Bible Verse Of The Day

Monday, June 30, 2008

Heartprints

Acts 9:36-43

Heartprints is somewhat like a fingerprints. It is the identity we leave on everything we touch. In our modern technology now, there are some stores that allow customers to pay by fingerprint. Each customer’s unique print are kept on file so that the only thing needed to pay a bill is a scan of their finger.

In the Bible, one woman in the early church left another kind of print - a "Heartprint". Her name was Dorcas, she touched many people’s lives through her unique gift of sewing and giving away garments. A woman that is full of good works and charitable deeds. Each of us must have a unique heartprint that can touch another; an eagerness to do what is good. Wherever we may go, let us leave a heartprint of compassion, understanding, kindness and love to the people who surrounds us. People with a heart for God, have a heart for people. We don’t even know that in a simple thing we do for others, we already leaving a heartprint on them.


This entry is by my girlfriend Jo Anne Hipolito.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Downtown Greenville, SC: June 24, 2008, Part 3

The first time I went to Falls Park I fell in love with it. I can not wait for the day I can take my Love, Jo Anne there. I am sure that you will love and enjoy the park as much as I do. This is the third and final post of three post on my trip to Downtown Greenville on June 24, 2008.
Falls Park on the Reedy is one of the most beautiful parks that I have even been to in my life.
This is the 16 foot bronze sculpture called Lake, Falls, Lake by Bryan Hunt which is at the Main Street entrance to Falls Park.
This is the main falls in the park. Many people relax on the rock to take a break from their day. Children play in the water. Swimming is not recommend because bacteria levels are above state limits.
The Liberty Bridge spans the Reedy River and serve as a focal point for Falls Park. It cost $4.5 million to build. According to Falls Park's website the bridge is 355-feet long, 12-feet wide, has a horizontal curve radius of 214-feet and 90-foot towers weighing 26 tons each. It was created by architect Miguel Rosales of Boston.
The bridge overlooks the Reedy River Falls.
The bridge adds to the beautiful of the gardens below it and along the Reedy River. It is a great place for lovers to spend time together.
This is the view of the Liberty Bridge from the top of the falls.
This is the Bowater Amphitheater, it is one of two amphitheaters in Falls Parks.

More gardens along the Reedy river.Falls Park is on the site of the Vardry Mill.
These our the ruins of the old mill. It is so nice to be see history that is surrounded by such beauty.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Downtown Greenville, SC: June 24, 2008, Part 2

This is the second of three post about my outing to Downtown Greenville, SC. After my time at Heritage Green I walked to Main Street and down to Falls Park. This post is mostly about Main Street. The third post will be about Falls Park.


Right across the street from Heritage Green as you are heading towards Main Street is Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral which was built in 1942. There is a large Greek community in Greenville. They own a lot of restaurants in the area that have very good food.


Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral is under going a renovation and expansion project. This sign shows the plans of what the finish project will look like.


At the corner of Main Street and Elford Street is the Springwood Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for over 10,000 people. Many of Greenville’s most prominent citizens are buried here.

Greenville's tree lined Main Street is my favorite downtown. With many good places to eat and shop. This picture is looking down Main Street towards Falls Park.

This is City Hall for the City of Greenville, South Carolina.
Across the Street from City Hall is the Chamber of Commerce Building. I like the design of the building.

This is the old Record Building it served as Greenville county's Courthouse until 1855.
This is the sign for the Record Building. That is down the street from the Record Building in an outdoor dinning area.

This picture and the following two pictures are of the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. You can enjoy Broadway shows, music concerts, theater, and more at the Peace Center.





Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Downtown Greenville, SC: June 24, 2008, Part 1

On Tuesday, June 24, 2008, I spend the day down in Greenville, SC exploring downtown. This is the first of three posts of my trip to downtown Greenville. I enjoy Greenville and love spending time there. I am glad that I live so close to this beautiful city. This post is about Heritage Green Center For Human Enrichment. The second post will be about Downtown Greenville with focus on Main Street. The third post will be about the beautiful Falls Park.

