Book Review: May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic by Mighty Rasing

Fresh from the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) comes a book from a prolific blogger, Mighty Rasing. You may know him as host of the “Happy Yuppie Podcast” (that addresses young professionals) and Family Matters over DZAS. And as you listen or follow him over his social media outlets, you’ll find his wisdom practical and indispensable. So it’s high time for him to release a book.

“May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic” is quirky book that is a cross between the Harris brothers book “Do Hard Things”, a pinch of John Maxwell, biblical principles, pop culture and some geekiness blended in Taglish (Tagalog-English) language. In the midst of it all, it has a vision and a heart of a youth worker that sees Pinoy youth’s that can make an impact to the society.

Reading this book, you’ll it will equip you to know and use your hidden “powers”. Every chapter has this reference over Marvel/DC superheroes (which made the fanboy in me happy). By doing this, Mighty’s book is not just another ‘How-to” book but an accessible and entertaining read. The principles he gave in this book really sticks to the mind and heart of his young and not so young (like me) readers.

“May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic” is a great book that is a must read for every Christian youth. I’ve already shared this book to my young people and I got a lot of positive feedbacks. Get this book if you want to have powers to make a mark in this society.

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr

 

3 Essential Reasons to Re-read Your Favorite Book

A dejavu on your favorite lit is like traveling back to time! So let these 5 reasons why you have to re-read your fave book guide you back to relieve the past:

  1. To re-enforce you again – to savor the lessons, the adrenaline rush or remind you again the powerful message of the book.
  2. You might miss out something- re-reading a book will let you find hidden gems that you might have missed reading it for the first time.
  3. You would love to use it in your ministry – is the book worth sharing? Re-read it and teach it to your ministry.

I love to hear your reason. Please put it on the comment section.

5 Indispensable Things You Should Know on Your First Time Preaching

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

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

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

Eric and Leslie Ludy on Godly Contentment

In their ground breaking book “When God Writes Your Love Story”, couples Eric and Leslie Ludy shares what it means in having contentment in Christ in your singleness:

A relationship is not meant to make us into a whole person—only Jesus Christ can make us a whole person. Marriage should never become that gold medal we strive for that will finally make us ‘enough’. We must learn to be ‘enough’ right now, just as we are, in Christ alone.

While getting married someday may bring us great joy, we truly do have a reason to be happy and content no matter what season of life we are in—because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. True contentment can only be found in intimate love relationship with the Lord, not in anything else, including a romantic love story. Singleness can teach us thus contentment. In this season we can learn what it means to have peace and joy in Christ, no matter what our circumstances may be. And in a culture that is always longing for something more, ‘…godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6: 6 NIV).

(When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy, pg. 134, Published by Lighthouse Inspirational Books and Gifts 2002)

6 Radical Things to Prepare for the First Day of School

School is about to start and we should all be excited specially Christians. This is an opportunity for us Christians not just to learn and follow our dreams but to make God the center of our lives that others may see. So get ready and check the 5 radical things to prepare for the opening of classes:

  1. A ‘Spirit-soaked’ you – a week or a day before going to school ask your church to pray for you so that Christ will radiates in you in school. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to make Christ known in the campus. Soak yourself in reading the Bible and Christian books so that you are ready to face the battle in the classroom.
  2. Get ready to tell that you’re a Christian – usually you get to introduce yourself in the first day of school. It will be appropriate to tell them first hand that you’re a Christian. Tell them you esteem God above all. So in the coming days they will come to respect your stand on Sundays worship and other issues because of your belief. It can also be a springboard to hear your Christian testimony and the gospel that saves.
  3. Know apologetics – maybe a teacher in your first day of school introduce himself that he is an atheist and tells the class that there is no God. Maybe she is a Mormon who believes that Jesus is the brother Lucifer. Response with all Christ like humility not like your attacking him. Throw some questions that your teacher and the class will think about. Speak up to issues like abortion, evolution, suicide etc., and give a biblical perspective to it. You may not know everything there is in defending the faith but you can direct them to your favorite apologetics websites, Youtube channel or books in your library if they want to seek the truth.
  4. Gospel tracts or Christian books – classes may not be starting and students may have lots of spare time. So grab your gospel tracts and give some of it to the class and place it in areas that most likely can be seen. Tell your church to donate some Christian books at the school library to reach out believers and unbelievers. Encourage classmates and teachers to check out the books at the library. You may not be able to say everything about the Bible or relationships but a book with relevant topics will make a difference in their life.
  5. A campus ministry or Bible study group to connect – if you’re active in some clubs in the school how much more in joining a campus ministry or Bible study group that is dedicated to exalt Christ. Ask your pastor to assist you in finding a group grounded to Christ in the school. Participate in their activities. Invite unbelievers to the group. Don’t reject the opportunity to be an officer of that group. And most of all enjoy!
  6. Prepare to make new friends – bond with new classmates not just that you have the same likes or you are interested in them but love them because of Christ. Being in school means God purposefully wants us to be there to lead His elect to the gospel and be of part of His family.

