To honor God in my writings

1. Lower expectation, higher appreciation

    I am easily disappointed when my children makes mistakes or makes a mess, when they are irresponsible with tasks given to them. It makes me wonder if my expectations are just too high for a 6 and a 10 year old. My normal tendencies is to give a sermon that goes on and on, repeating again and again. They end up getting frustrated and exasperated. 

The same principle applies with our spouses, we often nag them for the things that they fail to do or their short comings, focusing on the negative. But what is helpful is to count our blessings. Do not focus on what we don’t have but on what we do have. Appreciate our kids and spouse more rather than criticize them for their short comings and misgivings. 
2. Resist the urge to lecture NOW.

    From my earlier example, as we all know, lecturing during or after the crisis doesn’t work. So it is wiser to take note of the issue at hand and address it at a later time. I so need to work on this.

3. Teach principles in a creative way.  

    When things cool down, aside from just talking to them directly, we can do artwork to get the point across, have an object lesson or a story telling session. We must adapt our teaching to the learning style of our children. My son is a visual learner, so what can you expect him to learn from hearing my 5-point sermon. 

As we are called to be intentional, we have to plan how to communicate the principles to our kids, patiently and gently. I often get frustrated when they don’t learn it the first time around. Having a project about the character we want them to learn will be more effective like singing bible verses, watching cartoons with such lessons. However, it will really take time to mold a character. So we need to take it 1 at a time. As they say, more than 3 criticisms breaks the spirit, it is too much to bear.  So APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE; PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE. 

God bless y’all.

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I love playing Clash Of Clans. It is a very dynamic strategy game. First, You have to put your mind into it. How? You have to educate yourself, watch YouTube and learn from the best. Adapting new warfare strategies and base layout is a constant endeavor. The moment you stop adapting is the time you become obsolete and ineffective. Timing, efficiency, and optimization of upgrades are also something to ponder on. You can’t just upgrade anything you want and achieve productivity and excellence. Your mind keeps on thinking what to do next, when will the upgrade end and what resources do I need to be collecting so my builders and laboratories won’t be idle. 

Second aspect is time and strength. You have to constantly go on farming for resources, also known as looting or “stealing” from the weaker villages. Some are so addicted to it that it disrupts your sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night because the upgrades will be done by then. Exercising will be at the bottom of your priority since playing keeps you busy and requires constant work and attention.

The third aspect is Heart. In pursuit of victory and excellence, to earning a lot of resources and helping your clanmates win clanwars – you give it your all. You devote yourself to it – Analyzing battle strategies, guiding and teaching them how to be more efficient in their farming and attacking. It evolves to a passion that consumes you.

This is the greatest commandment – to love with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. However, it was given not to gaming, nor business, nor work. It was directed to a person and that is God. I don’t know if you can relate with me but the PASSION, the LOVE  that we put on to our gaming, whatever game it is, should be the same PASSION AND LOVE that we must give God. Actually, it should be to God alone. We cannot serve both God and Gaming, either you will be devoted to one and despise the other. I mentioned this is in my other article that I have realized I have sinned Idolatry against Him because of gaming. COC has become my life pursuit, my priority, my passion, the virtual in place of the tangible, the digital in place of reality and even eternity. It is really difficult to admit it but may God’s Holy Spirit be the one to enlighten you, free you from the bondage of addiction, and from the sin of idolatry. God invites you to come to Him. He loves you and welcomes you with arms open wide. He wants you to humble yourself and confess your sins to Him and He will forgive you through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay for our sin and to bring us redemption and reconciliation to God, our Father. He will give you purpose and an abundant life when you surrender your life to Him. Wake up to the people around you, love your family, restore broken relationships, help the people in your community. Use your skills and talents to bless others. Fulfill your God-given calling and purpose. Do not work for things that will not last but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Again, the greatest commandment – to LOVE the LORD, your God, with ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH.  God bless you.

We live our lives not just to earn money and enjoy life for ourselves and our family. But in the midst of it, we live life to serve and bless others. Above all, to glorify God by fulfilling His purpose in our lives – tell people about Jesus and make Christ-Committed Followers who will make Christ-Committed Followers.

I Love Clash of Clan

​January 7, I’m in Cebu on a business trip, so I attended worship service at Ccf (Christ Commision Fellowship). They sang the song EVERYDAY by Hillsong with this lyrics:
Everyday, Lord, I’ll Learn to stand upon Your word

And I pray that I, I might come to know You more

That You would guide me in every single step I take, 

that everyday I can be Your light unto the world
Everyday, it’s You I live for

Everyday, I’ll follow after You

Everyday, I’ll walk with You, my Lord
God used this song to speak to my heart, followed by a video message by Marty Ocaya, a youth pastor for Elevate (ministry for high school and college), about ABIDING IN HIM and His Love. It has been 1 year since I have fallen to idolatry. What is my idol? It is very difficult to admit and realize – I LOVE CLASH OF CLAN. I have justified that I am not addicted to it because I still finish my responsibilities at home, in the office, in my trip, and even in the ministry. I only play it when I’m free like when I’m alone on a trip waiting, and every chance that I get, so I say. Edric’s son is wiser than me when he told his dad that he didn’t want to play a game because he can’t stop thinking about it. 
I love the game because it appeals to my analytical mind, the strategy development, the optimization of upgrades, the craving for victory. I devoted time to study it in youtube, watching videos of how to do it properly and great strategies to attack and defend. I was parsing it down to teach my brothers who already played it longer than me. I really love to learn and teach and optimize how things should be. 
However, there are draw backs and here’s the bitter reality:

– At night, I play the audio Bible to put my kids to sleep while I was playing the game. (About 30mins to an hour) No wonder i finished the Bible so fast last year. I even repeated Psalms and Proverbs several times.

