I had the pleasure to lead a missions team to Tokyo in 2013. Here is the link to our WordPress page. It is a day to day update of what God did in and through us.
Click the picture below or go to http://tokyomission2013.wordpress.com to go to our missions page.
I don’t normally stay up this late, but I found myself thinking of a lot of things, and I felt like worshiping God. As I was on youtube, I came across this song, and my heart was really captured and focused on Christ. I’ve heard a lot of covers of this song, but I feel this is the best rendition i’ve heard. Please support Lynn Cifuentes, she’s an amazing worship singer. May you all who listen to this song be ever fixing your eyes on Christ and not on your present circumstances for God is bigger than all of that.
Be blessed 🙂
Introducing our Lipa Team!
Thank you God for providing for our team. Surely God works miracles Thank you so much to each and every person who have invested into our lives and most importantly seeded into advancing God’s kingdom in the Philippines. I know that our God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. I know that God will bless and provide for you all in abundance. Please check lipamission2011.wordpress.com often to see how God is moving in and through our team and know that YOU have a part in it. I know that you’ll be blessed as you check back with us here. We love you all
To all of my faithful MPD partners…
Please check out our Flickr photo site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lipamission2010/ to view pics of all the lives that you are touching through your faithful seedings of support through your financial giving and prayers in advancing God’s kingdom… spreading far wider than Hawaii, and even the Philippines, but into the nations of this world!
Thank you and I love you all!
This song is so beautifully written! Personally, this song really ministers to me in my current season of life. I did not realize that my last post was over 8 months ago! Just reflecting on my life now… it has been a crazy, yet fulfilling YEAR! All this craziness led up to last month, and surely, July for me was an amazing month for me. Being back home in Hawaii, after a 16 day mission trip, God was speaking to me in so much ways, but being in the “mission mindset,” there wasn’t much time to be truly still before my God and reflect. Its August now, and been a week since I have been back home, and I have been able to be still and reflect a few times now, and slowly God is revealing His will for me. Surely, big and wonderful things. But of course, it is not easy- so much uncertainty, just faith and trust in my God needs to be arised in me. Yes, blessings awaits, but the blessing is not the end all. What matters most, is not the gift, it is my relationship with the Giver, my God, my Jesus. I hope this song recalibrates our hearts and focuses us in the right direction, from focusing on the gifts and blessing, to our Giver, our God, our Jesus. I hope this song blesses you in your life as much as it has for me.
Here are the lyrics… I pray that these words would be more than just words on a screen, but powerful words and declarations from your heart, wanting Jesus more and more in your life.
God bless you all.
“I Just Want You”- by Planet Shakers.
More than a nice melody
More than the sweetest of words
This is the love I have found
and with this love I am found
I just want You Jesus
I just want You my Lord
I just want You Jesus
I just want You
Never could I comprehend
The love You so freely give
Never could I be worthy
But Your love covers all of my sin
There is no greater love than Yours
Nothing else could ever compare
And even if I search all the world
I will never find a love like Yours
This week has been one of the most craziest weeks i’ve had in my entire life. I’ve never had so much huge things planned in one week. Amongst the usual family responsibilities, I had key deadlines to meet. On friday, I had the privilege of painting a custom skate deck for an art show that would raise money to help a man with cancer. On saturday, I served at our church’s event called Overdrive, where the proceeds will go to missions. I had to complete and paint a custom Munny and do a live painting for auction, and had to plan and coordinate the live art setup, and lastly I helped coordinate/assist/setup a 25 person art show displays in a new venue. And to top it all off, amongst ministry responsibilities throughout the week, on Sunday, I had to have completed a designed/painted second banner illustration for our church series, then coordinate dedicated volunteers to help bring the vision to life.
My plate was full. I tried to take things in stride and ordered my time as best as I could.
As my week unfolded, things got accomplished, but in the end of a few tasks, I failed. Then I adjust as best as I can. After the cycle of accomplishment and failure, I can’t help but to look down on myself.
You see, this entire week I was blessed tremendously by Jeni, Robby, Stan, Micah, Greg, Royr, Phil, Anastacio, and Karen, Koak, Dodge, Eukarezt, Ohana, amongst a slew of MPD partners. They’ve lent they’re talents, abilities, and their willingness to serve beyond themselves. So much so that they’ve given of themselves and sacrificed sleep and rest in order to help finish tasks along with me.
