Eat This Book: Stop Dating the Church (Fall in Love with the Family of God) by Joshua Harris

26 12 2010

Probably this is one of the book of Josh Harris you wouldn’t buy because of two things:

1.) It’s not about relationships (like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and “Boy Meets Girl”)

2.) The book is short (144 pages) yet it’s priced like his other long (or thick for that matter) relationship books

The truth is, this is a “relationship” book and we thank Harris for making it short for a topic that is very important (that can be written volumes). Relationship, because it’s about “falling in love” with the family of God or the Church. Short, because it’s short enough for us digest and understand the relevance of having a church.

Josh Harris with his down to earth and search mode style (we all love and familiar with) of conveying the topic gives you a personal and biblical approach on why we need to belong to other believers. We can relate to him because of his honesty on this book, how he use to be a “church dater” to saying “I Do” to his church. He unravels how God view His bride (the church) and how important to be a part of this phenomenal group God created. I think it’s one of the important issues that anyone who is either a new Christian or a professing Christian yet hasn’t made a commitment to a church. Christianity is not a solo effort and it will never be. A saved person needs to find a church for his spiritual growth. Harris gives us how to have passion, choosing a church and how to make the most of that special day, Sunday. He took this topic from the high theological shelf, placed it on our table for us to savor God’s intent plans for us as a member of His family. A very serious topic done it humble and friendly way that will surely grab you and consider how essential it is to love fellow believers and love the God who made the church.

Great for both new believers and long time church goers, who lost their appetite for intimacy to fellow Christians; this short book will lead and take you to that love you’re longing for God’s people. Now it’s time to fall in love with the church and get married to it.





Eat This Book: Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions by Kuya Kevin Sanders

12 06 2010

Admit it. If you find this book at PCBS or National you’ll raise your eyebrows. The title is very catchy and very Pinoy. But the author is an American guy. So you might ask” How can this American guy give relationship advice that will cater with me a Pinoy?” Well after reading this book you’ll change your mind.

Basta Lovelife is a jam pack of essential advice from Kevin Sanders. Kuya Kevin (as he is popularly called) assembled biblical advices (with common sense) on love, sex and relationship from the Bible, his experience as campus minister, his blog and podcast show. Kuya Kevin really knows who his audiences are and I think these are the most asked issues and topics to him. He is right on target. It’s great that all of it relates to Pilipino love and courtship culture and I’m thankful that he address those things. Words like bolero, basted, live in, rebound etc. makes you easy to know the topic he is discussing (and makes it very Pinoy). You wont be lost with this book is tackling. Pinoy youth especially students shouldn’t look further to find a book that deals with homosexuality, virginity, masturbation, romantic vultures and romantic martyr; break up, soulmate, physical attraction and more.

As you know the media is having frenzy over romance. They make money about it especially on secular love advice. Tons of people are willing to give their shots on your problems. It’s a good thing there are Christian authors like Kuya Kevin who gives good and godly advice. Advice not from towering Christian leaders, but to a down to earth and honest person. We can all relate to someone who has the same struggles and problem we have but willing to be a “kuya” (older brother) to give an advice. So grab a copy of Basta Lovelife and let Kevin Sanders be your kuya. Check out Kuya Kevins blog here and his Facebook Fan Page





Fully Booked! Enjoying Christian Books: an Interview with Church Strengthening Ministry Publishing

21 05 2010

Aside from the Bible, we ought to read Christian books. Reading makes us grow and mature as Christians. We learn a lot and discover things about being a Christian .So we asked Ms. Joy C. Solina, Editorial Manager of Church Strengthening Ministry Publishing, about Christian books, what to read and more…

ROCK Ministry: What’s the importance of reading Christian books?

Joy C. Solina: Christian books are literature or reading material that are written from a Christian or biblical perspective. They help hone the reader’s mind to see things from a biblical point of view and learn to think that way. Otherwise, he is vulnerable to all sorts of ideas that do not necessarily reflect spiritual values or have anything to do with God. Good Christian books, next to the Bible, satisfy one’s spiritual hunger for knowledge and guidance in dealing with life’s struggles and questions. They have often inspired gifted Christian writers to fulfill their calling of changing people’s lives through the printed word. What would this world be like without the works of C.S. Lewis, John Stott, A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren and Billy Graham?

ROCK Ministry: How do we cultivate reading as part of our Christian life?

Joy C. Solina: It pays to start early. If you grew up in a family that loved books, you already have an advantage. You have developed the interest and the habit, and all you have to do is choose the books you read. If you didn’t grow up reading books for pleasure, you can still develop the interest and habit. First of all, you have to believe in its overall spiritual benefit because if you’re not fully convinced that it will make you a better person and Christian, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve even started. Second, ask godly people you admire and respect what books they can recommend to you. They would most likely lend or even give you some books that have blessed them tremendously in their spiritual growth. It also goes without saying that reading the Bible everyday helps instill the discipline if not the passion for reading Christian books.

