DAILY BOOSTER: Keeping the Squirrels Away

ICS Daily Booster

Debbie enjoys watching the birds that come to a feeder [a device or aparatus for supplying food] she has hanging outside our back door. According to the package, it is a squirrel resistant bird feeder. (Can I just say right here that the package writer lied.)

Obviously, the purpose of the feeder is to feed birds. However, when the squirrels found out that an ample supply of sunflower seed was available just a short leap and a jump away, they became instant loyal customers.

First we thought we had the problem fixed by taking the screen off the door where they had been climbing to the feeder. That worked for a while until they figured out how to jump from a tree, onto the roof and climb down onto the feeder. To that clever little maneuver, they added learning how to climb up the plastic frame of the door, which by all logic they shouldn’t be able to climb, and then jumping sideways over to the feeder. While feeding, they hang off of at all angles, like hairy little leeches.

As I said, the feeder is for the birds. However, not ones to miss a prime opportunity, the squirrels find a way to snatch the seed. I see in those squirrels a parallel with the way sin and prideful selfishness work in our lives. They sneak in and steal the precious seed of God¹s good work. It takes constant vigilance to keep sin at bay, and Scripture is clear on how we can do it: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV).

Submitting to God involves more than just coming to an altar and saying, “God, I make you Lord of my life.” That¹s a start, mind you, but it goes deeper than that. To truly make Him Lord, we must rediscover our purpose in life: to glorify God.

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality [or any other sin], but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

Back to our feeder saga. As of late, the squirrels have begun to leave it alone. Why? Because every time they get up there, we yell at them. Caleb is particularly effective at “Squirrel Patrol” – a bang on the window, an authoritative yell out the door, and off they go.

Picture the same thing with any sin that is hindering your life: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV).

Get rid of sin. Don’t tolerate it; chase it away! The battle is mainly fought in our minds. We must continually take an active role in keeping our minds pure. But always remember that we are not alone in the fight. Paul says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

(The article is adapted from “Keeping The Squirrels Away” by Randy Mantik. He is lead pastor at CrossPoint AG in Portage, Wis.USA, www.pe.ag.org).

Photo: RBP


ICS Daily Booster

forgivenessIt has never been too hard for me to apologize. It may be that I have had a lot more practice than most folks. :-) We, in the Churches need to practice forgiveness and submission in order to maintain unity within the body of Christ.

A desire to be superior makes us unwilling to confess and apologize, when we are wrong. When we are right, we need to give honor to the Lord who has led us into truth. Our ultimate objective is to build the body of Christ into a viable and strong body of believers.

Bitter attitudes can develop over small differences. There are three reasons why we must avoid bitterness. It grieves the Holy Spirit, who lives within us. It grieves the Son of God who died for us and it grieves God who has forgiven us and asks us to forgive those who trespass against us.

A bitter unforgiving spirit cannot be isolated. It is the devil’s playground and it soon becomes the Christian’s battleground. If somebody hurts us, either deliberately or unintentionally, and we do not forgive them, we begin to develop bitterness within, which hardens our heart.

If someone has sinned against you, speak with them alone. It is possible that they do not even realize what they have done. Or, even if he did it deliberately, your own attitude of submission to the Lord and love for them will help them to repent and apologize. Above all else, go to them with the idea of restoring fellowship not winning an argument. It is possible to win the argument and lose your brother.

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” [Matt.18:15-17]

Make this day a time of healing. You take the first step that needs to be made. Remember that God took the first step in your salvation.

DAILY BOOSTER: Pursue Not the Temporal but the One that Lasts Forever — Righteousness

ICS Daily Booster

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6, NIV).

God’s Word makes it clear that when we desire the Lord above anything else in our lives, we will find everything we need in Him. He will make our attitude similar to that of Christ Jesus.

Whatever it is that you are seeking from the Lord, know that He is faithful to provide. Look how Jesus phrased this teaching from His Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:6 doesn’t say you might be filled. It doesn’t imply that the Lord will just think about filling you. It guarantees that you will be filled when you hunger for the Lord.

