Category Archives: Bible

Life thoughts: 1 Peter 1:20-21

1 Peter 1:20-21

 

He was foreknown. Before the world began, He is alive, He is existent. Trying to simplify through diagram the passages of verse 20 and 21, I believe that it goes like this: He has appeared in these last times for the sake of the believers in God, so that your faith and hope are in God. Makes me ask, did they have their faith and hope in something or someone else before? He has appeared for you so that your faith and hope are in God. If He didn’t appear, it seems that their faith and hope will not be in God. But, since He appeared, until now we can say that God is real and that our faith and hope are in Him. Which can also be taken further into God’s manifestation of glory even in present times. Manifest doesn’t mean that He appears physically but that He is seen, manifest, through us because of our works in faith in Christ Jesus that other people see, and that we ourselves have seen as we become sensitive to the leading of God through the Holy Spirit and through His filling of us in times that we do our ministry that seems to be impossible to do in our own strength but then God allows us to accomplish with His strength manifested in us.

 

Now, this is the reason why our faith and hope are in Him. They are in Him because we have seen how He has worked in our lives, in our relationships, our finances, our health, our safety, our achievements. He has “appeared” in us. The more He “appears” in us, the more we have faith and hope in Him. Which leads me to conclude that even if we don’t physically see God, we have faith because of His manifestation in us.

 

How, then, can He be manifested in us? He does not manifest Himself to people He doesn’t know. It’s like seeing more and more a person’s friend in him if they are always together, or a couple who are almost identical in their mannerisms because they know each other so well and are very intimate. God’s manifestation in us will come as we continue to know Him, to be intimate with Him. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. This is the beginning. He will reveal more of Himself to us, be made manifest in us, people will see, we will see, and the more we and others see Him in us, according to Peter, we will have more hope and faith in Him. It all begins with being intimate with God.

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Life thoughts: Secured in my Father

Our position will affect our condition. If we are sure about something, it will always affect how we behave. Eternal security is important with our intimacy with God, because like a son’s assurance of his father’s love to Him, (this has been my case when I was young) even if I don’t win my basketball games, even though I miss some notes in playing the piano during my recital, even though accidentally bumped the car, even though he gets angry, I am assured (and he does assure) that at the end of the day, he still loves me. For a son like me, the security of his love and acceptance of me no matter what I do is one of the greatest driving forces to live life. For sure he gets angry when I do foolish things, and it will be only natural for me to think again if he loves me or not, if I am still welcomed in the house or not, but as his character is, our relationship will never have an end.

As God’s children, that security we can only found in Him brings us intimacy with the Father in two ways:

  1. Even if we prove ourselves to Him or not, He still is our father. We do not need to spend our whole lives trying to please Him by doing good works because when we believed Christ’s death and resurrection for the purchase of our sins, we were already made perfect in God’s eyes.

Hebrews 10:5-10 says:

5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

 

“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,

But a body You have prepared for Me;

6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.

7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come

(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)

To do Your will, O God.’”

8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He [a]said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By [b]this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Romans 5:1 says: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,.” Christ already did what we can never do: to perfectly please and appease God.

 

  1. Because we are secured in His love and acceptance for us, we can spend our whole life in gratitude and worship as we become closer and closer to God who has given us this everlasting love through our relationship with Him. Our gratitude in worship or living our life for Him brings us to a more intimate knowledge of who God is. “…since we have confidence to enter the holy place…and since we have a great high priest…let us draw near with a sincere heart…let us hold fast the confession of our hope…for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:19-23)

So papa, thank you for the security of love you have given the family. I am not perfect but I think you still see all of us as wonderful blessings from God. Thank you and I love you.

Life thoughts: My year in a nutshell

I just want to use this post to thank God for all the things that he has done and taught me this year also as I look forward for the coming new year. I’m gonna try to attempt to do a monthly looking back starting

January
-started the year with a very great project with a jazz pianist
-I had dengue that month til February
-was also mentally and spiritually preparing for the launch of our church album for February

February
-was still recovering from dengue
-dengue left me with Vertigo which was so dreadful for me. The 2 sundays after i got home from the hospital was very unforgettable because i passed out those 2 sundays after morning rehearsals for church.
-a big blessing would be the launch of the album which i produced. Everyone loved it and the Music during the launch was the best or church music ministry has done so far

March
March to April were the most painful months i have had this year. I rejected from having a scholarship that would allow me to have my graduate studies in composition in Germany. I was given full assurance that i would have it so i actually never planned for anything else when i started the year. It was indeed painful but God has other plans that i did not know during that point. I felt like my whole world shattered in front of me since almost everyone was expecting that i leave at the middle of the year (or at least that’s how i felt).

