Posted in Faith

How to Honor St. John the Baptist the Right Way

John the Baptist

In the Philippines, the Roman Catholics celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist on the 24th of June each year.

Being the Baptist, Filipinos would flock to the beach, rivers, lakes, ponds or pool to swim and celebrate John’s birthday.

Traditionally, children and adults would line the street (or sometimes hiding as in ambush) and douse with water the unsuspecting passers-by who maybe walking or riding on a vehicle.

Later, this practice diminished after some incidents led to rage and perpetrators getting shot at and killed by angry wet victims.

Like any other feasts, most revelers would end up intoxicated. It is also the day when incidents of drowning is high.

How I wish Filipinos who are keen in honoring John the Baptist would take time to read about him.

In Luke 1:13-17, we read the angel of the Lord’s prophecy about John the Baptist (emphasis mine).

  • 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
  • 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
  • 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
  • 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
  • 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Based from the Scriptures, it is plain and clear how we must give honour to John the Baptist.

As John the Baptist is never to take wine or other fermented drink, the best way to celebrate his birthday is to abstain from wine or other fermented drink.

Celebrating with all sobriety, I believe we would make John the Baptist happier if we take time to understand why we call him “the Baptist” and why should we follow Jesus Christ’s example of submitting to baptism when he was grown up and wasn’t a baby.

 
PHOTO CREDIT: Vintage Wine Case from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love

Happy Birthday Our Dearest Mother, Nenita Castillon!

Wife, mother, pastor, teacher, tutor, mentor, friend, neighbour, cook, housekeeper, God-fearing, faithful, patient, sweet, loving, strong, full of courage, industrious, healthy, humble…she is everything a mother could be.

Most of all she is the epitome of faith and inner strength, encouraging and keeping us strong always. Happy birthday, our dearest Mum!

From all of us,

Jonan, Jewel and Jadyn

Lola Nits and Jadyn
Lola Nits and Jadyn
Jewel, Jadyn, Nenita, and Jonan
Jewel, Jadyn, Nenita, and Jonan
Nenita and Malvar Castillon family
Nenita and Malvar Castillon family
Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, South Canterbury living

Tribute to God’s Awesome Goodness

 

As we celebrate our second winter in New Zealand, we remember how good our God is.  In June 2012, we were praying and waiting for the job that’s pivotal to our getting residence visa.

Our 9-month work-to-residence visa was ending 10 August 2012, barely two months then.

God’s Mighty hand at work, He moved people, caused events to happen, and guided us to a places where He wanted us to be.

So, we always thank the Father for the things that He has done and for the things He’s yet to do.

Thank you Lord for being doubly good.

We are also forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been with us in our faith journey.

Please watch the video my wife created —Beautiful Sights of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand

 

SONG CREDIT: “Doubly Good to You” by Amy Grant

Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational

Remembering Miss Daisy

faith in God

Daisy Basiliano 2

“Amo na abilidad mo sa rural church ka lang naga-pastor?” was Miss Daisy’s statement I can’t forget when we met in May 2002 at La Carlota Evangelical Church.

We were attending the annual assembly (now biennial) of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC).

The statement means “With all your abilities you are pastor of a rural church only?”

If you don’t know Miss Daisy Basiliano, you certainly will have a lot of negative things going in your heart and mind.

I’ve known her as a brazen woman. She says what she thinks is true about you.

She could be “rough” at times but she had the best intentions for you. The tenderness and kindness are always there.

I met her when I was a teenager going with my father who was pastor of Astorga Baptist Church, Dumarao, Capiz. That was in the 80s.

All I know that her family supports the church and the pastoral work as well.

I learned through the CPBC community that Miss Daisy became a pastor, chaplain and teacher. She trained for Clinical Pastoral Education in the US.

We never had any close encounter until that day in May 2002.

After telling me that statement, Miss Daisy didn’t stop.

A few months later, I got a message from her that she had recommended me to speak at New Testament Baptist Church, Iloilo City in September 2002. This preaching assignment developed further.

On 20 October 2002, I started my work as interim pastor of New Testament Baptist Church, a city church.

Miss Daisy had a way of making people think outside of the box. Her statement to me made me think, “Why not?”

Actually, after that meeting in May 2002, I opened myself to working with city churches.

In fact, I got a call as associate pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Manila starting December 2002. I was already committed to work in Manila that’s why my interim appointment.

When my father suffered stroke on 16 November 2002, I decided to stay and continue working with New Testament Baptist Church for three years.

Our family and Miss Daisy became closer because we found ourselves pursuing together what is right, just and pleasing before the Lord God.

While teaching at the College of Theology, she came to live with us at CPU Campus for almost two years.

Those were blissful moments of hearing God’s miracle and goodness to her like her victory over cancer, near-death experiences and other life-changing experiences.

Finally, on 6 June 2012, she laid to rest her earthly body and be with the Lord Jesus Christ, her master and friend.

Love of God
Days before leaving Iloilo City for New Zealand, we took time to visit Miss Daisy at Roxas City. We were hoping it wasn’t our last. It’s not for we will see her beyond the sunset someday soon.

We will always remember you, Miss Daisy!

Posted in Inspirational

Multicultural Response – A God Possibility Experience

For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

multicultural response event

We were a couple of weeks before moving from Auckland to Timaru in August 2012.

I was searching for a church where our family could join to worship and serve in the ministry.

I was on the phone talking to a woman who gave me information about their church (not Wilson Street Baptist Church).

I asked how possible it is to start a multicultural ministry in their church.

She said there are no Filipinos nor people from other countries in their membership.

I can’t forget what she mentioned, “there’s not much multicultural ministry going on here”.

Eight months later, on 20 April 2013, Wilson Street Baptist Church held the Evening of Praise and Worship, their first multicultural event.

Watch the Evening of Praise and Worship video clip of the event.

Indeed, nothing is impossible with God and in fact, the possibilities are endless as we keep on trusting and believing Him.