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

Foveremore

 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!

Book Review: The Real Martin Luther by Josh Hamon and Brynn James

mb26cp3We all want to read a book that has something to do the occasion to make us more appreciative on the event. Come Reformation Day 2018 and a book came to me that is quite not the book I’m expecting read. Its bio book about a certain Reformer that has a concoction of history, humor and cartoons in it.

The Real Martin Luther is a bio book for the rest of us. The reasons are from being too lengthy or too boring to read.   Josh took Luther from the stained glass and introduces him as a human flaws and all. I think every biography book strives to present the person as ordinary as possible so we can easily relate on whom he was and what he has done.  The Real Martin Luther goes beyond that by injecting humor to the narrative. It’s getting the low down on Martin Luther without hitting below the belt. Luther wasnt drag to the mud here.  This book reminds me of Plato and a Platypus Walks into a Bar… adding comedy to a boring subject.

The artwork is awesome and also hilarious. Brynn James sets the tone on how we should visualize the book with just the right artwork style. She then puts some millennial and hipster references here and there to poke fun to Luther. Sometimes it complements the text and sometimes it’s a standalone humor. My only hopes for future volumes are that they go all out in artwork as in turn it into a comicbook.

This book is the first volume of the Holy Misfits series so we should expect there is more of this stuff. You’ll finish The Real Martin Luther not really laughing so hard to forget it all together, but with a fresh outlook on this reformation hero. A bit bold and a bit uncomfortable for readers who usually digest the usual biography book. But then again this is a totally different bio book. It’s history that is entertaining. This book is definitely a must read (re-read) for everyone.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(The review copy of this book is provided by the author)

The Freebie Round-Up #20

8lxjf1qHad a great time over “Excelling in Relationships” counseling seminar by David Meengs and Student Missionary Outreach. Charity Baptist Church hosted the seminar last Saturday and it was amazing. I’ll be posting here soon the seminar notes for everyone to read. Anyways, its freebie time and I hope you’ll enjoy these free stuff!

FREE Special Edition 20th Year of 9 Marks Journal – Titled ‘Essentials” this free special edition gathers the best of the best articles that graced 9 Marks Journal for the past 20 years. Enjoy it on different digital formats.

*New must read post: The Quotable Round-Up #100, A Trip to Boosale (Revisited and Updated), 5 Questions A “Bible Only” Proponent Should Ask, 5 Questions A Biblicist Should Ponder,

FREE e-books from John MacArthur, Douglas Wilson, R. C. Sproul and Matthew Harmon – Cross-Point Books collects 4 freebies in one post. Enjoy while its still free.

FREE e-book “Tale of Two Adams” by Chris Caughey –  The problem of us and this world all boils down in the tale of two Adams. Grab this freebie and let Chris Caughey discuss major doctrines through Genesis all the way to Revelation.

*In case you missed these: Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press,  Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason L. PetersenSquad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. JohnTested by Time: Delighting Grace Interviews Dr. Isabelo Magalit.

FREE e-booklet “From Agender to Ze: Glossary for the Gender Identity Revolution”  – This is a must have for Christians who engages on gender issues. This free e-booklet collects the terms and language to better understand who we are dealing.

FREE e-book “A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking” by Douglas Wilson – As if we had enough of Wilson, here’s another one from him.

FREE Live Event hosted by Anchored North – Click here to register to this free event titled Evangelism Power Hour, that aims to teach how to reach the next generation with the gospel.

*In case you missed these : 5 Christian Podcast You Should Be Listening Right Now7 Awesome Ways to Learn Church History Online for Free, 7 Short But Excellent Christian Books I Have Read, 5 Important Things to Do Before Starting to Read A Book3 Essential Reasons to Re-Read Your Favorite Book.  

FREE e-book and audiobook  “The Problem with Seminaries” by Gary North – Gary North points out the crisis facing seminaries today. In this free e-book he discuss how humanism infiltrates the seminaries and how to find solution.

 

 

Live It Well Conference (Day 2 Notes)

cbqx3ijHere are my notes on the second day of Live It Well Conference with guest speaker Tim Challies. Click here for Day 1 Notes.

(I enjoyed the messages from Tim Challies and had fellowship with friends who also attended Live It Well. Thank you Higher Rock Conference for bring Tim here in the Philippines and looking forward for more conferences.)

Session 5: Live in Freedom

Romans 8: 1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

We live in 3 kinds of culture:

  • shame
  • fear
  • guilt

These 3 can be seen when Adan and Eve sin against God.

