8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “A Week in the Life of A Greco-Roman Woman” by Holly Beers

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After Christmas I’m back with my final reads for 2019 and this decade. I’ll be working on with the review that will be posted soon.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from the book, A Week in the Life of A Greco-Roman Woman by Dr. Holly Beers published by Inter Varsity Press. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering here.

“Paul, you insult me! Surely no educated man in Asia could believe such nonsense! You say that the one true god of the world has appointed this man Jesus as judge over all of us and that his resurrection is proof of this?”
Paul’s response was equally passionate. “Yes! And the appropriate response is repentance, which means giving up our own agendas and priorities and living as this god created us to live!”

“The tone of Paul’s response caught Anthia’s attention, though she missed the end of the sentence because she could no longer hear. “Sometimes our eyes cannot see what is true. The one true god of the world has seated Jesus at his right hand in the heavenly realms. Jesus is lord over . . .” As Eutaxia had explained, Paul didn’t sound angry or superior. He sounded . . . excited. Joyful”

“Iarine just smiled and touched her arm. Iarine smiled, a thoughtful look on her face. “Yes, I’ve heard about all of it, and I know Paul.” She paused. “We have joined the Way,” she said, looking at Anthia directly. “We are now part of
the group of people throughout the world who prepare for and participate in the true god’s rule. Our allegiance is with Jesus, who is this god in human form. Jesus comforts, heals, restores,
and makes it possible for people of different tribes and peoples to come together as brothers and sisters.” She paused again, then added, “He also judges, as the true sovereign should.”

“Wait,” Linus insisted. “This Jesus is the first new human? I thought he was a god. Didn’t Paul say that he is healing only through the name and power of Jesus?”“He is both, apparently,” Zotike answered, and her husband nodded from his place next to her. “We’re not sure if Jesus is like the emperor, or if his ‘man-ness’ and ‘god-ness’ work differently,” she added.”

“When I was finally close enough, I
told him about Euxinus. I begged him to heal our son, and told him that while I couldn’t pay him, I would be willing to trade services at our fullery if he needed anything laundered.” Lampo
shook his head in disbelief. “Paul didn’t want money. He said that he isn’t healing in his own power; he is healing in the name of a man named Jesus, and Jesus heals as a demonstration of the kind of lord he is. He is a ruler who heals and restores; those are the
priorities of his kingdom.”

“The true god of the world,” declared Paul, “is the one who created all things, including humans. That god sent Jesus as the new man to show all of us how to truly live, and those who commit to Jesus and honor him with their lives will be raised into resurrected bodies as he was.”

“Priscilla took advantage of the silence, adding quickly, “Friends, I don’t want us to lose sight of the bigger picture. Jesus
is the true savior, the true lord, and these healings and exorcisms are a demonstration of that. He calls us to respond and commit to his lordship with our lives.”

““How?” Anthia questioned. “How does Jesus create a new humanity and unity among people?” “Paul talked a lot about the peace and reconciliation that Jesus
brings, peace that overcomes hostility between different peoples.” 

3 Things To Consider To Have A Balanced View of the Holidays

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Time and time again, we Christians go into a dispute over how we consider the holidays and everything that goes along with it. So I’ll address three issues here for I consider them as the most common that spills over social media. In this way we can give a balanced view of the holidays and enjoy it for God’s glory.

Ground it with facts and real history.  What does a history lesson got to do in celebrating with the holidays? It is to save faces and our testimony as a Christian that is. Whenever the holiday  comes, there are Christians that have some objections to some holidays. They will post their rant over Facebook for everyone to read. Whether it’s the use of the word Xmas or the practice of having Easter eggs, to the date of December 25, all seems to be a big pagan conspiracy that will keep Christians and unbelievers blinded by Satan. 

Sadly some so-called pagan origins of different holidays and traditions that comes with it are standing on faulty speculations, conspiracies and a whole lot of sensationalism. Although some believers meant it with all honesty, well being honest is not enough, even if your pastor told it . Honesty AND a healthy dose of facts with a well researched history will do the work.  Let’s throw in the hat some logic to add sense and dispel conspiracies. Do you love truth and want to please God? Get the facts straight! 

