Tales that Inspire, Teachings that Revive
2011 ISSUE 04
We Got Served!
Lessons on Servanthood that We Learn from Jesus
Young Adults Corner:
Is He The Right One? An Extraordinary Encounter With God
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
MESSAGE FROM THE LEAD PASTOR DO YOU HAVE THE HEART OF A SERVANT? Self-serve Gas, Self-serve Bank, Self-serve coffee, Selfserve Bookstore, and a lot more. Our Canadian culture of busy lives seems to promote less and less personal service. If possible, there will be no personal interaction with anyone. No wonder that there are many people who do not know how to work with others especially in leadership. On the other hand, at the heart of every great organization and institution are people with a passion to serve others. Great service involves great servants.Without them,companies and organizations cannot operate at a high level of quality and efficiency. People with servant hearts often make sacrifices and go the “extra mile” in order to make someone else happy.
Jesus Christ teaches His disciples that the key to greatness is not in “lording” over people and demanding obedience but rather, becoming a servant of all. It is in humbling one’s self and going to the level of others in order to impact their lives. The ultimate example is the life of Jesus himself, the Lord of lords and King of kings, who came not to be served but to sacrifice his life to the point of dying in order to serve others. This issue is about servanthood. It’s about people whose lives have been touched by Jesus and are making a difference serving others. I’m thankful to God for those who serve at Champion Life Centre who sacrifice their own comfort and convenience in order to serve others. May this issue inspire you to be a servant of the Lord.
VOL. 1 NO. 4 2011 STAFF BOX Champion Life Chronicles is a quarterly publication of Champion Life Centre. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jerry Berenguer MANAGING EDITOR Viviene Lotilla - Dela Cruz ASSOCIATE EDITOR Suzanne Leigh Calpito SECTION EDITORS Features Section: Kris Millan / Irene Aruta-Acut Youth Section: Hannah Belleza LAYOUT, DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY Hanna Tapang
Jerry Berenguer, Lead Pastor
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK GOD IS MORE CONCERNED WITH OUR “I WILL” THAN OUR IQ Very true… As Kent Crockett puts it, “God wants willingness, not intelligence.” Most of us are hesitant to serve and wait on the Lord and His people. We feel as though we are unworthy of His presence and we always wait for the perfect timing to come… the time when we are ready, more available, have enough funds, or simply when we appear to be more “perfect” in His eyes. In the process, God-given gifts and talents go to waste and the opportunity to be able to minister and bring people in His presence are merely thrown away. We become the scared and lazy servant in the Parable of the Bags of Gold who just hid his master’s gold in the ground and did not cultivate it for the glory of His kingdom. What we should always remember is that when God calls us to serve: 1.) He disregards our weaknesses, and 2.) He directs our ways, 3.) as long as we are willing. Yes, willingness is key because God will surely equip the called (Thank you for that recent preaching,
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
Ptr. Roy Verzosa). Mark 9:35 says, “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” It is our willingness and at the same time, humility, which drives us on through the Holy Spirit to carry on and to move forward despite the odds. It is when we have learned to become a “zero” and allowing God to be a “ten” that we become worthy servants of the Lord. We must allow His power to be projected through us. It is because of Him in us and through us that we will experience an amazing move in the lives of others. This fall, we focus on the subject of servanthood and feature reflections, preachings, personalities, and stories revolving around what makes a good servant among our many other interesting topics. Let us remember that we are never in the wrong place to serve God. Even if no one acknowledges our efforts, God sees and knows… Let us all bloom beautifully where we are planted. Viviene Lotila-Dela Cruz Managing Editor
NEWS COORDINATORS/ CONTRIBUTORS Brampton: Michelle Berenguer Scarborough: Renee Joyce Verzosa / Albert Calaguas London: Edison Fernandez Calgary: Marycris Reyes Events Photography: Marlon Dela Cruz CONTRIBUTIONS Is there anything you would like to share with us? Comments, suggestions and reflections from contributors are welcome! Email us your letters, articles, and CLC announcements at CLC_Chronicles@yahoo.com. ADVERTISING To get advertising information, email us at CLC_Chronicles@yahoo.com. The Management of the Champion Life Chronicles reserves the right to refuse or edit submissions and advertisements on the basis of legal or space considerations. CONTACT US AT Champion Life Chronicles 55 Hedgedale Road Brampton, ON L6T 5P3 Tel: 905.455.9025 Fax: 905.455.3802 Web: www.championlife.ca Email: email@example.com / CLC_Chronicles@yahoo.com CHECK OUT OUR E-EDITION ONLINE! You can find the electronic version of Champion Life Chronicles by heading to __(website from Hanna T.)___.
No one can enter a locked door unless one opens it from the inside or unlocks it with a key, just as how Mommy Connie opened her door from within and let the Master key introduce her to a wide-open spacious life.
