Faith : Misconceptions of Christianity

misconceptions of christianity

I’ve intentionally prepared this blog for Easter Sunday!

When everyone else thinks of Easter egg hunts and parties or just simply going to church and complete an obligation, I on the other hand – have been contemplating another “faith-based” post that I haven’t done for a while.

A week ago I had a chance to deliver a talk (for the 2nd time with this topic) – CLS Talk #2 – What it means to be a Christian.

I want to focus more on the facts of misconceptions for all Christians/Catholics that many of us fall into the trap of understanding barely the actions, without contemplating what it really meant. So, the talk enumerates four (4) of them as follows:

[MISCONCEPTIONS] – Christianity is a:

  1.  A mere Religious system
  2. A mere Moral system
  3. A Social/Humanitarian system
  4. An Escape

Above misconceptions have been misunderstood, misjudged or shall we say a wrong thought that needs to be corrected.

Let me start by explaining why these are incomplete notions of our faith:

First, Religious System.

Majority of Christians nowadays think that our faith is a set of doctrines to believe in, some thing that requires memorization such as the Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, etc. Sets of religious practices like going to mass, doing novenas, rosaries. Others do readings about God. Gaining knowledge about the religion or some do a lot for God. But the real question is, while all of these are correct and there is no wrong about them, do we actually understand why we are doing them? When we memorize a prayer yet not applying them in real life, knowledge becomes only up to our intellectual level. When we go to mass, yet an hour later we find ourselves angy, disappointed and wants to start a fight because of taxi or bus problems.

How do we align ourselves into this trap? These are incomplete labels for us – followers of Christ, that what we believe/do should be translated into our lives. These religious practices are ought to be “expressions of our faith” and not just a mere religious system. We do them, because in every relationship we have ways express that love. In our relationship with God, we pray, go to mass, do something for God because that is our expression of faith.

Second, Moral System.

People think of what is right or wrong. Don’t do this or that; do this, do that! Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie – – – and the list goes on and on. When we look at our religion into this image – we see it as a legalistic faith. But it should not be! We do what is right and wrong because we are “expressing our love for God and His people”. Our religion should be life giving. That we do what pleases God and/or what makes our family, friends and brethren happy.

Third, Social/Humanitarian System.

Christianity most of the time is equated to being Humanitarian [Humanitarian – people/system that works to make other people’s lives better]. Also equals to people are good, kind, never get angry, all smiles and pleases everyone. While it is true, that Christians posess those qualities, we are also just human. Yes, we envisions our people to be better in all aspects of our lives and be able to claim that we are happy, good, kind people – we also have our own limitations that sometimes we fall into sin and not being able to cope up with this misconception and thus needs the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are not only the faithful in this earth, other religions or shall we say non-Christians are also good. Infact for us OFWs who have faced many different nationalities/religious people – they too are good.

Finally, an Escape.

Christianity is an escape in the realities in life, that this kind of faith is only for the poor, the weak and those who couldn’t cope up with life. But the truth is, we Christians are the strongest among many faithful, because our identity comes from someone who is indeed tough and faithful. That is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ who has won our salvation right before we asked for it!

“This Easter, let us recall why we become Christians. Let us go deeper on meanings of these rituals/religious practices and understand that there is mission at hand. This reminder applies not only in this season but at all times, especially when we claim to be a follower of Christ. We are His warriors – His missionaries in helping our fellow Christians.”


Get a copy of my talk’s slide on this link: CLS Talk # 2.

God bless!!!


 

Evangelization Rally: A Spiritual Re-Charge!

It’s been a while since we had a break in our weekly household & all for the yuletide season & as an Opening Salvo for the New Year here’s Evangelization Rally as an opener!
 
So here are some of the captured photos of this year’s Spiritual Re-charge! 2012
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Personally, it’s a very helpful session for me. It allows me to reflect & bring myself back to the true raise of life!
 
 
May this year be as fruitful as last year!
 
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
 

 


We Will Overcome : Strength in God 2011

We Will Overcome : Strength in God 2011

 
So GREAT; Exhausting yet Uplifting!
This is how most people who attended SIG Conference yesterday feels. The long travel, the hassles of waking up early, the preparation & all have been dragging, but at the end of the day, we all are so filled with vibrancy, zealous & love! Blessed as we say, for being a part of this community & for being chosen to take part of this experience.
  