Heritage Green is located on College Street is Greenville, SC a couple blocks away from Main Street. At Heritage Green you will find the Upcountry History Museum, the Museum & Gallery at Heritage Green, the Hughes Main Library of the Greenville County Library System, the Greenville Little Theatre, the Greenville County Museum of Art, and opening in 2009, the The Children’s Museum.


This is the building that houses the Upcountry History Museum. At this museum, you learn about the history of the Upcountry of South Carolina.


I wanted the Upcountry History Museumto visit it long before it opened in September of 2007. I was surprised to learn some of the great history that happened in the Upcountry of South Carolina. I love learning about history. They did a great job at designing the museum's building.


When you enter the museum you see fronts of some historical buildings of the Greenville. In this picture you see the front of Greenville County Courthouse. Your self guided tour begins with a fifteen-minute movie that introduces you the history of the Upcountry. This movie is called Pocketbooks, Prayer Books and Datebooks: Stores of Ambition in Upcountry South Carolina.


There are two floors of exhibits on the history of the Upcountry of South Carolina. The exhibits cover the civil war, civil rights movement, history of Pepsi in Greenville and much more.

Next to the Upcountry Museum is the old Coke-cola bottle plant for Greenville. The Museum & Gallery at Heritage Green is housed here. This is satellite location of the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery. You can enjoy paintings of old masters and hands-on interactive educational exhibits for people of all ages.


This is the Hughes Main Library which is the main branch of the Greenville County Library System.



During the Civil War the site that became Heritage Green was where wounded soldiers found rest.


This was the site of Greenville's Woman's College which merged with Furman University in 1938. Moving to Furman's Campus which is six mile north of Greenville.

You can watch a play at the Greenville Little Theatre. I have not had a chance to see a play here but maybe when my beloved Jo Anne arrives here I go with her.



I enjoy going to the Greenville County Museum of Art a lot. They have a very impressive collection of art. I have visited this museum the most out of all the building at Heritage Green.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

God Answering Prayers

This week I have got some news that shows me that God is answering a prayer. I have been praying for a while now that my friend Micheal (changed her name for her privacy), will come to relationship with Jesus as her Lord and Savour. This past week she has moved out of where her parents are living. Last weekend her father hit her again. She is now staying at her boyfriend's and friends' houses. Her boyfriend help her out with her father but he does drugs. She came into work on Saturday with a black eye and her co-workers and boyfriend encouraged her to file charges against her father for hitting her. Her boyfriend went with her and the cops to get her stuff from where her parents live. She still is a long way to accepting the grace and love of God through the cross but I sure I will see her in Heaven one day. God is working in her life. I continue to pray that one day she will see that God loves and cares for her. I will continue to pray for her everyday as long it takes. I ask that you start praying for her too.

Hearing about my friend got me thinking about the other prayers that God is answering or has answered recently. One prayer he has answer for me is that I have been praying that God would bring someone in my life that I could spend the rest of my life with. He answer that by bringing my girlfriend and love of my life into my life Jo Anne Hipolito. Jo Anne and I have comitted our relationship to God and we pray together everyday. Jo Anne also helps we with entries on this Blog. I am looking forward to the day that she will become my wife and serve the Lord together for the rest of our lives.

Jo Anne and I have been praying that God will provide everything we need for us to be together. The biggest thing is getting the money for my flight so that we can spend Christmas and New Year's together this year. Right now my flight is going to cost around $2000. God has been answering this pray in many ways. I have been finding more change that I pick up off the ground. I have gotten a few tips at work, in the past few weeks I gotten a $20 tip. I also have been getting some overtime at work and have been asked if I can work more overtime. God has also has provided money in some other ways too. I hope to have the money for my flight by October 15, 2008. I am excited to see how God will provide for our needs.

