5 Essential Things to Do in a Bible Conference

Bible conferences are spiritual investment that will shape you as a Christian. Here are some things to make the most of your stay.

  1. Have a conference buddy– you won’t get lonely if you tag along a friend. Review what you have already learned. Share notes. Go to different breakout sessions and come back to share what you have acquired.
  2. Go take notes- bring a notebook or audio recorder. 
  3. Raise questions-it’s a good time to ask questions to clarify things. Don’t let this conference be a one way street.
  4. Make friends to other believers-add more Christian friends! Widen your social circle. This is the best place to meet people and share fresh ideas. Invite them to your church or ask for a fellowship.
  5. Talk to the speaker-tell your appreciation about his topic, ask for an autograph, or  request for more information about his ministry.

 

Anything you might add? Please post it on the comment.

Basta Advice ni Kuya: Delighting Grace interviews Kuya Kevin Sanders of Basta Love Life

Love, sex and relationships. These three grabs the Pinoys interest. You don’t believe me? Well check out tons of Mexican and Korean telenovelas out there. Or your neighborhood sari-sari store pocketbooks for rent. Or try to tune in the radio to hear Joe D’ Mangos wannabes. Filipinos love talking about these topics.

Delighting Grace recently got a hold with Kuya Kevin Sanders, a campus minister, author and host of the radio show “Basta Love Life” and asked some questions about his blog, books, radio and campus ministry.

Delighting Grace: How did all this things happen? Did you plan all this? When did you start being a kuya?

Kuya Kevin: I became a Christian when I was very young.  A few years later (my teenage years) I felt that God was calling me to serve Him.  It didn’t make much sense to me at the time because I’m more of an introvert (shy type).  But God has continued to confirm this decision.

To make a long story short, I got interested in missions when I was in college.  I told God I would be willing to go if He would make a way.  He eventually did, and I ended up here.  One of the reasons I chose Manila is I really wanted to work with college students.  There are hundreds of thousands of them here, so I have plenty of work to do.  This is my dream job!

Delighting Grace:  There are lots of people especially in the media that has this love advice segments or columns. Dr. Love copycats are like mushroom here. So tell us what makes your advice different from those gazillions out there who wants to take a stab on someone’s relationship problem?

Kuya Kevin: The show was started in part as a response to some of the shallow, worldly advice that seems so prevalent on some shows.  Erwin (my co-host) got the idea while on a late-night bus ride.  He heard this radio “counselor” telling a caller that same-sex relationships are OK as long as you are in love (definitely not what the Bible teaches).  We started talking about doing our own show–a show based on biblical principles.

I think what sets us apart is the biblical approach.  We stick to the Word and try to make it very practical and relevant.

We are also careful to avoid legalism.  The Bible gives us some clear guidelines (such as saving sex for marriage), but I’m afraid some Christian teachers and authors go a little overboard.  It makes me think of Paul’s words: “Do not go beyond what is written” (1st Corinthians 6:4).

Delighting Grace:    One question that rises is: you are American, so how can you give advice to Pinoy considering the culture background?

Kuya Kevin: Well, part of the answer is this: many of the issues I deal with are common among youth/singles all around the world.  Sometimes I find myself personally relating to questions I’m asked–things I’ve experienced myself when I was a student in the States.

But culture does play a role.  I had already lived in the Philippines for a few years before I started doing purity seminars–I didn’t start this as soon as I stepped off the plane.  In other words, I had a pretty decent understanding of Filipino culture by the time this aspect of ministry developed.

Delighting Grace: Wow. So what can you say about Pinoys and how they handle their love life?

Kuya Kevin: I think Filipinos tend to take courtship very seriously.  The process is a little more formal than what we do in the States.  We Westerners, for example, only use the term “propose” to refer to a marriage proposal.  We don’t make a formal proposal for courtship.

I hate to admit this, but the Filipinos’ biggest problem is they are starting to act like Americans–having premarital sex, having children outside of wedlock, cohabitation (living together outside of marriage), etc.  The traditional Filipino values more closely match the biblical teaching on love, sex, and marriage.

Delighting Grace: What do you think makes good advice?

