Thank You Notes – A post thanksgiving blog

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It’s my first time to celebrate Thanksgiving in US. It’s filled with families sharing food and fun together. A joyful moment like Christmas, with a twist of having the Turkey as the main course of the night and many messages of gratefulness to people. I got my own list of my thank you notes this Thanksgiving and I decided to blog about it; these are really pointed to my Lord and Savior who gave me every good gifts that allowed me to do His purpose.

Thank you for my family in Manila. My ate Beth, my kuya Manny, ate Tata, Khalid, KC and specially my Mama, who did everything for us for our well being. Thanks Ma!

Thank you for my family here in Chicago, Daddy and Mommy (in- laws). Their generosity allows us to answer God’s call to serve here in US.

Thank you for the spiritual family we have. Victory Malate for leading me to a growing relationship with Jesus. Pastor Nixon, Pastor Jon, Pastor Jonathan and many more pastors invested alot in me. Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for my friends who encourages me, who prays for me, corrects me and cheers me up in times of discouragement. Thanks Abe and Mike and the gang for standing with me.

Thank you for all the ministry partners who stayed with us and believed in us which enabled us to do ministry and go further to where God is leading us. Thank you for your joyful sacrifice.

Thank you for my loving wife Char. For your relentless love and joy that you share in the family. How could I live happy without you?

Thank you for my son Judah who gives smile in our face everyday. Also our upcoming son, whom we are excited to see this February 2015, we know God has instored lots of great things for you.

Thank you Jesus for saving me. While I was still a sinner you died for me. You see my heart and mind yet You love me the same. No words can express my gratitude to my Lord and Savior.

What about you? What are you grateful for this season?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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10 Books that Influenced My Life.

books

I’m writing this blog as a response to the challenge that was tagged to me by my friend Perci in Facebook. I’ll be writing 10 books that made a big influence on how I lead, how I love my wife and parent my child.

Bible. It will really top the charts. But I am not including it because the Bible for me is not just a book but a collection of manuscripts from different eras and combined altogether to tell one message of God’s heart for us and how He saved us from sin. It’s really way better than a book, so I will not include it in the category of books.

So here are the top 10 books that helped me as a leader, a husband and now a dad.

10. Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

This helped me build the right habits (keystone habits) that can really affect the productivity in my work and even fruitfulness of my relationship. This is a mind changer.

9. The One Thing – Gary Keller

This book caused me to think about that one thing that I need to focus on in every season of my life. Life is not the same when a season enters, so “what is that one thing that will bring progress and change in me.”

8. Think – John Piper

I read this 4 years ago. I really admire how Pastor John wrote that you can love the Lord with all your mind and worship God with all your thoughts. I realized thinking deep stuff about Him is one of my pathways in worshiping God.

7.  Developing Leaders Around You – John Maxwell

I started reading this when I became a youth pastor. Realizing that the work of the ministry shouldn’t be carried by one but by many people. This book helped me inspire and plan for people I want to develop for leadership. One lesson I got from the book: “You gotta have a plan!”

6. Relationship Principles of Jesus. – Tom Holladay

This book affected the way I treat my wife, my son, my workmates and of course how I love God. Tom Holladay wrote this book like how Rick Warren wrote Purpose Driven Life. It’s easy to read and its lessons are really practical. It will really check your heart.

5. Deep and Wide – Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley wrote how their church reaches to the unchurched people. It’s a good resource book for a church that reaches to a generation that is hostile or indifferent to church. Unchurched people may like Jesus but the problem lies on His followers. The book added another perspective for me as a missionary on how to be deep in Jesus yet widely open to engage lost people.

4. 100 Years from Now – Steve Murrell

As a growing church, there are things that we should not let go. This book is a classic to me because it says everything how we as Every Nation Ministries should be, should do and what should we pass on.

3.  Cries of the Heart – Ravi Zacarias

Whenever I read Ravi’s books, I really have to read slowly to chew what he is saying. Talking about suffering and how God intervenes in a person’s heart, this is really a good book to read and study.

2. Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart – Stu Weber

I read this when my leader in my college days, Pastor Jon Naron recommended me this book. It’s about manhood at its very core. Stu Weber uses the image of a King, a Warrior, a Mentor and a Friend and how these metaphors should be applied as a         man. This is one of the books I finished when I was being discipled.

