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.


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.