An ordinary woman with an extraordinary faith is how we can describe Connie Batalla. However, previously, “Mommy” as how most of us call her, used to find herself in front of a closed door surrounded by walls created from within her. One of 8 children, Mommy Connie was brought up in a very religious family in the Philippines. She got married at a young age and had dreamt of raising a wonderful family. As years passed by, her marriage didn’t work out, leaving her with 7 children to take care of. She then turned to her parents for help. With the support of her parents and reputable colleagues, the pain brought by her broken marriage got eased up and Mommy thought it was not that bad after all. Then came the darkest moment of her life. The pain of her failed marriage was aggravated by the death of her beloved mother. While her 6 children were sleeping, she took a gun and thought of ending everyone’s life, including hers. In tears, she realized that the gun could only hold five bullets. If she took 5 of these lives, she thought that she might not have the courage to reload more bullets again. With tears flowing down her cheeks and with the gun in her hand, she knelt down and cried out to God for help and asked Him to be the father of her children. Still uncertain of what her future holds,
Mommy continued her journey as a single mom. Though she has been a very prayerful woman and had raised her children believing in the God she knew, there was still emptiness in her life. When her dad passed away, she had to work hard alone to support her children. Yet came another tragedy, a huge fire burned down her house, including all her money that she has withdrawn from the bank the previous day. Without any money left and a permanent place to live in, she was not able to send her children to school in a regular basis and eventually found her 3 older sons involved in drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Despite the hardships and uncertain future of her family, Mommy Connie never lost hope, never abandoned her children, and never stopped calling out to God. She worked harder to provide for her family, and yet her 3 older sons sank deeper into drug addiction. There were times when, while she had to be away for several days to work, their home became a hangout for drug addicts and dealers. It is ironic that Mommy Connie would come home to a family who appeared to love God, a family who would pray together on their knees holding a rosary, but would not turn their backs against their rotten ways. “Is our life ever going to change?”, it was the question that never left her mind. Then one Sunday, a neighbor shared with Mommy Connie and her whole family the love of God and the gift of salvation. At first, Mommy Connie was a bit hesitant and was having the thought of not wanting to join any other religion, but she continued to listen anyway. To her surprise, it was not about another religion but it was about having a personal relationship with the true God. Their eyes were opened to the truth of who God is and how much He loves them. Continued on Page 12
“While her 6 children were sleeping, she took a gun and thought of ending everyone’s life, including hers…” FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
CLC TORONTO HOLDS A FUN SUMMER PICNIC
CLC SCARBS GOES TO BAPTISM CAMP
CLC CALGARY HOLDS THEIR WATER AND HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM
It was a beautiful day when members of CLC Toronto went to the Simeon Park in Aurora on July 1, 2011. The sun was shining bright and everyone was in a joyous mood as they lined up the picnic tables and set up the volleyball net. The private park itself was beautiful, with large areas of green grass, trees providing shade, tennis courts, an outdoor pool and a pavilion with table tennis inside. Just a short walk from the park lays a beautiful lake and some fishing areas. It was a team effort as the lunch hour drew near. There was much cooperation in cooking, distributing utensils and setting up disposal bags. Shortly afterwards, the activities began. Some opted to play volleyball. There was much fun in doing the group games such as passing the water balloons, sack race and the tug of war between the over-40s and the young adults. The last game was interesting as the young adults, supposedly the physically stronger group, lost to the older generation. To cool off from the heat, some spent time in the pool while others chatted the day away. As evening dawned, everyone left with a smile on their faces, celebrating yet another enjoyable day with fellow churchmates. *
On July 1-2, 2011, the CLC Scarborough family had their first ever Baptism Camp at Balsam Lake. It was a good way to have fellowship and great bonding time with each other and especially with the new church members. Balsam Lake is an all-season recreational park with good camping grounds and beautiful scenery. The CLC campers definitely took great advantage of the place and had a blast! There were non-stop games prepared wherein everyone, both the young and the young-at-heart got to participate. There was also lots of delicious food prepared to satisfy everyone’s palate. And despite the cold lake water, the kids did not think twice in taking a dip. At night, there was a bonfire, sharing of the Word and just a great time of fellowship and CLC family time. Everybody had a good time. But the main highlight of this camp was the water baptism. Thirteen of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ took part and gave their testimonies on God’s goodness and how their submission to Him changed their lives. Witnessing this event is really humbling. It shows that we are all sinners and that we definitely need God. According to Romans 6:4, being baptized is a public declaration of our submission to Him. We are buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the Father’s glory, we can have the privilege to live a new life. We are all dead to sin, but alive in Christ! It was a great time indeed, enjoying each other’s company and just remembering the Lord’s faithfulness! *
It was a Saturday afternoon of rejoicing and shouting when 13 Champion Life Centre members were water baptized at the Calgary Church of Christ Sanctuary Hall which was presided by our Head Pastor, Ptr Junie Bautista. As everyone was immersed one by one, everyone was singing “ I have decided to follow Jesus” The glorious presence of the Lord was felt when after every person was baptized, they would be beaming with joy. One lady shouted “I’m Free” and jumped with great gladness in her heart. The greatest miracle is to accept Jesus Christ in our life. And as the song goes, “my cross I’ll carry till I see Jesus and no turning back.” has inspired everyone to follow and obey Jesus until we meet Him. The same day after the water baptism, everyone went back to the CLC Church for the Holy Spirit Baptism and more attendees came that night. There was a mighty move of God’s presence and everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit was strongly manifested. Some received the gift of tongue, some had visions, while others were just enjoying the love of God. Truly you cannot fathom how amazing our God is. There is new life for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ. The work of the cross is God’s offer of life. Water baptism is our acceptance of what Jesus has done for us. *
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4
COUPLES’ RETREAT: ARE YOU ENJOYING OR JUST ENDURING?
