FIRST QUARTER 2014
ISSUE NO. 2
BURNING BUSH THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE BACK TO THE BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH
INTO THE WORD: THE GOSPEL-CENTERED MINISTRY 04
THE SPIRITUALLY SELFSEEKING CHURCH 05 UNITED IN SENDING HELP: YOLANDA 22 FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION ONLY
CONTENTS REGULARS 03 FROM THE PASTOR Pastor Erwin Concepcion
04 INTO THE WORD The Gospel-Centered Ministry Pastor Ian Alix
05 EDITOR’S PICK The Spiritually Self-Seeking Church Oswald Chambers
06 GAMEO FELLOWSHIP Designed and Instituted by God Pastor Erwin Concepcion
08 KING’S MEN Iron Sharpens Iron Pastor Erwin Concepcion
09 TRUE WOMANHOOD: GGW Small Groups Ruth May Pedico
10 CHRISTIAN SOJOURNERS Paula Rodeo
12 THE LORD’S YOUNG FLOCK Tracy Nicole Del Castillo Bernadette Kae Pamplona Zyra Nena Adelynne Nicole Cawaling Shanella Athena Maningat Rainer Soliman Jediael Celebrar Migs Ubungen
editor’s word I am so excited to share with you the joy (or shall I say the fruit) of our brethren who collaborated for this second edition of The Burning Bush. Praise the Lord for His goodness and guidance starting from the conception of the newly formed Publication Ministry Team, the planning stage and all throughout the process of gathering writeups.
It is a privilege to work with these talented, passionate and humble people. In line with our theme for this issue: United in Building the Church, I had the firsthand experience of witnessing Burning Bush Staff, working “individually-together” according to their God given gifts of talents and resources to come up with the Newsletter which is in your hand right now. I would also like to extend my appreciation to our brethren from different ministries who voluntarily contributed articles and shared updates that made this second edition a success.
HEAD CONTENT COORDINATOR Arriane Intal
EDITOR IN CHIEF Carlos Roxas DEPUTY EDITOR Rued Almadilla SUB-EDITORS Ruth May Pedico Juny Forteza
CONTENT COORDINATORS Cherrie Avila Juvy Sampang Lorie Torio Rosette Samohan GRAPHICS/PHOTOS Pastor Ian Alix Jerna Love Dueñas Patrick Torio
Lastly, it is our desire and objective that through Burning Bush, you will be Encouraged, Equipped and Edified. ENJOY! For our good, for His glory! Carlos Roxas Editor-In-Chief
on the cover: designed & created by P. Ian
FEATURES 07 JUST BEFORE SAYING “I DO”
16 MUSIC MINISTRY
Kim Palma & Shing Togonon
18 MISSIONS’ UPDATES Ruth May Pedico
11 AND WHEN IT’S TIME TO LEAVE Rued Almadilla
21 NEW YEAR’S EVE FELLOWSHIP Klariss Bergonio
22 UNITED IN SENDING HELP:
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
YOLANDA UPDATE Ruth May Pedico
UNITED IN BUILDING THE CHURCH
Contributing in building His church on earth demands the most important of all in our relationship with Him – love.
e see many houses around in different designs and sizes, from a simple small cheap house to an expensive mansion. Building a house involves two parties, the owner of the house and the workers who will build the house. When we look at the house, being constructed everything seems so easy. But when you get close to it and see the details, you will discover that it requires planning, various materials, skills, talent, experience, unified physical strength, determination and the will to be able to do it. The only difference between building a house and building the church is, the Owner or Master is the Lord Jesus, while the workers are us Christians. Jesus said: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew16:18. The Rock here is Christ “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians10:4. The church we are building is us Christians. We reach out the lost for the Head of the church – Jesus! “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Colossians1:18. The physical church is only a temporary place of refuge where the children of God is being gathered to study His words, to fellowship, to remember His suffering on the cross and prayers (Acts 2:42). Contributing in building His church on earth demands the most important of all in our relationship with Him – love. Without loving the Lord Jesus, you cannot share your time, skills, talent, resources and strength without getting worn out. Furthermore, without loving the Master, you cannot work in unity with other believers. Love brings unity among believers. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).” 1 Corinthians13:13. Therefore, as we are united together in building the church in love for the Lord Jesus’ sake, we can joyfully share together the best of what we have to bring glory to His name on this earth. In His Service, Ptr. Erwin Concepcion
Pastor Erwin Concepcion is the Senior Pastor of the Back to the Bible Baptist Church firstname.lastname@example.org
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Into the word In the gospel-centered ministry, we’re called to live for others. It’s a wonderful opportunity directing our life… a life that’s lived for others. An opportunity be like the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was here on earth, He met human needs-all kinds of needs even though He wasn’t always thanked or even appreciated. We live in a world filled with people who have incredible needs of all kinds and we can relate to these needs in one of several ways.
