For many, it seems to me that Valentine’s Day is a special day. In my case, I have grown up without really making the day as something special. It’s just me. No offense meant to those who love to make the day special.
Jokingly this morning, I posted in my Facebook account that I really don’t need a Valentine since I am a Valentine. My dad named me after my grandfather, Valentin. So, my wife has got a funny Valentine!
One other interest that I have which I guess I have inherited from my dad was his love for engines and vehicles. As a young boy, I grew up in a home where the living room, the dining area and other parts of the house had engine or vehicle parts all over. Our house back then sometimes was like an auto repair shop! Outside the house there were trucks, a pickup, a wrecker and a jeep. And I used to run errands to buy spare parts when my dad and his mechanic/s or driver/s were fixing or doing some repairs. I hated that part of going to the auto supply shop when something is being fixed or repaired. I wanted to see the whole thing and how it was done or fixed. That ended when I was sent to Manila to get a college education. But I got interested in engines too because of that early exposure as a young boy from my dad.
Beginning sometime in 1987, it has become my habit to clean my car’s spark plugs and tune up the car myself. Of course, there are occasions when I go to a shop or hire a mechanic to do it for me but normally, I do the tune up myself. I love to drive the car when I know the engine is in top shape. It’s been about 30 years now and thankfully, I’m still able to do it myself somewhat. But maybe in the coming years, I may have to ask someone to do it for me since I’m now a senior citizen. But for now, it’s a kind of hobby also aside from photography or biblical study.
I also owe my knowledge and experience with engines and vehicles to a dear friend, the late Capt. Jess Bahinting, a pilot and an aircraft mechanic. He was then a pastor in Cagayan de Oro and I was the associate pastor. I also learned from another dear friend, Tadeo “Boy” Almera, an expert mechanic. We were all together for some 5 years and we fixed a lot of vehicles. We bought vehicles for our pastors, sold vehicles, fixed, repaired, repainted vehicles — we were like an automotive shop haha! We sort of “maintained” the church’s fleet vehicles in our area. Those were the days.
I was about 18 when I began reading the Bible. Then after some 20 years (ten years as a pastor), I found out that I was actually not reading the Bible the way God intended me to understand it. I found out that I was reading it incorrectly. What I thought for many years was “the truth” was error after all. That was quite devastating to say the least.
By God’s grace, the Lord has given me a better understanding now than before about who the Living Word, Jesus Christ really is through his Written Word, the Bible. I now know who the Lord Jesus Christ better now than before after some decades of re-learning and discarding errors I thought were the real truth.
It’s been about 45 years now since I began reading the Bible as a teenager. Now that I’m already a senior citizen, I would like to devote and share some of my time for everyone especially for the young ones who might be interested.
Beginning February 15 — with the Lord’s blessing and guidance — I plan to share my time with anyone who wants to “Discover the Word“ — the Bible — every Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the:
ReThink Community hall,
2nd floor, CJRS Bldg.,
Laguna Bel Air 2,
Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Let’s begin discovering the Written Word and get to know the Living Word — Jesus Christ. You are all invited and welcome once a week!
Well, not really. Bees cannot plant a church but through a beekeeper a local congregation has been planted at Barangay Antipolo, Rizal, Laguna. It’s quite an amazing story so last September 25, 2016 I visited this beekeeper to find out his story.
It all started when Pastor Tom Sotalbo, got interested in beekeeping. This gave him a livelihood and source of income which eventually made it possible for him to get a beekeeper job in Canada.
Having lost their jobs, his brothers also got interested in beekeeping in order to support their families. So he trained his brothers in beekeeping as well. But before the training, they studied the Word of God first. Other friends and relatives got interested too and Pastor Tom shared the Word of God first each time before the beekeeping training started. That is how that church was planted in their local community. It’s now called the Love of God Christian Fellowship (LGCF), a local congregation of Grace Communion International(GCI).
But that’s not the end of the story. Just a few months ago, a new local congregation was planted in Masterton, New Zealand. It is composed mostly of Filipino beekeepers and their families who have moved there. Many of them have been trained by Pastor Tom. This is another GCI local church planted because of beekeeping. Isn’t that amazing? God truly works in many amazing ways.