April
-my April will much be the same as my March until the last week.
-was hired to a piano studio to teach voice and piano.
-during the last week of that month, i received an email and a text message asking if i would like to work in de la Salle- College of st. Benilde which is a very prominent school, and in UP college of music extension program. Both of these are my dream work places aside from Febias College of Bible where i was teaching since last year.

May
i got all those jobs. My self esteem was boosted again.

June
-shuffling 4 jobs and a couple of projects at the side ain’t easy. But it certainly is a blessing.
-my friends start teasing me of getting married with my girlfriend because of all the work i have

July
-was surprised to receive an email inviting me to perform in Malaysia.

August
-probably the busiest month of my year.
-international silent film festival
-and a couple more events that needed some new works. This month i pushed myself to the limit and wrote 1 piece of new music a week.

September
-my birthday month
-spill over of work from August

October
-went to Malaysia for the sound bridge music festival
-after the last concert, went straight home for ara’s special project with my piece also to be performed. That weekend was one for the books. No sleep, but had 2 works premiered on just one weekend.
-ara graduated with honors. Super proud of her.

November
-started with maybe my biggest project ever. I had to do arrangements for a theatre production on December. That’s 16 songs in 3 weeks.

December
-i joined a jingle writing contest for the Philippine dental association, and surprisingly won the thing with a jingle i did in just 6 hours (all arrangement and recording and mixing and all)
-blessed to have a lot of work which made it a very merry Christmas for me. Hehe

Next year, great things are already lined up for me. I am excited, yet anxious of those things that i have no assurance of. But looking back this year, i think i dont have any reason to be afraid of the coming year. He has it all planned out already 🙂

Merry Christmas and a blessed and exciting new year to you!

Life thoughts: obedience

Obedience is a word that is opted not to be heard by people who are trying to run their own lives in their own ways. Therefore, obedience is something not of our own human understanding.

Sometimes we think it’s better to control or own lives based on being free from the boundaries and guidance already set for us by our parents, bosses and the Bible. But it was never designed to be that way. Obedience is saying “I surrender the control of my life to you. You know better.”

There are also times when we tend to bend certain rules, try to reinterpret the Bible to work our way. But since the Bible is constant and never changing, there is no reason to do that, but to obey.

There will also be times when we know that we should obey, we know what to do, we know we’re wrong, we say we’ll obey, but still we delay. If we delay our obedience, we tend to lose our focus on the proper way to do it and tend to work it out the way we like it and try to bend the rules again causing us ultimately not to obey.

 

But why should we really obey?

When Joshua obeyed, they discovered things that they cannot do on their own. They realized that God’s way is not their way and that the power of God is manifested in total obedience.

When Abraham obeyed and left his comfort zone, even though he did not understand, he became the father of Israel and became, for me, the utmost example of living by faith and not by sight.

When Moses obeyed God and spoke to the Pharoah, he paved the way for the freedom of his people under slavery, basically making him the nation’s hero.

 

And what happens when we disobey?

When Jonah disobeyed, God made a fish swallow him, and at the end made him obey Him still.

When David disobeyed and bore a child in sin with Batsheeba, God took their child away. David returned back to the Lord and have them Solomon.

When Achan disobeyed God’s commands not to take anything from Jericho, God killed him, his family, and all his livestock and thus bringing the wandering Israelits back on their feet and showing them what God does to those who disobeys him.

So, even though it is something that is difficult for us to do, something we think we can live without doing, something we think can change or everyday habit…. OBEY now. Because even if we disobey, God will still cause us to obey Him. The difference is, there will always be a consequence. So better yet, obey now.

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Thoughts on music: Pasasalamat, the 25th anniversary album of Christian Bible Church of Las Piñas

I am so proud to post this. Pasasalamat (Grateful) is an album that i produced for the 25th anniversary of my church, Christian Bible Church of Las Piñas. Read on!

Last year, we did something ground-breaking, something so big and ambitious it required my full 100‰ attention for 6 months. We recorded our 25th anniversarry album, Pasasalamat. But everything started 7 years ago.

