Friday, December 19, 2008

The Old Church allowed me to go back...finally...

After more than two years of being excommunicated, after more than two years of being in the new church, I’m back in the Old Church again. I praise God for that! Amen to that! My ex-girlfriend, not clear if she have forgiven me or not, have finally allowed me to go back to the Old Church. Praise God for that!

For those reading my posts since Day 1, you noticed that I always put emphasis that the delay of my comeback is not directly my fault. Yes, it is one of the consequences of my wrong doing, but I am not directly responsible for the delay. Call this conduct unbecoming of a gentleman, but my ex is the one who caused the delay. She may deny while looking at you straight to the eye, but the result of her unforgiving and hateful attitude at that time caused the delay. If not for her unforgiving attitude that she manifested to the Old Church Pastor last August or September 2007, the Old Church Pastor have decided for my comeback that year. I admit, Old Church Pastor, as a leader, faced one of the toughest decisions. He wanted me to go back, but he’s avoiding repercussions from my ex and her family, especially her mother. As a Pastor, he doesn’t want a divided congregation just because of one member who erred. As a leader, you want to make sure there will be no trouble once you executed the decision. Why the emphasis on this? To justify myself? Nope. The reason is this: I want to emphasize that MY PRIDE IS NEVER THE REASON FOR THE DELAY (for I have given it up and is giving it up every time pride it is manifesting), HER AND HER MOTHER’S PRIDE IS THE REASON.

There are people, usually in the New Church, other believers and unbelievers, don’t want me to go back. My Mom, AC, and my relatives don’t want me to go back. After all, things will never be the same again. I’ll be suspended in any leadership ministries and any ministry that I will be seen at the back of the pulpit INDEFINITELY. Most probably, I will no longer be a youth leader there (my favorite ministry), especially with the new set of main leaders now. Why come back still? The New Church Pastor gave his full trust on me in handling Youth Ministry. His trust is so overwhelming he doesn’t mind on my approaches as a leader. The Youth Members in the New Church, majority of them, are sold out. They have high regards for leaders. They trust my leadership style. It was proven in Two YPF days (2007 and 2008), especially the 2nd YPF day. 20 youth members contributed almost P6000 in the span of less than the two months! Only 4 of them are working and the rest are studying. Why gave them all up? The New Church is a youth leader’s haven. The trust. The respect for my privacy. Why gave them all up? It is a Biblical principle that if you did something wrong and you have the chance to confess and admit and be responsible for your actions, THEN DO IT. Regardless how painful it will be. Regardless of a possibility of indifferent treatment (I know who the main youth leaders are, and I admit, I am quite skeptical about them. Yes, they are very talented, but there are no natural optimists among them. If old nature will work its way, only an optimist can consider appointing me back as main leader or assistant leader to the least. Oh well, God will take care of them if they acted wrong). I wanted to go back because I want to be used by God more efficiently. I don’t want to be an “Achan in the camp”. It is only possible when you exercised genuine repentance and confession from your sins BEFORE you serve Him.

I don’t know if ever I will be a Main Youth leader again, to the least an assistant leader. I don’t know if they’ll give the “traditional tribute” for single guys if ever I will get marry. I admit, it will be a sad thing if they’ll not give that, despite 5 years of service as a main leader. Still, I followed the protocol. The Old Church Pastor can attest that I tried following protocols since day 1 of my ban until the arrangement of my comeback. If ever I will never have a position within 2 to 3 years, I understand that it’s there prerogative. However, when that happens, my ex girlfriend’s unforgiving attitude have cost me a chance to be a leader again.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not dying for any leadership position. Through the years, especially in the church (be it Old or New), I never volunteer as a leader (with exemption to the New Church appointing me as their Youth President, because the youngsters there wanted me to lead them). However, being appointed in a leadership position inside the church shows that you have gained their trust again. It’s like being paired up to a very pretty single lady. It’s not mainly because you are paired with Ms. Pretty, but the trust that those who paired you both. After all, you’ll not pair Ms. Pretty friend to someone you don’t trust, right?

