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Sunday, December 9, 2012

My JIL Journey

As a young boy I grew up in the theology of my father. At that, I admire him more as philosopher than a preacher. He would often engage in religious debate where he outsmart almost everyone, even church leaders.
   Despite his knowledge about wrong practices and teaching of the church I grew up with; he still allows me the freedom to discover things on my own. Catholicism was still our outward religious label then. Maybe because of my mother influences or the community pressure being predominantly Catholics as a Nation. I've just realized that my father was simply outnumbered. 
   It was quite confusing for me having two different set of theologies. My father would constantly quote Bible verses or tell stories to contradict the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, he had dislike to almost all kinds of religions. 
   But my father is not an Atheist. Later, I've learned to categorized him as  a person between Gnostic-Agnostic. He strongly believe in the existence of God, he believes in Jesus Christ but dislike every human religion. He consider all religion as just money-making scheme. 

My Own Search
   I was in High School when I begun to really read the Holy Scriptures. Slowly, to my surprise the obscure philosophies of my father became clearer. Wait a Minute!!! My father was right and our Sunday school teacher were very much wrong. I thought my father was just a philosophical wise-cracker but now, allow me to say he was probably more of a prophet. 

   I begun to wonder. Too many question gnawed at my already conflicting beliefs. I search my self...I search for God...."Why the Bible contradicts the common beliefs?"

   Shocked by the Bible, I consulted my father. In his usual witty response he asked me instead: "It is either the Bible is wrong or all Religions are right. What do you think?"  

   If God is all-knowing and All-power; why then he would allow all these lies? Why those who claim to be Christians tell another stories. Why are these Churches committing identity theft against The Real God whom the Bible speaks?

   I remember Dr. Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere, he wrote that after thoroughly examining the Holy Bible, which mean he had read it from cover to cover, he then concluded that there was no purgatory. He also added that not even a hint about purgatory was ever mentioned by the Word of God. 
   That became an eye-opener for me. A man as wise and as clever as Rizal discover the truth. A church claiming to be from God is teaching its followers invented lies. To trust your life to a religion that had many malpractices is utter foolishness. So I seek for God....

  In an earnest prayer, a one on one talk to God, I asked for His guidance. I prayed something like this regularly "Lead me to the truth, LORD." I also asked for the same wisdom He gave to Solomon. "blushed":)

He Leadeth Me to the Path....
  We are experiencing family problem then....I chose to ignore reality and shut myself away from the world but at that time I never consider myself to be a sinner. I go to church, sometimes pray but never realized yet that I was a lost soul. I thought it's enough that you go to church, believe in God and everything is alright and well. Never heard about relationship with God.
  Until one day I asked "Is there more to life than living?"
  The faithfulness of God remains even if I have not been faithful. One day, in a twist of faith I just found myself, with my friend surrendering to Jesus. This happened at Makati Cinema Square, a movie house. My friend and I thought it was a FREE CONCERT. We hear lively chorus and joyful songs.  We went first I thought I was trapped, this is NO concert but a worship service. But we stayed...and instantly, the Holy Spirit touched me that day.
   Now I surrender myself to Jesus. Me and my friend just planned to stroll that day on that Mall but God had different plan all along. HE want to rebuild my broken soul.

Back in the Loving Arms of God
   I accepted Jesus Christ in my life. Yet maybe like any new Christian, we still get shaken specially during tough times. I am what you call an IN and OUT Christian. Went astray...but unlike the Prodigal son of the Bible,   I leave and return more than a dozen times.
   Sometimes the devil would accuse me that I can not return anymore. I would hear him say inside my head that Jesus had enough of me. I'm a failure. But God had been merciful to me and assured me that His love is unconditional.
   Surprisingly, the persons who had lead me back to our LORD's arm came from both my parents. It really marked on my mind that day, when I saw my father praying and accepting Jesus too. He humble all his religious philosophy and became born again.
   Another awesome miracle is when my mother also begun talking about Jesus as a savior, she was the one who invited me to attend Jesus is Lord Church, this was in Tramo, Pasay Chapter that was in 1995.

    It was right after a broken relationship and I was at that time in the middle of self-destruction. Drinking and Partying all the time. I was crying that day when I return in the arm of Our Father.
   In JIL Tramo, I begun to join ministry works. Jesus Is Lord Church is a real loving community of Christians that does not end inside the church....To help each other in all aspect of life.
   I also found a new relationship and was restored by Jesus, and the picture below will show the Dedication of my son Elijah in JIL Tramo in year 2000.

with the ninongs

with the Ninangs (Pastor Myla)

    We move here in Laguna more than 6 years ago. My wife immediately look for a JIL church in the locality and we found one near the plaza of Binan.
   Now I have another child and she is Elyona Jean and here she is:

Here I am and behind me the Vision and Mission Statement of 
Jesus is Lord Church: 

To God be the Glory. 

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