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

The Book Cover

Book Cover

This self-revelation came to me.  A new nickname.  Just call me… The Book Cover.  Why?  Because I get judged, that’s why.  I’m just wondering if there’s some sort of vibe or look that I give off that makes people immediately judge me either positively or negatively.  I’m not sure.  But I always get the feeling that people see me differently than I really am.  Maybe I should work on my first impression.

Or maybe it’s because I’m 26 and when people introduce me as a pastor it means nothing to them.  Maybe in the eyes of many, I haven’t yet paid my dues, or my credibility is called into question, or maybe they “despise me because of my youth.”  Maybe I haven’t made it around the circuit enough.  Maybe I haven’t spoken at enough churches or taught at enough universities or my name isn’t as well known as others.

Maybe it’s the way I dress.  Shorts, t-shirt, and some kicks don’t necessarily scream out that I’m a pastor.  Maybe my look discredits me and leads others not to take me seriously when it comes to the ministry.

The Book Cover.  Don’t judge me just yet.

I have to be honest.  Most of the people who find out that I’m a pastor engage me in conversation and we begin to have a nice talk about the ministry, my life, my testimony, their life, their opinions and an overall “getting to know you, getting to know all about you” moment.  But there are some that seem to not want to have anything to do with me when they find out that little nugget of information.  And it’s not the people that first come to your mind.

These are the ones who are established members of various ministries.  They are other pastors, teachers, Bible school professors.  They are the elders, the deacons, the associate pastors and church leaders.  They are the ones that have years of experience on me.  They are the ones that I shake hands with and say but two words to me.  They are the ones that I hope to look to for encouragement, advice, guidance, direction, and possible mentorship.

Maybe I’m making a big deal about it.  Maybe it’s my insecurities.  Maybe it’s me creating some sort of internal controversy to further motivate and inspire me to do more and be more for God.

Whatever it is, the fact still reminds.

I’m human.  And I don’t like to be judged.

But what can I do about that?  I don’t know.  Prove to others that I’m not who they seem?  Work harder to prove to myself that I’m not who people think I am?  Judge others just as extensively and shallow as I seem to be judged by first impression, just to give them a taste of their own medicine?

I may just do that.  All of it may be justified, even urged by others.  I just may, but not just yet.

Because as of right now… I still have some reading to do.

Picture taken from http://blogacademy.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/first-impressions.jpg

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Follow the Leader

follow_the_leader_2_b

I’ve always known that a true, successful leader is not defined by what they accomplish, but by what their followers accomplish.  For more than a decade, I’ve been placed in positions of leadership.  Is there such a thing as a natural born leader?  I’m not sure.  I’m leaning more to the notion that a leader is made, not born.  All I know is that as a leader I’m still learning.  And I’m confident that I’ll still be learning for decades more to come.

There are many leadership hats that I must wear.  As a husband I must lead my wife.  As a father I must lead my daughters.  As a pastor, I must lead my congregation.  As a project manager I must lead my team.  There are many people to lead.

The difficulty comes in how to lead all these different people.

How I lead my wife is different from how I lead my daughters.  How I lead one member of the congregation is different from how I should lead another member.  How I lead one employee is different from another.

Every person is different.  Every person has different buttons, different motivational hot spots, many insecurities, many talents, many strengths, and many different ways that they follow.

They are also detracted from certain types of leaders.  How in the world am I supposed to figure out how each person is to be treated?

One person needs affirmation while another person needs scrutiny.  Another needs structure while yet another needs freedom.  People will all react differently to how I approach them.  I’ve learned that there is no “cookie cutter” leadership.  One leadership style will mesh with one while resent another.

So what must I do?  Observe.  Adapt.  Understand.

Love.

To emulate the greatest leader ever to grace this world with His presence, Jesus Christ based His entire ministry on love.

I can talk to people differently, motivate them differently, criticize them differently, push them differently, educate them differently, instruct them differently, and overall lead each person differently.

But I must love them all the same.

Picture taken from http://www.chromasia.com/galleries/0701052111.php

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment