In Deed and In Truth

thoughts from a Christian

Autumn Reflection

Autumn Reflection 2

I suppose it’s time for some reflection.  It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on In Deed In Truth and it’s not for lack of content.  I’d even hate to pawn it off on lack of time.  But reality is reality.  Can’t fake the funk.

It has been a ridiculously insane 2 months.  The beginning of autumn was a progressive, forward thinking, looking toward new and exciting developments, time of the year.  On August 7, 2009, we welcomed our second daughter into the world.  The last 3 months has been filled with diapers, wipes, breast milk, screaming newborns, screaming older sisters, and not nearly enough time to cultivate and nurture the marriage between a husband and wife.  Up’s and downs.  In’s and Outs.  Kriss and Kross… don’t it make you wanna jump, jump.

Not only did the Lord give me another beautiful baby daughte, but my secular full time job maintains its consistent demands as well as the church in Pasadena, CA.  Unfortunately, many things had to take a back seat and the last 6 months has forced me to prioritize big time.

I’ve tried to maintain the level of activity with Events For Christ, but my family, church, and work has demanded more of my time and attention.  As much as I wanted to keep EFC going and growing, it was just far too difficult.  But things are starting to slow down and get into a nice rhythm.  EFC seems to be back on my radar and I can’t be more excited.  Thank you to all those who continue to encourage us with your support for Events For Christ

Not only is EFC back on my radar, but a brand new ministry movement has pushed itself to the front of the line.  The Road to Peace is a new ministry that the Lord has placed on my heart and I’ve obliged to undertake.  Starting with a rally this month, a conference in January, videos, pictures, books, t-shirts, sponsorships, collaborations, and the sort spewed about, needless to say, not much else has found its way into my schedule.  I have a team of 4 individuals with another 4 consultants.  It’s God’s providence that He doesn’t allow me to feel how big this may get.  We are the US division.  We already have a South African contingent.  Sometime in 2010, we’re hoping to be able to travel internationally and bring this movement overseas.  (We’re looking into penetrating the Philippine market starting in 2010 as well.)  Big ideas.  An even bigger God.

Speaking of the Philippines, a little birdie told me that there’s a need for my presence in Forest Hills, Cebu City, where the main organizational ministry is located.  As vice-chairman of EL International Church Inc, it’s important for me to be in the midst of all the goings on of EL International.  Lord willing, we’ll be opening our elementary school next year, continuing the construction of the building, attending to the details of the library, and adding more components to the computer lab.  Not to mention the 7 additional congregations that are currently planted.  There’s a congregation in Valenzuela city, PI that is still without a pastor but diligently worships and serves weekly.

As busy as I think I am here in the US, I know that things are 100 times more arduous and hectic in Pinas.  It helps me keep things in perspective.

My older sister warned me earlier this week of the work load that I’m carrying.  From her viewpoint, being the sole provider of my family and carrying everything else is unhealthy and hazardous to my heart.  A myocardial infarction might be in my future.  I pray that it’s not.

All in all, as busy as my days, nights, weeks, and weekends may be… as overwhelmed as I may potentially feel, I’m having fun.  I’m doing what I love to do, which is serve the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  I don’t feel like I’m wasting any of my talents and gifts because I’m just focusing on giving it back to Him.  It brings joy to my heart.

And as long as my daughters rush to the door every time they hear me and usher me into my home with open arms and wide smiles, welcomed to a family based on love and support, God’s goodness is revealed to me every single day.

And I challenge God…Can it really get any better?

(Picture taken October 2009, Keilah Naomi at Finkbiner Park in Glendora, CA)

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November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 Things I Learned From My Daughters

10. If you poke someone in the eye, you need to apologize.

 

9. It’s best not to eat cereal with your hands… and then run them through your hair.

Cereal

8. You should always eat fruit with every meal.  Preferably cut up strawberries or peeled oranges.

 

7. If you did something wrong, it’s best not to look like you did.

Did wrong

 

6. You always need to take care of those you love.

 

5. You should always take a nap at least once a day.  No exceptions.

Nap

 

4. It’s always comforting to fall asleep with family.

 

3.It’s always nice to wake up to family.

