To honor God in my writings

Archive for the ‘Travel Experience’ Category

​Foolishness Redeemed

Have you ever done something stupid, foolish, and very embarrassing? 
My family was blessed to be able to attend a family weekend retreat at Sto Tomas, Batangas, about 60kms from Manila. It was a fun time with the kids and great learning for us – husband and wife. We learned about Roles, Conflict Resolution, Communication, Forgiveness, and so on…

After the retreat, some friends were going to ride with us back to Manila, about 5 of them. So in order to make space in our car, my wife suggested that I put the stroller, which is bulky, in the car of one of our friend. What a great idea! I packed all the bags hurriedly and stuffed them in our friend’s car, along with our 2 older kids to ride with them. Amazing! And so I thought. Our car was spacious to accommodate our guests so they can be comfortable. My friend and kids went off earlier while we stayed for a few hours more, relaxing in the room waiting until it was time to go. What is it with men and listening? But that is a different topic altogether.

As I was on the way to the parking lot, a thought came to me – I HID MY CAR KEY IN THE BACKPACK. OH MY GOODNESS! This is the most stupid thing I have ever done so far, next to leaving the house key in our house, where we can’t get back in. Frantically,  I called my friend. They were back in Manila. How in the world can I get it back? I felt hopeless and in despair. Shocked and ashamed of my foolishness.  Finally, one of the staff suggested that there was a shuttle that was coming to our place but not for 4 more hours. But so be it. My wife bonded with her friends who were still there at the venue. She didn’t scold me this time. Thank God for her spiritual breakthrough. I suggested to her to extend for another night (Sunday) but it was expensive and I was leaving for a trip on Tuesday. So I highly encourage families to join this event next time – FAMILY BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND. Just be mindful of your car key. 😉

My friend and his wife decided to bring the key back to the place. He drove around 200kms just for me. WHAT A RARE AND TRUE FRIEND. He was a blessing. I was tired when I got back to Manila, how much more him, driving non-stop. I can’t thank him enough – Thank you Garrick and Karen for helping us: get my key back and taking care of the kids.

How can i ever get my key back? It was not impossible, there were several ways but it will take a long long time to be able to get back. And I didn’t know how to go back if ever I went to get it. “How can I get to heaven?” A question most people are concerned about. In this case, it is impossible for us to get there. Neither religion nor good works can take us there. But because of GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay for our sins and after 3 days, was raised back to life. I do not deserve it, a wretched sinner that I am. He did it so that I can receive forgiveness and adoption to His family. If this is your desire, you can pray to God from your heart something like this: “Dear God, thank you for your love for me. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to pay for my sins. Please forgive me of all my sins. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. I surrender my life to you. In Jesus name, amen.” If you prayed that prayer, let me know. Welcome to the family of God! Your journey with a new life just began. Once I was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

God bless y’all.

Good Mourning

In a business trip in Iloilo, i had a customer whose son died of a gun accident 2 months ago (Suicide is not sure because the magazine of the gun was not there so there was only a bullet in the chamber that caused his death.) There was an eery feeling, I didn’t want to visit their store because of this.  Going around the city, looking at the time, there was nothing left to do but to go and pay them a visit. Reluctantly, i went.

Smiling, I went in the store greeted the siblings who were busy selling and preparing things, went to the cash register at the end of the room where aunt (we call clients uncle and aunt) was sitting. The store was busy even at around 4pm. I sat there on a high chair to let the busyness subside a little so we can talk. A little exchange of conversations transpired, they brought me soda to drink as usual. There was a feeling of sadness, sorrow, and pain in the room. Aunt was counting money for deposit to the bank, as she was almost finish counting, her tears started to fall and she started to sob. I didn’t know what to say but just to sit there and let her grieve and let it out. In the midst of this, phones were still ringing, inquiries and business still going about. One of her daughter came near to give her a pat on the shoulder.

When she settled down, I offered to pray for her. I don’t know what to say but i started praying in chinese then in english because i don’t know the other translation of the words and how to say it in chinese. Anyway, I prayed for God’s comfort, peace, healing to be with her, for His presence to fill and satisfy her sorrow and pain. I assured her that God was near and knows about all that she is going through. I prayed for God’s love to overflow her.

When my prayer ended, she started to pray in straight chinese: lifting up her son to him, the problem and bottled emotions that went on in his heart – the secrecy, the question about evil in the world, the oppression of the weak. She prayed for the family that was left, how they should cherish one another and spend time with each other while they still can. She was in deep anguish as she prayed through. I held her hand as she prayed… I continued to ask God’s Holy Spirit to come and fill her, draw near to her, let His healing flow. “We surrender all these sorrow and pain onto Jesus’ feet. May your comfort and peace come.” I prayed for protection with her mind from the lies of the enemies and negative thought that would come and may God’s love fill her once more. Then we ended, she thanked me for praying with her. After a few more minutes of chat, I said my goodbye and left.