Do you have number 7? Please post it on the comment section.

Networking, Marketing and the Church

I’m curious about networking and marketing so I check out books from the likes of Seth Godin. Truly it’s loading up my mind with the concept that is worth thinking about. But one book that I came across gave something for me to think about. “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi it’s a good book on the subject and lots of stuff can be said on the importance of networking. But when he mention about his church, we Christians should take notice of this. In his networking strategy, he employs inviting someone to his church to make a sort of mutual connection to the people he wants to be acquainted with. On page 92 of this bestseller we read:

Besides food and exercise, I sometimes take people to church. That’s right, church. I attend a mostly African-American and Hispanic Catholic Church in Los Angeles—St. Agatha’s. It’s wonderfully “unorthodox.” Instead of “passing the peace” in the form of a simple handshake, a gospel choir belts out uplifting tunes while the congregants walk around the church hugging each other for ten minutes. It’s an amazing scene. I don’t try to foist my beliefs on anyone; the people I bring along—whether an actor or lawyer or an atheist or Orthodox Jew—tend to see my invitation as a kind of personalized gift. It shows them that I think so highly of them that I’m willing to share such a deeply personal part of my life.”

It is truly elevating to see members of a church to invite guest which are mostly unbelievers on Sunday. It’s a chance for them to see our worship service, how we fellowship and how everyone function in the body of Christ. Most importantly it’s an opportunity for them to hear the gospel. I hope every Bible believing church will do this and encourage members to invite people who don’t know Christ. I can see it’s also a chance for those shy type Christians to evangelize friends and family. But if the intention is somewhat other that telling them about Jesus, well that’s a different story. I won’t invite people to church to have some business deals. I’m inviting them to hear the good news that is the most important news on earth. Doing so is disrespecting the church and Christ.

I think this kind of ‘invitation’ stems from two misconceptions: the true meaning of church and edifying the church. Church is not a building nor is it an organization. The people are the church. Redeemed by Christ’s blood at the cross, they are “called out” from darkness to light with one purpose: to glorify God. Any dealing outside the main purpose embraced by the church is disgraceful to the One who died for us at Calvary. If a person considers church to be a building or structure then the mind set will be its just another venue or place where we can socialize, get connected with others and widen our influence. Second, the role of believer to the church is that it edifies other members through different ministry functions like preaching, teaching, giving etc. The Holy Spirit enables us to do so in our various gifts.  But can you find edification by bringing someone who has no business of edifying others? Can we treat church as a mere social club?  Sadly Christians are guilty of this. They go to church not just to do business but find their friends, catch up with them while forgetting the One who is the reason that there is a church. Remember it’s Sunday and we should settle whatever transactions we have with the world on week days.

I hope this will reinforce our minds on what church is so in the end the respect and honor that is due will be met. In return we will see ourselves more mature and sensitive on how God views His church.

Delighting Grace Reviews CLC Philippines Books

PicsArt_1366534883007Just received last week four books from CLC (Christian Literature Crusade) Philippines to be reviewed in this blog. As I open the package I got excited because of the opportunity CLC has given me.

The package includes Marriage Matters by Winston Smith, The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, God Without Religion by Andrew Farley and A Vision of the Deep by Susan Scott Sutton. The moment I’ve unpacked it one book caught my eye and start reading is God Without Religion. Some of our young people were there and got interested with the complimentary copies. So I assign to them the book of their choice to read and tell me what the book is all about. In short, I assembled our Delighting Grace book review team :-). My intention is not just for them to read, review and own those books. My aim for them (and of course me included) is for them to grow spiritual as the sink their mind to these materials. Also find something they can use and teach to others as well as enhance their English (whether in reading and writing). I hope and pray that by God’s grace, this will be accomplished.

My pastor is very supportive on this and sees this as an avenue for us in the YP fellowship seek maturity. Please pray for this effort in our part to pursue God always and help CLC in their promotion of their books. Lots are in store for this project that we would ask for you to uphold us in your prayers. I thank CLC Philippines for giving us the privilege to review your books and promote it as well.

Book Review: Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft

Leaders Who LastOk I’ll admit it I bought this book because of Re:Lit Books and I’m happy that Christian Growth Ministries Inc. (CGM) published it here in the Philippines. Nothing more.  Books on leadership abound these days that I think you don’t need another one. But if you think you had enough of it, we should consider this book by Dave Kraft.

