Posted by Joseph on Nov 23, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments
Was inspired to continue answering these Formspring questions while riding a taxi and hearing yet another person with love issues call a radio dj to ask for advice, while the dj played mocking noises in the background, finally capping it off with a playing of Victims of Love. I felt sad for this person who obviously needed help (or wanted attention. Maybe both.) and had to receive this kind of treatment to get it.
In saying this I mean no offense at all against DJ’s who give out love advice, especially the ones who are trained and motivated beyond putting on a good show to really providing a service to others. I remember meeting Joe D’Mango this year and found him to be wise and helpful.
Anyway… Here’s Formspring #4
Hi pastor Joseph, how would you define submission in marriage. And you said that in relationship both of you should know about what your partner needs. What if husband doesnt care about what you want. he Loves you the way he wants, not the way I want. Thx
The Bible gives us clear instructions of what submission means, I think.
Ephesians 5:22-24 “22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
And 1 Peter gives helpful ideas for wives whose husbands are less than perfect:
1 Peter 3:1-2 “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
prt.Joe, may tym po ba na sobrang nag selos kayo because may mas pogi pang nanligaw kay mam rica? or may nalaman kayo crush ni mam rica?
Yes! As I started to like her, I began noticing other guys who seemed interested as well. But I knew that jealousy wouldn’t be healthy. And more importantly, I had no right since she wasn’t mine. That’s why I married her. I gave myself to her and she gave herself to me. Now she’s mine. Mwahaha!
Pastor in surrendering 100 % fully to God should I break up with my boyfriend even thought my boyfriend is a man of God??
Is God telling you to do that? A boyfriend who is a man of God can help you pursue Him better. But it can also be a hindrance. When God talks to you – through the Bible, through godly people who give you advice, through circumstances, and through the Holy Spirit using your own mind, common sense, and peace – what is He saying?
Hi Pastor, I have a friend in school who would backstab me yet she would be very sweet to me whenever we’re together. I don’t know if I should leave her or just stick with her. What would you do?
You’re asking me what I’d do, so here’s what I’ve done in the past. If the person is a real friend who I want to stay close with still, I talk to them and ask them if they really said what I heard about. Basically, I’m giving them an opportunity to come clean and we can be reconciled.
But there also times when the person doesn’t seem like they want to work on it. At that point, I do what I have to to protect myself – like I won’t open up sensitive information to them anymore because I don’t know where it will go. It can be sad, but it takes two people to make a friendship work, and someone who continues to backstab you isn’t a friend.
Pastor,I just want to thank you for inspiring people with your words. Indeed, God’s love can transform anyone. I really need to ask this, how did you fully accept your wife’s past? Is it difficult? I really admire Ate Rica and how GOD changed her!:)
I love this question. I love it because it’s one of the most beautiful pictures of what Jesus did for us. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
“In Christ” means a person who has put their faith in Jesus to cover over their sins. Jesus died on the Cross taking the death we were suppose to die for our own sins.
“New creation” means that for those who believe in Jesus, every bad thing has been taken away from them and replaced with the perfection of Jesus. So to be honest, I don’t need to accept my wife’s past because that’s not her. What she is is a daughter of God, beautiful, flawless, lovely inside and out. Anything that seems to be reminiscent of that past is a temporary thing and as we follow God together, her true identity becomes more and more clear.
hi! i was the one who asked the question abt dating, and thank u for answering it do u agree that one should only start dating when u think you’re prepared for marriage?
Well, that’s what I did. I don’t think it’s automatically wrong to date without marriage in mind. I just find it pointless and an unnecessary temptation to sin.
If you want to ask questions, you can click this link. You can also read this very helpful resource.
Posted by Joseph on Nov 21, 2012 in Personal | 3 comments
I was at the grocery yesterday evening buying stuff for the house. I enjoy doing groceries and (meaning whenever I feel like it) because it’s a nice change from my usual day. I made the mistake of being hungry while at the grocery so I had to work extra hard to resist the temptation as virtually every aisle called to me and even items that I don’t normally eat suddenly seemed quite delectable. (Uy, vienna sausage!)