Kuya Kevin: First and foremost, good advice is based on the Bible.  Beyond that I think keeping things as simple and as practical as possible is the way to go.

Delighting Grace: In your experience as a campus minister, what are the challenges you face daily as you minister to students? Do you have an unforgettable story you can share with us?

Kuya Kevin: The ministry I do is kind of unique in that I spend a great deal of time outside the church.  Most of my ministry happens in schools, with students that may not have any spiritual background.  The greatest challenge is reaching out and being patient with the students’ responses–even those who are not interested in the gospel.

I’m not sure that I have one favorite story–there are so many.  Celebrating victories is important, so I make sure to reflect on every life I see changed by the power of the gospel.

Delighting Grace:   I’m also a campus minister and I learned a lot from listening to students when they pour their hearts out. It’s not just to connect to their generation but to share what I experienced. How about you? What is the most important lesson you have learned while these college kids express how they feel?

Kuya Kevin: The most important thing I learn is whatever is going on in that particular student’s life.  It is a great honor to have someone share his or her life with you.  I’ve learned that just being willing to listen goes a long way in doing ministry.

Delighting Grace:  Who do you seek for encouragement and advice?

Kuya Kevin: My parents have been a source of support and encouragement for me.  They’ve always told me to do whatever it is God is calling me to do.

I have some great friends, and each of them encourage me in different ways.  Some of them may just hang out with me for coffee and a movie.  I have a friend in the States who has known me since college.  He’s the one I usually email to talk about issues in my personal life–I can pretty much tell him anything.

I’ve also been blessed with some great mentors over the years.  I still keep in touch with most of them.

Delighting Grace:  Let’s get to your books, you wrote two of them. Can you tell us about the books? How did you get the idea to put out a book?

Kuya Kevin: It all started with the blog (KuyaKevin.com).  I was looking for a way to connect with students I met in seminars–a way to keep sharing my thoughts with them once the seminar was over and they go back home.  I started blogging as a way to share advice.

Students were responding to my blog articles, so I kept writing.  I contacted Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM, my publisher) after a year or so of writing–it seemed publishing was the next logical step.

That’s how Basta LoveLife came into being.

I’ll give you a little more background on Basta LoveLife.  I noticed two things when looking at relationship books in the Philippines: 1. Most of the books here were simply imported from the States.  2.  It seemed many of the locally authored books were written by women.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I figured it was time for something written from the masculine perspective.

This first book is basically a collection of my thoughts about love, sex and relationships–from a biblical perspective, of course.

The second book, Learning the Hard Way, also started on my blog.  I was seeing a lot of sad stories in my email inbox–testimonies of those who were making terrible mistakes and paying the price. “What if stories like these were used to warn others?”  I asked myself.

I started a “Learning the Hard Way” section on my blog, and it was a big hit.  It seemed like it would make

a good book, so I approached my publisher (CSM) about it.  The end result was book number 2.  Erwin designed the cover and artwork for it.

Delighting Grace: Those are things that a Christian Pinoy looks for. You know Kevin “Basta Love Life” book is very Pinoy. What are some reaction of people who read that book?

Kuya Kevin: It’s funny you mention that.  One of the greatest honors I’ve received is hearing Filipinos tell me they can relate to what I’ve written.  It puts a smile on my face because I know I somehow managed to reach my target audience.

Delighting Grace: Your radio show/podcast is great. You and Kuya Erwin make a good tandem. So tell us how do you prepare for the radio show? Have you already made your response to the questions that you received? How do you pick the questions you will discuss in the show?

Kuya Kevin: Thanks–I’m glad you like the show.  Erwin and I jokingly call ourselves the Philippines’ most unprofessional broadcasters.  Don’t get me wrong–we are very concerned with quality.  But neither of us really come from a broadcasting background, and both of us have full-time ministries off the air.

Here’s how we usually arrange the show:  I choose the topics and questions, and Erwin is responsible for the music and production.  You’ve heard the show, so you know he also gives his own insights during counseling segments section.  This arrangement works well because Erwin is the musician/artist.

Or different cultural backgrounds are also a big asset.  Erwin is a Filipino.  He grew up in Manila, moved to the States as a teenager, and moved back to the Philippines a few years back.   I’m an American who moved here about eight years ago.  I think it gives us a pretty good balance in terms of cultural perspectives.