ROCK Ministry: Many Christians read but are not readers. How do you encourage them to pick up a book?

Joy C. Solina: If you’ve personally enjoyed a book, you won’t keep that to yourself. You would gladly recommend it to your family, your friends or people you’re discipling. Aside from a highly respected author’s name on a book, a friend’s recommendation is a good enough motivation to read that book. Like a coach, ask feedback after a couple of days or weeks. If your Christian friend stopped reading it, ask why. Point out which sections you enjoyed the most or have proven helpful in your life and encourage him to read some more. When he has finished the book, suggest another one and help him get a hold of a copy. Nothing is as effective as a friend’s encouragement and example.

ROCK Ministry: For first-timers, what advice or book do they need to read?

Joy C. Solina: If you mean first-timers in reading Christian books, I would encourage them to find out who’s the best Christian author in the genre that interests them the most. If a person is fond of historical novels, go look for one that was written by a Christian. If a person is fond of biographies, find one that’s about a well-known Christian. If a person is fond of deep, philosophical discussions, find one that’s written by a Christian philosopher or apologist. You may also look for books that can help meet a pressing or current need. If a person is new in the faith, offer books that explain what salvation means and how to grow as a Christian. If a person is having trouble with finances or people at work, look for Christian books that deal with this.

ROCK Ministry: How do Christians choose the right Christian book?

Joy C. Solina: The “right” Christian book will depend on your interest, your need, and your budget. Whichever of these three takes priority, ask your pastor, your friend who loves books, your discipler, and Christians you look up to for their recommendations. Check the blurbs of books for endorsements. Classical authors on the Christian faith such as C. S. Lewis, John Stott and A.W. Tozer are always a good choice. The latest best-selling title by a Christian author may not necessarily appeal to you unless someone you know personally benefitted from reading it. If you have learned a lot from a Bible study guide or curriculum, you may take note of books mentioned in the lessons or in a reading list given by the author(s).

RM: Is there a right time to read a particular type of book? Let’s say, a new Christian should read Christian living first then if he is mature enough, he can read about apologetics.

JCS: New Christians instinctively know that they need to study the basics of the faith for them to grow spiritually but I would not limit them to one kind of books. It will also depend on their level of reading “maturity” and the genre they’re interested in. Those who love to read can read “unexplored territory” to find out if they’re prepared for it or not. If a new Christian wants to know what apologetics is all about, he can go ahead and read it, then decide for himself if he can already handle it or not.

But to maximize one’s time (hardly anyone has all the time in the world to read anything), I would recommend a mix of serious study and light reading. Choose a tested and proven study material on growing spiritually, such as Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God or Beth Moore’s A Heart Like His, alongside an easy-to-read but insightfully loaded book, such as Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison’s Cat & Dog Theology or Rene Resurreccion’s Called to Excel.

RM: Church Strengthening Ministry has lots of titles to offer. Tell us what books you highly recommend to people.

JCS: We have a lot. I’ll try to be brief (if I could). This year we have local editions of best-selling Christian authors in the US, such as Gary Chapman (Five Love Languages, Five Love Languages for Singles, Five Love Languages for Teenagers), Nancy Leigh de Moss (Surrender, Brokenness, Lies Women Believe, Lies Young Women Believe), and Richard Blackaby (Unlimiting God).

For church lay leaders and pastors, James Garlow’s Partners in Ministry will enlighten and equip pastoral and ministry teams. Pastors can add variety to their exhortation when officiating the Lord’s Supper by using Jim Townsend’s Two-Minute Messages for Communion.

The Lord has blessed us with more local authors who have equally powerful messages to share to Filipino believers and Filipinos in general. Rene Resurreccion’s The Power to Create Righteous Wealth and The Heart of the Economic Crisis are positive reads for facing these financially challenging times. Bing Pajaron’s Parenting Teens gives much-needed advice and biblical principles to parents struggling to understand and raise their teenaged kids the right way. Campus minister Kevin Sanders’ second book with CSM, Learning the Hard Way, uses true-to-life stories sent by readers of his blog. Former mayor Marides Fernando’s Urbanidad explains how urban dwellers can live harmoniously under the law based on biblical insights shared by DZAS station manager and pastor Eric C. Maliwat who also has his first book with us, Maging Ubas Huwag Pasas.

A growing number of readers now prefer conversational Tagalog and need not feel limited in choosing books to read. For people in the workplace, Maloi Salumbides’ ProTips, Standing Tall through Tough Times and Shining Attitudes for Women at Work are ideal reads while traveling to and from the office or during break times. For young mothers, Bessie Rios’ Memo ni Mommy serves as daily doses of advice and encouragement. For couples wanting to communicate with each other better, Gary Chapman’s Now You’re Speaking My Language in conversational Tagalog offers practical tips on developing intimacy in your marriage. For anyone else who wants to relate to God more deeply, Joey Umali’s Mahal Ka ng Diyos contains selected messages from his well-loved early morning radio program, Hardin ng Panalangin.

