Pinoy Preacher List # 6

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We are on our sixth installment of this series and I hope some of you already check out the sermons of some previously featured preachers. If you miss out the five other list, they’re provided at the end of this post.

Jeff Uriarte – Further down south in Cagayan de Oro, we find Pastor Jeff. He pastors Grace Reformed Church. He happens to be a blogger too and his blog is in Cebuano dialect. You can read his blog post in this link. And of course, his sermon videos can be access on the Facebook Page of their church.

Kim Javier Lapiz – Another preacher from CDO is Pastor Kim who pastors Jiteh Reformed Church. You can access his messeges from the church Facebook Page.

Edilberto Agquiz – Back to my home city here in Batangas City, we find our last preacher on this installment. Pastor Bobet shepherds the newly established Batangas Reformed Baptist Church. You can watch his preaching (and other preachers) by clicking this link.

If you have miss out the previous installments here are the links:

Pinoy Preacher List #1

Pinoy Preacher #2

Pinoy Preacher List #3

Pinoy Preacher List #4 

Pinoy Preacher List #5

Would you like to help me grow this list? If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

Arts and Works: Delighting Grace Interviews Quits Sabio

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While searching for pastors with sermons online for my blog series, a friend recommended me to consider Quits Sabio. Although he has no audio or video sermons online, a pastor having a blog is a plus for me. As I check him out, look at his blog and his websites, I’m impress with his bi-vocation career. And I think many will consider it a cool job. Also, he and his wife is into painting. So an interview must happen :-). And here it is.   We ask Quits about being a game developer, the industry, him being bi-vocation and the biblical view of creativity and arts.

Delighting Grace: Hello pastor. Can you tell us something about yourself?

Quits Sabio: I’m Enriqueto Sabio, but you may call me Quits. A husband to Malou and a father to our only princess, Amara. I’m bi-vocational; an elder at Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church (SMEC) for almost 5 years now, and the current Technical Director of Funguy Studio. My wife and I love music and arts. In our spare time, we paint and play some music together.

Delighting Grace: How is the game developers industry here in the Philippines? How did you get into the job? It seems to be a dream job for some.

Quits Sabio: Game development industry in the Philippines is booming. Partly because of the height of mobile market here, and we have a lot of creative minds who worked on popular international titles in the recent decade. Not only that, most of our development companies offer diverse services. Spanning from games and onto enterprise applications, and multiple platforms such as mobile (ios, android, windows), console, pc/mac, vr/ar and many more.

How did I get into the job? I just posted some of my prototypes online after graduation, then one day I received a phone call from them. That’s how it happened and It is all grace. This is my first job and I haven’t left ever since.

Delighting Grace: What are the ups and down in your secular career?

Quits Sabio: The downside in my profession as a game developer is the constant need to meet the demands of our clients. Sometimes they’ll call you even on weekends or holidays just because there’s a bug in the game that needs fixing. But the upside is high pay grade. Definitely worth the effort. That is why by God’s grace I’m able to provide a little help in lifting some of the burden from our local church financially. Having said that, I still find some time to minister to God’s flock and be with my family. The other downside though is that sometimes I missed important company meetings and outings, because weekend is non negotiable for me.

Delighting Grace: So you’re a pastor and has secular work. And you manage to blog too. How do you manage being bi-vocational?

Quits Sabio: Currently, I only work three times a week in the office, and twice I have to work from home. With that setup, by God’s grace, I can still lead a bible study every Monday, prayer meeting on a Friday, a monthly visitation for each family, and corporate worship on a Sunday. For sermon preparation, I allocate an hour or so each day to read and be familiarized with the text and then I’ll work on my manuscript for the whole day of Friday and Saturday. That’s what my week looks like regularly. Of course that’s not always the case when I was just starting out on both of my vocations. I struggled a lot because I had to work at the office five times a week. But through God’s providence, eventually I got promoted, and so now I have the luxury of time.

I think the best way to manage your time is to prioritize what’s most important, namely God, then everything will fall into its right places.

Delighting Grace: Wow that’s indeed God’s providence. Pastor, your work requires being creative as well as artistic.  So what’s the biblical view of creativity and arts?

Quits Sabio: A biblical view of creativity and arts is not that far from how we view objective reality around us. Just like how nature reveals the glory of God and His invisible attributes, a true art must reflect the  Author of the good, the true and the beautiful. In other words, there really is such a thing as beautiful artwork and an ugly artwork, good music and bad music. I don’t buy the secular mentality that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. That it’s all subjective. Yes, we may respond to it subjectively, but the criteria for good art is not subjective. There are some criteria for beauty such as form, symmetry and asymmetry, color harmony, contrast and values(light and shadows). It must represent truth even though what you’re portraying is a fiction. Meaning, behind the imagery are objective realities. And if it is to be good, it must either explicitly or implicitly reflect God’s holy character. So just as there’s a standard for morality, there’s also a standard for beauty, namely God.

