Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, Mission

How I Wish Everyone Would Just “Love Your Neighbours as Yourself”

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Seeing a video on Facebook about how thieves (called ‘sliders’) operate in the US sparked my wishful thinking.

Indeed, when we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, there’s always peace and order in the community.

Committing to this law is much much cheaper than building a fence or installing a state-of-the-art security surveillance system.

Real estate developers in the Philippines try to recreate a neighbourhood and make “peace and order”, “security” and “safety” as their primary selling point. Some would even attach the term “exclusive community”.

A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window remained untouched.
A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window but his car remained untouched through the night.

We thank the Lord for making it possible for us to live in a community where neighbourhood values are very strong.

A schoolmate who lived in downtown Auckland, parking on the street for the night forgot to close his car window. He was so happy nothing was lost nor his car was ever touched.

Well, we could say he was just lucky.

How about these.

We were living in Forrest Hill, Auckland and we were about to sleep at past 10:00 PM when someone knocked on our door.

It was our Korean neighbour. She apoligised for disturbing us. Then she told us that we left our car door open.

Yes it was wide open because our 7-year-old forgot to close it after getting off the car and we’re just parking on the street.

Living in Timaru now, one of our Kiwi friends noticed how I would unlock and lock the door when he comes to visit.

I told him that it’s been a habit in the Philippines to always keep the door locked even if we’re in the house.

There was a time we get off my car as I parked on the side street. Then I locked the doors. He said out loud, “Oh Jonan, you don’t trust your neighbours?”

I blushed a bit and laughed telling him, “It’s just a hard habit to break, mate.”

Well, these are just bits and pieces of why New Zealand is the safest country in the world.

I do believe when people bind the law “Love your neighbour as yourself” in their hearts there would be much peace and order in the community.

In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
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Posted in Faith, Inspirational

Moving Forward in Faith

Moving forward in faith

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7)

I took this photo of two sparrows as I watched through our window in August 2012. It was winter in Auckland and food might be scarce for these creatures but I recalled how God cares for them.

I chose this photo to complement the devotional I read from Messianic Bible Devotionals, which I’m sharing below.

Just as the Exodus was the starting point of Israel’s salvation, so is our rescue from the kingdom of darkness just the beginning of our spiritual journey.

But the enemy of our souls does not let go easily; he usually tries to draw us back into bondage.

Sometimes when our backs are up against the wall, as was the case with Israel standing at the Red Sea, we wonder: “What should I do? What should I do?”

Instead of panicking and blaming others, we can move on in faith, believing that He will save us. After that, we need to enter into His rest and wait on the Lord for further instructions.

If we remember that the Lord fights our battles for us, then we can quiet our inner turmoil and trust in Him, hold our peace, and refuse to speak unbelief when pushed to our limits.

Let us keep on moving forward in faith, knowing and believing that our God Almighty is on our side to win all of life’s challenges.

PRAYER

Lord God, forgive us for our unbelief that You are our Great Defender. Thank you for always being there to protect us and help us win the battles of life. Amen.

Posted in Inspirational

Gaining the Blessings of Christian Love

 

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

When Pastor Colin learned that we’re moving to Timaru, he told me right after one Sunday worship service, “Please don’t go without us praying for you”. Knowing and experiencing how important prayer blessing is, I told him we will still be here next Sunday.

We are set to leave for Timaru on 14 August. This is a big move for our family but we have to because a relevant job opportunity has come.

Living in North Shore area, particularly in Glenfield and Forrest Hill suburbs in the past nine months, we have fostered relationships among church mates and a group of Filipinos.

Pastor Colin (left) and Tony came to help us deal with our remaining furniture.

As we were packing our things and finding ways how to dispose our car and the few pieces of furniture, I can’t help but think how one could easily dispose material things when moving.

I mean, you can sell or give your things easily but you can never let go of the friendships that you have made, especially when they are bounded in Christian love.

We can’t avoid feeling sad realizing that we won’t be seeing Glenfield Baptist Church for some time. Still, we rejoice in the truth that Christian relationships are the treasures that one could have forever, both on earth and in heaven.

So, on 12 August 2012, we attended worship service at Glenfield Baptist Church. Pastor Colin called us to the altar and he and the congregation prayed for us. I won’t say it’s our last worship service with them.

Glenfield Baptist fulfils the meaning of church to us and I’m sure the welcome won’t end each time we visit. Growing up experiencing the power of prayer, I don’t want to miss any opportunity of gaining the blessings of Christian love wherever I am.

In moving to Timaru we are embarking on a new chapter of our faith journey in New Zealand. So far, it is through the prayers of friends and family that we have achieved tremendously in faith. Glenfield Baptist Church has provided us the needed sanctuary.

Our hearts are forever grateful for all of you. Let us pray without ceasing as our faith journey continues.

From time to time, the home group holds shared meal. After the worship service on 12 August, they held a shared lunch to bless our trip and spend time in fellowship.

Please read “How God Builds GBC through the Home Group” and be inspired.

Posted in Inspirational

Summer Wind in Auckland

From Worry To Glory

Summer wind will you take me far?
I wanna go to a distant star;
I want a place where I can be;
Free to live and just wanna be me.

From Worry To Glory
Oftentimes, things and events start with a photo

Summer wind will you blow me away?

To an endless sea I’ll sail;

I won’t mind if I’ll search forever;

As long as I find you waiting there.

 
 

 

 

Take me to another time when I can find my peace,
Summer wind in you I’ll find release;
Take me to a lofty place where I can do my best,
Summer wind this is my only wish…
May all summer bring joy and happiness.

From Worry to Glory
Savoring a lofty place moment at Mt. Victoria

Summer wind will you whip me strong?
Carry me to where I belong;
I wish you would just settle me,
Where true friends are all that I can see.

From Worry To Glory
(L-R) Nonoy, Sharon, Twinkle, Iya, Jonan, Toto, Noynoy; with Boyet taking the shot

Take me to another time when I can find my peace,
Summer wind in you I’ll find release;
Take me to a lofty place where I can do my best,
Summer wind this is my only wish…
May all summer bring joy and happiness.