CELEBRATE WHAT MATTERS MOST

Yesterday was a miniature sampling of what my life is really all about. Let me tell you what I mean.

 

The day began with me frolicking under the rain with my 4 year old son, Marco. Like a child again, I took delight in chasing my little boy around mud puddles at our front porch.

 

Then on a serious note, I sat down with my pre-teen daughter Robelle as we try to sort out her colossal challenges in life…like which barkada outing to go to this summer.

 

Of course, my 7 year old son Franco had to literally pin me down on a chair just for me to listen to his piano masterpiece, his masterful rendition of the Mozart-caliber “Ole Mcdonald had a farm”.

 

After lunch, I had to drive for my 10 year old Mara as she went out with her friends for an afternoon at Art in Island Museum.

 

In between, I had to get some work done. Emails to send. Talks to make. A book to write. Meetings to prepare for.

 

Then after work, I had to drive for my wife Jeng to her meeting before proceeding to my own.

 

Don’t get me wrong. No one’s complaining here. In fact, I loved every minute of it.

 

But I just couldn’t help wonder though if I should’ve spent my day trying to earn more money rather than do those “errands” for my family. I laughed the thought off as I began to retire last night after a long day. Coming from a lengthy drive from my meeting, all I wanted to do was to hit the sack and doze off.

 

But as I opened my closet, I saw it.

 

There, perched on top of my clothes was this simple note which would make the “Mona Lisa” painting cringe in shame in terms of value. My daughter Mara, as if speaking for everyone else in the family, wrote:

 

“Thank you Papa for everything. I love you so much. I love you. – Mara”

 

My eyes glistened. I sat at the foot of the bed gazing at my children sleeping soundly.

 

I am a preacher.

I am a lawyer.

I am a writer.

I am a radio anchor.

I am a motivational speaker.

I am a community leader.

 

But at the end of the day, I will always be just a Dad.

 

My family is my joy, my treasure, my all.

 

Today, I encourage you to take stock of your life and make that decision to celebrate your relationships. For though awards grow old, achievements forgotten and promotions grow stale, the memories you create and spend with those you love stay in their hearts long after you are gone.

 

So go and do it today. Not tomorrow. Not later. Today.

 

Celebrate what truly matters most.

LIFE MAPS

A person traveling from the Philippines to the Himalayas cannot possibly compare his journey with the person traveling from Singapore to the Caribbean. They have two different origins as well as destinations, and so naturally, they will have different experiences in the journey.

In a similar way, you cannot compare your life with that of another because you follow different maps. Your journey will naturally be different from the other. You have a different background and different goals in life; a different personality; a different set of experiences; a different set of values and priorities.

Hence, if we cannot compare our journey to the journey of others, then it is best to measure your journey against your own map. How well have you followed the “life map” that God has given you? How well did you travel using this map? How faithful were you to the directions indicated in God’s map for you?

Your standard is not how well the other has traveled. Your standard is how well you have traveled using God’s “map” for you.

But how do you know God’s map for you? That’s a whole seminar in itself.

But I have a tip for you: All of God’s maps will have many stopovers but will eventually lead only to one final destination: HEAVEN.

If the map you follow now is leading you away from heaven, then you can be sure that it’s not God’s map for you.

So stop comparing and start living. Focus on your “map”!

Passion

My mom is a relatively shy woman. But give her a microphone and musical accompaniment and voila! She will take the stage by storm and revert to her other self, her other identity, the professional singer who once upon a time, in a not so distant past, had a singing tour around Asia.

That’s what passion does.

When a person is passionate about something, her heart beats a little faster, inhibition and protocol often set aside, the inconceivable done, and the impossible achieved.

No wonder I do what I do today.

My passion is my wife.

My passion are my children.

My passion is public speaking.

My passion is inspirational writing.

Then I came before God in prayer this morning. He reminded me of my definition of “passion” as described above.

Then I shed a tear when it dawned on me so convincingly…

His PASSION has always been ME!

P.S.

What is true of me is likewise so much true of you, my friend!

“…For he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye…” (Zechariah 2:8)

All It Takes

All it took was for the son to take one step back for the father to come running to welcome him home.

All it took was for Peter to confess that he is a sinful man for Jesus to call him to be a fisher of men.

All it took was for Zacchaeus to climb a tree for Jesus to climb into his house for dinner.

All it took was for Matthew to show remorse for Jesus to make him an apostle.

All it took was the faith of four friends who bore a hole on a roof and lowered their paralytic friend down for Jesus to show mercy and give healing.

All it took was for blind Bartimaeus to cry aloud despite the opposition of the crowd for Jesus to perform a miracle with his eyes.

All it took was for Thomas to confess his faith for Jesus to restore him to his side.

God’s love is truly incredible. One step towards Him and He runs a thousand steps towards us.

Turn to Him today and believe that His love for you will always be bigger than your sin.

The Culture of Tolerance

It could have happened this way…

*———————————–*

My younger children wanted to keep playing in the pool. Their older siblings were telling them to get out from the pool, otherwise they will get sick.

The Ate says, “Time’s up. Out of the pool. You will catch a cold if you keep swimming.”

The younger boys respond, “But we don’t want to. And besides, who are you to tell us what to do? Who says we should leave the pool? ”

“Our parents say so.”, the older siblings respond.

“How could something that feels good be bad? Stop telling us what to do.”

“But our parents know what’s best that’s why they don’t want you to get sick. Staying in the pool is bad for you.”

“If they truly love us, they will let us do what we want.”

“But precisely because they love you that’s why they tell you to leave the pool.”

“Hah! Then we decide to get a new set of parents, those who would tolerate what we want!”

*——————————*

This, of course, never happened in our family. This is a fictional story.

But on the other hand, this might not be too fictional after all. You see, that’s a common dialogue we hear in society today, in a society promoting a “culture of tolerance”.

When Christians tell people not to engage in what is sinful, they are branded as “bigots”, as somebody who is intolerant of other’s “preferences”.

“How dare you to tell me what’s right or wrong. Who do you think you are?”, people often accused the highly-principled Christian.

“It’s not me. I am just telling you what your heavenly Father wants you to know.”, the Christian replies.

“But how can something that feels good be so bad?”, people often respond.

“But God knows what’s best for you. That’s why He wants you to avoid those things”, replies the Christian.

“If He truly loves us, He will let us do what we want.”

“But precisely because He truly loves you that’s why He tells you to avoid these things.”

“Hah! Then we would rather choose another god to follow. Follow your god. But don’t impose your god in my life! You intolerant brute!”

The Christian is dismissed as judgmental and self-righteous. The Christian, on the other hand, feels hurt that in his desire to help, he was judged to be a bigot.

Sadly, that’s what society today tells our children. Be tolerant of sin for the sake of love. How crooked that reasoning is.

You see, because of love, we ought to accept all sinners, including ourselves. But precisely also because of love, we cannot bear to tolerate sin in our lives.

Today, principled people are considered intolerant. Liberal people are considered enlightened.

It’s easy to give up and simply go with the flow. But no. Out of love, we must keep on keeping on. During His time, Jesus did.

In this time, so must we.