For readers who also listen to MP3s and audio CDs, we have compiled Ed Lapiz’s messages into 15 audio CDs, each containing eight (8) messages, and have also produced three (3) audio books of his best-selling titles, I Will Survive, Pera o Puri and Sa Tao ang Ngawa.

RM: How does CSM choose a book to release? Do you choose it because this will be a best seller; it’s the fad or what?

JCS: A publisher always wishes each title it releases becomes a bestseller. But realistically, that will not happen. So what’s our basis for choosing which books to publish? Those that align with our company’s mission of strengthening the church, equipping the saints and reaching mankind for the Lord—what our name stands for. When we translate this mission into products, they fall into the following categories: evangelism, discipleship, worker training, family enrichment, Christian living, missions, and leadership.

Our core products have always been church-based curriculum (Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, discipleship and pastoral resources) which we consider our special niche in local Christian publishing. Therefore, we are on the constant lookout for curriculum writers, editorial board members, reviewers, translators and songwriters/arrangers.

When it comes to books, we follow the same basic guideline. For imported titles, we choose the titles from publishers’ catalogs, request review copies from the publishers, have them read and reviewed, then seek republishing rights. For local titles, we choose the authors and/or manuscripts based on certain criteria, such as writers’ credentials, writing style, unique approach, timeliness of message, theological stance, etc.

RM: Just an observation, why do most Pinoy Christian readers prefer foreign titles than home grown titles?

JCS: We haven’t gotten over the colonial mentality or the Pinoy’s propensity to be mesmerized by anything foreign. But that is significantly changing. Our line-up of local authors and conversational Tagalog titles is increasing. More and more Pinoys are buying locally written books, but the preference for foreign authors (especially the famous ones) is still strong.

For one thing, foreign titles have the uncontested advantage of “marketing” or media mileage. They’re more exposed to the international market because of the much promoted success or wide following of the authors’ ministries in their home countries. We can already learn something from that picture. We do have gifted Pinoy Christian leaders who have a lot to say that will benefit a much wider audience. The challenge lies in putting those messages into well-written, attractive, affordable print form and getting it into the hands of readers who will appreciate it the most.

RM: I’ve checked your website and you carry Ed Lapiz titles. Tell us more about him and his books.

JCS: Ed Lapiz’s books have enjoyed huge sales in mainstream bookstores for years. His success as an author is the exception to what you previously said about Pinoys preferring foreign titles to local ones. I can only explain the secret to his publishing success as his ability to communicate flawlessly and to teach deep, biblical truths simply to any Pinoy who reads his book. When I asked a friend why she likes reading Ed Lapiz, she said in Tagalog, “I don’t have to analyze further or ask someone to explain to me what he means. I get it right away.” His radio program, Day by Day, raises the ratings of any radio station that airs it. We are, therefore, so privileged to enter into an agreement with him to exclusively distribute his titles and will soon publish two new book titles from him.

RM: Please tell us more about CSM, what you do and how they can contact you. What can we look forward to in the coming year from you?

JCS: In keeping with our name, we also publish curriculum for churches and Christian schools, conduct training seminars and workshops for church workers and pastors, and produce audio books and videos for equipping and outreach. We strive to keep up with the changing times by studying how technology affects the way people communicate and learn. Thus, we have added audio (MP3 format) and video CDs to our list of products.

We have just produced our first one-year children’s Sunday school curriculum pack called Faith Grower containing free CDs for the music and reproducible teaching pictures. We plan to release another one-year Sunday school curriculum pack for all ages with a separate CD of new songs by the end of this year. We also released our first children’s music video entitled Songs for Jesus that was quickly sold out. Another children’s music video entitled God of Creation will be released soon.

In our last training season (November to April), we organized over 30 training workshops for Vacation Bible School and children’s Sunday school for local church workers and volunteers in partnership with PCBS bookstores as well as Thompson Chain Bible Institute seminars for pastors and preachers all over the country. We will expand our training program to include youth and adult Sunday school teacher workshops, parenting seminars, and trainings for school teachers.

This year we started offering music clinics for worship teams. Some of our clinic instructors are our video “authors” (Bernie Duran for Learning to Play Bass Guitar, Dehann Ballesteros for Guitar for Beginners, Relly Villanueva for Drums for Beginners). Other instructional videos in our Music Station line-up are Worship Leading by Roy Fabella and Voice Lessons by Lyn Fabella, the husband and wife team of Windsong. We are exploring possibilities for training accredited facilitators of these instructional videos.

