5 Indispensable Things You Should Know on Your First Time Preaching

So your pastor asked you to preach next Sunday. You got excited and also got all rattled up. In your mind you keep asking: what should I do? Well here are 5 helpful tips for your first baptism of fire in preaching:

  1. Prepare the sermon at hand – maybe a week or so will be the ideal time for preparing your sermon. Pray, re-read the text, add ideas and adjust it to make it powerful.
  2. Don’t forget the artillery – Bible, notebook, I-pad, and multimedia gadget etc., just the essentials. Don’t clutter the pulpit. It might also distract you. Our pastor advised me not to bring a pen. In my nervousness I might play with it. He was right!
  3. If you’re nervous don’t look at church members faces-Different reactions may distract you. Look beyond the crowd or at corners of the building if you’re not confident enough to take a glimpse.
  4. Be time conscious – not that long preaching is bad but there is another program coming after your delivered your sermon or you pastor set a time for you, then you must follow. He might let you get away with it for the first time but next time stick with the time allotment.
  5. Let the Holy Spirit guide you – with all this preparation I might say we are still human and limited. That’s why we need to pray and ask God that the Holy Spirit will lead us as we preach His Word. Let John 14: 26 and Mark 13:11 assure you He will help. He has done it in my preaching ministry for 3 years now and He will do help you too.

I would like to hear some of your tips for those who will preach. Let me see your reaction on the comment section.

Book Review: God’s Answers For Life’s Questions

Talk about being biblical, this book is really biblical. Why? No pop psychology, no quick fix and no pragmatic methods. Just pure Bible verses to the inquiring heart. “God’s Answers For Life’s Questions ” reminds me of the book series “Bible Promises for…” from Harbour Books which contains verses for a specific individual. This however, covers lots of grounds plus it uses multiple Bible version for a more clearer understanding of God’s Word. You might ask, why do I need to buy a book containing Bible verses when I can buy a Bible instead? Well you can do that but by just opening a Bible you cant find the specific answers to your questions. This book will help you with that.

The book is has lots of questions but are specifically categorized in 7 chapters namely, “How Can I Know You, God?”, “I Need Some Advice, Can You Help Me?”, “What Is The Secret of A Good Relationship?”, “I Want To Be A Better Parent”, “Please Help Me Parent My Child”, “As A Young Person, I Have Some Questions About Relationships” and “Can You Help Me With These Challenges?” So it has a variety of questions for everyone.

This book is very helpful to all people who has many questions in life. We will see the instruction of God to our lives in every pages. Read God’s promises to all, the prayer that we need to do and the biblical examples that will help us give the answers to our questions.

With a beautiful cover and layout this book is a perfect gift to unbelievers, old and new to the faith as well. This will reinforce you to look to the Bible for answers and value the power of the Scriptures more. Highly recommended!

Komikon 2013: Keeping My Childhood Alive Part 2

As I turn and walk away from the Betamaks booth, it went like BAM! Elbert Or, artist and editor of the comic series Cast, is over the opposite booth! So approach him while on his table are his latest creations which is also cool. He is a little bit reserved, but neverthless he is nice. As I introduce myself, I showed the Cast comicbook and asked for his John Hancock, his partner exclaimed “Wow Vintage!”, referring to the comic I was holding. As always an photo op before I say goodbye.

By the way, aside from the Yolanda fund raising, this years Komikon has something extra sweet for us comicbook fans. Indie films Blue Bustamante amd Graveyard Bandits was featured. Also Akademi Samali a comic community from Indonesia joined in the fun. Then the Philippine International Creative Content and Arts (PICCA) is in attendance to conduct workshops and film screening for members and other participants. Awesomely cool!

Now back to my story. I’m search mode for Stephen Segorvia and as Jamie Bautista mentioned he is at the Komik Kalye (at the other room). So I made my way to the conference room to where both the Komiks Tiangge and Komik Kalye is located. The indie komiks booth are few compare to the Summer Komikon and I cant even distinguish which is Komiks Tiangge or Komik Kalye. Looking for Sir Stephen, I resort to ask people out to make it easier. Someone told me that he will definately be at the Komikon but later the day. But I dont have all day (because I’ll be at the Lopez Museum and Library at 2:00 PM). So I drool over the rest of the Komiks Tiangge till I notice guy at the corner. “Could he be?” I ask myself. Well I do got a reply but suddenly Mr. Introvert (my alter ego) sets in and It takes a few minutes pull myself together and ask bravely this guy.”Kayo po ba si Jun Dayo?” and he replied “Yes ako po nga”. Whoa! Jun Dayo, the legendary Funny Komiks writer and illustrator. “Sinusubaybayan ko po kayo sa Funny Komiks” I told him. “Ah Funny Komiks…”,then he handled me a bookbind of old Funny Komiks. Super cool. So I grab one comic on his table and had it signed. “Ano ang ilalagay kong name? Sa Wazzup Pilipinas ba?”. He was looking at my media pass. “Ay hindi po, Nitoy ang ilagay ninyo…” I said in which he exclaimed “Ah ikaw pala si Nitoy!” Yes he remembers me a day after that commenting on a post from him on Facebook. Before I bid goodbye I told Sir Jun Dayo,”Sir Jun, thank you for completing my childhood…” with a warm handshake to a comicbook legend.

