Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Igorot Preacher

The Igorot Preacher (Rev. Greg Fernandez Jr.)
I was never ashamed and never will be about my indigenous root. To this, I have never been shy to have called myself the Igorot Preacher. I know I am not the only preacher in the Igorot world. No doubt; there are hundreds if not thousands of Igorot preachers in the Cordillera Region. I personally knew famous pastors who lead congregations of thousands, some with TV or radio program. So when I was dubbed The Igorot Preacher, it does not mean the article "The"  describes me being exclusive among many others. As a matter of fact, I am not even known in my hometown, much more in the Igorot world. I am just proud of my ethnic and religious identity, hence I coined the term 'the igorot preacher'.  Thus, the Igorot preacher is a mere a term for identification in this age of gadgets, technology and social media. There's also the misconception and misnomer of the term "Igorot" and I don't want to hide my ethnic origin. The Igorots that lived in the mountain were once called, "not Filipinos" by the lowlanders. Even today, people in the lowlands, including Manila still have misconception about who the igorots are. Because of this, I unashamedly called out who I am. Years ago, whenever there was a gathering, I've always introduce myself as an FBI, meaning Full Blooded Igorot!

At age of 12, I preached my first sermon in a small jungle church, long before I became a Christian at the of 17. Few weeks after I met Jesus and was gloriously saved, I preached my first sermon to a group of young people on a cool Sunday afternoon in December of 1988. I gave the first altar call I've ever given in my life, 19 of them came running to the front crying and asking God for forgiveness. Since then, I know God called me to to be a preacher. 


The following week, I was invited to attend a Christmas Institute (CI), far from my village. We climbed Mount Kabunian, down in the valley of mountainous and dangerous ridges. We had a great time during the CI. On a Saturday night, the late Rev. Marcella Butag told me that the scheduled speaker on the Sunday couldn't make and had asked me if I would speak during the Sunday morning service. Not knowing what to preach, I said okay. I preached that Sunday morning with this introduction. "Don't look at my age and how young am I who stands before you this morning, but I urge you to focus your attention to Jesus and listen to the Word of God I am about to speak." At the end of my message I gave the second altar call I've ever given. Almost everyone came forward. Even the stage is full of both young and old crying. I preached again during the evening service and same story could be told. I was only 17 years old. (For more info, read my My Bio found in this blog!_)

Since then, I had been preaching the Word of God and have seen hundreds came to Jesus! There were times when I was not faithful to the call to preach as I ought to, but I know I have been called to preach the Word!

Here is the first ever recorded message I preached on Radio sometime in 2003


Here is the first one recorded in Cambodia


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Videos of a 10 Year Old Girl from Iraq Go Viral in the Arab World

Over the last few months, most response I hear from people regarding ISIS was "Kill them. Eliminate them from the face of the earth." This morning I read an article from Christianity Today entitled, Forgiving ISIS: Christian ‘Resistance’ Videos Go Viral in Arab World

In just few weeks, the report states that this video of Myriam forgiveness of ISIS has gone viral and it's been viewed over a million times.

Contrary to what many people think about ISIS, Myriam's response, a 10-year-old girl driven from her home in Mosul Iraq, is liberating. The interviewer asked Myriam's feelings toward those who drove her from her home she said: “I will only ask God to forgive them. Why should they be killed?”

Wow. If you think forgiving others is difficult, watch this video!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Decluttering

As the years roll by, we accumulate junks in our lives, in closet or in our home. These junks and things we don't need and use but we think they are important, if we do not declutter them, they will gradually and eventually take our space. This morning, as I begun cleaning, I realized that I have several boxes full of different junks and they are taking up space in my house. How my room would look better if I just throw them away.

I was amazed how quickly I have accumulated files I have not even read in the last 12 years. As I began throwing them into the trash bin, I noticed some that are worth saving, including this clipping I just found. 
Justice Izagani A. Cruz
While I was decluttering my old reading files, seminary papers, etc, I found a 12 year-old newspaper clipping about my graduation at the Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) 12 years ago. In his Philippine Daily Inquirer's Column, Separate Opinion, the retired Philippine Supreme Court Justice Isagani A. Cruz wrote something about my graduation, about APNTS and especially about my friend Candy Cruz Datu
Separate Opinion by Justice Izagani Cruz
As we declutter our home from junks, we must also declutter our spiritual junks so that our life would be lighter, brighter and better. Today I challenge you to declutter your files in your home and also the spiritual garbage in your soul. Throw them in the trash bin. 


RECENT POST