Thursday, August 31, 2006

What would you do if you knew?

Asa became king and began putting the kingdom in order. He took away the altars of the strange gods, cut down the groves (they were used in idolatrous worship) and commanded Israel to seek the Lord and do His commandments.

How it happened, I don’t know. The zeal waned, the work slowed, the fire fizzled and Asa needed some help.

Asa is like a lot of us. When Christ comes in our lives, we go “Great guns for God”, full speed ahead and feel as if we could take on hell with a water pistol.

Then it happens. Slowly. The comments about “getting religion”, the remarks about being a little overboard, the fear of no longer fitting in, and we pull back, but just a little. “Great guns for God” becomes “Simply slingshots for our Savior”, full speed ahead, well that’s a little dangerous, don’t you think? We need some help.

In Asa’s hour of need, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, and he prophesied to Asa. “God is with you, as long as you are with him! If you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Asa heard loud and clear. God is with me?! He is at my side?! Then I don’t need to fear! I will do what I know I need to do. And he did.

He took courage and:
• Removed the idols
• Renewed the altar of the Lord
• Gathered the people together to make a covenant with God
• Commanded them to pray, and if they didn’t, had them put to death
• Even removed his mother from being queen because she was an idolater

What would you do if God sent someone to tell you “God is with you!”
• Hey! God is with me; let me get rid of these idols in my life.
• Hey! God is with me; let me renew my covenant with Him.
• God is with me! Let me become a soulwinner and gather others to hear the good news!
• God is with me! Even if my family doesn’t live for God, I will!

What would you do if you knew…God is with me?

Mat 28:20b …and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Red, White and Blue

I liked it and thought you might.


I'm looking for something in Green.
Cameo face paint hides a fighting machine.
Backpacks and jump boots and weapons galore,
We'll need it all if we must go to War.
Forged in the spirit of my Uncle Sam,
It called to me, here I am.

I'm looking for something in Red.
With bold gold stripes that turn people's heads.
A backdrop of khaki, a flash of bright blue,
Yes it's a Marine, and I am one too.
A dedicated nephew of my Uncle Sam,
I answered the call, here I am.

I'm looking for something in White.
With shiny brass buttons, gold wings on dress whites.
A catapult launch and a tailhook stop.
The crews are the best, they'll work till they drop.
The seagoing arm of my Uncle Sam.
I heard the call, here I am.

I'm looking for something in Blue.
I've got to aim high, got a big job to do.
Fighters and bombers and missiles abound.
We fight in the air, protecting our ground.
I fly the birds of my Uncle Sam.
The call was to me, here I am.

I'm looking for Red, White and Blue.
That's my country's flag, is she waving at you?
Soldiers and Sailors, Airmen, Marines.
We're all Uncle Sam's fighting machines.
All will give some, and some will give all.
Here we are, we answered the call.

Gerald Churchill, USAF, Ret

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Funny Sign Category #4

 Pic quality isn't the best because I  used my phone's camera, but I  think the message is still clear.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cooking Filipino Style

This is a great example of the resourcefulness of the average Filipino. Instead of spending the 450-500 pesos ($9-$10 US) for gas for their stove, many make their own stove. This one is made out of a stone. If you look carefully in the back you can see the exhaust pipe which was made out of tin cans. One large hole in the middle, and two on the sides, a little firewood, and a long blow tube to stoke the flames and soon you are eating Galonggong!!(type of fish) The man told us the stone itself stays hot for quite a while, and the wood become charcoal, which some folks sell later!

Only in the Philippines

Louis Vuitton motorcycle anyone????

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Woman's Place - New Blog

I am glad to see Sis. Eury started a blog. She is an excellent writer and a quick wit. I think you will enjoy it, as I have already.

Check it out: A Woman's Place

Family Appreciation Day Picture Collage

Here is the photo of some of the families that came to the Family Appreciation Day....Collage Form

Sunday, August 27, 2006

2nd Annual Family Appreciation Day

 We had a wonderful family appreciation day today!  I preached about "Families Fit For Eternity" and after the services, we took family photos of every family that wanted one.  I hope to make a collage of all the families and post it soon.

