Monthly Archives: February 2014

CLC Book Review Round Up 3

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Before we unwrapped a new batch of books from CLC Philippines, its good that we put our gears in reverse. Lets look back at book reviews that you might have missed and should check out. If you like what we have featured, please do buy a copy at the nearest CLC Bookstore or you can buy it online at http://www.clcphilippines.com. Not convinced? Think about this list of things you will missed out if you dont buy a Christian book:

1. You’ll missed out a chance to spiritually grow.
2. You’ll missed out a chance to help someone get to know Christ.
3. You’ll missed out the chance to build up your local church.
4. You’ll missed out the opportunity to spread the gospel by buying a book.

See what you’ll missed? Convinced now? I hope so. Well here are the books reviews you might have missed:

Mentoring Conversation by Herman A. Moldez

102 Fascinating Bible Studies by Preston A. Taylor

Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes A Day by Daryl Aaron

God’s Answers to Life’s Questions

Life on Purpose for Women by J. M. Farro

Changed in His Likeness by Watchman Nee

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

One Church, Four Generations by Gary L. McIntosh

What Does the Lord Require? by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

You might also check out Round Up 1 and Round Up 2….Enjoy!!!!

The Blogging Basics By Mozilla Philippines

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“Hey Dems…” I said to my blogger friend, Dems Angeles as we walk the streets of Makati, which is a familar place for her. We took the underpass and pass over business offices that are already closed.

“Yes?” Dems answered back. Dems and I are tired with the walk but our chat seems to make it disappear. Its already night and we just came from the event at Globe Valero. I want to get on the bus back to Batangas City and Dems wants to catch up with the van bound to her place.

“Thank you for giving me the “Dems Angeles app” in finding this event and the place…hehehe…” It was almost 7:00 pm of February 8 and tomorrow is Lord’s Day.

“Hahahaha….” She replied. We still manage to squeeze in some laughs.

Dems and I dropped by one of the first servings of Mozilla Philippines to us who are in social media. Titled “Mozilla Philippines Social Media Series: Blogging 101”. The event showcases 4 influential bloggers to talk about the basics of blogging. They shared the How To’s and their personal experience engaging in blogging. Then after each talk their will be a Q and A portion. At face value you might say the basics of blogging is for the unexperienced but the talks proved that it is not. The event was emceed by Erika Gatmaitan (the niece of Christian author Dr. Luis Gatmaitan or Tito Dok) the student ambassador for Mozilla PH and she introduced first in the program Bob Reyes, one of the Mozilla PH representative here in the Philippines. Sir Robert warmly welcomed us to the event and enthusiastically discussed what Mozilla is all about. He emphasize not just being an open source of Mozilla as its edge, but also other advantages particularly security. Sir Robert states that Mozilla has its “privacy as its roots.”

First on the fray is blogger Gian Carlo Viterbo of Gadget Pilipinas. His topic was “10 Things To Do After Installing WordPress” which got a lot of positive reaction because majority of the crowd are WordPress user (me included). But first, he buttered us up with what is WordPress all about. He mentioned the benefits of having a self-hosted WordPress which kept us salivating. He then post a very striking question to us: Are you willing to take great risk to get great rewards having a bad*** website? Hmmm…who doesn’t want one? Well according Gian Carlo, the risks he encountered with his blogs is security i. e. getting hacked. He had been “friendly hacked” many times to show how weak his blog security is. He was grateful for that experience. Having that thought about security, all over his talk he keeps on bring that. Most notably #8 “Delete the default Admin WordPress Account” in which we check pop star Katy Perry’s website (which is WordPress powered) as an example. As we expected, it was not deleted. To Gian this will be a hackers gold. Anyway, the first talk was a blast. For those who want to see Gian Carlo’s presentation you can view it here.

Since WordPress was discussed, Blogger, its counterpart, as the next topic by another speaker. Azrael Coladilla of Azrael’s Merryland blog not only tackle Blogger, but also showed us how to make one in less than 5 minutes. Azarel went through his talk “Using Blogger As Website and Blog”. He first differentiate a website and blog set up then show how having a blog,specifically Blogger, as an advantage. Then he went to tell us the different blog ventures he had most notably the S. M. blogs. As the finale, he showed the crowd how to set up a Blogger blog in just 5 minutes. Well it was so fast for Azrael to make a “Flappy Bird Philippines” blog considering he is already log in Blogger. It was more or less 3 minutes. As a former user of Blogger, all I can say its easy to use but I’ll stick with WordPress for now.