Bluntly, I tried to earn the trust of the youngsters, but my ex girlfriend blew it up by squealing. Besides, even in our relationship, I’m trying to fix it up by teaching her what to do, what are the norms, etc. What did she do? She disregarded it flat. She hates it when I say that I am very much ahead of her in the faith, that’s why she should listen (I may sound bossy, but hey, in companies, you’ll listen to veterans if you want to learn right?). The same single ladies that don’t like me because of the fornication that I did are the same single ladies that she despised. If they use their heads, they’ll not side with anyone, not even me. Why? My ex doesn’t like most of the single ladies there. It’s a no brainer. Back then, she doesn’t have regard to words like testimony, reputation, and being conscious on personal behavior in the church. I told her that I must work from 7am-6pm (I’m not telling her that the reason is for this is for Mom to see that she’s not a control freak that she is), but what did she do? She hates me for saying that. She said that I’m the son of the owner, so I’m not required to do that. She even told me not to take up Master’s (c’mon, don’t deny it) because I have no time. I have my hobbies, but I can’t do it because I am with her from 5pm-10pm or 11pm EVERYDAY (Please Old Church people! Open your mind. Don’t think that I’m that BAD). Yes, it’s okay for me to exercise at the gym, but it should be before 5pm. What the heck! (if my times with her are recorded, they’ll understand why I left her. She’s just using fornication as a tool, not because for the Biblical purpose of it.) That’s the reason my classmates saw me as an easy go lucky guy in graduate study; I don’t study BECAUSE I have no time to study (she even steals my Friday study time by conniving with her mother to come to Manila, so that I can’t resist to be with her). She was a selfish freak. I hope that she changed now. A week before I broke up with her, I told her that the reason why I’m urging her for Mom to be in good terms with her. At that day, she never demanded anything. She never demanded that I come at 5pm IMMEDIATELY, which she usually does. I still hope I am wrong for thinking that it is self vested interest. Yes, it’s BOTH our fault (I hope the word “BOTH” should be enough statement that the discipline was solely given to me and me alone). Yes, she will surely tell you that she didn’t force me. Yes, it’s true…PARTIALLY. For example, she’ll agree if you told her that you can’t come because you need to study. Then, at that day, she’ll say things like, “Hon, mother’s here. You need to be here.” Clever. A perfect is example was the incident December 2005. There will be a Youth Rally in that one Friday. As early as Monday, I told her that on Friday, I’ll not be at her office to fetch her because I’m one of the organizers. She said YES. Tuesday. I told the same thing. She said YES. Wednesday. I told her again (why I’m repeating this? Because she has this attitude that she’ll get what she wants…EVEN AT HER BOYFRIEND’S EXPENSE). She said that she knows, and that I’m telling that to her for the past two days. Then comes Friday. She asked me to fetch her! I told her that I can’t. She was so inconsiderate at that time. After all, I have said that many times. Youth rally came. You know what? I see her angry look as if I did something wrong. I want to make it up to her by joining her after the event. She just walked away…as if we didn’t talk about this. That’s the reason I lost my temper. She’s so good at provoking me to anger so that she’s the OFFENDED PARTY (why she always do that? To gain sympathy? I don’t know. She doesn’t have to do that in order to gain the respect and sympathy. All she needs is to change her superior personality).

They highlighted on fornication so much that her control, manipulation, lies, and exaggerations are all covered up. Yes, she’s successful! She’s so successful that the reason why my return to the Old Church was delayed because she and her mother told our respective Pastors that I am not forgiven and they don’t want me to return yet. I am at her freaking mercy!!! You know what? I wished that she will be at other’s mercy so that she may realize how wrong she is for doing that. Besides, the deed is consensual. In fact, there are times that I don’t like it, but she insisted. I never mentioned that publicly because I still have respect on her. It’s hatred personified. Even when the ban is lifted, her pastor manifested a sense of pride. How dare she manifested that! My family has been kind to her. Her family? How many sarcasms I received from them…and they justify that because they are poor and rich people have no right to be sensitive? Her mother often mentions the words, “YOU RICH PEOPLE…” just to justify her negative attitude. My family? Yes, they don’t like her, but they tried to be nice to her. My Mom even offer her a place to stay, no rent no bill, and I took care of her food and personal need (which she’s still unsatisfied). My, if she say that it’s so little, it shows how ingrate she and her mother is!

