It was February 2001 when my bestfriend, Anna, introduced me to my Beloved. At first, she appeared boring, unattractive, and traditional. I decided just to date her for three months. I never thought she would be so lovable that after three months, I was officially engaged to her, not mentioning that we only got to acquaint every Sunday. Months turned to years, and years turned to a decade. And I can say that I love her more today than yesterday. Yes, I’m in love for ten years now.

10) She is rare. She keeps a journal containing all instructions that governs her life and ministry. She keeps a record of her rich biography. She also preserves a list of her beliefs and why she believes them. Every four years, she does meticulous reviews and does amendments if necessary. At first, I thought this was unwise yet when I learned that nothing in her journal hates my Calvinism but, instead, gives hints of acceptance, I try to request for a copy of her journal from time to time.

9) Who can’t fall in love for one who knows your gifts well and encourages you to exercise them in any way? It was her who saw a shepherd’s heart within me. She saw it first even before I did. Yet, she still did a bunch of tests of confirmation if this was really what the Sovereign had gifted me with. Now I thank her and GOD for Dorongan Punta UMC, my first pastoral appointment.

8) I value my Bible much. It is another reason why I thank GOD for letting me meet her. She loves the Bible too. In fact, in 1998, she gathered a cluster of young people from all over the country, wherein Anna was one, whom she encouraged to grow in the knowledge of their Creator through their Bibles. It then became a biennial activity which we now label as National Bible Quiz. I am blessed to witness 4 out of the 7 quizzes. I have witnessed how multiple young men and women became more committed Christians because of this.

7) Another thing, I can say that there is something delightful with me being with her. Eversince we’ve been together, I find it easier to request for books from Christian authors. One of the reasons, I suppose, is that because they find my engagement with her odd, puzzling, but interesting because I am a Calvinist. No one else loves John Wesley more than her while I consider John Calvin as my influence. These two, as others often see, are generally at odds with each other. However, as what I am getting used to say, “Because the heart-warming experience is an irresistible gift of providence.” The two Johns can shake hands.

6) I can still remember the multiple instances when I felt that she was being threatened, when I was always ready to throw all my scabbards for her sake. But, again, thanks be to GOD for all the mighty warriors who loved her much too. My fight for her became their fight. And their fight became mine as well. We met regularly before every Wednesday pleading to GOD that may she be helped. I miss those times with Manang Annie and Manang Bayen with their husbands Uncle Imon and Kuya Ed, respectively.

5) But amidst those trials, we still found time to share interests with each other. Few are like her who have a bunch of considered spiritual heroes. The funny thing is her spiritual hero, John Wesley, is my spiritual hero’s spiritual hero. Charles Spurgeon stated in his autobiography, “If there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitfield and John Wesley.” From the Wesleys, I learned about Luther and other reformers, and from then learned about the Puritans. My Beloved then encouraged me to share this little knowledge that I acquired in Lay Institute for Christian Advancement. My three years as the History of Protestant Reformation teacher in LIfCA is a great privilege.

4) I am not a good singer but everytime I am with her, songs overflow for our Lord. She really is the one who taught me to sing. She has a lot of wonderful songs filling her wonderful songbooks. Besides, her songs are not like others’ songs. Every line is magnificently crafted. Some are decades, and even centuries, old yet their messages are always fresh. Nowadays, it is already a challenging task to find one whose eyes still glow for Bible-saturated, God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Church-edifying, passion-filled songs like her songs. Her chosen tracks are the best, just next to the Psalms I believe. These really make her appear so attractive and lovable.

3) For the past ten years that we were together, we never did miss a Christmas spent with each other. We yearly consume five days in a camp, from the 26th to the 30th of December. These days for us are very special that we look forward to it even as early as June. But of course, we don’t want to waste it so we spend the most of these times with other young people from all over Central Pangasinan. We leave our comfy beds and rest, instead, in tents cushioned with hays but almost nothing can parallel with the memories. Film showings, group dynamics, Bible studies, games, presentations, and tons of laughters and joys all for the glory of GOD.

2) As my list flights to the top, the growth that my Beloved had caused to me (and to others) is also incalculably soaring high. Her smile was incredibly beautiful when we started our New Testament Survey with the Book of Romans. And in 6 longs years, she was there making sure that every New Testament branch was shook and the ripest fruits were gathered. GOD had used her again and again to kindle and rekindle our passion for His supremacy in Christ Jesus. In fact, it was in her very own house where the utmost expression of our single passion, GOD, was displayed on October 30, 2009.

1) Here now comes the greatest reason that I love her much. She introduced to me a fellowship of youngsters which I can call my second family. These are the grandest channels of strength, courage, and inspiration from the Lord for me. I am extremely grateful to GOD and to her for the ever virtuous Anna, my humble pride Met, the most learned Joy, the joyful May Ann, the artist-theologian Bona, the poetic thinker MJ, the sweetest Amy, and also for Jerome, Grace, Ludith, Ninoy, and for the younger ones especially for the most lovable Mai-Mai. My heart will always be a treasure chest of all our Bible studies, Bibliolympics, luncheons, outings, picnics, VCS classes, Com-Coms (Communicating my Communion), and everything spent with them. Breathing amidst trials and rough roads are no problem when their walk with the truth is observed.

I count all of these as graces from the Holy Sovereign God through my beloved. These are the top reasons why I love her much.

Now, my beloved is much endangered and threatened. Some are trying to supplement her manual which may result to unfaithfulness to the Lord. She has become a victim of politics, immorality, and worldliness. Her used to be influential family has downgraded to a dying sect. She is becoming lesser beautiful and lesser gorgeous. So sad, because I want my future children to fall in love with her too. Please pray for the United Methodist Church, my beloved.

10) Book of Discipline
9) Pastoral Ministry
8) National Bible Quizzes
7) Books from Authors
6) Wednesday Group
5) Church History / LIfCA
4) Hymnal, Hymns, Choir
3) Christmas Institute
2) New Testament Survey / single passion: GOD

2 Response for the "A Confession on Thrown Scabbard’s Birthday, “Yes, I’m In Love”"

  1. Anna says:

    very nice meditation... i am very much grateful to God that He has given you to us; God knows how I pray for someone who can help me in leading SCC-UMYF... thank God for your life... may God be glorified as year after year you grow deeper in love with Christ and with her Church...

  2. Chard says:

    Bro, friend, co-worker(both in secular and in ministry),

    that was an awesome revelation of love to your beloved. Its being endangered and threatened is but normal and expected. That, in a way, is God's plan so that other members of the church will come to realize of the reality that you are conveying now. And I know that that will lead to a church revival and a strive to not let the threat to happen.

    The builder and foundation of your beloved will be in charge.

    God bless you and your ministry!

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