Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Things First

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember this story about a mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee. “A professor stood before his philosophy class with several items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full and the students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. "The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. "The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Jesus gave us the Scripture to remember that when things in our life seems out of control, this is what we need to do: ”But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34, ESV) This is a very simple command yet many are having a hard time following it. Sadly, this is often the case even with people who has strong belief in God. The logic of living life has been given to us: live each day! When we are preoccupied with what happened in the past and what will occur tomorrow, we miss the blessings of today. And after the day is over, nothing has been done significantly and can never be taken back again.

Keep our focus on what’s ahead for the day but planning for what’s going to happen tomorrow is a valid task. Just remember that every plan should be subject to change. Calendars are for reminders and should not become the map of our life. Also, make sure that our life will be dictated by what God will give us each day not by what we think should do. He only holds the future and nobody knows it better than Him, thus, the anchor of our life must be with Him alone. Everything and everyone else will change but NOT Him.

Jesus lived His life on earth and abided by what He taught. Even though He only lived for 33 ½ years, yet He fulfilled the purpose and the plan of God for His life on earth. No wasted time but fully maximized. In addition, here’s what the Scriptures described King David of Israel: “For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.” (Acts 13:36, NIV) Now, would you want to have the same legacy? Then, the decision is yours today to prioritize our life aligned with God’s Will, Way and Word.

Lets’ talk again!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dealing with Life’s Troubles

“A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. 
The farmer heard the mule 'braying' -or- whatever mules do when they fall into wells. 
After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided 
that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his 
neighbors together and told them what had happened ...and enlisted them to help haul dirt 
to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued 
shoveling and the dirt hit his back ... a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that 
every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back ... HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF 
AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow." Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" No matter 
how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought against 
panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly out of 
the well.”

The above story illustrates a great truth about dealing with life’s troubles. It is a simple declaration that the mule espoused in order to overcome any trouble successfully: Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" No one likes any troubles along the way but unfortunately, life is filled with them. Can anyone stop them from coming or interfering with life? I’m sorry to say, no one can. But somebody said, “What we cannot change, we must learn to manage well!”

Jesus said it in a good way when He spoke about these troubles and tribulations that men will encounter: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, ESV) He has a promise that we can hold onto whenever we faced different sorts of problems. But the most important attitude to take on is to have a complete assurance that no one is ever alone in facing any battles. God is with us! Life is similar to the four seasons that we enjoy in Canada: summer, fall, winter and spring. Each has distinct characteristics that we cannot do anything to change or improve about but seems all right as we go on our lives. They have their cycles of arriving right on time. Although unpredictable at times, yet we cope up successfully.

Thus, always remember that life has different seasons as well. No one knows what’s next to come if it will be for us or against us. What matters is not how huge the struggle is ahead of us but how we face them with a firm attitude that nothing shall deter you from conquering it with God’s help. His promise is ever so true that He will never leave us nor forsake us. And if He has been faithful to many bible characters of old in the past, then He will be faithful also to us today and tomorrow. In the same way as one song declares, “There is no problem too big that He cannot solve it and there’s no mountain too tall that He cannot move it.” God has never let anyone down and He will never ever will.

Somebody said, The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution.” Whatever situation we are facing nowadays, consider it as an adventure to see how God will provide the way out when we fully trust Him to do so. Never forget that we don’t receive anything that is beyond our capabilities. They are all common to us. It only becomes hard when we try to do it on our own especially when we don’t have to do it by ourselves. Even people that are very close to us can never provide the most excellent solution that God alone can offer. He will make a way when there seems to be no way. He always does and He will never fail.

Let’s talk again!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

God’s Promises for You

2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.” NIV

The promise of God is always for you and never against you. It will be for our benefit to know them and to provide a canopy of strength and courage during difficult times. But most especially, let the promises of God become a rock-hard source of everyday power to face all kinds of situation. We only need to glance at the newsprint and hear news media of varying degrees of corruption caused by human nature imprinted with sin to recognize the need for God’s intervention. This is where God’s promises allow us to rise above all of it without being distant to the reality of where we are. People need a better promise that can be fulfilled without being influenced by personal desires. Many have done so but a promise backed-up by God will always prevail.