Occasionally, it crossed my mind that my ex girlfriend should also be given a severe church discipline. She didn’t even made a public apology in her own church. After all, fornication is done by TWO parties. Technically though, I understand that it is not possible. My ex is not an Old Church member. Thus, Old Church can’t give her the discipline. In her church, her Pastor decided not to give her public apology and confession. She doesn’t have the guts to admit her share of mistake. Besides, her pride and her mother’s pride drove them out of their church. They chose NOT to attend in their church. Those stuff are waaaaaaaaaay beyond my control. Besides, it is wrong to harbor hatred and unforgiving attitude to another person. Besides, if I did just that, I am not different from them.

Especially with ladies, I know that these repeated details annoy you. It is unbecoming of a man to write long posts such as this.

I’m excited to go back. Who has the balls to admit PUBLICLY what he really did wrong?

PS: I like to thank Pastor James Montenegro for the “2nd mile” encouragement…
Pastor Reynaldo C. Ido of the New Church for giving me the chance to lead again at the time…
Pastor Abel Bernardo, Pastor Lakan Datu, and Pastor Ricky Cuaterno for receiving my invitation to preach in the New church. Not to mention their encouragement and warmth.
Dr. Gil Aranda of Berean Fundamental Baptist Church for encouraging me and even going to the New Church to preach. You don’t know how much an encouragement it is.
Bro. Ambel Gallardo, one of the leaders in the Old Church, for being a patient listener.
Bro. Jhemlein Domingo, for telling me that “my case” is a perfect time to exercise “grace”. Yes, they didn’t tolerate my sin; they just did the right thing after the discipline was implemented.
Sis. Lorna Bitangcol of Word of Life Philippines, my constant chat mate who encouraged me even if she have personal discouragements. She’s also a patient listener.
Bro. Denmor Villanueva, Bro. Emmnauel and Sis. Ellen Joy Refugio, Bro. Jeremy James Samson, Bro. Miguel Rodriguez, Bro. Ezra Villarico for being still the same, despite my blunders.
Other Old church people and most of the full time workers who never focused their eyes on my return (because I can’t at that time even if I wanted to), but instead became happy when they saw me serving Him in the New Church for the mean time since November 2006.

I also thanked the critics and the fault finders. If not for you, I will not be a better person. Besides, now I have seen who you really are, I will have a mental note not to put my full confidence on you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally, my "kid sistah" and I have finally met after two years

After two years, Kid Sistah Theta (aka Chubby Cheeks, blackheart, Cheeklet...) and I have finally met.

She is a good poet, and yes, she's an Emo. As I promised to her, I gave her a copy of GradS Tayo 2: The Kolokoy's Magic Van. She never expected that I'll drop by in her Makati apartment. Good thing I am very familiar with that particular place in Makati.

She was so surprised and so happy she hugged me. I gave her an autographed copy of GT2. What makes her special to me is that she's my very first fan. However, don't get me wrong. I never treated her like a fan; I treated her like an online friend. I even call her kid sistah. She's also the reason why I tried poetry.

Yes, she's my very first fan. She's a constant follower of GradS Tayo strips that I put in deviantart. No. She's the ONLY one following the strip. After all, I don't see myself as a celebrity. What makes her special? I was motivated even more to continue drawing strips (how much more if there are many followers). When I saw her smile and i felt her hug like a fan hugging a...well...celebrity...I felt honored. It's quite rare for me to receive compliments in this field. Most of the time, I receive an indifferent response, even to the one whom I consider my influence. Still though, it's okay. At least it taught me to appreciate people more because I experienced the negative. You don't see me snubbing people intentionally or automatically (due to constant snubbing; it became a way of life...hehehe) because of that particular reason

I don't want to treat Kid Sistah as a fan. After all, I'm not famous. I'm not a celebrity. I'm even ordinary looking. My face is forgettable. My good efforts are unremembered (remember the Old Church thing?). That's why I call her Kid Sistah.

