Pinoy Preacher List #8

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After a couple of months hiatus, this series is back for it’s eight (and hopefully not the final) list of Filipino preachers and their sermons. If you miss out the other seven installment, they’re provided at the end of this post.

Xley Miguel – Xley leads Christ’s Heritage Church located at Libis, Quezon City. You can watch his sermons over YouTube and connect with their church by visiting its FB page.

Lance Filio – Down South of Manila is Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church at Imus Cavite. Rev. Lance Filio pastors the church. For more information about the church, head over to their FB Page. To listen to Rev. Lance’s sermons with transcript, you can access them at their church website.

Ramil Corpus – Back in Manila specifically at Old Sta. Mesa is Ramil Corpus. He pastors Sola Scriptura Christian Church. He also writes and translates articles for an apologetics website, GotQuestions. He has a weekly FB live program called, Narrow Gate which tackles doctrines and other biblical topics. Find the latest episode by check their FB page.

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

Pinoy Preacher List #1

Pinoy Preacher List #2

Pinoy Preacher List #3

Pinoy Preacher List #4 

Pinoy Preacher List #5

Pinoy Preacher List #6

Pinoy Preacher List #7

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.

Book Review: Can A Christian Be A Nationalist? By Dr. Isabelo F. Magalit

hhqprb4It seems to me when we talk about nationalism, we as a Filipino Christians sometimes can’t point our finger on it. We might see it on how blind nationalist cults like Iglesia ni Cristo, Ang Dating Daan or a Filipino church like Aglipayan built a religious group that is Pinoy. Some might not look far than to see how Ed Lapiz promotes it or the recently the resurgence of an evangelical movement that promotes the social gospel coined as “neighborology”.  But what does the Bible really says Christians being a nationalist?

The book “Can A Christian Be A Nationalist?” answers it with a resounding “Yes”. Dr. Magalit who wrote some books on sticky issues like homosexuality and family planning, tackles a topic that some of us are confused of. We know we are heaven’s citizen and pilgrims just passing through but do we care to promote nationalism? Dr. Magalit first answers the case against being nationalist which is for me impressive. Then he sites Paul and Moses as examples. He included a sort of survey and ends with his vision for the nation.

The book is definitely short and you might say its “bitin”. For a topic about nationalism there is much to be said. Then again this book is enough for Christians to open further discussion and do some actions.  This book is superbly done and a must read.

My verdict: 4.5 out of 5

Robert’s Pets: Delighting Grace Interviews Robert Magnuson

It was Summer Komikon 2013, my first ever Komikon experience that I’ve heard about Robert Magnuson. He was on stage being interviewed. I wasnt paying attention till something caught my attention. Its that word he said! He said he worked on a Christian children’s book?! Well I check him over the internet and I found out he is a award winning children’s book, comic strip/comicbook writer and illustrator. I finally met him over Komikon 2013 last November. And man, he is so nice. He signed some of the comicbook and toddler books I bought (for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda) and granted me this interview:

Delighting Grace: Hi Robert! Who’s your favorite superhero and why?

Robert Magnuson: I can’t say that I have one favorite superhero. As I grew reading comic books, and shifted interests from one hero to the next. The earliest superhero that my brother’s and I seemed to gravitate towards was Spider-Man. We liked him because of his humor. I also thought he had one of the best looking costumes. Very fun to draw. Somewhere down the line, I’ve enjoyed reading the adventures of Batman, Superman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. There was a time I was a huge Rom fan. I was devouring that comic pretty much at the same time I was gobbling up issues of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew.

Superman was interesting because he had such an iconic image to live up to and I really enjoyed reading the Return of Superman storyline when it was being released on a weekly schedule. In the same way, I was also fond of Captain Marvel (Shazam) and Captain America, because of the clear values found in these particular characters. As modern society’s values begin to blur, it has becomes easier to reason out why it is acceptable to break and bend certain rules to the point where they become excuses for self-indulgent behavior. I find it interesting how the integrity and values of these particular heroes hold up under such modern-day pressures.