By the way....If any of you computer gurus know the best way to do that, please leave a comment or email me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another funeral

Ate Luz mother passed away recently and the funeral was held today. The living room is turned into the funeral home, and the body is displayed. Friends and family come by to visit and to comfort the family for 4-5 day until the actual funeral service. We held a service there at the home, and after the service the body is placed in the hearse and the long walk begins. There were many trikes, and several jeep that followed the hearse and of course a fairly large group that walked. It took about an hour and a half to get to the cemetary, where there was another service held and then the final burial. This picture came from this very cemetary.
As did this one.

Friday, August 25, 2006

School Daze

School can be hazardous to your health and your class ranking does not at all depend on your studies...well this is what I have learned today.

Bro. Albert and Ai Ai regaled us with stories of their education this morning. You probably wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that some schools don't have classrooms, the children gather under the tree and the teacher teaches them there. But what shocked us was what some of the assignments were:

1. Bring three eggs
Teacher, what for? Never mind, just bring them. All who brought the eggs got marked %80 on that assignment, and the eggs went into a basket and left with the teacher.

2. Who can bring Tuba wine tomorrow?
I can teacher!!! And bring it he did. The teacher was drunk in no time (during school) and did the following dastardly deeds; he saw a child playing with rubber bands and called the child to him, had the child hold the rubber bands in their cupped hand, and then lit them on fire with the admonition "Don't drop them!" The little kid had his hands burnt!!! Secondly, he asked a child where the hammer was, The child teased back saying "The goat ate it!" The drunk teacher was upset that the kid didn't take him seriously, and when he got the hammer, hit the kid in the head with it, drawing blood!

3. If you can bring a goat tomorrow, you will be ranked number one in class!!!

Now I know why I wasn't valedictorian...I never brought eggs, wine or a goat to school!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

 Beware if your food is delivered  to you on an old beat up trike...One brother witnessed the trike selling vegetables, fruit and fish, stop at the back of the subdivision.  The man started cleaning some of the fish he was getting ready to sell.  The brother watched as he used the drainage water to rinse the fish.  Now it is not uncommon to see young boys urinating into these open drainage ditches on the side of the roads, some urinals, small booths a man can step into to answer natures call, drain directly into these drainage ditches, they are filthy and often filled with trash....Later the man came to where the brother was and offered to sell him some of that same fish....Ah....No thanks!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Home Delivery

Yes Pizza is home delivered here in the Philippines, but that is not all! On any given day, you can hear the different cries announcing the arrival of breakfast, lunch, dinner or merienda. You may remember some of the sounds I have talked about before, but I haven't yet shared all that is available to be delivered to your doorstep. Recently,I had Taho, a soy custard type dish mixed with some gelatinous balls, the man who peddles taho, pedals his bike around calling "Taho". His contraption looks like this:

Sometimes what they are selling is a mystery. A man carrying two trash cans with lids attached to his bicycle, I had to ask: "Ano iyon?" What is that? He opened up the lid, and there, still warm, was some of the best sweet rolls I have ever had! Only 7 pesos a piece. Delicious! Yes, Mang Marco, missing one leg and wearing a wooden boot contraption to be able to pedal his bike, still comes around selling Balut (fertilized duck eggs). There is ice cream, peanuts, soup, and more!

I still have to watch when it comes to the prices though. I was getting my shoes fixed and the peanut man came up vending garlic peanuts. I asked how much they were. He told me 10 pesos. I asked again, "Are you sure? That sounds expensive! Is that the normal price?" He assured me it was, and I was hungry, so I doled out the dough and was happily munching away, when I notice a kid come up and slip five pesos down next to him and get the same peanuts. I cried out "Hey! You told me 10 pesos, but you are selling to him for 5! Give my friend one also!" He smiled sheepishly and gave one to the brother with me.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Brevity of Life

She was in church Sunday morning, they told me it was the first time they had seen her raise her hands in worship to the Lord. After church she told some of the people she came with, I am going to bring my whole family here! But by Sunday night she was in the Intensive care unit at the hospital and by Monday she was gone......
Ate Regina, Nol's auntie, passed into the next life.

How quick things change! How soon life is over.

Today, we went to the hospital for a different lady. She was also in the Intensive Care Unit. If you are thinking I.C.U. like America, I must bring you back to reality. For the first three days she was there, she was attached to a respirator, which was manual. Someone had to push the mechanism for every breath that she took. This task fell to her now elderly daughter, who also has medical problems. Thankfully, this morning, they hooked her up to an automatic machine.