 
 
 This conference was held in Flora Creek Hotel, Dubai UAE, it was opened with a rosary. Morning Session was taken care by the Northern Emirates (Dubai & Sharjah), for the morning worship & hosted by Brother Don Cruz & Sis Liza Ballesteros. While afternoon session was for the Southern Emirates (Abu Dhabi & Al Ain) with yours truly (JM -Julie Mae Bacus) & Bro. Christian Cagulada as hosts & the Praise Fest.
 
 
Sessions 1 -4 were delivered by Tito Benjie Gadi & Tito Pancho Lopez-Tan respectively with the special sharing from their better haves Tita Elaine & Tita Marilyn.
 

 The 4 Cs – The Fervor of our First Love

Christ Centered. Called as Couples. Called to Care for the Children. Called to Community.
As it was written in the bible, we are all called by God even from our mother’s womb. He has given our names & has given us a purpose. What we need to do is to live according to the plan & purpose of the father, so we could live a happy, meaning & purposeful life.
Although most of us feel that we have our own priorities; to assist our family, to take care of our husband/wife or children, and to mingle with friends, these are definitely in the list, but organizing our thoughts, contemplating & realizing that we have to keep the fervor of our First Love, the Call & responding to our Destiny is essential in having Christ as the very centre of our life and the top most priority.
As the Prophet Jeremiah says:” For I know that plans I have in you, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you future filled of hope”  (Jer. 29:11)
  

Living out our Call

You are my servant, to whom I show my glory. God has always been ironic in his statements, He seemed offensive in most of his gospel, but if we look at the deeper meaning of it, we realize that what he actually means was to give us hope.
A Light & a mirror that’s what we are. We are called “Light of the World”. How?
It is when we become witnesses of the Lord. Sharing our life in the community, sharing our stories to others with God’s Strength within us permits us to contribute our blessings, for these stories could inspire them especially in their troubled times. God has used us, used us well that we are called to share his mission.
But most of the time we question our capability, our worth in serving him, at times, we are afraid to commit, for we think we are not enough, just a timely reminder in the talk that, it’s not about ME, it’s not the “ME attitude” it’s only saying “YES” and He will do the rest.
God has neither hands, nor feet or eyes to do his will, so he uses a person (like us) to fulfill his mission. Our eyes will be his eyes, our hands, his and our whole being as Him. That is why when a person calls or invites us for an activity related to Him, our mind set should be, He/She is not inviting me, but GOD. For how will God show his love if he will not use us.
Giving generously ourselves to others means giving yourself to the Creator. Isn’t it fulfilling to know that we have helped God in making this world better & helping Him complete his mission? Definitely YES!
As of my case as a host for the afternoon session of the conference, there seemed no trace of “tense” moment, but to be honest, it is the first time that I felt my whole legs were too weak just before the program starts. Yet the Holy Spirit has filled me with so much strength!  And I praise the Almighty for that!
Well for sure not only me but the rest of the people who showed up in front & had their piece of anxiety.
  

Comrade in Christ, focus in God’s Strength

God will provide what you need.
He has been our source of Strength, we draw it all from Him, as the Prophet Isaiah said in 49:5, My God is now my Strength. He has manifested his strength in Ordinary people, in saints, in his disciple, even to His son and why not to us? He loves us so much that He will definitely take a step for us.
 
 

 

 
As our shirt says: Of all the hardships, trials, sufferings, all the negative feelings & emotions, all pessimistic things that have been in our surroundings, WE WILL OVERCOME!
 
There will be times when we give all our strength to a certain thing we love to do, the things we want in life, however He has not written that script in our life, so it was cut & not edited in the scene of life that it all fell apart. Plans you have worked on for a long time but end up useless since these don’t have any blessings from Him.
 
Tito Pancho said: “Do not desire so much for the things that when God don’t give it, you will just end up frustrated”. God will provide what you need, not what you want.
Humble ourselves before Him, always remember we need to keep our eyes with Jesus, believe that in Christ we can do all things, because if God is with us who can be against us? (Rom 8:31).
Sis Ruth made the crowd giggle with her sharing, it seemed like this talk was intended for a Love Forum, that at the end of her part, the crowd rumbles to see who Destiny was.
But of course she delivered her piece well about the manifestation of God’s Strength in her journey.
As our journey continues, be steadfast in enduring the difficulties, as I am writing this article, I have my own share of perseverance in life, in my family & in the community.

