*My blogging will continue soon…

Hello friends. Just giving you all a heads-up. I’ll start blogging again as soon as I can.

As I had announced in my last post, I have indeed spent much of the last two and a half months of this pandemic quarantine studying. However, I was far too optimistic in my projections, because I was only able to study a small fraction of all the things I wanted to study. (Even if only at an exploratory level, studying theology is already a heavy and slow work for the mind.) And so there’s still so much I have to learn, still so much to study, and I’m afraid that I still won’t be able to give my blogging all the time and energy it deserves. But I will certainly try.

The good news is that my foundations in theology have become stronger, even if not yet solid, and I hope that my writings will reflect this.

I had said in my last essay that I’m going to write next about what Swordsman of the Word really means to me on the personal level, and that is still my assignment. But judging from my preliminary notes, I probably won’t be able to do that in just one essay, but in two. Or maybe three. (And when I’m done with them, they will become part of the new founding documents of this ministry, together with Running this Blogging Race Once Again and A God-Centered, People-Oriented Blogging.)

I will see you all soon, my friends. Thanks for waiting!

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*My blogging is delayed…

Hello friends.

I’ve been meaning to write my next essay as soon as I could, but I was delayed by my studies. (In addition to my classes in Bible school, I’m also doing a lot of personal study, and so I had very little time for writing.)

And now, because of COVID 19, the Philippines is in a state of calamity. As of this writing, we now have nearly 200 cases, and many cities are implementing community quarantine, including mine. And so life is a bit hard right now.

True, in regard to blogging, this quarantine now gives me more time to write. However, given the amount of study materials I still have to go through, I doubt if I could really write even with this extra time. And so I’ve decided to use this rare opportunity to focus even more on my studies — so that they won’t distract me much anymore when I come back again to blogging, maybe in a month or two. (This quarantine is planned for one whole month, but that can be easily extended, depending on the situation of this pandemic.)

So it’s goodbye again for now, my friends. Please pray for my country. And please pray for my personal safety and of those I love. Thanks!

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*Changes in My Writing Plans

Hello friends. There have been some changes in my plans for writing.

First, about Light to My Path:

As I announced, the purpose of this essay collection is “for us to use God’s Word as our guide to life.”

The change is that I’m limiting my Scriptural basis on the books of Psalms and Proverbs only.

However, to make sure that I won’t be amiss in my teaching, especially in presenting the whole of God’s message, I’ll be using two classic commentaries as my primary references: Charles Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David, his phenomenal work on the book of Psalms, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.

* * *

Second, about Light of the World:

As I announced, the purpose of this essay collection is “to help you know who Jesus really is — as he is revealed in the Scriptures, and as I have personally experienced him.”

The change is that I’m postponing this collection indefinitely.

Why? I’ve realized that writing this collection isn’t going to be just a matter of course for me…. Instead, it will require much time and effort, things I cannot yet give in the present time.

For example, to talk effectively about Jesus’ earthly life means that I would have to go beyond what the Bible reveals about him in the Gospels, and must know also the geographical, historical, political, and cultural contexts of Palestine during that time.

Furthermore, it is unavoidable that I would have to deal with the many controversies and questions surrounding Jesus, and that is already in the realm of apologetics.

* * *

And third, about Faith Foundations:

This is an essay collection that I proposed, but later postponed. It’s basically about the doctrines of the Christian faith.

Now I’m restoring this collection, because it is my replacement for Light of the World.

My present studies include a primer on systematic theology, and this will be my source of information and ideas for my essays.

My main references will be the three-volume Exploring Christian Theology by Holsteen and Svigel. These are the books we are using in Bible school class.

That is all.

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*This Blog’s New Direction

Hello friends. Here now is the new direction this blog will take for the next few years — in accordance with my new vision for this ministry, and with my now-completed calling from God to become both a teacher and a missionary.