GO CHAMPS, GO! THE CLC SPORTSFEST 2011
Last July 30, 2011, 46 couples attended a special session taught by Ptr. Roy Verzosa. It was an evening filled with passion and honest truths regarding God’s great design: marriage. Although his teachings were originally intended for a two-day retreat, Ptr. Roy adeptly condensed his material and allowed the couples to consider if they were enjoying or just enduring in their marriages. The interactive event that was well organized and executed by CLC Scarborough’s Suzanne Leigh Calpito, Carmen Dychioco, Luz Velilla, Jacqui Javier, and Marinel Gaffud took place at Pickering’s Frenchman’s Bay. The venue gracefully set the mood for both our members and the 16 couples that were invited. Through group sessions, Ptr. Roy compelled each couple to search deep within their relationships and encouraged them to understand what they must do in order to conform to a covenant relationship that God intended. With great wisdom and noted humour, Ptr. Roy also encouraged every husband and wife that they had to put forth a concentrated effort to gain a realistic understanding of each other in order for them to enjoy and not just endure in their marriages. The evening ended with each couple reaffirming their vows with conviction and a new sense of hope and responsibility. Coincidently, just as the sun was setting and a golden glow was cast across Lake Ontario. *
Every year during the month of August, CLC branches take turns in hosting and organizing the sports fest. The entire CLC family gets the chance to get together for a fun-filled, friendly competition. This year, the CLC London organized it. It has been part of the tradition to wear a certain color of shirt that represents the different CLC branches. Purple, blue, yellow and green shirts represented CLC London, Scarborough, Toronto, and Brampton respectively. Lots of fun-filled activities were prepared for everyone to take part in. The program was fired up with the Cheering Competition, which was entertainingly and impressively done by the representatives of each CLC branch. Everyone’s performance was outstanding! There was also a Bible Quiz for the kids. All their review sessions and preparation for this contest paid off. The kids enjoyed it and did their best. There were other events such as basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and badminton. There was also Pinoy Henyo and talent show. The crowd went wild as they screamed, danced, and cheered for their respective teams. Everyone did a good job! The winners were announced at the end of the program and awards were handed to them. It was definitely a fun-filled, action-packed, get-together for the CLC satellites. And although some got their awards, at the end of the day, we were all winners. Indeed, we are all Champions! *
BACK TO CHURCH - JAM SUNDAY
As the summer season came to a close, September, along with fall came rushing around the corner. Back from vacations, holidays, and summer activities, it was time for the church to shift back into gear and recommit in areas of service to God. To get everyone excited and back into the swing of things, CLC Brampton, Toronto, and Scarborough kicked the Church year off with it’s annual Back to Church- “JAM ( JoinA-Ministry) Sunday” on September 18, 2011. Throughout the service, ministry heads and volunteers creatively presented each of their ministries to the congregation. Everything from Champion Kidz, to the Transportation Ministry, GIC Services, and Media Ministry, along with countless others were highlighted to help encourage the congregation to use their God-given talents, gifts, and most of all their time to get involved this year by joining a ministry. In CLC Brampton, this year’s back to Church Sunday encompassed a fiesta theme. Church members came dressed up in various traditional cultural attires to celebrate the different cultures and nationalities of the people in the church and around the world. As the service ended, the whole church then participated in one big, fun fiesta! Different cultural foods prepared by CLC members along with the Banquet team were gathered in a potluck for the church fiesta. Ministry booths were also set up around the exterior of the banquet hall for the congregation to fill out forms and get more information about each ministry while they fellowshipped and participated in the fiesta with the rest of the church. Overall, the “Back To Church/J-A-M” Sunday held at CLC Brampton,Toronto, and Scarborough proved to be a great, fun way to fellowship and get everyone excited about getting back to church for the coming year. *
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
“It was in 2005 when I had a relationship with this guy from our old church, the same year when my family migrated to Canada. My parents didn’t approve of it as I was merely sixteen years old, and he was not a strong believer. Despite that, I still insisted on it and eventually ended up being grounded to the extent that I was not allowed to attend even our Bible studies. I continued to keep our relationship and had to lie to my parents so I can meet up with him secretly until one day, I had to learn my lesson the hard way. He left me broken-hearted. Then, I moved on to a long distance relationship with another guy I dated back in the Philippines. This time, my parents didn’t express their disapproval since I was already a bit older, but on the other hand, they didn’t give me their blessing either. Our relationship deepened, and I really believed I would marry him in the near future. However, he started to change and became verbally abusive. At first, I was able to bear with it, but his treatment worsened so we finally ended our relationship in 2008. Throughout the years, I got tired of moving from one relationship to another and somehow realized that it is important to have my parents’ approval to make it right. From then on, I just gave everything to the Lord. I asked Him for a sign that if I would meet the right person, my parents would give me their blessing. In the year of 2009, my prayer got answered when I reconnected with a former 3rd grade classmate who is now in Vancouver. He was raised in a Godly environment and acknowledged that he would not date a girl unless his parents gave their blessing as well. Though our mutual feelings for each other developed through our frequent long distance communication, he waited until we met each other again in person before he asked me to be his girlfriend. He then finally flew all the way from Vancouver to Toronto. Right after he asked my parent’s permission, we officially became a couple. To my surprise, my mom told me that she honestly felt at peace with him and that she knows he is the right one for me. I had never
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
As much as we, as parents, pursue to raise our children in truth and love, at the end of the day, it is their choice whether to live a life of integrity. In this article, I would like to share the experiences of one of our young adults in CLC Scarborough, Hannah Belleza. Be blessed.