Before I take flight to go to Lopez Museum and Library and go broke, I remember someone who I want to meet. He is a guest artist on the 2013 Summer Komikon. He is an award winning author in children’s book categories. Recently, I have this fixation to children’s book specially the Christian ones. It took me 5 minutes to look for his table. As I was possessed by Mr. Introvert, I had a glimpse of how he will deal with me. He is quite funny and kind as he talks to his visitors. I took his toddler book and his comicbook to be signed. So I introduce myself and told him I represent Wazzup Pilipinas. As he is was signing I ask “Sir are you a Christian?” He face suddenly brightens and told me he is. “How about you are you a Christian?” I replied “Yes I am. I go to a Baptist church.” He said he and his wife goes to a born again church and he leads a Bible study at work (he later added). He also introduce me to one of his buddy who both of them are part of Cadre, a Christian comic writers and illustrator group. After the photo op I ask if I could interview him for my blog. He answered yes. So guys watch out for that interview, only here in Delighting Grace featuring Robert Magnuson!

Hope you enjoyed this post and till next years Komikon. If you like, lets tag along for an adventure in komiks.

5 Indispensable Truths Youth Leaders or Pastors Must Know

For those youth pastors or leaders these are some truths I’ve learn in just a few years as a youth leader in our church. They always reinforce me to seek God and depend more to Him in ministry:

  1. You can’t please everyone- there is only one you should please and that’s our living God. Be an audience of one today.
  2. Problems won’t go away – Problems upon problems may come to your ministry but Christ is always there for you.
  3. Your identity is not your ministry – Christ is your identity and what He has accomplished for you as his follower.
  4. People change – that is a very true. Some will give you headaches; some will leave you and go back to you. But be sure God’s promises will not.
  5. Don’t forget your personal time with God – don’t sacrifice your personal dealings with God in the altar of ministry. It is the most essential thing to be able to have a strong standing before God.

Anything you can add to the list? Please use the comment section.

Book Review: Mentoring Conversations by Herman A. Moldez

Finally, a home grown book from CLC Philippines! At first I thought with such appetizing book cover, its another book from an international author. But I was mistaken (dont judge the book by its cover, dont forget). And also the content which is overflowing with wisdom and biblical insights from Moldez. A well done, very thought out book that needs readers who really wants to follow Christ and mean it.

A discipleship/mentoring book with a a serious business to live out Christ. The chapters are short but meaty in biblical lessons. The highlight of of each chapter is at every end. Sort of a dig deeper section of the chapter.

As you read the book you wont see the distinction that this is written by a Filipino author which is great. Now we can see local books that can be at par to its foreign counterparts. Yes we could dish out high quality Christian books. Kudos to Ptr. Moldez and CLC!

Nevertheless I have a few comments on the book. Many readers will look for a paternal flavor all over “Mentoring Conversations”. If you are looking for something that has a William Girao or Isabelo Maralit appeal to it, you won’t find it here. Its a bit stiff and lacks of coziness. Another is I hope they will do this in the coming edition of this book is to have a more indepth emphasis over the end part of the chapters. An appendix with tips and advice on how to effectively facilitate the lessons and some answering sheet will do alot. But don’t get me wrong. Don’t let that bit of criticism from me stop you from buying the book and benefit from it.

This book is brimful of biblical and engaging content and thats a thumbs up for me. I would like to say to not look for any other book for discipleship/mentoring. This is the real deal.

Komikon 2013: Keeping My Childhood Alive Part 1

Growing up reading Funny Komiks, Marvel comics, Manga and having a Jack Chick comic phase (ugh!) Im a big fan of comics.Through the years, I still love art form that still amazes and spellbind the kid in me. Thanks to Komikon, the event doesn’t just keeps Pinoy comics alive but also my childhood as well.

Now on its 9th year, Komikon gathers the local and international comicbook artist and writers celebrate this art form. It is a place the fans meet comic creators which is so awesome. Up and coming comics and their creators showcase what they got to soon to be fans. The event has this talks or seminars to further salivate comic enthusiast. And of course comicbooks from indie, local, imported, vintage and original artworks are for sale as well as other comic related merchandize. Games and prizes abound during the event. Komikon is an annual event and helds its activities at Bayanihan Center Pasig City.

This year, is my second time (I have gone to this years Summer Komikon), and this time it a special one. The artist and writers are raising funds for the victims of Super-Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. So the sales will go to that cause. Awesome! And with that comes my special “mission” to that event.

I met Jamie Bautista the creator of Cast over Facebook and he is selling some of his creations. Get this, 100% of the sales will go to the typhoon victim. He was selling 3 types comicbooks but one struck me is the complete set of Cast (thats issues #0-11). I saw this comic series way back 2004, when I don’t have a job and having financial constrains so I wasn’t able to buy it. I really want it! So I asked Jaime to reserve me a set and I’ll pick it up at Komikon. He replied positively.