On my drive home tonight, I was so thankful to God for these fine individuals, whom supported me greatly this past week, that I wanted to bless them with something, anything, but I lacked the resources to do so; but I tried to give as much as I could, which really didn’t amount to anything at all. I couldn’t help but to be emotionally overwhelmed with grief that I couldn’t bless them back as much they’ve blessed me. The only thing that I could’ve done was pray to my God Almighty to bless them someway somehow, even more-so than I could ever do myself.
As I continued to drive home, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed about my life situation as well, and to top it off I was really exhausted, hungry and wondering if I had anything to eat tonight.
I got home heavyhearted, and prayed to my God about my life circumstance. I unloaded my thoughts and desires to Him, then proceeded to unload my car. I went to my kitchen. Hugged my mom who was asleep by herself at the dinner table. Opened the fridge, then my mom wakes up and says that we had chinese food from last night. I couldn’t help but smile. I micro-waved the food, sat at the table, looked at my mom whom went back to sleep peacefully at the dinner table. While eating leftover chinese food, in silence and enjoying my dinner. Tears began to flow from my eyes. I felt as if I had Jesus himself embracing me with His love and saying, “You were worried with so much, including what you would eat, and see… I’ve provided for you. Everything will be okay, I’ll take care of you. I’ll take care of your friends. I love you.”
My God is faithful.
If you are struggling in your life circumstance, I encourage you to cast all your anxiety on God because He surely cares for you. Jesus loves you so much. He will carry you thru. He will provide for you, and give you peace, and rest in the craziness of the storms.
Enjoy your Christmas season.
University of the Philippines Visayas. Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines.
June 2006, will forever be a milestone time for me. It marked the first time I left Hawaii, and my first missions trip. While in Cebu, our missions team made its way onto the UPV campus and we walked around the campus with our local friends and campus ministers. We had the opportunity to meet and befriend a bunch of students there. During our walkthrough we stopped to rest, I quickly and curiously peeked into a classroom and didn’t see anyone inside and I took a picture.
I uploaded all of my pictures to my computer when I got home to Hawaii from my missions trip two weeks later. And low and behold, this picture I took of the “empty” classroom had a young girl sitting by her lonesome in the farthest corner. IMMEDIATELY, I felt God speak to me, “This was you.”
At that moment, I flashed back to three years earlier– sitting in my art class at Leeward Community College alone. At that time, I was very introverted and emotionally scarred. I was not a Christian then. I was far from God and had the typical liberal college student mindset- being anti-church and anti-missionary mindset. And at the same time- a stubborn, selfish, prideful artist mindset.
Then I came to my senses. Humbled. Filled with grace and gratitude toward Jesus and my God, for changing me from the inside out. For the first time ever being a Christian and walking with the Lord for three years, I realized that I am not who I once was. This anti-church and anti-missionary artist kid, became a Christ following, church-going, missionary artist adult. And I’m grateful to my God for rescuing me from the overwhelming loneliness of my past, forgiving me of my sins, healing me from my past hurts, redeeming my life from the pit and crowning me with love and compassion. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Thank you God.
I began writing this at 203 am, half an hour after writing my Easter Experience blog, and wanting to go sleep, and realizing I can’t because I have way too much things going through my mind. So much things that I have to write about it before I could get some rest. Finished writing this morning…
Well, Here I am. I have been sick for 4 days straight now. I am lying here on my bed wondering, “How the heck did I get to this point?!” I look back on my weekend I think I’ve found the culprit. Last friday night I stayed up the ENTIRE night working on my latest painting and in the morning I picked up the youth and headed down to set up for the Button Mashers show. Needless to say, that time of staying awake longer than 50+ hours does screw up your body clock and throws off your health for a loop. But praise God that the show was a success and God truly sustained me throughout the entire day.
Backtracking just a bit, I actually planned out my pieces weeks before hand but chose to wait till the last minute to start painting. You know the little saying, “Ehh, I get em. I’ve done this so many times. God pulled me through for me many times before…” Little did I know that little pride became the precursor to my weary health.
But going down a bit deeper, and cutting myself open (figuratively), I realized as I lye here in bed, that the reason I’m in the place where I am, is because I have NOT ordered my private world! In hindsight, I knew that I should have started to paint earlier and that I should NOT have procrastinated. Procrastination is such an artist trait, but be it as it may, I have to choose to NOT conform any longer to this pattern/trait of the world. In Romans 12:2, it says…
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So after going through the fire (of a 100 degree fever and irritating coughing spells). God’s discipline was in line and was put in my place of repentance before my Lord.
In Hebrews 12:5 a word of encouragement is given…
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
and it goes onto say from the same chapter, from verses 11-13…
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
So I am thankful that my God loves me enough to discipline me of my shortcomings.