Have a biblical view of drinking and eating. You cannot separate holidays without sharing a hearty meal with your love ones.  That completes our holiday experience of being together. So how can we have a biblical view of drinking and eating? One common thing to do is to do it for the Lord.

Although the Bible condemns excessive drinking or drunkenness, it doesn’t prohibit drinking in itself. Many will object with this (and get bashed) however the Bible made it clear and we shouldn’t teach what is beyond what is already revealed.  Let us not put our own teachings against those already been instructed in God’s Word. So Christians go ahead drink, if you can handle alcohol and be moderate in drinking.

Some good Christians I know view drinking as evil, but resorts to eating to make up for not indulging to it. So they turn to eating as a way of consolation over something they consider prohibited by the Bible. Like excessive drinking, excessive eating is prohibited in the Bible. Both falls to the word, gluttony. The Bible declares it sinful. So we should have a moderate way of feasting that will connect us with our family, have fun and glorify God.

It’s an opportunity to get some rest and honor God through it. Although some holidays here in the Philippines are not geared for Christians like fiestas or Ramadan, it is not something for Christians to be guilty of if it feels like those non working holiday are like making us observing those events. Rather drag ourselves to still go to the office (if possible) and seek consolation of having a double pay, we should rest and don’t feel bad about it. It’s beneficial to the physical and spiritual well-being. And God will be honored with your rest. That goes also to churches and ministries that have employees or workers. Don’t let your workers get caught in traffic because of the religious parade just because you don’t want to observe the holiday.

Another thing, churches and ministries should consider not grabbing the opportunity for holding some activities and programs during holidays. Rather that to rest and be with the family as a blessing, churches will likely have an event for believers that could have been set on other time or day. Let us keep in mind in those family gatherings, God might use your members to reach out his loved ones.

I hope this article brought some clarity on what we should do with the holidays. Believers should be reminded that these are not doctrinal errors but a matter of preference that Christians has as freedom to agree or disagree without being legalistic. In these non essential things, may we show grace to one another as Christ showed grace to us sinners. Isn’t that what a popular holiday in December is all about?

Book Review: Beyond the Big C by Jeremy Marshall

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If you’re a Christian with a terminal illness, how would you share the gospel to someone? Will it be hard to convince people to believe? Will they listen to you? What if you have a handful of facts to share to someone? What if your illness hinders them to believe you? These are the questions that came up as I turn to this book by Jeremy Marshall. Perhaps he has these questions too and took it as a challenge to open up a conversation about Jesus. That conversation will likely be this short book, Beyond the Big C.

Beyond the Big C is not a brief bio of Marshall on his journey with cancer but as his mention it over and over the book, it about someone else (which is Jesus).  He gladly admits that he is an ordinary Christian meaning he’s an average Joe with a few (but essential) things he knows about Christianity and why it is true. As you will find in this book, his pain, fear and doubts are the same as what you might experience. However, he is placing his trust whatever the outcome of his battle to God.  And he is challenging you whatever your struggling to place it also to God.    

As Marshall shares his beliefs you’ll find that he’s not arguing Christianity as an excellent  apologist or well learned theologian. He comes in the book as a friend with enough convictions that will not turn you off because it’s becoming preachy or technical. Nor Marshall over loads you with information. Consider him as a stranger starting a conversation with you in a coffee shop, at a park bench or at a hospital lobby.   Marshall is sharing the Christian message with a comforting and encouraging tone without compromising it. 

Beyond the Big C is a one sitting read that you’ll share to people that might be struggling in their life. It’s also for people who is just as he is, ordinary that doesn’t want to do with any religion. I don’t recommend Beyond the Big C for those looking for elaborate, detailed and long arguments on Christianity. Look for something else. It’s a good read and you’ll find it a worthwhile read.  

My verdict:

4 out of 5

(Review copy of this book is provided by 10 of Those)

The Freebie Round-Up # 54

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My heart is grieving at a local hospital pedia ward. Lots of children are crying in pain because of dengue. That’s yesterday when I picked up my father from the hospital because he was discharged after an operation. I remember I was teaching God’s providence on our small group as I pass the pedia ward. That really bothers me. Please pray for these children that God may have mercy on them.