Blogger Jonel Uy took on a topic titled “Social Media Consulting as a Career”. With his mild mannered speaking he took us to the topic that is near to his heart. He showed the broad perspective of the social media landscape to us and point out the different divisions and branches of it. The talk was so short (I think its 20 minutes) but the point he is driving is that social media opened careers and opportunities like marketing and public relations for us to consider. Career shift anyone?

After the snack of sodas and sandwiches, we had our last speaker, Aileen “Yen” Dreyfus of Tummy Traveler blog. The “Dreyfus” struck a familiar tune to me. She is the wife of actor (and also a blogger) Chuckie Dreyfus (remember him?). Using her charm and demure, its easily for her to grab our attention when we feel like going home. She then delivered her talk “Better Blogging and Being Social” in which she gave us 15 tips how to improve our blogging. As she was sharing the tips she keeps on mentioning her “husband” and how she was influenced by him in blogging. The talk was brief but still we learned alot. She left us with this reminder: “Be the blogger you want to read.” In the Q and A part, I got a chance to ask her a question in which she satisfactorily answered it.

After the talks we got to chat with the speakers and have our photo taken. I met a couple of guys from Mozilla then asked how to volunteer in the community. It was a great event and I hope to be seen at future Mozilla Philippines activities like this. I’m also praying to be part of the community and help spread the passion of Mozilla!

Book Review: Mga Mahahalagang Tanong At Mga Sagot By Emilio Ballesteros Jr.

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Before I got hold of this book, Ive heard lots of things about it. Read it over a Catholic website debunking it. Somehow this seemingly unknown and I think neglected book from an unknown author nevertheless highly praised by church leaders really have something to prove.

This book packs some heat on apologetics which for a long long long time Filipino Christians doesnt have. Its either you have that old book “Witnessing to the Cults” or by chance you got a book from the Berean team. It saddens me that Pinoy Christians concentrated so much in Christian Living they neglect books (well actually it has a great discussion on Christian Living) like this one. Now a book for the new generation “Mga Mahahalagang Tanong At Mga Sagot”. Now revised and expanded, this thin but powerful book by Ptr. “Jun” covered grounds more than any thick volume that I know. From the sticky, slippery and most dodge question, Ballesteros head on answered them with God’s Word.

From cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ang Dating Daan, Iglesia ni Cristo to Christian basics doctrine, life and ethics; and everything in between, Ballesteros really knows what questions that bogs Christians. He devels it all in this volume with a well balance blend that wont leave you wanting.

The Tagalog version has witty strokes from the author but the English one diminished some of it yet thats nothing to be sadden about. You’ll still enjoy reading and learning from it. I dont know with Cebuano version but both translation delivers a no hold barred question and answers format. Its extensive yet an easy reference for everyone. You can use it in your Sunday School or a Bible Study.

The book is a silvet bullet of sort. A must for every Christian who wants to answers and give answers to others. Guys after reading this buy a copy, tell your friends to buy their own copy and help it to be on the bestsellers list! Give this book some hype. I wont settle for a review copy, I’ll buy another copy if I find one to give to someone in the church. Now more that ever Christians should be armed with a high caliber of a book. Highly recommended!

Writing With A Purpose: Delighting Grace Interviews J. M. Farro

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Previously we featured a book review of J. M. Farro’s devotional “Life on Purpose for Women”. You can check it by clicking here and buy a copy from CLC Philippines. We got bless by the messages of the book. But the DG book review team got a suprise when Joanne M. Farro posted a comment complimenting our book review. Not only that she even agreed to have an interview for this blog! And here it is guys!Enjoy!!!

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us why write a devotional book when there are lots of them out in the market?

J. M. Farro: Actually, I never set out to write a devotional book. In fact, I never set out to write a book at all! It all came about when I joined the staff of my son, John’s, internet ministry,Jesusfreakhideout.com . My original assignment on the website was to answer prayer requests. But after being on the JFH staff for a year, my son asked me to write some devotionals for his site. At first, I was indignant because I thought my son was asking too much of me. But then I prayed and asked the Lord if this was what He wanted me to do. When He said yes, I began writing, and I’ve been writing ever since. That was in 1999, and since then, Jesusfreakhideout.com has become one of the largest Christian music websites in the world. Eventually, a publisher offered to put my devotionals from the site in book form, and this is how my “Life On Purpose” devotional books came about. It was totally God’s idea, not mine. Because as you say, there are plenty of devotional books on the market already.

Delighting Grace: How about the whole process of producing a book? Please give us a sort of “behind the scenes” of it.

