The CHOICE that Means LIFE

I am the eldest of three children in our family. When my father and mother went abroad, I was left in the custody of my paternal aunts in Pandacan, Manila. My three aunts were all spinsters. It explains their profound consecration with my former religion -Catholicism. I really admired them for being so religious and conservative, honestly. They have always spent most of their free time in the chapel; all they brought me along with them. They taught me all the prayers of the rosary -I even memorized them, thinking that God might be happy hearing those words. Every six in the evening it became our habit to recite the holy rosary when my grandparents are still alive.

As devout Catholics, we go to church every Sunday. I am receiving "holy" communions and also doing my confessions with the priests. I also knelt down in front of "graven images" then what we call "Mother Mary" and the different saints. We are even among the people who tried so hard to complete the Untitled for the belief that our wishes will come true. Another thing that I grew up with the fallacy that Jesus Christ is our Almighty God. The Black Nazarene, I can still remember me and my aunts forcing ourselves in the mob just to get near it; to touch the image and wipe that same hand on any aching body part to heal but there really seemed no effect at all ... I just go with the flow being just a young girl at the age of nine. I even looked at the statue closely trying to assess how true it has healing power, the mere fact that it is just a "piece of art" no difference with the other figurines that are hand-crafted by man - I have all that in my young mind. But really, I do not have the guts to ask, I just follow-through ... I am only puzzled when I think why I am doing such things. I just leave that way everything NOT in any way hoping that somehow, someday I will get to know the answers ...

My mother came back after a year abroad and retrieved me from my aunts and we lived in Marikina then four years later, in 1990 we transferred in Nueva Ecija Cabanatuan cAMP. Another religion is introduced to me, the Baptist . My neighbor, my former teacher always invited me to attend their Bible studies , so I joined them for some time. During the study, we sing, dance and clap hands. It's really enjoyable being in their company although I did not pursue officially joining them. 

I heard about the Church of Christ when I am already fourteen years old, my classmate invited me to attend "Bible Expo" but she is not yet done asking me to come, I immediately answers, "I'm sorry, I do not want to, I have to enter all the religions but excuse me for INC "  I have said that my mind is filled with wrong notions about INC - it is the kind that forces and ask their relatives to give a fixed amount of offerings, INC does not have statues to worship even so I also thought of it as an atheist group mistakenly believing that the idols I have known all my life are the true representation of God as explained to me in Cathecism - they are just mere representation of God , we do not Catholic worship in them. I later found out that all of those are lies. That was when Sis. Sonia Bruan of Camp Cabanatuan Locale invited me to attend doctrine preached in their residence also held very near where I lived. I have to admit that it is the single invitation I could not afford to refuse for she is currently my high-school teacher. Purely because of shame and fear that maybe my grades will be affected (being an honor student), I continuously attended Bible studies I have not noticed until I finished all the lessons intended for anybody who declares to join the church. Before that, I have got so many excuses not to attend whenever Sis. Sonia fetches me, at times I said my mother does not allow me (though she is not) or I do not have to wear skirts or most of the times I am literally hiding, telling my mom and brother to tell Sis. Sonia I am out when she would come to accompany me every studies. Sis. Sonia always finds a way to solve my alibis, would you believe she even gave me a skirt? I am really glad that she persevered on leading me to the one and only true church. I am glad that I am now in the true church immeasurable -I have the chance of being saved on Judgment Day ...

As I listen to the doctrines of the church preached by Bro. Noel L. Garcia, I learned about the prophecy where in it is stated in the Bible when and where the true Church will appear. That is really amazing! The "ends of the earth" (Isaiah 43: 5-6) that was the date and the Far East (location) and the archipelago (the exact description of the country) where the true church will emerge is clearly expressed in the Bible. But I am convincing myself NOT to believe -that is the big trouble in learning (as long as we will not be open-minded and we do not learn to set aside our own opinions and existing beliefs -there is a rare chance for anybody to understand anything) and that is what is true with me. I made ​​myself believe that it is not true -that INC is just using their own- fabricated Holy Bible to support their claims about having the calling (that is -being the descendant of the true Church in the apostles' time) which I later discovered untrue. The Holy Bible is that INC ministers use THESAME Bible but the Catholic, Baptist etc. priests and pastors use ... and before I was skeptical of the Bible's reliability, I am almost convinced, hearing the teaching about the uprightness of the Bible, how every word written on it is guided by God . It seemed to be the first lesson when you decide to make your observation official.

I am very happy being freed from Sis. Sonia's attention when we transferred in Cabanatuan City. I even think of stopping to attend the worship service. That is what I thought, but the persistence of my dearest Sister Sonia did not end up that way. Distance did not prevent her being concern of my soul. She is spending money, time and effort even though she is very busy, as all teachers are. I wonder what gave her that enthusiasm ... she still followed where I live and fetched me to attend the "final screening" prior to baptism officiated by Bro. Triumpo Bautista. Modesty aside, I have got all the screening questions answered correctly except for "if somebody or anything will prevent you from attending the church what are you going to do?" I just answered "I still worship" that should have been answered "maninindigan po ako " as I was told. Sister Sonia untiringly accompanied me to the luckiest day I was baptized in May 8, 1993.