heard her say that about anyone. Moreover, I learned that she just kept silent about her disapproval with my previous relationship because she did not feel at peace with him. After having this conversation with my mom, I came to realize that a relationship that is ordained by God will just somehow fall into place. You don’t have to struggle with it, fight for it, lie about it, and hide it. From the point-of-view of a young adult who has gone through a lot of mistakes in terms of relationships, I really believe that if Christian young adults want to have the right kind of relationship, they must first have the blessing of the Lord through their parents. And sometimes, the best way to find someone who is right for them is ironically to stop looking. I truly understand the emotions and concerns of young adults but also recognize why a lot of parents disapprove of their kids’ relationships. I know that no sane parents in this world would wish harm to their children as they truly want only the best for us. Young
adults should realize that God has appointed our parents as a hedge of protection, especially in relationships, since a lot of us nowadays choose to go outside that hedge and get in trouble. I have committed many mistakes and am far from perfect, but I am really grateful and even proud to say that I am still sexually pure, and I am reserving myself for my future husband. I really believe that this is only because I realized the Godly authority of my parents sooner rather than later. I don’t think I would still be pure if I kept going on the same path of ungodly relationships as many young adults today are doing. I feel really blessed to be able to say that. It’s the kind of blessing that comes only from surrendering to the godly authority of my parents especially in terms of choosing the right lifetime partner.” *
WE GOT SERVED
Lessons on Servanthood that We Learn from Jesus
A quick search of “servant” on dictionary.com will lead you to this definition: “a person in the service of another”. It shows that a servant cannot exist and has no function without “another”; we are servants of Christ who cannot exist and serve no purpose without Him. But although Christ is the ultimate Authority, He did not choose to rule us with an iron fist; rather, He ruled as the Lion of Judah with the meekness of a Lamb. As all great leaders do, Christ led by example and showed us that the key to His Kingdom will not be found in flashy names and puffed up bank accounts, but in the hearts of willing and humble servants. Let us take a look at Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet in John 13:1-17. During the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread and drank wine (as recorded by the other gospel writers), but John the beloved chose to share this story. John 13:4-5 (NLT) states: “So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” Jesus, the King of kings, did not employ servants to serve him hand and foot while feasting; instead, he interrupted his simple meal and carried out a task usually performed by the lowliest of servants. Jesus teaches them this lesson John 13: 13-17 (NLT): “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” Jesus showed such an awesome example of servanthood. Often times we are asked the question: “If you had all the money in the world and possessed the greatest power in the universe but knew it was your last day on earth, how would you spend that day?”. Some would answer
that they would spend it with their loved ones on a grand adventure, others would purchase the best things money could buy, and things of the like. But here we find the King of kings at his Last Supper with no grand feast finding himself in the position of a servant. Imagine, on his last day on earth, He didn’t wear a rightful crown of jewels or parade in a dazzling robe; instead, he unrobed and took on the likeliness of a lowly servant and bent down to serve his disciples. Who are we to think of ourselves higher than He? Would we wash our neighbour’s feet? Would we sacrifice of ourselves so much so that we would interrupt our final meal on this earth to serve others? If the conviction in our hearts is a resounding “no”, then brothers and sisters, we must repent and turn to the face of Jesus and ask for forgiveness, as we are not following his example. It is also important to note that on our Saviour’s last night, he did not choose to put on a massive crusade, nor did he go on a marathon of miracles. Yale professor Charles Reynolds Brown puts false servanthood this way: “There is a false self-distrust which denies the worth of its own talent. It is not humility - it is petty
This coming December 18 will be the time for our annual Caleb Awards. The Caleb Awards was established to give recognition to those who have faithfully and sacrificially preserved to serve in various capacities to further the work of the Ministry. Like Caleb who was rewarded because he
pride, withholding its simple gifts from the hands of Christ because they are not more pretentious. There are men who would endow colleges, they say, if they were millionaires. They would help in the work of Bible study if they were as gifted as Henry Drummond. They would strive to lead their associates into the Christian life if they had the gifts of Dwight L. Moody. But they are not ready to give what
they have and do what they can and be as it has pleased God to make them, in His service and that is their condemnation.” We often lose focus and the fruits of our service become more important than the One we are serving. In this passage, Christ is not asking for your millions nor is he requiring an eloquent preaching to be delivered to an arena of thousands. In stark contradiction, Christ is asking you to become one of the “least of these” – to serve Him with however little you have and in every menial task. “There is nothing small in the service of God” (Francis de Sales), so brethren, in everything, serve with all your hearts! *
was faithful and continued to serve even in his old age, we believe that these people who are faithfully serving at our main satellite church in Brampton should be rewarded. Members are encouraged to send their nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
â€œThe problem was that Martha was not handling the work, but the work was handling Martha. In her desire to make an impression, her service was causing her to be resentful. She became critical of Mary whom she thought was not doing anything but, just sitting in front of the Lord.â€?