Anyways, here’s a list of great freebies that are waiting to be downloaded. And if your new here to this post or you missed out other freebie round-ups, check the links to those post at the end of this article.

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Free e-book “The Soul’s Conflict with Itself” by Richard Sibbes –  Newly published by Monergism, this free e-book, Richard Sibbes reflects on Psalms 42: 11.

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FREE e-book “What Time is Purple?” from Living Waters– Get this digital copy of a new evangelistic booklet from Living Waters. And if your from the US they are offering mass copies for you to give away for free. 

FREE online event from David Platt – Something Has to Change is a live simulcast from David Platt’s church and you can sign up for free updates to watch in online. You can also attend in person to that event.

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FREE e-book “A Theology of The Office” – I’m not familiar with that hit TV show but Think Christian provides this free e-book picking the best episodes and characters that made mentions of God and some view of theology.

FREE webcast “Is Biblical Greek Study Still Relevant to the Church Today?” – This free webcast featuring Bill Mounce is over, but you can still register and watch the replay.  And as added bonus, they have some downloadable freebies.

FREE e-book “Life in the Wild” by Dan DeWitt– This is the free e-book of the month offer from The Good Book Company. 

FREE webinar from  CSB – Learn the history, translation philosophy and everything in between on this CSB free webinar with an Q and A from Brandon Smith. For US attendees you’ll get a free Bible.

By the way, to my Pinoy friends do you want to learn how to self-publish your book? Here’s a step by step video from Loida Bauto an AVM survivor and a PWD vlogger:

Do you want more freebies? Check out these past blog post:

Freebie Round-Up #53

Freebie Round-Up #52

Freebie Round-Up #51

Freebie Round-Up #50

 

Embracing the ESV Seminar with Dr. Dane C. Ortlund

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The swelling heat in Manila didn’t stop an ESV seminar about Christ-centered Bible reading. This is the second leg of the seminar which took off last Friday at Central United Methodist Church with the topic How the Whole Bible Fits Together.  Then the following day, Saturday,  Dr. Ortlund is scheduled to deliver a talk at Philippine Bible Society. Me and Greg registered on that talk for that’s our vacant day and the weekend has less traffic. He was as always, early and I just came just in time for the seminar to start.

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The 3rd floor hall of PBS was packed with folks who wants to hear this relevant topic. Dr. Dane C. Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Bible Publishing at Crossway, shares Jesus as the Center of the Whole Bible or how to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Along with him is his team that also participated in the seminar.

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We were formally welcomed to the Philippine Bible Society and the seminar by Nora Lucero, General Secretary of PBS. In a few minutes she discussed what’s PBS is all about and their current program to make the Bible known to the Filipino people. Then she turn it over to Derek Hill, director of enterprise of the Bible Society and one of the member of Dr. Ortlund’s team. He then briefly introduce our speaker, Dr. Dane C. Ortlund.

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“The Bible is all about Jesus. Not just in the gospels. Not just in the New Testament.” Dr. Ortlund opens his talk with those words. He moved on by giving us the 6 Ways Not to read the Bible. He then proceeds to the misconceptions of the phrase “Christ-centered”. Once those points were established, Dr. Ortlund goes to the main topic by giving 5 things we should consider on being Christ-centered in reading the Bible. The 1 and 1/2 hour flew so fast then we had a 30 minute Q and A. Dr. Ortlund ends his talk with a short discussion on reading the Book of Leviticus with a Christ-centered lens.

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The seminar was short and we wish that it will be whole day affair because we know their are lots of areas that can still be addressed by Dr. Ortlund. I hope and pray that Dr. Ortlund and his team will comeback to Manila soon for another round of seminars. Me and the rest of the 100 + participants really enjoyed his talk.

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Thank you Philippine Bible Society (PBS) for the invite and hosting a seminar that reminds us to be Christ-centered in reading the Bible. Thank you for those ESV devotionals of the Gospel of John which we will prayerfully share to other. Also thank you Dr. Dane Ortlund and his team for coming here in Manila and sharing a wonderful topic that leaves us hungering for the Word of God.

