What spurs on your journey with Jesus?

Today I found that when I connect with fellow followers of Jesus around the globe energy flows into my spiritual journey. I realize others, from different places, love the God of the universe deeply and endeavor to use all that they are and all that they have to proclaim the gospel. This encourages me.

The primary location of “Manna from Heaven Center” resides in the Cavite region of the Philippines, yet their reach extends to many nations and peoples throughout the world. Through the love and grace of God, Manna from Heaven shares the peace of God and empowers people to walk in His ways.

God allowed me the privilege of spending time with the Manna from Heaven Center for five days. During that time I facilitated a contemplative retreat to refresh their souls, preached in their Sunday service, encouraged their 30+ leadership, and enjoyed restful time together. Dr. Ruthie Marasigan, her husband Joey, and their two children welcomed me and invited me to join their everyday lives. We laughed, talked, played, and prayed together. Their hospitality enveloped my soul.

Dr. Ruthie introduced me to the filipino word: pasalubong. It took me a while to say the word with confidence, but now it is a favorite addition to my vocabulary. Try saying it ten times fast 😊.

Pasalubong is something you bring home as gifts or tokens to your loved ones. The gift reflects your intentional  thoughts and care for the person(s).

The Marasigan family made the effort to take me to a few Pasalubong stores. They wanted me to bring some things home that celebrate filipino culture to share with our community back in Denver. I desire for my loved ones to know I thought of them, even when absent from them. Surrounded by other local shoppers, I found a few unfamiliar items to bring home to enjoy with our family and friends: ube candy, mangosteen tea, filipino nuts, mango, wooden handcrafts, and other interesting items.

I find myself wondering about not just the material, but also spiritual pasalubong we share with others. What has God given to each of us, that we can share with our loved ones and those around us?

I shared with Manna from Heaven my unique way of engaging in spiritual practices. They appreciated the way I used bubbles, bouncy balls, essential oils, silence, meditation, and other ideas to encounter God and augment our journey with Jesus.

The Marasigan family runs a large bakery. I enjoyed a peanut donut, one of their unique best sellers. It was delicious. They scatter their manna in the name of Jesus. Through their work and ministry, they share that God provides and sustained. The Marasigan family disperses not only material blessings, but spiritual blessings with the community and the world.

What do you have that you can share with your loved ones, community, and the world?

As I ponder Scripture, I think of how Eunice and Lois passed on their faith to their son Timothy, who would become influential in the early church (2 Timothy 1:5) . I remember about how Lydia passed along her gifts and talents with colored fabric and resources (Acts 16:14-15). I think of Salome, who went along, following her sons and supporting the ministry with Jesus (Acts 15:40-41). Many in Scripture: Abraham, Jethro, Deborah, Dorcas, Priscilla and Aquila, Paul, John, and so many more, passed along their experience of and encounters with God to others.

So what am I passing along? What are you passing along? What do you bring back to family and friends after a long day’s work? In what ways does God invite you to share with others all that He has given you?

Let us live generously and share with others all that God has given us; our time, resources, passions, as well as the stories about who we are becoming in Jesus Christ.

What is the pasalubong entrusted to you by God to share with others? Consider a spiritual insight, word memorized from the Bible, meaningful worship song, listening ear, thoughtful conversation, resources, or prayer. Also, maybe you share your fun or serious personality, your hard-working and moral ethic, or your presence of peace and comfort. Will you allow God to pass through you to encourage, bless, challenge, and equip others?

As Bernard of Clairvoix suggested, let us allow God to fill us in every way so that out of the overflow. we pass along to others. We do not share out of an emptiness to ourselves, a deprivation of who we are or what we’ve received, but as an overflow. So overflow, pasalubong, what you’ve received from God.

May your pasalubong not only bring material gifts or tokens to others, but also spiritual gifts and blessings from God.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Hebrews 10:23-35 –  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

1 Peter 4:8-10 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

David Collum. Let God Speak: A Timeless Method for Sharing Jesus. 2022.

John C. Maxwell. Wisdom from Women in the Bible. Nashville, TN. 2015.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Brandon Lake. Living Sacrifice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUWiWzK0P24

Mandisa. God Speaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NxtZfeLdzI

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

October 19-November 2 – Manila, Philippines
Click here if you’d like to watch the message I preached at Manna from Heaven Center. The actual message is from roughly minute 31 until 1.17 on the recording.

November 10 – Breathe Retreat, Littleton, CO