Delighting Grace: You have a blog, books, radio podcast and you minister to students. I think many are curious; do you still have time for your own love life?

Kuya Kevin: Well, it can be challenging to balance full-time ministry and a social life.  But the biggest challenge for me has been finding the right person, not finding the time.  I can always make time for the right person.

I’ll add something here–something I find a little amusing.  People have asked me how I can write a book on love when I’m not married.  Here’s my answer: my books are not about married life.

I think it is great to hear from those who marry young and had relatively few romantic troubles.  But what about the rest of us?  I think we need to hear from those who, like me, have experienced rejection, breakups, blind dates, and all the other trials of single life.  Basta LoveLife, for example, has a chapter or two on breakups.  I included this because I noticed this kind of thing was mysteriously absent in some Christian books–as if Christians never experience broken hearts.  Believers need to know God is with them in the midst of their most trying moments.

Delighting Grace:  In closing, please give a message to those who follow you in Twitter, Facebook, read your blog and books and listen to your podcast. Most of them really benefited with your advices for sure.

Kuya Kevin: I would probably refer back to the “two commandments”: be pure and be wise.  Keep yourself sexually pure and use biblical wisdom in your relationship choices.  Do this and you’ll avoid most of the disasters.

Delighting Grace: Bro Kevin thanks for giving your time for this interview and God bless as you minister to students.

Teen Level Up! Delighting Grace Interviews Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy

 

Isn’t time for teenagers in your church to be leaders? Do you want their voices be heard? If your answer is ‘yes’ then read on. Delighting Grace caught up with Rachel Blom of Youth Leader Academy. Rachel graciously answered our questions about youth ministry, empowering teens and more:

 

Delighting Grace: Rachel, tell us why youth ministry matters to the church?

 

Rachel Blom: I think youth ministry matters to the church for several reasons. First of all, each person matters to God no matter how old or young you are. Society tends to see young people as kids, but they can contribute so much. Look at how God uses teens in the Bible, like David, Mary and Timothy. I’m convinced teens and youth can play a crucial role in the church – if we let them and help them in this. Secondly, it’s proven that it’s important to solidify your faith when you are a teenager. People who have a strong faith as a teen tend to keep their faith as an adult. That’s why we should invest in youth ministry to bring young people to Christ.

 

Delighting Grace: What can you say about churches that somewhat undermines youth ministry? How do we show that youth ministry is important?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the Bible should always be our starting point. It’s important to show how God has used teens throughout the Bible. God can use teens and young people in a mighty way if we allow Him. Often, current testimonies of teens about the impact of their youth ministry do wonders as well.

Most of the times churches who are somewhat against youth ministry are afraid of something. They may be afraid youth ministry will become its own church, that they will preach a different gospel, that the teens won’t come to church anymore, etc. In such occasions it’s very important to just talk with each other and get a clear picture of what these fears are. Youth leaders need to be understanding here and need to be humble and submissive to the ‘big church’.

 

Delighting Grace: What are the common problems do we encounter when we minister to teens?

 

Rachel Blom: I think the most important problem is to help them realize what truth means. Teens often pick and choose their own truths based on all the info they get, but we need to show them the only Truth who can save you. Also, I think that as witnesses, we often have the problem of not practicing what we preach. Our life, our actions, has to match our words otherwise our testimony and ministry is powerless.

 

Delighting Grace: Is there a way to determine that this one teen will be big someday? If I bring you to our youth ministry and line a group of teens, if you have to choose, who will it be? Is it possible to do that?

 

Rachel Blom: Most of the times it’s fairly easy to pick out the leaders, but that doesn’t mean they will be the ones to be ‘big’. God has a funny way of picking unlikely candidates for big jobs, people who at first glance don’t seem to be a good fit at all. So I don’t think you can make such a prediction, it really is up to God. But often those who have servant’s hearts will go far…

 

Delighting Grace: Do we need to really empower teens because for a fact they are young for it?