7 years ago, a dream began to linger my mind. During the time when almost all songs we sing in church are from albums from the US and Australia, I started thinking about the possibility of our church having an album. But of course during that time, I had no proper training, no proper equipment and no possibility for me to do anything like an album. Exposing myself with different kinds of Christian music both local and foreign, on the summer of 2006, I came up with the first song to be included in the album–Pasasalamat. I just barely graduated high school that time and was still establishing my direction for the next 5 or so years. But it was clear to me that I am on my way to a career in music. With the overflow of my leasons in music school came the overflow of God’s blessings for me to write more songs to be sung in church. Soon after, mama gor involved and started writing wonderful lyrics to songs like Nais Pa Kitang Makilala and Kay Buti Mo. That started the influx of words and music that every church anniversarry we see to it that a new song is sung.
Still, my dream a few years back remained, and even became stronger. As early as 2010 I was already telling mama and papa that we should record an album for our 25th anniversarry. What more fitting way to diaplay the goodness of God to the church by proclaiming it not only in CBC but to other churches as well through a CD. And true enough, God allowed it to happen.
2011, God allowed me to win a prestigious composition prize in Indonesia that opened doors for me but more than that, allowed me to acquire equipment for my home studio. Now, I have the right equipment. Years of training in music school allowed me to have the right training. Graduating from college last April 2012 allowed me to have time. And so it began.
I officially started working on the album without any assurance of having it sold, even without any assurance of how it would sound like. I used to produce individual songs before this but I never produced an album. I was really ambitious. The only thing driving me to do this was the sound of the would-be final product and the enjoyment on the faces of the music ministers everytime we finish a recording session in our “studio” every weekend, the pastor’s office.
It became our workplace every weekend even though we had to turn off the air conditioner every time in the middle of the summer heat, everyone had fun. A lot of talent was brought out in the humble 4 corners of the pastor’s office that could not have been possible in a recording studio with all the pressure of being overtime. And for 5 months of album production, it has been like that.
The last month was the post-production. It’s where modern technology steps in to make everything come together and make all the songs sound good. In other words, all pressure was on me now. For 5 days a week, from 10am to 10pm I drenched myself in listening to all the songs one by one until we got the most perfect sample which came after about 9 CD drafts.
After the CD production, I submitted the final master CD to our executive producer and took time to look back. It all just started with a dream. God allowed that dream to materialize and now the CD is blessing not only people from CBC but people around the Philippines as well through 702 DZAS.
Truly this CD is a testament of how God has worked through the church using the incredible talent that God has given the music ministry. Happy anniversarry to Christian Bible Church and to those who already have the CD, please share it with others that they may also be blessed!

Lubusan ang aming pasasalamat!

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Life thoughts: where does this road end?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my plans, and i have much that i want to do with it.

Just finished a semester of teaching in a bible college where students study to be church musicians. I have to say that it taught me a lot and i had a lot of fun. But then here comes the reality: for a couple of months now, I’ve been waiting for something that would change my life forever. Something that I’ve always wanted since i was a kid. And still i am waiting.

Everything is hanging on the balance for me. It’s as if my life is put on hold until i find out what God really wants to happen for the next couple of years.

If plan a doesn’t work there’s always plan b.

Plan b? Never even thought of plan b. Well, i have but not concretely. I am really wanting to wait on plan a’s result before having concretely planning what my plan b would be. And i am constantly bothered by other people asking me what the status of plan a is. Couldn’t tell them anything but this: i don’t know what God’s plan is but i am certainly kneeling everyday for it.”

And then i read the book of Ecclesiastes. God told me that nothing on earth really matters, nothing! We are just a vapor on the wind. We can die in a second with nothing to be brought with us when we die. So what is the point in all of this?

He said that, yeah, life is short. And truly it is so short not to do anything with it. The book also said that do everything while i am young because it will all be hard for me to achieve my dreams when i am weak, feeble and old.

For weeks this was what God told me and i am still to wait upon His answers to my prayers. Yes, i do feel discouraged and sad but I will always remember that long wait that he allowed me to have years ago. It will be worth it!

Life thoughts: FEBIAS talk

Last Sunday, me and my parents talked in a Parenting Seminar in Febias which is a Bible College in Valenzuela City. Of course I didn’t talk about parenting, but I talked about how they brought me up, focusing on how our communication in the house made me what I am today.

 

We are so blessed to have parents like papa and mama. Personally, I thank God for them for how they brought us up–gwapo, confident, God-fearing.

I am the youngest of us three, bunso, malambing, makulit, magulo. But my parents had their ways of reaching out and communicating with the three of us. Si kuya na tahimik at malalim magisip ay tinatapatan nila papa and mama ng seryosong usapan na wala masyadong jokes, si ate na artsy, outgoing, at minsan sensitive ay iba din ang approach nila. Ako na ubod ng bait, at ubod ng gwapo ay, malamang, ibang iba.