Leaders Who Last is a collection of Christian principles cemented with both biblical wisdom and 38 years of experience of Dave Kraft in Navigators.  What I like about the writer is that he has experience in the ministry not in corporate settings. So you won’t have some thoughts nagging he will mix it with some Christian principles then bam! A generic serving of today’s Christian leadership book. Well it’s not that. Another thing because he is sharing his experience the book is not all theory, but incorporates practicality which I love. And it’s not an invitation to pragmatism. It’s the heart of Dave Kraft that you can read and hold.

The book is not the usual jam pack book of wisdom but enough to guide (or should I say coach) pastors, youth leaders, ministry leaders and Sunday School teachers to the long haul of his or her calling. The chapters are short but have nuggets of gold for the Christian to cherish. This book calls not just for how to do, think or feel in ministry but also how to take care for your eadership. Outstanding chapters about character, passion and growth are a pleasure to indulge.

Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft is a great book for a new Christian who’s just beginning in the ministry and a worthy ‘reviewer’ for the veterans. Not complicated but complete and concise for the Christian to spend time to. If you’re saturated already with leadership book then I suggest reading this book twice to let the content sink in to your heart and soul.  Leaders Who Last still can offer you things not available on other books on leadership.

5 Vital Things to Remember in giving Tracts at School

Evangelism in school is a great idea. I have done it for the past years and I love it. So here are some tips in evangelizing a school.

  1. Time- in passing tracts should consider the time. Is it morning where students are still fresh or
  2. Permit- do you need a permit to do it. I think the best way is to give out tracts outside the campus. No permit needed.
  3. Occasion/event-what activities that will gather much students that you will be able to give tracts or do some one on one evangelism? Check the school calendar of activities and grab that opportunity to share Christ.
  4. Place- is it inside or outside? If its outside make sure it’s near the gate. If its inside you can do it at a lobby, gym or consider you evangelism team to go room to room.
  5. The tract-it will be nice if the gospel tract has a theme about schools or related to school. Think of a gospel tract that will stimulate their thinking or a cool tract that they will easily accept. How about a tract on evolution or the latest controversies that you can give a religious bent?

Any more things we should remember? Please add it at the comments.

Book Review: Knowing Scriptures by R. C. Sproul

Now more than ever we Christian must soak our souls over the Bible. Learning to study God’s Word should not be just an appendix of a book or a Study Bible. You need a book for it.

A very unique book for the subject matter Knowing Scriptures from a top caliber Bible teacher, R. C. Sproul. This book gives you some lean and mean meat in studying the Bible. Concise but colossal in content this book is on par with seminary level handling of the subject. But Sproul marvelously illuminates it to us ordinary Christians. R.C. Sproul lets you dive in deep theological waters without letting you drown. He pulls you up in the surface not just drenching with information but wet appetite that will let you bite more on the premises of the book. He has a tendency not to withdraw things that we might think will confuse the subject but show it to you anyway because it is a must for you to know. It’s not every day you encounter words like didactic, hermeneutics, eisegesis or exegesis. Nor personalities like Martin Luther or Karl Barth. Sproul lets you confront these and many more to give you a serious and hopefully delightful study of Scriptures.

Using Reformed approached in studying the Word of God, Sproul unpacks essential methods of engaging Christians to the Bible. The book draws first blood on the question “Why Study the Bible?” Here he debunks two myths of the Bible and shoots the disease (like pragmatisms and sensuous Christians) to clear the way for the rest of the chapters to march on the intend treatise of the book. The 11 practical rules of biblical interpretation which is the core of the book is a combination of useful, mildly technical and oh so humbling methods Christians should follow. The book will also lead you to a cruise to Christian history, culture, theology (of course) and other notable works on studying the Bible that will uphold you to fall in love with it.

Notable Quotes:

“No Christian can avoid theology. Every Christian is a theologian. Perhaps not a theologian in the technical or professional sense, but a theologian nevertheless. The issue for Christians is not whether we are going to be theologians but whether we are going to be goo theologians. A good theologian is one who is instructed by God.”

“Private Bible study is an important means of grace for Christians. It is a privilege and a duty for all of us. In his grace and kindness towards us God has provided not only gifted teachers in his church to assist us, but his own Holy Spirit to illuminate his Word and search out its application to our lives. To sound teaching and diligent study God gives blessing.”

I recommend this book to be read twice and have a mindset that we should get down and dirty in getting to know the Bible. Let’s heed to what this book wants to say “Christians get serious with God’s Word!”