Here’s a story to illustrate God’s wisdom: Once there was a man who asked God for a flower and a butterfly. But instead God gave him a cactus and a caterpillar. The man was sad. He didn't understand why his prayer was not answered. Then he thought, "Oh well, God has too many people to care for," and he decided not to question. After some time, the man went to check up on the cactus and the caterpillar. To his surprise, from the thorny and ugly cactus, a beautiful flower had grown. And the unsightly caterpillar had been transformed into the most beautiful butterfly. What is the lesson that we all can learn from this simple story? It is that God always does things right. His way is always the best way, even if it seems all wrong to us. If you asked God for one thing and received another, trust Him. He will give you what you need at the appropriate time. What you want is not always what you need. Today's thorn is tomorrow's flower.

Remember that the enemy will always cause us to doubt God’s promises both in good times and bad times. Therefore, never give him a chance to do so. How do we do it? Keep hearing the promise of God and receive them with faith. When we do, our perspective of life will change significantly with a great impact in all aspects of our life. Try it and you will never be the same again. God’s promise yields a tremendous blessing in all season. Furthermore, it speaks to all levels of our concerns. The greatest about it is this: that it is given for all generations to come and for all eternity. And living life with a sense of awareness of God’s promise provides a great source of hope and inspiration. Though we are faced with challenges that may overwhelm us, yet holding on to God’s promises will propel us to soar higher that we can ever be. I, too live daily with constant reminder of God’s promises. Somebody counted that there are at least 7, 700 promises written in the Scriptures. How many do you know? Having such a memory for all of these promises might take a lifetime but to remember what we need in every situation is handy. Actually, one is enough to release a ray of hope and joy to a weary soul.

One promise that I have always treasured and find solace is Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV) There is so much truth in this and there is no other place in this planet that can really grant rest like what Jesus can offer. This is always available to those that will desire it and will never be denied. Remember that we have promises from God that do not expire and they work best at the direst situations of life. C’mon, it is always available and easily accessible whenever we open the Scriptures. Men’s promises fail us but God’s promises will not and will never fail. Guaranteed!

Let’s talk again!

Monday, October 3, 2011


How important it is to develop a sense of gratitude in one’s life? In his book Folk Psalms of Faith, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat." The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!"

Cicero, a Roman philosopher stated, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” Moreover, the book of Ephesians provided us a significant viewpoint to whom should we ascribe all gratitude and thanksgiving, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1:3). The Apostle Paul described in detail the principal role of God in blessing His people with all kinds of blessing from Heaven. What we enjoy today in our lives was made before man was created. God in His infinite wisdom provided what we need to exist with ease and security. It was only spoiled when sin entered the world of humanity. Thus, the call to every believer to express gratitude to God is a must and the most important focus of our gratitude is God the Father as the major source of every unimaginable heavenly blessing including His only Son Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in us. William Faulkner, a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer stated, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

To be grateful is an exertion of the will from the perspective of being a recipient of all good gifts and numerous blessings towards the giver. Looking closely, it is an attitude of the heart spoken with a deep sense of acknowledgement to what was received with a sense of deep humility. And this my friends is a true picture of what an honorable person looks like; the one that knows where he/she stands in uttering gratitude even in the most odd situation. Here is a classic illustration this outlook: Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this." (Daily Bread, August 26, 1989)

This month, we enjoin the nation of Canada in celebration of Thanksgiving Day. Having such an occasion provides all Canadian citizens and its immigrants a great opportunity to extol the virtues of God’s blessing of the harvest. Thus, in this event, God is the focus being the source of such abundant blessing. In this occasion, one can clearly observe the main reason that made this country great. When God is honored, as everyone should do, I believe that He will respond with the same honor as He was given. As long as we will not lose sight of this simple fact and the basis of celebrating Thanksgiving Day, it will always become a national event that will raise one voice to honor God in recognition of His mighty blessings towards a grateful people. God never forget to remember those that give thanks to His blessings and He would even pour out more. It is His promise so let us continue to do so.

Let’s talk again!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It is time to reach the 4-14 years old generation today!