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Here’s a special treat for you my readers. I’m sharing a piece of the seminar of Dr. Ortlund. In this 4 minute video, Dr. Ortlund shares 6 Ways Not to Read the Bible.

and another bonus is an audio recording of the last part of the seminar, Christ-centered Reading of the Book of Leviticus.

 

Pinoy Preacher List #3

qvfpy4dThis is Delighting Grace third batch of Pinoy preachers you should read, listen or watch. Please consider praying for this series that it might widen the ministry reach of these preachers and lift up God’s name everywhere.

Joseph Mangahas – Pastor Joseph shepherds the 40 year old church Cubao Reformed Baptist Church. CRBC is know for it’s annual pastor and worker’s conference. You can listen to his preaching at SermonAudio and on Youtube. Aside from his sermons, you can find other messages from preachers, invited speakers in their Sunday service and past conferences.

Hubert Tan Haboc – Pastor Hubert is the pastor of Christ’s Glory Church of Marikina. Like Joseph Mangahas, he is a graduate of Grace Ministerial Academy.  You can easily access his sermon videos over Christ’s Glory Church Facebook Page.

Rodel Lasco – Finally down south of Manila, pastoring a Reformed church in San Pablo City, Laguna is Dr. Rodel Lasco.  You can listen to his preaching on SermonAudio.

So that’s my list for now and click these link to Pinoy Preacher List #1 and Pinoy Preacher #2 if you have miss out the previous installments. If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

Book Review: A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller

eoem3usI requested this book (or booklet) from Log College Press not only to share some quotes or do a review, but also get to know the Synod of Dort. As you might not know this year marks the 400th year of the event. It’s worth celebrating because how the church stood up and defend the doctrine of grace against Arminianism.  I have been exposed to it on a lecture of Ryan Reeves on Youtube and it’s excellent. And after reading  A Place Like Heaven, all I can say that it can share the impression I have with the Ryan Reeves video. It’s excellent!

A Place Like Heaven is a primer booklet that explores Synod of Dort. The booklet tackles the events that leads to the synod, during the deliberation and the aftermath of this ecumenical gathering with a American Presbyterian perspective. It ends with some defense The title of this work came from on of the moderators of the synod describing it as a “place like heaven’. The title might sound like a devotional book but that doesn’t discount the weight of what has been examine in this booklet. I think it lightens up a bit by putting an encouraging tone to the book.

Though this is a primer, you’ll praise Samuel Miller for his remarkable writing that which makes this booklet accessible and clear. At first you might have some inhibitions  reading this, although short it’s written in an 18th century English. However as you read on, you’ll get the hang of it. The content is actually engaging and what you might dismiss as a Smithsonian relic, this booklet is really good. Whenever you start reading it, it grabs your attention and for me this is not a boring read. Miller ends this booklet by answering some arguments against the doctrine of grace.

For a 48 page booklet, I can’t believe I learned a lot about Synod of Dort. Sometimes I ask myself if this is really a primer because it really covers lots of areas of the event. Not that it gave all that is to know about the Synod of Dort but the content of this is enough for you to appreciate that important event. Once you read this, Log College Press books will be on your reading list.  A Place Like Heaven is a great addition for your Synod of Dort resources. Please don’t miss out on this book. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

The Quotable Round-Up #116

znu4bd1Log College Press has a latest book that I recently received. A Place Like Heaven by Samuel Miller tackles Synod of Dort, an important event for the doctrine of grace, with an American Presbyterian perspective.  My book review is on the way but for now, you can be assured that this is a great book and you can get it through Amazon by clicking this link. Here’s some nuggets from the book that I hope you’ll enjoy.

“It was fondly hoped by many that when Arminius died, the controversy to which his speculation had given rise, would have died and been buried with him. But this, unhappily, by no means, proved to be the case.”

“When heresy rises in an evangelical body, it is never frank and open. It always begins by skulking, and assuming a disguise.”