SERVE Pastor IAN ALIX Is the associate Pastor of the Back to the Bible Baptist Church email@example.com
1. WE CAN BE BLIND TO THEM AND LIVE OUR OWN LIVES This is what the exactly the priest and Levite did when they saw the battered Jew dying by the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37). Both saw the needy man and “passed by on the other side” instead of stopping to show mercy. Granted, it is truly impossible for us to do something about every need that we see or hear about, but we must not never be thankful for a reason (or an excuse) to escape responsibility. We must guard that kind of attitude that leads to a hard heart. (Philippians 2:3-4)
2. WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE NEEDS TO BENEFIT OURSELVES Yes, it’s possible to be in the ministry and use people to get what we want instead of helping people to get what they need. The Pharisees, for example, used the common people to build their own authority instead of using their authority to build the people (Matthew 23:1-12). If we aren’t careful, we can do the ministry in such a way that we exploit the needs of others to get ourselves recognition, position, titles, honors and privileges. True servants
of God help others whether they themselves get anything out of it or not. Their concern is that God be glorified and people trust Christ. 3. WE CAN PURSUE THE PATH OF GOD’S LOVE In Christian service, a sensitive spirit and a tender heart are absolutely essential, but problem is we can easily become calloused. Our work for others becomes a routine, an obligation, and in worst case, a heavy burden. And we say “I need to do this because the church is counting on me”. Love for others is lost.
Remember how Paul define this kind of service? 1Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Yes again, we can’t do everything, but we can do something. And we must do it with God’s love. The people God calls us to serve have all kinds of needs – physical, emotional, relational, financial – but at the rock bottom, their greatest need is Jesus! who can ultimately fix their lives and restore that lost relationship. Now, that doesn’t mean the Word of God and prayer will pay their bills or feed their empty stomachs. We don’t quote a Bible promise to hungry people, pray for them, smile, and say, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled” James 2:16. We do what we can to put food on their table. But unless we help people grow into a right relationship with God, whatever help we give will only be a “quick-fix” or a temporal solution. The human needs in our world today are indescribable, innumerable, and almost unbearable sometimes. Serving God means walking closely to these people around us and unless you really love these people, you can never help them. If the motivation of our service is less than Christ’s love – His love for us and our love for Him, our ministry will not really meet human needs or glorify God. The love we need for ministry is not a natural ability, it is supernatural quality! that only God can provide. What we ought to do first is to pray for ourselves and ask God to increase our love. Lastly, we must always remember, that we are the loving channels of the grace of God. The church is the body of Christ on earth, and we ought to follow His steps (1Peter 2:21) He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). And that must be our attitude, sacrifice and service for the glory of God. Excerpts from: "On Being a Servant of God" by Warren Wiersbe
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
The Spiritually Self-Seeking Church Till all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… -Ephesians 4:13 Reconciliation means the restoring of the relationship between the entire human race and God, putting it back to what God designed it to be. This is what Jesus Christ did in redemption. The church ceases to be spiritual when it becomes self-seeking, only interested in the development of its own organization. The reconciliation of the human race according to His plan means realizing Him not only in our lives individually, but also in our lives collectively. Jesus Christ sent apostles and teachers for this very purpose— that the corporate Person of Christ and His church, made up of many members, might be brought into being and made known. We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy a quiet spiritual retreat. We are here to have the full realization of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of building His body. Am I building up the body of Christ, or am I only concerned about my own personal development? The essential thing is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ— “. . . that I may know Him. . .” Philippians 3:10. To fulfill God’s perfect design for me requires my total surrender— complete abandonment of myself to Him. Whenever I only want things for myself, the relationship is distorted. And I will suffer great humiliation once I come to acknowledge and understand that I have not really been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ Himself, but only concerned with knowing what He has done for me. My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace, Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.
any of us have read and re-read the best-selling devotional book of the 20th century, Oswald Chamber’s classic, My Utmost for His Highest. But it might surprise you to realize that Chambers never sat down to write this devotional classic. Instead, after his death at age 43, his wife transcribed a series of Chambers’ talks given to young people. Some of those talks were from his time serving as a military chaplain in World War I in Egypt. Others came from a few years prior, when Chambers taught at the Bible Training College he founded in Clapham, London. Even-though the book wasn’t written in the traditional way, it has inspired countless Christians to a closer walk with Christ and to the habit of early morning devotions. Chambers believed that as we focus on abiding in Christ, being identified with Him, and conforming our wills to His, we become a living sacrament of his grace. Chambers was such a living epistle and we would do well to imitate him as he imitated Christ—giving our utmost for His highest.
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Am I measuring my life by this standard or by something less? MY UTMOST FOR HIS GLORY Daily Devotional http://utmost.org/
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Gameo Fellowship Pastor Erwin Concepcion
Many of us expatriates have their families left behind in the Philippines to look for better opportunities here in the UAE. Unfortunately, because of long distance family gap and pressure due to divers circumstances back home, many succumb to the attraction of quick money and fell into financial limbo. Some turn into wrong relationships thus, destroying their family relationship and finally, alienating themselves from God. In BBBCâ€™s Gameo Fellowship, we fill this gap among the married people in the church. We strengthen each other with counseling and prayer during difficult times. We also celebrate with thanksgiving and fellowship when blessings come along. Marriage does not teach settling down for good as other says. It is just the beginning of discovering Godâ€™s gift of intimate love relationship with His people.
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
We uphold the principle taught by God in the Bible that marriage is sacred before God as it is designed and instituted by Him in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:24) and portrayed by Jesus as His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2), thus the relationship between the married couple is the picture of inseparable relationship between the Lord Jesus and His church (Ephesians 5:2131).
Married couple or married individuals are invited to join this strengthening ministry in building a strong family relationship that is pleasing to God.