Friday, September 16, 2011

On Achieving Extraordinary Success

Bonnie St. John, a professional speaker and Olympic medalist asked, How does a person achieve extraordinary success?” she gave an example taken from Ken Kragen, a major Hollywood agent, who took talented performers like Kenny Rogers, Travis Tritt, and Lionel Ritchie and made them superstars. His observations on what makes the difference between a star and a superstar might surprise you. Lots of people sing beautifully, work hard, and stay focused, yet still don’t make it to the top. According to Ken, author of Life is a Contact Sport, superstars are usually the people who get the most help. He taught his clients to cultivate help by making more contacts, sending more thank you notes, and just being nice. Being “helpable” is key to achieving your full potential.

The only way to achieve success is to partner with someone who has it. It is not enough to become successful without the “help” of another person. No one becomes successful on his or her own. As the famous saying goes, “Behind the success of every man is a woman” proves it without a doubt. Even the Lone Ranger has Tonto with him at all times. Thus, no one cannot and must claim success by himself or herself.

But what does the Bible speaks of experiencing “extraordinary success” for anyone who desires it? The Bible is filled with many examples of men and women who through the help of God experienced tremendous success. One that stands out is when God spoke to Joshua Himself and revealed to him what he needed to do to gain success. It was a needed boost as he was to replace Moses as the leader of Israel. And God said to Joshua, Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8, NIV) Joshua needed to do something consistently and with commitment, i.e., adhere to God’s Word.

However, it must be remembered that success can never be achieved overnight. Let me share to you a story I come cross: When James Garfield (later President of the U.S.) was principal of Hiram College in Ohio, a father asked him if the course of study could be simplified so that his son might be able to go through by a shorter route. "Certainly," Garfield replied. "But it all depends on what you want to make of your boy. When God wants to make an oak tree, He takes a hundred years. When He wants to make a squash he requires only two months. We are producing too many squashes and not enough oak trees in our day.” Success involves time factor and it can never be separated from achieving genuine success. Thus, the main ingredient of time that the Lord gave Joshua must be upheld to ensure attaining the result he wanted.

Having established clear parameters that the key to obtaining extraordinary success comes from faithful adherence to the Word of God, consideration of time and consistent commitment to do everything written in God’s Word, then we are guaranteed success. Just make sure that no matter what we see and feel, we will not be moved away from completing our desired goal. With God on our side, who can be against us? Remember that what God said He would do and He always fulfills what He says to the last point.

Thus, the point of the whole mater is this: let God be on our side. Also, let Him supply the right people and success, God’s way is guaranteed! Although, there is much opposition that may arise along the way, never look at them as hindrances but opportunities to improve what lies before you. Once the mindset is set-up this way, there is nothing that will impede your progress towards gaining extraordinary success. Nothing great was achieved without going through great things whether they are positive or negative things.

The principle that God gave Joshua more than 4,000 years ago is still relevant to our time today. If God holds the key, what will stop you from obtaining it for yourself especially when available? Just make sure you are ready to adhere to it wholeheartedly.

Let’s talk again!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Straining Towards the Goal

Here is the Apostle Paul’s ministry philosophy stated in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.“ (NIV)

What is your philosophy towards the future in fulfilling your life goals? As the 2010 Vancouver Games concluded, there were many things that I personally learned and experienced. Primarily, it has united a country towards one goal and purpose where many might see as trivial. Yet one way or another, the games has done more good than bad to this adopted country of mine. To this I say, I am proud to be Canadian. Furthermore, it provided an opportunity to appreciate its national anthem even more. It was sung many times over during these past two weeks than any other. It was an anthem of prayer for “God keep our land” and declared by many echoing in the different time zones and regions. Truly, something wonderful happened that the whole world noticed it.

Having such a perspective unifies purpose and goal that builds a nation and people. But most importantly, it builds an individual to pursue greater things as well. The Apostle Paul is such an individual that we can all emulate in our time. In this opportunity to host the world in these games, Canada adopted a call to all to “Own the Podium” program that many poked at being too serious. This is exactly an echo of what Paul declared for himself. And this was the reason why Canada broke the record for having the most number of gold medals earned by any host country and from all Winter Olympics in the past. This was the fruit of such declaration and intention.