How quick things change! Alive, and thriving one day, and then suddenly everything is different.

I talked with a lady tonight and shared the scripture with her:

(Jam 4:14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

May we say with the writer "Lord teach me to number my days..."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why did God want to kill Moses?

There is an interesting scripture In Exodus that says:

Exo 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.

The "him" here is none other than the prophet Moses! Incredible! God, who had chosen this same man to be a deliverer to His nation, seeks to kill him before the mission even gets started...


It is not a difficult answer. God had commanded the Israelites to circumcise all of their male children as a sign of His covenant with them. His wife seemed to offer some resistance to this directive of God. She, afterall, was not an Israelite, but an Ethiopian, and this probably seemed unnecessary to her.

We can not totally blame her. Moses should have stood up and said "This is what God said to do, and we will do it!" But what we should do, and what we do, aren't always the same thing, even for this great man Moses.

Maybe he said "It's just not worth the fight..."
Or maybe his wife had truly convinced him that it was "just a small, unimportant doesn't really matter..."

But it did to God...

God, who had chosen Moses to be the deliverer, was going to kill Moses, because he refused to surrender and do what God had said...

The one thing that he didn't do...the one point that he didn't surrender to God on, almost cost him his life!

How true even today. The thing that we won't surrender, will cost us our spiritual life, our relationship with God, perhaps our eternity...

Thankfully, we see Zipporah and Moses finally giving in and circumcising their boy, and Moses going on to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

May all make that wise choice and surrender to God.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Money Misunderstanding

I was reminded this morning of a funny story.

Last January when we were working towards 500, we had a large banner hanging in the church that said "Goal 500". We were telling everyone that we wanted to get 500 people in the house of God. One child went home and asked mom "Can you give me 500 pesos?" She asked, "What in the world for?" the little one replied "Pastor wants 500 in the house of God!" Later we were able to clarify, that is 500 persons, not 500 pesos!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

She did it! At least I think so....

As part of our last push for 1000 Sunday I was encouraging people to bring 100 people and called it Pastor's 100 club. There was one sister who brought about 50 but she really wanted the 100. I teased her afterwards and told her that it must be that the ladies can't do it, because it was only the men that had brought over 100. I don't believe that for a second, but just wanted to stir her up a bit. She said "Oh Pastor! Not so!" I said, "Well I don't know, you haven't did it yet..." She said "I will!" I asked her when she would accomplish this feat and she said within one month. was the last Sunday of that one month. As I pulled up to church this morning, there was already one jeep of people waiting, and soon several others arrived, all carrying people she had invited. Before the last jeep had arrived, I had already counted over 90 that she had brought. I am pretty sure she got the last few she needed.

I think the greatest part of it is, there was not a special push for today, she created her own motivation and went and did it. Hurrah! for her and for the many that prayed for salvation this morning!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Good letter from a good brother

Received a good letter from a friend of mine...thought you might like it. Here goes...

Rev. Devonshire,
Thanks for the recent post on your blog about our leaders. My wife and I can truly say where would we be without our leaders. They have stood right by our side every step of the way. While in Hinesville we saw the love of our leaders. Rev. Jones came by several times. He helped us so much. Rev. Ashmore came by three different times and each time we would fellowship until the early morning hours. Often times he would share different events that he had gone through in the ministry that would be of help. Rev. Olson has always been right behind us. He has truly been an examply of a man of God. How can I put into words the help of our pastor! He came to see us. He paid for his plane ticket, paid for his motel, paid for his meals, gave us the offering and showed his love to the members of our church.
We have recently started a new work in Korea. I can say it would not have been possible without the family of God. Once again the organization has shown us the same love as they have helped us start this brand new work. They have saved us so many battles and hard experiences by keeping us in the right direction. There are so many things I could say about the family of God but it is really difficult to put them into words.