6 file photo dated October 2012
Just before saying “I Do”
Most of us women, if not all, are looking forward to that special time in our lives when we'd finally say "I DO" with the person designed to be our lifetime partner. Admittedly, we are praying for that person, seen or yet to be seen – the future husband GOD has perfectly prepared to complement us. Yes, we are to diligently pray for it, then patiently wait and cherish as soon as it is answered. It is by God's grace and faithfulness that a man and a woman in a relationship, are able to get married. This happens in the lives of Sis. Tanya and Bro. Angelo and Sis. Kring and Bro. Edward, beginning the year with wonderful new journey of their lives together. We, as their brethren in Christ are more than joyful and blessed to witness their sacred union, sealed by God's love.
But just before saying their “I do's”, each of the couple is set for a small celebration in two consecutive Friday evenings of January. Shower parties for the brides to be, Sis Tanya and Sis Kring, hosted by the women of True Womanhood are celebrated in Manama Villa while the grooms, Bro. Angelo and Bro. Edward have separate bachelor parties lead by King's Men in other locations. Like no other "shower/bachelor party" with gifts of material things, the event is meant to be a spirit-filled occasion as the celebration is designed to equip the couple on different aspects of life in marriage which includes physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual. Many of the elders give practical advices on these and willingly share their personal encounters in their respective marital relationships as wives and husbands. As they said, unconditional love and commitment to one another are keys for the lasting marriage,as well as honesty and laughter is for a happy life. / 2014 Burning Bushmarried / First Quarter
Nobody knows us personally better than our parents and they are the happiest to see their children settle down and start to build their own family. Both of their parents are able to join the event via phone patched and recorded video calls and for Sis. Tanya, it is even the physical appearance of her mom here in Dubai. They, the parents are able to say their precious loving advices to their children, expressing their happiness and excitement, to add up. Fun games with petty yet enjoyable prizes and giveaways are distributed at the end of the event, inclusive to the package of spices of the program. Simple dinner is served to continue the fellowship to each venue of the King’s Men and True Womanhood. From the many advices heard during the affairs, it is indeed, only by the wisdom from the Word of God that the responsibility of a wife or husband can be fully understood and by His grace and mercy be fulfilled. It is always a true joy to witness a couple joining together in marriage; moreover, it is of great pleasure when the marriage is guided by the unconditional love that God has for us through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. In vivid perception that GOD is the Author of romance and unification of two hearts, basically, making CHRIST as the center of a Christian married life makes the union of the two sinners last a lifetime, metaphorically modeling here on earth the marriage of CHRIST and His bride, the church in heaven! As they pursue and comply with His plan and purpose, our awesome GOD bless the lives of our brethren, the newly married couples: Mr. & Mrs. Angelito Malilay and Mr. & Mrs. Edward Perez! 7
Pastor Erwin Concepcion
In BBBC, all adult male members automatically become a part of this ministry. The primary purpose of this ministry is to strengthen the men of their Biblical role in the church through Christian education. As the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.
God commanded us to practice the biblical principle that men should take leadership role in the church being the second head after the Lord Jesus in the “Gradation of Headship”.
This responsibility is critical to the image of God reflected upon all men. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” In overseeing the family, it is not about who is earning more but it is about the principle in the Bible that men should be the principal guardians and the providers of the home. The Bible says, 1 Timothy 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Men, as well, should also be the educators for their children to love God and obey His Word (Deuteronomy 6:7-9), and protects Christ’s testimony by walking righteously in this world (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:13).
Bible Study for Leaders
BBBC is continuously training faithful men through seminars and Biblical studies in Homiletics (preaching), Hermeneutics (interpreting the Bible), Bible Doctrines and many Christian educational tools to equip them for various ministries in the church. May the Lord keep all BBBC men united in serving His kingdom here on earth.
Burning / First Quarter / 2014 The King’sBush M en M inistry
file photo dated October 2013
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (KJV) Ruth May Pedico GGW is a lifelong discipleship to women. As the study goes on, proximity and sisterhood apparently manifest. Each girl spontaneously shares her experiences which enable to minister grace and pour out blessings to others who are experiencing similar circumstance at the moment and to some, in the future to encounter. For the last 2 years we have more than 20 GGW graduates from 4 classes facilitated by 4 TWs. Retrospectively, it is a joy to see them finished the course. Praise GOD for those women who persevere ‘til the end. As one of those women, I can say we are not perfect but I can give you surety that GOD continues to work in our lives, convicting us of our wildness down deep within. Nonetheless, I am glad to let you know that we are women under construction (quoting what one of the girls once said) for we strive to please GOD in our own manner and lifestyle.
GGW! Have you heard about it? I am certain you have! Girls Gone Wise In A World Gone Wild idiosyncratically known as GGW. This is popular amongst the TWs and may I cite among the KMs, too!
Thanks GOD for Sis. Deds who introduced to us this book which was printed based on biblical principles pointing out Proverbs 7 wherein the sage father is instructing his son to recognize and be superfluously vigilant to the depicted wild woman. She is the precise reverse of more precious than rubies, virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
Highly recommended for Christian women to be intentionally studied, GGW is authored by a detailed-minded, Spiritinspired Christian writer named Mary Kassian. With emphasis, I say Christian For us women, it is more of identifying the women in shrewdness that you cannot wildness in our hearts and absolutely relate to it if you are not saved yet, surrendering it to the LORD for us to live a stressing out the absence of the Holy Spirit life pleasing to GOD. Moreover, with in your heart, thus, in your life. As much as Mary’s practical approach through citing we know the unquestionable truth, good pragmatic paradigms, women are works are just domino effects of a life optimistically encouraged to embrace the wholly surrendered to Christ. Without the gift and idea of womanhood the LORD Holy Spirit Who enables the believer to tailored, custom-designed and fashioned carry out good works as a result of his/her them to be. In her book, the gifted author acceptance to JESUS CHRIST as his/her makes a distinction between the wild and personal LORD & Saviour, doing so is an wise through the coherent comparison she intricate thing.Bush / First Quarter / 2014furnished in the structure of 20 points of Burning contrasts.
