*Working on Other Aspects of My Life

Hello friends. I know you won’t like this news, and so I’ll just make this brief.

It’s clear to me now that my work on this blog since I came back last March has only been part of more preparations for my ministry. And now that this particular preparation was done, God has led me to work on other aspects of my life…. In other words, I’m again postponing my work on this blog until God, my boss, calls me back here.

I told you that my other website, Swordsman Library, was just for fun. Well, I hadn’t lied, because that was indeed my intention. But I’ve also always known, even many years before, that someday God would call me to do this kind of work — online publishing — especially of Christian literature. That is why I’ve already been preparing for it, on and off, for years, particularly in the area of computer programming. Well, guess what, that someday has already come. My library is no longer a fun project, but a serious one.

My present concern is to learn the knowledge and skills to build my own small computer programs using Python. Of course, I’m neither aiming to master the language nor become a professional software developer, but to learn enough to become productive in this area. And my focus, obviously, will be on text processing and conversions.

Anyway, if all goes well and if God agrees, I might be back sometime in July.

God bless you all!

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

Advertisements

*Working on My “Fun” Project

Hello friends. You’ve probably guessed the reason why I’ve been silent for a while, and you’re right: I’ve been very busy working on the foundations of my new website, Swordsman Library.

Yes, I said that this will only be a “fun” project, and not “work.” Still, the foundations need to be built first before this project can be truly fun, and so that’s what I’ve been doing.

To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about: As you may have noticed, I’ve already customized the library’s appearance to complement this blog. Also, the basic structure and pages have already been set. This work on the website itself is part of the foundations. However, this is only the wrapping, so to speak. What am I to do with a new website/blog if I have nothing to post? And so I’ve been working on that too.

For example, I’ve come up with this structure for my blog posts, under the category of Bible Story:

  • A short introduction by me
  • An illustration by Gustave Doré (or maybe by James Tissot)
  • The story itself from the World English Bible (WEB)
  • A related extract from Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary
  • A related extract from Alexander Maclaren’s sermons
  • A related extract from Charles Spurgeon’s sermons

Obviously, if I am to make a regular posting of this kind, I must already have in my computer hard drive — readily accessible to me, and easily posted to WordPress — the WEB text, Henry’s commentary, and Maclaren and Spurgeon’s sermons. (The greatest challenge in all of this is to collect, process, and archive Spurgeon’s 3,500+ sermons… which I’m still doing right now!)

Anyway, my friends, I’ve told you these things so that you’ll know that I’ve not forgotten my plans and promises for this blog, Swordsman of the Word. The fact is, I’m working hard to finish ASAP the core foundations for my library so that I can get back here.

And so how much more time I need? I think maybe a week more, tops. Then I’ll post some musings about a book I’ve read. After that, it’s back to serious essay writing.

Thank you for your patience!

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*A New Complementary Website

Hello friends. I have created a new WordPress.com website to complement this blog, and it is Swordsman LibraryRead Christian classics and the Bible.

Yes, this is still in its very early stage of construction, but I decided to share it now and make it public because doing so will give me a strong motivation to work on it. You see, MUCH labor is still needed before this website can be in a reasonable shape — it is a library after all — and working on it privately is sure to be discouraging and taxing. For example, I’m planning to publish at least one of the Public Domain Bible translations available, particularly the World English Bible.

And so it would be much better for me if I do this as a fun project — and not as work — and with you sharing it with me every step of the way :)

And why am I doing this, you ask. After all, there are already many websites like this one I’m planning.

Well, besides the strong leading that I’m getting from God, I personally want to do this too. I love reading, especially about God and the faith, and I’d like to share some of what I’m reading with you. Furthermore, I’ve wanted for a long time to have my own copies of the Bible on the internet, and while I’m it, why not include some of the best Christian classics? Lastly, this library can serve as a good promotional tool for this blog, Swordsman of the Word.

This project is made possible because of WordPress’ new block editor. It now allows for custom HTML to be included in the post, and this, I hope, would make publishing the Bible and other books much easier.

This new website will have two sections: the library itself, which will be made up of a hierarchy of pages, and a blog, which I’ll update every week or so. For my blog posts, I’m thinking of posting extracts, both from the Bible and Christian literature, but with my own short introduction and/or commentary.