Delighting Grace: What are the common misconceptions of arts & creativity held by Christians?

Quits Sabio: One common misconception that comes to my mind is the idea that for an artwork to be considered as “Christian Art”, the subject must be biblical figures and events. That is not the case though. Art can be considered a “Christian Art” as long as the Christian artist did it to glorify God. To quote R.C. Sproul; “art is its own justification.” If it attest to God’s beauty and majesty, then it is a Christian art.

Second, as I mentioned earlier, is the notion that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. God himself declared that his creation was good only after he brought order to the void of Genesis 1:2. Also when God commissioned the construction of the temple, He gave precise materials, measurements, colors and form.

Thirdly, and probably the most controversial one, is the issue of portraying the Son of God in paintings, sculptures and even in movies. To understand the issue better, I would encourage you to read the article “Graven Images” from Ligonier.

In the article Robert Letham said;

“Where We Agree. Reformed theology believes in icons too. The idea of image (eikôn) is a biblical category — man made in the image of God, Christ the image of the invisible God. However, beyond this, everything is iconic for the Reformed. God has imprinted evidence of His own beauty and glory throughout creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1–2). What Calvinism did was to enable a this-worldly appreciation of beauty. By eliminating art and sculpture from church worship, it drove it into the world, placing the aesthetic in the context of general revelation, as the witness to God in the world rather than as the focus of the worship of God in the church.”

Basically, what he’s saying is that creating icons or images of any sort is not evil in itself, as long as it’s meant to point us to God within the realm of general revelation. Like how the natural world points us to His glory, and not to replace Him as the object of adoration within the context of church worship. Having said that, the debate rages on even within the Reformed camp to this day. So one must be careful when handling this issue. I for one, don’t paint images of Christ and don’t own one. But when I’m watching movies that does portray Jesus, or when I expressed admiration to the artistry involved in Da Vinci’s Last Supper, I know that I’m not worshipping those images. I know that it’s just an image pointing me to the real one, just like how the heavens declare the glory of God. If that image drives me to God’s word where I’ll find the accurate portrayal of Christ, then that’s fine with me.

Delighting Grace: Now let’s bring those we have talked about in one bag. How do we nurture believers in pursuing a diverse vocation say game developer?

Quits Sabio: Create an environment where they will discover their giftedness. If it is creative arts and music, expose your people to art history. The remarkable thing is, much of the good artworks and music ever composed, or created were from periods and eras where Christian worldview flourished.

For computer programming, just as in biblical exegesis, it requires much thinking. I know this could be a stretch for others, but for me, my training in exegesis and hermeneutics helped me on how to understand programming languages and vice versa. Attention to details is necessary if you really want to have a career on game development.

So we should promote high level of thinking, and at the same time appreciation for good music and arts.

Delighting Grace:  If a young believer seek counsel to you in the matters of which career path he will take, he is choosing either what he is passionate about like graphic design or practical like being a nurse or engineer, what will you advise to him? Will it change if he is a family man?

Quits Sabio: It doesn’t have to be either or. Choose what is practical and you’re passionate about. For me, being a game programmer is very practical and yet is very close to what I’m passionate about, namely creative arts. I think that answers the second question too. It doesn’t have to change if you’re a family man.

Delighting Grace: Thank you pastor for your time. Please invite us check you out and some of your works

Quits Sabio: Thank you for this opportunity, Delighting Grace! You can check out some of my articles through our church’s website at Sovereign Mercy and through Reformed Exegetes Society. For my artworks, just visit MMS Music and Arts.

Pinoy Preacher List # 5

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In this special installment of this series, Delighting Grace list down pastors who are bloggers. They might not have online sermons but writes entries on a blog to share their insights.

Zigfred Maceren Diaz – Pastor Zigfred is the senior pastor of The Master’s Community Fellowship based in Cebu. He is the admin of a FB group, Baptist Theological Forum. He was featured in this blog as he tackles some Baptist erronious belief in his paper. He blogs at Life Hacks for Polymaths.

Enriqueto Alleje Sabio – At the heart of Metro Manila, Pastor Entiqueto leads Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church. He works as an artist with his wife at MMS Music and Arts studio and also a technical director over Fun Guys Studio, a game development company. You can read his post on Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church and on Reformed Exegetes Society.

Jezreel Notarte – Pastor Jezreel shepherds Way of Life Baptist Church. He blogs his sermons notes, thoughts and experiential learning over his blog.

If you have miss out the previous installments here are the links:

Pinoy Preacher List #1,

Pinoy Preacher #2, 

Pinoy Preacher List #3

Pinoy Preacher List # 4 

Would you like to help me grow this list? If you know pastors or preachers who are Calvinistic or Reformed and has sermons online, please do e-mail me at nitoymgonzales@gmail.com.