SISTER ACT The Story of Mary & Martha
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
The story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus is familiar to most of us. Their Bethany home seems to have been a favorite place where Jesus would hangout for rest and recreation. Martha and Mary were sisters by flesh
and blood, but it becomes very obvious as the story unfolds that these two sisters were quite different in temperament and personality. They have different ways of expressing their love to Jesus.
Martha’s way of expressing her love for Jesus was in the area of service. She would show her love for Him by what she did. Now it is quite significant that the Bible says in verse 38 that it was Martha who received the Lord Jesus into her house. It is certainly something when a woman has enough love for the Lord to open up the door of her home and invite Him in. But no sooner had Martha welcomed the Lord Jesus than she was on her way into the kitchen. She was busily making sure that everything was being prepared the right way. She was multi-tasking to see to it that her Lord will be given a 5-star service. All of us have seen Martha. She is practical in her personality. She thought, “I’ll show my love for Jesus by what I do for Him.” Now on the other hand there was Mary. Verse 39 says, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” The emphasis in the life of Mary seems to have been worship. Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Mary was more contemplative in her personality. Mary thought, “I’ll show my love for the Lord by spending time with Him.” In those days, for a person to sit at the feet of another probably meant one of two things: they placed themselves at the feet as a learner or as a worshipper. Both were true of Mary. Mary realized who the Son of God was and so she worshiped Him as she sat at His feet. Martha and Mary grew up in the same family and yet they are worlds apart. Martha worked. Mary worshiped. Martha was busy at the kitchen, and then right in the midst of the party, Martha did something that came close to destroy¬ing the beauty of this experience. Verse 40 says, “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” The prob¬lem was that Martha was not handling the work, but the work was handling Martha. In her desire to make an impression, her service was causing her to be resentful. She became critical of Mary whom she thought was not doing anything but,
just sitting in front of the Lord. That is the picture of many Christians today. They are busily engaged in working for the Lord, but they are not spending time with Him. There are Christians who are irritated in the very work they are doing in the Name of Jesus that it is ruining their relationship with other Christians. Friend, if your work for Jesus is causing you frustration and keeping you from spending time with Him, then there is something wrong with the work you are rendering. Serving Jesus ought to be a thrill overflowing with joy. Brothers and sisters, if our work for Jesus is causing us to be resentful and critical of others, then there is something wrong as to why we are serving Him. Mary has discovered how to put worship and work in their proper order. Mary understood that work must proceed from worship. Friends, our activity is only a ministry as it flows from our intimacy with Jesus Christ. And we must learn to choose that “better part.” Needful above all things is a vital personal fellowship with Jesus on a daily basis. You and I will discover that when we sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him speak to us, then and only then will you and I develop a love for Jesus that overflows in our desire to serve Him regardless of how others are doing. May God help us learn to be a worshipper first and a worker second. *
“ Friend, if your work for Jesus is causing you frustration and keeping you from spending time with Him, then there is something wrong with the work you are rendering. Serving Jesus ought to be a thrill overflowing with joy...”
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
YOUTH 412 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12 COMPILED BY HANNAH BELLEZA If you have original poems, compositions, reflections and insights that glorify God, send them to us at CLC_Chronicles@yahoo.com and we will try to feature them in the coming issues
A FATHER’S LOVE “Our Father’s love never fails. He has proven to me that once you call upon Him, He will answer you.” My family and I arrived in Canada in April 2010 as new immigrants. Back in the Philippines, I lived a happy, simple, and easy life. I used to go to university with my friends on weekdays, and used to spend weekends with my family and church. Though problems sometimes occurred, I was assured that I was surrounded by family and friends who comfort me. I had second thoughts about immigrating to Canada, knowing that I did not have any relatives nor friends living here. As it turned out, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. True enough,
God remained faithful to His words. He answered my prayers and showered me and my family with blessings. We found a second family in CLC Scarborough who welcomed us wholeheartedly. He brought us to a family church with members who are always there to support us. In a short period of time, I was able to go back to school, do well in academics, gain new friends, and find a job. He sent people who mirror my Heavenly Father’s unconditional love for me. To thank Him for His blessings, I actively volunteer in GIC and Kids’ ministry to channel His love to others. Our Father’s love never fails. He has proven to me that once you call upon Him, He will answer you. As one of my favourite Bible verses goes, “God will never leave us nor forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5) My Father is always true to His words that no matter where I go, He will be there. *
A DECLARATION OF CHANGE Church girl, 2nd place holder in Bible Quiz, active church member, looks like a good girl, turns into a swearing, lying, and disobedient teenager? Possible? Very possible. I was a church girl. I knew who Jesus was but didn’t fully understand everything He did. My life was going well until 2006. First of all, I moved to a different school, so it was a time for me to start fresh and fit in, even if it meant hiding my beliefs. Secondly, I was starting my teenage years, the awkward stage of my life. Life was coming along great until I met a guy who broke my heart. Because of this, I started looking for ways to fill that void: I got a non-Christian boyfriend, started swearing, lying compulsively, and rebelling against my parents. I started becoming the person I didn’t want to be – a “plastic Christian.” I was so good inside the church, but I was a totally different person outside. In the midst of that, I continued
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
“God helped me and gave me Christian friends who accepted and loved me just the way I am.” to go to church and became an active attendee of our youth hangout. Through that, I developed friendships with other youth members who have helped me a lot even during my difficult stage in life. For the longest time, I never realized what I was doing wrong. Then God showed me what I needed to fix. It wasn’t easy, but God helped me and gave me Christian friends who accepted and loved me just the way I am. Friendships built in God’s love build others up. The CLC London youth group impacted my life in many ways. If God had not built my friendship with His children, my faith would
not be this strong. I’m grateful to God for what He has done and is continually doing in my life. And I thank CLC London for always being there.