And also, it says in 2 Corinthians 7:10…
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
So I choose to own up to my foolishness and bad decisions, but as the Word says… a harvest of righteousness and peace, and healing would come about it. So God, I claim your promises… heal me and transform me…
So when repentance is in line, it all ties in to a simple thing called Lordship. Spending my time wisely and making the most of every opportunity.
I hope that through my foolishness, it would turn others to making right decisions and not give in to procrastination, in order to be 100% healthy…
And to encourage myself (and to all who may read this), I am reminded of a book I read called Life You’ve Always Wanted, written by John Ortberg that best describes what it means to be under the Lordship of Christ… (the emphasis are mines…)
“Paul writes to the church at Colossae, as the climax of instruction on transformed living: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
What does it mean to do something “in the name of Jesus?” Generally speaking, in the Bible a person’s name has to do with his or her character. So doing something in “Jesus’ name means to do it in his character. It means doing it as Jesus himself would do it if he were in your place. This flows right out of our understanding of discipleship.”
But what is striking here is the comprehensive nature of what Paul says: “Whatever you do…” Lest there be any confusion, Paul explains what he means: “Whatever you do in word or deed….” That covers it all. But again, in case we are tempted to allow for loopholes, Paul says it once more: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything….”
Then Ortberg gives us questions to think about that is worth pondering over… and they are…
“What would it mean for us to “wake up in Jesus’ name?”
“What would it mean for us to drive in Jesus’ name?”
“How do we watch television in Jesus’ name?
“What does it mean to do household chores in Jesus’ name?”
“How do I work in Jesus’ name?” (pause)
“How do we spend money in the name of Jesus?”
I encourage ya’ll to humbly take stock of your life, and really see what areas of your life do you have to surrender to the Lordship of Christ…
… and as we do so, lets “do life in Jesus’ name.”
I know that it is way past Easter, but I finally had the time to write this, and I am excited to shares this little story of mine. Well, for Easter, Grace Bible Church Honolulu planned to do something special. We planned our most creative service, consisting of an awesome Word from Pastor Gregg regarding how God is creating a masterpiece in our lives, an art show (including my work and the children at children’s church),
a touching testimony from Brandon Tucay, and me painting on stage while Pastor Gregg and Brandon shared his testimony.
As one would expect, A LOT of planning had to be done, but the Holy Spirit really guided us.
Previously, I had the privilege of doing my first preaching on how we are God’s masterpiece at our youth service in Honolulu. By God’s grace I was able to preach and paint my illustration. The illustration was originally 2ft x 3ft. Then fast forward to Easter weekend, the pastors asked me to do the same illustration for the Easter sunday service. So that week, i was honestly unsure of how everything would turn out. Since Honolulu has 2 morning services and more people than our youth service, I had to make 2 pieces, and I had to make it bigger at 3ft x 4ft each! So the week went on, I started painting the panels (it took over 3 hours to “complete” one panel),
also, I coordinated with Pastor Billy on the logistics of setting up the art show, and asked Uncle Mark to build an easel to hold the panel (and he made it in one day! Thank you Uncle Mark!).
When Easter sunday came, I was excited to see how everything would turn out. I remember getting there at 6am to help setup the work with Uncle Barry and family and a few others. When the services rolled through… everything went by smoothly! The preaching was solid, Brandon’s testimony was touching, and the painting illustration went really well.
I remember coming home that Easter afternoon. Tired yet fulfilled, I looked down at my hands I noticed this…
…Crazy!!! I really was humbled knowing that all the labor was not done in vain. What I felt was a sacrifices of my talent, treasure, and time- painting these two big panels and coordinating/setting up the art show, wasn’t much of a sacrifice at all. My so called “sacrifices” can’t even compare to what Jesus did on the cross for you and me. Crazy how God would speak to us in the most simplest of moments… After looking at my hand, I couldn’t help but say, “Thank You Lord for the opportunity to use my giftings and talents to glorify You and help bring others closer to a deeper understanding of who You are…”
I hope my little story encouraged ya’ll in some way.
(Thank you Living Stones for the great illustration.)
I’ve never experienced much funerals, but as of late, i’ve been. It never fails that I always enter the ceremony with awkwardness and curiosity. Awkward on not knowing what to say, and unsure on how to act. And curiosity on the outcome of the service.
As the service came to an end, and majority of the people made their way to the refreshment fellowship area, I took a seat by myself at the back of the room. I couldn’t help but contemplate about my own death. I sat alone wondering…
Wondering what people would do at my funeral.
Wondering if kids would be crying and running around making noise while the eulogy is going on.
