn Tagalog when I arrived. In fact, all of our long-term missionaries are required to spend one to two years learning the local language and culture once they arrive in the country where they will serve. I found this time really challenging. It’s difficult to learn a new culture and language. It is like learning how to live in a whole new world. Looking back, however, I was so thankful for the time to settle in and just focus on the language and culture first instead of having to jump right in to ministry.

Language and cultural barriers can have a huge affect on your mission in another country. If you don’t take the time to learn the local culture and language you will have a hard time building deep relationships which could affect the opportunities you have to disciple people into a relationship with Jesus. Not learning the language and culture can also communicate to the people your are ministering among that in order for them to become a Christian they need to adopt your culture and way of life, which is simply not true. This is why SEND and many other organizations wants their missionaries to learn the language first before diving in to ministry. This principal is modelled after Jesus’ ministry where he gave up heaven and lived life as one of us on earth (Philippians 2:5-8.)

Delighting Grace: What are the common excuse why Pinoy Christians don’t consider missions? And how do you address them?

Trent Rollings: There are a lot of barriers keeping Christians from getting involved in missions. Two common barriers to missions for Filipinos are family responsibilities and the illusion that the Filipino church does not have enough money to support missionaries.

There are a number of different ways that we mobilizers address these issues. It is important to acknowledge the challenges that come with going on missions as well as the sacrifices that missionaries have to make to bring the gospel to unreached people groups. Luke 14 talks about the cost of being a disciple and the importance of counting that cost. When it comes to missions, you will have to leave your mother, father, sister, brother, friends and start a new life in a different part of the world. This is extremely difficult and should not be taken lightly. In Luke 14 it says that a disciple must love and be committed to God in such a way that his love for his family in contrast to his/her love for God looks like hate. As I was preparing to leave my family and friends I realized how short this life really is when we compare it to eternity. I felt God saying that I am in a season right now to work hard, make sacrifices, and be away from family and friends in order to further his Kingdom. Once this life is over, we will enter an eternity where we never have to say goodbye and when sacrifices made are a distant memory.

When it comes to whether or not the Filipino church has enough money to support missions, the fact is, there is absolutely enough money in the Philippines to support a great amount of missionaries! Now true, there are some very poor churches here, but there are also some very rich churches. If believers start to sow into missions like we are called to do, we could send out so many more fully supported missionaries. The way that we address this is to raise more awareness that every believer is called to be sacraficially involved in missions to the ends of the earth. If God’s will is for you to stay in the Philippines and to work, you are called to be a SENDer and to sacrificially invest your money into the Kingdom in support of missionaries and missions projects.

So basically, the biggest hindrance to missions is the price you have to pay to further God’s Kingdom. It’s important that we mobilizers are open and honest about the costs and sacrifices that need to be made but it is also equally important to help people realize that they are not doing this on their own strength and resources but on God’s. I have seen time and time again that when times have gotten difficult for me, God sustains and blesses abundantly in the midst of challenging times. So much so that I often hear missionaries say that they wouldn’t want to do anything else and that their years in missions have been the best years of their lives. In fact this reality is Biblical as seen in Mark 10:29-30:

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as muchAA)” style=”font-weight:bold;vertical-align:top”> in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to comeAB)” style=”font-weight:bold;vertical-align:top”> eternal life.”

Delighting Grace: As you already know the Philippines is a “Christian country” although the biblical one came late. So how can you share Jesus to a country that already knows “Jesus died on the cross for your sin” or “all you need is faith”?

Trent Rollings: This is a challenge that I have faced many times when it comes to sharing the gospel. It is important to first and foremost realize that it is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for working in the hearts of those we are sharing the gospel to. We cannot, by our own power, help people to see the differences between just following a list of do’s and don’ts and having a real relationship with their creator.

For me, when I share Jesus, I try to first build bridges between myself and the person by showing the similarities between Christianity and Catholicism. Both beliefs are talking about Jesus, both look to the Bible as truth. After acknowledging the similarities, I then point out the differences. The main thing to realize with Catholicism is that those who believe it are knowingly or unknowingly living under the weight of guilt and shame and the pressure to somehow pay for the blessings they receive or God’s love. The truth that we cannot possibly pay for our sins, no matter how hard we try can be devastating and leave a person feeling helpless, until you point to a better way, Jesus. Sharing with them that he is the one who already paid for their sins and that they just need to believe this and accept his free gift of forgiveness rather than work and try to be good enough is often received as a much desired freedom.