 

Rachel Blom: I think teens aren’t too young for anything. I wouldn’t entrust them full responsibility and they may need

adult supervision, but I’m convinced they can do much more than we often think. The Bible tells us that God gives spiritual gifts to each and every believer. It doesn’t say these are only given to adults, so teens who are committed to Christ have them as well. So yes, we do need to empower teens and install in them a great sense of purpose, a knowing that God can and will use them if they are willing to obey and follow.

 

Delighting Grace: Personally, how do you shape teens fit for leadership?

 

Rachel Blom: This is a tough question. I think it’s a combination of knowledge, practical skills but above all character that you’re going for. You can teach certain practical skills, like leading a Bible study or holding a meeting. Those aren’t that hard to teach. You can also share knowledge about leadership, the Bible, etc. But the most important part is character, because without a servant’s heart a leader isn’t any good. Character is hard to teach, that’s a matter of discipleship and mentoring in small groups, preferably one on one.

 

Delighting Grace: What about the parents? Some will take this leadership thing as a burden? How can someone avoid this assumption?

 

Rachel Blom: I think it’s about convincing parents of God’s calling. Again, look to the Bible for examples of parents like the parents of John the Baptist, Samson, or Samuel. Their child received a calling by God and as parents, we need to obey. The parents need to support their teen or youth in this and help them become the man or woman God wants them to be. In that way, parents can share some of the burden.

 

Delighting Grace: As a mom, how can someone employ leadership to their own children? Is there a difference in strategy for that kid from your church and your own?

 

Rachel Blom: In your own home, being a good example is of even more importance. Your kids will do what you do, not what you say. So as a parents, as a mom, you need to be very aware of this. My son is four years old and I’m trying to model the kind of relationship with God to him that I want him to have. So we don’t just do standard prayers, we talk with God and about God and involve Him in everything. I’m trying to show him who God is from a very early age on.

 

Delighting Grace: Before we end this interview, please invite our readers to your blog. Your blog is such a blessing especially for those of us who are ministering the youth.

Rachel Blom: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share what God has taught me throughout the years with others, especially with regards to youth ministry. I’d love for you to come and visit my blog on www.youthleadersacademy.com May God bless you where ever and how ever you are serving Him!

 

Delighting Grace: Thank you Rachel, God bless you too!!!

7 Unforgettable Mountains Mentioned in the Bible

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Mountains have significant place the Bible. Major biblical events took place in this place. So Delighting Grace gathers the 7 most prominent and gave some brief info:

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Click here to read DG’s conference notes from Live It Well

Ararat (Genesis 8:4) – after the global flood, the ark of Noah rested here till the waters subdued and after that everyone in the ark came out and propagate.

*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,

Moriah (Genesis 22:2) – this is the place Abraham offered Isaac. Eventually in the reign of King Solomon, his temple for God was built over there (2 Chronicles 3:1).

*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.

Sinai (Number 3:10)-this is where God gave the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) to Moses.

Carmel– this mountain had a showdown between Elijah (the prophet of God) versus Baal’s prophets (1 Kings 18: 17-46).

*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.  

Mount of Beatitudes- (Matthew 5:1) scholars’ points out this place is located within the vicinity of Capernaum where greatest sermon ever delivered by Christ Himself.

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Click here to read Delighting Grace first ever blog post.

Calvary- Golgotha or the place of skull, this mountain (technically it’s a hill like the Mount of Beatitudes) this is where our Lord and Savior was nail to the cross and died for God and our sins (Mark 15:22).

Want freebies? Check these round-ups:

The Freebie Round-Up # 18

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The Freebie Round-Up #16

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The Freebie Round-Up #14

Mount of Olive or Olivet– lots of events in Jesus earthly ministry occurred here. Most notable events is on this place Jesus ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:12).

 

Anymore you might wish to add? Please mention it at the comments.

Church News Update as of March 19, 2012

Blessings to all who are reading this update! Our church, Good Shepherd Baptist Mission had two memorable events last week.

First, a surprise birthday bash for our beloved pastor, Joberth Hernandez. He turned 44 and still fulfilling his calling from our Lord. The program was held last Thursday March 8. We had special numbers and games. Everyone got their turns to give our pastor their special message. We made his birthday unforgettable. Include our pastor in your prayer as God give him more years as a servant of God. Check the photos by clicking here.