Delighting Grace: You’ve created Porcupirate, Bullysaurus Rex, Kuting Magiting etc., now how do you look for ideas and character for the books?

Robert Magnuson: I get my best ideas from real life. All my stories are in some fashion or other anchored to real life event. It’s just that by the time I’m through writing them, they have talking animals. But the essence of the story remains tethered to the emotional core of an experience. Just as Porcupirate was written based on the feelings I was going through while watching my father die in a hospital, Kuting Magiting is fueled by my experiences with my very active son.

Delighting Grace: You had this collaboration with your wife Shirley in making comics strips in Junior Inquirer. So how does working with someone close to you and working with someone else differ?

Robert Magnuson: I enjoy working with others. I find that the exchange of ideas with someone can lead to even better ideas. Shirley tends to be my test audience and initial editor. I recall a time when I was creatively worn out from working on a comic page from a CADRE script by Emil Flores. I just couldn’t get the drawings to look the way I wanted, but I did the best I could. I remember showing the pages to Shirley and she told me “there is no way you are submitting these pages for printing. You can do much better than this.”

Being very drained, hearing this critique made me feel very frustrated – I knew she was right though and that I would have to redraw those pages. I struggled with them and in the end, I finished them. The pages were certainly an improvement over the previous versions. So tough love helped, really. And the experience made me appreciate just how demanding comics work can be.

Delighting Grace: Kuting Magiting crossover Sunday funnies, then to a comicbook then to a toddler book. Are their any difference between the three in terms of producing it? Which is your most enjoyable format between the three? Do Hero Kitten gets dizzy because of it 🙂

Robert Magnuson: There was always a plan to have Kuting show up in more than one format. I think each format has its own inherent challenges. The main challenge for comics is space considerations. I’m limited by the physical dimensions of the page and I’m limited by stretching or compressing a story to fit within multiples of four pages (16, 20, 24 pages and so on). But since I have full creative control over the comics, this is challenging but it’s something I can eventually adjust to. I just have to make sure the pages aren’t expanded in such a way that it ruins the flow of the story.

The toddler books have less pages and are more expensive to produce, so I need to stick to the publisher’s predetermined number of pages. The challenge here is coming up with a story that will fit these few spreads while still offering the reader a worthwhile narrative.

The comic strip has even less space to work with. You can have just so many panels in a comic strip before it starts to look really crowded. I would have to say that the comic strip format is the toughest of the three. Which is why I have great respect for those who earn a living working in this format.

Delighting Grace: I love Kuting Magiting/Hero Kitten because it has this “universal” appeal. Well some of your creations are loved kids, teens and adults. How do you make that “magical” appeal?

Robert Magnuson: That’s the great thing about writing for kids – grown-ups can understand the story as well! It also helps to stick to the emotional heart your story. You can talk about complicated themes, for example “war”, but it helps to distill very common emotions from such potentially complex topics. At its heart, is it about fear, triumph, or friendship? These are emotions that both adults and children can relate to.

Delighting Grace: Some might take childrens book as simple, easy to make, but I’ve read some where that writing a toddlers or childrens book is not that easy and for a creators to penatrate the childrens book market it is very difficult. Any comments on that Robert?

Robert Magnuson: It can be very challenging. What’s even tougher is making a good book both kids and grown-ups will love. I’ve had the experience of writing books that seem to write themselves. Others have taken much more out of me.

It took a long time before I finally got my break into becoming a published writer. Prior to that, I simply enjoyed writing and drawing stories, even if my only audience was my parents and friends.

Even as a published author, “Market penetration” is always a major concern. Competition for space in bookstores is tougher now than ever before. On the plus side, we do have more venues for our work thanks to the advent of digital books. The terrific thing about eBooks is that they can reach international readers, and you can build a potentially large readership. That said, getting discovered in this online sea made up of millions of fish is the challenge of this particular medium.

Delighting Grace: As a Christian comicbook creator, how do one deal in the industry which sometimes promote violent, sexual and anti-Christian stuff. Does this limit or gives no opportunity for a comicbook creator to do his gpcraft? So if a Christian wants to follow your steps, what advice can you give to them to pursue this career without compromising the faith?

