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“Power of Praise”

Acts 16: 25: “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” What made the praise of Paul and Silas so powerful – so powerful, in fact, that when the prison gates were opened, not only did they stay put, but so did the prisoners? It wasn’t their stunning guitar riffs or captivating Powerpoint displays; there was none of that back then. But their worship was focused on the Lord, directed to Him and because of Him. It was for His glory alone. So their fellow jailbirds stayed put in hopes that they would return and resume their session.

“King’s Intercession”

Psalm 72: 7: “In his days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more.” What should a national leader wish, hope, and pray for? A high GNP? Skyrocketing personal approval ratings? A comfortable majority in both houses? A secure border to keep out the riff-raff? A smart leader like King Solomon will pray for a prosperous and righteous constituency, for that’s the root of a successful reign. Then will come peace, which you want; War is overrated anyway.

“Game of Thrones”

2 Samuel 3: 6; 9-10: “And it came about while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David that Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul ... ‘May God do so to Abner, and more also, if as the Lord has sworn to David, I do not accomplish this for him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.’” Here’s why it’s next to impossible for a Christian to survive in the political arena: Because the foundation of politics is compromise and deception, both forbidden in Christianity. And it’s a messy business. Not long after this passage Abner was dead, his killer ended up t

“More than Entertainment”

Mark 6: 20: “For Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.” Enjoying the preacher’s sermons is not good enough. Entertaining talks are a dime a dozen these days. This same Herod who was entertained by John was not at all impressed with Jesus, because he didn’t find Him entertaining (Luke 23: 8-11). His life did not end well(Acts 12: 23). We must come to Christ because He is Lord, not because He’s good for a laugh.

“Walking in Persistent Prayer”

The Gospel today is very familiar to us. In Luke 5:9-10 Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds and to him who knocks, it will be opened". Let us ask ourselves; do we take Jesus' words literally? I assume that most of us have learned this. At times in my life I know that Jesus has answered my prayer, but there have been other times that my prayers have not been answered. Does this mean that our Lord is not listening to me? We strive to trust and believe that God does respond; however, we don't always recognize His response. We have really important needs every day,

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Persistent Prayer”

Genesis 18: 20-33 Psalm 138 Colossians 2: 8-14 Luke 11: 5-13 This year marks forty years of God’s faithfulness to us as a Church. The Bible says that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. God’s Word does not return to Him without accomplishing that for which it was sent. I believe He will lead us into forty years more and beyond because our God is a good God and He always fulfills His promises. This year also marks the time we were received into the communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church marking our reception into the one, holy, and apostolic Church. One year ago was also the installation of the second Bishop of this Diocese. God is faithful and He will n

GREAT IS GOD’S FAITHFULNESS 1st Anniversary of the Installation of Bishop Ariel Santos

Great is God’s faithfulness! July 28 was a momentous event for us as we gathered together as one diocese to celebrate the first anniversary of the installation of Bishop Ariel Cornelio P. Santos, the second Bishop of the Diocese of Metro Manila and Northern Luzon. Church members from Holy Family (Novaliches), St. Andrew the Apostle (Muntinlupa), St. Augustine (Imus, Cavite), Saint Peter the Apostle (Pasay Mission Church), Saint John the Evangelist (Pasig Mission Church), Saint Stephen the Martyr (Taguig Mission Church), and Cathedral of the King (Metro Manila) gathered together to give God the praise and glory that He deserves. Held at the Basketball Court of Marimar Village (just a stone’s

“Disobedience Comes Back to Bite Ya”

2 Samuel 1: 13: “And David said to the young man who told him, ‘Where are you from?’ And he answered, ‘I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.’” When did Saul get off track with God? When he was supposed to perform ethnic cleansing on the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15: 9; 28: 18), but failed to. Now, who is the one who ended up killing him? An Amalekite, who, if Saul had obeyed God, wouldn’t even be alive anymore. Behold the consequences of disobedience.

“Back Story”

Psalm 54: 3, 7: “For strangers have risen against me, and violent men have sought my life; they have not set God before them … For He has delivered me from all trouble; and my eye has looked with satisfaction upon all my enemies.” As we learn from this Psalm’s introduction, it was written by David when the Ziphites ratted him out to Saul, who immediately came to Ziph to crush him. This is his urgent danger in verses 1-3. But, as the story goes in 1 Samuel 23: 19-29, God gave him a miraculous (and humorous) escape; thus, the triumphant verse seven. This can be your testimony, as well, when you follow Him.

“Heavy Yoke”

Acts 15: 10: “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?” Did James call the Law of the Old Testament a yoke too heavy to bear? Yes and no. The Law Moses gave was perfect and light (Romans 7: 12), but when we try to change it to make it say what we think it should say, we make it exponentially heavier; a mistake people made then, and still make today.