Another prayer that he is answering is about my friend David is Uganda. I met David in a Christian Chat room last year. David and I became friend quickly. Unlike a lot of people you meet in chat rooms he has not asked me for money. He has ask me for advice and for prayer. I have been trying to help him to come to school here in the United States. David has sent me the forms he needs for admissson to UNC Charlotte. Another friend and I are going to pay the admission fee for him. We are sure that God will provide the rest of the money that he need. David desires to serve the Lord in his home country with his education that he gets here. Recently, I came across information about a ministry in Uganda that David is checking out to see if he can serve God with them.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)


God promises that he will hear and answer our prayers. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. God knows the desires my our heart but he desires fellowship with us. If you have a need or desire, pray to God and ask for it and if your motavies are right God will answer your prayer. He also desires to protect us from harm of sin so don't be surprised if he answers your prayer with no or later. Another thing don't give up on praying for your friends. God is working in their lives and he will answer all your prayer at the right time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Love Never Fails

“Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13

This morning on my Quiet time, I have read the gospel written from the book of 1 Corinthians 13. I just want to share the message that God has teach me during my reflection.

As we all know, the month of June is what we called “The Wedding Month” or either “The June Bride”. Most of the couple have celebrate their wedding during this month. On our own knowledge, have we know the true meaning of Marriage? Well, Marriage is a union between man and woman, sanctified by God as a means of maintaining family life. It is a sacred vow made by a couple in front of God and people. On my Daily Bread devotional book, Poet Archibald MacLeish says, that “Love, like light, grows dearer towards the dark." This is what he calls the “Late, last wisdom of the afternoon”. The same is true of our love for one another; it can indeed grow dearer as we age. He share a story of his two elderly friends who have been married for over 50 years, but they are still very much in love with each other despite they are both dying from diseases, one from pancreatic cancer and the other from Parkinson’s disease.

Here is another story I would like to share and tells us what true love is all bout:

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 a.m., when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him look at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer' s Disease .

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are? "

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, " She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is." I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.


In our daily lives, we have seen a lot of couples who have given up on their marriages, who are unwilling to endure through better or worse, sickness or health, poverty or wealth. So sad to hear what is happening in our world today. May the story of an elderly couple inspired us and teaches us that true love never gives up, “It Never Fails”. Theirs, is the “Late, last wisdom of the afternoon”, and it will continue to the end. We must express that same unfailing love to those who love us.


"Don’t put off until tomorrow the loving words you can say today."

This was submitted by girlfriend Jo Anne Hipolito.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Food Journey: Breakfast Casserole Revisited

I made another breakfast casserole this week to double check it. It turned out great. I measured every thing out to as recipe calls for. As you see in the picture it looks good too.

The six cups of potatoes cover the bottom of the 15x11x2 baking dish perfectly. I recommend using the hot pork sausage in this recipe for the best results. I like to put ketchup on the casserole when I eat the casserole. Salsa and hot sauce would work too.

1/2 pound pork sausage
1/2 pound bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups diced potatoes
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon, sausage and onion, crumble bacon and breaking up sausage with the spatula. When bacon and sausage is cooked through, drain off excess fat.

In a lightly greased 15x11x2 baking dish, lay diced potatoes on bottom, then half of the shredded cheese, then bacon, sausage and onion mix, top with the remaining shredded cheese.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk and pepper; pour egg mixture over rest of the stuff in the dish.

Bake, covered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Take out of oven and let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ugandan Children's Choir

On Sunday June 15, 2008, my church, First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, NC was host to the Ugandan Children's Choir from the Royal School and Orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. This was the second time that I have seen them and they were a blessing to hear. All the money raised on their tour of the United States is going to build new buildings for the school and orphanage.

The Royal School and Orphanage was started by Jalia Kayondo. In 2000, Suubi Ministries started when a member from Mt. Gilead Baptist Church visited the the school and orphanage on a mission trip. Land was purchased for new new school and orphanage for the children. In 2006, it was decided for the choir to come to the United States to raise money for the new school and orphanage.

For more for information and to make a donation check out Suubi Ministries' website. These children are well worth the donation. You can also sponsor a child at the Royal School and Orphanage through Suubi Ministries.



"So that the next generation might set their hope in God." Psalm 78:7

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happenings at First Baptist Church Hendersonville

I lot of things have been going on at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, NC in the last couple of weeks. We said good-bye to our interim pastor and welcomed out new Senior Pastor. Some of the youth with the help of the High School Youth Minister had a little fun with the Worship Minister by rolling his office. And we had the Ugandan Children's Choir again at our church.

For the past eight months we at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville have had the honor of the teaching of Ron Braker. Ron served as our interim pastor as we were looking for a new Senior Pastor. He preached the word of God in a down to earth way and was not afraid to say want needed to be said. I know that I will miss him greatly.