CHAMPIONS ROMERICO “ROMY” PORRAS
I am privileged to have had the chance to talk with yet another unsung hero at CLC. His name is Brother Romy Porras, now serving at the Scarborough satellite. He has been involved in the ministry for roughly 13 years. This faithful servant is a sort of jack-of-all trades. Before the birthing of the Scarborough satellite, he served as a worship coordinator as well as one of the L5 leaders at CLC Toronto. Today, he serves as part of the Scarborough L5, the worship team, transportation support and as a humble follower of Christ, he also helps out in church-cleaning. In his many years of ministry service, one challenge that he has to address repeatedly was frustration. Things do not always go as smoothly as he hopes. However, as a prayerful man of God, he is able to leave those frustrations at God’s feet and “trust that God is in full control”. When asked what he thinks about the fall season, Brother Romy relates the seasons to the ups and downs that we encounter in life. “I think the fall season is good, but quite sad. Trees wither and the cold season comes in. In our lives, we may have times of spiritual coldness but we can also expect that things will become bright and warm again.” This sentiment reminds me of a song that says our faith can be building a fire that will keep us warm through the cold.
Inspired by his faith, I asked Brother Romy what keeps him going. He responds simply, “God is my number one motivating factor. Life is tough but if you keep your focus on Him, you can keep going.” Brother Romy shows us that what or whom we focus on can greatly determine how we go through the journey of life. In tough times, he says “Don’t give up. You can rest, but don’t quit. You can rest under His wings. Keep looking up and you can keep going. When you make men and other things your focal point, you can stumble easily. But if you look up and focus on God, He will give you all the enlightenment and direction that you need.” *
Do you know a Champion who faithfully serves behind the scenes? Send in their names to us at email@example.com so we can feature and acknowledge their lives of service in our future issues.
HEALTH & FITNESS Jackets. Boots. Scarves. Hats. Indoors. It’s that time of the year again! It’s so tempting to avoid physical activities and just stay indoors and grab the nearest “comfort food.” Our bodies need proper maintenance all throughout the year. After all, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Here are some quick tips on how to fall into healthy habits this season: 1. Breathe in the nice, cool air! It might be a good time to take advantage of the nice weather outside and take a walk or jog. It may be a lot cooler than the warm summer weather, but it’s not as cold as winter yet! Get off one stop before yours and get some physical activity in your day! Or let your kids go on bike rides while you jog behind them. So grab those running shoes, and enjoy the weather with a family member or a friend. 2. Get outside the box. If you’re not into the outdoor exercises, then consider taking fitness classes at your local community centre. Kick-boxing and Zumba classes are fun ways to get fit this Fall!