Wondering if a cell phone would go off.
Wondering who would be there.
Wondering who would NOT be there.
Wondering if people all the way in the back of the building would be talking and not listening to the eulogy.
Wondering what kind of music would be playing.
Wondering who would be crying.
Wondering who would be cracking jokes in remembrance of me.
Wondering if the Christians I know would share the love of God and befriend my surviving family members after the ceremony.
Wondering if sorrow and grief, or joy and love would be the overwhelming feeling in everyones hearts as they leave the place.
… what people would say about me.
… how people perceived my life and how lived.
Wondering if people would see me only as an artist… or as a man who loved Jesus more than life itself…
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” -Matthew 9:35-36.
I sat in a theater for an hour and half… broken hearted. Humbly reflecting on my life and realizing how shallow the depth of my heart really is.
Watch “The Cross.”
My simple prayer is this: Thank you Jesus for loving me unconditionally. Continue to break my heart for what breaks yours. God, enlarge my heart. Burn in me the same compassion like that of your Son Jesus, as He saw the crowds. Help me to love people into Your kingdom. In Jesus name. Amen.
Who am i? Who are you?
What is my identity? What is your identity?
Do I find my identity in someone? in something- a culture, a career, a gifting, a talent?
Do you find your identity in someone? in something- a culture, a career, a gifting, a talent?
I could find my identity from my mom or dad, sibling, artist, favorite actor or musician- but what kind of foundation are they leaning on? I could have my identity founded on my career, job title, and talents and abilities- but they could all be taken away from me. They could and can change throughout my lifetime. So what could possibly be my foundation?
As for me, i find my foundation and identity in God, through Jesus Christ.
Why Jesus? The Bible teaches us in John 1:1-2, 14- that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is 100% God and 100% human. He dwelled among us- feeling every possible human emotion and hurt, yet committed no sin, and lived a blameless life, yet had to face death on the cross, to pay for our debt of sin, in order to make a way for us to be with our Father in heaven.
Jesus set the example for us to follow- to know what it means to be secure and strong in God in the face of temptation. He is my Rock, my Refuge, my Provider, and my solid foundation that I stand on. In Matthew 4:11, Mark 1:9-13, Luke 4:1-13, Jesus was being confronted and tempted by the enemy- the devil; and what did Jesus do? He stood His ground and confidently proclaimed the Word of God against the enemy and he fled from him. Jesus understood that there was power in God’s Word.
In following Christ’s lead, apostle Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him and us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. All too often, people teeter in their faith and have doubts, but let us be ones who follow Christ’s example and be absolutely secure in God. The following was shared with me by Nabelle a long time ago. It really impacted me and I ended up using it in my BFA show. It really helped me solidify my foundation on God and taught me what the Bible teaches about who I really am in Him. The following Scriptures taught me that I am accepted by God, that I am secure in God, and that I am significant in His eyes. I hope you boldly confess and proclaim God’s Word for your lives in hope that you too will be just as secure in God, just as Jesus was in Him.
I AM ACCEPTED
-i am God’s child.
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God-” – John 1:12
-i am Christ’s friend.
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15
-i have been justified.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” – Romans 5:1
-i am united with the Lord and i am one in Spirit with Him.
“But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 6:17
-i have been bought with a price.
“you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20
-i belong to God.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
-i am a member of Christ’s body.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27
-i am a saint.
“…To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:” – Ephesians 1:1
-i am complete in Christ.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” – Colossians 2:9-10
-i have been adopted as God’s Child.
“He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will-” – Ephesians 1:5
-i have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
“For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:18
-i have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
I AM SECURE
-i am free forever from condemnation.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2
-i am assured that all things work together for good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
-i am free from condemning charges against me.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31
-i cannot be separated from the love of God.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39
-i have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
“Now it is God who makes both us and and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
-i am hidden in Christ with God.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Colossians 3:3-4
-i am confident that the good work that God has began in me will be perfected.
“be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
-i have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
-i can find grace and mercy in time of need.
“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16
-i am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.” – 1 John 5:18
I AM SIGNIFICANT
-i am the salt and light of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:13-14
-i am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
“I am the true vine. and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:1,5
-i am a personal witness of Christ.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
-i am God’s temple.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
-i am a minister of reconciliation for God.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
-i am God’s co-worker.
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” – 1 Corinthians 3:9
-i am sealed with Christ in the heavenly realms.
“And God raised us up to with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:6-7
-i am God’s workmanship.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
-i may approach God in freedom and Confidence.
“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” – Ephesians 3:12
-i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
-i am chosen.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” – John 15:16