When I was growing up, they taught me to be an achiever. I was taught to do everything with excellence. I was taught to be always number 1. So nung grade 1 ako, well hanggang grade 6, si mama lagi magrereview sakin pag may periodical exam. Hindi ko lang namemorize ang mga date kung kailan nag-landing si Magellan sa Pilipinas, hindi ko lang nalaman na mali ang tinuturo ng math teacher ko tungkol sa roman numerals, hindi lang ako top 1 from grade 1-6 dahil sa support nila kundi mabilis kong nalaman kung ano talaga ang gusto ko sa buhay.

Kaya nung highschool ako, at sobrang dami kong competition na nasalihan, sinuportahan nila ako sa lahat ng competition ko. When I was in 1st year, my first competition was the National Students Convention which was held in Marikina. Kahit na kakagaling lang sa hospital ni mama, they went to the competitions to watch me. 3rd year highschool naman in Baguio, they went naman to Baguio City to watch me. And my last national competition which was in Cebu, they also went there to watch and support me. Hindi lang musical competition ang sinalihan ko, may writing, may declamation, may photography din–kung kailan film pa ang ginagamit, at 400php ang isang roll ng film, well, they still supported me. I won first place in that. So when I went into college in UP, I know what I wanted. They supported all my interests. Unfortunately, music was what I love to do the most, kaya ngayon, isa po ako sa mga nagugutom na musikero sa Pilipinas. Hehe.

Sa college ibang level na. I excelled a lot as a composition major in the UP college of music.  University Scholar akong consistent, laging nag-aabroad for a conference or competition. At alam kong sabik din sila for any information galing sakin dahil nauuna pa mama ko magpost sa Facebook ng status tungkol sa mga magandang nangyayari sa kin. Hehe.

My most recent one was the Young Composers Competition of Southeast Asia in which I won the grand prize. Nung nag-skype kami after the awarding, si mama umiyak, ako hindi. Sinabi ko pa nga, ‘ma, please, ako magpopost!’ Hehe. And they were so proud of me. That makes me happy.

So going back to communication, I would just want to point out a few things based on my story.

1. Communication is not just what you say with your words, but what you say with your eyes, your facial expressions, your touch, your hug, your overall appearance, your eagerness, your kasabikan for a story, your time. There is more than just words.

2. Proper communication made me open up more to my parents, hearing their comments and suggestions, doing it, and achieving in life.

3. They respect who I am, not just me respecting what they want or how they want me to be. In that way, I respect them more.

4. My communication with them opened up my communication with God. They are my example of how and who God is.

 

My sister just got married last night (Saturday). I’m expected to be next. Pero paano ko itataguyod ang aking pamilya? Personnally, gusto ko ding palakihin ang mga anak ko in an environment the same way kung saan ako lumaki–it is an environment full of openness, full of love, full of sincerity, isang pamilyang may damdamin at di lang basta sumusunod sa rules ng isang librong nabasa mo sa National Bookstore, although baka makatulong, but how the Bible says it to be, and also how my magiging anak’s personality would be.

I would like to say again that communication makes a person open–open to criticism, open to change, open to sharing emotions and more. So for the parents here, please, please open the lines of communication to the children. Ask them how they are. Ask them about school. Kung in a relationship, ask them kung may pang-date. Tpos sabihin mo nalang na magtrabaho ka para sa pan-date mo. For the youth here, wag kayong mahiya. Magkwento, magsalita, umiyak, magtanong sa inyong mga magulang. Kung kaka-break mo lang sa girlfriend mo, sabihin mo. Kung after one week, may girlfriend na ulit, sabihin mo uli. Kung after one week, break nanaman, parents, batukan nyo na! Sa mga youth pa din, kung nagpapaturo nanay o tatay mo sa facebook o twitter, turuan mo. Pero wag masyado para di na madaming tanong. Tapos lagi niyong papaalala ung mga nakakalimutan nila. Kasi di na sila bumabata. Hindi sila pwedeng kabitan ng USB flash disk para madagdagan memory nila. Watch TV together. Watch movies together. Eat out together. Make unplanned vacations together. Ask them kung pano manligaw. Ask them pano magluto. Talk to them when your happy. Talk to them when your sad. Talk them about your future. Talk to them about God. But never talk to them about their insurance.  Hehe. Just keep the communication lines open!

Let me start and end my talk by saying that kaming magkakapatid are blessed to have papa and mama as our parents. So as I say goodbye and sing this song, always remember, the keyword is LOVE.

I sang a song of mine called Minsan http://soundcloud.com/ajvill/minsan and a beautiful song called Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nQy-aP_Koo