We’re the first Christian publisher to offer audio books. We have released 22 titles by local authors: Leah Darwin’s Yes! I’m a Pastor’s Wife, Eric Maliwat’s Maging Ubas Huwag Pasas, Maloi Salumbides’ ProTips in 3 volumes, Standing Tall and Shining Attitudes, and Ed Lapiz’s messages in 15 volume CDs. We have just released three (3) audio books by Ed Lapiz and three (3) new Ed Lapiz videos soon. Our latest MP3 audio CD title is John Maxwell’s Leadership 101 containing nine of his books.

CSM also offers design, typesetting and printing services for your church and school. Our building has facilities that churches and other groups can use for seminars and corporate events, and guest units for travelers at affordable rates. We are located very near the international airport or NAIA 1 and can be contacted by phone (8527301 to 02) or email (direct@csm-publishing.com). You may also visit our website (www.csm-publishing.com) for a complete listing of products, updates and upcoming events.

RM: Thank you granting us an interview and God bless your publishing ministry. God bless also those Christians who read and support your books.





A Trip to Booksale: Finding Christian books at a Second Hand/Used Bookstore

21 05 2010

Want to do something that will flex you Christian life? Read a Christian book! But you don’t have a budget to buy those books at National or PCBS. Go to Booksale!

Booksale is a popular second hand or used bookstore in the Philippines from a company called Visual Mix Inc. It’s a sort of ukay-ukay for books. They sell those books (from novels, children’s, coffee tables, comics etc.) in a very cheap price. It also carries new and back issues of magazines, local and international. You can find it at malls as stalls or a store branch. Sometimes it has Christian books that are classics and written by famous authors.

For years now, I’ve brought books at Booksale. Some had impact my life. You don’t have to pay expensive Christian books just to fuel your Christian walk. You can find some treasures at Booksale.

This article intends to give advice and tips on finding a Christian book if you ever be or planning to go to Booksale.

For first timers: Prepare for a lot digging, flipping and bending for books at Booksale. But your effort will be paid off if you get hard to find or classic books in a very affordable price. It might surprise you that big stores sell that same book for a hefty price but find it at Booksale very cheap.

You might as well be informed that this is not a Christian bookstore. Booksales carries men’s magazines and other stuff Christians should not set eyes upon.

Another don’t expect for the sales clerk to know or find a book for you. They are not like those from big bookstores.

The budget: Booksale gives prices as low as P10. The price ranges to P10-75 and over 100 which are still cheap compare with popular bookstores. If you’re going there, it’s safe to have P50-100. If you’re lucky, with that amount you can buy 3-5 books. If the book is prolific in Booksale, you might as well wait for them to lower its price. I’ve observed that if a book wouldn’t sell, they will change the price. You might notice the multiple price stickers on the book. I brought books which are classic for as low as 10-25 pesos. They don’t price it because of the authors, but to sell and dispose it.

Some publishers you might look out while digging: This list will give some ease and save some time on what is a Christian book by looking at the publisher’s name. Some publishers are Whitaker, Tyndale, NavsPress, Revell, McMillan, Moody Press, Regal, Bethany House, Spire, New Leaf, CLC (Christian Literature Crusade), Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Inter Varsity Press. These are legitimate Christian publishing company, but that doesn’t mean we should put off our discernment radar. Let’s use our Christian discernment by comparing those books with our stand in doctrine, morality, biblical worldview etc. Also I would recommend old stuff (50’s -70’s) from them which, I think still have biblical integrity rather that the new one (driven to just make money).

It will also help if you find a book or author to check them in the internet before buying it. You can search info, reviews, criticism and recommendations for that book and the author. Ask someone like a pastor or a fellow Christian if he knows something about the book you like to get.

Authors you shouldn’t miss: Booksale sometimes has great books by these authors: Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray, Corrie Ten Boom, Charles Spurgeon, and C.S. Lewis. Some of these authors are available in thin pocketsize books. I spot Left Behind series, In His Steps and Lee Strobel’s A Case For Easter more recently. The list I provide are some that are prolific in Booksale (which I have seen in BS over the years) but not necessary always available.

Of course, there are Bibles in different versions and sizes you can find in Booksale. You can own the greatest book in the world for a very affordable price.

Topics or Category you may find: Mostly Christian living, devotional and discipleship.

Rarely are apologetics and theology.

Great titles that influence me: Here are some books I brought that greatly helped me in my Christian walk that I got from Booksale (and I hope you can find it too.)

  1. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell
  2. Spiritual Maturity by J. Oswald Sanders
  3. In Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
  4. Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  5. Of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
  6. Discipleship: Up Close and Personal by Chuck Swindoll
  7. Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur Jr. (hardbound)
  8. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
  9. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  10. The Song by Calvin Miller

Books You Should Avoid: Once in awhile I find some books that have spiritual stuff but don’t uphold a biblical Christian stand. So please check carefully the book you’re buying. Here are some of them:

  1. self help
  2. Hare Krishna/Divine Consciousness
  3. Robert Schuller
  4. New Age, Yoga and Shirley MacLane
  5. Dianetics by Ron Hubbard
  6. Book of Mormon, Great Controversy, Steps to Christ and other so called religious text from cults.
  7. Horoscope and other fortune telling stuff.