Robert Magnuson: For most of my life, before I became a follower of Christ, my view of Christians was that they tried their best to avoid discussing sex and violence and topics that seem anti-Christian. This view reinforced my misconception that Christians were detached from the “real” world. When I came to Christ seven or so years ago, what I found was that Jesus was not at all detached from the realities of the world. He clearly understood the human condition. The initial reason I started studying the Bible was because I was drawn to Christ’s very accurate description of the human heart. I also discovered many Christian authors and speakers who did not shy away from discussing topics that touch on the realities of life.

Besides, the Bible is full of stories showing people at their worst, and how ultimately there is only one way to rise above this desperate condition. I believe that by virtue of this perspective regarding our human tendencies toward violence and acts of violation, the Christian writer is called to engage these topics head-on in a responsible manner in order to offer readers a glimpse of hope in an otherwise difficult world.

Delighting Grace: We sometimes work or study in a world that doesn’t honor Christ. As a Christian what are the things we could do to magnify Christ in our careers?

Robert Magnuson: This begs the yearbook answer, but since the time that I began to study God’s word and have struggled to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, I have found that God is not a collection of fortune cookie quotes to suit every occasion. Rather He is very much alive, and although His word does not change, the way He works is ever surprising. He may very well tell us to drop what we think we should be doing and do something completely left field of what we expected. There is a difference between doing what He wants us to do, and doing what we think He wants us to do.

One of the things I am struggling with is to keep that eternal perspective within my everyday work. In whatever field we are in, it is so easy to get caught up in the business of being busy that we start to lose our patience with co-workers, or drive ourselves to the brink of frustration by working too many hours at the expense of family relationships. A person’s job, their private life, and their public life are all interconnected. If one flies off the rails, it will soon affect all the other areas. Given this, I think the best way we can magnify God is to walk with Him moment by moment, and make sure it is His hands, and not ours, that are on the steering wheel.

Delighting Grace: Well said. Robert please invite them to pick up your Kuting Magiting/Hero Kitten and other of your great books. Are you on social media so fans can connect with you?

Robert Magnuson: Thanks for this opportunity to share my thoughts with our friends out there, Nitoy. If people are interested, most of my children’s books are available in most local bookstores.

I have two books published by Adarna House: Mister Beetle’s Many Rooms, and Diego and Marie: A Secret Sense of Home.

My other books are with Hiyas: What Beetle Can Do, Bullysaurus Rex, The Great Duck and Crocodile Race, Porcupirate Plans the Day, Boom Bang Clang (done with Maloi Salumbides), Run, Kuting! Run!, and Go to Sleep, Kuting!

Porcupirate Plans the Day and The Great Duck and Crocodile Race are also available as eBooks for Amazon Kindle, Flipreads, Kobo, and Buqo.

My self published comics featuring Kuting Magiting and Poso Maximo are available during the Philippine Komiks Conventions which happen at least twice a year. Although they should check my FB wall for announcements, just to be sure I will be at particular Komikon events or not.

Delighting Grace: One last question: Why is Good Morning Dog named Good Morning Dog? Does he own a Good Morning Towel that why he was named like that?

Robert Magnuson: There is a reason he is called Good Morning Dog, but that’s a story for another time.

Delighting Grace: Or maybe another comicbook to watch out, am I right Robert?

(By the way this if off topic but very important, have you downloaded “For Your Joy” by John Piper? It’s free.)

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something introvert who’s passion is to proclaim the good news about God. He wears many hats but he is just an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God. You can reach him at his Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

 

 

Book Review: Mga Mahahalagang Tanong At Mga Sagot By Emilio Ballesteros Jr.

Before I got hold of this book, Ive heard lots of things about it. Read it over a Catholic website debunking it. Somehow this seemingly unknown and I think neglected book from an unknown author nevertheless highly praised by church leaders really have something to prove.

