FAITHFUL ENCOUNTERS – Part 022

SIMON THE LEPER
31 AD – The Sermon – Galileefaithful-encounters-cover-w

Simon thought he ended his sermon there, for the Nazarene paused for such a long time. But then he spoke of entering God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate and then of being wary of false prophets by deeply checking their fruit. Somehow, the delivery was a little different and Simon wondered if the narrow gate had something to do with him.

And sure enough, the Nazarene spoke of himself and said something that may be construed as blasphemous.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” [Matthew 7:21-27 NLT]

Then, the Nazarene stood up indicating he was done. The people started to clap and call out to him.

For Simon, the words of the Nazarene was heaven in itself. He had almost forgotten that he was stricken with a flesh eating disease that will sooner or later take his life. He so wanted to live not because he was afraid. But because he wanted to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven. He watched the Nazarene work his way down the hill through the crowd. It looked like he was making his way to a copse of low lying trees on his side of the stream. It was then he noticed some tents among the trees. A thought occured to him.

Suddenly, he was up and rushing down the hill with his son asking a little surprisingly on where he was going.

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Greeting friends…

I hope you are enjoying the 22th segment of my ebook, FAITHFUL ENCOUNTERS.

Feel free to leave your comments below. I look forward to read your comments and constructive inputs that will help me direct my creative thoughts.

Thank you.

Until the next post.

Johann Q.

Where does my JOY come from? (Part 7)

In 1990, I became ‘born again’ and I wish I could cite the hundreds of Bible verses that speak of what I gained when God sealed me with His Spirit. However, for this part of my self story of where my joy come from, there is one verse that I’ll focus on that is pertinant, Galatians 5:22-23.

On the first five years of my walk with the Lord, I underwent what I call the ‘School for Baby Christians’. Let me tell you, in that school, I learned a lot about the Holy Spirit and He taught me like a mentor. And one important lesson was that the Holy Spirit is real and not a figment of my imagination nor the brainwashing of others. You see, when the Spirit of God entered me, there was proof according to the Apostle Paul, the inspired author of Galatians, who wrote that “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]

To emphasize this lesson, God took very good care of me like a mother hen who had gathered her chicks under her wings. I recall in those early years that I hardly underwent any negative effects of any trials that came our way (that is, my wife and I). It was like all life problems were suspended, at least for a short period of time. We were blessed. One aspect of His blessing was the incredible sense of peace I had. Where once the thought of death scared me, I had peace because I know where I’ll go when my time comes. As to anxiety and stress, well, one time, my wife returned with the news the our car was rear ended. My wife was upset but I was unusually jovial about the whole incident. One of the things I noticed was how much I can love unconditionally especially to those who the world would deem unloveable. I was even more impressed by how the Spirit worked on my self-control through which I became a disciplined student. I wish I became born again during my college days. I was such a lousy student then. Other hard trials happened, but instead of emotionally breaking down, the Spirit helped me learned and I grew in faith. So, much so, when the time came, I was ready to fly on my own.

In 1994, the bottom fell off from under me. That was the year, when the peso’s value went so low, I lost a lot of work in the broadcast production business. For awhile, my wife and my savings was down to a few thousand pesos and we had bills and rent to pay. You can imagine, how my mind tried to play tricks with discouraging thoughts. What sustained me emotionally was a promise of God in the Bible’s Old Testament. It read like this. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” [Joshua 1:8 NLT] So, I did. I continued my daily meditation of the Bible and went to numerous Bible Study classes. Some thought I was wasting my time. I was even approached by a family member who took my Bible from my hand and slammed it on the table in front of me and said, ‘it will not put food in-front of me.’ Funny though, the Bible did feed me, so to speak.

One lesson I learned was that God always keep His promises. Less than a month after our bank account went very low, first my wife got hired on a new job and then, money (when needed and unlooked for) would come our way from unexpected sources. You see, by faith I acted upon on Joshua 1:8 and as promised, the Lord prospered me, so to speak.

I have been now walking with the Lord for more than 25 years and I have yet to be disappointed in how the Lord had led my life direction. Sure, it could seem to others that my life story was heading downhill. Since 1994, I have not been able to gain work (except for sporadic projects). Then in 2001, my body started to slow down to a point where I began to depend on an electric scooter. I graduated to a joystick controlled chair when my left arm… my working arm… lost all strenght in 2010. Then my legs gave out and I needed another machine to transfer me from my bed to my chair. By 2015, excruciating pain invaded my body and I was diagnosed that my spinal cord was being dangerously compressed. Today, it is 2018 and I am a quadriplegic unable to be independently mobile like in the old days.

I could be depressed but I choose to be grateful and joyful… an after effect of a Spirit filled life.

Until the next post,

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility

NLT – New Living Translation

Where does my JOY come from? (Part 5)

Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Romans 6:23 NLT
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

In my last post, God did the hardest part and for my joy to be ‘overflowing’, I had to do my part. Let me say, that my joy today is anchored on, first overwhelming gratitude to what Jesus did on the cross. The second part is that I was so happy and relieved to the biblical truths based on the passages above. This needs some explaining.

I always thought that I had to be a perfect person to enter Heaven. This always scared the heck out of me. For I knew I could never live up to it. I really thought I was doomed and I was right to think it. Look at the first part of Romans 6:23. The term ‘wages of sin’ for me means that because of sin, I earned (that is, deserved) death and in this case, Hell. But then, here comes the good news.

In the past, I didn’t really know the true meaning of the word, ‘grace’, which means undeserving favor. This is what I gleaned from the Bible passages above. Sure, I deserved death but salvation was never meant to be earned. This was actually a great relief, but I felt I still had to do something. I prayed it was something that I was capable of doing to God’ satisfaction. The answer was in the verse above of Ephesians 2:8 and especially in John 3:16 which says, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

There it is. God did not ask us… ask me… to be perfect to enter eternal life. All he asked was that I “believe” in Jesus, the one whom He had sent. This made me very happy but not as joyful as to what happened next.

Until the next post,

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility

NLT – New Living Translation

Quadriplegic Raising Funds to Go Independently Mobile

I am a recent quadriplegic and very much stuck in bed most of the time. How I became paralyzed you can read about from my blog, Becoming Paralyzed [Part 1].

jq-bed-1.jpg

Last February, I started to raise funds in the Go-Fund-Me website, which is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for things like, in my case, me becoming a quadriplegic. But instead of giving into being a permanent vegetable, I decided to get active by doing everything I can to go independently mobile. Mobility for me means I need a safe electric wheelchair with a chin controller which can be quite expensive. This is my challenge and I can sure use your help.

So far, my sister and I manage to raise about a third of the way to our $11,000 target. But we (myself and everyone helping me) still have a long way to go. So, I need your help to spread the word to ask 700 people to donate just $10 to my Go-Fund-Me campaign.

Lord willing, we can raise the funds and I can go mobile.

Thank you very much.

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility

Where does my JOY come from? (Part 3)

What makes Good News good? The answer depends on how the bad news affected you. This part of my story tells how bad news turns to incredible joy.

After I realized that God may not let me into Heaven, I was instilled with a desire to find out why and how to make it right with God. Getting a Bible came to mind. Originally, I had a KJV* Bible given to me by a friend, but because of the archaic English, I had a hard time getting into it. So, I went and found a simpler Bible. The next question was, “where do I start?” You see, I have not really read the Bible before. But God took care of that as well, though at that time, I was not aware of it. I remember going to a favorite childhood tale of Joseph which I found at the tail end of Genesis. The Bible story of Joseph was richer than the story of my childhood and there were gaps in my understanding of what I read. So, I started at the beginning of Genesis. Then my mind and my heart opened up like a floodgate.

It was an experience I will never ever forget in my whole life. Not only did the stories come to life but I began to have clear understanding into the complex biblical principles. Also, I had no problem believing. It was like I was given a gift to recognize Truth. I read and read the Bible every chance I got. I could not put it down. Coupled with weekly Bible Studies, I felt myself grow in knowledge of Him whom I always thought was beyond anyone’s understanding. In hindsight, that was always God’s plan for me. That I got to know Him first, through the historical and chronological reading of His story. Though I immensely enjoyed the reading of God’s story, the true joy that is in me today have not taken root yet. That came when I made the most important choice in my life.

In getting to know God closely, there was always a clear message for me. This is where the bad news came. You see, I realized I had a SIN problem that separated me from God. I’m not just talking about my own sins (which was plenty), but a sin problem that went as far back to the Garden of Eden. It is the sin that doomed all mankind… that doomed me to eternal damnation. Upon realization, I sought forgiveness and chose to believe God’s answer to all our sin problems, Christ Jesus. This is where the GOOD NEWS come in.

The telling of this part of my story need a little bit more expansion. So, let’s leave it here for now.

Until the next post,

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility

* King James Version

Hopes on going independently mobile

I’ve always been a people person. ‘Shy’ is not a word that for anybody who knew me would use to describe me. When I was a kid, the family joke was I was always the one introducing my two big brothers to the girls. Of course, that is an exaggeration… almost. When I became a quadriplegic, I thought I was done because I thought I would not be able to drive my electric wheelchair because my hands didn’t work. I knew there were specialized controllers in the market and that they were extremely expensive. So expensive that, it seem unattainable and I almost gave into the thought that for the rest of my life I would be dependent on someone to push me around in a wheelchair. To some, they can live with it, but, for some reason, the Lord had put a stubborn streak on me. I felt it would be a sin to not even try to be more independent.

First, I focused on trying to generate income online by promoting my graphic art skills. I haven’t earned a cent yet, but it is still an ongoing process. I’ve also written my first ebook, The Centurion’s Gospel, and self-published it in Amazon. So far, I sold 15 ebooks about $1.99/book. My royalty earnings to date is less than $10. I have researched on other online moneymaking schemes but found them questionable. Then my sister (visiting from the States) introduced me to the Go-Fund-Me website.

According to Wikipedia, GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for things like life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. How it works is that the user is allowed to create a web page where they can relate their story. They provide service to utilize the user’s email, facebook and twitter contact listing and automatically send notices about their campaign page. GoFundMe is also where the donations are safely collected until it is withdrawned by the beneficiary.

For weeks, I hesitated going down this route. My pride was a factor in pleading for help. But I have yet to generate income. So, I swallowed my pride and created my GoFundMe campaign page. I did this with the conviction that this is just to raise the money so I can become more independent and self sufficient. My hopes are that, as I become more mobile, I’ll be out there to be among people. Then I can make connections and build up my network. This opens the opportunity to return the favor of everyone who donated for me to pay-it-forward.

Again, I want to thank everyone for their support and ecouragements.

Until the next post,

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility

Prolonged bed rest often leads to Vertigo

Since I am bedridden most of the time, I have been experiencing a lot more vertigo. I mean roller-coaster up and down type dizziness. This usually occurs when my caregiver turns me on my side, sits me up and lifts me to my chair. Frankly, I kinda enjoy it a little. It is like being in a thrill ride. However, there are times when the room start to spin a little too violently that I feel like throwing up. By God’s grace, that does not happen very often. Lately, though, vertigo had invaded my dream world. Of course, my wife told me because I’ve been watching TV shows of extreme rollercoaster with steep gutt-dropping drops.

In some ways, going mobile on my own will probably get me more out of the extended prone position and into an active living condition. For now though, I actually depend on a tiny gadget that I got through Amazon. Oh, how I love my gadgets.

prism glasses.png

While I was in my hospital room, I learned to hate constantly staring up at the stark ceiling. Even upto today, staring at the ceiling can be dizzying especially when I wake up. Then I purchased a set of prism glasses online for less than $5. From a prone position, I can watch TV. It’s like I’m sitting down. So, every night I sleep with these glasses on.

Again, I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragements.

Until the next post,

Johann Q

Please help me go mobile, donate at or share this link to others: https://www.gofundme.com/quadriplegic-needs-mobility