Preach the Gospel to Yourself

Some years ago I bought a book by Jerry Bridges entitled, “The Discipline of Grace.” What stuck in my mind in that book was the chapter or chapters where he discussed┬áseven points which he learned from Romans 3:19-26. He called this passage as the “gospel in a nutshell.” I made it into a sermon and I shared it to some local congregations years ago where I was once the senior pastor or area superintendent.

Yesterday, I was requested to preach and I decided to share this message again with the ReThink Community, my home church at this time, a local congregation of Grace Communion International in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Here’s the video of that message:

What to Do with Young Teen Visitors

Arriving at church early today, I stayed outside the meeting hall and I noticed a teenage girl all by herself who came in even earlier than me. She was also outside the hall as the worship team was still practicing inside. And so I struck up a conversation ’cause I wanted to know her a little bit more as she looks familiar to me. I asked her why she was attending church and she told me it’s because she wanted to hear the Word of God. I thought that was quite interesting and inspiring to see a 13-year-old girl attending church all by herself.

I also found out we were living in the same neighborhood. So I invited her to drop by our home anytime. The worship service began. We sang worship songs and I gave the sermon. After that there was lunch served and I enjoyed chatting with folks my age — as we usually do. The conversation lasted until we were the only ones left haha!

As we were about to go home, I got a surprise call from my wife. She said there were two kids looking for me at home. To my surprise, it was this teenage girl I met earlier and her younger sister who were my visitors and they were already waiting for me at home! That was fast! I thought. I never expected to be visited so very soon!

Anyway, I went home and I got to know also the younger kid — in Grade 5. My wife had already given them some snacks. I was tired and after their snacks I was giving hints that it was time to get some rest (and for them to go home) but the kids evidently had no plans to go home yet. Oh dear, what should I do?

So I spent the whole afternoon with the two kids. They were asking me if I had some toys they could play with. They asked me to check some of their friends’ Facebook accounts. The younger kid later told me that she once sold tickets to me but I refused to buy haha! I found out she knew me months before. She even told me that she did caroling last Christmas in front of our house but I didn’t give her money haha! Next time, I’ll make sure I’ll be more generous to her.

Since my wife had no sleep taking care of my mother-in-law, I was left to entertain and baby-sit two energetic young kid visitors ┬áthe whole afternoon. They finally went home at around 5:00 p.m. Although I was a bit tired and sleepy, I thought that was great that kids would easily feel-at-home talking to me — a senior citizen.

Caregiving is Giving Love

A week or so ago, we found out that my 87-year-old mother-in-law is seriously sick with stage 5 Chronic Kidney disease as the doctor told us. For a long time now, my wife has been taking care of her mother who has been on wheelchair for a good number of years now. It’s no easy task to take care of someone who is old and somewhat disabled.

I took a short video of my wife as she brushed her mom’s hair yesterday. She’s the one personally taking care of her mom. She’s the caregiver for several months now.

When her dad got sick and eventually died after some 8 months later in 2009, it was also my wife who was the main caregiver along with a helper. Such is life. People get sick and some of us just needs to help and take care of those who are in need of love and care. I really appreciate my wife for the unceasing loving tender care she has given to her dad and now, to her mom.