As with the last time I tried to set the direction of this blog some months ago, my primary consideration is still sustainability. With the great changes that are still happening in my life, especially the training I’m undergoing (and will undergo), I want my blogging to be just a matter of course, and not something I have to give much effort to. That is, I want my blogging to be just a natural result of my study of the Bible and of my relationship with God.

Because of this, I have suspended the two essay collections I proposed before — Faith Foundations and Faith Explorations — and will start two new ones instead. Though I’ll still write stand-alone posts from time to time, most of my posts for this blog will fall in either of these two new collections. They are Light to My Path and Light of the World.

I write personal essays — not expository articles — and that means that my writing is subjective and biased, and also that I would give you only minimal historical and cultural backgrounds. But that is okay, and I believe that that is also what you want. After all, my primary purpose for writing is not for you to learn new information, but to help you know God more: himself and his ways.

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*Redefining My Vision

Hello friends. This is a heads-up to the major changes that are coming to this ministry. I still need about a month before I can get back to blogging, but I’m writing this now because I want to firmly commit myself to this new path.

The bottom line is that this blog will now be solely dedicated to my personal essays and reflections, on both the Bible and my own life.

These will all remain the same: The blog’s title, tagline, audience (Christians and non-Christians), purpose (to know God more), and spirit (the balance between truth and grace). Also, I’m still going to pursue full-time blogging, hoping that I’ll get support from you, especially through my Patreon creator page.

What have significantly changed are these: (1) my proposed types of content (there won’t be articles and Bible studies anymore); and, (2) the people who are responsible for this ministry (there is now only me).

In other words: My blog, my content, my subjectivity, my responsibility.

Maybe the vision that God had given me when I started all this will still come true… but the reality of my life now is this: God is opening other doors for me, and I don’t want to be held back waiting for things that might take a long time in coming.

Thank you all for your patience and prayers. These past several months have not been easy for me. Most of all, thank you for your friendship.

I will see you.

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*Reaffirming My Convictions

Hello friends. I just want to give you a status update for this blog.

This sucks, I know, me not blogging. Do you miss me? Because I sure do miss talking with you and writing to you. And the recent challenges on my convictions about this ministry have made me realize just how important blogging has become in my life.

Today I am writing this short post to reaffirm to you all my convictions: I’ve meant every word I’ve said in this blog, especially my decision to become a full-time blogger for Jesus.

However, I also would like to remind you of a couple of things. One is that this ministry really belongs to God, not to me. He is the real boss, the one who makes the decisions. Another is that this is an assignment I can’t do alone. I need God’s help if I am to proceed and to succeed.

You see, my friends, it has now come to the point where God’s intervention is needed if I am to continue. I’ve done all I could, and now it’s all up to God. The ball is in his court.

But I don’t want to talk more about this. I believe that you all already know the things I want to say.

Just know that I’ve not given up, and that I remain steadfast in my faith — my faith that my God will provide for me, so that I can continue serving him… and you.

Meanwhile, I am busy studying. I mean to know much more about the Bible, the doctrines, and about writing when he calls me back here.

God bless you all!

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*My New Present Course

Note: This post is obsolete. This ministry already has a new direction..

Hello friends. I’m laying down the direction this blog will take — not for the next few months — but for the next few years. There have been more changes in my plans.

Note: I’m still on my break, but I’m posting this now so that I can worry about other things.

As I had explained in the post My Present Course, which I wrote about a month and a half ago, I meant to write only personal essays for the time being (and to hold back my other plans, particularly my plan to write articles and Bible studies) until my circumstances get better.

However, writing my testimony has made me understand more my limitations, in both my abilities and freedom to serve God. And this new understanding has made me realize that it would be best if I do not yet attempt any major undertaking for this ministry — while I’m still being trained in Bible school, and while great changes are still happening in my life. In other words, my work for Swordsman of the Word — for the next few years, and not just until my circumstances get better — should be easy-enough to do, without demanding too much effort from me, and it should also be sustainable.