In full delight, we want to make-known to all of you that there are 4 newly opened GGW classes facilitated by TWs namely Sis. Deds Celebrar (Manama), Sis. Sherylle Alix (Burjuman Area), Sis. Rosette Mohan and Sis. Haidee Sulitas (Karama) and yours truly (along Al Rigga). Speaking in behalf of all the facilitators (previous and present), we praise and pay tribute to GOD for strength and wisdom He bestows upon each one of us, the wholehearted desires of the girls in the circles to be taught and to learn and for making such assemblies possible despite the busyness and physical tiredness. Motivated and empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead and teach our sisters in CHRIST and to ourselves – gratified for the calling, we carry on to joyfully press toward the mark. Finally, such cram is unwrapped to all TWs of BBBC, with the intention of coaching all TWs to be wise in the world that has gone wild, boiling down to the outmost objective of glorifying GOD. Commitment and perseverance are some of the main necessities. BBBC women, will you join us? As the Spirit worketh in you, quench It not! Just take a step forward! You are most welcome to enjoy learning, together9with us! ☺
Paula Rodeo Christian Sojourners is Back to the Bible Baptist Church’s Singles’ Ministry. It is a group of young people who encourages others to study the Scriptures, strengthens one another to grow more in Faith and Prayers and Reach out others to proclaim the good news of salvation. By God’s providence of love through Christ, we are able to share the Light of our Saviour. As witnesses of Christ in this blinded world, we should live as faithful followers of Christ through the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16 The Sojourners start this year's general assembly with the theme “Spiritual Revival”, on January 3, 2014. It focuses on rekindling and amplification of one’s spirit and to encourage everyone to faithfully continue in their walk with the Lord. Pastor Erwin shares the value of renewing the commitment of our service to the Lord. As we sojourn in this world, we tend to be complacent on things readily available to us-the grace of God, the mercy that is bestowed upon us and the blessings that are generously granted to us. A Godly reminder of how we should live our lives is essential to keep us on the right spiritual track. (Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:2)
Upholding your faith is one thing however, to grow in it is another thing. It will take a profound commitment to have an intimate relationship to our Lord and Savior. The kind of relationship that grows fonder as you choose to seek and know Him deeper. You will also be more prayerful and humble, Christlike in nature as you grow in fellowship with Him more often. (John 18:31) “Jesus said: If a man love me, he will keep my words…” The sin you loved before, now you hate. Resembling to a fire that burns, the more you persevere to study the word of God the more your life will conform to the Scripture as you obey Him. The Word feeds to us, gives us wisdom and truthful understanding on how to live life according to God’s will and purpose. Pastor continues to remind that as one’s faith grows deeper, God will mold you to conform to His Son, leading you to maturity. The manifestations of a mature Christian are keeping a growing love, humility and unyielding faith to an irrevocable truth that as a sojourner in this wicked world it is not that easy. Temptation, selfishness, lust and the pride of life are just proofs that sin can be easily committed. You will encounter sin, it is certain. You have the discernment from GOD, the Holy Spirit and not just your own conscience and these all make huge difference.
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
True Christians will never enjoy and stay in sin. Our God demonstrates Love yet He is a Just God and so deliberate sin comes with a punishment. (Hebrews 12:6) Chastising us is His way of getting our attention. Sometimes, it can be just a tap on the shoulder but there are circumstances that it can hit one so hard. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure and that He is always with us – guiding us and reminding us how much He loves us. Having all these contemplations, we CSJ need to be reminded that we have missions in this world. Predominantly, the LORD commanded us to declare the good news of salvation to the lost world. In addition, we have to share God’s Love and let our lights shine before all men. The moment we choose to follow Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He molds us more to be like Him, gradually taking out the roughness in ourselves. (2 Corinthians 5:17) CSJ encourages you to come and join us as we carry on fun-filled yet GOD-glorifying activities this 2014! It will be more fun to fellowship with one another while saturating ourselves with God’s word. Please count yourself in as we build the church of God together. In full belief, we anticipate to see you! God bless!