Wake up

 

2. I don’t deserve any of God’s blessings that I receive in life.

 

and the #1 thing I learned from my daughters…

“Love never fails”

 

Love never fails

Photographs taken by Justin Lacanilao

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jaelyn Audrey Lacanilao

Jaelyn Audrey Lacanilao

On Friday, August 7, 2009 At 2:02pm, our second daughter, Jaelyn Audrey was welcomed into the world.  I can’t even described how wonderfully awesome it is to see Jaelyn come into this world.  She now joins her big sister, Keilah Naomi as an addition to the Lacanilao family.

In so many ways, I cannot imagine or even start to understand the strength that my wife carries.  To endure what she’s endured brings such a level of humility, a feeling that I don’t deserve anything from her for what she puts herself through, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  To my wife as well as every woman who has endured the labor of child birth.  Thank you…

Compared to last year, when I was waiting on the birth of our first daughter, I sensed a bit more joy during this birth.  Not because I love Jaelyn more than Keilah.  Not at all!  It’s because last year, I was more overcome by a feeling of anxiety, worry, concern, and the unknown.  I didn’t know what to expect when Keilah was born because I had never been a father.  I even felt apprehensive when leaving the hospital.  (They do EVERYTHING for you… we were being pampered!  And we weren’t alone.)  I knew that once we got home, it would just be Gina and I.

But with Jaelyn, I knew what to expect and I knew that we could handle the first few months of dealing with an infant.  We’re not that far removed from the 2 hour wake up/feedings and the jars and jars of Similac.  It’s no longer an unknown.

So instead of the anxiety, worry, and concern, I could just focus on the fact that my daughter was finally here… And how great that made me feel!

Gina is doing well.  Jaelyn is healthy.  Keilah is sitting on dad’s lap as he is writing this.  The Lacanilao family is doing well.

Thank you for your prayers and endless support.  The overwhelming sense of grace and the expedite, safe, and unhindered delivery of Jaelyn, I am confident, are due to the all of your petitions to the Lord on our behalf.

Thank you..Thank you.. Thank you..

August 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Priorities

father-daughter

My mind wanders.  A lot.  And I jokingly mention to my wife and those close to me that often times I have to work hard and think even harder late into the evenings after everyone has fallen asleep.  I need my brain to be fully exhausted.  If it’s not, then I usually end up laying in bed thinking for hours on end.  Ask my wife.  I’ve kept her up many times before.

But my mind is always on the go.  It’s my blessing and my curse.  But recently, I’ve been encouraged by some good friends of mine, whom I look up to, admire, and turn to for spiritual encouragment, guidance, and strength.  I was reminded that what I consider my thorn in the flesh, they actually admire, and one of them told me it’s something that he’d like to develop.

So here it is, my mind thinking again.  And all these plans I have for the Lord have been curbed to build my patience.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to alleviate myself from having to work full time so that I can devote all my time to the ministry.  When I tried to take it into my own hands, I always fell flat on my face, humbled by the fact that it wasn’t God’s timing yet.

As badly as I would like to make the transition from bi-vocational pastor to full time ministry, I just can’t.  My family comes first.  And I need to provide.  Among other things, this is arguably my greatest struggle.

But the fact that I have to work twice, if not three times as hard to provide for my family and be the pastor that our congregation needs and to dream big for God and pull the trigger on these ideas strengthens my conviction that there is nothing else I’d rather do than be in the middle of the Lord’s work.

Driving home from 15 hour work days, sometimes all I have is the 30 minute drive home, where the radio is turned off and I’m all alone.  It gives me time to pray and to imagine, plan, and prepare.  I think about how I can be a better pastor, a better leader, a better Christian.

Then I come home, walk through the doors of my 2-bed apartment and work on becoming a better father and husband.

Picture taken from http://www.evolvingtimes.com/images/father-daughter.jpg

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments