Genesis 1: 3 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

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  • The story of creation is a reminder of how God created a world where He could dwell with His creatures and have fellowship with us.
  • On day 1, before anything else, God made sure that there was light.
  • John  1:9 tells us that the light of the world is Jesus. (“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”)
  • In order for us to shine this light, we must have Jesus in us:
    • We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
    • We are able to serve because Jesus says that we are to offer our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
    • We are able to do good because God has designed us for that very purpose. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Jesus tells us, “14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Feeding the poor

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A facebook friend posted last Sunday that she watched a documentary about poor children and at first thought it was “predictable,” hoping that something else would be shown regarding these kids. But then she heard the child say that her only dream was to eat “fried chicken,” and that statement got her attention.

For most of us with big dreams and hopes and plans for our lives, it would truly seem unimaginable that for some young children, the simple meal of fried chicken which we think is so common is actually already the greatest dream they could think of. It made me reflect again on why we do what we do. You see, last Saturday, January 5, 2013, we invited about a hundred poor kids for a gathering in honor of our granny’s birthday (she passed away 3 years ago). Many of these kids were the ones we were able to minister to during our “5-Day-Club” last September (which was done to celebrate 3 of my family members’ birthdays). It was a Monday-Friday afternoon bible club themed, “One Way Jesus” and we had about 50-60 young children come in everyday for praise and worship, bible stories, activities and games as well as some food and refreshments before we sent them home.

5-Day-Club, Sept 2012

5-Day-Club, Sept 2012

5 Day Club, Sept 2012

5 Day Club, Sept 2012

This time around, since we are in Jeddah, we sponsored the food and our pastor parents and the church members in PPCF (Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship) handled the event. I realized that it is slowly becoming a family’s tradition of sorts, to make our birthdays an opportunity to bless the poor among us. I say this not to brag, but to give back all the glory to our Lord God, who has in His loving grace blessed us so we can be a channel of His blessings to others.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

I realized that “feeding the poor” is something we ought to do when I came to know Christ 5 years ago, started reading the bible, and found this passage:

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” -Luke 14:12-14

I mean, growing up in a Catholic school, I’ve always known God wanted us to help those who are in need. But when I read this, it dawned to me that here is a divine-Jesus-directed-example that we can actually follow. It is a concrete practical application for his statement in Matthew 25: 35-36:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Most of our family and friends already eat lots of good food everyday — and a party with overflowing spaghetti, barbecue, fried chicken, salads, ice cream and cake is nothing new to them. But for the many around us, a big, satisfying meal of good food is a rarity; for some, nonexistent.

And so for the past 4 years, we have been “giving back” to the community in this manner, admittedly in a very limited way , but resolving to do more. We do our best to feed the kids both spiritually and physically, echoing how Jesus did both in his earthly ministry. And this is part of our family’s goals. We have involved our kids in these ministry, and will continue to do so in the coming years. In fact, when Allyra, our eldest daughter who is 4 and a half, saw the pictures of the ministry done last January 5 in honor of my grandma, she exclaimed (in Filipino), “I want that mom! Let’s go home to the Philippines!”

Lola Melan's Birthday

Lola Melan’s Birthday, January 5, 2013

Again, this post is not to brag, for when charity is done for the praise of others, it becomes null and void for heavenly rewards (Matthew 6:1). It is our hope that we do what we do to so that our “light will shine upon all men, so others will see our good deeds and glorify (give praise) to our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).” But as I read somewhere a long time ago, the great thing about doing good deeds for Christ is that often, even when you are not asking for anything in return, the fact is, doing good makes you also feel good — and this is a reward in itself. I mean, just look at these smiles from our 5-day-club last September… all I can say is “Bless the Lord!”

5-Day-Club, Sept 2012

5-Day-Club, Sept 2012

True enough, just looking at this smile from one of the kids who was there last Saturday is enough to tell me, we should do this again, and again, and again…all for the glory of God.

Lola Melan's Birthday, January 5, 2013

Lola Melan’s Birthday, January 5, 2013