…and when it’s time to leave Rued Almadilla
It is one Tuesday night in our Al Rigga Bible Study that we meet Ate Cynthia. She is Sis. Shirley’s landlady. The very time the gospel is shared to her, she responds positively and accepts Christ as her Lord and Saviour. Since then, she always attends our regular Tuesday BS. It can be seen in her the real desire to seek the LORD and His will and know GOD deeper through His Word. She begins to actively participate in church activities and makes a decision to publicly declare her obedience to the LORD through water baptism after a couple of months studying with us. She even joins the music ministry through singing in the choir and playing the instrument. Lots of good memories with ate Cynthia has encouraged us. Her faithfulness, even if she is still new in the faith is inspiring. We have mixed emotions after hearing the news from her that she and Migs are migrating to Australia. We feel sad because we will no longer see her around. On the other hand, we are glad that we meet her and it is really not an accident that before the approval of their Australian Visa arrived, she was directed by God to meet BBBC that eventually introduced her to the Lord Jesus Christ. Last December 2013, BBBC bade farewell to her. Some of the brethren give their testimonies of how they are personally blessed by Ate Cynthia’s life. The church gives her a simple token so that she will always remember her BBBC family here in Dubai. Finally, Pastor Erwin prays for her and Migs knowing that they will be facing a new chapter of their lives, new challenges in Australia. Undeniably, this is one of the manifestations that we are all just transients here in Dubai. People do come and go. However, bear in mind that never it is by chance that we congregate here. As we worship and serve GOD together, more of desiring to give pleasure to GOD in whatever seasons of life we experience, we grow to be closer to each other’s heart, loving and caring for each other more. Sooner or later, we will never know, another one or more will depart from this country, obeying the absolute plan of GOD in their lives. Yeah, for each one of us, GOD has His wonderful, custom-designed plan! Meanwhile, just do remember that those memories that are shared together will be kept and treasured in each of our hearts wherever we may go. By GOD’s grace, let’s create memories that are worth remembering! Such memories that in the days to come, when we try to look back in the past will paint a smile on the face and make thrills in the heart! Choose to be a blessing to someone always! Going back to Ate Cynthia and Migs...Our GOD richly bless you both as you desire to continuously serve Him in the new place He has brought you! Au Revoir! ‘Till we meet again, Ate Cynthia & Migs!
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
O Worship The King!
JR Worship Service
Tracy Nicole Del Castillo (LYF pianist)
Play Your Role
LYF’s participation on Church’s Cantata
Bernadette Kae Pamplona (Teen)
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
He must increase, but I must decrease
file photo dated July 2013 Zyra Nena (grader)
As We Gatherâ€Ś
Adelynne Nicole Cawaling (teen, Abu Dhabi)
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Teaching Teachers to Teach
Thy word have I hid in my heart!
Shanella Athena Maningat (Pre-school)
Rainer Soliman (LYF New Teacher)
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 14:19
Miguel John Ubungen (LYF member, MIGRATED TO Australia)
♥ Migs ♥
Growing in grace and in the knowledge of God!
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Jediael Celebrar (Teen)
A TIME TO REFLECT ON THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD Kim Palma
It is an amazing night of wonderful music & stage play as BBBC music ministry presents a musical presentation entitled "Rejoice the Saviour is Born" in celebration of the birth of Christ. (Mathew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save his people from their sins.) The most-awaited event was held @ Gems Wellington International School situated in Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai last Friday, 20th of December 2013. The program starts @ 6pm and we are blessed to see the presence of our friends and visitors who came to witness the event. As one of the cantata participants who blissfully sings in front, my heart is FULL of joy as we all raise our voices in praises to the Lord, imparting the message of the songs to those who hear. This is one of the most unforgettable events of BBBC in the year 2013. Aside from the captivating music that is rendered through choir, solo, duet & quartet, we also have a stage play which is presented by some of our BBBC brothers and sisters. Possessing the God-given talents and skills in acting with full enthusiasm, our brethren did portray the lives of each character. Mr. John, a man whose life is changed by the Lord when he comes to know the truth and accepted JESUS as his personal Lord and Saviour.
The songs and preaching from the Word of GOD touch his heart, the mere reason he repents from his sins. The story of John is wellpresented and accordingly conveys the message of salvation to those who are lost. It is a simple yet an amazing message of great love of GOD to mankind that has the power to convict the very heart of men to come to know the Lord, repent from their sins and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour. Gladly wearing their fashionable and fascinating winter outfits, the BBBC Lord’s Young Flock also delivers their songs of praise at the middle of the musical play as carolers of Mr. John in the story. I can see the joy on their faces as they were given a part to sing for the Lord on the musical presentation. The event will never be complete without the message of the Lord delivered by His servant and messenger Pastor Erwin Concepcion before we end the Musical presentation. We are delighted to hear that most if not all of the people who came are truly blessed. It is an unforgettable night to remember how the Lord uses BBBC music ministry to reach out people especially those who are lost in His kingdom .Numbers of fellow believers from different Baptist churches in Dubai come to witness the Musicale. It is so inspiring to hear their testimonies of how it encouraged their lives to be more involved in the Music Ministry of their respective churches. presentation a successful one for the glory of God! I am very glad to look back and recall
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
the faithfulness and hard work of our Music Ministry Leaders and cantata participants on the long months of rehearsals. The time and effort spent bring forth fruit that blesses the hearts of many and made the musical Another highlight of BBBC Music ministry takes place this year 2014. BBBC Music Ministry offers a Guitar Lesson workshop for those who are interested in learning the basics of playing guitar. It started on January 18, 2014 as Leaders who have willing hearts headed by Pastor Ian Alix take charge in teaching our BBBC brethren; utilizing their gifts and talents for the LORD. This is regular every Saturday night, @ Manama Villa, 7-8pm for new students and 8-9pm for advance learners. Praise God for the hearts of the teachers and students who offer their time, efforts, skills & talents to teach this lesson. For sure, we can never outgive GOD. Furthermore, I can say that they are dedicated in their own way of serving the Lord through this Instrument. Guitar lesson is still going on and most probably will come to its end the by first few weeks of the month of April 2014. The last 3 months of BBBC Music Ministry is so fulfilling. The Lord is good to bless us with the gifts and talents that we can offer to Him for the furtherance of His Kingdom. Those did bless and touch others’ lives. Finally, I’m glad to be a part of this ministry by which I am able to serve the Lord with all of my heart for His glory alone!
