WHAT IS Memoirs of a Preacher?

This blog, Memoirs of a Preacher, is not just a journal of my journey and experience after being a full time church worker.

This blog is a reminder that 'preachers' like us are also human and have our own flaws. We are not perfect and we are not superman. We may try to do things out of the ordinary but that is just because of our passion for the work.

Every preacher, just like any other human being in this planet, has his own issue in life. To sum up everything, you and me and all those who serve in the work of the Lord, we are all sinners and we "fall short of the glory of God".

Praise God because we are saved by grace, not of works lest anyone should boast. I cannot boast of myself, and I think no body can.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy (Philippines)

The aftermath of typhoon Ondoy left us with hundreds of people dead and missing. Millions of pesos has been accounted for damages and Metro Manila will never be the same again. This was, so far, the most tragic flash flood in Manila for decades now. But the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy is not really the damages it has done to our infrastructures and, in my opinion (not to be insensitive to those whose loved ones has perished), not even the death toll. The aftermath of this disaster is more on how it changes us and how others react to it.

I’ll be writing below some of the things I think was affected by this typhoon:

I would say that this is the first thing that is affected by this disaster. Every disaster that happens to human is a test of his faith in the spirituality he stand on. For some, they would rather curse God for what happened. Can we really blame God? Well, I cannot blame others who blames God…most peple blame God if they cannot blame anyone with the bad things that are happening to them. But in my personal experience, although I haven’t experienced having a loved one died in a tragic event and I’m not even hoping, I believe that most tragic event in our lives are caused by people too. On the contrary, tragedies like this does reminds us of God and we can either strenghten our faith in Him or curse Him and die.

I have read a comment in Facebook about a woman who said that there are a lot of sinners in our country that is why this happened (attached picture). What she forgot was that there were also children who were affected by the flood, and worst was children who did not survive. Yesterday, in the clean up operation they have discovered a child covered with mud, cold dead. Can you really say that things like this happens only to sinners? Did God break His promise not to wipe out human beings with flood because of their sins? I don’t think so. But tragedies like this can change attitudes. It can make you or break you! Attitude, in the first place, is how you look at something or someone. If you have a positive outlook in life then probably you will have a positive and optimistic attitude on this. However, if you have a negative outlook in life then you will be like this lady who just cursed everyone in the Philippines.

With the 2010 Election coming, a tragedy like this that happened in the middle of the election circus can be an opportnity for most officials running for presidency to show people how much they “care”…that is if they really care. Take for example the photo here that has a small note that says: “Tulong galing kay…” (”Help from…”). Well, if you really want to help do you really need to announce to everyone that you are helping? Did not Christ said not to let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. For God rewards OPENLY those who does good things in SECRET. Don’t get me wrong. Before Noynoy Aquino announced that he will run for president in the 2010 election I was going to vote for Manny Villar. I am not against Manny Villar…I am against those politicians who are using tragedies like this for their own benefits. When will they stop using the Filipinos for their own benefit that they may consume them with their lust.

But then again, the Philippines is not all about corruption! In midst of every tragedy (in the past and even in the future), the Filipinos will be like bamboos who may bend but will never break. Like bamboos, when put together, we show our strength in times like this. We extend our hands to help to people where help seem hopeless. We can still laugh at our calamity making us the happiest people on earth based on studies. In this time of crisis we, the Filipino people, always rise above the waters and many unsung heroes are made

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear friends,

Most of you already know that I have resigned from Mactan COC many months ago. I have left the congregation, whom I loved and have sacrificed my life for, in somewhat selfish reason. In a way, I see myself as Moses who has ran away to Midian after taking into his hands the salvation of one Israelite without understanding fully the power of God.

Although I have always believed in the power and grace of God, there was a time in my ministry where I took matters in to my hands without waiting on God. I feel that there is so much I can do for God in His church that I forgot about God's plan for His church instead of mine. In my busyness in the ministry I forgot that planting a seed needs patience and process and that I may plant the seed but it is still God who will make it grow.

Like Moses in Midian, I find myself in a place where I feel so useless; I work in a company where my ability and talent seems to be going to waste. It's been nine months now that I have been like this...where the glory of my past seems nothing anymore. I guess that is part of the I do not know if I can still do the same powerful sermon that I used to I do not know if I can still manage or administer in a church like I used to. I don't know anymore if I can be as good as I did before...BUT I think that is exactly the point. Because we can never serve our of giftedness but out of brokeness.

