Doubters Welcome

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:25-33 (NIV)

Many people say that faith is the opposite of doubt. Certainly looking at verse 31 here, this appears to be the case. Yet many people who are thought of as pillars of the Christian faith throughout the history of the church were perplexed by nagging doubts. In fact, to doubt our ability to fully comprehend truth without error seems normal and human given the finiteness of our experience, knowledge, and reason.

Maybe the problem lies in our definitions of faith and doubt. Think of Faith as certainty of the will or volition. Lack of doubt is certainty of the mind or cognition. One has to do with decision-making, one with thoughts and ideas.

We are saved by Faith in Christ, not in lack of doubt. No wonder James said that faith without works is dead. It is not that faith is not enough, needing to have works to tip the scales in our favor. No. Lack of actions is inconsistent with a decision to live by faith.

In verse 31, the Greek word translated “doubt” would be more literally translated, “double standing” or “double minded”. If faith means your will is focused to do and be one thing… its opposite is a will that is not… it is divided… double.

Let’s look at the story of Peter and Jesus. When Jesus said to come, Peter got up and climbed out of the boat. What was the state of his mind at that point. His great faith is shown by his decision to climb out of the boat. However, since he had never walked on water before in his life… he must also have had much doubt in his thoughts.

More Faith + More Doubt            resulted in walking on water

The passage further states that as Peter was walking he began noticing the rough waves and began to sink. He wavering in his faith. But he certainly had less doubt than before, since it is easier to think you can walk on water if you have done it and are doing it.

Less Faith + Less Doubt          resulted in floundering in the sea

As he cried out, Jesus rescued him. Jesus asked Him why he lacked faith… why he was double-minded. Those on the boat cried out, “Truly you are the Son of God!”

Jesus seeks those who live by faith, but doubters are always welcome!

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Kids Club Christmas Party

DLKC Christmas Party #1

DLKC Christmas Party #2

Wow!! A great party. Around 85 children. Including parents and volunteers, we had around 125 in attendance. With games (Going Bulilite versus Honeymoon versus City Camp/Queen of Peace), coloring, face painting, snacks, goody bags, prizes, and more… it was quite a time.

Thanks to all of the volunteers (youth and adults) that brought it all together!!

Ministry Partners

Check the Ministry Partners page. It is SLOWLY growing. Some ministry parters are part of Bukal Life. Other’s are groups that we are happy to think of as partners in ministry.

We have updated pages on Shekinah Home (an orphanage run by Brian and Joanne Whittle) and Reaching every Tribe Ministries (headed by the Winter family). Hope to be adding and updating more soon.

Cooperative

Sari-Sari

Above is the “store” of Divine Love Family Savings Cooperative. In truth, it is not really a store, in the normal sense. The cooperative pools its money and volume purchases items its members use regularly. Then members of the cooperative pay a very slight surcharge (between half a peso and two pesos, depending on the item) to get the products.

Why is this a good idea (and obviously not an idea that we ourselves invented)? The members win in two ways. First, they are able to get products they need cheaper than they could get them at a normal supermarket or sari-sari store. This saves them money.  Second, it helps them build savings. The members pay a slight surcharge… but in fact, they are paying themselves. Therefore, every time they purchase, they build up their savings in the cooperative.

The savings they develop within the cooperative group can be used to draw from as a loan. If they get a loan “on the street” they often pay interest at rates close in the vicinity of 15% a month! Taking a loan from the cooperative is like taking a loan from one’s 401k (for those who are familiar with them). They are taking a loan from themselves, so the modest interest charged actually is paid back to themselves.

Members of the cooperative come to the meetings for business, training, and Bible study. We believe this integration leads to a gradual transformation with spiritual and economic empowerment.

Wholistic Spiritual Growth?

What is wholistic spiritual growth? Consider I John 3:18.

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Let’s break it down into sections:

Dear children, (This is the spiritually immature who need to grow spiritually)

Let us not

Love (Heart, devotion)

with words or tongue,

but with

actions (Hands, service)

and in

truth. (Head, Biblical truth)

We tend to narrowly define spiritual growth. Some emphasize biblical (head) knowledge. Some emphasize emotions or devotion (heart) to God. Some emphasize our Christian service (hands) for God. Yet clearly, missing any component will lead to spiritual bankruptcy.

We need to integrate Biblical Training, Devotion to God, and Christian Service from day one in any new follower of Christ.

AVSTM Leadership Development Program

Asia Vision Short Term Mission (AVSTM) completed their 4 week training, at its headquarters on the grounds of Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary. They had close to 30 students involved in it… focused on training up Filipino and International missionaries.

Celia teaching at AVSTM LDP

AVSTM LDP Group Photo

Bob and Celia Munson (of Bukal Life) had the priviledge in helping with the Training. Celia taught on Missionary Member Care, while Bob taught Contemporary Issues in Missions. It was a great time and we hope the students gained from the experience.

Bob and Celia will be talking on Missionary Member Care at the Morning Service of Shalom Christian Church (Baguio City) on January 17th.

The AVSTM blogsite can be accessed in the weblinks on the right.

Bagulin Preliminary Report

This report will be updated in a day or two for the full report. But as of Saturday evening (December 5th), here is the stats snapshot.

Total Patients: 403 (See Note 1)
Med. Patients: 236
Dental Patients: 137
Surg. Patients: 56
Eyeglass Patients: 137 (see Note 2)

Discipleship Training:    14

Note 1. Does not include some of the eyeglass patients, and some that came without forms. Total patients probably closer to 500.

We had a wonderful time in Bagulin, and thank the people of Bagulin, Suyo Bible Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church and others for being such generous hosts.

Note 2: Eyeglass patients as of now. The Eyecare van will be staying on site for one more day.

Bagulin Team with Gift Housebrooms from Hosts

Busy in Medical and Pharmacy Section.