Good thing my wife and I have a resolution to minimize eating unhealthy food and the best way to do that is to make sure that our kitchen is stocked with good food. By buying healthy stuff, we can be sure that when we get a case of the munchies, we’re putting in life-giving items for our body. So into the cart they went – organic eggs, whole wheat bread, fresh milk, Domex, Lysol- oops, read too far down the grocery list.
While pushing the cart along, I was listening to a theology class from Pastor Paul Barker. I found myself laughing at the jokes, answering his rhetorical questions out loud, but more importantly I felt stronger some how. Like I was thankful to Jesus for saving me, eager to get back to work at honoring Him and making disciples, and looking forward to meeting my discipleship group of guys this evening.
This is the concept that Christians have historically called being edified. It comes from a Latin word which means to build. Being edified means you are being built up internally – becoming stronger, developing greater faith, passion for the right things, etc. Like our physical bodies need training to stay strong and healthy, our spirits need training also.
One of the best ways to do this is to watch your intake. Carla and I don’t buy certain food products so that we’ll snack on healthy stuff. We have the occasional Chippy or instant mami, but the majority is nutritious food that is prepared fresh.
An actual funny dinner we had once: organic eggs, whole wheat bread, and chippy
In the same way, what’s your spiritual intake like? Are you full of non-life-giving stuff? TV series marathons? Sappy love songs? Senseless comedies? Movies or tv shows with scantily clad women (or men)? Maybe this would explain why our spirits easily give in to selfishness, pride, lust, envy, greed, etc. It’s in our intake.
How about songs that build you up spiritually? As I write this I’m listening to music by Lecrae, Tedashii, and Trip Lee. While I’m not exactly a rap and R&B fan, this music has some of the highest spiritual nutrition content I’ve found. So instead of killing time eating spiritual Chippy, I might as well build myself up.
How about podcasts that preach the Word of God? I’m sure there’s something out there from a preacher on a topic that will connect to your current situation?
But I don’t know where to find that!
You’re on a browser on the internet. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
Or even better, how about getting the highest, densest, most nutritious content ever. READ YOUR BIBLE. It might not seem to make sense right away, but that’s fine. Ask God for wisdom as you read. Humbly get advice on it from a church that worships Jesus. And watch yourself bulk up spiritually.
click the pic for it's source
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8
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
Posted by Joseph on Oct 3, 2012 in Personal | 3 comments
Today my parents are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a married couple. One of my greatest blessings in life is having this amazing couple as my mom and dad. Here are four of the many lessons I’ve observed about marriage from them.
1. They’re all in.
In poker, going all in means you’ve bet all your chips on your current hand. You either win big or lose everything all on the strength of the cards you’ve got. It’s either an incredibly gutsy or incredibly stupid move. That’s how marriage should be, and it’s one of my parents’ secrets.
You really need to have good cards though. Or in this case, a great partner
My mom once told me about a time that she says was a turning point in their relationship. She was pregnant with me and they lived in this tiny house next to a squatter’s area. She got sick with German measles and she didn’t have anyone to take care of her during the day since Pop was at work. Her mom offered to take care of her if she would come back home and stay there for the meantime. She brought the matter up with my dad who then said, “Who are you married to, them or me?” She then called her mom back and said she’d be staying with him.
My mom said that this decision is one of the reasons they’re going strong and it’s a good thing they established it early in their marriage.
2. They love being with each other.
My dad and mom seriously enjoy being with each other – whether it’s rearranging the house, watching movies, ministering to others, traveling, praying together, etc. They just make life look so fun. They play pranks on each other and tease each other. They love trying new things and then laughing over it if they botch things or mess up.
I can honestly say so many of the most entertaining conversations I’ve seen them have are at home or at a restaurant over lunch or dinner. We can honestly go on forever because that’s the kind of environment they built our home around. That’s why the always advised us growing up to marry a girl who you just enjoy being with all the time.
from my dad's blog (click the pic) the bottom said, "may you rejoice in the wife of your youth" - Proverbs 5:18
3. They dream together.
Our family has seen its share of ups and downs. By the time I was 12 we’d lived in six different houses, as the businesses rose and fell, they would adjust. But one thing that my parents always do together is dream. They pray together and let their faith fly. They envision huge and grand things, sometimes without any physical backing for it. Whether it’s for the house, for us, for family members and friends who are going through tough times, for the nation – I’ve always believed that God is good, right will win out, and that His plans for us are great, partially because of how they talk to us and each other.