Your standing on God or man depends on the level of honor/out of fear/ guilt or innocence.

Fear and Guilt

  • every time you break the law of God

Romans 8:1 

  • one group is facing condemnation but they are not condemn.
  • the group that is not facing condemnation is now in Christ.
  • their is still condemnation to the group that is not in Christ.

What can I do to be “in Christ”? 

No. There is nothing you can do.

Jesus takes your righteousness. Your fear and guilt are removed by trusting in Christ.

“The guilty can be made innocent. The innocent cannot be guilty.”

Tim sites examples on the burden we carry from his mother’s testimony (which in that point Tim got emotional) and Pilgrim’s Progress.

Many Christians live feeling the burden of guilt and that God will somehow punish them.

Question: Where does these burden comes from?

Answer: They are bringing those burdens back to them.

Remember:

  • The gospel didn’t stop the moment you trust in Christ. Its just the beginning.
  • God didn’t demand two payments of sin. It’s already paid. Not just on sins you have done but what you are doing and what you will be doing. Let go of the guilt.

 

Session 6: Live to Die

Ecclesiastes Chapters 11 and 12 

(Addressing growing old and a much wiser Solomon addressing the youth.)

v. 5 – Acknowledge man will die

v. 6 – Remember your Creator

v. 7 – We will return to dust

Chapter 11: 7- Chapter 12

Who will you be then?

Godliness just doesn’t just happen.

Who you are today is who you’ll be in old age. You have to make it today to be committed to be joyful/godly today.

Be joyful and holy today.

v.9 – Rejoice with your youth

3 Joy Enhancers According to Ecclesiastes 11: 9 

  • Enjoy life but acknowledge that youthfulness will come to an end. Savor life. We have one opportunity to live a life well.
  • Enjoy life but acknowledge of a coming judgment. Live with boundaries. Know what to avoid and what to pursue.
  • Enjoy life but acknowledge the vanity of it. Life is a vapor. Nothing will last forever.

Every joy in this world points out to the Creator. Enjoy it as a gift.

Chapter 12

Remember Him today.

v. 4- Metaphor of a crumbling body of an old man.

What pleasure or passion God’s want you to pursue?

Who will you be in old age?

 

Session 7: Live to Share the Gospel

Jonah 4 (Jonah’s reaction with God sparing Nineveh)

What if the Book of Jonah ended in Chapter 3? or Matthew ended in Chapter 27?

It would be a different book.

Beholding God in Jonah 4

God’s characters displayed in the last chapter of that book:

  • patience
  • sovereign
  • compassionate

Patience

v. 1-3 – Jonah’s anger with the people of Nineveh repenting

v. 4-6 – God’s response to Jonah

Do you reflect God’s patience to your life?

Does that patience extends from you to others?

Sovereign

v.11 – God is sovereign even if you don’t understand it.

Do you love God for being sovereign?

Jonah love God’s sovereignty when it is in favor to him.

Jonah loves God’s sovereign when God rescued Him with a fish and when God gave him the plant. But Jonah didnt see God’s sovereignity when God spared Nineveh.

Do you love God’s sovereignty when it gives you the good? Remember Romans 8: 28?

Compassionate

v. 11 – Do you reflect the compassion of God?

God is a God of compassion. God extends that compassion to you when He saved you. Will you extend that compassion to others?

The soul is precious. The one thing you can take to heaven is souls.

How do we express that compassion of God?

Share the gospel.

Session 8: Ask Me Anything 

No notes taken.

 

Live It Well Conference (Day 1 Notes)

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Here are my notes on the first day of Live It Well Conference with guest speaker Tim Challies. Click here for Day 2 Notes.

Session 1: Live It Well

Question: How do we live out what the Bible says?

Example: How do I live out the Great Commission on work or school?

Westminster Shorter Cathechism states:

What is the chief end of man?

 “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

But HOW?

There were a great deal of books a few years ago on the theme of being radical in the Christian life.

What need does these books addressing?

Significance,being radical, hoping to spark our lives etc.

But in 1 Thessalonians 4, being ordinary is enough!

How does it look like being an ordinary Christian?

How can we live our lives pleasing to God?

In 1 Thessalonians 4,

1.) sexual purity

2.) loyalty/ loving one another

3.) industrious/live peacefully/mind you own affairs

Sexual Purity

Be a Christian that is sexually pure.  The way we handle our sexuality shows if we are following God.

v. 3 Sanctification- do we want to be holy?