“The opinions denominated Arminian had been substantially taught long before Arminius appeared. The doctrine of Cassian, of Marseilles, in the fifth century, commonly styled Semi-Pelagianism, was almost exactly the same system. Bolsec, too, in Geneva, about the year 1552, according to some, had also taught very much the same doctrine, though justly regarded as infamous on account of his shameful moral delinquencies. And about fifteen or twenty years before Arminius arose, Corvinus, in Holland, had appeared as the advocate of opinions of similar import. But having less talent than Arminius, and being less countenanced by eminent men, his error made little noise, and was suffered quietly to sink into insignificance, until a stronger and more popular man arose to give it new consequence, and a new impulse.”

“Perhaps it may be said, that no theological system was ever more grossly
misrepresented, or more foully or unjustly vilified than that which is commonly
called Calvinism; but which had been drawn from the word of God, and preached
by some of the best men that ever lived, many hundreds of years before Calvin
was born.”

“The enemies of the system allege, that it represents God as really the author
of sin, and man as laid under a physical necessity of sinning, and then as damned
for it, do what he can. They insist that our doctrine of depravity, and the mode
of inheriting it, if true, destroys moral agency; reduces men to the condition of
mere machines; and, of course, makes all punishment of sin unjust and absurd. In
short, they contend, that the views which we give of the plan of salvation, makes a system of heathenish fate, or of refined Antinomianism, equally destructive
of holiness and of comfort; and that, under the guise of free grace, we build up
a fabric of favoritism on the one hand, and of fixed necessity on the other; at
once making God a partial being, and a tyrant, and man a mere passive subject
of his arbitrary will. But, is it true that Calvinists embrace any such system as
this? Nothing can be further from the truth. It is a shameful misrepresentation,
which has no correspondence with anything but the caricatures of prejudice
and bigotry.”

 

Travel Time: Delighting Grace Interviews J. P. Leo Castillo of Shoestring Travelers

VvhZcDoWhat do you want to start this 2019? Do you want to be adventurous and travel?  Will it be cool if you pick up a camera and start photography? Or show your hidden writing skills and set up a blog? What if I told you you can do all of those things? Well your 2019 will be a spectacular ride! Delighting Grace recently connected with J. P. Leo Castillo, a travel blogger of Shoestring Traveler and took time to chat about blogging, photography and travelling.

Delighting Grace:  How does it feel to be always on the top travel bloggers in the Philippines?

J. P. Leo Castillo: We were on a top 40 list of travel bloggers done by another blogger – it’s not an official recognition – so it wasn’t really that big of a deal but it still felt rewarding.

Delighting Grace: Tell us when did you and your wife started travel blogging?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Around 2011 if I remember correctly.

Delighting Grace: You go travel blogging with your wife. Is there some sort of advantage of bringing some than being alone in your trip?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Two is obviously an advantage. You get to help each other, there’s someone with whom you can share the joys and difficulties of a trip and there’s more wisdom with two collective minds when you need to make difficult decisions on a trip.

Delighting Grace: Great! I notice that some travel bloggers are young and alone in backpacking. Compare to them to you and your wife with advance in age. Do still deliver some edge in blogging despite of the age? How does your blog stand out among the rest?

J. P. Leo Castillo: There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to age in traveling – the younger ones can go to places that may be too extreme for us, for instance. Our advantage as older people is probably that we have more resources at our disposal – generally speaking – to go on those trips. For travel blogging I’m not sure if age is an advantage or disadvantage as it depends more on the writing capabilities of the blogger. 

Delighting Grace: As of this date, how many places did you visited here and abroad? Which one is your favorite?

J. P. Leo Castillo: Hard to count at this stage for local places. We’ve been to all the Southeast Asian countries plus China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and some Middle East countries. Only been to Europe once – Barcelona – and lived and worked in the U.S. for almost 3 years. 

Locally, it’s hard to list a single favorite but rather a group of destinations – Romblon Island, Cuatro Islas and Kalanggaman Island in Leyte, Palawan (Port Barton, Coron and El Nido), Siquijor, Catanduanes, the Caramoan Peninsula (Camarines Sur) and Dumaguete City. Internationally it’s Vietnam and the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, San Diego and the destinations along California’s Highway 395 in the U.S. 