This book packs some heat on apologetics which for a long long long time Filipino Christians doesnt have. Its either you have that old book “Witnessing to the Cults” or by chance you got a book from the Berean team. It saddens me that Pinoy Christians concentrated so much in Christian Living they neglect books (well actually it has a great discussion on Christian Living) like this one. Now a book for the new generation “Mga Mahahalagang Tanong At Mga Sagot”. Now revised and expanded, this thin but powerful book by Ptr. “Jun” covered grounds more than any thick volume that I know. From the sticky, slippery and most dodge question, Ballesteros head on answered them with God’s Word.

From cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ang Dating Daan, Iglesia ni Cristo to Christian basics doctrine, life and ethics; and everything in between, Ballesteros really knows what questions that bogs Christians. He devels it all in this volume with a well balance blend that wont leave you wanting.

The Tagalog version has witty strokes from the author but the English one diminished some of it yet thats nothing to be sadden about. You’ll still enjoy reading and learning from it. I dont know with Cebuano version but both translation delivers a no hold barred question and answers format. Its extensive yet an easy reference for everyone. You can use it in your Sunday School or a Bible Study.

The book is a silvet bullet of sort. A must for every Christian who wants to answers and give answers to others. Guys after reading this buy a copy, tell your friends to buy their own copy and help it to be on the bestsellers list! Give this book some hype. I wont settle for a review copy, I’ll buy another copy if I find one to give to someone in the church. Now more that ever Christians should be armed with a high caliber of a book. Highly recommended!

Pinoy Christians, Do You Read? Part 2

Well the title should be “Pinoy Christians, What Do You Read?” will be more fitting on this post because of what we will discuss. Still looking at the “2012 Readership Survey” conducted by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) that focus on the reading habits of Filipinos, we will zoom in the most popular NSB (non-school books).

Not suprisingly, according to the survey, “The Bible is still the most popular NSB read: 58% in 2012, 67% in 2007 and 38% in 2003,” (Bookwatch, July-December 2012). And it should since this is a “Christian country”. Next to the Bible are “romance/love (25%) and cooking (21%)” in the category.

There are lots of things in my mind that I could throw in this stats. I could rant on the spiritual condition of the country that says the Bible is the most read. I could critize the two runners up on the survey. But let me boil it down to a personal level for each of us Christians to consider.

1.) When did you last open your Bible? (Psalms 1:2-3)

2.) Do you make a decision in your life base on what is said in the Bible? (Psalms 119:105)

3.) What are reasons why you don’t read the Bible?

4.) If your already a Bible reader, what obvious changes do you see in your life after reading it? (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

5.) Follow up to #4, are you constantly delighting more of the Bible and desiring more of God?

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….

 

Show Me Thy Glory

I was in for a treat. Yes a spiritual one. To begin with I’m not prepared for this. It was a bad idea for not bringing a camera over our church. Then we were told we will attend a church anniversary service. I miss an opportunity to document it. It wasn’t bad I still got Ptr. Edwin Tan’s autograph. But more than (and much more than that!) that I get to hear his preaching on Exodus 33. It turned out to be a blessed night for us. I may not be able to shoot some photos but I got to sit down and jot the message from this beloved pastor. The message was penetrating for us who are constantly seeking God and wanting to know Him deeply. I hope and pray that this message will also have an impact to you.

Show Me Thy Glory by Ptr. Edwin Tan

Text: Exodus 33: 18-23

And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

 

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

 

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

 

And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

 

And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

 

And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

 

Introduction: Moses has already witness God’s power. He now wants to see God’s glory.

Dilemma: We can’t see God’s glory and live!

Question: How can we see God’s glory?

I. Acknowledge His Grace (v.19)

 

  1. Jesus died for our sin (Romans 8:1)
  2. The cross coming to your life

II. Appreciate His Goodness (v. 18)

  1. Understand His goodness to us.
  2. Look not only in the big things but also on the little things God gave to us.

III. Accept His Guidance. (v. 23)

  1. Be on the right spot to see his guidance and glory

Conclusion:

Question: Do you want to see God and His glory?

Answer: Be on the back part of God and be ready to follow Him.