But, filled with what? Filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that’s what (Galatians 5:22)! Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit! Filled up to “the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19)!

It is not only that He will transform our attitude to become like Christ, but He also made a promise to fill even our material needs. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33, NLT). Remeber, materials things are but TEMPORAL, BUT, best of all is to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS…IT WILL LAST FOREVER…

Let this promise encourage you when you grow weary. Your pursuit of the Lord is never in vain.

My prayer for you today is that you will know Christ’s love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God (Ephesians 3:19, God’s Word Translation).

*[Adapted from “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast” by Kristen Feola. She attends James River Assembly in Ozark, Mo.]
Photo By: Jan Chester Lema

DAILY BOOSTER: Forgiveness is a Choice and a Decision

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Forgiveness is defined as “getting your heart right with God by making the choice to forgive others and by receiving His forgiveness.” Forgiveness does not mean you are relieving someone of responsibility for his or her actions. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean you trust that person. Forgiveness is the act of letting God’s love flow through you.

Think about the above definition for a moment.

Doug Easterday says, “You’re not alleviating responsibility from anyone by forgiving them. You are transferring it to where it really belongs and that’s with God. They will answer to God someday, but if you’re requiring them to answer to you, then you have as big a problem as they do.”

Forgiveness is obedience to God.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times'” (Matthew 18:21-22).

Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. It is an act of the will.

“It’s not really possible to say, I can’t forgive. What you’re really saying is, I won’t forgive,” says Doug Easterday. “You’re the only one who can make this choice. Therefore, you have something to say about your own destiny if you choose to forgive.”

You can choose to forgive yourself due to failure…, your loved ones who hurt you, your enemies who want to destroy you. When one chooses to forgive, you allow the power of the Holy Spirit to work in your life to obey the teaching of Christ (Ezekiel 36:27).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). This needs to be your prayer if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

Choose to pray these words now:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (KJV).

Lord, it is only by Your power that I can forgive. Keep me from destroying myself with unforgiveness. Amen.

[SRC] Through a season of grief: devotions for your journey from mourning to joy

Jesus Heals

Yesterday, the ICS Praise and Worship Team led the congregation in celebrating the faithfulness of the Lord. It is a declaration of a new season for ICS. The message of the Lord from Ezekiel 36:16-38, is very clear: He promised restoration, renewal/new heart, refilling of the Holy Spirit, and rebuilding/replanting of the Lord. Continue reading

DAILY BOOSTER: Tempted to Give Up?

ICS Daily Booster

You may feel you would rather escape than endure. But remember, it is always too soon to give up. God sent His angels to rescue Daniel only after he was in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:19-21). Paul says God rescued him after he had the “sentence of death” within him (2 Corinthians 1:9). God rescued Peter from prison the night before he was to be executed (Acts 12:4-11). Even at the last moment, He can rescue you. Never give up.

“Whatever string you can find to hold on to, whatever you know about God in your heart, hang on to it with everything you have. Then stand back and see His glory,” says Janet Paschal, whose grandfather died.

When it seems that there is nothing left to live for, God will prove Himself true. Focus on Him and do not let your thoughts stray for a moment.

Job initially wanted God to take his life: “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!” (Job 6:8-9). But if God had granted Job’s request, he would never have seen God’s blessing in the end.

The book of Habakkuk encourages you to trust in God and persevere no matter how bad things seem:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

You can join me pray:

Savior God, I see nothing but darkness, but in this darkness I grasp at a pinpoint of light, which is my knowledge of You. I will hold on to this, Lord, with all the strength I can muster, for You alone are my hope. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Praise Report: Never Forgotten


BY: Jessie Drachenberg

Today, I had one of those “God moments” at church…and since I (along with most others) can share some of the most random stuff that happens to us during the day, why not boast about when God – the Creator of the universe, of the world, of you and of me – reaches down and touches our lives?!?