Why? Because it stuns and stops Christian growth

Negative – Avoid sexual immorality

Positive- put sin to death, pursue righteous and what is holy, control desire.

v. 6 we see the warning

Loyalty/ Loving People (v.9)

1.) Love taught by God shown through the cross. Is your church committed on the cross of Christ?

2.) The primary love of the Christian is to love other Christians. How do you express love to the local church?

Industrious (v. 11)

Aspire to work peacefully, mind your own affairs.

Be content to be unnoticed.

Session 2: Live In Christ

Mark 5: 1-20 – Jesus encounters a demon possessed man.

Have you been set free?

The man is demon possessed. We are possessed by the power of sin. Jesus comes to our world to free the oppressed.

Angels and demons exist. They know Jesus is the Son of God (He is God Himself). The demon is terrified.

Jesus offers freedom to this man. This man cannot free himself. He needs Jesus.

Have you been set free?

Jesus is powerful. If Jesus can offer freedom from demon possession, he can offer freedom from sin.

Look at v. 15 for the response.

There are two response:

1.) They saw the power of God but not the man who is now OK. They (the people) saw God’s power but they dont want anything from it. “Jesus go away.”

2.)  This man wants to be close with Jesus. “Jesus I want to go with you.”

Jesus response: STAY! (Tell people around you what Jesus had done to you.)

How will you response?

Something to think about:

Pitiful – the man possessed with demons.

Most pitiful – Jesus on the cross with billions of billions of sins.

He can offer freedom. The oppressed are set free!

Have you been set free? The man possessed with demons can now live a life. We cant live the life because of sin.

Session 3: Live in God’s Word

Psalms 19

Canadians has traditions of wishing. Wishing by blowing a birthday cake, tossing a coin in a well and making a wish or wishing on a falling star.

So as the song by Jiminy Cricket:

“When you wish upon a star
Your dream comes true.”

The truth is, wishes are things we want, but we don’t want to work for it.

Almost all our prayers are wishes. Prayers needs to take form of an action.

In Psalms 19, David is praying. He is not just wishing. He has a desire and plan.

David’s prayer (v. 14): 

  • “Let my words of my mouth”- clean mouth/outer
  • “and the meditation of my heart” – clean heart/inner
  • “be acceptable to in your sight” – “Make me acceptable to you”
  • “O, Lord” – depended in God
  • “my rock” – immovable
  • “and my redeemer” – saves/ keeping the covenant

And how will David do this?

Meditate on the two books of God:

1.) Book of Nature (v. 1-6) – Universal (revealed to everyone) but limited purpose (Romans 1: 18). We need to meditate to the beauty and wonder to nature that points to the Creator.

2.) Book of Scripture (v. 7-11) – Recorded Word of God for us. Even more sufficient than the Book of Nature.

7 Great Reasons Why Read the Bible

  • to be saved
  • to be wise
  • to be joyful
  • to have clarity
  • to be clean
  • to be godly

Free from sin and hating sin are the effects of meditating to these two books (v 12-13).

How can you have a clean mouth and clean heart?

Read the Book of Nature and Book of Scripture.

Are you reading those two books?

Session 4: Live in God’s Will

Judges 6 – Gideon and the fleece.

We have this fear. Fear that if we make a wrong choice God will bless us less.

There are two ways in making a choice:

  • God’s way
  • our way

What is God’s will?

How will God guide me today so I can consciously participate in doing His will?

Keep these in mind:

  • God is sovereign
  • God is speaking today
  • God is speaking to you today
  • God speaks clearly

How do we know God’s will?

Through His Son by the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The Bible is enough. God is speaking to you in the Bible.

How can I make a decision that is accordance with God’s will?

  • What does the Bible say about it?
  • What is the wisest choice or choices?
  • What do I want to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinoy Talk: New Testament Pinoy Version

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Philippine Bible Society (PBS) held its first forum or Pinoy Talk concerning the controversial New Testament Pinoy Version last Monday, September 24. The forum lays the principles of the new translation that is now getting alot of social media attention because of its colloquial rendering of God’s Word. Dra. Anicia Del Corro, translation consultant of PBS, gave the talk and was moderated by Ptr. Noli P. Mendoza of Asian Theological Seminary (ATS).

*In case you missed these : 5 Christian Podcast You Should Be Listening Right Now, 7 Awesome Ways to Learn Church History Online for Free, 7 Short But Excellent Christian Books I Have Read, 5 Important Things to Do Before Starting to Read A Book, 3 Essential Reasons to Re-Read Your Favorite Book.  