Regardless of who you are sharing with, it is important to remember that there is no one model of sharing the gospel that fits for everyone. It is important to love the person where they are at and to share the gospel in a way that connects with that individual person and their needs.

Delighting Grace: How do you prepare for your speaking engagement?

Trent Rollings: I try not to take too many speaking engagements on short notice. I find it very valuable to think about messages that I will give over a few weeks. Once I know that I am speaking on a topic, my awareness is heightened and so when I hear about something that might pertain to the topic/passage I am speaking on, I will lock on to that. That is often how I get illustrations and message ideas.

For me, the biggest factor that affects whether or not I am an effective speaker and preacher of God’s word is my own intimacy with God first. When I have an upcoming speaking engagement that I am preparing for, I first do a heart check on myself and ensure that I am walking in tune with the Holy Spirit and am delighting myself in the Lord.

Delighting Grace: What’s the most memorable speaking engagement you had here?

Trent Rollings: Probably my speaking engagements at Messiah College in Ortigas Center have been the most memorable for me. The energy, enthusiasm, and receptiveness of the students always makes speaking there enjoyable and very worthwhile. For a speaker, an active and engaged audience is always a blessing.

Delighting Grace: What is SEND? How did you get involved in the organization?

Trent Rollings: SEND International is a church planting organization that focuses specifically on starting churches among unreached people groups (people groups with less than 2% believers.) SEND was started in the Philippines back in 1945 and was involved in planting many churches and starting organizations and schools in the Philippines. In 2009, we started looking at the Philippines as a missionary “sending” country rather than a “receiving” country. Now, our ministry here in the Philippines is mainly focused on recruiting, training, and sending out Filipinos as missionaries to Asia, Europe, and North America.

I first came into contact with SEND here in the Philippines back in 2005 when I came to the Philippines as a short-termer.
SEND was the organization that hosted our team. I really felt like SEND was a good fit for me and I really connected with their vision for their ministry. When I felt God calling me back to the Philippines for long-term missions, SEND was naturally the first organization that I considered joining and God opened the door for that to happen.

Delighting Grace: Wow thank you for your time Bro. Trent for this insightful interview. Please invite us in your blog, website and of course SEND. What can we expect in your ministry?

Trent Rollings: Yes, please feel free to check out my blog at http://www.trentrollings.net where I blog on topics relating to the church, leadership, and missions.

I also encourage everyone reading this, that if you are a believer you DO have a calling to be involved in missions. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 is directed to all believers. There are many ways to be involved in missions, not necessarily just by going to another country. If you would like to find out the opportunities for you to get involved in missions, please feel free to check out SEND’s website at http://www.pscsend.org. Myself or one of our other missions representatives would love to talk with you and pray with you about your calling to missions and how to live that out. We have many opportunities for you to be involved in short or long-term missions as well as for you to support our current missionaries.

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4 Important Points in having a Reading Spot

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Ah some sanctuary for you and your book! Have you find it? Well here are tips on finding that space:

  1. Make sure the place is quite – No distractions or noise. Peaceful and inviting. Just you and your favorite book for the whole day.
  2. Have comfortable furniture – a comfy sofa, funky bean bag or a simple bench matters to your body as you move your body to find that perfect posture.
  3. Have it very accessible – near your house, work place or church. A quick but blissful detachment from those places.
  4. Lighting matters – not too dim or not too bright so it will not distract you from your pleasureful reading.

Do you have favorite reading spot? Can you share it on the comment section?

Pinoy Christians, Do You Read? Part 1

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. You might have heard it on TV or read it online about the survey conducted by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) last 2012. It’s “The 2012 NBDB Readership Survey” which, according to their official publication Bookwatch, “is the most comprehensive study on the reading habits of the Filipino adults” (Bookwatch July-December 2012 pg. 10). So in this post we will look at some interesting stats on the said survey and I’ll give my opinion on this with of course a Christian perspective. And as we go along I would like to address the Filipino Christians (me included) on various issues that will I would raise.