One aspect that piqued my interest was in the area of Long Track Speed Skating Men’s Team Pursuit that produced gold against USA was “The Push.” Here’s the story behind it: Skating against the United States in the gold-medal race, the Canadian team brought out their secret weapon - a speed skating tactic called The Push, which was kept under wraps for three years in preparation for Vancouver. The Push, in which each skater gently nudges the teammate in front of him at key times to keep the group from losing momentum, helped down the United States by a mere 0.21 seconds. It was, as Canadian coach Marcel Lacroix would later describe, the difference maker. "It's very subtle, you don't really see it, but it was so effective today it was stupid," the coach said after the race. After the race, Makowsky described the strategy as a slight push coming out of each corner, where the front skater tends to lose momentum due to air resistance. The skaters drafting behind him provide momentum with the third skater pushing the second, and the second pushing the first. "It was something that we worked on. It really helped us today, especially in those last couple of laps when we were all getting tired," Makowsky said. "It's definitely not something you can pick up overnight, that's why we've been practising it."

This is exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking about and doing to pursue his goal and to attain the ultimate heavenly prize reserved for him by God. It cannot be attained overnight but must be practiced until it becomes a natural part of life. It should not be based on a theory but must be embedded in the mindset and actions. In order to reach the goal, nothing and no one should become a stumbling-block but a stepping-stone to propel you towards the prize. It is always a journey not an excursion. And only the persistent and disciplined prevails. The only difference between gold and silver was a mere 0.21 seconds but it was considered as the difference-maker of the game. They strained towards the finish line with all their might and the push worked in their favor.

Whatever you are facing right now, God is behind you with His own brand of ‘The Push” for us to receive our prize in heaven when the time comes.

Let’s talk again!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Never Quit nor Give up

These words, “I quit” and “I give up” are very common expressions that many utter when there’s a feeling of hopelessness and despair. But is this the only recourse when we are confronted with such feelings? Dale Carnegie states, Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:12-13, I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”(ESV)

When you feel like quitting and giving up, remember this simple story: “One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. "God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?" His answer surprised me. "Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?" "Yes", I replied. "When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. "In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four. "Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. "Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. "Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high" "How high should I rise?" I asked. "How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return. "As high as it can?" I questioned, "Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can." I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.”

Here’s the lesson to learn from this conversation: Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life. By having this point of view, it allows us to see it in a different light. It does make sense when you come to think about it, no two problems are the same. They have their own purpose to build us up or to pull us down. How we see them makes a huge difference. It’s either they are stepping stones or stumbling blocks. You need to make a choice of what to make of it!

The most important to know is that God is always with us no matter what and we need Him whether we admit it or not. When things do not make sense, just ask Him before you make any final decision whatsoever. It is always easy to give up. But know that you will always come back to it anyway. Giving up is just like pressing the “pause button” and it is still there. Unlike computers, there is no “escape button” when things go wrong. Therefore, keep looking at our circumstances from God’s perspective and it will aid us to appreciate that while there is dark cloud hanging above us, just continue to see through it because God is on the other side with His hands to help us.

Let’s talk again!

Friday, June 24, 2011


“Little Becky had just finished eating supper with her mom and dad. When her dad went upstairs to brush his teeth, Becky followed him and sat sheepishly on the counter. At first she just sat there. Finally, her conscience made her speak. "Daddy, I don't like broccoli."

"I know," said her father, "But broccoli is good for you and that's why I insisted that you eat it. You did eat it didn't you?"

Becky was quiet again for several seconds. At last her guilty conscience insisted that she confess. "I ate it daddy, but I didn't swallow it." Then she showed him that the broccoli was indeed still tucked away in the corner of her little mouth.”

Hearing this true little sketch from Becky's life, anyone can identify with her. Many times we read in the Bible a command from God or He impresses upon us some other way concerning a corrective action He wants us to take. We delight to hear God speak to us, but we are not always so delighted to take the steps of obedience He is laying out for us. We eat the broccoli, so to speak, but don't "swallow it" by actually doing what He told us to do. We don't put it into action. James tells us that we are to be doers of the Word and not merely hearers who delude themselves (James 1:22).

What about you? Do you take "bites" of God's instructions for your life, and then not "swallow" it? Do you take just enough to ease your conscience, but then not put it into practice so that it will bring the necessary changes and growth? The proof of whether or not we are really "swallowing" or appropriating God's word is the demonstration of the benefit that will be there if we are. Development and change will be evident in our daily lives.

Having the desire to receive bite-sized instructions from God’s word will provide the necessary nutrients to overcome any challenges that we will face. Looking from God’s perspective: challenges become opportunities and stumbling blocks become steppingstones. This is the kind of mindset that God wanted anyone to attain. Is it impossible? The Scripture clearly states, “Everything is possible to those who believe!” The only thing that will usually hinder is the “I can’t” attitude.

Looking carefully at what God has provided us in His word, He has given already what we needed to do. An allocated time to read His words daily will assist us in accomplishing His purpose and plan for our life. Furthermore, He holds the keys towards successful living. And it is made available to us within our reach but He must be obeyed wholeheartedly. Without a wholehearted attention, everything will be fruitless and it must be done His way to receive the complete package of blessings.

How many times that we miss it due to our disobedience and stubbornness? Is it too many to count? Then, begin to assess where you are now and decide to receive God’s bite-sized instructions for successful living. How? By being an empty vessel with hunger and thirst for God’s word, then, it becomes a direct invitation send out to God’s attention. He will meet us where we are. And when it takes place, stand attention for He will open the door to enter in.

Remember this simple fact: God will never give us anything that will not assist in our maturity and development. Although we may not understand completely the logic of what is happening to us, but in due time, it will all make sense. For now, it must be enough to know that whatever situation we are involved is good for us. In addition, never pre-judge anything immediately as bad or good. Because when we do, we show our true colors of mistrust and suspicions based on our own biases. Just go through it holding on to God’s promise and instructions and you will be just fine. Therefore, no matter what you are going through right now, bitter, sweet or bittersweet, always know that He will never leave us nor forsake us especially if our life is in His hands. He will not let you go no matter what. That’s a guarantee!

Let’s talk again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Focus of Life

“A few years ago a woman was standing on top of a fifty-four story building in New York City, ready to jump to her death. The police suicide squad took her threats extremely seriously. She didn't look the type, in her expensive dress and with her distinguished appearance, but regardless of her appearance, every attempt to convince her to get down from the ledge ended in failure. One of the police officers called his pastor to come to the scene and pray for the woman. His pastor came, and after appraising the situation, asked the police captain if he might try to get close enough to talk with the woman. The captain shrugged and said, "Sure, what have we got to lose?" The pastor started walking toward the woman, but she screamed as before, "Don't come any closer or I'll jump!" He took a step backward and called out to her, I'm sorry that you believe no one loves you. "This got her attention and also the attention of the suicide squad - it was such an unusual thing to say, "Your children and grandchildren must not love you. Apparently they never give you any attention," he continued. With this, the woman took a step toward the pastor and said, "My grandchildren do love me. My whole family does. My grandchildren are wonderful. I have eight grandchildren." The pastor took a step toward the woman and said, "Well then, you must be very poor, or you wouldn't want to take your own life." The woman, who was obviously overweight, said, "Do I look like I go without meals? We live in a very nice apartment in Central Park. The pastor then took another step and was only three feet from her. "Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don't understand." The woman thought for a moment and said, "You know, I don't really remember."

This true story ended with the pastor escorting the woman off the ledge and she showed him pictures of her grandchildren. She eventually became a volunteer on the city's suicide hotline. The pastor helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her. She learned that thankful people are happy people. "Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever" (Psalms 136:26). In this story, when the eyes of the woman were taken off from her dilemma by the assistance of the pastor towards the blessings she had received, her attention and focus was diverted to what matters the most in her life. How quickly we forget the many blessings we have received just because of one bad situation. I believe that we need to realize that negative circumstances are part of life and must expect them. To be surprised at their arrival in our life is denial on one’s part of its reality. One must realize this simple fact that there will be trials and problems and they can come through marriage, children, employment, friends and many others.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:33, “I have given you my peace because in this you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” Jesus gave us the focus that we need to have, i.e., his provision of peace and joy. We have lots of blessings more than trials and problems we will have. That is why when you count your blessings; a great discovery of this fact will be uncovered. As Canada has four seasons: summer, spring winter and fall, these seasons also parallel what we experience in one’s life. But the most important thing to remember about it is this: they come and go as part of the natural cycle of our environment. We cannot stop them from coming but we can only prepare for its arrival. And it is the same principle that must operate in our life today. Being armed with this knowledge provides us the necessary equipment to overcome and not to be overcome by them.