Anyway, I hope that this work will be blessed!

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*Changes in My Writing Plans

Hello friends. There have been some changes in my plans for writing.

First, about Light to My Path:

As I announced, the purpose of this essay collection is “for us to use God’s Word as our guide to life.”

The change is that I’m limiting my Scriptural basis on the books of Psalms and Proverbs only.

However, to make sure that I won’t be amiss in my teaching, especially in presenting the whole of God’s message, I’ll be using two classic commentaries as my primary references: Charles Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David, his phenomenal work on the book of Psalms, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.

* * *

Second, about Light of the World:

As I announced, the purpose of this essay collection is “to help you know who Jesus really is — as he is revealed in the Scriptures, and as I have personally experienced him.”

The change is that I’m postponing this collection indefinitely.

Why? I’ve realized that writing this collection isn’t going to be just a matter of course for me…. Instead, it will require much time and effort, things I cannot yet give in the present time.

For example, to talk effectively about Jesus’ earthly life means that I would have to go beyond what the Bible reveals about him in the Gospels, and must know also the geographical, historical, political, and cultural contexts of Palestine during that time.

Furthermore, it is unavoidable that I would have to deal with the many controversies and questions surrounding Jesus, and that is already in the realm of apologetics.

* * *

And third, about Faith Foundations:

This is an essay collection that I proposed, but later postponed. It’s basically about the doctrines of the Christian faith.

Now I’m restoring this collection, because it is my replacement for Light of the World.

My present studies include a primer on systematic theology, and this will be my source of information and ideas for my essays.

My main references will be the three-volume Exploring Christian Theology by Holsteen and Svigel. These are the books we are using in Bible school class.

That is all.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*This Blog’s New Direction

Hello friends. Here now is the new direction this blog will take for the next few years — in accordance with my new vision for this ministry, and with my now-completed calling from God to become both a teacher and a missionary.

As with the last time I tried to set the direction of this blog some months ago, my primary consideration is still sustainability. With the great changes that are still happening in my life, especially the training I’m undergoing (and will undergo), I want my blogging to be just a matter of course, and not something I have to give much effort to. That is, I want my blogging to be just a natural result of my study of the Bible and of my relationship with God.

Because of this, I have suspended the two essay collections I proposed before — Faith Foundations and Faith Explorations — and will start two new ones instead. Though I’ll still write stand-alone posts from time to time, most of my posts for this blog will fall in either of these two new collections. They are Light to My Path and Light of the World.

I write personal essays — not expository articles — and that means that my writing is subjective and biased, and also that I would give you only minimal historical and cultural backgrounds. But that is okay, and I believe that that is also what you want. After all, my primary purpose for writing is not for you to learn new information, but to help you know God more: himself and his ways.

Read More »

*Redefining My Vision

Hello friends. This is a heads-up to the major changes that are coming to this ministry. I still need about a month before I can get back to blogging, but I’m writing this now because I want to firmly commit myself to this new path.

The bottom line is that this blog will now be solely dedicated to my personal essays and reflections, on both the Bible and my own life.

These will all remain the same: The blog’s title, tagline, audience (Christians and non-Christians), purpose (to know God more), and spirit (the balance between truth and grace). Also, I’m still going to pursue full-time blogging, hoping that I’ll get support from you, especially through my Patreon creator page.

What have significantly changed are these: (1) my proposed types of content (there won’t be articles and Bible studies anymore); and, (2) the people who are responsible for this ministry (there is now only me).

In other words: My blog, my content, my subjectivity, my responsibility.

Maybe the vision that God had given me when I started all this will still come true… but the reality of my life now is this: God is opening other doors for me, and I don’t want to be held back waiting for things that might take a long time in coming.

Thank you all for your patience and prayers. These past several months have not been easy for me. Most of all, thank you for your friendship.

I will see you.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*Reaffirming My Convictions

Hello friends. I just want to give you a status update for this blog.

This sucks, I know, me not blogging. Do you miss me? Because I sure do miss talking with you and writing to you. And the recent challenges on my convictions about this ministry have made me realize just how important blogging has become in my life.

