Formspring Friday #2

Here’s the second edition of Formspring Friday. Like last week’s post, I’m taking the time to answer some Formspring questions here. You can ask the questions at this page. And away we go!

  • How would you unwind after a busy and hectic week? Besides bonding with the Christian community?

I’m sorry to say that bonding with the Christian community wasn’t my first instinct. Haha! I was thinking sleeping well, spending time with my wife, and spending time reading the Bible and praying. I also like listening to music like worship songs that match my mood.

When I’m feeling playful I really enjoy listening to musicals. But I don’t like unwinding for too long because I get itchy to get back to work too!

  • If you’ll be given the chance to minister outside the Philippines, where would that be?

I’ve always wanted to visit Mongolia because I hear it looks magical there. Anywhere I haven’t been would be fun and visiting friends in places I’ve visited would be nice also. As long as it’s a worthwhile ministry trip and not just an outing, meaning a chance to really meet and spend time with people and be a witness to them.

From cleaning bathrooms to meeting heroes – all kinds of whos and whats on these ministry trips

  • Pastor Joe, what’s your take on doing-what-you-love vs the parents. This could be a dangerous hobby, a course you want to take for undergrad, etc. Thanks! 

Great question! I think this all depends on where you are in life. Are you a child? Meaning, do you live under your parents’ roof, eat their food, drink their water, use their internet, and receive money from them for going to school which they pay for?

If yes, then you obey them. You can appeal their decisions but they have the final say.

If you’re a grown-up, meaning you work and provide for yourself, then you can make your own choices. But I’d be careful about going against the wisdom of your parents, because God put them in your life for a reason. Even non-Christian parents. The only time I’d contradict them is if they’re going against a higher authority, like the government or God. (He’s kinda the highest, you know.)

Examples: When I was a university student I had a chance to go to Singapore with my younger brother, David. We were gonna work with this NGO and stay in a house all on our own. We were so excited. But then the SARS outbreak happened, with Singapore being one of the most heavily affected. My parents did not let us go. I appealed, complained, and quoted, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” to them. But they stayed firm, so we submitted willingly.

But since I started working and supporting myself, I’ve made decisions that they didn’t agree with initially. Those decisions weren’t made lightly. I made one million percent sure it was right (got advice, prayed about it, checked my own intentions and motives) and I believed they’d come around eventually. And they did.

  • bakit ang lakas ng dating ng mga youth / batang pastor?

I don’t know. Maybe they’re younger and have a lot of energy? This can be positive because it’s helpful for reaching students. This can be negative when it’s insensitive to others. God’s sanctifying process through time should fix that.

Another theory is not all youth pastors are like that (they aren’t) and you’re drawing a conclusion based on a lopsided perspective but feel safe doing so because of the anonymity this venue provides. Oh well, if that helps you then great. Either or both of those answers could be right.

  • What will you do if your leader is difficult? If he doesn’t value people and treat them as mere subjects..do you tell higher authorities..like another accountable leader..what if even if you talk to that leader he is so stubborn to listen to his flocks?

No leader is perfect for sure. So they’ll all make mistakes, have blindspots, and bad habits. I know this because I’m a leader and I do all that. And though I haven’t met all leaders in the world ever (unlike the questioner above who seems to have met all youth pastors in the world ever. Haha! Okay, enough), I’m pretty sure your human leader (at work, school, sports, the army, church, government, etc) has failed and will fail you again.

So what do we do when it happens? Matthew 18:15 says we should talk to them straight and in private. This gives the leader a chance to admit his/her mistake and repent. If you haven’t done this, then don’t go around complaining about it to everyone.

If you don’t have the compassion to speak the truth lovingly and directly, then you don’t have the right to complain.

After that, if he/she doesn’t listen the rest of the text outlines what to do next. (bring a witness, bring more witnesses, etc) And if your leader still doesn’t listen, I’d think hard if I still want to follow him/her.

Googled “correcting your leader” and I got one article on leadership, one article on Christian correction, one Amazon book, and two articles on dogs. Not very helpful

  • Hi Pastor Joseph..where can I get a copy of your latest podcasts?

Depends where I’m speaking that week. Like today I’ll be in That Friday Thing in Victory Fort so you can download my preaching there when it’s done. Last week, I was in Cabanatuan. Two weeks before that I was in Eaglepoint Damansara in Malaysia. Etc, etc… I thought about collecting them all in this site, but decided against it.

  • hi pastor…your love story with carla really inspires people..can you give advice on how can you accept a woman’s past? i didnt know my gf past & she confessed to me that she had sexual relationship with her ex bf and it made me feel bad.. thanks pstr!

I like this question for many reasons.

One, I’ve felt many times that some people have been itching to ask it, but feel too shy to do so. I appreciate their courtesy, but we honestly don’t mind.

Two, my wife doesn’t mind either. In fact, she enjoys talking about that because of #3.

Three, it’s at the heart of our love story and that’s how God let me see her the way He does.

See, it all boiled down to this: is the Bible true when it says, “If anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation. The old has gone the new has come.” Now Carla is in Christ. And I could see the changes in her life so clearly. It didn’t matter what had happened before. That wasn’t her. That was the old, sinful, addicted nature. But in Christ, she’s beautiful, holy, pure, kind, loving, etc. I could see all that in her and I couldn’t unsee it.

Many people didn’t understand right away, but that was fine  with me. I knew that God’s work in her life would be evident soon enough and then they’d understand. In the meantime, I count myself lucky that God’s given me such a beautiful masterpiece to call my very own.

That’s it! If you wanna ask, click here. Otherwise, click anywhere else.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Yie September 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    STRIKING STATEMENTS:

    Matthew 18:15 says we should talk to them straight and in private. This gives the leader a chance to admit his/her mistake and repent. If you haven’t done this, then don’t go around complaining about it to everyone.

    If you don’t have the compassion to speak the truth lovingly and directly, then you don’t have the right to complain.

    “If anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation. The old has gone the new has come.” That was the old, sinful, addicted nature. But in Christ, she’s beautiful, holy, pure, kind, loving, etc. I could see all that in her and I couldn’t unsee it.

    I count myself lucky that God’s given me such a beautiful masterpiece to call my very own.

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