Sunday, July 30, 2006


I read a story recently about a Muslim woman. Raised in strict Islamic practices, she endeavored to live like Mohammed, was faithful in their worship but never seemed to find the peace and the real answers she was looking for. She met a Christian man at her job. His warm smile and inner peace made a real impact on her. She was introduced by a co-worker and through the course of many conversations, she learned that Jesus had come to this earth to willingly die for our sins. It seemed too good to be true. No wonder the Christians had such joy! Their sins are taken away and someone loved them so much to die for them! She prayed to Jesus and asked Him to save her. The problem was, she didn't give up entirely her Muslim ways, nor did she receive the entire peace she was looking for. She began attending a Christian church and after about three months realized she needed to make a complete surrender. Then and there she committed her life to Christ and gave up the Islamic ways, and lo and behold! She found joy and peace that she was looking for.

It reminds me of so many that come every week to church. They have prayed the sinner's prayer, maybe even been baptized, but they are holding on to something that they refuse to give up, and they don't have the joy and peace they are looking for.

The rich young ruler in the bible was in the same situation. He said "I have kept all of the commandments" and I am sure he attended weekly worship, but the very fact he was coming to Jesus showed he was searching for more. Jesus put His finger right on it and said "Sell what you have and give to the poor and come follow me and ye shall have riches in heaven" In other words He said "Surrender!" but we know what happened....the man didn't surrender, and went away sorrowful. Contact with Christ doesn't instantly bring joy and peace, we must do what He tells us and surrender....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Filipino Excuses

Our excuses from America are not unique to us. Today as we were on our way to the outstation, one sister, a bible college student, got into the back of the jeepney and we were talking about being ready to preach. I asked her if she was ready and she said that she had gotten up early and worked on an outline all morning, then she went inside to cook, when she came back outside her outline was gone....the dog had eaten it!!! Teacher, the dog ate my homework!!! I told her if you find him praying later on you know it was a good message!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Changed Lives

This morning I had one of the most encouraging reports since I have been here. Often times in church, my language skills are not up to deep conversations, so I do not receive all that is happening in someone's life, so when a lady from the church came by to ask us about something, after we discussed her issue, I took the opportunity to talk to her about her soul. I asked if she had repented and accepted Christ.

She began by telling us what her life was like before. She and her husband would constantly fight. He was the thrower (throwing things around the house) and she was the screamer. Then came Jesus....their family is changed! No more fighting like that! She had indeed accepted Christ and had changed. I asked about her husband and she shared about the third or fourth time that they had come, he had broke down and went to the front to pray. After the service, when they were at home, it was time for dinner, in the Kapampangan culture it is normal for the man to be served by the wife, she would also serve the children, but tonight, he was the one calling the family and serving them!

She shared that since that time when they had accepted Christ, there was a day when their child was very sick, and they did not have the money for the doctor, she prayed and the Lord touched the child and healed them.

Truly, hearing first hand how the Lord had changed their family was more exciting than a huge number in church on Sunday!

God is so good!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Do you know what RSS is? It stands for Really Simple Syndicate. It, and ATOM are feeds that a web page or blog has. You can subscribe to the feed, and whenever the blog or site is updated, your feed program will let you know. I use the Opera (web browser) built in feed fetcher. It is a very fast browser, and the built in feed fetcher is a real plus. You can download opera here.
If you use Internet explorer here is the page to go to. Firefox has a built in RSS/Atom reader you can get here. If you use as your home page, you can use this and it will add the feed to your homepage. After you have a feed reader, or as they are called, an aggregator, you can subscribe to this blog's feed here.

Comments, Comments...

Commenting on the blog is easy and a way to start a conversation. Just click on the comment button and write something totally true like "This is the greatest blog I have ever read!---your Mom." I try to respond to every comment on the blog and you can leave good, bad, or otherwise comments, I do moderate them. Thanks!

Rainy Weather

The big "G" has rolled into town and is dousing us presently. "G" is for Glenda, the name of the present typhoon. One lady was talking about how they name the storms alphabetically, ie. Florita, Glenda, Henry, Inday....and she added and why do the storms keep coming until we get to Z? Indeed...

