Author: mikeduco

Hard-Fought Lesson: Sabbath Rest

May to July 2017 was a generally stressful period for me because of so many transitions. It was a period of many “trial-and-error” moments in order to build a new “normal” or a new “rhythm” that can help me get settled into this new season. You know what I’m saying? First, I went back to graduate school. Second, I’m also raising support to sustain myself as I study. Third, I went back to weekly clinical work while serving as a Missionary Pastor. Interesting faith-stretching changes have been happening here and there… then, you gasp and realize you’re missing something really important… I asked myself, “When  do I take my sabbath (or rest) in this crazy schedule?”   We Don’t Know When to Stop High-capacity leaders tend to subtly abuse themselves by pushing oneself too much in order to gain great results. There’s no question about excellence here, but it is as if we do not know when to stop — until sickness creeps in, ugh! It is as if it’s a grave sin to take a break and rest. And by the way, I think a lot of top leaders nowadays never really get to maximize or utilize their “vacation leaves”. (Just a footnote to stir up our thinking!) For some, to stop working for a brief period means non-productivity. And non-productivity would eventually lead to unemployment. For the...

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What’s Next?

Next Season. Next Level. June 2017 marked my fifth year in the full-time staff of GCF South Metro. It was also during this period that I have made the faith-stretching move to step down and take the route of entering the seminary again (at the International Graduate School of Leadership) to go through my necessary journey of sharpening. I am currently pursuing Master of Divinity, with an emphasis on Leadership Studies. Seminary training will be my focus in the next few years. I continue to ask for your prayers for wisdom, for daily provision, for discernment, for joy, discipline, passion, and for protection as I desire to be more equipped in the ministry. Ultimately, please pray that I develop a deeper, more intimate walk with Jesus. Being a Pastor: More than a Job, It’s a Calling. While it has been a challenge to step down from the full-time staff, the Lord has affirmed me that He will take care of everything — yes, everything! First, the Lord raised up a strong pool of lay leaders who will continue to do the great work that the He has started in us, through us and for us. Watching them step up is so overwhelming! On the other hand, I have been graciously affirmed by GCF South Metro’s leadership as one of their Missionary Pastors. My primary role covers mentoring of our...

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Giving Hope to the Next Generation

We would like to invite you to a Facilitators’ Training for “No Apologies: The Truth about Life, Love & Sex” on August 3-5, 2017 (2 ½ days). This is a partnership between GCF South Metro Church and Christian School, together with Focus on the Family Philippines and CBAP YouthSENTral. No Apologies is a workshop anchored on a character-based curriculum that advocates abstinence before marriage. The target audience of this workshop is ideally for ages 15-24, which is the segment of our population where HIV/AIDS has the fastest growth. Its program objectives are stated below: To learn more about oneself, one’s character, beliefs and attitudes. To help chart a course towards achieving personal goals. To be equipped to make choices that have the best and healthiest outcomes. To understand what love really is about, and how you can have healthy, fulfilling relationships towards the opposite sex. For the purpose of our Facilitator’s Training on August, we are intentionally offering this to all adults aged 21 and above (including married couples and parents) who have a deep desire to make a God-honoring impact to our youth and young adults. The training costs Php 2,500.00 (inclusive of meals and materials), and is limited to 40 slots only. A 10% Early Bird Discount is given until July 1, while registration closes on July 15. Should you be interested to invest on this equipping...

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Broken And Whole

Read: Chapter 42 of the Book of Job  “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6) Warren Wiersbe made a profound statement on Job 42, saying: “This chapter assures us that, no matter what happens to us, God always writes the last chapter. Therefore, we don’t have to be afraid. We can trust God to do what is right, no matter how painful our situation might be.” God always writes the last chapter. Regardless Mr. Wiersbe’s context, I take it as God having the final verdict because He is in absolute control and He will do what it takes to accomplish His purposes, with our highest good in his mind. In view of God’s infinite wisdom and inexplicable might, Job understood his own frailty and in response, he repented. Let us remember that repentance is two-pronged: we turn away from where we have fallen and we pledge allegiance to God. Our dear friend, Job, did both. In deep reflection on this man’s life during the past few weeks, we slowly grasp that fullness of life and brokenness essentially exist in one room – they are not mutually exclusive. Author Mike Yaconelli wrote: “Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual...

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The Crippling Deceit of Sin and our Beautiful Freedom in Christ

This morning, I had the privilege (though very difficult) to teach at our Youth Worship on both the anatomy of sin and the liberating work of the Gospel, as we did a study on 2 Samuel 11-12. This is that period in history and Scriptures where the renowned King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, which led to more trouble (i.e. cover-up for sin, killing of Uriah)… and was ended only by God’s intervention through the prophet Nathan. These are hard lessons to teach, but their always worthy to pass on. As I continued to ponder on this crucial matter, I can’t help but remember to put two very huge statements together (though written centuries apart), especially in the context of our real, daily battle with sin. Susana Wesley was one day asked by his child, the renowned John Wesley, on how she would define or describe sin… and here was her profound response: “Son, whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the power and authority of the flesh over the Spirit, that to you is sin, no matter how good it seems.” Many years after, John Piper spoke these very words at the Reformation 500 Conference in Hong Kong: “How do you break the power of the promise of sin?...

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