Top Secret Tips: If you find something that you really like but forgot to bring cash or you budget it to something else and you don’t want to come back to find its gone, don’t worry. You can reserve the book for a few days with no additional fee till you can buy it. Just tell the sales clerk or cashier and they can keep it for you.

Booksale changes books every month. That means new (old) books with much lower prices are available. Sometime they do it every first day of the month. So before anyone get something, better know when they change products.

Advantages: Here are some advantages in buying at Booksale:

  1. The price is very low. As I have said, you can buy something for P10.
  2. If your fortunate a Christian book can be in hardbound.
  3. Popular, hard to find and out of print Christian books are available.
  4. Books are printed in the US.

Disadvantages: Although the prices are very low at Booksale (which is an advantage) there are some disadvantages.

  1. Quality of the books-sometimes (but not always) some got ugly because of the price sticker, has missing or falling away pages, worn out, torn and crumpled cover. Flap jackets are missing. Markings like “Used” or “Discarded”. Lots of pencil or ballpen markings.
  2. You won’t get what you want-unlike PCBS or National bookstore you can go to a section for a specific book or topic you’re looking for. Sometime you won’t find any that fits your taste.
  3. Sales clerk- aside for not having one attending, they don’t know about the books and won’t even recommend you one.
  4. Not all malls have Booksale.
  5. Some Christian books available at Booksale (or even at National or PCBS) can be read or in some cases downloaded in the internet for free.
  6. Some are old editions and not updated.
  7. Sometimes they don’t have multiple copies of a title.

Not all the time I buy at Booksale, I visit National or PCBS and purchase (if I have the budget) books that are new, fresh and relevant with the time or culture. Or simply research the internet for specific topics that are available in different digital format free.

Interesting stuff: Over the years of buying, collecting and reading books, I find in Booksale I notice some stuff worth noting. Some of the books are discarded from libraries in the US because it still carries the index card or has the name of the library stamp on the first page. In some books I own, you know it’s a gift because of the handwritten dedication for someone. You can also know who previously owns it with the sticker of the owner’s name complete with address! Other times, someone might be studying the book that you can see pencil or ballpen lines and hand written comments on the spaces of each page.

I hope this article help you in finding a worthy read for your enjoyment and spiritual growth. If you have some question you can send an e-mail: allstarboyscout@yahoo.com or use it to add me up in FaceBook. Booksale has a website:Booksale. Happy Christian book hunting at Booksale!





R.O.C.K. List 10 Tips to Pass the Board Exam

6 02 2010

There are something to cheer about in the beginning of February. Lyceum of the Philippines University is on number 2 ranking in the recent Nursing Board Exam. Also R.O.C.K has members who are board exam the passers. One of them is Ruel De Castro a Christian and original member of the pre-ROCK campus ministry. Congratulations Ruel! May God bless you as a registered nurse. After giving us his testimony at our Soul Fuel, asked him to jot down this list to provide you insight and advice on how to pass the exam:

  1. Prayer- very powerful tool. Tutulungan ka nito na maging calm and relax during the exam at maiiwasan yung pagiging ngarag o kabado.
  2. Be positive-it will attract positive energy.
  3. Believe to the power of God- Dapat we will always put in our mind that God has a good plan for us. Just have faith.
  4. Review your past lesson- Manganda kung everyday nagbabasa ka ng pakonti-konti ng mga past lesson to refresh your mind at para hindi mo sila makalimutan.
  5. Gumawa ng sariling abbreviation o acronym about sa topic kung saan mas madali mo silang maalala, it can be a jingle, ABC, poem o kung saan ka mas comfortable.
  6. Bawasan ang puyat o kung may bisyo wag muna magbisyo habang papalapit na ang exam. (Better yet drop the vises—editor:-))
  7. The night before the exam, matulog ng maaga at gumising ng maaga para pag nagstart ang exam gising na ang diwa mo at mas madali ng gumana ang utak.
  8. Pag magrereview,, konti lang ang ilas na gamit o yung materials na aaralin kasi once na madami nakatambak tatamdin ka lang mag-aral.
  9. It is best to study sa umaga para fresh pa at hindi overloaded ang utak. Huwag din isabay ang pagaaral sa panonood ng TV.

10.  Pumasok sa review center para maupdate sa mga bago, at types ng paexam ng mga BoN.





Discipleship: A Deeper Love for Christ–an interview with Life Changing Discipleship (LCD)

24 01 2010

Like a newly born baby, a new believer needs help for him to grow. A new Christian should desire to mature and be useful for God’s purpose. He needs discipleship. Its a big word for many. But we need it to have deeper love for Christ. So we asked Ptr Elmer Quilas of Life Changing Discipleship (LCD) about Discipleship.

ROCK Ministry: Hi Ptr Elmer . So tell us what is Discipleship?