4. They are submitted to God.
My parents are not perfect and neither is their marriage. But the thing that ensures they will ALWAYS come together is their mutual faith in God. Whenever one of them (or usually both of them) messes up, loses their temper, becomes stubborn or hurtful, etc., they just wait for God to work in the other person and then things work out. And they know this will happen eventually because they know the other partner has been changed and is continually being changed by Jesus.
In so many ways they keep telling me that there is never a perfect relationship, but with Jesus in their lives, they can trust Him to make things happen. Their decisions are based on the Bible, they are submitted to spiritual authority, they receive correction and give it lovingly.
You could say they really love each other – in the cheesy, corny way, in the overly-affectionate, makes-us-uncomfortable way, in the you-and-me-against-the-world way, in the I-believe-in-you way, and in the self-sacrificing, overcoming, be-like-Jesus way.
So Mom and Pop – Happy anniversary! Thanks for being the best example for us to follow! Here’s to 30 (or more!) years!
Thanks for everything! We love you!
Posted by Joseph on Aug 23, 2012 in Personal | 0 comments
I’m gonna try answering some questions that I get from Formspring here. I’m copy-pasting the questions. The link takes you to my Formspring account, and I’ll answer the questions with a link to my blog. So here goes the first edition of Formspring Friday!
- what is one thing that you love most about your wife?:) (pick 1 only, I know you have lots in mind hehe)
I think the thing I love most about my wife is her devotion to God. Now don’t think that’s just a goody-goody answer. It has tremendous practical benefits for me! One thing, I can count on her to always do the right thing (eventually) because the Holy Spirit is at work inside her. Secondly, she is so sweet and loving to me because she receives so much love from God. Thirdly, she’s a constant source of wisdom and insight and joy because she’s connected to God who is the source of those things.
- when was the first time you preached? and how was it? your an awesome preacher btw =)
Thank you for the compliment. It’s really from the insight and ability God gives and the people in my life who’ve coached me to get here.
The first time I preached was in 1998. I was 15 years old and it wasn’t very good. I was so serious and didn’t crack a joke the whole time. My theology and Bible interpretation was messed up. And I didn’t do a good job explaining my points. I preached for eight minutes. People were surprised the service was over. I’ll always be thankful to Pastor Rico Ricafort for encouraging me and giving me more chances to improve. Also to my friends and family who smiled through the whole evening and said, “Good job.”
- venue for the reception… grrrrrrrrr…
I know how you feel!!! Ours was so expensive! But worth it naman. But expensive! But the pictures were great! Dapat lang no, it was expensive! Wait, was that your question? It’s not even a question.
loved the beauty, but really loved the privacy - pricey privacy
- pastor joe, how many gf did you have, before you met your wife?
None. Carla was (and still is) my first real girlfriend. I liked a few girls before her and some of them liked me back, but it didn’t go much further than that. I just always wanted to go all out with someone who would be there for the rest my life.
- Pastor Joseph, what’s your favorite subject when you were in college?
My favorite subject was Western History with Professor Jo Ed Tirol. It was the perfect combination of a subject I love with a really great teacher. He inspired me to think and learn and work harder than I did in most of my classes (which wasn’t much anyway), but in an almost effortless way. He is one of the models I have in my head for becoming a better teacher.
- do you believe in homeschooling? would you homeschool your kids or future kids?
I think it’s great, and I always wanted to be homeschooled when I was a kid. (We only did it for one year.) I don’t know if we’ll automatically homeschool our kids though. I think we’ll try it and if it works out, then good!
That’s it for now! Time to rest because we’ve got another full day here in Cabanatuan tomorrow. Next week we’ll be covering topics like: favorite preachers, accepting someone’s past, moving on from a long relationship, and Rica’s deepest secret! (ooohh…) All these and more on the next – Formspring Friday!
If you wanna ask questions click here.
Posted by Joseph on Aug 19, 2012 in Personal | 2 comments
LATE POST: My laptop crashed last week and I just got it back so I could finish this blog. I wrote this in the airport last Monday, August 13, 2012.