Lastly, our mission church turned 14 last Sunday. Our theme for the year is “God Above All” and we filled our mission house with guest and fellow believers. In the morning service, our guest speaker Bro. Angel Francisco gave an evangelistic message that is soul stirring. Then we cap of the day with the afternoon service with Ptr Ding Dipasupil, our 2nd guest speaker addressing the members of the church and admonishing us to make God above all our lives. Truly it was a blessed day for us. Thank you to all who prayed and supported us! God bless you! Check out the Anniversary photos by clicking here.

This coming March 31 we will be having our Youth Revival with different Baptist Churches involved please continue to uphold us in your prayer.

R.O.C.K.’s Christmas Fellowship 2011

It is the season to celebrate the birth of Christ! R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom) campus ministry had its Christmas Fellowship last December 17, 2011.

They shared the occasion with CGLB and UB Bible Study (both are sister campus ministries of R.O.C.K.). Leviste Bldg. 211 was filled with exciting games and godly special numbers.

But the highlight is the preaching of the Word of God by Bro. Andrew Ferry. R.O.C.K. leaders and members got a big surprise when Ptr. Hary Basio of R.O.C.K. Palawan State University came to give his message to all.

It was a blessed Christmas Fellowship. We would like thank you for being a part of R.O.C.K. in prayers and support. Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year!!!!

Campus Ministry Special Number at GSBC

 

As part of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church family, R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom) Ministry of LPU together with its sister campus ministries, had a special number on the church 31st Anniversary held last Dec. 11, 2011.

Leaders and members of the campus ministries sang a Papuri song “Isang Dakot na Himala” as a “Thank You” to everyone who prayed and supported this year 2011. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. See you all in 2012. God bless you!!!

Used Book Finds: Children’s Ministry Magazine, Group Magazine and Youth Worker Journal

Underneath the BookSale rummage, you can find Christian gold.  Relentless in searching something useful for the ministry I decided to check the back issues magazine rack. Behind Vogue, Cosmo, Vanity Fair and those Men’s magazine you can unravel Christian magazines. I have discovered Children’s Ministry Magazine, Group Magazine and Youth Worker Journal, Christian magazines for youth and children’s ministry. Although I don’t agree to all its content, some articles are biblically useful for pastors, workers and others who are involved in ministering kids and youth. BookSale price these magazines from 75-10 Php. Please try finding them. They are worth the digging…

 

R.O.C.K. Updates: Film Showing and Table Outreach at LPU

 

ROCK (Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom) campus ministry of Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Batangas held a Free Movie event on November 11-12, 2011.

The movie event was held in SHL Bldg. Case Room 202 and was attend by students of the Criminology Department headed by Mrs. Rowena Mojares (Department chair and R.O.C.K. adviser). The featured movies were the “Left Behind” series which tackles the topic of end times.

Aside from the movie, Aaron (the campus ministry president), Mheann (the secretary) and some youngsters of Good Shepherd Baptist Church set up a table outreach (courtesy of Lighting the Way Ministries) were they place booklets, magazines, and tracts not only for those who will attend the movie but for students passing by.

As for me I helped distribute “Book of Hope” magazines and was able to share a group of students. Elaine (a dean’s lister) and her buddies’ listen attentively, as I show them how sinful we are by God’s standard (the 10 commandments) and how Christ paid the penalty for sin. Please pray and support ROCK as it reaches lost souls for the gospel in this university.

ROCK Updates: At the Wake of Mam Katindig’s Uncle

Last November 4, 2011 ROCK (Reaching Out for Christ’s Kingdom) and CGLB (Campus Gospel Light Bringers) campus ministry join forces as they pay respect and share the gospel at the wake of Mam Katindig’s uncle.

Mam Katindig is a clinical instructor in the Nursing Department of LPU and also an adviser for R.O.C.K. Our beloved pastor, Ptr. Joberth Hernandez, headed the service and preached about salvation.

Leaders and members of the two campus ministry distributed gospel tracts to relatives and friends of the deceased. By God’s grace, I was able to have a one on one conversation with one of the relatives and shared them the gospel. Please pray for opportunities for our campus ministries to be bold to share the gospel that saves.