God did not get tired of calling me. The day after my baptism, the locale Secretary Bro. Leodigario Deocares (II Head Secretary in Cabanatuan Locale that time) who interviewed me for my records in the church asked me to come back if I wanted to be trained as one of them. I accepted the offer of that soft-spoken, father-like image to me who seemed kind and helpful. During that time I became friends with the other secretaries older than me, probably I am the youngest then. They all seemed to be very nice to me, treated me like their younger sister and my brother Leodie sponsored uniforms (as well as the other trainees who can not afford like me, being still a student at that time) so I can pursue my duty. I am thankful that there is Bro. Leodie who is very generous to everybody he is a paragon brethren for me. He is just happy sharing his life's blessings to his siblings-in-church expecting nothing in return just to see us steadfast in faith and duties. And he also advises us to be devoted in our faith especially me whom he knows only the INC in the family. Before, my reason for acceptance is just to wear the uniform (TSK) and be called an office girl!

Enlightened my mind after several months of attending meetings (which were all started and ended with a prayer) "vow" , every before we perform our duties (even me as a trainee) before each worship service. At first, all I am doing is a plain ritual to me. I will never forget that day (Sunday worship service, I forgot to diary the exact date), the very first time HE came down to me "The intonation as if someone I'm really touched my heart -I found myself wiping tears in the middle of the service ..." I do not know that if that is the right way to describe the moment. That is when my ears began to listen, I welcome the teachings in my heart for no other reason but I felt God's presence that I never experienced in all my life! Starting that day every worship service lifts my spirit and I consider it the time gives  HIS blessings and advice. The ritual became a well-loved duty ...

I also wondered how that before Jesus Christ can be our savior? When and where Christ will save us from? Does it mean that just then I believe in Christ will be saved? But I just thought of John 3:16, the most popular verse in Cathecism during sessions in school, how come HE gave us HIS son -is it that simple being saved? I now realized that God made ​​it a clear policy that a man can not be saved by another man, unless himself alone. How can our Lord Jesus Christ save us without breaking the rule? It was only here in the Church of Christ that I have learned the facts about it -that God made ​​Christ the Head of the Church -which is his BODY therefore, creating one man in God's eyes. Meaning, Christ will save us through us becoming part of the body-the church (the factual obligation of a head to its body). Let the church ministers to explain it to you, dear readers, with the supporting verses from the Holy Scripture. 

We must not forget that during Noah's time, the means in which the world was destroyed by GREAT FLOOD is, the option given by God to be saved is to join Noah in the ship / arc IF NOT people will be perished. But now it is not "water" that will be the upcoming peril but " the sea of fire ", there is no use in making a big ship for us to be saved !!! We are asked by God to go inside the "door" -the Church of Christ. Hope to have inspired you to examine the teachings of this church.

It is here I found out that men are created for the ultimate reason-to worship our Lord God . I was just going to church when I was still a Catholic during the times I would like to (when I am not anymore with my aunts) not thinking in truth that is my obligation . Other religions do their worship authored by following the regulations are, what we like to do and not the ones written and taught by the apostles, Christ and God HIMSELF. It is only in the CHURCH OF CHRIST that the Holy Bible is the SOLE basis of doctrines.

At first I was wondering why after I became an official member of the Church, most of my friends when I was still a Catholic began avoiding me. They are not as close to me as before, our neighbors who used to be the great people around became cold and even snob like I have a contagious disease! No wonder, we are worshiping the same as "Gods" as they are taught and it is predicted it will happen.

There is nothing wrong with being choosy on the food we eat, clothes we wear, we take courses, we deal with people, but let us be MORE choosy when it comes to religion. It is a matter of life and death! We must not look on the individual members. for it is true that man has flaws; in fact only (he has not sinned) - it is not them who will save us! That is why I have said I have the immeasurable "chance" of being saved because not all who is inside the church could be saved UNLESS God's commandments are followed; but at least we have the prerequisites (we belong to the chosen few from which our dear Jesus Christ will extract those He will save) ... what we have to consider is the doctrines, the noble teachings of the Holy Scripture ...

Judgment Day by "ocean of fire" is really true, you are not feeling the intense heat of the weather? The news about the extreme temperature in Pakistan that killed many people? Punctured the ozone layer? Before we ca get Vit. D from the sun 7am till 10am but now will seem to give us "Skin Cancer" instead. Here in the Philippines, many have died from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. And personally, I feel the extra heat nowadays. The prophesies in the Bible will sure happen sooner.

I hope my dearest mother, father, aunts and other relatives as well as my friends who are not yet a member of the church soon join me ... Hope that God will call them into the fold too, and I hope that this would serve as an inspiration too for the brethrens to persevere on leading other people who are not yet in the true church, it would really take time in some circumstances (like in mine) but surely they will understand later on why we are inviting them in Bible Expos. Sooner, they will come to realize that we are not materially benefiting from it but our souls are! And they will find out that we are just doing it for the love of them -for them to be saved on Judgment Day and mostly to glorify our Lord God ...

I hope to have inspired you to examine the teachings of the Church of Christ, you can visit if you wish to know more about the Church and its doctrines, photos, write-ups and videos of doctrines and activities are on the site.
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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.