CULTURE: FOXES' NEW MUSIC VIDEO "BODY TALK"

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Singer-songwriter Louisa Rose Allen (stage name: Foxes) is back with a retro new single.

I [Carlo] love pop artists who can put out good music without relying on raunchiness. Foxes (of "Clarity" fame) is back with her new single "Body Talk," which isn't about what you might think: It celebrates dance as one way to cope with breakups and bad days. The video features a slick 70's/80's vibe that I really dig. Check it out below:



Ooh, let your body talk
Even when you feel so lost
Spinning when the tears
They fall, you gotta just let it go

La la la la la

10 THINGS I LEARNED IN SEMINARY - #1: BIBLICAL LANGUAGES

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[This post is the first in a series that highlights ten things that have stayed with Carlo following his graduation from Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. Read on, friend!]

How important is it to know Hebrew and Greek for Christian ministry? Is it essential, helpful, or completely unnecessary? Over the past few years I have heard both laypeople and seminary students insinuate that learning either language is pointless. After all, aren’t decent Bible study tools, common sense, and a “literal” Bible translation enough? Is busting my brain to grasp Greek participles or Hebrew verb stems really worth it in the end?

Now I’m no William Tyndale (Bible translator who mastered over 6 languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish), and I’m no John Wesley (preacher who could quote Scripture in Greek better than in English). Having said that, I have completed over a year of modern Hebrew, over a year of biblical Hebrew (there are differences), and a year and a half of biblical Greek. I’ve been in the trenches with oodles of vocab cards and translations of long biblical passages, and beyond that, since graduating with my Master of Divinity degree I’ve sought to utilize my newfound skills during ministry preparation to see if they’re actually useful. What have I discovered? Here are three things I’ve found that a knowledge of Hebrew/Greek can’t do, and three things it has done for me.

AT THE GYM: OUR P90X3 JOURNEY

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Exercise is hard. 

Most of the time the difficulty springs from lack of motivation. I take my age for granted thinking that I can get away with (occasionally) eating junk and just using the stairs or walking more. While doing those things is better than slacking off and eating potato chips all day, Carlo and I both know that we need to make lifestyle changes if we want to live and minister for a long time.

"... for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." - 1 Timothy 4:8, ESV (italics mine)
We believe that the physical affects the spiritual, and vice versa. When we are filled with the Spirit and the word of God abides in us, there is a certain glow within us that people will recognize. Our actions and attitudes also reveal what is going on in our hearts. In the same way, when we don't take care of our bodies, we may not make the most of our spiritual activities. It takes a great amount of energy to preach, travel, meet with people, write papers, sit through class, and many others. If we're not fit, we'll feel weak all the time and we may get sick more often. I have to agree with Paul's words to Timothy: bodily training is of some value. If we can, let us take care of our bodies as we continue to train ourselves in godliness.

MINISTRY WATCH: GREAT TIMES AT BACC/YA'S BOOT CAMP 2015, "BATTLES OF OUR TIME"

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Over 100 high school/college attendees and 40+ staff invaded Santol, La Union to learn how to "fight the good fight" (1 Tim 6:12)! (Photo: Von Mark Burbos Cacayurin)

Five days. 12 sessions. Shots were fired. The annual BACC (Baguio Assembly City Church) youth camp, Boot Camp 2015: "Battles of Our Time" from May 31-June 5 was a huge success! The enemy's days are numbered, and a new generation is preparing to make their mark in the city. Here are some highlights:
  • Awesome times of worship and prophetic ministry. The Spirit of God moved upon hearts to bring peace, healing, unity, and hope.
  • Battle studies. Most of the preaching responsibilities were split between Ps. Sur del Rosario (National Youth Director of the Philippine General Council of the Assemblies of God) and myself [Carlo]- five sessions apiece. He shed light on the various battles youth face today (purity, the heart, temptation, etc.), and I talked about how to overcome in each of them.
  • Some of us engaged in deliverance ministry. During the Tuesday night session, a demonized young girl was set free through repentance and the power of Jesus' name. Praise God!
  • An army is rising. Around 25 young people were baptized in water on the last day of the camp.

Yours truly preaching at the first morning session of Boot Camp 2015 (June 1st). Christ won a decisive victory for us at Calvary! "The cross is the victory that makes all other victories possible." (Photo: Von Mark Burbos Cacayurin)

Since I graduated from seminary this past March, I'll have more time for similar ministry in months to come. We'll keep you posted! -C.

READY PLAYER ONE, HEARTHSTONE, AND WISDOM'S CALL IN THE DIGITAL AGE

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[DISCLAIMER: There are some minor spoilers of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One in this article. If you have read the book, don’t plan on reading it, or can tolerate discussions of theme that don’t involve major plot revelations, read on! -C.]

What is the cost of success within virtual reality? Is it success in the real world? Or can the former be obtained without sacrificing the latter? Of course we’d need to define “success” in all of this, but since we’re on the subject: can virtual success be considered real success at all?

These are but some of the questions bandied about by Ernest Cline in Ready Player One, a novel that envisions a future in which most people spend more time in a virtual reality world called the OASIS than in real life. After OASIS creator James Halliday kicks off a massive contest to determine the heir of his billion dollar fortune, the young protagonist Wade Watts must utilize his gaming and computing skills as well as his extensive pop culture knowledge to win the contest before more unsavory types do. But if virtual success carries a hefty price tag, what does Wade need to pay to stay ahead of the game?

WHAT IS “VICTAPOLIS”? A GREETING FROM THE MAYORS

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Hi, and welcome to Victapolis!

If you’re wondering what all the hullaballoo is about, here it is:

Patricia and I have maintained various blogs separately throughout the years, and even before meeting each other and getting married we tended to write about the same things. A ministry update here, an album review there, and all sorts of life and randomness in between. So after tying the knot we thought, “Why not create a common space for all the interests we share and love?"

The result is our city, Victapolis. (Polis is Greek for “city” and Victa is our surname.) Why a city theme for our personal blog, you may ask? Well, in addition to our love for all things Star Wars, literature, and Jesus, we also share a love for all things urban. We believe God wants to impact cities with his gospel of light and love, such that both cities and the people who reside in them are utterly transformed. Additionally, we love tracing intersections between art and spirituality that often materialize in the city.

All things considered, you will find Victapolis to be a repository of our experiences with faith and culture in everyday life. We pray you will be encouraged and enlightened during your time here, and we invite you to interact with us and the content as well. After all, this is your city too. :)

Love,
Carlo & Patricia

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