Lately, in my quiet time with God, I feel the burden to finish what I have started in Iloilo City. The work in that city may be another failure as some people may think but I don't know why I feel the burden to go back there and finish what God has allowed us to do there years seems that the work there was never over yet. Perhaps, God has a plan for Iloilo but I wanted to be sure that God has work for me there so I can join His work there.

Help me pray for guidance and clear vision from God. I do not want to be deluded with just mere feelings. If this is God's will, in His time, He will reveal it. And if it is time for Him to use me again in the missionfield, be it in Iloilo or somewhere else, I know He will provide for us a way to do it where support will overflow from people as God moves them.

Again, I write to you because I consider you a big part of mine and my family's life. I need you to pray for this and to give us counsel as needed.

God bless you.

In Christ,


Thursday, July 30, 2009


One Thursday afternoon, my family and I were watching a movie starred by Nicolas Cage. The movie was entitled "Knowing".

The story was about a man (Nicolas Cage) who has a son who got an envelope from a time capsule in school. This envelope, along with other envelopes distributed to other kids in that school, were written or drawn by students of that school 50 years in the past. The man (Nicolas Cage) saw the paper which his son got and, on that seem useless night, realized that what was written on that paper was a prediction of major disasters in the world. In it was written the date, location, and the number of people who will die in that disaster. So far, all the predictions came true for the last 50 years.

The climax of the story was him knowing the exact day "everyone else" will die - the end of mankind.

While we were watching this, my son Matthew just said, "Dad, people have a lot of problem, right?"

That statement really strucked me because, even if I knew that problem is eminent to people, my son said it in a deeper yet profound way that would make you think again.

People do have problems...

John 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world..."

Who doesn't have problems and conflicts and sorrows? I guess the hardest thing to having problem is not really the problem itself but KNOWING.

KNOWING the possible effects and results of a problem. This is what bothers us! We worry because we know there will be consequences. How good is it to not know and just accept things the way it is as God allows it.

I guess this is why God did not give us the ability to see the future. If so, then there will be more chaos. People worry about the things they do not know, how much more if they already know what will happen? And even if we know the future, we do not have the power and ability to control it. Even if we have the power to control it, we do not have the ability to do the wise things...OUR WISDOM IS FOOLISHNESS TO GOD!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Frustrations & Worries...

It seems like we are experiencing a series of 'unfortunate events' - so the world sees it. My son, Matthew, was sick for amost a week last week. After that my daughter, Annika, got sick with a temperature of 40. She got sick for a day last week and then she was sick and weak 5 days now.

Human as we are, my wife and I are worried especially with the outbreak of the A(H1N1) virus and my kids are considered high risk; aside from their ages (8 & 5) my son is asthmatic and my daughter have unknown allergies.
Yesterday, we brought Annika to the hospital and our fear were confirmed - she has dengue (which is actually worst than the A(H1N1) virus if you come to think of it.

For a moment there I was frustrated. I didn't know what to feel. I wanted to be angry but I don't know where to be angry. Will I be angry at myself since I waited 4 days before I admitted her to the hospital? Should I be angry at God for these series of unfortunate events? Do I even have the right to be angry? If God is doing this because He loved me, can He just love me less?

But then I woke up to my senses...

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Have I forgotten what God has done in the past for us? Was it easy to just forget how God has made a road out of the dessert for us when everything seems hopeless? Would I just disregard how God has divided seas for us in the past when things seems impossible?

What I'm experiencing now is just 'nothing' in the hands of God...

A basketball in my hands is worth about $19. A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million. It depends whose hands it's in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6. A baseball in Mark Mcquire's hands is worth $19 million. It depends whose hands it's in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands. A tennis racket in Pete Sampras' hands is a Wimbledon Championship. It depends whose hands it's in.

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal. A rod in Moses' hands will part the mighty sea. It depends whose hands it's in.

A sling shot in my hands is a kid's toy. A sling shot in David's hand is a mighty weapon. It depends whose hands it's in.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God's hands will feed thousands. It depends whose hands it's in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse. Nails in Jesus Christ's hands will produce salvation for the entire world. It depends whose hands it's in.

As you see now it depends whose hands it's in. So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands because - It depends whose hands it's in.