“You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down …”

Acts 14: 21, 22: “And after they had preached the Gospel to Derbe and had made many dis ciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God.’” Wanna know what made Paul and Barnabas successful? After being chased out of town in Iconium and Antioch, and stoned in Lystra, they followed success in Derbe by returning to those places, not whining about their mistreatment, but using it as a point of encouragement to the believers. When “counted worthy to suffer” (Acts 5: 41) they didn’t obsess over it, they just dealt with it. A

“Forget about the Price Tag …”

Mark 4: 24: “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given to you besides.” This is another passage misapplied to money and wealth. But Jesus says here to watch what you listen to, not what you spend or hold on to. The context here, the whole of chapter four, implies that if you hoard away the Gospel and don’t live it, you will lose whatever understanding you have. But if you nurture the seed talked about in the previous parable you will bear fruit, and your knowledge and love of the Lord will grow, as well.

“Forget about the Money …”

Mark 4: 20: “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” If we read this parable with the intent of learning how to get a hundredfold return, we miss the point. It is there to show us how to give a hundredfold return – to yield fruit for the Son of Man, the Sower of the Word (Matthew 13: 37). Like the Bible itself, it is written to teach us, the soil, how to give glory to God. If we make the Bible about us, it’s easy to lose sight of that.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Necessary Devotion”

Genesis 18: 1-10a Psalm 15 Colossians 1: 15-23 Luke 10: 38-42 As Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, she discovered this is only the one thing that is necessary. Listening comes before acting. We need to listen, to get directions and instructions before we can act. Not that listening is more important, but it is a prerequisite; a chronology. Get the vision and run with it. It is like saying that Grade One is not more important than Grade Two. It is just the order of progression. If we act before we listen, it gets us in trouble. If we ignore instructions, we get in trouble. We get lost. It is necessary to learn to sit and listen because this one thing will bring harmony to the other things whi

Walking in Necessary Devotion

Genesis 18: 1-10a; Psalm 15; Colossians 1: 15-23; Luke 10: 38-42 Our reading today in Genesis 18 is the episode when Sarah laughed to herself upon hearing from one of the three visitors that she would have a son the following year (v.10). In her own understanding she knew that she was past the age of childbearing that and Abraham was very old, too. When faced with situations which seem impossible to happen, we may sometimes react just as Sarah did. As we reflect, is there anything too extraordinary or too difficult for the Lord? The Lord promises to do something extra-ordinary and by means of this question reminds us to trust Him completely. As women, our long hair is our glory, given for u

“Don’t Blame Yourself”

1 Samuel 22: 22: “Then David said to Abiathar, ‘I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household.’” Have you ever wallowed in self-condemnation over something you considered a big mistake, then later found that, unknown to you, it was part of God’s plan all along? It was Eli’s disobedience and lack of concern for his sons, not David’s, which led the Lord to curse his family and announce its eventual demise (1 Samuel 2: 31-36; 3: 11-14). Even Jesus, almost one thousand years later, mentions the incident with no condemnation for David at all (Mark 3: 25-26). Remember, God can use

“Got an Appointment?”

Mark 3: 14: “And Jesus appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach.” Jesus never apologized that He had appointed (chosen) certain people to be with Him more than the crowd. These would eventually lead (and build the foundation of) the entire Church on earth, and had to know Jesus and His Gospel backwards and forwards. Even today, not everyone has this intensity of calling, and to assume it for one’s self (or to bestow it on another) without the calling from Christ always leads to major problems. There are a million miles between ambition and anointing/appointing.

“There’s No Place Like Home”

Acts 13: 2, 4: “And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work for which I have called them’ … So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.” So, you want to minister for the Lord. Where do you start? For Barnabas and Saul, they began in Barnabas’ home town (Acts 4: 36). Theoretically, these people knew you before the Lord, and will recognize a change in your life currently. Before saving the world, prove yourself: save your barangay.

“Filthy Followers”

Mark 2: 15: “And it came about that Jesus was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.” So why is it that then the tax-gathers and sinners followed Jesus (a fact He never apologized for), but now they follow the philosophers, the rappers, and the Kardashians? Probably because when they look at the Church they see nothing they want to follow. Strife, jealousy, anger, dissensions, and drunkenness do not an effective evangelism program make.

“No Pretenders Allowed”

Psalm 26: 4: “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders.” It’s not that God is against The Pretenders, the English-American rock band from the ‘70s and ‘80s. But for those who “pretend to be righteous’ (Luke 20: 20), all the while “devouring widow’s houses” (Matthew 23: 14) and driven by “selfish ambition” (James 3: 16), the instructions from St. Paul are clear: “With such a one do not even eat!” (1 Corinthians 5: 11). Sit only with those who aren’t out to deceive.

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