Dr. Ryan PackOn June 15, 2008, we welcomed Dr. Ryan Pack and his family to our Church. Ryan comes to us from First Baptist Church in Sumter, SC. Ryan and his wife Heather grew up in Spartanburg, SC. They both attended First Baptist of Spartanburg when they were young. I am looking forward to all the great thing God is getting ready to do at my church. In addition to Ryan Pack, we are about ready to open our new youth building called Crosswalk to reach the youth of Henderson County.

That the evening service on June 15, the church found out about a little fun few of the youth had the Sunday night before in the office of Gordon Butler, our Worship Minister. The youth were help out by our Youth minister to High School, Matt Jones. Gordon had a little fun with show the following video to the church at the begin of the evening service. This is just one example of the fun we have in the name of Jesus.



Our program for the evening service was the Ugandan Children's Choir form The Royal School and Orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. This was my second time seeing them and enjoyed watching them both times. I will post more information about the Ugandan Children's Choir in the next couple days.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

There Is Nothing Like a Father's Love

“Father’s Day” a special day for all the fathers. In our church this morning, we celebrate this event and we recognized all the fathers who attended the worship service. The Christian Education department prepare some gifts to give them. It was a blessed day to honor them, as being the Head of the Family, the leaders of the church and the community.

The FATHERS on our church. They are going to sing a hymn to praise God.
The FATHERS of our church. They are going to sing a hymn to praise God.

The theme, “There is nothing like a Father’s Love” is the topic that our Pastor talks about this morning and it is written on the book of Ephesians 3:14-21. God who is the Father of all, set a good example to all the fathers. A Christian “FATHER” must have this qualities:

F - Faithful “Matapat” (Exodus 34:6-7)
A - Affectionate “Mapagmahal” (John 3:16)
T - Trustworthy “Mapagkakatiwalaan” (Isaiah 45:23)
H - Humble “Mapagpakumbaba”
E - Exemplary “Mabuting Halimbawa”
R - Righteous “Matuwid”

A Father must be faithful to God, to his wife and children. He must be a good provider who prioritized the needs of his family and show love not only in his words but with his actions. When he promise he must fulfill it, like God who is faithful to His promises for us. He must be willing to listen and accept his fault. A father should be a good example to his children, as the Head of the family he must lead by actions, live in a righteous way, loves to do good and hate what is evil. Children will love God, if they see their father loving God above everything.

For those who does not have a father, remember that we have our God in Heaven, who is the Father of all that keeps on watching and reminding us if we are walking on the wrong path. He never leave us, but instead He keeps on loving us despite of our weaknesses. There is nothing like the love of our Father in Heaven, a love that is unconditional and everlasting.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe as you go along with the journey of life.

This entry is by my girlfriend Jo Anne Hipolito.

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. I would like to take the time to remember the men who was my Dad. I was raised by my grandparents, so I consider my grandfather as my father. My grandfather took me into his home and raise me as if I was his own son. In my family I am called my grandfather's son. The thing that I am most thankful for is grandfather teaching me the ways of the Lord. He did this not only by talking to me but modeling it in front of by living a good Christian life. He never force me to believe but guided me in his wisdom. I miss my grandfather very much but I know one day I will see him again in Heaven.

I would like for you to take the time to write a comment about your father in the comments for this entry. Also if you like to find out more about Father's Day check out Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India's Father's Day - Fathers Day Celebration Worldwide.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Review: “The Prupose Driven Life” By: Rick Warren

This book helps me to discover my purpose here on earth. A 40-day spiritual journey that gives me understanding on God’s purpose for my life.

What on Earth Am I here for?

We are made by God and for God. People have a lot of dreams, goals and ambitions in life but focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; A God-shaped life is a flourishing tree” (Proverbs 11:28). If we really want to know our purpose, we must begin with God. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eyes on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (Ephesians 1:11)

Come and join me on my journey discovering the Five Purposes of a Purpose – Driven Life.

Worship: You were planned for God’s pleasure

The moment we were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at our birth. God did not need to create us, but He chose to create us for His own enjoyment. Bringing enjoyment to God, living for His pleasure, is the first purpose of our life.