According to the survey, 88% or 49.2 million Filipino adult in the country reads. It is a sad (and continuing) decline from 92% in 2007 and 94% in 2003 (on the same survey conducted in those year). So Filipinos are loosing the habit of reading. Reading is the most indispensable tool in learning. Many leaders and influential people that change the world are readers. Do you want to lead? Then read! After all its not all about power, experience and resource we empower ourselves but also accumulating knowledge that will comes from reading. If this thread will continue expect that it will really affect us.

Christians how’s your reading habit? Does your reading confined only on devotional time or is the time allotted for such activity consumed by Facebook or Twitter? You might have some valid reason not to read but giving just a little minute of it everyday helps you in your Christian life. Another thing, are you helping other Christians read? Encouraging members of the church do help not just to furnish his comprehension on a language or to acquire certain skills but to elevate our spiritual growth. Inspire your brothers and sisters in Christ to love books.

CLC Book Review Round Up 2

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Time to get our ropes and round up great book reviews from DG featuring books from CLC Philippines. Enjoy the following reviews and if you like what you read grab the books at your nearest CLC bookshop, National Bookstore and PCBS. You can also shop online and view other amazing books by CLC Philippines. Till next book review.

Book Review: Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven

Book Review: What Shall This Man Do? by Watchman Nee

Book Review: A Table In The Wilderness by Watchman Nee

Book Review: 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without by Leonard Sweet

Book Review: Personality Plus at Work by Florence Littauer and Rose Sweet

Book Review: Bedside Blessings by Charles R. Swindoll

Book Review: Daily Grace for Teachers by Various Contributors

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

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

Book Review: Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven

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CLC is not running out of great devotional to publish for the Christian. Just when you think you have the devotionals from Oswald Chambers and Chuck Swindoll, here comes another stand out. Enter Daylight by Andrew Kuyvenhoven. It’s a 366 daily devotional readings that will surely start your day with God.

As I check out the entries of this devotional, this wont be just an appetizer for your spiritual breakfast. Kuyvenhoven will serve you a hefty meal of the Word of God. This is not just a “one day one inspiration” turf of pop Christianity. This is more of a sermon stuff in a concise manner. I can visualized Kuyvenhoven going to the pulpit to deliver these messages. So you get a sermon per day in this book. And because the author is Reformed, prepare for deep understanding and meditation of God’s Word. Also let me add that every month has certain theme which I find odd but for me a very radical thing for a devotional. This should also be read like a book, but for its purpose a daily intake of this classic devotional will set the pace for the whole day.

This updated version is as fresh as 30 years it was published and gone in ten printings and I’m highly recommending it to Christians who wants more in their quite time. Straight forward, biblically solid and tackles topics that is essential to the believers this devotional is worth waking up and seeking God.

5 Awesome Ways to Seize the Day

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Squeeze the juice on this great day to the last drop. Here are five ideas to do it:

  1. Start and end with God – Learn to have a devotion or quite time from the One who made everything for you.  Make it a habit to have your meditation in the morning and evening.
  2. Know your priorities – do the important things today. Meet deadlines. Do what you promise to accomplish.
  3. Give your best – heart and soul pour it out in everything you do. In big or small things it will really count if everyone will see the best from you. It will not just make your day great but everything you did will be superbly satisfying to you because you did it from the heart.
  4. Strive to live one day at a time- listen to Matthew 6: 34. God’s provision for today is enough to last for the day and give to God your worries about tomorrow.
  5. Smile and say Hello – Brighten others by putting that winning smile and start greeting people with great morning jump starter words.

 

Any more hooray for today tips?

 

5 Cool Ways to Bring Out the Zest in Everyone

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Whether they are newcomers or a matured Christian, we need to bring out the very best in them so that they can influence others and be a part of God’s growing family. So here are some you can do today for that someone:

 

  1. Encourage them to bring out their gifts and talents – they might be shy but brimful of talents that can be of use in God’s Kingdom. Strike an encouraging talk and help them find their place in the ministry.
  2. Invest time in fellowship – Not just in church settings but outside. Eating, playing or just taking a road trip when done together makes an impact to people.
  3. Show them the promises of God – Open the Bible and let God’s Word talk to them about His great promises to them when they seek to obey and follow His will.
  4. Let them do things on their own – you don’t always have to be on their side. Give them a task and watch them take off on their own.
  5. Tell them the gospel – Point to a person the need to be saved and God’s plan for their destiny.

Is there a number 6? Please put it on the comment…