Delighting Grace: Wow. Can you share one travel story that you wont ever forget for the rest of your life?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  A trip to the Khyber Pass at the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan which ended at the Afghan border in 2000, a year before the 9-11 attacks. This was an assignment from our Christian missions organization to see what we could do to reach the Afghan refugees then living inside Pakistan. I love history and the Khyber Pass is full of historical events from Alexander the Great’s time (300 B.C.) down to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s (and later the American/NATO operations in Afghanistan). Also got to meet the fierce but very hospitable Pashtun tribesmen who were cradling AK-47 assault rifles as part of their everyday life. 

Delighting Grace:  It feels like its taken out of a movie. Your photography is awesome. It goes well with the travel. How did you learn about photography?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  My team leader back in the 1990’s for the SE Asian office of our missions organization made me the photographer of our team and gave me a film DSLR, then later a digital camera. It was then that I realized I had a knack for taking pictures. My photo compositions came out well even when I had yet to study composition. Later on I began studying digital photography seriously by going to photography web sites that offered free courses. 

Delighting Grace:  If someone wants to start a travel blog, what advice can you give to them?

J. P. Leo Castillo:  Write from the heart. Write regularly. Use photos to draw in more interest to your story. Don’t write very long blogs. 

Delighting Grace:  As Christians how do we keep at awe to God as we look at His creations as we travel?

J. P. Leo Castillo: I think if you are in regular fellowship with Him you’ll appreciate His creation more. 

Delighting Grace: Aside from the travel blog you are involved in outreaches, can you fill us out on that.

J. P. Leo Castillo: We start house/simple/organic churches, equipping people to disciple others in the process. Along with partners and people that we work with in the professional and business community. We support young people from needy communities with their education – providing school supplies, providing supplemental educational training and providing college scholarship. We also mentor those who want to start simple churches. 

Delighting Grace: I think that goes along when you blog. As you look around and look back at what you have like talents specifically in our blogging we feel that kind of “advocacy” to help out people. Anyways, please invite them to check your blog and social media accounts for Shoestring Travelers.

J. P. Leo Castillo: You can find out latest adventure over our blog, Shoestring Traveler, follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Delighting Grace: Thank you Sir Leo for the opportunity. Looking forward for your next adventures!

Rivers and Robots Concert Experience!

It pays to check the IG Stories.

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Without it we might have missed the opportunity to watch Rivers and Robots live. I’ve been listening to them for quite a while but their newly released album, Discovery, got me hooked to this Christian indie band from Manchester.  A combination of acoustic, indie folk and atmospheric sound (that’s the “Rivers”) with a bit live electronic (that’s the “Robots”) blended with Ogden’s smooth vocals creates this once a bedroom project into a 4 piece band. Later on I appreciated their early albums and Jonathan Ogden (the lead vocalist) solo EP’s. I’m into metal core right now (with bands like Wolves at the Gate, For Today and Memphis May Fire) and listening to Rivers and Robots (plus that IDM group, Tycho) are polar opposite of my diverse musical taste.

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Our preparation for the concert took us a month. First I bought 2 tickets from SM Batangas City (by early November, I grab one for Joan) since it’s so hard to get it online. I then check the location on Google Map because I’m not familiar with place. It’s near Magallanes which is the first provincial bus stop going to Cubao. Then the venue is part of Green Sun hotel.   I told my wife that the concert venue has a hotel so she decided to book us a room with free breakfast buffet. We don’t want to go home that night after the concert, tired while travelling 70 miles back to home. We rather hit the sack right away after the show. This trip is my late treat for my wife’s birthday and as a gift to Joan’s 18th birthday debut. We had her choose between having a debut celebration or going to a concert with hotel accommodation. Obviously she picked the later. Good girl!