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Riding First Class


I changed my boat ticket to an earlier time, 2pm. I got the last seat available, 54a. My originally booked ticket is a tourist class or in the aircon section. Now the slot i got was at the open air section. I’m grateful i was able to get it compared to waiting for a later trip. When we boarded, there was no 54a for the last number was 53. (This is due to different boat types they use so each has different configurations and seat arrangement from the other.)

As we left, i tried going in the tourist class and even asked if an upgrade was available for business class but they would not allow it. As i was inside the tourist class section, i noticed it was hot as oven (exaggerated), the air conditioning was surely not enough. People were complaining with the heat and they were fanning themselves.

After staying inside for awhile, i got back to my original postition by the rail, positioned my box of return and sat on it. Initially, i didn’t want to bring this box of return from a customer because it weighed 6kgs. But it turned out to be a blessing from God, or else I would be sitting in an uncomfortable place – few vacant chairs in front near the wall had no wind whatsoever. In the end, my place was perfect – cool wind and nice view. That’s what i call riding first class. Literally, that “chair” is worth 10k of stocks. 🙂

As apostle Paul puts it – be content in whatever circumstance you are in, whether in plenty or in want, ( in nice place or not so…) And all things work together for good for those who love God.  Don’t grumble, be thankful.

God bless everyone.

Bag of Cookies

In one of my business trips to Tacloban, a friend gave me a bag of cookies. On my way to Ormoc, i had to ride a hired van for 4hours because of the broken bridges left by the devastating typhoon. 2 hours on the way, i felt God prompting me to share the bag of cookies, someone might be hungry. I hesitated. But the prompting just kept on coming – i gave that to you so you can be a blessing to others. Blessed to bless, as our series of Sunday messages goes. Then, as i was going to read my Bible, it told of Jesus feeding the 4 thousand. So with reluctance, i opened the bag of cookies and ate two. I gathered my courage, looked back and offered it to the 9 strangers behind me. I offered it with a smile, with eye contact to each one, encouraging them to have some.

How i wished everything went well, we were all happy eating the cookies but it didn’t happen. They nodded, they smiled, they didn’t get any. It was embarrassing.

What’s the lesson?
1. Don’t accept cookies from a stranger. It might be poisonous. 🙂 Though i ate first before i offered.

2. People were embarrassed to get because we didn’t have any RELATIONSHIP. They don’t know me, i don’t know them.

There were a lot of maybes that came to my mind – Maybe it was just for formality, i was offering to them. Maybe they didn’t have water afterwards, it did made me thirsty after i ate it. And maybe they just might not be hungry. But relationship changes it all, there will be more openness, honesty, communication, and transparency when you know them.

3. Obedience to God doesn’t always go as we envisioned it. Prophet Jeremiah obeyed God to preach His word but nobody repented. When we preach God’s good news about salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, forgiveness of sin, that He is the Son of God, not everyone will accept our words well. When we give advice even with good intentions, not everyone will receive it gladly. Despite of all my uncomfortable feelings, there was peace – Knowing that I obeyed God’s command and went out of my comfort zone. God is pleased when we obey Him no matter what the result is.

Typhoon Aftermath 1/2014

IMG_6485080056836 IMG_6478765793220In the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda here in Ormoc.  Seeing the devastation that are still in the city- broken glasses, no roof houses, public terminals devastated. My complaining and grumbling attitude can only be replaced with gratitude for the basic things in life. A hotel room with light and electricity, water for bathing with heater, comfortable bed; Food with rice and small chicken meat portion. These things already seems to be luxurious living. Being thankful for the shelter, food, and clothes are primary. The flaws around just doesn’t seem to matter.

Many people’s houses were ruined specially the roof of their houses which in turn destroyed a lot of things in their houses, such as beds, appliances, furniture. The people are busy rebuilding, repainting, and going on with their lives again.

We are thankful that among my friends and customers, no one was injured and no one had to face death in the family and relatives. Business, money, furniture can again be gained and reestablished.

Despite of this situation, many of them with the help of their families and friends outside the city were able to be the first responders to the devastation around them. They immediately were able to distribute relief goods to thousands of people, providing them not only with food but also with trapal/tarpaulin for shelter.  They sacrificed their time and energy helping those around them even when their businesses lost or losing money.

My heart is blessed. What a wonderful testimony of loving sacrificially, doing good, and being a blessing to others specially to those in need. A command given to us by God so that other people will see His hand and presence in our lives.

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