Elmer Quilas: Discipleship is the unveiling of God’s heart in the Word into the hearts of God’s children.

ROCK Ministry: Wow. Its what God’s want for his children. How important is discipleship especially to the new believers?

Elmer Quilas : It is very important because the Bible needs to be read and heard, it needs to be grasped or understood, also it needs to be acted upon and lived out in obedience and another thing which accomplishes the great commission is that the Bible needs to shared with others.

ROCK Ministry: Does it take a lot of time? Does it have to be one on one? Does it have to be a pastor member approach?
Elmer Quilas : 30 minutes or so each week will work. Discipleship is a process of growing a new believer to maturity. Consistency will play a great deal in the entire process. As a common saying says, “one apple a day takes the doctor away.” 30 minutes of sharing one’s life to another when accumulates in time matures a believer.
We cannot be effective to all but we can always be to someone. Since human personality is so complex, I believe that the Spirit of God uses people according to how a person can be best effective in sharing. God is using our experiences, culture, education and other things so the one discipling can clearly relate to his disciple.

RM: How can busy student and professionals benefit with discipleship?

EQ: Discipleship is a personal relationship developed. Flexibility can be applied. It doesn’t require permanent place only common place, doesn’t require permanent time only common interest, and it doesn’t require all of my time only common commitment.

RM: I read somewhere that discipleship can be easy if we establish first a relationship. whats your comment on that?

EQ: I strongly believe that relationship comes first in many cases of effective discipleship. It it true that I have to sell myself first before my product it is also true in effective discipleship.

RM: OK. How do you start discipleship?What are the necessary tools for it?

EQ: I always approach discipleship in the light of the Lord’s life how He first chooses people. In Matthew 4:18-22 account, Jesus saw the people, He called them and they followed Him. In John 12:32 account, Jesus draws people. You disciple people you attract.

RM: Do you recommend self discipleship or a person can just pick up his Bible or buy a Christian book?

EQ: I believe that every child of God is accountable for every action he makes. I cannot discount the benefits that Christians get through personal reading and devotions. The Bible is strongly expressing the benefits you get when you become like Joshua who was a disciple of Moses, Elisha who received the double portion of Elijah’s power, and in the New Testament Timothy whom Paul claimed to be his son in the faith. Nonetheless, before the apostle Paul’s execution, he told Timothy to “Take Mark” which implies a son and father relationship. I would say that great men of the Bible are the product of great mentoring and nurturing.

RM: Any message for those students who wants to be discipled?

EQ: A musician will learn under another musician because he wants to emulate him. There is something about his playing that the student desires. We become followers of Jesus because we love Him and desires to become like Him. This is the all-encompassing goal of a disciples’ faith.

RM: Please tell us about LCD, you and your church.

EQ: LCD is a ministry that hold retreats, seminars, trainings and Bible Studies that helps the youth, family and individuals discover their potentials and develop it. Through our series of meetings, we encourage them to use their God given potentials not only for their personal benefit but also to others.
I am Dr. Elmer C. Quilas, Senior Pastor of Gateway Christian Baptist and Ministries Inc. Our purpose is to love God and to love people. Our vision is to evangelize and make disciples. And our goal is to make every believer a leader

RM: Thank you Pastor for your time and God bless!

If you want to reach Pastor Elmer Castillo Quilas, Life Changing Discipleship Network (LCD) check his blog: http://lcdnetworklifesmart.blogspot.com/ or search his ministry and name at Facebook.





A Supernatural Interview: An Interview with former New Ager and Astrologer Marcia Montenegro

13 06 2009

Rock The Campus (RTC) interviews Marcia Montenegro (MM), former professional astrologer and New Ager now the head of CANA or Christian Answers for the New Age. We talk about spirituality in school, yoga, occult, astrology, Twilight etc., that seduces high school and college kids.
You can check her website: http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org

Rock The Campus blogsite: rockthecampus.wordpress.com

Rock The Campus: Hi Marcia. Do you think that the school has a great influence in students specially in terms of spirituality?

Marcia Montenegro: When you ask about schools, I can only answer in terms of schools in the U.S. I know schools in the U.S. have an influence on spirituality. Many teachers are open to all kinds of beliefs and this comes through their teaching. Also, events like Earth Day can subtly promote pagan views. In university religion courses, the professors are often against biblical Christianity and will try to attack the Bible or Christianity, using arguments that are not based on facts or logic.

Rock The Campus: Tell me what do you mean by New Age and occult in laymens term? How do high school and college kids get involve in this kind of stuff and why?

Marcia Montenegro: New Age is a blend of gnosticism, Eastern views, and something called New Thought. New Age often overlaps with the occult, but the occult is dealing with supernatural knowledge or power through divination, sorcery/magic, and spirit contact.

The occult is a set of practices related to various beliefs that involves gaining supernatural knowledge or power through divination, sorcery, or spirit contact. These categories often overlap each other so distinctions are somewhat artificial.