Bringing pleasure to God is called “Worship”. The Bible says, “The Lord is pleased only with those who worship Him and trust His love” (Psalm 147:11). Anything we do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Worship is far more than music; it is not for our benefit; and it is not a part of our life but it is our life. God wants passion and commitment in our worship. Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory and pleasure of God.“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

We worship God when we makes Him smile. God smiles when we love Him supremely, trust Him completely, obey Him wholeheartedly, and praise and thank Him continually. He also smiles when we use our abilities. Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise. God enjoy watching every details of our life.

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender means admitting our limitations; it is best demonstrated in obedience and trust, and it is never just a one time event. The blessings we get when we fully surrender our life to God are peace, freedom and God’s power in our life. God deeply desires that we know Him intimately. Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure. We can become a best friend of God through constant conversation with Him and through continual meditation on His Word. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “I have treasured the words of God’s mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).

To have a deeper more intimate connection with God we must learn to honestly share our feelings with Him; we must trust Him when He asks to do something; we must learn to care about what He cares about; and we must desire friendship with God more than anything else. God-pleasing worship is deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal. We use both our hearts and our heads. God does not want a part of our life, He asks for all our hearts, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. God is pleased when our worship is accurate, authentic, thoughtful and practical. The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant. God’s promise He will not leave us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

Fellowship: You were formed for God’s family

God wants a family, and He created us to be part of it. God build a family who will love Him, honor Him, and reign with Him forever. Our spiritual family is even more important than our physical family because it will last forever. Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege we will ever receive. Life is all about Love. The most important lesson we need to learn on earth is how to love because God is love. Love should be our top priority, primary objective and greatest ambition. Life without love is really worthless. The best expression of love is time, it is not enough just to say relationship are important, we must prove it by investing time in them. “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” (1 Corinthians 13:3). “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action” (I John 3:18).

We are called to belong, not just believe. We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves. The church is God’s agenda for the world. We need our church family because it identifies us as a genuine believer, moves us out of self-centered isolation and helps us develop spiritual muscle. The body of Christ needs us. We are part of Christ’s missions in the world, we are accountable for one another and we must keep each other on track. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians. God intends for us to experience life together. In real fellowship people experience authenticity, mutuality (the art of giving and receiving), sympathy and mercy. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives. Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship. Relationship are always worth restoring. God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, hurt, or a conflict. There are seven (7) Biblical steps to restore Fellowship:

1. Talk to God before talking to the person. (James 4:1-2)
2. Always take the initiative. (Matthew 5:23-24)
3. Sympathize with their feelings. (Romans 15:2)
4. Confess your part of the conflict. (Matthew 7:5/1 John 1:8)
5. Attack the problem, not the person. (Proverbs 15:1)
6. Cooperate as much as possible. (Matthew 5:9)
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. (1 Peter 3:11)

It is our job to protect the unity of church. Unity is the soul of fellowship. God deeply desires that we experience oneness and harmony with each other. The Bible give us practical advice.

1. Focus on what we have in common, not our differences. (Romans 14:19)
2. Be realistic in your expectations. (Ephesians 4:2)
3. Choose to encourage rather than criticize (Romans 14:4)
4. Refuse to listen to gossip. (Proverbs 17:4)
5. Practice God’s method for conflict resolution. (Matthew 18:15-17)
6. Support your Pastor and leaders. (Hebrews 13:7)

Discipleship: You were created to become like Christ

Discipleship the process of becoming like Christ always begin with a decision. From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make us like His Son, Jesus and we are made “in God’s image”. The ultimate goal of God for our life here on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants us to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. Christ likeness is all about transforming our character and not our personality. “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. We have three (3) responsibilities in becoming like Christ.

