Friday, October 28, 2005

Standing Up By Kneeling Down

Last Monday night, October 24, Rosa Parks died of natural causes. She was 92.

Who was Rosa Parks? She was a black American seamstress. On December 1, 1955, she took a Montgomery City bus on her way home from work. (During those days, the bus companies segregate the blacks and the whites. They also authorized the bus drivers to choose where people could sit. They even carry guns to enforce segregation.) She sat behind the seats reserved for whites. Then a white man boarded the bus. The driver told the blacks sitting just behind the white section to give up their seats for the white man. But she won’t budge. The driver had her arrested. The court convicted her for violating the segregation laws. She appealed her case. A year later, the US Supreme Court declared the segregation laws unconstitutional.

Her case was the catalyst that led to the modern civil rights movement. A boycott ensued led by Martin Luther King, Jr. that paralyzed the transport sector of Montgomery. This sparked non-violent mass protests throughout the country. The lowly seamstress became their icon.

I like what Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said in honor of Rosa Parks:
“She stood up by sitting down. I’m only standing here because of her.”

We Christians stand up by kneeling down. Thus, I ask you to pray for the Christian Life and Witness Course (CLWC) which will start this Thursday (November 3) at 7:00PM and another on Saturday (November 5) at 10:00AM. Pray that the Lord would speak through the instructors so that the participants’ faith would be revitalized to the point that they can’t help but share it to others.

And, would you be the answer to your prayer? Join the class and experience it firsthand. It’s a free, five-session course (2 hours each and once a week) designed for us to grasp key biblical principles that form a solid foundation for our faith. You would also get the chance to become a counselor for the Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival this coming February 2-5, 2006.
This is a worthy investment of your time, efforts and resources. Feel free to invite others. Just sign up at the usher’s table.

I believe this course will be a catalyst in your life. Allow yourself to be one of the channels of the gospel of God’s saving power. And, someday, when we face the judgment seat of Christ, I believe that someone will say, “I’m only standing here because of you.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why Wait For Others?

Note: Our server was down last week. Sorry for the late posting.

Let me share a poem entitled “New in Town” which I read in The Biblical Studies Foundation website (http://www.bible.org).

The first time I worshipped at their church
About two months ago
I signed the registration card
So all of them would know

That I had just moved into town
And needed a little part
Of the loving concern for each other
That a Christian has in his heart.

I checked the proper boxes
To indicate my age
My marital condition
My sex, my spiritual stage.

No one smiled or shook my hand
When the services were through
And Satan whispered in my ear
“See, no one noticed you.”

But I stayed home each night that week
In hopes someone would call
It didn’t have to be the Preacher
Just any one at all

Who cared enough to take the time
In our dear Saviour’s Name
To bid a stranger welcome...
But no one ever came.

And then a thought came to my mind
That I’d like to share with you
Why should I sit and wait for others
To do what I could do?

So, I joined that church and here I am...
Tonight is “visitation.”
We’re glad you came, We hope you’ll stay
And join our congregation.

I like that question: “Why wait for others to do what we could do?” As I’ve written before, there are people who make things happen. Then, sadly, there are those who wait for things to happen. And, even more sadly, people who ask, “What happened?” I pray that we would be people who will not wait but create opportunities to serve God.

In view of this, again I am inviting you to sign-up for the Christian Life and Witness course starting November 3, 7:00PM (for the Thursday batch), and November 5, 10:00AM (for the Saturday batch). It’s a five-session course (2 hours each and once a week) designed for us to grasp key biblical principles that form a solid foundation for our faith. It will revitalize our faith and prepare us to share the Gospel with others.

Please sign-up for this course. Just approach the usher’s table to register. It’s free. We just have to have the heart not to wait for others to do what we could do.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Drowning in the Midst of Lifeguards

For the first time in its history, New Orleans’ city pool had no incidents of drowning during one summer. So they threw a party where 300 people came (100 of them certified lifeguards). At the end of the party, four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool. To their horror, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive the victim but it was too late.

In an ironic twist, he drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful, drown-free summer.

Now imagine our church. We are strategically located in the prime financial district of the country. Most of our members hold key positions in their company. We know the Lord Jesus as our Savior. But are we fulfilling our strategic role as “lifeguards?”

Two weeks from now Makati Gospel Church will host the Christian Life and Witness (CLW) course. We are the only venue in Makati and the only church in the 65 CLW venues all over Mega-Manila to hold two courses. Believers not only from MGC but also from other churches will attend in the CLW. You can choose to attend either Thursdays at 7:00PM (starting November 3) or Saturdays at 10:00AM (starting November 5).

It’s a five session course for Christians to grasp key biblical principles that form a solid foundation for their faith that will revitalize our faith and prepare us to share the Gospel with others. We encourage you to attend one class each week. The classes are free. We will provide the course books and materials without cost. Just bring your Bible, a pen and a willing heart. We will collect a free-will offering during the second and fourth weeks of classes. Topics to be covered are the following:
Week 1 The Effective Christian Life
Week 2 The Victorious Christian Life
Week 3 The Christian’s Witness
Week 4 Follow-Up and Care of New Christians
Week 5 How to Lead Small Group Bible Studies
Billy Graham has stated, “One of the greatest contributions we can make in a Festival is through the Christian Life and Witness Course. NO church member should miss the opportunity to take this.”

Make sure you mark the schedule of CLW in your planner or PDA. Don’t miss this exciting event.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Eyriche Cortez

English Worship Service

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Who Knocked Down The Walls of Jericho?

This is a true story.

An old lady wanted to talk to the pastor after a worship service. She wants to thank him for the help she received from his sermons. “You do correctly handle the Bible,” she said to the pastor. “Do you know that until this morning I had always thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were man and wife?”

Now that’s sad.


Here’s another one. The Sunday school teacher called in sick. So the pastor taught a boys’ class in his place. He decided to test the kids. So he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied any involvement and instead blamed his seatmate for it. It was a shocking experience for the pastor.

At the next board meeting he lamented about the experience. “Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho!” The group was silent until finally one seasoned deacon spoke up. “Pastor, I’ve known all those boys since they were born and they’re good boys. If they said they didn’t know, I believe them. Let’s just take some money out of the repair and maintenance fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that.”
[1]

Now, that is fictional. But the message is clear. Bible ignorance is an ever present danger. If we stop growing, we start decaying. And we are commanded: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)

That’s why we would like to encourage you to join our Sunday Adult Bible Study. We are going through the “How to Correctly Handle the Bible” series. After that we plan to offer the “Foundations” series, a practical study of what the Bible says about the most important issues of life. Bestselling author Dr. Rick Warren has this to say about that series: “Foundations is the biblical basis of the Purpose-Driven Life. You must understand these life-changing truths to enjoy God’s purposes for you.” We will also hold a Baptismal and Membership series (Class 101) starting November 6, Sunday.

Come let us learn together. Remember we study the Bible not just to increase our knowledge but, much more, to change our lives. And by the way, for those who are asking. No, that old lady is not from Makati Gospel Church. :-)

[1] From the illustration database of the Biblical Studies Foundation (http://www.bible.org)