Life has many things to offer and trials are one of them, thus, let us see them as stepping stones for our growth and development rather than stumbling block along our path. In this way, we will be victorious always.

Lets talk again!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


1Peter 3:12 declares, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Here is a simple fact of how prayer works both ways. Having such a perspective provides a very clear process of its operation. Here’s a story of how it must be viewed: “A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me, he said. 'No, who are you?" said the father. The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew I was going to show up," "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?" Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. "But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head." I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised; 'I will be with you always'. "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now." "So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. Did he die in peace?" he asked. Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?" The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that."

The “empty chair” provided a real manifestation of faith in terms of establishing a solid communication to God through the application of prayer. No matter what the tool, it should always be simple and not complicated. St. Peter gave a vivid illustration of what transpires to achieve an answered prayer and the reason for an unanswered prayer. It does not get any clearer than that. Thus, when we follow this simple path, the result is predictable. The clear assurance of an answered prayer was established. Now, everything else is now up to us.

In prayer, it is both a spiritual and a physical event. It is a conversation between very close friends. We may ask, how does God respond to our prayer? He answers in many ways. To those that know Him closely, it will never be mysterious. This is what makes prayer different to those that involve in it. It should be done with an expectation from God and preparation from those that approach Him. God responds clearly with righteousness and He becomes clearly obligated to it. What a difference it would make when this condition is met from our end! Now the burden is on us not on God. Are you ready to go on the next level?

Let’s talk again!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simplicity of Faith

“Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” (I Corinthians 2:16)

How does faith works? To find out how simple it is, let me share you a story I came across: “Dining out one day, the late William Jennings Bryan, an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, so enjoyed a slice of watermelon that he asked the waiter for some more of the seeds. He weighed them and found that about 5,000 seeds weighed a pound. Estimating the melon at about 40 pounds, he figured that one seed had grown to 200,000 times its own size. It had forced that enormous weight through a tiny stem and formed a watermelon. On the outside it had put a covering of green, within that a rind of white, and within that a core of red. Then it had scattered seeds throughout, each one capable of doing the same work over again. What architect drew the plan? Bryan questioned. Where did the tiny watermelon seed get its tremendous strength, its flavor, and its coloring? How did it grow into a huge watermelon? Bryan concluded that until we can explain a watermelon, we couldn’t doubt God’s existence or set limits to His power.”

The most learned man cannot explain a watermelon, but anyone can eat and enjoy one. In the same way, we do not have to understand everything about God. We only have to believe in Him and trust Him to enjoy the benefits and blessings of His love for us. With this in mind we can exclaim, “What a wonderful God we have!”

Jesus likened the simplicity of faith as that of a child. A child does not minced words when wanting something that they like. They blurt it out as bold as they can without any thought of negativity or apprehension. Filled with courage, they know full well that they can have it when they ask anything. Plainly speaking, they are free from inhibitions that many adults have. Thus, they clearly amplify their desires with simple language from their heart and mind without restraint.

Here is where the dividing line between child-like faith and the adult-kind of faith. Faith is a simple act complicated by the adult faith filled with skepticism and excuse. There are many hindrances that cause them to withdraw even before they utter any word. The heart believes but the rational mind process it too much bordering on unbelief. Having this situation triggers total abandon until the last moment of helplessness and despair. This is where child-like faith differs greatly. There is total abandonment of logic and just simply state their needs and wants at any given moment. No rules or boundaries, just speaking from their heart.

That is what is missing to many of us, we need to go back simply to the attitude of being a child, not childish, when we approach God as our Father. He is concern with everything that concerns us. Allowing Him to know our deepest need should be simple like that of a child. No complications whatsoever of being aware of what other people will say or how the “adult” mentality inside of us will react.

With this point of view, Jesus provided a clear illustration of how God desires to hear a simple prayer with a simple faith as stated in Matthew 7:7-8,11, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Having proved that it takes a simple act of faith to approach God, what then are you waiting for? Never doubt but only believe. He is waiting to hear from you and let Him know like a child what is in your heart today for He is a Father to those that considers themselves His children through faith in Jesus Christ. (John 1:12)

Let’s talk again!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


A person visited the government matchmaker for marriage, SDU, and requested "I am looking for a spouse. Please help me to find a suitable one." The SDU officer said, "Your requirements, please." "Oh, good looking, polite, humorous , sporty, knowledgeable, good in singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hour, if I don't go out. Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest." The officer listened carefully and replied, "I understand you need television."