1. We must choose to let go of old ways of acting. (Ephesians 4:22)
2. We must change the way we think. (Ephesians 4:23)
3. We must “put on” the character of Christ by developing new godly habits. (Ephesians 4:24)

To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with His word because it is the spiritual nourishment we must have to fulfill our purpose, and to be a healthy disciple of Jesus we must feed our spiritual lives by His word. Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in our darkest days. God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to transformed us and to develop our character. During trouble, we must remember that our pain is temporary but our reward will be eternal. In the same way, God develops the fruit of the Spirit by allowing us to experience circumstances in which we are tempted to express the exact opposite quality. Every time we choose to do good instead of sin, we are growing in the character of Christ. When temptation comes, there is always a way out. God will not permit any temptation that we could not overcome. For us to be matured spiritually, we must go on process. There are no shortcuts to maturity. It takes years for us to grow, it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of Spirit. There is not growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain. Do not get in a hurry, God is never in a hurry but He is always on time and His time is always perfect.

Ministry: You were shaped for serving God

We were put on earth to make contributions, we were created and saved to serve God not because we deserved it but because that was His plan. Spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. We grow up in order to give out. Service is the pathway to real significance and it is through ministry that we discover the meaning of our lives. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Each of us was uniquely designed or “shaped” to do certain things. We are made for specific ministry, whenever God gives us an assignment He always equips us with what we need to accomplish it.

S – Spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:11-12)

  • These are special God empowered abilities for serving Him that are given only to believers.
H – Heart (Proverbs 4:23)

  • Our heart represents the source of all motivations - what we love to do and what we care about most. Another word for heart is “Passion”. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things.
A – Abilities (Romans 12:6)

  • Our abilities are the natural talents we were born with. Let us used it for God’s glory and in a way God wants us to do.
P – Personality (1 Corinthians 12:6)

  • God created each of us with a unique combination of personality traits. There is no “right” or “wrong” temperament for ministry. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the church and give it favor.
E – Experiences (2 Corinthians 1:4)

  • We have been shaped by our experiences in life, most of which were beyond our control. God allowed them for His purpose of molding us.
God deserves our best. He shaped us for a purpose and He expects us to make the most of what we have been given. Keep developing our shape. We are to cultivate our gifts and abilities, keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experiences so we will be increasingly more effective in your service. We serve God by serving others. Being a servant means giving up the right to control our schedule and allowing God to interrupt it whenever He needs to. Our shape reveals our ministry, but our servant’s heart will reveal our maturity. Service starts in our mind, A real servants serve God with a mindset of Five Attitudes.

1. Servants think more about others than about themselves. (Philippians 2:4)
2. Servants think like stewards, not owners. (Luke 16:13)
3. Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. (Galatians 5:26)
4. Servants based their identity in Christ. (John 13:3-5)
5. Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. (Hebrew 6:10)

Our most effective ministry will come out of our deepest hurts. God loves to use weak people so let us allow Him to work on our weaknesses.

Evangelism: You were made for a Mission

God is at work in the world and He wants us to join Him. Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Fulfilling our life mission on earth is an essential part of living for God’s glory. If we want to be used by God, we must care about what God cares about; what He cares about most is the redemption of the people He made. He wants His lost children found. We are God’s messenger and He wants us to share the Life Message he has given us through our testimony, our life lessons, our Godly passions, and the Good News of salvation. The Great Commission is our commission and doing our part is the secret to living a life of significance. We have a choice to make, we can be either World – Class Christians or Worldly Christians. Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment, they are self – centered and focus only on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. In contrast, World – Class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission; they are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. The most important tool for our mission is PRAYER.

Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone. Our life is a pentathlon of five purposes which we must keep in balance. They are summarized in two verses.
  • The Great Commandments:Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

  • The Greatest Commissions:Jesus said, “All the authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Let us focus on God’s purposes for our life, not our plans, since that is what will last forever. When fulfilling our purposes seems tough, don’t give into discouragement, remember our reward which will last forever. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that reveals.” (Proverbs 19:21)

One day, all of us will stand before the throne of God presenting our lives in deep gratitude and praise to Christ and together we will say : “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelations 4:11)

Now, I know what is my purpose why am I here on earth. Living my life in a way God intended to be and not on my own will. I was so blessed to have a privilege to fulfill God’s purpose in my life and to continue His missions here on earth.

This post is by my girlfriend Jo Anne Hipolito.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Food Journey: Two Great Food Product Recommendations

Recently, I have tried two food products by Kraft Foods. I had coupons for these two products and the price for them was right, so I decided to try them. I love how they taste, so I wanted to share them with you.

