Navigate /?navi?g?t/ – Verb ; To plan and direct the route or course of, esp. by using instruments or maps ; to make one’s way about, over, or through.
In the youth ministry, discipleship is the best framework within which effective “navigating” takes place. The young people of our generation need godly examples to emulate as they steer their way through life experiences and put into practice their Biblical worldview. Knowing this, the youth leaders of our church aim to be real, accessible, and transparent models, whose lives function as “maps” that the other young people may follow. Just like Paul in 1 Cor 11:1, we would like to be able to say to our disciples : “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”. We want to show the kids that Christianity isn’t just another religion, another set of rules, or another ideology that stays in the head as mere ideas. We want them to see that Christianity can (and should be) lived out in their everyday lives and decisions, and that Christ’s presence in them transforms even the way they talk, what they buy, what they wear, what jokes they laugh at, the movies they watch, the activities they choose to engage in, their attitudes toward school, parents, God. We want to show them that actually living out their love for Jesus is indeed possible ! We also want them to know that they are not alone in their Christian walk : they have their families, plus their ‘ates’ and ‘kuyas’ in church, who are willing to help them plan out their “routes” in life, as long as they are willing to learn. And we hope that in time, they too will feel the burden of teaching other young people how to faithfully follow the Lord. And that is why Discipleship was chosen as the theme for this year’s youth camp. Our hope is that learning-from-godly-models-then-teaching-to-trustworthy-people becomes a lifestyle for our young people, and that attendance to this camp will be a first step towards that goal.
The ministry leaders pray that the kids will be eager and humble disciples now, so they will become eager and able disciplers in the future. We aim to instill in our young people’s hearts the cause of Christ for t
Ayan February 14 na naman. Balita ko ang trapik na agad sa EDSA. I overheard someone saying “valentines kasi kaya trapik.” Ang daming mga tao ngayon na may dalang bulaklak. Monday pa lang ang dami ng status sa FB about love. At sa buwan talaga ng February nag-lalabasan ang mga hopeless romantic people. Para bang requirement na pag valentines day ay dapat may ka-date ka. Well sa totoo lang madami tayong dapat matutunan sa mga lolo at lola natin pag-dating sa love. Paano ko nasabi yun? Sige! let me tell you about today’s generation when it comes to love.
Unahin natin ang karamihan ng mga guys ngayon. Maraming guys kasi na ayaw manligaw at ayaw mag pursue ng girl ng matagalan or seryosohan. Gagawin nila pipilitin nila maging close ang girl sa kanila simply because they “want to test the waters” muna using “friendship” and get an idea kung type sila ng girl or if may chance ba sila kung manliligaw nga sila. Now if they sense na may chance sila then they will go ahead. Or chances are, they may not even go through the courtship stage. MU na lang sila. Ano ba ang MU? Well pag magkasama sila they do the things ng mga couples minus the committment. So ang saya di ba? Sweet sa isat-isa without commitmments.
Let’s face it. Madaming mga guys ngayon na ganun ang gawain. Well hindi lang naman mga guys, may mga girls din na ganun ang gawain. Papaasahin nila ang mga guys kahit from the very start wala silang plans to have a relationship with the guy. Papaikutin nila ang guy simply because they want the feeling of being wanted ng maraming guys. That feeling becomes their sense of worth. Guys became their trophies and they feel important as an individual.
So as a result, madaming broken hearted. Nasaktan si girl kasi umasa. Nasaktan si guy kasi umasa. Madaming single mom na teeners kasi MU lang at walang committment sa isa’t-isa. Or to simply put it we love the warm fuzzy feeling of being in-love. Hinahabol-habol natin yung “kilig factor” that comes with the relationship. It’s not a bad thing naman. Pero kung yun lang ang habol natin we will find ourselves jumping from one relationship to another. Kaya nga madaming couples na nag hihiwalay kasi ang reason nila “the feeling is not the same anymore” or “they don’t have feelings anymore toward their partner.”
