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Philippines Flooding

October 10th, 2009
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Rex dela Pena, Manila Area Superintendent, reported that Metro Manila and nearby areas like Bulacan are still struggling to cope with the massive flooding that took place last Saturday. He wrote:

Typhoon Ondoy’s wrath was more powerful than Katrina that hit New Orleans a couple of years ago. In 12 hours, Ondoy dropped one month’s worth of rain.

Due to the thousands of people affected by the flood and who are now temporarily staying at the evacuation centers (total of 600 evacuation centers), many people are starting to get sick with diarrhea. Small children and elderly people are the most vulnerable. They need to have immediate medical treatment in the coming days. It is feared that an epidemic will follow if the floodwaters do not recede in the coming days.

Marikina, Antipolo, Cainta, San Mateo, Pasig and Santa Maria in Bulacan and 16 towns in Laguna are still submerged at this time. Our church in Santa Maria meets on the third floor, yet the church hall was inundated with water and mud. Four families from GCI Santa Maria lost their houses when the water from the nearby river swelled. Many of the small children at the evacuation centers in Santa Maria are starting to get sick with vomiting and diarrhea. The food in these evacuation centers is severely lacking.

The churches and members in Metro Manila are generally safe and are now recovering. There will be a small work party to pack some of the donated clothes and food items for the victims in those areas identified.

Ministerial trainee Aron Tolentino, who lives in Pasig, had to find temporary housing for his family because the roads leading to Pasig are still impassable.

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Our Boast is in Christ (9)

June 10th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: Colossians 3:4-9

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. (NIV)

 This is the new creation in which we are already participating . To the world we are the perishing as children of the first Adam, but by faith we know we are the new generation in the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

Notice what we are to put to death are all self-centred dispositions – which is idolatry.

We are to challenge what we were, we are not feed this old man, this old earthly nature. When we rely upon the self and trust in ourselves we will automatically fall back in to self – centred defensive religion. Even what is good will be corrupted. Remember the idolatry of the golden calf was worship to Yahweh.

If our theology is dynamic and relational, we will be open to hear God’s ever-present word of salvation, which he freely gives us by his grace though Jesus Christ alone.

On the other hand, if our theology is static, we will shrivel into a religion of legalism, judgmentalism and spiritual stagnation — we become fixed in our own certainties, defending our positions – not open to the deep and profound mystery of God’s wisdom revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

Instead of knowing Jesus as he is in a way that seasons all our relationships with mercy, patience, kindness and peace, we will know judgment, exclusivity and condemnation of those who fail to meet our carefully defined standards of godliness.

Message for the Day ,

2nd Master Class of Jesus Christ (8)

March 16th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: Luke 6:32-34

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ lend to ’sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. (NIV)

“What credit is that to you?” Interesting monetary term. Jesus recognizes according to the values current prevalent in the Mediterranean world that one’s behaviour is scripted by prior liabilities. You are doing it for one of two reason: you are obligated to reciprocate what has been done to you or you are seeking an obligation in the other to repay you in kind.

Jesus is promulgating the cessation of obligation, by insisting that behaviours are not predetermined by what one owes to whom, nor by what one receives from the other.

The triad of love, doing good and lending/ giving. – these must be exercised freely, without calculation, without expectation of return. This is the countercultural character of this new people.

This is a remarkable and subversive teaching – in many ways it struck at the political control throughout the whole Roman Empire. The elite in every village, town, city and region and of the Empire as a whole were given esteem due to their role as benefactors. The patronage system was intrusive everywhere.

Message for the Day ,