Rain gear here can be humorous. Of course the ever present "Payong" or umbrella, rain jacket and waterproof pants, rubber boots, garbage bags with holes for your head and arms, and towels to cover your head. What if you don't have any rain gear you may ask? Then, as many of the kids today did, you just play in it and get totally soaked. Enjoy! Another girl was standing on the side as we walked by and I saw white foam on her and then realized it was soap, she was bathing (clothes on of course) when the natural showers stopped...without providing her needed rinse cycle!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mang Fher's Results

Do you remember I recently blogged about Mang Fher and his first soulwinning excursion?
Well the results are in from his labors! He brought 120 people to the house of God last Sunday! His wife brought out another large group from a different area. Praise God! It was very exciting!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Edgar A. Guest Quotes

 I stumbled across some of his quotes and liked them, thought you might also....

“But here in the struggle for fame and pelf / I want to be able to like myself. / I don't want to look at myself and know / That I'm bluster and buff and empty show.”

“You are the person who has to decide. Whether you'll do it or toss it aside; You are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you'll lead or will linger behind. Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are.”

“There is an education of the mind / Which all require and parents only start. / But there is training of a nobler kind / And that's the education of the heart. / Lessons that are most difficult to give / Are Faith and Courage and the way to live.”

“The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,/ For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.”

It Couldn't Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.”

Edgar A. Guest

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Kapampangan Soulwinning

 Mang Fher is as skinny as a rail and not for want of food as the ample frame of his wife proves.  Though I have known him now for about 7-8 months, I don't ever recall coming to visit him and seeing him just sitting down. Maybe once the requisite afternoon siesta, but when awake, he is moving and doing.  He is a mechanic and a jeepney driver, and we have hired him to pick up people for church in his jeep for all these months. Our relationship may have been business at first, but now it seems like the gospel message has taken hold in his family's life.  He is the grandfather of the little one (Roann) that recently died  .  We have been promoting our 1000 Sunday (This Sun. July 23) and Mang Fher wanted to invite his relatives.  Today we accompanied him as he told the community about the special service.  He is a native Kapampangan and speaks that dialect, which neither Rev. Gaudario or I understand, so as we invited people, if he found out they were Kapampangan, he would take over, and take over he did!  What a joy it was to see him go soulwinning for the first time!   He invited his relatives, cajoled their neighbors, persuaded the people and at the end of about 4+ hours soulwinning, he was beaming.  I just tagged along, and couldn't have done any better.  What a joy to see him not only working for the Lord, but having a great time doing it.  Halfway through our time, his sister served us a lunch of delicious fish, rice, tomatoes and salt with a banana for desert.  In the same area there is a group of people called the Itas, or Negritas or sometimes Kulot.  They have been described to me as the original Filipinos.  Kulot means curly and is often the adjective used to describe them, since most Filipinos have straight hair. Also described as the black Filipinos, we met and invited many.  It was a great soulwinning day!

 Photos of the Itas (Aetas) by Park Cruz

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

1000 Sunday

This Sunday is the day! We are excited! It is our 1000 Sunday. We are praying and working towards having 1000 people in the house of God Sunday morning. I need your help. Will you pray that:
1.God will give us over the 1000 people this Sunday morning and that
2.He would allow His presence to convict sinners and that many would come to know Christ as their Saviour.
Do you have any relatives in the Philippines? Tell them about the special day! Maybe that one will be the one that makes 1000!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Florita is her name

 Her name is Florita, and like many of the feminine gender, she has been a bit unpredictable.  She, of course, is a typhoon, and has hindered our labors this week with an almost constant rain.  We have escaped the brunt of her damage.  Many, were not so fortunate.  In the Northern part of Luzon there was a widespread damage and many families have had to evacuate.  You can read some more about it here.  We have hunkered down a bit and endeavored to wait it out, but it just kept coming.  So today, at our normal outstation, we went out soulwinning before service, got thoroughly soaked, and had a good time.  There are certain things that you appreciate when you get wet and cold, heat in the car would be one of those things, but my car does not have heat, only air conditioning, and only one setting, cold....usually this is fine, but today would have been a nice day for the heater.  I am very glad that last year about this time, I invested $100 in a hot water heater for the shower.  It heats only the shower water, but today I enjoyed every drop of the warm water.  It made me think while I was showering, same substance, water, the only difference is the temperature.  Cold rain water soaking your clothes is not so nice, but warm water in the shower sure is good.  Then you take it a step more, is it the same in religion?  Some things have the same substance, preaching and reading of the Word of God, but some of the dead religious rituals, that  are cold and have no life, no energy, are disappointing and sometimes downright annoying. Ah, but what joy it is to be where the Word of God is being poured out from hot hearts, and holy hands are being uplifted and there is life and energy and joy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Filipino Weddings - Part 2