Well I’m not gonna be popular sa mga sasabihin ko sa inyo. In fact you guys will even hate me for saying this. Pero alam niyo, when you get married, yung warm fuzzy feeling na hinahanap-hanap natin, yung “kilig factor” na sobrang gusto natin, it just comes and goes. Yun ang pinag-kaiba ng mga lolo at lola natin sa atin. Tayo ang definition natin ng being in-love ay yung kinikilig tayo at lambingan. Kapag nawala na yung kilig sa isat-isa hiwalay na and hahanap na ulit ng ibang ka-relationship. Yung mga lolo at lola natin, ang definition ng love sa kanila COMMITMMENT. Sure dumaan din sila sa kilig factor. Sure hinabol din nila ang kinikilig sila sa courtship stage. Pero when the feelings are gone, they stick together. When the feelings are gone they don’t look for another person just to experience the “kilig” thing. They stayed true to their partner regardless of their feelings toward each other. “They love their partner” and not the “feeling of being in-love.” Kaya nga ang generation ng mga lolo at lola natin umaabot ng 30 years, 50 years and even 60 years ang marriage nila. Sadly nowadays mataas ang rate ng hiwalayan at nag papa-annul.
So let’s ask ourselves, ano ba ang hanap ko, to “commit” myself to a “life time partner?” Or ”I just want the feeling of being in-love?” Sabi nga ng matatanda, “ang pag-aasawa ay hindi parang kaning mainit na kapag isinubo mo at napaso ka ay puwede mong iluwa.” At sabi nga ng pastor namin mas mahal ang mag pa-annul kaysa pag-aasawa.
The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” -Judg 6:11-16
Everybody loves a hero. A hero always gets the job done. Though he has weaknesses yet he prevails and saves the day at the end of the story. Heroes are all over the bible. These are ordinary men chosen by God and made a difference in their generation. One of them is Gideon.
When Gideon was called by God through His angel he responded “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” This guy was so typical emo type of a guy. He was just called a hero by a mighty angel and he gave a whining answer. Why should he not? They were hiding in caves and mountains in their own country because of their enemies. He has all the rights to rant. He has all the reason for whining. He’s so much like you and me, complaining in a messy situation.
Every hero in a comic book was born in a messy situation, a place where hope was almost gone. Gideon was no exception. He was in a place where everybody was confused. He was in an environment where fear gripped their hearts. Yet given the situation, he chose to step up and rise above the situation. And that’s what made him a hero. When everybody was complaining, when everybody doesn’t want to do anything about the situation, when everybody was just going along with the flow of fear and doubts, when everybody was pointing finger of who’s to blame, GIDEON CHOSE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
In a place where everything seems to be out of place, we complain, blame one another, compare others, and voice out our own opinions. Guess what, everybody can do that. Everyone is a talker in this post-modern world. Talking will not do any good in any situation. It will only make it worst. People who talks a lot but actually don’t do anything is a ZERO; they are nothing. What we need right now is a HERO. People who grumble like Gideon yet choose to rise above the situation by doing something about it. Even if the challenge is great, even if the task is overwhelming, even if the risk is high, heroes always rise up and do something about the situation. They will not save their faces but sacrifice themselves. That’s what it takes to be a hero.
So the choice is yours, are you gonna be just a talker? Then you are a ZERO. Just like the rest of the world. Or will you rise up and do something that would make a difference? Then you are a HERO.
In the past months, three of our friends passed away. Right now, we have two friends who are battling with a terminal disease. Several old friends of mine are suffering from broken vows. These things are a bit too much to handle. One thing that we can see here is that pain, whether we are religious or not, are present in our lives. We can’t avoid them by joining religious groups, having positive thinking and pursuing happiness. As long as we are here in this broken world, we will experience hurts, pains, diseases, and aloneness. In fact, we already have our own share of these things in one way or another.
Since we cannot escape these things in our lives, the question that we need to ask is to whom do we turn to and why?
Most of us, our default is to turn to the person that we trust most. They could be our family, close friends, or even express our feelings to social networking sights. Those things are not bad. It could help us. However, humans have limitations. Though they want to be with us in times of crisis, there would be times that they could not be with us to sit and chat. That does not mean that their bad. It only means that they are not available. The point here is that people do fall short of our expectation. People disappoint us. Sometimes we can rely on them. But there are also times that we cannot rely on them. They may be our reason for being happy. Yet they can also be the reason why we are living a miserable life.