Playing violin: my personal experience
MY TYPICAL BELIEF
Music… Instruments…playing musical instruments never came in my thoughts… I have wished but never thought I could. HOW EVERYTHING STARTED
It all started when my friends desire to enroll themselves (they just love to include me) to violin lesson. It is not even my desire. I am only a “sabit” in the group. I came to Manama and a new violin for me is on the wait. At first, I even asked “Can I catch up even I’m so naive with music?” means even people who have no knowledge at all can catch up? And Sid said, ”Yes!” because as a matter of fact, it is one of the easiest instruments to learn. Everything goes smoothly. I manage to learn the “how to’s of violin”. I get the feel and thrill of being a neophyte violinist. Playing violin is something that has truly a cathartic effect on me. It is so refreshing to serve God through music every Friday after a busy week at work. I am in a state of euphoria after playing on the class and Friday worship.
With the pressure and stress both at work and the violin practice bring, I start committing ridiculous mistakes at work as the anniversary is fast approaching. Mistakes that give me even more stress and despair which cause to smear the trust my boss has given me. I lift everything about work to God. Mistakes normally happen but in my case, I simply overdo them. I had a sudden setback thinking I cannot do it all. That I may give up playing some songs like I will not play for the choir or not play for the congregation and focus only on the special number. The enemy is busy working on me. Close to giving up, I then choose to seek refuge from the LORD in my prayer.
Everything is POSSIBLE to GOD by faith through prayer.
GOD DOESN’T CALL THE QUALIFIED BUT QUALIFIES THE CALLED!
I was able to play all the anniversary songs. Though, there are some mistakes made, I do not have guilt because I have done my very best. I am able to manage and fix everything at work. My boss granted me a 45 days’ vacation leave and many more blessing came my way. Indeed, God answers prayers. Just hold on to His promise and continue to serve Him.
I always wanted to serve and bring back all the praises and glory to God alone. Hence, I have committed myself to play for the church anniversary. I juggle my time, manage to face all constraints compassionately and learn to play all the songs for the church anniversary. Those constraints are my not so flexible schedule, my house being so far from Manama for practice and the limitations living on a bed-space (I cannot practice anytime I want).
I encourage everyone to serve JESUS through music or any other ministry. Blot out in your brain the hesitation of serving Him because you are incapable like Moses. The LORD has chosen you! He has redeemed, cleansed and saved you so serve him with joy in your heart. Furthermore, it is a privilege to serve the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords! I do not want this feeling to win over me. I 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: know I cannot do it alone. I need God to come before his give me strength and endure this struggle. presence with singing. Despite this, I never complain even if I need 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: to go to church every day for practice. MY it is he that hath made us, GOD DESERVES THE BEST FROM ME. and not we ourselves; we are I want to return back everything to HIM his people, and the sheep of who has given me new life, saved me and his pasture. reserved a mansion for me in heaven. Psalm 100:2-3
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
MISSIONS’ UPDATE Ruth May Pedico
Every Christian is a missionary! The LORD JESUS CHRIST commanded every believer to “go ye, teach all nations and baptize” as mentioned in M atthew 28:18-20. W ith regards to this, be it known to all that we are supporting GOD’s work in Cambodia and Thailand. W e may not be in such places but for sure, we can reach them out through the missionaries by whom we are sending our support! Likewise, our ears also yearn to hear updates from them.
CAMBODIAN EVANGELISTIC DAY December 15, 2013. An evangelistic Afternoon for the high school and university students attended by around 80 students from different universities and high schools here in Phnom Penh. The Lord answered our prayers to see young people raising their hands signifying a personal decision to believe in Jesus. There were around 20 people who made a profession that day. And we look forward to follow them up on their commitment as new young Christians. This project was initiated by the Cambodian leaders of Cornerstone Church. It was a success by God's grace, seeing Cambodians and Filipinos helping one another. It was a great blessing and encouragement to everyone of us especially to the Cambodian people who look up on us, being models or examples to them in their walk as new believers. Mr. Sambath, wearing white shirt Mr. Sambath from the Cambodian Church was the guest speaker who presented Jesus to the students from different schools. Please keep praying for him that God will use him more in the area of leadership training in the church and also that I will be an instrument in helping him grow more in God. The theme for this year 2014 in the Church is Loving God.
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Sivpav, the one that is standing in front was the emcee for this event. This is a good training for him too and the rest of the Cornerstone Family. Being given responsibilities in the church also allows members to be greatly involved in the ministry. The tasks provide them great experience and knowledge in serving people to be better workers for the Lord. A Skit was presented by the Cambodians. Praise God for their initiatives. God used Nary and Vannak to initiate this project of evangelizing the university and high school students. I am happy to see them leading and I am there to guide and advise them. A special song was presented by the Filipino Group from Cornerstone Church. I am blessed knowing their love to the locals and their support in the ministry of God. Truly everyone has a part.