Bro. Scriven

Pictures of my beautiful pregnant wife, also boys swimming in dirty water and Rev. G. standing by the river

Quick pics

 Someone requested some recent photos of my pretty preg. here they be.  Also threw one in of the kids swimming in the beautiful pristine waters of the river during rainy season, and then finally of my faithful cohort Rev. Gaudario.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pregnant in the Philippines and Dangerous Cultural Beliefs

What is the difference between a 9 month pregnant lady and a model? Nothing....if the husband knows what is good for him! My wife has been experiencing some difficult days in her pregnancy and so one of the church members gave me some advice for her:

1. Don’t drink cold water
2. Don't eat anything salty

Well, today was the day to see the doctor and so we had to ask about this out of curiosity more than anything. The Doc. told us it was a common belief among the Filipinos that a pregnant woman should stay away from cold water, but it was really only a superstition. Interesting....Now the dangerous one...There is another superstition that says you can identify the gender of the child by the beauty of the mother. If the mother looks more beautiful during the pregnancy it is going to be a girl, and if she looks ugly, then it will be a boy. I can only imagine that the fellow that came up with this idea, was single, or divorced shortly afterwards. Honey, do you think it will be a boy or a girl??? Well...ah...You think it is going to be a boy! Don't you? (wife begins crying) "You think I am ugly!!" Well we do know it is going to be a boy, but my wife is still beautiful (really) and I do know what is good for me.....

Language Love Affairs

I have shared with you before how I have faced off with some fierce friends pointing their fingers at me and speaking in what was to me an unintelligible language, only to find out they were complimenting me, and then again how I was inviting their family in a less then flattering way. Well the more I learn, the more I look back and realize I made some serious mistakes. As I was praying today, endeavoring to pray in Tagalog, I thought of how Rev. Gaudario and I once visited a lady, she was experiencing some serious family problems and was in tears, I wanted to comfort her and so in Tagalog, I said to her "God loves you." Only problem is, now that I know a little better, I realized what I really said to her was "God, I love you!"

Honey, (Sis. Devonshire) I know you will read this, but you are the only lady I love that way!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I created a Slide Show! Check it out!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Meyer About Paul

 F. B. Meyer said the following about the apostle Paul....

  • You must know that this man loved to save men. It was the passion of his life.
  • Send him to Philippi, and he will not be there a day before he has turned the devil out of the poor demoniac girl.
  • Let him be put in jail, and before midnight he will have baptized his jailor.
  • Send him to Athens, and though he is all alone, he will gather a congregation upon Mars' Hill within a week or two.
  • Put him alongside of Aquila and Priscilla at the bench, and he will make tents and talk to them in such good wise that they will become Christians.
  • Stand him before his judge, and the latter will cry: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian!"
  • Let him go to Rome, tied to a Roman sentry, and he will speak to these men, one after another, in such fashion that the whole Prefer-tan camp will be infused with the love of God.
  • His passion was to save men. I do not believe that if he were alive to-day, he would be in a street car, or a railway car, or on board a steamer without buttonholing some man and speaking to him about his soul and his Savior. The whole passion of the man was to save some....

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Fight, An Adventure, A Damsel

I must admit...I resemble that comment! I read it recently, you know the one that said "Every man is looking for a fight to win, an adventure to explore and a damsel to rescue". Now, I have already rescued my damsel, from the grips of Earthquake burgers and the Mall surveying jobs, but I count this Christian life as a fight, a fight to win, and certainly an adventure.

Even more so in the Philippines. I admit it, I like having to wade across the river to visit some people that came out to church, because there is just no other way to get to their house. It's fun. I like traipsing out to a far away barrio and having to climb the hills and walk through the mud to find the family that came out to church. I love seeing the surprised look on their faces! I love being able to communicate in their language, no, not fluently yet, but what they call "Baroque (spelling?) Tagalog" meaning, caveman. ie..."You go here, Me come" Well I hope it is a little more polished than that, but how they love being spoken to in their language! Perhaps because many of them are so shy, or embarrassed about their English skills. Usually they are very forgiving of my mistakes. That, the language learning, is also an adventure!

The food? Truly an adventure! "What is that?" is a common question when it comes to food here! Yet I have tasted some wonderful things here, and also wondered why more folks didn't die from the unsanitary conditions...How about this picture: Lechon (or Litson) Baboy (roasted pig) seasoned with diesel fumes! I took this picture from my car, so you see these pigs are being roasted on a very busy, smoke filled street. (Click the picture for a larger view)

The storms? Perhaps there is a caveat to this one, I like the storms, when I am on the inside and dry, and they are not interrupting any church activity. Yet even when driving, when my little Mitsubishi Lancer becomes an All-Terrain, flood-fording is an adventure! Now, when the sidecar is not on the motorcycle...after all.... it is a big dirt bike, you almost look for an opportunity to find an impassable situation and tell yourself "I am on a mission from God! I have got to get there!" YEA....hehehe

I love the Philippines!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rev. Gandy's Comment

Rev. Gandy left this as a comment and I thought it too good to just get buried in  the comments,
so I made it an individual post.