Raise Restore Reach

An important verse from Isaiah 49:6 : “It is too little, he says for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth“
CFC-FFL’s history is no accident in relating to this verse. We Raise, we almost fell but Restore and at present we Reach out! God has ever planned our journey and has assigned each of us (whatever our service in the community is) to be a light to the nations.
While our brethrens; Bro Pol & Sis Viedahlyn Magracia  –CFC-AUH shared their struggles in their married life & overcoming it.
Sis Salve Aldeguer- CFL-Sharjah – about their services for the SFL & that the Singles have made them feel younger and hopeful to live life forever in love with her husband Tito Ike.
Sis Leny Comia-Chavez – HFL Al Ain, shared about the extra effort in keeping a long distance relationship, even denying her husband her signature for a venture (with lots of prayers & guidance of course) that has led to a serious fight, but then God has a plan and he ironed things out for them.
And Brother Ed Santiago of SvFL-AUH, about the humps & bumps in the life abroad & for his new blessings in having another (better) job which will lead him to his new mission country Qatar!
God’s Strength was the key to have the courage to share their life in this big crowd.
 
Afternoon session was filled with entertainment when our SFL Sisters from the Northern Emirates show cased their talents in dancing a medley praise song “Trading My Sorrow”.
 
Of course, should I say not to forget the Banana Dance? Right, the crowd go gaga in dancing this “pa uso” that even after the event, I can hear them singing and dancing it!
Plus the infectious smile “peace be with you” session. A smile could lighten up someone’s day; it could possibly be his/her only sunshine the whole day. As Mother Theresa said “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” And the crowd goes smiling all around, for SFLs who don’t have their GGs yet, it can be a good chance to see Destiny around!
But,,, nothing beats the most awaited part of every CFC-FFL gathering, that is when we raise the roof, sing our hearts out, dance & fill the whole ambiance with grace & love, often times an experience of teary eye or even crying; overwhelmed with God’s presence.
This assembly is no way an accident. God has planned everything to fulfill it according to what is written in our destiny, that on this date, 18th of September, 2011, God will strengthen us!
 First love, our calling, being a light of the world, being blessed, destiny; these words and more signify one great day, great music, great event, Great & Strong GOD!
 

 


Photos from: Bro. Randy Espiril, Bro. Joemer Hernandez, Bro. Rusty Estrella.


Coming & Going – CFC-FFL Nat’l. General Assembly

COMING & GOING : CFC – FFL National General Assembly

September 09, 201121st Century Private School

AWESOME IS THE LORD MOST HIGH!!!!

“How awesome is the Lord most High” … this line keeps resounding in my head & became my LSS (Last Song Syndrome) right after the National Assembly. It makes me believe that I was so high with the music of the Lord. Not just me, but I think everyone else in the event was taken by storm with this assembly. Such a wonderful feeling, such a lovely day, such a rewarding moment it was! 
 
 Awesome is the Lord most High! The 188 attendees & counting, all Praised to the Lord almighty for arranging our entire schedule in this memorable gathering of Coming & Going in Christ.
Coming & Going
 
This was the topic on this day. Our speaker, Tito Raymon presented these two ways that our faith has to go through, he then presented the subject in a manner easily understood & reflected.
Let’s start with “Coming”; Sub-topics are: Coming to Christ, Following Christ, Resting in Christ & Faith in Christ are the factors that has left everyone into the thought of why are we coming to Him. To pursue Him is to give up all our comforts, to deny & willingly submit or surrender our self to the Savior. Jesus said in Luke 9:58 “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest”, it makes me reflect that we, as his servants ought to follow his ways as we aim to be Holy like Him. Thus following him entails a lot of prayer, personal relationship & an expectation that with his grace may our faith be greater than anything else in life. May we have that expectant faith of moving mountains, of walking into the sea like Peter or that of a child.
 