The day didn’t start off exceptional, but when I walked into the sanctuary it was like everything that the morning, this week, month, year…just everything brought in with me was forgotten and left at the door.  The worship team kept leading in songs and then they put out a challenge to the congregation for those with sickness or in need of a physical healing to come up to the front.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve gone up for prayer countless times for the cysts in my body (starting with the 1st one found on my thyroid when I was one so today, I humbled myself and went up yet again to ask God to do a miracle; HOWEVER, today wasn’t like the rest of those days.  There’s no clear way to describe or put into words what the presence of God feels like, the closest would be an overwhelming peace and love captivating your every senses.

I began to cry feeling as near to God as I can be this side of heaven; and as I normally do when I go up for prayer for these cysts, I checked to see if I could feel the little nodule moving up and down with every swallow that I took.  I pressed my 2 index fingers on the right side of my throat, 1st swallow – felt nothing.  Repositioned my fingers, 2nd swallow – still felt nothing.  Moved the fingers yet again a 3rd, 4th, and 5th time – STILL FELT NOTHING!  Now the tears just starting gushing from my eyes.  Could it be?  Could it be that God actually healed me?

Parallel to those thoughts running through my mind, I kept hearing stronger – what’s like that little conscious voice in your head – God speak to me, saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you.  I haven’t forgotten about you.”  over and over and over again.  God began to remind me of things past that He’s been faithful to fulfill, and now with this it was like saying, “This is only the beginning of the things I have in store for you.  I haven’t forgotten about you.”

I felt so incredibly special at that moment.  It was the realization that the God of the universe delights Himself in me and loves me…even when I’m far from my family, friends, and everything that I grew-up with, I’m never too far out of reach to Him.  I love my God, He’s the best thing in this world.

This is why I share Him with the world, so they can KNOW God too.

* OneHope Missionary Jessie shares the first Praise Report. This is just the first of the many PRAISE REPORTS we will be reading from ICS members and friends. To God be the glory!

VBS: God’s Champions!

It was another enjoyable summer as the children of ICS gathered for its 2011 DVBS themed “God’s Champions.” We were blessed to have been able to host it in three places; Oranbo, Ugong and ICS Mandaluyong.

The three DVBS classes were held separately. The Oranbo and Ugong DVBS were held last April 25-30 in nearby public schools. There were 50 kids from Ugong and 43 kids from Oranbo. The kids were really excited to attend the event, especially the kids from Ugong since it was their first time. And though the volunteers were really exhausted from going from one place to another, you could see the fulfilment in their faces day after day.

ICS Mandaluyong’s DVBS was held last May 2- 5. There were 18 participants in all. Though small in number, that didn’t stop the kids from having fun with all the activities planned out for them. From the first class session to the last pajama party night, their enthusiasm did not wane, although it wasn’t always fun and laughter.

One of the highlights of the DVBS was the “sardines” game, where they would need to find a single a person, in the person of Michael Cauilan, in the whole church. They were given 10 rules (“The Ten Commandments”) to follow and ‘punishments’ to endure if they were to break the rules. The teachers were there to make sure the kids would break all the rules as part of the activity.

As punishment, the kids had to pick up small pieces of paper scattered around the sanctuary, only to be scattered again by the teachers. Some kids cried, others refused to be helped. The children had to do this for one whole hour, or until a “sacrificial” teacher approaches them and volunteers to absolve them from the punishment and take their place if they admit to their mistakes and promise not to break the rules again. Through this game, the teachers were able to illustrate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.

It was a blessing to be part of this event. From the opening ceremony where Josiah came running in with the Olympic torch to mark the start of the event, up to the awarding ceremony, it was memorable. I’ll really miss those kids.


God’s Champions!

ICS DVBS 2011: God’s ChampionsICS DVBS 2011 Promo

May 2-5
ICS Church Mandaluyong

Age 3-12 yrs old

registration fee
stay in – 700 php
stay out- 400 php

Sweety Tejedor