Honestly, I feel like I'm a celebrity of sort or a cult icon during that time. However, I know I am still a NOBODY, and maybe I will remain a NOBODY. After all, I am a frequent recipient of indifferent responses in the comic strip world. If not for my like for comic strips, I could have given up.

To all readers, please read kid's sistah's site, she's a very nice poet. Just ask for her deviant account. You'll like her, and her journal entries. Even if I'm not a cartoonist, I'll still have that kind of recommendation. Even if she's not a fan, I'll still do the same. Why? "God loveth a cheerful giver"...this also includes introducing good, sensible people that you know to your other friends.

Thank you very much again, Kid Sistah. I promise to make GradS Tayo and my other upcoming projects better. People like you are giving me an added boost for me to continue doing simple, yet (trying to be) sensible comic strips.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Old Church update

I can’t help but share this update with you. Remember the “Old Church and the New Church” thing that’s been “plaguing” this blog ever since this blog was started? Yes, the posts that made me look not to readily move on. Now, here are some updates:

The Old Church, headed by the Old Church Pastor, will host a Bible Conference this coming week in that church. Few days ago, the Old Church’s Pastor’s mentor, the one who pioneered the Old Church, arrived from America. He invited me. I hesitated. I hesitated because the “ban” status on me is still in effect, despite my efforts to admit my mistake. After all, the very same prerequisite to lift the ban on me – public apology and confession – was deprived from me because I am not yet forgiven by the other party and, according to the Old Church Pastor, more prayers.

Mom asked Old Church Pastor if I could attend the Bible conference. His answer? “Huwag muna” (“Not now”). Mom asked another question: “what needs to be done in order for him to go back?” He answers, “Pag pray natin.” (“We need to pray more”). Right from the horse’s mouth. I never made this all up. I never mentioned names. No one from the old and even new church knows this blog site. So you can’t accuse me of dividing the brethren. The Old Church Pastor unknowingly has given the verdict that will give me enough reason not to go back anymore. Because of this, Mom’s heart was broken. I can’t blame her. I’m her son. After all, right from the start, I plead to the Old Church Pastor not to publicize these things, not to let me choose between marriage or excommunication. Indeed, he opened the Pandora’s Box.

I can liken this situation to a criminal who admits his crimes, ready to be handcuffed, be sentenced and served his prison terms, but the authorities decided not to arrest him. No, not because he’s a freed man. He’s still a fugitive. Armed and dangerous. Don’t talk to him; he’s dangerous. Don’t even give your resources, most especially human resources. If that will be the case, the police under the authorities have adequate justification to shot him. I know most of you are intelligent enough what I’m talking about and who are those I am referring (if you happen to be in the Old Church). Again, I don’t want to defy. I don’t want to rebel. I don’t want to be on a wrong side of the fence, Baptist and Christian and God wise. After all, I am not their enemy. They are not my enemies. We are brothers in Christ.

But who am I? Besides, I don’t want to rebel and speak against the Pastor that I respected so much. I want my life to be blessed; rebellion and rudeness to the pastor, even if justifiable, will just hold that blessing. Worst, it can cost me my life because man should not “touch God’s anointed”.

