The God-Driven Unity Part 2

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord. Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, (Haggai 1:12-14 KJV)

God’s Part

3.) A promise – in verse 13 God promise ” I am with you, saith the Lord…” We need to claim this because God made the promise. If man made the promise, man may break his promise. But God made the promise. Its unbreakable. Whatever the church do being in unity, God promise He will be there.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 KJV)

4.) Spirit-filled – this is the most important essence of this God-driven unity. This will make or break the church. We need to be spirit filled. We need guidance of the Holy Spirit. Verse 14 “And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people…” Why did God stirred the spirit of those people? Why do we need as Christians help from the Spirit of God? Look at Haggai 1:9:

Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. (Haggai 1:9 KJV)

Because they are lazy. The remnant are slothful. Do you see yourself in them? Having the power of the Holy Spirit we are enable to do spiritual things that mere human effort cant do. We are limited. We are weak. We need something the will enable us to work and accomplish the things of God. Praise the Holy Spirit that he will give us such strength. Unity comes not in the best ministry practices or methods, programs, books and seminars. It is the enabling of the Spirit to stir us up to unite as one church on the move for something big for God.

4 Websites That Offers Awesome Christian Facebook Covers

Want to make a Christian statement at Facebook. Well preach the gospel first, then put some Facebook covers that stand for Christ!

Depraved Wretch – DW gain much mileage in Facebook because of superb graphics and of course, Facebook covers. DW boast on Calvinist quotes and Bible verses that sends not just inspiring messages but reinforce the Christian faith.

My Bible – aside from their Bible app, My Bible also offers great facebook covers. Their are tons of eye candy covers to choose from.

FB Cover Lover – a secular facebook cover site but dishes out excellent Christian quotes and Bible verses.

99 Covers – like FB Cover Lover, its not a Christian owned but nevertheless, the Bible verses covers are amazing!

Any more websites you can share. Please post it on the comment section.

5 Signs Blogging is For You

So you got interested in blogging and wanna try it out but afraid that is not your turf. Well check out the following signs that will enlighten you and answer the question: Is blogging for me?

1.) You got something to show the world – whether its writing book review or your beach photography, as long as you are willing to show it to the world, blogging may fit like hand in glove to you.

2.) For you passion and enthusiasm matters the most – if your in it to make money then sad to say blogging is not for you. Passion and enthusiasm is the driving force of blogging. Profit comes the last.

3.) You can give your time for your blog – committment is one character a blogger must possess. He or she must post atleast once or twice a week. Also be ready for interactions of your readers whether it be on your blog or social media. Learn to tune your blog apperance and know widgets that will add flair on your blog.

4.) You are willing to learn more about blogging – reading books or blogs about writing, blogging, SEO, etc. will not just help you blog better but easier.

5.) You want to enjoy something different – Blogging is a hobby which you can draw in some fun. You can meet new friends, eat or travel to new places, go to blogging events and get some perks. But personality, it enhance you in writing and speaking that can be useful. Now, is blogging for you?

Any more signs you might add to the list. Please reply it on the comment section.

Hey if you like this post, you might like these also:

3 Essential Signs That Something is Just a Fad

5 Vital Things to do to Avoid Digitsl Attachments

5 Essential Things to do to Finish Reading a Book

3 Great Reasons Why Youth Leaders or Pastors Should Blog

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 34 years old introvert who’s passion is to proclaim the bad news about God. He’s a goverment employee but his church and digital life is more colorful for because of Christ. You can reach him at his Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

CLC Book Review Round Up 3

Before we unwrapped a new batch of books from CLC Philippines, its good that we put our gears in reverse. Lets look back at book reviews that you might have missed and should check out. If you like what we have featured, please do buy a copy at the nearest CLC Bookstore or you can buy it online at http://www.clcphilippines.com. Not convinced? Think about this list of things you will missed out if you dont buy a Christian book:

1. You’ll missed out a chance to spiritually grow.
2. You’ll missed out a chance to help someone get to know Christ.
3. You’ll missed out the chance to build up your local church.
4. You’ll missed out the opportunity to spread the gospel by buying a book.

See what you’ll missed? Convinced now? I hope so. Well here are the books reviews you might have missed:

Mentoring Conversation by Herman A. Moldez

102 Fascinating Bible Studies by Preston A. Taylor

Understanding Your Bible in 15 Minutes A Day by Daryl Aaron

God’s Answers to Life’s Questions

Life on Purpose for Women by J. M. Farro

Changed in His Likeness by Watchman Nee

Working Successfully With Screwed-Up People By Elizabeth B. Brown

One Church, Four Generations by Gary L. McIntosh

What Does the Lord Require? by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

You might also check out Round Up 1 and Round Up 2….Enjoy!!!!