The first product is Kraft's Bagel-fuls. Bagel-fuls are bagel with cream cheese in the middle. They come in five flavors: Original Cream Cheese, Strawberry Cream Cheese, Cinnamon Cream Cheese, Whole Grain Bagel, and Chive Cream Cheese. You can store them in in the freezer or the refrigerator. I like the Chive flavor ones. You get four in a package and they are full of cream cheese. They are great to heat them in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds or just eat them right out of the refrigerator.

The other product is DiGiorno: For One Pizza. You have Pepperoni, Grilled Chicken & Vegetable, and Supreme to choose. Although you can heat the pizzas in the oven or microwave, I found that they heat better in the microwave then in the oven. The crust does get crispy in the microwave. The Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Pizza is very good. These Pizzas make a great snack or meal.

I most certainly will get both of these products again. They taste great and are a great value for your money.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

First Things First

How we set our priorities (Haggai 1 & 2)

For the past four Sundays in our church, our Pastor preach about the book of “Haggai”, a prophet whose name probably came from a word for “festival”. The key phrase of Haggai’s prophecies is “Consider your ways” or “Consider”. The purpose of God’s messages to the Judean leadership and people, therefore, was to awaken them to spiritual responsibilities. The unifying message was: “Today gives no key to what God will do tomorrow”. God’s fulfillment of His promises cannot be judged by appearances.

First Message: A Call to Build the House of the Lord

The Word of the Lord revealed the procrastination of the people. God’s temple had not been completed because His people had determined for themselves that “the time is not come”. The energies and finances of God’s people had been channeled selfishly into their own homes. They were to give attention to their own condition spiritually and materially; the Lord Almighty says “Consider how you have fared”. Poverty is the result of God’s chastisement for their sins. The blessings of God had been withdrawn in accord of His covenant. The response of the leaders and the people was encouraging. The resumption of the construction of the temple was a definite manifestation of belief in the Word of God.

Second Message: The Promised Glory of the New House

The second message continued the note of encouragement. It was similar to Ezra’s claim that “the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews”. The Lord not only sees His servants needs, but also sends relief and encouragement. The glory of His present house will be greater than the glory of the former house. God will also grant peace in His kingdom at the time of this future glorious temple.

Third Message: Blessings for a Defiled People

This time exhortation would be the theme. By reviving the memory of past disobedience and chastisement, God was exhorting the Jews to constantly “consider” the consequences of disobedience. It was a reminder of the blessing of God upon the obedient.

Fourth Message: Zerubbabel the Lord’s Signet Ring

Zerubbabel was appointed “as a signet” by God. A signet was a personal cylinder or ring seal with which men demonstrated their authority and the authenticity of their signature. God’s appointment of Zerubbabel as a “signet” therefore, meant that Zerubbabel would be God’s seal of authority.

“First things First” things that matters most in our life. Are we like those people on the book of Haggai who prioritized things that set for our own sake and forget our God who keeps on waiting for us? Many people value their work above else just to sustain the financial needs of their family. They strive harder and work even on Sunday as their overtime, but in the end, still they are not yet contented to what they earned. The money they have is still insufficient to supply their needs, one reason I see , its because the most important part in their lives is lacking and that is giving God the highest priority in their lives. God promise, “He will never leave His children empty and He will supply everything we need” if we obey Him. God is always faithful to His promise.

God is waiting for us and longing for our time. My beloved friends, what are you waiting for? Come to His house and worship our God.

This entry is by my girlfriend: Jo Anne Hipolito

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Out on the Web: Fire! Fire! Fire!

One of my friends sent me an e-mail telling me to this website. I just wanted to share it with you. It is called Flaming Cursor.com. It is a lot of fun just move your cursor around on the screen.

Youth Prayer Day

This was submitted by my girlfriend, Jo Anne Hipolito.

Every year, our church set a day for “Youth Prayer Day”. This is done every month of June, the same day on which our country also celebrates Independence Day.