At the event, after getting my media pass and the event catalog, I immediately look for Jamie Bautista, who is busy entertaining fans over his booth. So I introduce myself and he hand over me the much coveted Cast comicbooks. I requested to had it signed (every comics). He is so nice and his partner in the booth both even help take off the plastic cover of the books. Before I go I inquire about Ronin Core (the illustrator of Cast) and he said it Stephen Segorvia artwork. Stephen is feature at the Komik Kalye so he will be at Komikon. So I set to meet him and have it signed also. After a photo op, I said goodbye and off to meet Elbert Or.

Looking for Elbert Or is a little bit hard because of the crowd at Komikon (proving many still loves comics). Passing to different booths (or tables) I saw Pol Medina Jr., Gerry Alaguilan and Andrew Villar of Ambush Comics. I stumble upon a booth of Betamaks, a group of young and great artist selling lovely bookmarks and postcard. I really love the artwork so I took one postcard by Kris Kang for me and a bookmark by Jason Sto. Domingo for a youngster friend of mine. I also request their signatures and had photos with them as well.

(Part 2 coming soon)

Book Review: Working Successfully With Screwed-Up People By Elizabeth B. Brown

Receiving this book from CLC Philippines gives me the impression that CLC is well rounded in delivering books for every angle of the Christian life. Books that really hits home is something for us to consider.

“Working Successfully With Screwed-Up People” is that kind of book that hits home because it is essential for Christians who works in whatever organization he or she is in. Working for nearly a decade I can attest that I met lots of folks with “different strokes”. And its not a walk in the park. This is were this book comes in.

As the book states this is not a management or management book so you wont expect its another John Maxwell or Ken Blanchard type. As the title suggest its to handle those nutty co-workers of yours who not just wreck your day but gives you a take home stress too. But as I examine the content, I might say that I read this stuff before or some are common sense answers. Nevertheless, this book gives are no holds barred look and more at relationships in a working environment. Still it has great advices that will equip you at work.

If this book make you think that this will further “fix” those people who wont budge, think again. The gun is aimed also you. Forgiving, saying sorry, personal biases etc., gives you a dose of reality that maybe your the one who needs to compromise. It adds that you should examine if this is the work for you or you should throw in the towel so to speak.

The content is easy to read and digest. Chapters are short but weighty on advice after advice of getting along with hard nut people. As if its not enough, Chapter 22 contains Q and A ‘s to further nibble on.

If it weren’t published by CLC its easy to dismiss this as a secular book (Brown’s book has minimal reference to the Bible). If you’re an aficionado on secular personal management or a drizzle of psychology you’ll probably drop this. But for us who are not, this is a fitting guidebook for those Christians who are just staring to work in a corporate settings or a “been there, done that” person.

3 Things Books That Are Given to You Say about You

Birthdays or Christmas you will receive a present from your friend. And it’s a great thing if you receive something to read for your spiritual growth. So what does these gifts of books say about you? Here are 3 of them:

  1. You might be in the ministry- you might be a leader or a pastor, a season veteran or new believer etc., that’s why they gave you that book is to empower you in your Christian walk.
  2. You might be a ‘fan’ of the author – aside of the spiritual nourishment of the book, people knows you really like the author or they might convert you to be a fan of this gifted author.
  3. You might be in a situation that needs encouragement – you may not say it aloud but your Christian friend might be discerning that you’re in a crisis that needs a lift. Thank him for giving that book and ask him to pray for you in that situation.

So that’s my list. Do you have number 4?

3 Essential Signs That Something is Just a Fad

Fads come and go but how do you detect that it’s just a what it is: a fad. Here are 3 signs that a trend has it’s days numbered:

  1. A tsunami of similar or copied idea – if something became a hit expect a flood of copycats cashing in the latest trends. There will be stand outs but with the influx of it you’ll get sick of it.
  2. Everyone is jumping in the bandwagon – As long it’s going to make publicity to any person chances are they are using it to get free PR.
  3. You can feel it’s just a Band-Aid solution – especially in spirituality there is more into it than what we see on the surface. So it’s better to ask: Is it biblical?

Do you have number 4? Please post it on the comments.

4 Things Books That You Give Say about You

Previously I listed down the 3 things books that you receive say about you, now let’s turn the tables by listing 4 things books you gave as gifts say about you.

  1. You’re an advocate- in reading Christian books that is. You are a sort of advocate for people who are not interested in reading but by giving a book you are saying they should read.
  2. You’re a ministry supporter – you shape and uphold potential church leaders and new comers in the ministry not just giving financially but by sending them a book on leadership or church planting. These people will thank you for what you have done to them.
  3. You’re an investor – business and properties are not just the ones we should invest but people’s potential. This is the fruit of number 2, that you will see Christians gain a deep conviction of their calling and how their plans for the future fits perfectly with God’s will. In the end everyone will benefit this investment you have given to this brother in Christ.
  4. You’re a cheerer – you give books for those who need encouragement when they are down and lonely. It speaks volumes without saying a word in a well chosen book how God is in control in the life of a Christian.

Anything you might like to add? Is there a number 5?