(from the poem "Who's Hands")

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Public Confession

This is my public confession and I hope people would either understand or learn from this...or maybe both. There was a time in my life when God called me to do ministry work, to do what He intends me to do. For many years He has prepared me for His work, giving me all the experience I needed. He came when I was broken and at that time I was ready to kneel down and say "Here I am, Lord, send me".

My obedience has made me experience a deeper relationship with Him. I have gone through storms and shipwrecks in my life during those years that I have been working side-by-side with Him BUT He's strength was made strong during my weaknesses and I was rich even though I was poor because of His sufficient grace.

Time came that all these accomplishments has gone to my head and then came the time when I became half hearted. Not that I have become half hearted with my work in the ministry BUT half hearted in my dependence on Him. I relied on my capacity forgetting that I could not have done the things I have accomplished without Him. I have disobeyed Him and have followed my own in the ministry. I have made a major decision in life that was a great turning point.

This man that others called "faithful servant"...this man that others depended on for counseling and spiritual guidance has failed and have sinned.

Today, I confess my sin of PRIDE. I could have done this a long time ago but it took me months of hardship and living on my own will before I can even accept my sin. I publicly confess my sin as a gesture of accepting in and moving on to my journey back to God's will.

In the end, it is in serving Him that we find more joy and freedom in life. I was designed to be a servant of God and today I kneel back to Him asking Him to guide me back to His will.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grace after Grace

25 April 2009

If I would look back with regret the time when I was on top of my pedestal, I would be disappointed and enrage. I would remember the pride of my accomplishments and would recollect how those around me have envied me. I would recall what I used to be and the things that I used to have and as I reminisce them it would also bring to mind how I lost all of the things that I have established for years in just a small number of mistakes. That memory is never a pleasant thing to remember. Yes it isn’t; not unless I look at the other side of the coin.

But if I look back at these things with thanksgiving, I see it in a different way! I see how God has provided in all things and how He has leaded us. I also see that the Bible is indeed true that pride leads to destruction and my situation has humbled me and I know this pleases God. I feel closer to my family and to God in this time of crisis. I have never prayed so earnestly to God that when we are in the storm of our lives. My faith is being tested and I know that when tested in fire it will come out more precious than gold or silver.

In the end, it is not the suffering that really matters; what really matters here is the lessons that we learn so we can do more for God than we have before. God never uses a vessel of personal honor but God uses a broken vessel to let others know that He is great and that He is full of grace.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jehovah Jireh

God does work in a mysterious way, and sometimes unexpected. It may be in the most unusual way but He does work. Last Sunday’s sermon was so relevant that it has really sinked in my heart. The message was all about “being patient” and “waiting on the Lord”.

I know I had a series of sermon on this too – that was about 2 years ago I think – where I talked about Living a Stress-free Life. In these hard times these words in the Bible are just so relevant. The preacher quoted, “If you can change the circumstances, then there is really nothing to worry about; if you cannot control the circumstances, then it is useless to worry”. That was so right!

Why would I worry about something that I can change? If I am in debt then I can just work it out and be out of debt. If I do not have a job then all I have to do is find a job. If someone has a bad attitude then I can just help him change.

The only thing that makes men worry about the things he can change is ‘time’ – it takes time to be out of debt…it takes time to find a job…it takes time to change an attitude – ‘time’ makes people worry because we are not naturally patient about the course of time.

This is where the second part comes in: “If you cannot control the circumstances, then it is useless to worry”. I cannot control time so it is useless to worry. When Christ was on a boat with His disciples and there was a storm, He was asleep and His disciples were so worried that they might sink. There are just two things they missed here: 1] They cannot control the weather 2] they have Christ in the boat with them WHO can ‘control’ the weather.

My mother has always been a good example of a faithful Christian. She died September 9, 1999 because of cancer. When she learned that she has cancer, she knew there was not enough time for her. She knew that cancer is something that even doctors don’t have control of. She was advised by her oncologist to stay in an air-conditioned room and isolate herself so that she will not get sick easily. She thought cancer may imprison her in an isolated room or she can just trust everything to God. She chose the latter and the next thing I know she was already going around churches and making short speeches. In spite of her weak body she would speak in front of a congregation with her faint voice, inspiring others in the remaining time of her life.