When the day came for my brother to return to the family of his fiance and get married, he had only accumulated 8,000 pesos of the 30,000-40,000 they told him he would need to get married. He had made his mind up to go to bible school, and his family, all devout Catholic, didn't support him in his decision. This meant that he could not count on them for the additional financial help he needed to get married. Often, family members will contribute a pig or a sack of rice to help in that situation, but not for him. He got on the boat and went to the other side. His mind was made up. If they allow me to marry her, I will marry her and we will go together to bible college, if they do not allow me to marry her, I will have to wish her goodbye and I will go to bible school anyway. When he got there and spoke to the father he was very nervous. The brothers began to gather also. He carefully explained, “Look, this is all that I have, 8,000 pesos, what do you want me to do? Rob a bank? If you want to kill me now, go ahead, I am right with God.” This was more than just a joke, he really feared for his life. They were in a remote area and they were none too happy. “What!!! Do you think our sister is a chicken? That you can marry her so cheaply?” The father and brothers gathered together away from where our brother was. Our brother was praying. He told me “I didn't know if they were sharpening their bolos (large machete) or what...” A lot of the requirements, were based on pride. The father was a leader in the community and there is a certain standard to keep up. When the father returned, he allowed them to marry, but in the city. (Saving face in the local community.) They were married and arrived here for bible college shortly thereafter.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Filipino construction

Our friend here is building what is commonly known as a rest house. Just a place to get away from the main residence and relax. In a weeks time he seems to have made a little progress. Maybe not fast enough for his liking, which is why it looks like he has recruited his wife to help.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Filipino Weddings...Part 1

 I learned a little more about Filipino culture today as a brother shared with my his story of getting married. He had met his wife to be in the city, but she was from the mountains. When the romance escalated to the place where they wanted to get married, he made the trip to the mountain to see her parents and ask permission to marry her. He took 10,000 pesos with him. This is a huge sum for those who are working for 3,000 pesos a month. When he arrived at her island, he immediately gave 5,000 to her brother to go the barrio and buy the pig and a cavan (50kg/110 lbs) of rice. They had it cooked and partially eaten by the time he got there. As the father began to lay out the details, he would have to buy 7 pigs, and 5 sacks of rice for the family, he looked around and wondered when all of these folks were going to go home. They didn't. The people had gathered when they knew a pig was going to be killed the night before. They stayed for breakfast, and for lunch, and for dinner. When the pig and the rice were gone, so were they! More later.....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Let the living lay it to heart...

Taguete Tragedies

I personally work a neighborhood called Taguete.  It is one of the nearest neighborhoods to the church.  On Sunday evening the first tragedy struck.  At around 6pm, a man riding a motorcycle shot and killed the driver of Mr. Nepomuceno.  Mr Nepomuceno is a very rich man who owns land and retail space her in the city.  For those of you that have been here, that is where the Nepo mall gets it’s name from.  People began lining up on the side of the road and gawking at the dead body.  For many it brought a seriousness and even a fear to their hearts. One girl who is faithful to all of the services was found crying as she was leaving.  She was scared to walk home.

The second tragedy occurred just about 12 hours later and I have earlier referred to it.  The granddaughter of a family who always attends died.  She was less than a year old.  She had a heart problem.  We went to the house of the family and the ritual had already begun.  The small closed casket with a window near the head lay in the living room.  Food preparation was under way.  A card game was going on outside.  I have wondered about their choice of activities, yet it seems this constantly being surrounded by people may somehow make it easier. In some areas, the card game is used as a way to raise more money for the family. As the people come, they give an offering to the family, a guestbook was by the door that listed the names and the amount given.  Later I found out that if your family gives now, they who receive are indebted to give if your family meets  the same tragedy.  This vigil continued from Monday until today (Wed.) I went there around 2:30pm and we prayed, they hadn’t asked for a service, but I put as much of the gospel as I reasonably could into the prayer.  Then the procession began.  The small coffin was laid in the hearse, the door closed, and they slowly began the procession to the graveyard. Some would throw coins onto the roof of the hearse which were later collected.  It was close to a 45 minute walk with many vehicles following.  The mother, father and close family members walk along with the hearse, their hands resting on the rear window, weeping as they go.  Behind them, more family and friends walk and then the vehicles follow them all.  When we got to the cemetery, they took the body out of the larger “display coffin” and placed her into the tiny burial coffin.  Many of the tombs here are above ground.  Here, a concrete box had already been prepared, and once the casket was placed inside, they began to seal it with the concrete. One by one they quietly left realizing there was nothing more they could do.

As I watched the people looking at the procession, some oblivious to the pain of the family, laughing and joking, others, serious faces and somber looks, the phrase that has been often used in funerals came to mind….”Let the living lay it to heart.”

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

That bugs me

That bugs me…

As I arrived at the church recently, I found that we had several hundred new visitors, Hurray! You say?  Hardly! These  are of the flying, wood eating type: Termites!  Our church building is open to the outside air, no screens or doors to prevent the entrance of the little critters, so in they came!  I quickly loaded a hair spray bottle with bug spray, (mentally reminding myself don’t use this hairspray!) and began spraying the air.  Some of the children began arriving for service and they happily helped by swatting away at the airborne invaders.  It wasn’t long til humans outnumbered termites and service began.  Who needs the Orkin man anyhow???

Monday, July 03, 2006

Weekend Work

What a great weekend we had! Saturday night Rev. Gaudario preached a pure gospel message that many responded to. Sunday saw many praying at the altars both morning and evening. In the eve. visitors from Korea and England attended including the Mackert's from Manila and Sis. Faye from England. This morning, Monday, we had a home bible study at a house in Sapang Bato where the patriarch of the clan attended. I am always excitied to see the older gentlemen come and hear the gospel! Again, people prayed for salvation. By the way, this is the house of Joel.
He was not able to attend but his family and neighbors were there. On the way home, we did find out that one of the grandchildren of a family that regularly attends has died. Please keep them in your prayers. (Fher, Beth and the mother of the child Annalynn) This is a picture of the little girl that died. I had just photographed her about a week before and gave her mom the picture. When I went to see them tonight, they had it on the casket.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

One of my favorite photos

 These are stacked graves illuminated by candle light on the "Day of the Dead" a yearly holiday here in the Philippines. Click on the image to get a larger view.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Security Guards

Security in the Philippines is no joke. Security guards must be one of the most prevalent jobs here. What a shock it was when I first arrived to go into the bank and see 10-13 armed guards, some with shotguns and automatic weapons, it gets your attention. Yet guarding is just one of their jobs. They become doorman or paper shufflers in many establishments. At the entry of the malls they usually have a couple of guards posted. A male guard for the males and a female for the ladies. For the ladies, a cursory search inside their purse is what is called for. For the men, we get frisked at our belt-line, front and back. I sure didn't like it when I first got here, but after a while it becomes so second nature to raise your hands and let them feel your belly and back that I don't think about it much anymore. I didn't even notice when I walked in one mall, the guard was a lady, and as I walked in with my arms up, she did the quick frisk and I kept on walking. My wife had noticed this and stopped to ask, "Why is it that the men are forbidden to frisk the ladies, but the ladies can frisk the men?" My wife had made an excellent point that revealed the double standard. The female guard stumbled for an answer, but could produce nothing convincing.

In some stores, you get checked going in and coming out and if you are an employee, you get the full body frisk, from the ankles on up.

The pay of the guards runs about 5000 pesos a month in a good establishment and less elsewhere. That runs about $100 US Dollars, usually that is a twelve hour day and maybe a day or two off a month!

So if you don't like being a Digger O'Dell maybe you would like to be a guard???