Commitment to Service, Work of Evangelization & Work of Formation, these are the 3 that comprises our “Going”. Often we compare ourselves to a glass, we fill our lives with our “coming” and when we are full, it is worth enough to do our “Going”. This is the time when we give back what we have gained. “Without cost we receive, without cost we have to give”. As reiterated by our speaker (Tito Raymon) “We are not friends, we are more than that, we are Brothers & Sisters in Christ.” And as a family we experience the normal process or relationship each family has been through. At one time were bonded, at one time we are happy, at one time we also have our misunderstandings, but then at the end of the day, we still run into each other, as we know that no one else better but those who are members of our family. May we instill in our hearts that being in this community is not about seeing the negative things of our neighbors, but the focus should only be to our Savior.
 
Most of us, wants to see a proof to have the assurance in getting something, even in our faith, we ask for signs & ways to fully grasps what is being written in the holy book. Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to God except through me. So here are some of those of have come to Him & has been guided:
 

 

Our Sharers: Brother Aladin, Sister Cecille, Brother Gerome & Sister Jenny, Brother Paul & Sister Vidalyn had their moments in inspiring & sharing their lives to inspire more people!
 
One of the most exciting parts of every General Assembly is the Praise & Worship time. The time when our limited words are transformed into music and lyrics that simply represents our thoughts & emotions. The time when we can express everything that we would want to say to Him, the time when we sing, dance, cry, laugh, smile in our heart & become Crazy for Christ! The time when the Holy Spirit praises with us all for His Glory!

Praise Feast Moment: Ignoring the heat, our Hearts Rejoicing, Praising, Glorifying, Honoring HIM!

 
ABU DHABI Music Ministry: His majesty has bestowed upon these servants the grace & blessing of the talent of singing, not only that, He has also blessed CFC-FFL Abu Dhabi with the new instruments. May we use these blessings all in exulting Him glory!
 
 
This event was hosted by the energetic couple Brother Manny & Sister Jacque. A group sharing was also done in discussing our “Coming & Going” in the community. While in my group this line from Brother Mervin (SFL-AUH) has struck me “Service is the Rent we pay for our life on Earth” Indeed so true! There is nothing else we can do to surpass God’s gift of life to us, but simply by following & serving him, in our case, Evangelization is the best way to serve him & spread his good words! I do believe that during that sharing we all have our own lines/statements that somehow affix in our mind & heart.
 
Birthday celebrants & Couples celebrating their anniversaries have been prayed over & some additional announcement has been advised by our Country Servant Bro. Luis Portugal.
 
May every Assembly be an inspiring day to each member & be an event to look forward to for more Spiritual blessings! May the Almighty God, Awesome & Great be praised!
 

 

Chosen One

Chosen One






Surprise surprise!


The girl who struggles to become a part of her university school paper & was rejected many times with her entries is now “The Chosen”.
 
How grateful & blessed I feel, hearing my name picked to represent for FLIQ Media (CFC-FFL’s Media Ministry). 


As of now I am savoring the moment & currently trying to refresh my mind with the writing stuffs “to do”. And at the same time I have continued making a new website, a blog of the same kind that focuses on CFC-SFL – UAE… Below is the link:
http://cfc-sfl-abudhabi.webs.com


While facebook link is still the most active, I am encouraging every member of CFC-FFL UAE (All Ministries) to contribute their own stories / pictures to tell the world how grateful we are to be in FAITH with our creator!


Send me a message : 
jm_kayne@yahoo.com
jm_kayne@hotmail.com
jmhbacus@gmail.com


Will be waiting for your piece!
God Speed Every one!


Love,

JM Kayne ^^






 

 

 

“To whom much is given, much is Expected”

“To whom much is given, much is Expected”

 

Servant Leaders Meeting | 25th March 2011

Grand Flora Hotel, Dubai. Today marks another day of Soul Nourishment building for the Servant Leaders. Servants from Southern Emirates (Abu Dhabi & Al Ain), and Northern Emirates (Dubai & Sharjah) have gathered for the first meeting this year.

 

But don’t get me wrong this isn’t just a meeting, but a good time to enliven our service, our commitment our love all for HIS glory.

 

Couples For Christ Foundation for Family & Life. Then here is another meaning for our community.

 

  • C – Centered on Christ
  • F – Faithful to Covenant
  • C – Carrying the Cross
  • F – Faith
  • F – Family
  • L – Life

 

The crowd rumbled as our Country Servant Bro Luis asked what qualities a Servant Leader should have. Some enumerated Honest, Patience, God Fearing, Open Minded, Generous & a long list, even physical attributes count! Though it seemed simple, but at the end of each sharing, we come up to a fact that in reality we need to be Adaptable in each circumstance. For some would say be firm or others will say be flexible.

