Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Real Meaning of Christmas

It's that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

Luke 2: 4-19 says:
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." I John 1:9

We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.

Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a "Merry Christmas." The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Missing Link @ Fullcup Cafe

I've been going through a lot of testings for quite a long time now and it was only two weeks ago when I realized certain things that lifted up my spirit and made me decide to just go on with my life and give everything to my Creator. A lot of things inspired me this month. I was able to see things clearly and I have opened my mind and heart for any possible changes that the Lord wants for my life. I've been reading and listening a lot about the greatness of the Lord and He never fails to amaze me everytime. I can never boast about anything, I honestly think that I have a very bad past and I do not live a good life most of the time. But because of Jesus' everlasting love for me, my life is complete. He is the MISSING LINK in my life. My recent experiences inspired me to put up this new band. It was my heart's desire a long time ago to start a band whose main goal would be to penetrate the hearts of people who seek freedom and contentment which can only be attained by knowing Jesus in a personal level. I know deep within my heart that this band is God's blessing to me and I am so glad to be working with these talented and passionate musicians. Our band is just two weeks old but we already received a number of invitations from different youth groups and music bars. We humbly lift everything up to our Master Musician, for He deserves all the praise. We are just His instruments, created to be used by Him.

Band Members:
Digi Antonio - Vocals / Guitar
Roland Talento - Lead Guitar
Bong Bautista Jr. - Bass
Jay Carlos Navarro - Drums

Jesus is our link to a successful, satisfying and fruitful life. He is our link to a peaceful and joyful living. He is our link to happy and harmonious relationships with families and friends. He is our link to a blessed life here on earth. Most importantly, Jesus is our link to the Father and eternal life in heaven. So, if you feel hopeless, broken, empty, unloved or if you feel like something is lacking in your life, just go to God. He's more than enough to meet all your needs!

We were invited to play at Fullcup Cafe in Intramuros Manila last July 18. We played four songs including two originals. Our next gig will be on July 31, Thursday at Freedom Bar in Annapolis Quezon City.

To all youth groups all over the Philippines, churches, universities, music bars, artists or any member of the music industry and anyone who happens to pass by this site, please feel free to send us your invitations through my comment box or you can email me at You can also visit my multiply account by clicking this link.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nikki Gil plays the piano

I never thought she could play the piano but she can really play very well. Hi Nikki! If you'll be able to watch this, I hope you'll like it. =)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Made to Worship by Chris Tomlin

Before the day
Before the light
Before the world revolved around the sun
God on high
Stepped down into time
And wrote the story of His love for everyone

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free
When you and I embrace surrender
When you and I choose to believe
Then you and I will see who we were meant to be

All we are
And all we have
Is all a gift from God that we receive
Brought to life
We open up our eyes
To see the majesty and glory of the King

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

Even the rocks cry out
Even the heavens shout
At the sound of His Holy name
So let every voice sing out
Let every knee bow down
He's worthy of all our praise

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Music Binds Us All Together

It was in 1997 when I became a part of the music ministry in church. During that time, I was only playing guitar and leading people to worship using a Baptist Hymnal. As years pass by, the Lord led me to a different style of worship which I think is more effective in evangelism. Forgive me for using spiritual jargons, you can always leave a message or comment if you have questions about my posts. Anyway, my musical experience has made me realize a lot of things. One of those realizations is that music really binds people together. I am definitely not a great musician (though it's my goal to strive for excellence), so it's an overwhelming experience for me to be able to work with different talented celebrities. Some of them even became good friends of mine. I collected photos of my encounters with my fellow believers who are also committed in spreading the Word to the world. Singer Barbie Almalbis with her husband Martin Honasan at CCP

Nikki Gil and I in their beautiful home in Alabang. I went there with our musical director Nikko Rivera and we talked about the line up and arrangements for the Genxt Camp held last November 2007. Tita Julie (Nikki's mom), was very accomodating, she served snacks and made us feel comfortable while we were there. with Teddy of Rocksteddy at CCP My wife and I with Nikki Gil after the Christmas Concert entitled "Naiibang Pasko" at Pasay City

Left to Right: Adam on guitar, Digi on percussion, Nikki on lead vocals, Nikko on 1st keys and music director, Karel on bass, Mike on drums and on the lower left, Tom on 2nd keys with actress and former MTV VJ Donita Rose at M.Y.M.P. concert in Quezon City

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lazarus @ Conspiracy Bar

Band Members:
Lead Vocals / Guitar - Gunns
Lead Guitar - Rico

Bass - Alex
Percussion - Digi

Our band was named after the Biblical character Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. Through the raising of Lazarus, Jesus showed the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death. Many believed that Jesus was the Son of God and they put their faith in him after seeing this miracle. It is absolutely essential to our faith as Christians that we believe in the resurrection from the dead. In the story of Lazarus, Jesus speaks one of the most powerful messages ever: "Whoever believes in me, Jesus Christ, receives spiritual life that even physical death can never take away."