Therefore, in the light of this, I am going to continue with writing only personal essays, which is what I already do best, until I am ready to try bigger jobs some years down the road.

* * *

I say “personal essays” because my posts will still be in essay form, and I will still be looking chiefly at my own life for illustrations. However, their main purpose now is to teach, and their primary nature will be doctrinal and pastoral — unlike the essays I’ve written for my testimony, which are, by definition, largely about myself and my own walk with God.

There will be two threads (or two collections) of these essays that I will write simultaneously. The first one, which I’ll call Faith Foundations, will be mostly about the doctrines of the faith, and is primarily intended for those of you who are already believers. The second one, which I’ll call Faith Explorations, will be mostly about discovering the Christian faith, and is primarily intended for those of you who are still seeking for answers.

In both these essay threads, because I acknowledge that I’m no Bible expert, I’ll be using in my writing a number of Bible-study guides, and so much of my research has already been done for me. As I’ve said above, this is about my work being sustainable and easy-enough to do.

Anyway, in addition to the practical reason I’ve explained, there are two more personal reasons why I’m doing my work like this. The first one is that writing these essays will not only reinforce but also enrich my own personal knowledge of God and of Christianity. And the second one is that by focusing on the essay form (and its various subforms) for the next few years, I’ll be able to master this craft, and so I will have in my arsenal at least one weapon I know very well how to use.

There are so many things to do. And much of my talents and gifts are still unexplored. But at least I’ve already developed my writing skills well enough, particularly my essay writing skills, that I am able to serve God in this way.

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*PDF Download: My Testimony (Part 1)

Hello friends. Part One of the series My Testimony is now available for download as a single PDF document. It consists of the following essays:

  1. The Price I Pay for Victory
  2. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (1)
  3. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (2)
  4. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (3)
  5. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (4)

DOWNLOAD PDF

I also would like to announce that I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. I’ll use this time to rest, catch up on my chores and school work, and plan my next move.

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*PDF Download: Founding Docs

Hello friends. The founding documents of this blog is now available for download as a single PDF document. It consists of the following essays:

  1. The Greatest Reason
  2. An Assignment I Can’t Do Alone
  3. To Know God More (That’s Why)
  4. A Crucial Need to Overcome
  5. It All Belongs to Him

DOWNLOAD PDF

When I finish my ongoing series, My Testimony, its entirety will also be available for download like this.

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*My Present Course

Note: This post is obsolete. I’ve already written about my new present course.

Hello friends. I’m laying down the direction this blog will take for the next several months. There have been some changes in my plans.

As you might have read in my post, An Assignment I Can’t Do Alone, this website (now a ministry) is an assignment I received from God, and I have had serious misgivings about starting this. One major reason for my doubts were my circumstances: I had very little resources, I struggled with my finances, and I still had responsibilities for my family. And guess what? Even though I have obeyed by faith and Swordsman of the Word is now up and running, my circumstances haven’t yet changed much since I began all this, except that I now have this added responsibility, a big one: running this ministry.

My friends, the inescapable fact is that I can’t do much for this ministry in my present situation. I simply can’t. Another inescapable fact is that, though I know God is blessing me now because of my obedience, the changes in my life that I’ve been praying for won’t happen overnight. They need time to be worked out.

Therefore, I am seeing the next several months as my transition period — from where I am now, to the place where I can truly work for God because he has provided for my needs.

The good news is that God doesn’t expect me to produce beyond what I am capable of. There is this story in the Bible, the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), which clearly shows that God expects results only according to the abilities he has given.

And so, the question is, what can I produce now for Swordsman of the Word, given my present situation and abilities? The essays I’ve already been writing, of course.

This then is my present direction: To continue with my personal essay writing, and to hold back my other plans (particularly my plan to write articles and Bible studies) to a later (and proper) time.

And as already established, my essays will have the general theme of overcoming. I hope that these will be a great help to many.

See you all then in my next essay!

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