On June 9, 2008, all the youth of “IEMELIF Church” from different places gathered together to pray and have fellowship with one another. District 1 – North, the District from which I belong which composed of almost 20 churches, meet up at Banlat IEMELIF Church (my home church) to celebrate Prayer day. The theme we had for this day is “24/7 Keeping connected with God” with the theme verse comes from the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

“24/7” means we are connected to God 24 hours, 7 days a week. It is continuous, no time limit, anytime we want to call on to God through prayer we are free. Not like on our phone, sometimes the line was busy, the person we are calling is cannot be reach or either we are out of credit to make a call.

What is Prayer? A classic definition of Christian prayer according to Baker Bible Encyclopedia, it is an offering of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies”. Prayer is a way of communication to God; it is powerful; prayer changes the world and can make impossible, possible. In the Bible God teaches us the right way to pray (Matthew 6:5-14) and when we pray we must check our own motives and see if it is the Lord’s will for us. Sometimes we ask something to God just to gratify our wants and it is not worthy to Him. Pray continually, in all circumstances give thanks.

It is a great blessing for me to join the Youth (the future generation of all churches) in prayer. I feel very happy because I see their desire to worship and praise God. They have joy in their heart to serve God, by giving their time and making Him the highest priority in their lives. The youth, the future leaders of our church, let us keep our hands together in prayer and God will hear us 24/7.

God bless all the youth, the next generation; next in line; and future leaders of our church. May the faith they have now will grow more deeper and the desire of their heart to worship God may continuously burning in fire.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Walk With Faith in Your Heart

Walk with faith in your heart is one of my favorite song that truly touches my heart, inspires me and deepens my faith to God.

“FAITH” which simply means trust in God or in the Word of God, and at other times faith almost becomes equivalent to active obedience. Now faith, is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17). In the Old Testament, by faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

In my own personal life, I see how my mom live by faith during the time when she was in bed because of her disease. I witnessed how much faith she had in God that despite of her sickness she never turn her back to God but instead she keep her faith burning in fire for she knows God will never leave her. She is been sick for more than two years and had undergone two surgery in one year. I know the pain and sacrifices that her disease brought her, but still she tried to push herself just to make it to church to worship and serve the Lord. My mom who is now in the loving arms of God, set a good example to us, gives us inspiration and teaches us to be strong, more courageous and brave enough to face every challenges in life because God is always on our side. By faith, nothing is impossible to God.

Lord, thank you for keeping our faith burning in fire. It’s because of You why we are here in this world and by faith we offer ourselves unto You and we want to serve You for the rest of our lives.

This entry is by Jo Anne Hipolito.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Weekend of Time With Friends

This week I had Friday and Saturday nights off. On Friday night, I went the movie theater with my brother, James, and watch Iron Man. I enjoyed the movie a lot.

Flat Rock Village Bakery I joined my friend Ricky Gessler for breakfast at the Flat Rock Village Bakery. Ricky and I enjoy discussing what has been going on in your lives and our faith the Jesus. The scones and coffee were very good. I would recommend the Flat Rock Village Bakery for breakfast to anyone.

After having breakfast with Ricky, I went and picked up my friend, Set Brown and we went to a swim hole that I know about off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Trout at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. On the way up to the Parkway. Seth and I stopped at the The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. We fed the fish in the Fish Hatchery, and went through the different exhibits on wildlife.
Looking Glass Rock Overlook The trail head to the swim hole is on across the road from the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. There is about a mile hike into the swim hole. On a hot day it is very worth the hike to it. I enjoy swimming especially in mountain swim holes.
View from Looking Glass Rock OverlookThis is the view from the Looking Glass Overlook. You can see Looking Glass Rock through the gap in the tree here. Looking Glass Rock is popular with rock climbers. I have climb up and repelled down Looking Glass Rock.
Looking Glass Rock Overlook
On the way back down the mountain Seth and I stopped at the Cherry Cove Overlook. In the right side of this picture you can see Looking Glass Rock.
Looking Glass Rock is in the center of this picture.
Cherry Cove Overlook
View from Cherry Cove Overlook
Cherry Cove from the Cherry Cove Overlook. This is look down at Cherry Cove from the Cherry Cove Overlook.
This is the view from the other side of the parkway from he Cherry Cove Overlook. This is the view from the other side of the parkway from he Cherry Cove Overlook.