Now, I know of a man who once walked on this planet. For three years, his life was like a circus. There were times that people flocked around him and adored him. Yet there were those moments that people can’t help but to spread bad gossips about him. There were even moments that some people wanted to kill him. In his time of need, he pleaded with his friends to stick by his side but they couldn’t. One of his closest friends stabbed him in the back. When time came that he was about to leave this world, when he was about to breathe his last breath, he felt like he was abandoned by his dad. He felt alone on his death bed. You knew this guy. His name was Jesus…
Jesus experienced the things that we are experiencing here on earth. Rejection, aloneness, abandonment, and betrayal are not foreign to Him. He experienced it, He felt it and He endure it. The funny thing is that he doesn’t have to experience these things first hand. He is strong and mighty. Yet He became weak and fragile without sinning. He became a human. Why? For you, for me and for all of us. He wanted to tell us “hey, I experienced what you are going through right now. And you know what? I overcome the world (John 16:33). So come to me and let me help you go through that pain, lean on me and let us walk together in this world, I know how your life should be like (Matt 11:28-30). I can fix whatever that is broken in your life (Rom 8:28).
Heb 4:14-16 (MSG)
14 Now that we know what we have — Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God — let’s not let it slip through our fingers. 15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all — all but the sin. 16 So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
What comes after college? Will I get the job that I always wanted? Where will I be headed? What will be my first step in achieving my dream in life? Will I be strong enough to face the real world? Am I tough enough to compete? These are the questions I struggled with when I graduated in college. If you are facing the same dilemma, I pray that upon reading this, it will help you face your own struggle.
In the bible there is a person who took the journey of the unknown, faced the same fears that we all have, committed the same mistakes over and over again, and experienced the cruelty of life. Yet in the end he triumphed. This person’s name was Abraham. Now you might think that Abe did not go through college like us. However he has something in common with us; HE HAS A DREAM. Let us journey with Abe and hopefully it’ll help us face our fears and pursue our dream.
God first met Abe when he was 75 years old. He was rich, married and above all old. He was already retired and he graduated in the school of life with straight A’s. He’s got the best of life. He’s got a very beautiful wife, wonderful marriage, he’s rich, and had a good health. He had everything that most of us wanted in this world, but he had no son. This was the reason he felt unaccomplished, he felt something was lacking, something that was more than what he had. There was hunger, dissatisfaction, and thirst over something.
When God met Abe, He stirred up that vacuum in his heart for Abe to accept His invitation. We could read that in Genesis 12:1-3, it’s like He was inviting Abe like this, “Hey, do you think you’ve got everything? Do you think you’re living the best of life right now? Do you think you’re living your dream life? Well I have something that is much bigger than what you have. But it’ll cost you. You have to leave your country where you live all your life and leave behind your extended family. Are you interested?”
Abe grabbed God’s invitation. This invitation has nothing to do with his status in life whether he is rich, poor, single or complicated, and smart. It was not dependent on his inner qualities and strength. Those things were all irrelevant with God because He will be the One who will make His promise came to reality.
In this world, achieving our dream means we need to be smarter than the rest, more aggressive than anyone else and tougher than everyone around us. An eye for an eye and tooth for tooth is how they put it. Be ahead of everyone is how the world works. The world reveres people who are handsome, smart, and rich. Everyone thinks that if you have these qualities, you have the advantage over everyone. But when God gives you an invitation to have something bigger than your dreams, it does not matter whether you have less or more. God can utilize whatever is in your hands to make his dream for you become a reality.
When the time came that God gave Abe a son, He asked him to sacrifice his son and he willingly obeyed Him. Why? Because he knew that God was all he need to make his dream come true.
Do you have a dream? Do you fear the road to your dream? Well God has something bigger than your dream. He is inviting you to the great journey of fulfilling His dream for you. The question is will you accept his invitation?
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” -Jer 29:11