 

A sharing or reaction/feedback has been done to know our stand for this meeting & below are some of them:

 

In our commitment to serve this community, we sometimes make some other priorities taken for granted or left out… I sometimes do, especially with my family. But then God First, as he said

“Seek He first the kingdom of God & the others shall be done unto you” (—-). With verging tears on his eyes, he praises God for the many blessings he has now! – Brother Aladdin of Sharjah shared.

 

“It is good to be a listener but in some ways to which I enjoy most in the later year of my service is to be in front as a sharer & be a living testament of the changes I have in my life since being a part of this community”, Bro Dodi, a SvFL from Abu Dhabi shared.

 

An answered prayer! Says Sis Ashe (SFL Abu Dhabi). All the while we are the once nourishing our members’ souls, this meeting is our turn to be nourished! The crowd replied in chorus: AMEN!

 

While another SFL, Sis Amie has these following lines that has given much impression & inspiration to me & I believe to others too.

 

“To whom much is given, much is expected”

“I can’t delay my Salvation” #Faith #InChrist Click To Tweet “The more we serve, the more blessed we are” #Faith #InChrist Click To Tweet “Faith enable us to continue, we need to keep moving & steadfast and render our service unconditionally” #Faith #InChrist Click To Tweet

 

More of our Brothers & sisters have taken the centre stage to share their part. And they have their own stories to tell.

 

To wrap it up, this is I guess the first short gathering of the community, but worth attending. For it has freshened up our souls! For all of this, To GOD be the Glory!

 

 

God bless!

JM Kayne 

 


 

REPOST: Faith

When I first arrived here in Abu Dhabi, one of the things I have written in my diary was to achieve something about my spirituality.


I went to a church here… and a part of me had this feeling of “dejavu” the place was sooooo familiar.  
Along the bible studies I have learned how to communicate with GOD, though I have been with him, since he is my best friend… but in every Friday 11AM session I have gained something…But somehow fate leads me to another group, still for Christians…


They are the CFC-FFL… Couples For Christ, Foundations for Family and Life.


Here I met mostly couples and few of us are singles… it’s also like a BB but it differs in a way that there are talks and at the end of every talk there comes the group sharing.

On the first week, what made me feel good being there was that because I have this opportunity to share my life to “strangers”…

Slowly as the weeks and days passed by, with the two one-on-one sharing, it made me feel closer,,, days and weeks of talks and sharing go along the way. I have found myself new friends, new kuya and ate.

On the 5th week, we had our pray over, they call it BAPTISM– the second one. I mean in one of the sacraments of Christianity is this one, but it was given to us when we were younger, when we are not aware. But with this one, we are at the right age, we are aware, we can make our own decision and we know what we are up to.

I was prayed over by 3 of my older sisters… Sis Amie-my single’s leader and two others Sis Weng & Jean.

To go into details may give me a hard time, then let me just describe it this way… I don’t know if it was because of the AC that along the way of the pray over, I chilled… as I utter “Alleluyah” I can hear the three pouring the words of God, I feel like a white blanket was covered me and something seemed to be cleansing me. At the end of that, I found myself shaking and that I needed sometime to recover enough strength to stand.
It feels good, strange, clean and it feels that it has given me spiritual strength!

While hearing the prayers it left me smiling for it had made me realized how WELL BLESSED I am.

  • to have a very good family (praised to God)
  • friends I feel like family.
  • I do not have grudges/hurt feelings to the people I am around.
  • I am blessed to have a good job, to be one of the chosen people to be here in Abu Dhabi.
  • Blessed to  experience this.
  • How blessed I AM to be WHO I AM.

To God, my saviour, my strength, my best friend, my father, my redeemer…
I love you! Thank you and I’m sorry.

 

For the record, being a Catholic is one thing I am sure I wouldn’t change. I closed my door to some other religion for I have believed in Jesus. I respect all the other religions. I’m willing to listen a few but, In God’s will, I will remain who I am.

Lord Jesus, please continue being with me, with my family and friends and to the people I know, be with them… guide them and be their light like you are to me. =)