After discussing the principles, Dra. Del Corro then provides a parallel comparison of the Pinoy Version over different modern rendering of the Bible. She highlighted the verses of the Pinoy Version that got lots of criticism over Facebook.   Specific verses like Galatians 1: 1-3 (wala kayong mga utak) and Matthew 27: 29 (napagtripan) for examples, were cited which she points out, despite of its Taglish translation it remains true to the Greek.

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Ptr. Noli P. Mendoza of ATS moderating the forum

Before the forum ends, Dra. Del Corro entertained some questions coming from the participants and also from Facebook. Almost all the concerns that I have heard from FB are already discussed in the presentation, so aside from the questions we are encourage to share our opinions to the Pinoy Version. Although we are few in attendants, we manage to have a lively discussion on the topic at hand. I was able to raised a question on the reception of other Tagalog translations (Ang Biblia and Ang Salita ng Diyos) if those Bible versions met this kind of controversy like the Pinoy Version.

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Fellow blogger and The Reformed Bunch FB group memberRoger.

*In case you missed these: Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press,  Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason L. Petersen, Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John, Tested by Time: Delighting Grace Interviews Dr. Isabelo Magalit.

For those people who missed the forum there will be another round of forum over ATS on October 1. according to Ptr. Noli. However for those who can’t be there, the Philippine Bible Society will post the concerns and other resources over their website pertaining to the Pinoy Version of the Bible. Further information, suggestions and inquiries can be send to Ms. Perry’s e-mail (perrypbs333@gmail.com) or access PBS website ( http://www.bible.org.ph/).

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Me and Dra. Anicia Del Corro

 

The Quotable Round-Up #92

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Church History 101” by Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke and Michael A. G. Haykin. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

The martyr Ignatius of Antioch tied together the ways in which the church responded to both persecution and false teaching when he said, “If Christ be not fully human and if he did not really die, why am I suffering for the gospel and prepared to die for it?” — Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers

“Though Constantine did much to help the church, he ultimately hindered it by blurring the distinction between a citizen of this world and a citizen of the world to come.” — Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #nicene

“An early fourth-century church leader named Arius claimed that Jesus was really a being created by God the Father (Arianism), saying, “There was a time when the Son was not.” But the New Testament teaches that Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. If He were not so, He could not reconcile us to God and bring us into God’s presence.” –Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #arius #deityofchrist

“Augustine’s theological legacy can scarcely be exaggerated. Reformed Christians are especially indebted to him; Calvinism is sometimes called Augustinianism. He was a great and influential Christian thinker, yet had it not been for the influence of his mentor, Ambrose; the prayer life of his mother, Monica; and the convicting words of Scripture, we might never have known of him.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #augustine

“To refute Pelagianism, Augustine had to expound the great Pauline doctrines of grace, such as original sin, fallen man’s total depravity and inability to save himself, the efficacy of the atoning death of Christ, and the necessity of faith in Him for salvation. The enormous biblical learning and perseverance of Augustine won the day against Pelagius’s teaching in the church.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #augustine

“Today’s world is not much different from that of the tenth century. The church continues to be confronted with paganism, as well as with temptations to worldly success. While some denounce the tenth century as “the Dark Ages,” we must recognize that our contemporary society demonstrates a moral and spiritual darkness, and the church is challenged to respond with the light of the gospel.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #darkage

“While differing on church polity, the Puritans—who included such notables as William Perkins, Matthew Henry, John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, John Bunyan, John Flavel, and Thomas Watson—were united by a concern to maintain faithful preaching of the gospel and teach sound doctrine; to promote true conversion, personal faith, and practical godliness; and to bring God’s Word to bear on all aspects of life, as individuals, in families, and in the nation at large.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #puritans

The Quotable Round-Up #89

f11jjqtHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the books “Know the Creeds and Councils” by Justin Holcomb and “The Potter’s Freedom” by James R. White. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“A catechism is a book or document giving a brief summary of the basic principles of Christianity in Q&A form. Catechisms represent the practical, “on-the-ground” application of the main teaching agreed upon at church councils and expressed through creeds and confessions. The word “catechism” comes from the Greek word katechein, which means “to teach” or “to instruct.” Catechisms are basic outlines of the teachings of the Christian faith, set forth in a way that those unfamiliar with doctrine can easily understand.” — Justin Holcomb

“Because creeds are bare-bones structures (the outlines of the sketch), it makes sense that the earliest statements of the church are creeds, while later statements of particular denominations are confessions. Creeds distinguish orthodoxy from heresy (or Christian faith from non-Christian faith). Confessions distinguish denominational distinctives (or one type of Christian faith from another type of Christian faith.” — Justin Holcomb

