Posted in Each New Day, From Worry To Glory, Lessons Learned from Sickness

One Fine Day

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 26: One Fine Day

Castlepoint Lighthouse at Wairarapa NZ
One fine day with God at Castlepoint Lighthouse, Wairarapa NZ. Photo by Jade Mark Jarbadan

How do you define a fine day? Perhaps to many of us, a fine day is a day that is devoid of any problems, burdens or cares.

Everything you encountered provides you joy, blessings, entertainment, and gives you a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment. That’s why people who encountered such kind of day blurts with excitement, “You have made my day!”

One of the most common greetings I heard from people who came to visit me was, “How’s your day?”

I’m grateful that they are so concerned about my situation and that they would like to know whether I still find joy, meaning, hope and peace in that particular day.

My ready answer to that is of course, “I have a fine day! Or, “My day is fine!” This is because I do not look at the negative circumstances surrounding me on a particular day in order to make my judgment, but I focus on God’s goodness and grace which enables me to appreciate the new day that God gave me.

The fact that I still woke up to a new day is already a great reason for me to say that my day is fine!

Proverbs 11: 27 says, “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.”

In other words, we will be able to define our day as a fine day by looking at all the positive things that God gave us and learn to celebrate that day by affirming God’s goodness and faithfulness.

But if we focus our attention to all the negative, hard, evil aspects of the day then that’s how we will also perceive our day – negative, hard and evil.

Ever since I discovered this verse, I learned to focus on searching the good things that God prepared for me on that particular day.

For what you seek, you will find! Have a fine day everyone!

Posted on FB: 18 March 2015 – 8:41 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

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Posted in Healing Sickness, Lessons Learned from Sickness, Overcoming Trials

Stepping Inside Job’s Shoes

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 11: Stepping Inside Job’s Shoes

Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord.
Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord.

Gina, one of my younger sisters, greatly comforted me when the doctor revealed to me my sickness.

She’s a school teacher at Sum-ag, Bacolod City at present.

Many years ago, she encountered a very severe trial.

Her husband was run-over by an 18 wheeler truck resulting in his sudden death. She became a very young widow with 3 very young children.

How did she cope with the tragedy? She stepped inside Job’s shoes.

This is her testimony of God’s goodness, which also comforted and strengthened me. What does “stepping inside Job’s shoes” entail?

  1. Being aware that God has chosen you to be tested. Have you seen my servant Job? Test him. God is mighty proud of Job. If you are under severe trial, God is making you his showcase.
  2. Being aware that God is highly confident that like Job, we can surpass these tests. God is very sure of Job’s faith, that he will not waver while facing trials.
  3. Being aware that God is right there at Job’s side monitoring the whole thing. God didn’t abandon Job.
  4. Being aware that God did strengthen Job and greatly blessed and rewarded him after he has passed the test!

These convictions strengthened Gina’s resolve to overcome her fiery trials.

She declared, “I will not only pass these tests. I will pass these tests with flying colors!”

Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord. Good day everyone!

Posted on FB: 6 March 2015 – 12:42 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He, his wife, Martha and daughter, Ronamae have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny started writing his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.”

On 9 July 2015, Pastor Ronny rested his earthly life.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.

Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now

Remembering God’s Goodness – Our Trip and Arrival in New Zealand

‘Daw kahapon lang’ (It seems like yesterday) we said goodbye to our family, relatives and friends in Iloilo, Philippines.

On 10 November 2012, we reached one year of living in New Zealand. Moving and traveling to a new country and starting a new life is one faith journey that we will always remember.

On the one hand were the hardships that went with the transition. It is always given and expected.

On the other hand is God, His loving kindness, His Mighty hand, continuously guiding and showering us with goodness and grace.

Traveling to a foreign country for the first time as a family is really exciting and enjoying.

Exciting because you get to experience many “firsts” and you just enjoy laughing at all the “miscues”.

Of course, it’s always good to ask when you’re in doubt.

So, we were inside the old Manila International Airport. I was pushing our trolley full of baggage towards the Malaysian Airlines counter. I approached a Chinese-looking guy wearing Malaysian Airline uniform and spoke to him in my best English only to be responded to in Tagalog. He’s Filipino.

What really gave us priceless and immeasurable joy was seeing our daughter enjoying the trip, cheering and smiling all along, unmindful of what lies ahead in our New Zealand sojourn.

We left Manila on 9 November 2011.

The three-hour flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur was quite smooth and on time.

Because our connecting flight was still three hours away, we hanged out at the KL International Airport. We also got to know other Filipinos bound for Auckland.

Wi-Fi Internet at the airport enabled us to contact home and update our family.

Finally we left Kuala Lumpur at almost 10:00 PM and with 11 hours flight, we slept and took much-needed rest.

At Auckland Airport, Boyet and Sharon Quimba met us. They’ve lived in Auckland for six years.

We are so grateful for Boyet and Sharon and their family for providing shelter and valuable guidance as we started our new life in New Zealand.

We thank all our brothers and sisters in Christ who consistently pray for us.

We thank our families and kin for your love and thoughtfulness.

We thank the Lord God Almighty for the safe trip and most of all for making our New Zealand living possible and successful.

Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational

The “David” Who Knocked-Out Our Unemployment “Goliath”

Dr. Teodoro Robles Central Philippine University

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

I started working with Central Philippine University in 2005. After working for six years, I faced unemployment.

I took the risk of quitting my job at 43-years-old for the cause of justice and dignity.

I resolved to resign after experiencing harsh treatment of insults, intrigues, lies, and prejudices. These things manifested in many ways and the worst was when my wages were diminished.

With the paltry sum I was getting every pay-day, I told my wife that it’s time to go and look for better opportunities.

Prior to finally resigning on 31 March 2011, I filed a six-month leave without pay. Following my filing of case at National Labor Relations Commission on 1 October 2010, I submitted my application for a leave without pay for six months. I just wanted to avoid further persecution while my labor complaint was developing.

How will I support my family for six months without salary was a matter that our Almighty God resolved.

Creekside Baptist Church, a house church in Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo invited me as their interim pastor beginning October 2010. Their offer affirmed my pastoral calling and so I accepted willingly.

On the day after I accepted the invitation, I received three invitations for online writing and search engine optimization projects through oDesk. What a blessing and affirmation of support.

One of them was the “David” who knocked-out my worries of unemployment. He offered initially 30-hours a week of work, then adjusted it to 40-hours a week after I decided to work solely for him.

Let me list how the God-sent “David” knocked out my unemployment “Goliath”.

I am listing this to boast of God’s goodness and how literal and real He does things to those who believe in His mighty power.

  • “Goliath” doubted my gift of administration
  • David appointed me Project Manager
  • “Goliath” diminished my salary and benefits
  • David offered me five times more than what I was receiving at CPU
  • “Goliath” removed staff members working with me
  • David assigned me to recruit and manage online staff workers from all over the world
  • “Goliath” criticized my management of Link and the Unigames 2009 assignments
  • David assigned me to manage as many as 14 websites, ten of them are big car dealers in Canada.

Indeed, what happened was proof that God sends His “David” to fight and defeat our “Goliath”. He never fails His promise of deliverance and He never runs out of noble deliverers.

Today, 31 March 2012, marks the date when I terminated my work with CPU but I would rather think of it as an anniversary of my liberation from a leadership that wreaks of injustice, pride, and jealousy.

I worked with David’s company for a year. Thank you dear God for sending us “David”. We will always remember your goodness as long as we live. Later, his company issued a certificate of employment to credit my year-long service.

Indeed, King David is right in praying, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

Photo Credit: Examiner