3. Sneaky snacks. Try to sneak in some healthy bite-sized snacks like raisins, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, or apple chunks! Whether it’s for movie nights with your family or for your little one’s school snacks, it’s always better to have healthy alternatives to chips and unhealthy munchies. 4. Fall into Hydration. Even if we don’t sweat as much as we did in the summer, our bodies still need to re-hydrate! Make sure you’re fully stocked on water bottles in the car and even at home. You might want to reconsider that next bottle of pop you were planning to pair with your dinner meal. Water is always best! 5. Cast your cares. It’s so easy to get stressed about work deadlines, your kids, your friends, and everything else! Part of keeping a healthy lifestyle is having mental and emotional health as well. Whenever you feel stressed, take a quick break and go for a stroll, stretch for a bit, or laugh with a friend! Most important of all, keep in mind that we have a God Who cares for us; therefore, be encouraged that you can cast your cares on Him! *
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
“She worked harder to provide for her family, and yet her 3 older sons sank deeper into drug addiction. There were times when, while she had to be away for several days to work, their home became a hangout for drug addicts and dealers... “ … DOOR WIDE OPEN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 Right at that moment, led by the prayer of salvation, Mommy Connie, at the age of fifty, along with her entire family, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The day after her whole family accepted the Lord, a door to a new chapter of their lives was opened and transformation took place. Early that morning, his 3 sons were no longer holding cards, drugs nor liquor, but were holding Bibles in their hands. It was indeed God’s mighty hands that turned their lives around. Thereafter, the whole family became involved and became active in the ministry—one child was even called to be a Pastor. At that moment, God reminded Mommy Connie of her prayer and that He heard her cry: He became the Father to her children. Yet God has more in store for Mommy Connie. Having a wonderful ministry in the Philippines, she wondered why God brought her to Canada, in the city of London as a stranger. Then one day while her family was having a bible study, a friend of her son joined them. Afterwards, another family joined their bible study until there were thirty five people and they continued to grow in number. Their desire for starting a church branch was nourished by faith when her friend Melinda, who lived in the same apartment building, mentioned that her husband, Ronald, is a pastor and was arriving soon from the Philippines. By God’s grace, together with brothers and sisters in Christ, they pioneered the Filipino Christian Fellowship in 1993 with Pastor Ronald as the lead Pastor. Despite the challenges and changes that took place during those years, Mommy Connie never lost hope and continued to hold on to the promises of God. And as God had planned it, with Pastor Jerry’s continued support came about the rebirth of Jesus First Ministry, which is now Champion Life Centre London. Over the years, God has revealed His plans and purposes for her life, her family and her ministry. Miracle after miracle have taken place in Mommy Connie’s life. Her daughter had acute appendix, she had a terminally ill son who was given 3 months to live by a doctor, she has a son who has brain tumor, and the list goes on… but they were all healed because she believes in a lifegiving God who will never break His promises. Today, at the age of 78, Mommy Connie’s greatest joy is to worship and spend time with God. She is very active at CLC London
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
as an elder, counselor and intercessor. She is like a mommy to all and gives guidance and encouragement to everyone. Indeed, Mommy Connie no longer lives in front of a closed door surrounded and trapped by walls from within her. Her life now is like a door opened by the Master key, our Almighty God, who wants to let His love shine through her and has designed Mommy Connie to be a living testimony of faith to His people. And with this, she will continue to declare, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord all the days of our lives”. wanting to join any other religion, but she continued to listen anyway. To her surprise, it was not about another religion but it was about having a personal relationship with the true God. Their eyes were opened to the truth of who God is and how much He loves them. Right that moment, led in the prayer of salvation, Mommy Connie at the age of fifty with her entire family accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The day after her whole family accepted the Lord, a door to a new chapter of their lives was opened and transformation has taken place. Early that morning, his 3 sons were no longer holding cards, drugs or liquor but were holding bible in their hands. It was indeed God’s mighty hands that turned their lives around. Thereafter, the whole family became involved and active in the ministry and one was called to be a Pastor. At that moment, God reminded Mommy Connie of her prayer and that He heard her cry: He became the Father to her children. Yet God has more in store for Mommy Connie. Having a wonderful ministry in the
Philippines, she wondered why God brought her to Canada, in the city of London as a stranger. Then one day while her family was having a bible study, a friend of her son joined them. Afterwards, another family joined their bible study until there were thirty five people and they continued to grow in number. Their desire of starting a branch of church was nourished by faith when her friend Melinda, who lived in the same apartment building, mentioned that her husband, Ronald, is a pastor and was arriving soon from the Philippines. By God’s grace, together with brothers and sisters in Christ, they pioneered the Filipino Christian Fellowship in 1993 with Pastor Ronald as the lead Pastor. Despite the challenges and changes that took place during those years, mommy Connie never lose hope and continued to hold on to the promises of God. And as God had planned it, with Pastor Jerry’s continued support came about the rebirth of Jesus First Ministry which is now Champion Life Centre London. Over the years, God has revealed His plans and purposes for her life, her family and her ministry. Miracles after miracles have taken place in Mommy Connie’s life. Her daughter’s acute appendix, terminally ill son who was given 3 months to live by a doctor, son’s brain tumor and the list goes on…they were all healed because she believes in a life-giving God who will never break His promises. Today, at the age of 78, Mommy Connie’s greatest joy is to worship and spend time with God. She is very active at CLC London as an elder, counselor and intercessor; a mommy to all and gives guidance and encouragement to everyone. Indeed, Mommy Connie is no longer in front of a close door surrounded by walls from within her. Her life is a door opened by the Master key, our Almighty God, to shine His love and designed to be a living testimony of faith to His people. And with this, she will continue to declare “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord all the days of our lives”. *
ENCOUNTER WITH THE “ You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 On July 22-24, the youth from CLC Brampton, Scarborough, and Toronto had a three-day retreat at Crieff Hills Christian Retreat and Conference Centre. We sought the Lord’s presence, and He revealed Himself to us in an extraordinary way! Beginning with our first night, we shed off the layers of sin and compromise in our lives by coming before the Lord and surrendering it all down to Him. We all experienced God’s never-failing forgiveness, grace, and compassion as we poured out our hearts to Him. We were emptied of our worldly concerns and filled with the Spirit of the Lord! Our Living God transformed us from broken to whole, impure to pure, and brought us from darkness to light. After we confessed our sins to the Lord through written word, we gathered around the fire pit, burned our sins, and made a declaration of freedom. We were freed from bondage! This Encounter was a special one since it was youth-focused, and most of all, youthled. The praise team and the speakers were all
CLC youth who made themselves available to be used by the Lord. It was great to see young people lead and encourage their fellow youth! We also had a prophetic exercise in which we were divided into two groups, and we were encouraged to be attentive to the Holy Spirit. We were all giving a “word” to each other and praying for each other. Perhaps the most memorable night was our very last night at the Encounter. The Holy Spirit made a special visitation and moved, no, SHOOK, the lives of everyone there! It was the most beautiful kind of noise on earth – hearing the young people of this generation just cry out to the Lord for hours and hours! The young men and women of CLC were seeing visions and prophesying to their parents and leaders! Indeed, the Lord showed us just how mightily He could use this generation. It’s difficult to describe an encounter with the Lord simply with words. I would highly encourage the youth who weren’t able to make it to this year’s Youth Encounter to join the next one! Don’t miss out on a life-changing encounter with the God of Abraham and the God of this generation! *
“After we confessed our sins to the Lord through written word, we gathered around the fire pit, burned our sins, and made a declaration of freedom. We were freed from bondage!” To read personal testimonies of those who went to CLC Youth Encounter 2011, go to www.lpencounter2011.tumblr.com and be blessed!