“Creeds aren’t dogmas that are imposed on Scripture but are themselves drawn from the Bible and provide a touchstone to the faith for Christians of all times and places.”– Justin Holcomb

“Christians of the past were no less concerned with being faithful to God than we are, and they sought to fit together all that Scripture has to say about the mysteries of Christianity — the incarnation, the Trinity, predestination, and more — with all the intellectual power of their times. To ignore these insights is to attempt to reinvent the wheel, and to risk reinventing it badly.”
— Justin S. Holcomb

“Grace is a wonderful word that speaks of God’s freedom and God’s power. I cannot earn grace, merit grace, purchase grace, or force grace. It is free or it is not grace. Yet the grace of God that brings His elect safely into eternal rest is not merely some persuasive power that may or may not accomplish the ends for which God intends it. Grace is no servant of man, dependent upon the creature for its success. No, saving grace is God’s own power. Saved, and kept, by grace. That is the Christian’s hope.” –James R. White

“Arminians teach that God sends his grace to “persuade” men to believe, but they deny that God can actually raise a man to spiritual life without his assistance and agreement. They deny that there is an elect people, based solely on the choice of God, to whom God will infallibly apply the benefits of Christ’s atonement. Grace is limited to being effective on the “willing,” i.e., it is submitted to the power and will of man and his decisions. It becomes a mere “wooing” force. The Reformed Christian who has sought to share the gospel of grace with Roman Catholics recognizes that this is the same view of grace found in the Roman communion, and it is deeply troubling to find it expressed within what is called Protestantism.” –James R. White

“The question is, Who, ultimately, is responsible for my union with Jesus Christ? God is both the one who is the origin and source of salvation in general, and the one who powerfully, purposefully, and perfectly draws His elect people into blessed union with Jesus Christ.” –James R. White

 

The Quotable Round-Up #88

f11jjqtHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Know the Creeds and Councils” by Justin Holcomb. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“We are born in sin. We are naturally enemies of God and lovers of evil. We needed to be made alive (regenerated) so that we could even have faith in Christ. All of this is grace that we don’t deserve. Because we didn’t earn or attain this grace, we cannot lose it. God graciously preserves us and keeps us. When we are faithless toward him, he is still faithful.”

“We can stand before God only by his grace as he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ and attributes to him the consequences of our sins, which were judged on the cross. Declaring sinners righteous based on the work of Christ is called the doctrine of “imputed righteousness” — God declares a believer to be good, and even though the believer is not good in reality, this declaration is all that matters.”

“In Augustine’s scheme, grace is not a divine nudge but a power that frees people to love God for who he really is. It is this God-empowered love that destroys the rule of sin and bestows the ability to choose to sin or to choose not to sin (posse non peccare — “able not to sin”). However, until this grace is given, people cannot choose goodness. Though we might be in the grip of an evil power that we do not understand, we are still responsible for spending our time and energy on the things that we do wrong.”

“The Christian faith is not only a matter of the heart, an exercise in sentimentality, for “Christian faith is a matter of the mind as well as the heart and the will, and as thinking persons we must give intellectual expression to our faith.” Still it does not demand blind acceptance to empty propositions. It is concerned with the direction of our souls.”

The Definition of Chalcedon described Christ’s descent as a true incarnation of the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity, while denying that a man was converted into God or that God was converted into a man. There was no confusion or absorption between the divine nature and the human nature of Christ; the two remained distinct. Similarly, the incarnation was not merely a divine indwelling of a human nor a connection between two persons. Instead, Chalcedon asserted that there was a real union between the divine and human natures that existed in one personal life: the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who was the eternal Logos.”

“If Christianity had agreed with Arius that Jesus could be a lesser god — if it had failed to defend monotheism, if it had fallen into the trench of professing three unrelated deities — it may have dissolved into the religion of Rome and its pantheons of false gods. If the early Christians had lost their nerve and conceded the “lesser divinity” of Jesus, whatever that might mean, then the work of God in Christ for our salvation would have been rendered meaningless. No mere man, nor half god, could possibly intervene to save fallen and sinful humanity, let alone restore all of creation. Only the Creator can enter creation to fix its brokenness and redeem its original, latent purpose.”

“The Nicene Creed is perhaps the most famous and influential creed in the history of the church, because it settled the question of how Christians can worship one God and also claim that this God is three persons. It was the first creed to obtain universal authority in the church, and it improved the language of the Apostles’ Creed by including more specific statements about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.”