8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
I was born into a Christian family and from childhood my parents exposed me to knowing and understanding who Christ was. My life was molded into being an ‘obedient’, ‘good’ son to my parents. I followed them to church, I went to Sunday School as they told me to, I obeyed and did what was told. From a very young age I was taught to participate in family prayers, taught that there was a living God and that He was supreme, He was the head, that He was looking over me and that I had to be honest and truthful and if I was not, He would punish me! To some extent, there was fear, that my God was all powerful and He was watching over me, I walked in fear, maybe I was scared that if I did anything wrong, something bad will happen to me. This was my early years, not too naughty, very timid, never got into a fight with others, ran away from trouble and most often, lived in fear.
By the time I reached 17, it was time for me to be ‘confirmed’, an act of uniformity and service in the Anglican tradition (or Episcopal tradition) that I was growing up in. ‘Confirmation’ was a point in my Christian journey when I am to affirm my faith to which I was baptized, and to live a life of committed discipleship. My parents wanted me to go through this process and I obeyed. Preparation meant that I had to attend a series of teachings for many weeks. It was on the day of my confirmation, when the Bishop was about to lay his hands to affirm my faith and pray over me did I really know something different was happening to me, I guess it was as if I was taking a hot water shower!
The Bishop asked me this – “Do you here, in the presence of God and this congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow that was made in your name at your Baptism: ratifying and confirming the same in your own persons, and acknowledging yourselves bound to believe, and to do, all those things, which you Godfathers and Godmothers then undertook for you?”
It was at that very moment when the Lord made his presence felt. The realization immediately came to me that I was making a commitment that was made on my behalf at birth, to serve a true living God and that my Lord was making His presence felt at this very moment. I knew at once that I was in the presence of a true living God who first loved me! My immediate response to the Bishop and all those present was “I Do”!
My life changed to the point that I was aware that I had to be different and lead a different life, and despite trying to live this life, I had not understood my true mandate at confirmation, which was to be committed to discipleship. I realized that I no longer had to live this ‘good boy’ life but try to be the ‘light that shines so that others can see something different’ and most of all ‘glorify the father in heaven’.
My understanding changed, I began to see something becoming a lot more personal, that the love of my father was so great that He came for me, that He died for Me, so that my sins can be forgiven. Yes, I did see a big difference and did understand this to an extent but it was only when I saw the movie ‘Passion of Christ’ a few years later that the real meaning and the real understanding came to me that because of HIM, I surely have eternal life and that this was His ultimate gift for me!
Between the age of 17 and 27, for 10 years, I lived normally. I got involved in church activities, I was pretty involved with youth and young adults, I was busy with church until in 1995, a dear friend who was truly inspired by my friendship and faithfulness to the Lord, presented me with a NIV study bible. This was probably another turning point in my life when I began to really explore the word of God and understand deeper truths and meaning.
In the last 4 to 5 years, I began learning the bible in a more meaningful and methodical manner, thanks to the bible study group at our church and my mentor Wijith DeChikera and began to understand and realize what I had missed all these years despite reading the word. My passion began to grow for Jesus, the more I looked back at my life, the more I knew that even though I knew HIM, that even though I knew that HE loved me, my Love for him was really not EVERYTHING.
By March 2017, the Lord opened a door for me to learn about Him in a more detailed manner at the Haggai Institute, my understanding of the great commission in Mathew 28: 19-20 has become more and more relevant and made me to understand better that I had to be human to reach others, not just sit in my leadership role in the secular world and expect things to just happen. I also learned that if I wanted to be something for Him, I had to be nothing, that my ways had to certainly change, that my life had to be a lot more humble and simple.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
My life journey has just got very exciting! I am looking forward to the exciting times. I know that He has a big plan, my coming to the Philippines and attending CCF is surely part of this huge plan that is unfolding. For me and my family, we are discovering the Lord in such a deep and wonderful way. The ‘Minefield’ experience could not have been better, the Dgroups and the interactions are teaching us daily to not make excuses but to assume responsibility and move forward for the Lord. I know that I am ‘work in progress’, I know that this is no accident, I know that there is a very big plan for me personally and also for my family. I am truly very blessed to know HIM in such a personal way!