J. M. Farro: When Harrison House contacted me about putting my devotionals in book form, they said that before the whole process could begin, they would have to sit down with their Marketing people to determine if it would be worthwhile for them to invest in a devotional book of mine. Weeks later, they contacted me and asked me to sign a contract with them. I earnestly prayed about it and felt like this was God’s will for me, so I did. After pitching my book concept to their distributors, and receiving such a positive response, Harrison House called me and said that they wanted to publish three books of my devotionals, instead of just one. Also, instead of waiting two more years to publish, they were putting a rush on the project and releasing it in only a few short months. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy, and I thanked God for His incredible kindness and generosity.

Delighting Grace: Any memorable experience while giving “birth” to “Life on Purpose” devotional books?

J. M. Farro: After writing devotionals for my son’s website for two years, and sending out a weekly email devotional to my subscribers all that time, one of my readers urged me to submit my writing to publishers. So I did. But all I got back were rejection notices. I got very discouraged, but with God’s help, I continued to write and mail out my weekly devotionals. Then, exactly two years later, I felt led to begin writing publishers again, and one of the editors that had rejected my work two years before became very excited about my devotionals and offered to publish them in book form. That was Harrison House, who eventually published several of my books, including the “Life On Purpose” series.

Delighting Grace: How has writing and releasing a book changed you?

J. M. Farro: Having my writing published in book form has been a very exciting and enlightening experience for me. It is very gratifying when others are excited about your work, to the point of wanting to invest their money in it. But for me, it has had its disadvantages, too. Now, I can hardly write anything without wondering, “Is this good enough to be published? Would anyone want to buy the rights to this?” In other words, it has been a distraction for me in some ways. I have to remind myself that my main focus must always be obeying God with my writing, and doing my best to use my God-given skills to help others, and to lead them to Christ.

Delighting Grace: How important to you is quiet time with God? How do you do your devotional time for the Lord?

J. M. Farro: My quiet time with God each day is my number one priority. It is literally my lifeline, and I could not live or function without it. No matter how busy my day will be, I get up early enough in the morning to spend time praying and reading the Bible before I do anything else. I often start out by praying, “Lord, show me where to go in Your Word today. Speak to me, and help me to hear and to heed Your voice.” I usually read at least one or two devotionals which lead me to a specific passage of Scripture. I ask the Lord to show me how it applies to my life. I’ve discovered that if we read or hear the Word of God, but fail to apply it to our own lives, it won’t do us much good. The real power is in the doing. Another thing I often pray is, “Lord, send me revelation from Heaven, and help me to apply it to my own life, and to share it with others in life-changing ways.” I know that when God shows me or teaches me something, He doesn’t do it just for my benefit. But He expects me to share it with others so that it can make a difference in their lives, too.

Delighting Grace: Indeed its our lifeline from God. What is your advice to Christians who want to stay focused on God, even if they are busy in their studies and work?

J. M. Farro: I tell people that if they are serious about keeping their focus on God, they are going to have to make numerous sacrifices on a regular basis. They must make spending time alone with God each day their number one priority. If they don’t, they will be constantly distracted by other people and other responsibilities. It’s a matter of priorities. The Lord will always help us to give Him first place in our lives and our schedules if we will sincerely ask Him to, and if our motives are right. We simply cannot fulfill our God-given purpose and potential unless we spend regular, unhurried, and undistracted time alone with the Lord each day – praying, reading His Word, and asking Him to speak to our hearts. When we do, He will bless us and use us in exciting ways for His glory. And we will have a tremendous impact on the world for Christ.

Delighting Grace: Thank you Joanne for your time. It so nice to have a you over my bog. Please do invite our readers to get your book, and also, please tell us what we will expect with you in the future?

J. M. Farro: Last year, I released a new book entitled, “The Promise-Powered Life: How to See the Promises of God Fulfilled in Your Life”. It is a new collection of my devotionals based on the promises of God from Scripture, and they are filled with personal experiences and anecdotes from my own walk with the Lord. For more than 21 years, I have prayed and claimed the promises of God for myself and my loved ones, and I have discovered firsthand how they can transform people and circumstances in amazing ways. This new book can be purchased on Amazon.com in paperback or in digital form. I have been getting a lot of positive feedback from readers on this book, who have told me that it has radically changed their lives. Your readers can use this link to check out this new book. I hope that this book will be the first in a series of more to come in the days ahead.

Delighting Grace: I’m checking the new book and I must say that its another godly bestseller from J. M. Farro. So guys please drop by the bookstore to get one and also the Life on Purpose series. Thank you again Joanne and more power to you!