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
CLC GOES ON A MISSION TO GHANA, AFRICA Take a peek at a very touching and enriching encounter that Ptr. Jerry and Michelle Berenguer were able to experience on their visit to Ghana in November 2011.
People who received Jesus during a Crusade
Bishop Adofo, Michelle, Pastor Jerry at Tumbifa
Michelle feeding the Children
Michelle teaching 14
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
One of the schools CLC built and supports
Pastor Jerry praying during altar call
New School Building
Pastor Jerry dancing Ghanaian style
The teachers of one of the schools
THINKING ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING? FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS! Why Rent When you can Own? Private Consultation Available Free Down Payment for Qualified Buyers.
GET TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR HOME Are you planning on moving up, to accomodate a growing family or is it time to consider downsizing? If you would like to know what your home is worth call me today at 416-825-0511 for a Free Market Evaluation.
“Jesus is the reason for the season! From our family to yours - Merry Christmas!”
416-825-0511 INFO@JAICELAQUINO.COM WWW.JAICELAQUINO.COM
OFFICE: TOLL FREE:
* Not intended to solicit those already under contract with another Realtor.
In Christ with you, Albert, Wendy and Kyle Calaguas
COPYWRITING FOR PRINT ADS · BROCHURES · FLYERS AND ALL OF YOUR BUSINESS’ MARKETING COMMUNICATION NEEDS · RESUMEWRITING · EDITING & PROOF READING · TAGALOG-ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS · RESEARCH · SCRIPTS FOR EVENTS & AUDIOVISUAL PRESENTATIONS (AVPS)
· WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY · CHILDREN PORTRAITS · FASHION · FAMILY · MATERNITY · LIFESTYLE · EVENTS · BRAND DEVELOPMENT · GRAPHIC DESIGN
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 6472336672 · 4167050444
CALL NOW! 416-782-5942 · 647-988-1473 Email: email@example.com
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
WHAT’S UP AND COMING? November 4 - Sportacular Event - Calgary Centre
November 19 to December 17 – Caroling Fest – Scarborough and Toronto Centres December 3 – “Jamming All the Way”, The Concert 2011- Brampton Centre December 3 - Workers Appreciation Dinner – London Centre
December 10 - “Make a Joyful Noise”, a Benefit Concert – Toronto Centre December 11- Christmas Evangelistic Service – Calgary Centre
December 17 - Christmas Musical Presentation – London Centre December 18 - Caleb Awards – Brampton Centre
December 18- Christmas Banquet and Caleb Awards – Toronto Centre December 18 -Christmas Banquet – Scarborough and Calgary Centres December 24 – Candle Light Vigil – Toronto Centre
December 31 - New Year’s Eve Count Down - Brampton and London Centres December 31 - Candle Light Service - Calgary Centre Fridays at 7:30pm - LP Fridays - Brampton Centre
ON HUMILITY Luke 14: 11
Whatever the need of the moment, the answer is to be found in the Scripture. Whatever we’re feeling, whatever we’re suffering, whatever we’re hoping – The Bible always has something to say to us… ON WORRY Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’” But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ON FORGIVENESS Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:23-24 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the alter and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
FALL 2011 | ISSUE 04
BIBLE HUMOUR Because laughter is good for the soul.
CONTACT US BRAMPTON 55 Hedgedale Rd. 905.455.9025 firstname.lastname@example.org TORONTO Forest Hill United Church 2 Wembly Rd. 905.455.9025 email@example.com SCARBOROUGH Warden Full Gospel Assembly 2210 Warden Ave. firstname.lastname@example.org LONDON 1069 Clarke Road, Unit B London Ontario N5V 3B3 519.453.2131 email@example.com CALGARY Metis Centre 1539 43rd St. SE Calgary, Alberta 403.207.8815 firstname.lastname@example.org PHILIPPINES 32 MRC St., Talipapa Novaliches, Quezon City +63.936.6939 email@example.com
SERVICE TIMES Living Proof @ Youth Hangout Fridays @ 7:30 PM Sunday Service: Brampton at 10:30 AM Calgary at 11:00 AM Toronto at 3:00 PM London at 10:30 AM Scarborough at 3:00 PM