Remaining in Jesus’ Love

Resurrection Sunday, 2016. I was supposed to travel to Jakarta this morning, but due to a passport issue, that did not push through.

(As you read the rest of this post, if you’d like to listen to The Katinas‘ “Mighty River”, just click the Play button below. To stop it, just click the Pause button.)

 

View of the sky at dawn from one of the east windows of my Nuvali house.
View of the sky at dawn from one of the east windows of my new house.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY, the greatest of feasts!

How deeply glad I am to have been able, by God’s grace, to start this day reading God’s Word. The church youth and I are reading through the New Testament, one chapter a day, and today’s chapter is the 15th of John. What struck me is the 10th verse, which says that, among others, if I obey the Lord Jesus’ commands, I will remain in his love. At first, the verse seemed to say that God’s love is conditioned on my obedience:  the more/less I obey, the more/less God loves me, which I knew in my heart not to be true. Soon, however, the Lord reminded me that his love is like a mighty “river of living water” (cf. Revelation 12:1-2) – always flowing, always giving life, abundant life and that it is truly I who leaves the river instead of remaining in it! God, Who is Love (1 John 4:16), truly is wonderful! What’s more, John 15:7 guarantees that as I remain in the river (or on its banks, like a tree), the more fruit I will bear, for the glory of God!

TSW - Newsletter - Vol 4 Iss 2-3 My TestimonyAfter reading God’s Word and eating a delightful breakfast of bread and fruit, I celebrated the resurrection of the Lord with the brothers and sisters at Saddleback South Manila, which is inside the community I live in – Nuvali. As soon as I got back home, I searched my archives for the testimony I wrote for my local church’s newsletter about my Saddleback experience 13 years ago. Here it is:

TSW – Newsletter – Vol 4 Iss 2-3 My Testimony

Isn’t it amazing how, thirteen years ago, I “chanced upon” Saddleback Lake Forest, California, and now, thirteen years later, Saddleback South Manila and I decide to live in the same community?

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

P.S.

As in previous Resurrection Sundays (see e.g., 2014, 2013), there were birds singing just outside, and dogs barking in the distance. Thank God for all things, big and small! 🙂

P.S. 2

I actually read a couple of books during the Lenten triduum (Stephen Smith’s The Jesus Life and David Platt’s Follow Me), and planned to blog about them, but instead, here I am blogging about God’s mighty river of love and about my Saddleback experiences while listening repeatedly to Mighty River. 🙂

P.S. 3

I’ve been wanting for a very long time to have a regular Christian activity at home, and on April 14, nineteen days after Easter and a hundred and thirty-five days after moving to my new house, I’d begin hosting a Saddleback Small Group at home! How did this happen? To make the long story short, on the Feast of the Resurrection I simply shared with Pastor Narry Santos my experiences at Saddleback Lake Forest and expressed my desire to be of help to Saddleback South Manila, and then he asked me if I wanted to host a Saddleback Small Group at home, and without hesitation I said, “Yes!” God is good!

 

Balcony Sunset Shots

One of the things I’ll miss when I move to my new home in Laguna next year is the spectacular view of the sunset from my balcony. Below are ten sunset photos for our enjoyment. I’ve titled each photo so that at the bottom you could let me know which one you like best and why. 🙂

Four of the photos are named after colors: Gold, Red, Blue, and Lavender. Two are after artistic styles: Impressionist and Baroque. The rest are named after peculiar content aspects, e.g., Halo, Golden Feathers, New World, and Lava. The photos are presented in reverse chronological order.

Click on the play button below if you’d like to listen to music while viewing the photos. (The track, titled You Are My Hiding Place, is from Dave Cleveland’s Guitars in Worship. Clicking on a photo would stop the playback though.)

Enjoy!

1. Halo (Photo taken today, May 17, 2012)

Halo Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

2. Gold (Taken May 3, 2012)

Gold Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

3. Golden Feathers (September 7, 2011)

Feather Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

4. Red (June 29, 2011)

Red Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

5. Impressionist (January 24, 2011)

Impressionist Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

6. Baroque (November 6, 2010)

Baroque Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

7. New World (October 8, 2010)

New World Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

8. Lava (September 13, 2010)

Lava Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

9. Blue (September 11, 2010)

Blue Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

10. Lavender (September 11, 2010)

Lavender Creative Commons License Raymund Sison

Hope you enjoyed the sunsets!

Which of the 10 sunset photos did you like the most, and why? 🙂

God’s Canvas 2

Since it’s a holiday today, I was able to happily view the sunset from my balcony. In my first God’s Canvas post, I listed some of the things I enjoyed as hobbies, and this was one of them.

Isn’t this breathtaking?

View 1 of the Manila Bay and sky from Raymund's balcony, 16 Nov 2010

And this, taken only a few moments after the one above?

View 2 of the Manila Bay and sky from Raymund's balcony, 16 Nov 2010

Sometimes I’d wish I had a DSLR. The pics I’ve been posting were all taken through an inexpensive Samsung PL101, which I got for free using my Citibank reward points. Then I’d remember that there are other more important things to use my money for. And then I’d be happy again. 🙂

God’s Canvas

Some of the things that I enjoy as hobbies are:

  1. Travelling in fantasy worlds (in other words, reading fantasy novels, especially epic sword-and-sorcery fantasies);
  2. Travelling in the real world (especially in Italy);
  3. Admiring great works of art (especially Gothic cathedrals); and
  4. Admiring God’s canvas, the sky, especially from my 37th floor balcony, which, by God’s grace, “turned out” to have what could be the best view of the Manila Bay. 🙂

I don’t get to do the above often, so I’m particularly happy whenever I have the opportunity to enjoy them.

Here’s a photo I took this Sunday afternoon.  Wondrous, isn’t it?

View 2 of the Manila Bay and sky from Raymund's Balcony, 14 Nov 2010

What’s interesting is that the following photo was taken only a few minutes before the one above!

View 1 of the Manila Bay and sky from Raymund's Balcony, 14 Nov 2010

The beauty of nature and glory of its Creator never cease to amaze!