The Blogging Basics By Mozilla Philippines

“Hey Dems…” I said to my blogger friend, Dems Angeles as we walk the streets of Makati, which is a familar place for her. We took the underpass and pass over business offices that are already closed.

“Yes?” Dems answered back. Dems and I are tired with the walk but our chat seems to make it disappear. Its already night and we just came from the event at Globe Valero. I want to get on the bus back to Batangas City and Dems wants to catch up with the van bound to her place.

“Thank you for giving me the “Dems Angeles app” in finding this event and the place…hehehe…” It was almost 7:00 pm of February 8 and tomorrow is Lord’s Day.

“Hahahaha….” She replied. We still manage to squeeze in some laughs.

Dems and I dropped by one of the first servings of Mozilla Philippines to us who are in social media. Titled “Mozilla Philippines Social Media Series: Blogging 101”. The event showcases 4 influential bloggers to talk about the basics of blogging. They shared the How To’s and their personal experience engaging in blogging. Then after each talk their will be a Q and A portion. At face value you might say the basics of blogging is for the unexperienced but the talks proved that it is not. The event was emceed by Erika Gatmaitan (the niece of Christian author Dr. Luis Gatmaitan or Tito Dok) the student ambassador for Mozilla PH and she introduced first in the program Bob Reyes, one of the Mozilla PH representative here in the Philippines. Sir Robert warmly welcomed us to the event and enthusiastically discussed what Mozilla is all about. He emphasize not just being an open source of Mozilla as its edge, but also other advantages particularly security. Sir Robert states that Mozilla has its “privacy as its roots.”

First on the fray is blogger Gian Carlo Viterbo of Gadget Pilipinas. His topic was “10 Things To Do After Installing WordPress” which got a lot of positive reaction because majority of the crowd are WordPress user (me included). But first, he buttered us up with what is WordPress all about. He mentioned the benefits of having a self-hosted WordPress which kept us salivating. He then post a very striking question to us: Are you willing to take great risk to get great rewards having a bad*** website? Hmmm…who doesn’t want one? Well according Gian Carlo, the risks he encountered with his blogs is security i. e. getting hacked. He had been “friendly hacked” many times to show how weak his blog security is. He was grateful for that experience. Having that thought about security, all over his talk he keeps on bring that. Most notably #8 “Delete the default Admin WordPress Account” in which we check pop star Katy Perry’s website (which is WordPress powered) as an example. As we expected, it was not deleted. To Gian this will be a hackers gold. Anyway, the first talk was a blast. For those who want to see Gian Carlo’s presentation you can view it here.

Since WordPress was discussed, Blogger, its counterpart, as the next topic by another speaker. Azrael Coladilla of Azrael’s Merryland blog not only tackle Blogger, but also showed us how to make one in less than 5 minutes. Azarel went through his talk “Using Blogger As Website and Blog”. He first differentiate a website and blog set up then show how having a blog,specifically Blogger, as an advantage. Then he went to tell us the different blog ventures he had most notably the S. M. blogs. As the finale, he showed the crowd how to set up a Blogger blog in just 5 minutes. Well it was so fast for Azrael to make a “Flappy Bird Philippines” blog considering he is already log in Blogger. It was more or less 3 minutes. As a former user of Blogger, all I can say its easy to use but I’ll stick with WordPress for now.

Blogger Jonel Uy took on a topic titled “Social Media Consulting as a Career”. With his mild mannered speaking he took us to the topic that is near to his heart. He showed the broad perspective of the social media landscape to us and point out the different divisions and branches of it. The talk was so short (I think its 20 minutes) but the point he is driving is that social media opened careers and opportunities like marketing and public relations for us to consider. Career shift anyone?

After the snack of sodas and sandwiches, we had our last speaker, Aileen “Yen” Dreyfus of Tummy Traveler blog. The “Dreyfus” struck a familiar tune to me. She is the wife of actor (and also a blogger) Chuckie Dreyfus (remember him?). Using her charm and demure, its easily for her to grab our attention when we feel like going home. She then delivered her talk “Better Blogging and Being Social” in which she gave us 15 tips how to improve our blogging. As she was sharing the tips she keeps on mentioning her “husband” and how she was influenced by him in blogging. The talk was brief but still we learned alot. She left us with this reminder: “Be the blogger you want to read.” In the Q and A part, I got a chance to ask her a question in which she satisfactorily answered it.

After the talks we got to chat with the speakers and have our photo taken. I met a couple of guys from Mozilla then asked how to volunteer in the community. It was a great event and I hope to be seen at future Mozilla Philippines activities like this. I’m also praying to be part of the community and help spread the passion of Mozilla!

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!