Thank God for our leaders! It always saddens my heart to hear that people have spoken bad about our Pastor and leaders. Truly, Pastor is a great man of God. I have had the opportunity to see Pastor do many things to help men and women through the years that no one else knows about.
He has helped, financially and spiritually. When one speaks ill of him it just lets me know that they do not really know him. I have been with him when no one else is around and he is a Christian then and he is a Christian when he is around a lot of people.
I could speak of many things of how he has been a blessing to me and my wife through the years. Whether the church I pastored was small or large, he came to see us to help and encourage us. In many organizations if the church cannot provide a big offering the leader does not visit. THIS IS NOT TRUE with the leaders of NTCC!!
Our leaders and overseer's care for us and love us and have only one desire and that is to help the preachers and to see men and women reached for the glory of God!
I am thankful for Pastor and Sister Davis.
Also, Rev. and Sister Olson who have shown me nothing but the love and kindness of our Savior. Rev. and Sister Johnson who have always had a special place in my heart. Rev. Johnson is a very humble man. Rev. and Sister Kekel, how can I comment and display my love for them in such a short space. What an inspiration they are!
Rev. and Sister Ashmore, well, what can I say? Just being with them is a blast, and I am challenged continually by his preaching and life. Rev. and Sister DiFrancesco. One thing that I think of him are the words..."Always Faithul." He and his wife are special and I count it a priviledge to call them my friend.
Rev. and Sister Tieman, Rev. and Sister L.D. Jones, and Rev. and Sister Kinson as they labor assisting Rev. Johnson are men and women who love God and carry love in their hearts for Jesus and his work.
All of our leaders work many hours and strive to be a blessing to all of our works. Thank the Lord that they have answered the call and have a laid self down and taken up the call of the cross.
I also want to add that I consider many who are not on the General Board as leaders in our organization. Each and every pastor, minister, preachers wife who have laid down self and answered the call is held high in my estimation. I could list some names but some may be offende if I did not list theirs. Let it suffice to say that there are many that I respect greatly.
I love the leaders of our organization and realize that without NTCC I probably would be in hell. I love the family of God and always look forward to seeing them at conference.
I am going to sign my name, and I know that if one of the fault finders read this, they will just say that.."There he goes again...He is just a org yes man....He is just one of those company men etc..."
Well....I am not a yes man, I am a Christian. As far as being a company man.....YES I AM!!!!
God Bless all of the faithul Brethren.

Bro. Gandy

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Leaders

 We have so much to be thankful for!  I am especially thankful that God has brought me to an organization that has the leadership that it does.  I have heard horror stories of other groups where the leaders didn't care about the people and were self centered.  I am glad to be able to say, that is certainly not the case with New Testament Christian Churches of America.  I have a pastor that has visited me in every church that I have pastored (10 different churches) and as my wife has said "Every time he comes, good things happen!"  That is true.

My pastor has through all the years that I have known him, shown true Christian love to me and my wife.  Many times when we were struggling he came to help.  Sometimes with wise counsel, sometimes with an offering, always with love.  I know He has a real relationship with God, because God has revealed things to him, that noone else knew about.  

I distinctly remember one night there were some serious problems.  I was outside the church and looked to heaven and prayed. "I need help."  The next day pastor flew into the city.  I didn't call him.  He came to help!  Thank the Lord for Pastor R. W. Davis.

Rev. Olson has also shown me true love through the years.  He has brought me into his home and let me stay with him. He has prayed for me and visited me and shown me the tenderness of Christ.  His counsel has been always on track and I am thankful for him.

I can go on....Rev. Johnson's love and hard work,  Rev. and Sis. Kekel's teaching, preaching and chracter building, Rev. Ashmore, Rev. Jones, Rev. Kinson, Rev. Tieman all have helped and inspired, and I am glad to be in a group that cares!

Also see: "Our Leaders" NTCC Good News Site