What’s causing the delay? By the looks of it, he didn’t answer anything. Instead, he gave the task to my ex’s Pastor, to fix the matter. What’s that? Playing safe? By the way, my ex’s Pastor is the one who talk to my ex’s father. My ex’s father finally forgave me, but my ex and her mother didn’t. It’s too much. Why can’t they see that she and her mother are just doing that to piss me off? Old Church Pastor is the one who had the final say for my excommunication. The Old Church is not that congressionalist to the point that the deacons will have the final say. Is it another of those “unique discernment that only Pastors can feel”? Who is maneuvering the delay? The deacons, be it the new ones and veterans? The “feminist” sector? Or Old Church Pastor himself? Forgive me if asking is now the new rebellion. I don’t want to question that decision, but the delay hurt me and my Mom. Mom is contemplating for a transfer after she finished her commitments there. Even a veteran Pastor of a mega church talked to him; suggesting to him, “find a way to make him go back.” He’s being overly conscious and conscientious. Is that because a by-product of Old Church unwritten practices? Unwritten do’s and don’ts that it’s not really in The Bible, but because of culture and norms of that society called Old Church? (Fornication? Marry the girl. Not marry the girl? Boot out! ) Is that because the deacons, maybe the new ones who happen to be my contemporaries, are really nailing me for one underlying reason or another? Is it because of my ex-girlfriend herself? No, I hope I am all wrong in those questions! God forbid that even one of them is right.

Forgive my paranoia: maybe he knows this blog through another person, and that another person/s reading this blog gives the blog or his own version of the summary to Old Church Pastor(lurker/s). If my blog posts are the reason for the delay, I will still not stop doing this. After all, blog is a journal. My blogs are not locked or exclusive. My blog is open. The reason why I used another name and why I’m keeping my mouth shut in some extent is because despite my being talkative, at the end, I’m still a gentleman. In fact, anyone from the old church asking for my blog will surely be answered honestly. They NEVER gave me the chance to state my side. Yes, Old Church pastor knows my side, but he never disclosed it, just like he disclosed what I did wrong (though not in details) and what they will do to me. He never even disclosed the reasons why there’s a delay. He never even mentioned that one of the reasons for the delay is because my ex-gf confronted her and her own Pastor (her mother confronted him) vocally said that they don’t want back and I’m not forgiven YET. I hope that the first sentence of this paragraph is wrong.

A friend outside church once told me that my Friendster and my Blogs are easy to find. It means one thing: the Old Church people don’t give a thing on what I will say because they don’t care. One Old Church person I know demonstrated to me that he only showed concern when he found I have a new girlfriend! I’ve been using Friendster long before I was kicked out. I don’t have aliases. My email ad is not my real name because I made the email address 3 years ago. However, when you look at my friendster account, I put my real name. Then, he’ll just notice my account when he heard I have a new girlfriend? Wowowee! When they want to know my side, ask me, I don’t care if you believe me or not. It’s your right. But never ask other people for my side when I am accessible. Oh well, it’s their choice and I respect that.

I didn’t give up, it’s them who made the delay. And I respect their decision. This is not all me. This time, it’s all them. No justifications whatsoever. Yes, the Old Church made the right decision, but the delay is the wrong decision they have made.

Still, they have my respect. The Old Church is God’s church. The Old Church Pastor is God’s anointed. I prayed to God to bless him more…to give him wisdom…to make him a better person. His ministry is expanding and any expanding ministry needs a wiser and better leader. Thus, I prayed to God that Old Church Pastor will be strengthen more by God.

My respect to the Old Church and Old Church Pastor will remain as they are. But spending time pleading, following “my case”, will just give me flashbacks. This is not pride. Pride will never admit mistakes. Pride will never text Old Church Pastor, updating himself. Pride will not follow protocol if requesting for Old Church preachers to preach in the New Church, even if the reality of rejection is VERY HIGH because there is this PENDING THING GOING ON.

Because of this latest update, my mind became clearer. I know now better than ever what I must do: focus on the New Church. Help New Church Pastor. While doing that, ask God to strengthen me. Ask God to make me more mature spiritually. I must learn from these mistakes. They decided to delay this one. Thus, I decided to bury it to avoid flashbacks. Besides, souls are dying. Churches will argue because of technicalities such as this?! Man, souls are dying. Time is wasting. I need to make a positive choice: to stop follow ups. There are so many things to do. If they finally allowed me back, then so be it.

To my followers, thank you for liking my posts. To my critics, thank you. To those indifferent to me, it’s okay. It’s your choice. I can’t please everybody. This chapter of my life will never be closed if I stop “updating” myself regarding my case. No pride in stopping the “update”; it’s for me to avoid further baggage. Again, forgive the nature of my posts.