Thanks for coming to GRACE PLACE church planting team launching

For those who came, to say that I’m blessed with your presence is an understatement. I cannot describe the kind of fun I experienced last Sunday seeing people who don’t know each other yet enjoying each other’s company considering that most of you met just for the first time.

I’m very impressed by the kind of energy all you guys have shown. Passion for Jesus — I think that’s the key phrase. The kind of passion that will make a dent in the lives of people around us — yuppies in particular, right? :D And that’s what Grace Place is all about. We’re going to love Jesus more and as a result, we’re going to love people more so they can also love Jesus in return. We’ll use extraordinary ways — radical ways if needed — just for them to get a glimpse of the grace of God.

For those who missed it, you missed a lot — big time! :D

But don’t worry, last Sunday was just the start of it. This Sunday, we’re starting a series we call “What GRACE PLACE Values”. We will start to immerse ourselves with God’s grace and learn how we can apply these when we do our public launch after 3 months. Please do come — you won’t be left out, I promise.

Some of you asked me if they can start bringing in guests. The quick answer is “yes”. While the themes for the next 3 months would be building up the team, the messages will be on a general tone and the Bible truths applied to our daily lives. They will be blessed too.

For those who brought their Christian friends who later on signed up as volunteers, thank you, thank you! If you still have some Christian friends who you think would like to enjoy this exciting ride, bring them in.

Till next Sunday.

The “real thing” – part 2

I’m coming off fresh from our very first Grace Place Weekend. I cannot describe the kind of experience we had and the kind of power God has shown to us. On the other hand, I’ll try to share the facts, let it describe what I am feeling right now:

* We prayed for 20 participants (the accommodation provided for us by the resort is up to that number only — so we prayed for the max). God gave us 17. That’s 85% of what we asked for! I realized that God will not always give 100% of what you ask for. But when he does, it’ll be overwhelming — like the other item I’ll describe later.

* We had a mix of believers (the core group) and guests. From the indications God gave us, the retreat helped all the guests to accept Jesus as Lord and savior and the core group was led to reaffirm their faith in Jesus.

*… and who said God won’t allow a 100%? The retreat culminated in a baptism. ALL asked to be baptized except for Kuya Prudy — the pastor who baptized the participants. That’s 100%! Sixteen souls were excited to tell the world about their faith in Jesus! It was the most celebrative baptism rites I have ever attended. Everyone was so excited and shouting for joy as each one rises from the water. (pictures later)

* I asked to be re-baptized. And I was the very first one to be dipped in the pool. I was first baptized when I was 13 years old. From what I can remember, it has no meaning to me then. So I thought of re-baptism because this is the first time baptism finally have a real meaning for me.

* My wife, who was a devout Catholic and has accepted Jesus sometime 2001, received baptism too! After her conversion back then, I mentioned to her about the possibility of being baptized. She reacted repulsively. I never mentioned the topic again — I simply let her grow in the knowledge of God in her own pace. Until yesterday, when she too, was very excited to perform the “wedding ceremony” with Jesus.

All these, especially the 100% baptism, is our very first literal, visual confirmation from God. He will change people’s lives through Grace Place! To Him be all the glory!

The “real thing”

I’ve been posting here about our church planting endeavor at Grace Place. I don’t know if anybody visiting me is actually following it. In any case, for the sake of journalizing — something that I can review in the future how God’s hand work in the past — this weekend is the start of the ‘real’ thing. We’re having our evangelistic retreat we branded “Grace Place Weekend” with 20 participants — half are guests. Next week marks our launching for the Church Planting Team where the core group meets the volunteers and everyone makes a commitment to this unique, hip outreach for the yuppies.

Can you please say a short prayer for us? We feel inadequate. But that’s good. Because in our inadequacy comes God’s sufficient power.

Grace Place blog

While the main Grace Place website is still under construction, I have installed a blog for interested parties — friends, relatives, volunteers and financial supporters — to visit. I’m going to try my best to update that blog on a regular basis for you to get hold of what’s happening at Grace Place. We’re excited with what God is doing as we are preparing for the big day launch mid of this year. I hope to share the excitement through that blog.

Christian bloggers, may I request for a link? :)