My mother, having a close relationship with God, knows in her heart that even if she doesn’t have enough time, time is something only God can control. So what she did was trust the One who controls time. One of her favorite verse was Romans 8:28 “And He will cause all things together to work out for good for those who love God”. She knows this by heart and by experience. She trusted this verse and indeed God has placed all the negative things in her life altogether so that people may be inspired and will have a closer walk with God.

If you think cancer was the only unpleasant thing in her life? Include the following to that: a husband who doesn’t seem to care and is always concern of money, a son (that was me) whom she found out has been a drug addict for 2 years already, another son whose life is leading nowhere, another son who was so concerned of his career path and would only say hello to her maybe once a month or maybe none at all, a husband who is a womanizer, a son (that was me again) who stole money from her, a business that was not doing good and on its way to bankruptcy. Add all of these plus her illness now tell me if my mom doesn’t deserve to be called a martyr?

A month before she died, I can still remember, she called me and asked me, “Will you be alright?” She was pertaining to all of us – are we all gonna be alright when she’s gone? My heart was pricked but I have to answer her – I need to assure her. I replied, “Yes, we’re all gonna be alright”. From then on, she knows that even if I was doubtful in my reply, she never doubted God’s provision. She had a good sleep that night.

My mom never saw that we are alright but I know she trusted God about it. She never saw me being a preacher or have my own beautiful family. She never saw her beautiful grandchildren. She never saw all her prayers for us answered but I know she have confidence in God that He will take care of it She died peacefully at exactly 6:01 in the morning of September 9, 1999 and we were alright.

During hard times and at times when people around me seems to be against me, I would hear my mom’s voice asking me “Will you be alright?” and I know I will be because I trust in the same God she trusted. The God who is Jehovah Jireh – God will provide!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Blues

I have the blues
Because I do not
have shoes;

Until upon the street
I met a man without a feet

My Lowliest Time

21 April 2009

The other day, I have felt my lowliest time.

Presently we have moved to Manila because of a series of unfortunate events we have in Cebu. Yes, we did have wrong investments and decisions there and we are here to start a new life. But starting a new life also means starting from the bottom. We have to live in somebody else’s house and have to deal with everything and anything there.

The other day, we were asked to do some things that a lowly housemaid ‘should’ do…it was the lowliest time of our experience here. Then, yesterday as I was taking a jeepney to Cubao, I saw beggars trying to make a living. Homeless people who are on the streets trying to collect even a peso just to make ends meet. I look at them with those rugged clothes reaching out their hands to people who don’t even care to look at them, asking money for food. I said to myself, “I am in a better position than these people”.

This might have been the same feeling that Jesus Christ had when He have to leave heaven and come to earth in the ‘lowliest’ form. When He said that “I come to do the will of my Father” He also means to say that He accepts everything and every circumstance that His Father may allow to come His way. He could not choose where to be born or to whom he will be born. Maybe if He was given the chance to choose for His convenience, He would have chosen to be born in a king’s family living in a palace and born in a soft, comfortable room. Instead, He was born in a manger in a carpenter’s arms to live the ‘lowliest’ life.

And then, I understood…it doesn’t really matter where you are or what your situation is…what matters most is doing the will of God. In the end, Christ was exalted in the heavens and was given authority over all the earth. In the end, if we are patient enough, God will restore us just like Job. Right now, we do not have a choice but to trust in the will of God for our lives and obey Him.
The answer to our prayers seems so long to be answered, the waiting seems so endless, but as the song says “Because I know He holds the future, then life is worth the living just because He lives”.

First Time

9 November 2008

It’s my first Sunday that I attended church and I’m not the preacher anymore. It feels good though…no pressure and no hassle. I can just sit down with my family and, this time, just sit and listen instead of doing the talking all the time. Although I have to admit that it will take time for me to get used to this. I feel a little bit uneasy just sitting down and not doing anything. As I listen to the new preacher I still imagine myself standing up in that stage. I also noticed they placed back the old big pulpit which I asked to be taken away when I was the preacher. I never wanted to be hidden behind a big pulpit because I feel like I am behind a force field where no one can touch me. Although it helps to take away the nervousness but I wanted to be vulnerable every time I preach…I wanted people to connect to me when I speak…I want them to see my nervousness and the honesty of my feelings through my gestures and posture. Well, there’s always a first time.