Today I am writing this short post to reaffirm to you all my convictions: I’ve meant every word I’ve said in this blog, especially my decision to become a full-time blogger for Jesus.

However, I also would like to remind you of a couple of things. One is that this ministry really belongs to God, not to me. He is the real boss, the one who makes the decisions. Another is that this is an assignment I can’t do alone. I need God’s help if I am to proceed and to succeed.

You see, my friends, it has now come to the point where God’s intervention is needed if I am to continue. I’ve done all I could, and now it’s all up to God. The ball is in his court.

But I don’t want to talk more about this. I believe that you all already know the things I want to say.

Just know that I’ve not given up, and that I remain steadfast in my faith — my faith that my God will provide for me, so that I can continue serving him… and you.

Meanwhile, I am busy studying. I mean to know much more about the Bible, the doctrines, and about writing when he calls me back here.

God bless you all!

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*My New Present Course

Note: This post is obsolete. This ministry already has a new direction..

Hello friends. I’m laying down the direction this blog will take — not for the next few months — but for the next few years. There have been more changes in my plans.

Note: I’m still on my break, but I’m posting this now so that I can worry about other things.

As I had explained in the post My Present Course, which I wrote about a month and a half ago, I meant to write only personal essays for the time being (and to hold back my other plans, particularly my plan to write articles and Bible studies) until my circumstances get better.

However, writing my testimony has made me understand more my limitations, in both my abilities and freedom to serve God. And this new understanding has made me realize that it would be best if I do not yet attempt any major undertaking for this ministry — while I’m still being trained in Bible school, and while great changes are still happening in my life. In other words, my work for Swordsman of the Word — for the next few years, and not just until my circumstances get better — should be easy-enough to do, without demanding too much effort from me, and it should also be sustainable.

Therefore, in the light of this, I am going to continue with writing only personal essays, which is what I already do best, until I am ready to try bigger jobs some years down the road.

* * *

I say “personal essays” because my posts will still be in essay form, and I will still be looking chiefly at my own life for illustrations. However, their main purpose now is to teach, and their primary nature will be doctrinal and pastoral — unlike the essays I’ve written for my testimony, which are, by definition, largely about myself and my own walk with God.

There will be two threads (or two collections) of these essays that I will write simultaneously. The first one, which I’ll call Faith Foundations, will be mostly about the doctrines of the faith, and is primarily intended for those of you who are already believers. The second one, which I’ll call Faith Explorations, will be mostly about discovering the Christian faith, and is primarily intended for those of you who are still seeking for answers.

In both these essay threads, because I acknowledge that I’m no Bible expert, I’ll be using in my writing a number of Bible-study guides, and so much of my research has already been done for me. As I’ve said above, this is about my work being sustainable and easy-enough to do.

Anyway, in addition to the practical reason I’ve explained, there are two more personal reasons why I’m doing my work like this. The first one is that writing these essays will not only reinforce but also enrich my own personal knowledge of God and of Christianity. And the second one is that by focusing on the essay form (and its various subforms) for the next few years, I’ll be able to master this craft, and so I will have in my arsenal at least one weapon I know very well how to use.

There are so many things to do. And much of my talents and gifts are still unexplored. But at least I’ve already developed my writing skills well enough, particularly my essay writing skills, that I am able to serve God in this way.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*PDF Download: My Testimony (Part 1)

Hello friends. Part One of the series My Testimony is now available for download as a single PDF document. It consists of the following essays:

  1. The Price I Pay for Victory
  2. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (1)
  3. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (2)
  4. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (3)
  5. It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (4)

DOWNLOAD PDF

I also would like to announce that I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. I’ll use this time to rest, catch up on my chores and school work, and plan my next move.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*PDF Download: Founding Docs

Hello friends. The founding documents of this blog is now available for download as a single PDF document. It consists of the following essays:

  1. The Greatest Reason
  2. An Assignment I Can’t Do Alone
  3. To Know God More (That’s Why)
  4. A Crucial Need to Overcome
  5. It All Belongs to Him

DOWNLOAD PDF

When I finish my ongoing series, My Testimony, its entirety will also be available for download like this.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.