My wife and I are finally on our way home after a fruitful week here in Kuala Lumpur. We attended a gathering of youth pastors and student ministers from five different continents. More than once, Ryan and I asked ourselves how we got to that place. We were overwhelmed by the people we met and the stories they shared. It makes me eager to get back to work in Manila.
My wife and I with Ryan and Esther Tan. Ryan pastors the students in Victory University Belt
Some thoughts I wanted to share as we digest the experience:
1. God allows for great diversity.
Funny that as I write this I’m in Kuala Lumpur – a city with Malays, Indians, Chinese, and many other ethnicities. There are Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. I’m sitting in a Swiss restaurant listening to Malaysian music. The restaurant hostess looks one of a kind as a Malaysia woman dressed like a Swiss maid. It’s amazing how God made us so diverse.
So much diversity in Kuala Lumpur - makes the eating extra fun!
And I believe that is the case with His Church as well. Listening to all the stories from around the world, it was mind-blowing to hear about the ministries growing in the thousands among so many different people groups – in relatively open nations like the Philippines or Singapore, among Muslim nations where persecution is terrible, with atheist background students in Germany, in the suburban US and developing African nations, and the cities of South America.
Heaven is going to be an extremely diverse place – all kinds of languages, skin colors, national costumes, music and dance styles, and food (WOOHOO!), worshipping the God who made us all.
2. God gives us universal constants.
Amidst the diversity, there are constant principles that hold true everywhere we go. This morning our Tamil taxi driver told us the story of his family. How he successfully sent his son to medical school in Ukraine and his daughter to university in the UK – all on the single income of a taxi driver. It was hard work, good service, family values, and financial wisdom that enabled him to do this. He could’ve been a cab driver anywhere in the world and he would have been successful beyond most people’s expectations.
Amazed at his story, I had to take a picture with him and give him a better tip.
In the Church also, while God grants us different gifts, there are constants outlined in the Bible that we would be wise to observe. With every story we heard, regardless of the context, there were universal themes that were consistent – small group discipleship, engaging youth culture, reliance on the power of God, and love for the next generation.
3. God values every stage and every season. So do your best wherever you are.
After the gathering, we visited our church here – Eaglepoint in two locations. We met up with old friends and made new ones. We met with two young professional women who have a desire to reach students. They were in the beginnings of forming their team, but already I was struck by their hunger for learning and willingness whatever it takes to succeed. I’m excited for the future of the church in KL.
On our last night, I learned so much from a young businessman my age who described his work to me. He had been through many shifts and transitions already, but his enthusiasm and faith in God we’re evident as he faced the future. It encouraged me even as I’m contemplating some shift in our life.
Thankful for the opportunity to listen to and learn from some really amazing people. Looking forward to the relationships that will develop.
One thing that keeps us from discontentment where we are and envying where other people are is when we know that God is in charge of our seasons. We celebrate where we are because we know He’s in charge. We celebrate where other people are because we don’t need to guard our own self-interest behind the scenes.
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27
Posted by Joseph on Aug 8, 2012 in Personal | 1 comment
Taking a break from the short family series I started in order to focus on what’s going on in Manila right now. My wife and I are currently in a gathering of youth pastors and campus workers from around the world in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s going really well, but we’re also monitoring the situation back home at every opportunity.
At first it was with growing concern then some worry as we contacted friends and family back home to see how they’re doing. It was very saddening to hear about the death tolls and property destruction.
But it’s also with a growing sense of pride and inspiration to see how our people are responding during this time. As difficult as it is to see our country go through this, I couldn’t be prouder to be a Filipino to see the country acting faster and in unity. Even Twitter is for the most part united in concern for the affected and updating the people.
So as someone who is temporarily on the outside (though looking forward to getting back next week), it’s so inspiring to see our country, in a general sense, and our churches responding in such a powerful way during this difficult time. Bright lights really are for dark times.
Here are some blogs that helped me get caught up during this time. I hope they’re helpful to you as well.
A Beautiful Prayer by the Most Beautiful Woman in the Universe
Great blog by Paolo Punzalan on How to Help During Calamity
A similar blog by Dennis Sy on The Time to Help
Cool infographic on how to purify water for yourself
List of relief efforts you can participate in