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We hit early in the road to avoid traffic since it’s a Friday. We checked in the hotel about 3 PM, took some rest to prepare for the concert. Then it started to rain heavily. By 5 PM, we took a 5 minute walk to the nearest Jollibee to have our early dinner. Good thing the rain had stopped. Going back to the hotel, we first check the venue to see if people are already there. It was on the 3rd floor of Green Sun. Well the folks who got the meet and greet tickets were still there so we headed back to our room and change our clothes. So by 6: 20 PM we fall in line to wait for 7 PM for the doors to open. The line wasn’t that long or overcrowded.

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Once they ushered us in the Eye (sounds like Illuminati stuff!) we were treated to a spectacle of 360 degree proportions! I haven’t seen something like it (the band was surprise also). Walls turned into canvas as it projects some artworks and videos related to Rivers and Robots. But we are more interested on where we will sit. I ask the ushers for their opinions but my wife suggest we should seat near the stairs of the stage. It’s free seating as the ticket indicates so since we are early to come in we get to choose the best ones. The place is not a big concert hall as we expect so anywhere you sit you’ll be close to the stage. That It gives this intimate feel to the concert. Not bad for us who got the 500 peso ticket.

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As we look around, people are filling up the seats but there are still vacant seats when the show started. We estimate 400 people in attendance. It took 1 hour and a half for the show to begin (why that long Becca Music?!), and since some of the concert goers are eating their dinner on their seats as they wait for the band, I decided to go back to our room to get some bottled water and our raisin bread because we started to feel hungry. But soon as I got back to our seats, the band enters in and took the stage. People starts to clap and cheer as each of them climb up on stage and took their instruments. They’re ready to give us an awesome night!

They open their show with Dreams, the first song in their latest album then followed by the second song also on that album, Call Your Name. The repertoire consists of mostly their new album and few of their earlier songs:

We Will Overcome

Be Still

 Author/Perfector

 Satify

My Refuge

Fall Down

 Brighter than the Sun

Boldly I Approach

Burn For You

Acoustic set– The Bridegroom and White as Snow

Home

Provider

Overflow

Lift Up My Eyes

Shepherd of My Soul

Know You More

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 The crowd favorites were the first two songs, Provider and Lift Up My Eyes. Jonathan sang two solo acoustic that made the whole venue went pin drop silence.

The 1 hour and 30 minute show ends with the song Waiting for You. With its catchy and happy vibe it launches us in feel good mood. After that, that was it! It’s a wrap! We trying to cheer them back to stage for an encore but they didn’t. One whole set with no breaks and no front acts. Anyways the show was a blast. What more can we ask for.  The band was amazing! Even as I write this (after 3 weeks) I can still feel that performance. Listening to them in Spotify is one thing and it’s another level to see them live.  My wife and Joan are now hardcore fans of the band (my wife’s” fall into sleep” music is Jonathan Ogden’s EPs and Joan listens to Discovery while doing her chores).

After the show I approached a familiar face to say Hi. Its pastor Kit and his wife. We had our pictures and talk for a moment. Would love to chat some more but I told my wife and Joan wants to go to our room because they’re so sleepy. Another familiar face we met (by accident) is Phoebe, daughter of author Marlene Legaspi-Munar, in the elevator going down to the lobby.

Before we go to our room I check them in the hall to their rooms. No soul found. I think all the guests (including them) are now sleeping. So we went inside to call it a day.

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The next day, me, my wife and Joan lost all hope to have pictures and get the CD signed by the band. But as we check out of the hotel that morning so sad and a Grab taxi is waiting for us outside, all of the sudden we saw Jonathan walking at the lobby. That was after I decided to go to the bistro to check if they are having breakfast. Nathan was there so I ask for a signature and a picture. Coming back to see my wife and Joan, Jonathan was at the lobby (I think he’s shot a part of their video blog) going to the bistro to have breakfast. Wow talk about providence!  We took the opportunity, have pictures and got the CD signed. I wish to go back to that moment because I have lots of things to say to Jonathan. The only words I was able to say was “Are going to have breakfast?” I should have said something else! Anyways, we went home so happy and with a new appreciation of the band. Thank you Becca Music for bring the lads of Manchester to the Philippines!  And to Rivers and Robots God bless you as you reach the world with the music and the gospel!  Hope to see you soon!