Cambodian friend, Narein, told me about his friend whose father was dying in the village of Rah, in Kampong Chnnang province. We decided to visit the father and when we got there, we saw the tragic picture of misery. The father was paralyzed and he could barely open his eyes. Indeed, the entire scene in Rah told a story of poverty. The village had no easy access to a free medical assistance, the sanitation was poor and malnutrition was common. Sadly, the father died three days after our visit in August 2009. On the brighter side, however, that visit paved the way for us to bring help to Rah at least once a month now since September 2009. The help includes dental and medical mission, clothes-giving, teaching English to children and feeding. Last year, we started to send members of The Cornerstone Church to sow the seeds of the gospel in the hearts of villagers. We praise God for the open doors and open hearts who received the Word. A number of them received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! We are excited to see how the Lord preserves and pursues the work that He has started in Rah Village, Kampong Chnnang! Even if this village is a two-hour ride from Phnom Penh, The Cornerstone Church faithfully sends its members to visit house-to-house. We painstakingly share the Gospel and follow up the believers. We envision an indigenous Khmer church planted in this village. We praise the Lord for a piece of land that we purchased in the village last year. We are praying for a church building to be constructed in that place. We pray that the Lord will call out Christian Khmers who will worship the One True God with us there. To God be the glory!
Pastor & Mrs. Rogil Apostol Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach , except they be sent? ROMANS 10:14-15a THAILAND â€“ BANGYAI MISSIONS
The ministry among the Thais in the student center continues to thrive. Our Thai and Filipino volunteers are teaching English Language and Bible to the Buddhist students who are coming every Saturday and Sunday. Praise God for the committed leaders and members; each one is involved. Today, the Thai church is full and we see many new faces. Our bible student, Charn is growing in his faith and studies. He is visiting his Chinese family and prays that he can share Christ to them. His yearning to share the good news does not end only in his family but it is his desire to reach their whole neighborhood. He continuously prays for the provision to his needs and for the wisdom in everything he does for the Lord. We plan to go and attend the 50th Anniversary in May 2014, Lord-willing. Praise and thank God for faithful Thai national leaders who help in the ministry devotedly. The ministry for the Thais continues .Thank you so much for your never ceasing prayers and support for the reaching out of people in Thailand. God is blessing every effort to extend God's kingdom in Thailand. May God bless your people as a church! Thank you very much.
Rev. & Mrs. Nimrod Acosta
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
Thank you 2013…Hello 2014!!!
As we wave goodbye to 2013, great big smiles are on our faces to welcome 2014. New Year makes us reflect on the year that has gone by. Looking back refreshes our memory mostly of good things and few of the opposite. Memories make us laugh and cry at the same time. They can either make us happy or sad. On the other hand, New Year makes us think of what this year will be. It feels good to look ahead, full of hope that this year will be filled with great things. The world may celebrate New Year just for fortune, food, money and material things but for us, Christians, love for Christ is the most important thing. Though we fail as we face struggles in life yet we are still blessed because we have Jesus. It is customary for BBBC to celebrate New Year, annually. This New Year 2014, members and visitors were invited at JOMAC’s Residence (rooftop) in Mantaka Hamdan, Abu Hail. The program starts with a prayer lead by our dear Pastor Erwin; thanking and praising God for the blessings He showered upon us.
Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
An ice breaker game makes it more exciting during that cold night. Members and even visitors participate and have fun while others are actively preparing the food. After an hour of fun games, everyone starts to look at their clock, “tick tock, tick tock” and more of tick tocks! New Year is coming! All are so excited, until 5..4..3..2..1! Suddenly, the sky is filled with stunning fireworks seen from afar! While gazing the beautiful blazes that lights the cool, gloomy sky we also do enjoy the sumptuous meal together and of course, the sweet fellowship. All are happy as shown in each smiles and glowing faces! Echoes of greetings of happy New Year from everyone with affectionate embraces and sweet kisses of women add up to a deafening enjoyment before the crack of dawn! It is indeed a joyous celebration worth-reminiscing! “Thank You, LORD!” A new year with joy, peace and love in our hearts given by God is more than enough. As our faithful GOD unveils the New Year to us, brethren, let us serve the LORD with gladness and humility and show love to everyone. Lastly, in everything we do let us glorify God and lift His name up!
UNITED IN SENDING HELP: YOLANDA UPDATE Ruth May Pedico
As Christians, caring for human lives, the church joins hand in hand in gathering the blessings in cash and in kind to send assistance to our dear kabayans. Without more ado, we send money to Pastor Albert Verba and money and six balikbayan boxes to the Association of Fundamental Baptist Churches in the Philippines (AFBCP) for them to distribute the blessings on our behalf. AFBCP February 2014 The last two months (December `13 to January `14) were spent mostly on visiting the churches affected by the October 15 earthquake and typhoon Yolanda. Together with some council members, we visited churches in Northern Iloilo, Capiz, Leyte, Samar. We have yet to set foot in Aklan, Antique, Palawan and Northern Negros. We intend to do just that before the biennial conference on April 28 â€“ May 1. In Panay Island, 61 churches have been affected, mostly the roofs of the parsonage or church building or both were blown away and many were left without a church building. We are pleased to tell you that more than half of the 61 churches are already having repairs, some are almost done, a handful have their buildings fully restored. Among the places we visited and gave financial assistance and support are: Madarag, San Enrique,IloIlo, Alabidhan Norte, Alabidhan Sur and Maayon, Capiz.. We found Pastor Alfredo Ohoylan, Jr. busy together with some Christians doing construction work on their new church building after the old one was blown away. The owner of the lot will not allow them to rent or sell the portion of land where the old chapel was located. After the typhoon, in his pity to the believers he sold this piece of land on installment basis where their new church building will soon rise.