1. I Kissed Dating Good bye – Joshua Harris

This helped me a lot in how I see boy-girl relationships. I read it 3 times because it really crushed a lot of my previous mindsets about relationships. Today as husband and a father, I reaped a lot from the lessons I found in that book.

 

There you have it! The top 10 books that influenced me. I don’t know who to tag but I hope it can spark a thought in you, what books you read that developed you. What are your top 10 books?

How to Restart Good Habits

Press to Restart.
Press to Restart.

It has been a year and one day since the last blog I made. I should say, the change of my season of becoming a dad was really amazing but really energy draining and one good habit I lost was writing a blog. Now the problem begins, “how can I start all over again?”

All of us miss or fail in the consistency of doing good things specially productive habits that’s gives us good results. Whether exercise, eating healthy food, reading good books or writing a blog, we have a tendency of losing it and revert to our old habits.
As a leader, restarting all over again is a difficult thing to do. You think about all the excuses why you “can’t” do it or feel guilty that you are just trying to save you face. But whatever beneficial habit you have missed for a long time, I believe it deserves a restart. However difficult it may be, the benefit outweighs the sacrifices.
I know restarting begins in the mind. So let me share these three thoughts with regards to restarting a good habit.
“Remember the why” – I believe going back to the purpose why you have done it can rekindle the passion and activate action. Without the purpose it will be difficult to come back because there is no reason to go back to it. One reason why I am coming back to writing is because I want to make an impact to the next generation through the lessons I have learned this season of my life.
“Remember the impact it has done” – I believe remembering the results of re-doing those good ha bits can inspire a person to start all over. There might be good habits then that didn’t produce as much beneficial results that you expected but, it’s also a great reason to restart because the impact might be more rewarding the second time around.
“Do it” – need to say more? Application requires a lot of courage and strength. But once you get started it can create momentum that will give you a boost to restart those good habits.
What other ways can make a person restart good habits that we’re lost for a long time?

How to Have More Energy as a Leader in 5 steps.

Ok, this is not really the energy I want to talk about.
Ok, this is not really the energy I want to talk about.

This is really practical. Having too many roles in life can really drain a lot of energy. Usually people blame it to the lack of time why they can’t do something or execute a project or study for an exam. Although it’s partly true but the half of the matter is that the energy that comes with your work needs to be managed as well.

These tips has helped me put 100% in every thing I do in my work, family and recreational life. Hope this would help you become energetic in your workplace.

1. Get enough sleep. We have different level of “enough” in terms of sleep. But for me, 6-8 hours a day would really help my mind and body freshened up for another battle.

2. Eat healthy. There are food that doesn’t help us get energy  that we really need, when we need it. One culprit I discovered are food that is high in GI, like spaghetti, white rice and fries. These food can make you sleepy instead of making you up and running. My suggestion is to lessen the intake of this food when you need to work long. Focus on vegetables, brown rice and real meat or fish that give longer energy release in the body.

3. Exercise. This is one of the important factors in getting more energy. Contrary to the public notion that exercise depletes energy. It actually does the opposite. Right exercise can release endorphins (Happy Hormone). You can research what appropriate exercise you can do and frequency you can make to produce more energy and even relieve you from stress.

4. Practice breaks. I usually take a 20 min nap in the afternoon. I got it from another blogger about the benefits of taking a nap everyday.

5. Have a day off. God created us to work six days and rest one day. That one day is a day for you to replenish your body, mind and heart with what God has for you. Resting a day every week is actually an act of faith. It believes that God holds everything in His hands and he is in control of our lives.

One of the most important thing a leader should impart is his/her energy. The energy of a leader affect greatly his influence.

What do you do to add more energy to your workplace?

The Art of Letting Go

Let go of me cat!!!

Many of us hold on to something or the someone. But seldom we notice that the things or people that we hold on to are not helping us. Maybe one of the reasons we seldom notice it is because that thing or that someone is giving us “happiness or satisfaction.”