There is a saying that a perfect match can only be found between a blind wife and a deaf husband because the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and the deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of the wife. Many couples are blind and deaf at the courting stage and dream of perpetual perfect relationship. Unfortunately, when the excitement of love wears off, they wake up and discover that marriage is not a bed of roses. The nightmare begins.

What does the Bible say about a right but not a perfect relationship? Proverbs 21:21 states it clearly, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” (NIV) Every relationship must be based on righteousness and love to receive the intended desire and when it is achieved, the result is absolutely certain: success attained. However, one must be ready to face the reality of differences in many areas between the male and female consciousness. There is a tremendous distinction in all aspects. Even the command for husbands and wives written in the Bible speaks volume as stated in Colossians 3:18-19, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (NIV)

It is very interesting to see how each has received such commands. There is always a reason behind it and it is related to the configuration of each others’ brain and emotional composition. Everybody can testify to it especially from both men and women. That’s why; no one must come to a relationship with an intention to change the other person because that is a mission impossible. If God created them distinct from each other, then why would anyone dare to change another to their own likeness?

Keep in mind that the best person to provide the bridge towards a perfect relationship is God Himself being the Creator of such a relationship. He was the one who met the need of Adam and provided Eve for himself. Here’s the biblical story: “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:18-22, NIV) Thus, the first garden wedding was held: “The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24, NIV)

We can never live our life without any relationship for we were created to be in one. While we might not be in a perfect relationship now, take a deep breath and believe that with God all things are possible! God will make a way where there seems to be no way and he will do so again and again. Don’t give up and give in but continue to believe.

Let’s talk again!

Friday, January 21, 2011

JIL Canada Region 3 and 4 Cell Leaders' Conference

God is good! It is a declaration of joy after seeing what transpired in the recent Cell Leaders' Conference in JIL Canada Region 3 and 4. The atmosphere was dynamic as the JIL Life Group Leaders in attendance of more or less 350 showed it. Everyone was filled with expectation for what God is going to do. Even if the weather forecast was snow, it was not a reason to miss such a great event. From the beginning towards the end, it was clearly seen that God was at work in all of the participants including the pastors and coordinators. God never lets you down when He shows up!

A big congratulations to the Regional Pastors, Ptr Bong Gonzales and Ptr Imelda Cari and all the Staff, Pastors and Coordinators including the Life Group Leaders for the success of the conference. Everyone came with a huge excitement. Ptr Monette and I were there to serve as one of the conference speakers and we were indeed blessed with all the participants. Having the 2-day conference held in Niagara Falls was an added bonus. Seeing the majestic falls reminds us all of the wonder of God's creation. It was indeed a grand day!

Pastor Monette and I are truly grateful for the fellowship and the opportunity to serve God and His people in this conference. We were inspired to see that the greater things are indeed possible with those that believe. And we truly believe! The JIL Milestones is indeed a source of challenge but also a great opportunity to see God at work. Get ready to soar like eagles and to seize the day as God's Champions!

Thus, I encourage all to pursue our calling with all diligence and perseverance because our labor will never be in vain. Moreover, it will yield the desired fruit as we release our faith in doing them wholeheartedly. We are in this together and with God, everything is possible!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: "Raising Up Champions"

How would 2011 become different from 2010? The Scriptures provide an answer for all of us found in Lamentations 3: 22-23, "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." What a great promise that brings hope for this year. God will never runs out of many great things to offer to those that looks forward to it.

I am excited to see what He is preparing for those that loves Him. When a life is turned over to Him, he will assume full responsibility for it. The past year was filled with both exciting and challenging times but they were all necessary to make me what I am today. I look forward again to what 2011 will bring to myself and my family. Together we will face them with faith and hope in God's promises.

I choose to believe that God will raise up champions this year including myself and many others that has the same faith. Life has many things to offer but God provides the best of it.

God bless to all as we begin another journey in 2011!