Book Review: God’s Answers For Life’s Questions

Talk about being biblical, this book is really biblical. Why? No pop psychology, no quick fix and no pragmatic methods. Just pure Bible verses to the inquiring heart. “God’s Answers For Life’s Questions ” reminds me of the book series “Bible Promises for…” from Harbour Books which contains verses for a specific individual. This however, covers lots of grounds plus it uses multiple Bible version for a more clearer understanding of God’s Word. You might ask, why do I need to buy a book containing Bible verses when I can buy a Bible instead? Well you can do that but by just opening a Bible you cant find the specific answers to your questions. This book will help you with that.

The book is has lots of questions but are specifically categorized in 7 chapters namely, “How Can I Know You, God?”, “I Need Some Advice, Can You Help Me?”, “What Is The Secret of A Good Relationship?”, “I Want To Be A Better Parent”, “Please Help Me Parent My Child”, “As A Young Person, I Have Some Questions About Relationships” and “Can You Help Me With These Challenges?” So it has a variety of questions for everyone.

This book is very helpful to all people who has many questions in life. We will see the instruction of God to our lives in every pages. Read God’s promises to all, the prayer that we need to do and the biblical examples that will help us give the answers to our questions.

With a beautiful cover and layout this book is a perfect gift to unbelievers, old and new to the faith as well. This will reinforce you to look to the Bible for answers and value the power of the Scriptures more. Highly recommended!

3 Essential Signs That Something is Just a Fad

Fads come and go but how do you detect that it’s just a what it is: a fad. Here are 3 signs that a trend has it’s days numbered:

  1. A tsunami of similar or copied idea – if something became a hit expect a flood of copycats cashing in the latest trends. There will be stand outs but with the influx of it you’ll get sick of it.
  2. Everyone is jumping in the bandwagon – As long it’s going to make publicity to any person chances are they are using it to get free PR.
  3. You can feel it’s just a Band-Aid solution – especially in spirituality there is more into it than what we see on the surface. So it’s better to ask: Is it biblical?

Do you have number 4? Please post it on the comments.

Book Review: 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without by Leonard Sweet

Landing on my lap is a book from an emergent author, Leonard Sweet, a “relationship book” with a twist. There are lots of books about relationship that sometimes like what I have said to a blogger friend, a Joshua Harris is enough. Relationship books really sell especially if it’s about love. But just I have said this book is a not the usual.  I can’t even pinpoint what category this book is (Christian Living with Discipleship mix). Nevertheless Sweet delivers a superb book that has eclectic appeal and spiritual message all in one.

With his witty writing style and reference to pop culture, Sweet draws eleven or should I say twelve (oops spoiler!), relationships that you can’t be without. He proposed in this book that your Christian journey is not a Lone Ranger type flight. You need a Tonto as you go on with life. Leonard Sweet derives these “Tonto” from different Bible characters. He lays it all here in this book from the mundane (a mentor/ Jethro, encourager/Barnabas, a true friend/Jonathan) to the quirky (a reject/Zacchaeus, a child/Rhoda, the VIP’s/Lydia, Lazarus, Rich and Poor) which I find very interesting. He blended it all into a concoction that will stick to your mind and heart. Sweet not just zero in to culture but of biblical as well chips of history. In as you read each of them, you will ask yourself “Do I have a Nathan, Jonathan, and Peter/Paul in my spiritual journey?” And with interactive questions in every end of the chapter, it put you thinking caps on and evaluates what you have read.

Sweet’s book although is a great book that we should read, we should also be reminded that Sweet is “culturally liberal”. So we should take it with a grain of salt from the sources to the quotes he puts in his book. Enjoy but be aware.

This book does really raise some great point for me and opened something in my journey as a Christian. Leonard Sweet placed in our hearts that in life we will meet people that we will either impact us or we will make a difference in them. In either way our lives will never be the same. Read this book and seek for those people will change your life.

5 Cool Ways to Handle an Impromptu Bible Study

It’s another day of your weekly Bible study when all of the sudden your Youth Pastor  got sick and you have to take over. But you are not prepared. If you have 5 Minutes to prepare, then check these five tips to handle that Bible Study:

 

  1. Start with a prayer – pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you unveil the Scriptures to the Bible study group.
  2. Get it going with lots of interactions- Bible studies is not a one man band. Have a two way conversation to the attendees by sparking some questions that will fill the time. But make sure it is still in line with the study.
  3. Recall your meditation – You can teach them what you have learned in your devotion. You can read it straight from a devotional book or your journal
  4. Use previous notes- it’s a good thing to have a note handy and find previous messages that you jotted down.
  5. Teach the gospel – if the groups are unbelievers you can’t go wrong in teaching them the gospel even if they have heard it already. It is also a brush up to believers who also attend by adding some Christian responsibility in the lesson.

Now that you know these tips make sure the next time you are prepared in handling a Bible study. Anything to add to the list?