I observed that not all happiness brings life to people. Some lead to frustration or worst addiction that separates them to the real life. It’s like not all foods that fill the stomach are healthy for us. Some can lead to malnutrition. I don’t want to enumerate them here, I might offend people unnecessarily. 🙂 Letting go is a difficult art to learn in life but if you know when to use it, it will liberate you to a whole new level of peace and joy in your life. This art can be used in many facets of life. Let me give you some principles that will help you let go of the things that doesn’t give life.

Letting go doesn’t mean resistance, it means refocus. We usually focus on the things we resist. But the more you focus on the things that doesn’t give life, you’ll find yourself falling in it again. Will power will only make it worse for you. Instead, refocus your heart and your eyes on the things that give life.

Letting go doesn’t mean just being empty, it means embracing something  that will really fill. The fear of letting go is the fear of being empty and left out. Conversely, letting go is not complete without embracing in something new. Letting go might mean you have to embrace new habits, new people or new mindsets that will give life to your heart.

Maybe right now, there are things you need to let go in order to experience what you have been missing- real life, real joy, real peace.

I believe you only find these in a person. Jesus.

What is one thing you feel like you need to let go so you can embrace a new one?

What I have Learned from Removing Weeds in the Backyard

Weeds
Weeds steal nutrients from the soil. Some habits, thoughts and relationships does that to our hearts as well.

It’s my first time to remove weeds in a backyard, I never had an experience of gardening until my father-in-law asked me to help him this morning. It was tough work. Toiling the soil and removing weeds are really pain in the back. I was reminded of discipleship and how I help people learn the word of God and unlearn the things of the world.

I got some observations about weeds that led me to relate removing it wih discipleship.

Weeds steal nutrients from the grass in the backyard, if not removed the grass will eventually die and be replaced with the weeds. Some weeds have thorns and are not good to step on. Some weeds has flower-like-good-looking-design in it but it still steal nutrients and water from the grass we are gardening.

Following Jesus sounds really simple until you realize that there are things in your walk that steals you away from it. it can be:

1 . a habit

2. thought patterns or ideology

3. relationships

There are some habits, thoughts or relationships in our lives that we feel like its okay to have until we are confronted by God’s word and realize that they steal our joy, peace and even our understanding that helps us follow Jesus further. But I believe God has provided us a way of removing the “weeds” of our lives to grow in Christ further and faster:

1. His Word – The Bible changes our minds. It challenges the reasoning of our minds and the intentions of our hearts. No other book can define fully what the heart can do but the Bible.

2. His People – People who also walk in the direction of following Jesus can give us encouragement when we feel like not following or when we are fearful or when we are doubtful about God’s will for our lives. God designed life to be shared with people.

What are the “weeds” in your life that you feel like you need to remove to grow more in Christ?

Uncertain?

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What’s happening again?

I’m back after a long time of procrastination and many shifts of priorities. A lot has changed since my last post. I’ll be a dad soon! This October I’ll be a dad of a bouncing baby boy! Right now, as I write this blog, I’m in Chicago raising my ministry partnership to get me back to where I am called to do.

There are lots of changes in life that can bring uncertainties. Uncertain, meaning you are not sure what will happen next. Sometimes it brings fear or excitement or anxiety but as I observe life, uncertainties are inevitable. The only way to go about it is to learn how to navigate through it. I don’t have the monopoly of how to navigate thru uncertainties in life but so far, here are some things I want to share how to navigate through it.

1. Be secure of your calling — This has to be intact as a person, as a man or a woman, whether you are working in a church or not. The calling of a person needs to be secured by faith. Know what God has called you “to be” and not just “to do” is one of the keys to be secured about your calling.

2. Ask for wisdom from people who has gone ahead of you — For me, it will save you a lot of heartaches and pit stops. Knowing what “can” happen thru the experiences of “mature” people will give you a slight picture of what is ahead, although it’s not conclusive, its helpful enough for you to move forward.

3. Deepen your Relationship with God — As a follower of Christ, this is my hinge in life whether things go bad or good. The good thing about uncertainties is that it strengthens your faith that God holds your future and regardless if it goes bad or great you know you are in good hands of a loving Father who will never leave you or forsake you. In my life, I experience the growth in my relationship with God as I read the Bible — the source that we have in knowing Him.

Uncertainties in life are inevitable but are not impossible to go through it. Hope this helps for you to have hope and strength to move forward despite uncertainty.

What other navigation you can do when you experience uncertainties in life?