Digitally Yours! Delighting Grace Interviews Edwin Arceo

Whoa! That was my reaction when I check out the blog of Edwin Arceo, Corporate Communications of CBN Asia Inc (they produce The 700 Club Asia). The blog (www.edwinarceo.com) reeks  interesting topics like gadget reviews, social media, photography, health, Christian faith etc., things that is essential for your spiritual and digital life. With all this; is it safe to say he is the Tim Challies of the Philippines (minus the Calvinism)? Anyways, he opens up with Delighting Grace as I throw questions about Pinoy techies, gadgets, and being a blogger.

Delighting Grace: How do you describe Pinoys (Pilipinos) in terms of having the latest technology? Is it a good or bad thing?

Edwin Arceo:  Pinoys in general really want to have the latest in technology but cannot afford it. I know of some who want it only for the bragging rights.  For me it’s a bad thing. They get in debt. I know one who is now over 100,000 pesos in credit card because they have the latest iPhone, an iPad, game consoles. For me I save up first before I buy. That’s my rule…

Delighting Grace: What are things we should consider in using technology for church or ministry?

Edwin Arceo:  Technology is good for the church, no doubts there. My problem is with the church trampling on intellectual property rights. Pirated software for displaying worship music on screen. Pirated music so that the worship team can practice it or so that each member of the team can have their own copy to practice on. Photocopying whole books to save on costs. The list can go on. Its really bad because even the church condones it. If the church wants to use technology, we need to make sure that the testimony of Jesus is not stained because of these issues I enumerated.

Delighting Grace: Social media is on top right now so how do we as Christians make most of it?

Edwin Arceo:  Christians should seize the opportunity provided by social media. We can get easily connected with the unchurch because of Facebook. Once we are connected to them, sharing testimonies is a lot easier, practical and accessible there is no physical contact involved–yet. Social media opens people to the opportunity of being shared with the gospel. Meeting people you have not met in a long time, high school buddies for example, gives us the chance introduce them to Jesus in a non-threatening environment. When I share my blog posts on my Facebook account, my classmates can see them and it opens doors for inquiries about faith.

Delighting Grace:  Now in terms of buying new gadgets what tips could you give us especially for us believers?

Edwin Arceo:  Believers should not buy because of the marketing hype surrounding a new gadget. We should buy because we know how it is going to be useful to us, how it is going to make our lives more productive. Function is more important to me than form. I own an iPad and I use it in productive ways more than any other people I know who owns it. I made a blog post on my website on how I use it to make my investment worth it. We should also not buy on credit even on 0% interest and 12 months to pay.

Delighting Grace: Personally, how did technology change you, Sir Edwin?

Edwin Arceo:  I live with technology every day. It made life easier but also made life more hectic. It’s both a blessing and a curse. People can easily contact you and disturb you. I have to make a conscious effort to stay away from technology for even a few hours! I miss the days when there were no celphones, internet or computers. But then, I cannot also imagine life without them. 8-(

Delighting Grace:  Very well said. For you what are the techie must-haves for Christians? Can you give your top 5?

Edwin Arceo:  1. Apple iPad. Get one (if you can afford it) and get smart with the apps you put on it. If you can still afford a few thousand more, get the model with 3G. Decide that you will not upgrade to the next model because the build of this gadget is unbelievable. It can replace your computer, be it a desktop or a laptop. If you can’t afford it the next best thing for me is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Just get the right apps.

2. If you will spend on apps for your iPad, make sure to spend on a digital version of your Bible. The iPad changed my daily Bible reading habits. I paid $13 for a copy of the New Living Translation of the Bible.

3. A digital point and shoot camera like the Canon S100. I recommend it because of the great reviews it has already received from sources I respect. Read the manual first though. Memories are important.

4. A smartphone that can sync with your computer that can sync with your iPad. Isn’t it great that your computer, ipad and Smartphone contains all the same contacts, calendars, tasks and notes?

5. Not really techie but you need a sturdy, discreet looking bag that can contain all your tech without looking like you have over 80,000 (iPad: 36K, Canon S100: 26,000, Phone: 18,000) pesos worth of gadgets.

Delighting Grace: What a list! Your blog (www.edwinarceo.com) is a fusion of the digital and Christian life. So please tell us how did you start your blog?

Edwin Arceo:  I started my blog because I love writing. I also love to teach and share about my faith in Jesus. I’m also a photographer and designer. I wanted to have one place to write about all these things but most especially about my faith. I was playing with blogs in 2009 but did not really get serious until October 2010 when I decided that I will write a regularly updated blog. The posts I write about faith comes from my daily reading of the Bible and what God impresses on me that I should share about.

Delighting Grace: Any parting word for those techie Pinoy Christians who might be reading this and want to buy the latest gadget.

Edwin Arceo:  Buy a gadget if you have a job. If you don’t have a job, get one and don’t let your parents buy it for you especially if you know you cannot afford it yet.

Delighting Grace: Again guys for the latest in gadgets, technology, the Christian faith and everything in between, I recommend Sir Edwin’s blog. Thanks for this opportunity Sir Edwin. God bless you and your ministry….