We were invited by DJ Jordan of NU 107 to play at Conspiracy Bar in Visayas Avenue. We played five songs, including three originals. Rico didn't make it that night because of work so we asked our good friend Kenneth to play the guitar. Our next gig would be on July 4, Friday at Full Cup Intramuros Manila.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Transformer Youth Camp 2008

I'm glad I was given the chance to minister to thousands of youth through helping in the music team of Transformer Youth Camp. He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary tasks. The ministry has become a huge success. This video is also for the volunteers and ministry workers who gave their time to help in this year's camp. You are a blessing. May you continue serving the Lord faithfully. To all campers, see you next year!

Thank You Video of Transformer Camp 2008

Praise the Lord! Final Transformer Camp Stats:
Campers - 57,017
Total Saved - 24,006
Total Baptized - 5,570
BBCA New Student Applicants - 1,706


Sunday, June 22, 2008

How Much Music Can You Make?

Imagine this. A concert violinist is performing a difficult piece in front of a large audience. Suddenly there is a loud snap that reverberates throughout the auditorium. The audience immediately knows that a string has broken and fully expects the concert to be suspended until another string, or instrument, is brought to the musician.

But instead, the violinist composes herself, closes her eyes and then signals the conductor to begin again. The orchestra resumes where they had left off and now the musician plays the music on three strings. In her mind she works out new fingering to compensate for the missing string. A work that few people can play well on four strings, the violinist with the broken string plays on three.

When she finishes, an awesome silence hangs in the room. And then as one, the crowd rises to their feet and cheers wildly. The violinist smiles and wipes perspiration from her brow. When silence returns to the great room, she explains why she continued to play in spite of a broken string. "You know," she says, still breathless, "sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."

We know what she means, don't we? Maybe we've lived most of our lives and we have only a little time left. Can we still make music?

Maybe disease has robbed us of our capacity to work. Can we still make music?

Perhaps a financial loss has left us impoverished. Can we still make music?

Or maybe a meaningful relationship has ended and we feel alone in the world. Can we still make music?

There will come a time when we all experience loss. Like the violinist, will we find the courage to discover just how much music we can still make with what we have left? How much good we can still do? How much joy we can still share? For I'm convinced that the world, more than ever, needs the music only you can make.

And if it takes extra courage to make the music, many will applaud your effort. For some people have lost more than others, and these brave souls inspire the rest of us to greater heights.

Just how much music can you make with what you have left?

~ Steve Goodier ~

Worship : More Than Music

A worship leader's perspective.

By Paul Baloche

My role as a worship leader carries a tough responsibility, one that requires my heart to be in a place of worship before Sunday morning. Yet just like everyone else, I deal with allergies, taxes, bills, the emotional needs of my family.

I have tried to cultivate worship in my family over the years by examining my own walk with God and asking myself if I am modeling authentic worship to my children. I am keenly aware that many times the next generation looks at the preceding one and points to the obvious spiritual contradictions.

Day to day, I look for opportunities to point out the hand of God, either in a glorious sunset, a striking cloud formation or an animal in the backyard. I encourage my family to appreciate the beauty in the moment and connect that moment to the Creator behind it.

At times we break out the guitar or sit around the piano and sing together. Sometimes we sing worship choruses and sometimes we sing songs from the radio. When we worship God with music, we are simply using a tool to help us connect to a living God. The Psalms provide all kinds of ways in which we can demonstrate or express our worship, such as singing, clapping, kneeling, dancing and playing musical instruments.

Yet worship is much more than 20 minutes of singing at a church service. What I try to model for my family and my church is that worship has more to do with relationship than it does with music. It is impossible to worship a living God — sacrificing our bodies, emotions, minds and hearts — and not have it affect all our relationships.

Of course, I go through seasons when life is hard and relationships are difficult. On occasional Sundays, I stand before my church and just go through the motions. But I can’t do that for long.

We can’t separate worship from relationship any more than we can separate intimacy from a healthy marriage. Just as intimacy wells up from the mutual respect and love within a marriage, worship springs from a surrendered and grateful heart.

I have little patience for ungratefulness. I remind my family daily how blessed and fortunate we are. Psalm 103:2 says it best: “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Remembering God’s blessings is the key to a worshiping heart — a heart that desires to live a life of worship through singing, serving, loving and obeying.

We can decide to do these things and let the overflow affect others. Our example will remind those around us that there is a God worth knowing and that we were created for His pleasure and purposes. In that sense, we can all be worship leaders by practicing gratitude and walking in fellowship with God.