Divination, often called fortune-telling, is reading hidden meaning into the natural world or into symbols, such as in astrology or tarot cards, or gaining knowledge through supernatural means such as using psychic powers. Other forms of divination include palm reading, tea leaf reading, using a pendulum, numerology, and scrying (gazing into an opaque surface such as water, crystal, or dark glass). Contacting spirits for guidance can also be a form of divination, as well as falling under the category of spiritism.

Sorcery, usually called magic by those who do it, is the attempt to alter reality by your will using certain rituals, incantations, and/or magical tools through calling on forces, spirits, or powers, whether believed to be within or outside of one’s self.

Spirit Contact, or spiritism, is contacting or summoning spirits, whether one thinks they are ghosts, angels, the dead or any kind of disembodied being. Using the Ouija Board is a form of spiritism as well as a form of divination.

All of these are strongly denounced and forbidden by God throughout the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:10-14 lists all occult practices and forbids them. These practices were related to the worship of false gods.

I think many high school and college students get interested in these things partly because it concerns the unknown, and maybe because these things are seen as forbidden or dangerous. This often makes them appealing.

Also, sometimes people get interested because they do not realize the danger involved, and due to playing games that features these things, or seeing movies and TV shows that make these practices glamorous or powerful looking, people dismiss the danger or are lured by the power and glamor attached to them.

Rock The Campus: Some might say”Hey were just having fun. Its not like we are abadoning our faith. This kind of stuff doesnt promote Satan.” What’s your response to that?

Marcia Montenegro: Playing games or watching TV shows or movies that glamorize things God considers evil can have a subtle effect on us. It can make us less sensitive to these things, and to evil itself. If we expose our minds to occult themes, after awhile the occult does not seem so bad. Or we may think it’s all just pretend. Also, Christians should remember that they are ambassadors for Christ. Others watch us. So what we do can influence weaker believers or unbelievers. It can send the wrong message.

Rock The Campus: The Harry Potter and Twilight books are very popular here in the Philippines. They portray witches and vampires as heroes.Tell me is their a good or some say white witches or has Dracula just gave vampires a bad name?

Marcia Montenegro: There are witches who think they are “good” or “white witches practicing white magic. However, God makes no distinction between “white” or “black” magic; all magic is condemned in the Bible. There are even people in the occult who do no think there is a true distinction between black and white magic. Also, there are occult views that black magic is not wrong, it’s just a more powerful type of magic.

As for vampires, there really is no such thing. However, vampires in fiction used to be seen as scary or evil. Now they are portrayed sympathetically or even as heroes, as in “Twilight.” Although there are no real vampires, there are those who believe they are vampires. The vampire subculture contains very unbiblical views and behavior. Everything a vampire represents goes against the godly character Christ calls us to. Books like “Twilight” are softening the vampire image and calling evil good

RTC: Is their a difference between cult and the occult?

MM: A cult is a group or organization that is authoritative and dictates a lifestyle to members. People are not allowed to question or criticize, or they are discouraged from doing so. Also, religious cults always have teachings that are anti-Christian and against the Bible. The occult comes from a Latin word for “hidden.” The occult is a set of practices tied to different beliefs (see question 2). There are cults that use the occult, but the words “cult” and “occult” are not related in usage.

RTC: High school and colleges kids specially girls like horoscopes and card readings about their future, love life, etc in your experience as a former professional astrologer what goes behind that? When you read their “future” what do you see? Do you see the actual stuff or are you merely guessing? Do you feel some sort of supernatural powers albeit evil forces while your doing it?

MM: Astrologers look at planets and patterns in a birth chart and the influence of planets at the present time on a birth chart to give what they call “forecasts.” Most astrologers do not claim to be able to tell the future, but rather, they say they can see various options. Also, most astrology readings are not future oriented, but more about the person’s past and present, and what choices they have. It’s very much like a counseling session sometimes, except the information is faulty. Giving forecasts may be only 15 to 20% part of a reading.

Horoscopes are based on the movement of the moon and the faster moving planets. Astrologers look at their positions and then relate them to each of the 12 zodiac signs. Most professional astrologers look down on horoscopes as useless because they are so general. Most astrologers do not do horoscopes – they do charts. However, Christians should not read horoscopes because they are based on a belief in the planets having a meaning for our lives

Astrologers have spirit guides. These are fallen angels, though the astrologers do not think this (same goes for tarot card readers, palm readers, psychics, mediums, etc.). Therefore, sometimes astrologers get info correct and are accurate about the person’s past and present because the fallen angel is feeding this info to the astrologer (tarot card reader, palm reader, psychic, etc.). People who do these things do not think it is evil. They may sense or be aware of supernatural guidance, but they don’t think it is evil. They are not guessing.