Burning Bush / First Quarter /
These are just a few of the churches already doing repairs if not putting up a new building as a result of your financial help. We want you to know, that outside of the help for their buildings, AFBCP is also giving financial assistance to the pastors and workers whose congregation cannot support them for now because they too were affected by the typhoon. We give additional financial aid to pastors with small children, especially those still needing milk. February 2- 12, I set out to visit the churches in Leyte and Samar provinces, the two places where Yolanda did the most damage. Together with some 50 Pastors and laymen from our churches in the Eastern and Southern sectors of Bukidnon, skilled in carpentry work, we left February 2, at 2pm and arrived at Dulag, Leyte, some 55 kms away from Tacloban, Monday around 5 pm. Our first stop was Dulag, where the church's roof was 70% damaged. We stayed for 3 days in this place and left with the building fully restored. The pastor's joy was expressed in roasting a pig for the whole team. From Dulag, we proceeded to Buranguen where the entire roof of the church building was ripped off.
The second church we visited, after just one day, the entire roof was fully restored to the joy of the believers in this place. On our 3rd day of work, a couple of our companions got sick of diarrhea, four were brought to Leyte Baptist Hospital. We did have our share of trouble along the way, such as having a flat 2014 tire.
In Leyte, I took the opportunity to meet the pastors who were affected by typhoon Yolanda and listened to their stories on how they survived the disaster. Their different stories brought fear to my heart as I listened. Only by the grace of Almighty God were these brethren able to survive what they went through. 42 Pastors came that day; some were unable to come due to difficulty in transportation. A young man at Bukidnon Seminary, narrated how he survived the storm and the motor accident he had in the month of December where doctors had to open his head. There is a young pastor who almost lost his wife and ten months old baby during the storm. They were trapped inside their house by the sudden surge of water. He had to destroy the ceiling and roof of the house to get out but in the process lost the grip of his wife's hand. He pushed his 4 years old son inside into the ceiling and dived into the water to look for his wife and child. He was able to grab his wife's hand and finally pulled them on top of the roof. Another survivor of Yolanda was Rev. Pacifico Odango and I was so happy to see him. He is one of the pioneer workers in the province of Leyte. Each of these pastors received financial help from AFBCP through your gifts, with the extra for those who have small kids. We have pledge to help them rebuild, repair their chapels and parsonage. The 50 pastors and laymen who went with me were spending their own money for this trip, including their food. AFBCP supplied the building materials needed. It was a joy to see the believers rejoicing standing in front of their newly repaired or newly built chapels. After listening to these pastors, the national council thought it was good to give them something hot for lunch.
With the help of Pastor Chua and wife together with some ladies from New Life Baptist Church of Tacloban, we were able to serve pork sinigang with chicken adobo and some deserts. Waiting for their names to be called to receive what we have prepared for them, I met a lady with her son. She is a member of NLBC Tacloban and both survived Yolanda by staying on top of a bed floating for three (3) hours. The â€œLord kept them safe till the storm passed by.â€? It is still a long way to go, a lot of things that needed to be done, but with the faithfulness of God manifested through the love of His people for the brethren in these typhoon affected areas, there is no telling what God can do. Allow me to thank you in behalf of these brethren. I am grateful to the Lord for the safety He has afforded me in all my travels and for the provisions of needs and watching over my family who I often leave behind these days. Our goal is clear and simple, put up a descent chapel and a descent place for His workers to stay. All these we do for the glory of our Savior. In Behalf of a Grateful Association,
Rev. Leoncio C. Arabelo, Jr. Chairman, AFBCP, Inc.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4 Burning Bush / First Quarter / 2014
apostles' doctrine breaking of bread, fellowship, prayers. SUNDAY // PRAYER MEETING 8:30PM Manama Villa Contact: Sis Cathy 050 452 3550 W EEKLY BIBLE STUDY GROUPS: MONDAY // KARAMA Contact: Bro. Carlos 056 749 8194 TUESDAY // IC-DEIRA Contact: Sis. Cathy 050 452 3550 // SATWA-GOLDEN BELL OFFICE Contact: Sis. Sheila 050 943 4529 // DEIRA Contact: Bro. Jeff Intal 050 287 6209 // SHARJAH/AL NAHDA Contact: Bro. Jeff Maloles 050 206 9392 // ABU HAIL Contact: Bro. Nelson 055 936 6988 W EDNESDAY // NEXTCARE GROUP Contact: Bro. Ryan 050 247 1152 // SOJOURNERS Contact: Bro. Angelo 055 281 9612 THURSDAY // CHOIR PRACTICE Contact: Sis. Shirley 050 363 4894 FRIDAY W ORSHIP SERVICES: (DHOW MEETING ROOM, SAMAYA HOTEL) // TAGALOG SERVICE 8:30-10:00AM // FRIDAY SCHOOL 10:15-10:45AM -KING’S MEN FRIDAY SCHOOL CLASS 10:15AM -TRUE W OMANHOOD FRIDAY SCHOOL CLASS 10:15AM -THE LORD’S YOUNG FLOCK - GRADERS & PRE-TEENS 10:00AM - PRE-SCHOOLERS 11:40AM
THE BACK TO THE BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH Tagalog Service 8am ✚ Friday School (All Classes) 10am ✚ English Worship Service 11am24 Burning Bush / Worship First Quarter / 2014 Sunday Prayer Meeting at Manama Villa No. 7 8.30pm