Just to clarify, there are a group of psychics, astrologers, and others who are professional scam artists. These people usually have storefronts and big signs outside advertising what they do. This group is not the group I am talking about in answering these questions. I am talking about people who do what I used to do – people who believe in it and are usually in a New Age type of spiritual belief

RTC: Some pyschics after predicting future events say”You dont really have to believe all this stuff. Prayers and faith in Jesus is more stronger and will prevail.” Whats your response on that?

MM: .I’ve never heard of a psychic or astrologer saying this type of thing. I would say, however, that almost all astrologers and psychics who claim to believe in Jesus are probably not true Christians. They may pray before the reading or say they are Christian or have a cross on the wall, but this does not mean they are really Christian because what they are doing is against God. Even if they are a Christian, then they are going against God.

RTC: Marcia, let talk about yoga. Yoga is very popular here. From TV ads, cup noodles, corporate entity yoga has really gain grounds. What about yoga? Can you just filter out the spiritual stuff of yoga and just get the healthy benefits of it?

If one filters out all the Eastern concepts, terms, and activities from yoga, then it is no longer yoga. Yoga is not an exercise, but a spiritual discipline that is part of Hinduism. There are many types of yoga – Hatha Yoga, the kind we are most familiar with in the West, is just one. The word “Hatha” comes from the words for “sun” and “moon.”

The purpose of all forms of yoga is to unite with the Hindu godhead – in the New Age, one would say unite with the One, with God, with the Source, with the Higher Self, or whatever a person may think is some higher spiritual being or awareness. Hatha yoga is designed to prepare one’s body and mind for deeper levels meditation found in more advanced yogas.

Whatever benefits in health that one may get in yoga can be found in other ways. Since yoga is a spiritual practice from a religion opposed to Christianity, one should assume there can be a spiritual cost in practicing yoga.

Hinduism teaches that trying to arouse the kundalini (an alleged power coiled at the base of the spine) through the chakras (the 6 or 7, depending, invisible “wheels” that range from the base of the spine to the top of the head, can be dangerous and one can even die doing this. Therefore, one should only do this under the guidance of a teacher. Likewise, yoga was once practiced only by those who were supervised by gurus. It was not for the general public and certainly not for the west.

This does not mean it’s okay to do these things with a teacher of course. The point is that the original teachings were very exclusive and esoteric, but they have now become popular and mass marketed. This does not, however, remove the danger. I do not see the danger the same way as the Hindus, but I do think there is danger.

RTC: Whats the difference of eastern New Age and westernized New Age?

MM: The New Age tends to take Eastern beliefs and make them more acceptable to Western minds and sensibilities and less complex. For example, Hindu beliefs are that a person can reincarnate as an animal or even insect. But New Agers believe you can only reincarnate as a human.

Some terms and concepts are also changed to have a more psychological meaning sometimes. For example, the idea of death is taken in the West to mean destroying something that is holding you back, such as your fears.

New Agers in the U.S. have the more optimistic American outlook on life and so don’t keep the more sober or darker aspects of some Eastern practices and beliefs. In some forms of Buddhism, one is encouraged to meditate on corpses, or on a picture in you mind of yourself as a dead person. This is supposed to help you overcome the usual fear and concept of death. However, we in the West do not hear much about this kind of meditation unless you are reading the more serious Buddhist texts.

The Dalai Lama is held out in the West to be very tolerant. However, the DL believes time is on his side, because he believes that one day everyone will eventually be Buddhist. He does not think there is another way to be enlightened or liberated – Buddhism (in particular Tibetan Buddhism) is the only way.

RTC: What makes Christianity stand out or more true than New Age?

MM:The only answer for that is that Christianity is based on God’s word and has the authority of Christ. The New Age comes from many beliefs and has no authoritative evidence or writings.

RTC: You have one of the amazing testimony that I read. Its straight out of X-Files. Whats the difference back then and now that your a Christian?

MM: The difference between how I was before and now that I am a believer are mainly two things: I have the assurance of the truth through knowing Jesus, and I have the assurance of where I go after death. Before, I was searching for various “truths” and picking what I liked. I also was not sure what happened after death though I believed in reincarnation. Still, no one had clear answers as to how this worked.

RTC: There are people who might be into New Age or trap into to it and wants to get out. What can you say to them.Is their really hope? Is Biblical Christianity really the truth that they can trust?

MM: People in the occult might feel fearful and often think there is no way out. However, Jesus is more powerful than any power in the occult, and He died to pay for our sins because of God’s love for the world (John 3:16). Jesus said that to believe in Him is to have eternal life. So the occult is death but Jesus is life. Anyone, no matter what they have done, can have this eternal life when they trust in Jesus.

RTC: Thank you Marcia, your a power house of information. Tell me about your ministry and what you do?

MM: My ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, is to educate Christians about the New Age and the occult so they can be more discerning and better equipped as believers; I also respond to those in the New Age and occult so they can hear about eternal life through faith in Christ. I do these things by speaking, writing, being on radio, and through my website, http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org