– I am spiritually dead. I’m a dead branch. I don’t bear fruit for God anymore as i was not spending time with Him. Revelations 2:4 says “You have forsaken your first love.”  I still do pray at times, involved in church activities, listen partially to the Bible. I even won on a Bible trivia last Christmas party. But I was merely going through the motions.

– I have become irritable and angry at home maybe due to the fact that I wanted to play but I can’t because I was hiding it from my wife and kids. I have relinquished my role as a dad and a husband because I enjoyed my ga”ME” time.

– I do not have any plans for the future because my mind is already so preoccupied with the things I need to do in the game. Hey, guess what??? I know how to plan after all. 

– A controversial point would be, is there a spiritual forces that was keeping me in bondage??? Nobody can prove it, but I believe it so. I thank the people who were praying for me. I thank God’s grace, His mercy, and His patience to me. He didn’t give up on me. Message after message (from Edric to Peter Jr, bro. Jimmy), He was speaking to me. I knew what i needed to do but I didn’t want to, as I said, I was justifying it. So I still didn’t delete it.
Last week at the INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP CONFERENCE, pastor Peter mentioned about stewardship – We are not the owners of our time, not even our SPARE TIME AND SPARE MONEY. Finally, I surrendered my heart back to God. I confessed my sin of idolatry – loving COC with all my heart, mind, and strength.  I have decided to delete the game once and for all and never install it again. A foolish thing to even start with. Once more, I pray that I will ABIDE IN CHRIST (from our series last year in Jesus unboxed, the Gospel of John – https://youtu.be/kwaECcI6lNA ) . Great year to start a fresh, renewing the soul, the mind, and the body. To God be the glory.

My Confession

​Sunday service was about Luke 18, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. For the first time in my life, God revealed my heart to me – I am a Pharisee. Subconsciously, I am self-righteous and critical of others. I do not have the heart of compassion for people. It is true that I want to help people get better but LOVE was missing. I have been doing rituals for the past years but my heart was far from God. 
I have fallen in the sin of idolatry to my game, coc. I have loved it with all of my heart, mind, and strength. I have pursued intimacy with it. I have neglected my family and God because of it. But by God’s AMAZING GRACE and His LOVE and MERCY, His patience and constant gentle proding, He has reached my heart and I finally obeyed His call. A call to delete it and return to Him, to my first love. Oh, how awesome and great is His Love for me, a sinner, a wretched man that I am… He has forgiven my transgressions and my iniquities. He has restored me into His loving arms once more and I just can’t stop but be grateful, as tears of pain and joy roles down my cheeks as I sing my praise to Him. Glory and Honor be to my God, amen.

​My dad just passed away August 5 afternoon, at the age of 79 (1937).
Last month, he was admitted in the hospital for feeling weak – low sodium, runs out of breath when going up a flight of stairs. His creatinine was high, there was water retention in his body and in his lungs. After a few days, 2d echo results came out. His heart pumping strength was down to 16% from 70% (April). Doctor immediately recommended a proactive approach – dialysis, andiogram, andioplasty. The other option was the passive one which we just wait for his time. We opted for the first one. 
3 sessions of Dialysis was good, andiogram was done. There was a blockage in the left main artery. The crossroad was given to us – by the book it should be a bypass procedure but for his age, a lot of complication might arise after. Second is andioplasty but with a 50/50 gamble. Success will mean he will live, fail then it is the end. Third, we wait for his time. Very, very tough choice.
We decided to stop with andiogram, get second opinion. He was not just ready to die that day… he was expecting to live after andioplasty, not come out as a corpse. For us, his eternity was uncertain. 
Dialysis sessions continued, his appetite was back – drinking softdrink or juice, eating sandwiches, which he hasn’t done for a very long time because of his high creatinine levels, which makes him vomit and reduces appetite to zero. All he eats is quaker and congee… so this is a good sign… Doctors gave him clearance to go home if no procedure is to be done… He just went back for dialysis sessions. We started giving him nutritional supplements to nourish his body. But his heart grew weaker and his body too.
After the andiogram, we kept on sharing the gospel to him everyday. We called chinese friends to share with him. I tried my best to translate verses in English to Chinese.  I told him:

– the story of Lazarus and Jesus (John 11). Lazarus died because Jesus delayed going to him. In verse 25, Jesus told Martha “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Anyone who believes in me will LIVE, even after he dying…”

– John 14:2-3 ” My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

– John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

– John 3:16 ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

– Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins BUT after 3 days he rose again from the dead…
All he needed to do was say a prayer from the heart that goes something like this – Our heavenly Father, please forgive me for my sins. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. I need you in my life, come into my heart. I accept you to be my Lord and my Savior. Amen.
A simple prayer and yet so profound when said from a heart of faith. John 1:12 says “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the RIGHT TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD.”
 I told him how I was thankful for him: for being the provider of the family, for mentoring us in the sales field, going along side us, helping us find new customers in Mindanao. I told him, I can not give you money, or travel, or food, but all I can give is what I have – this life is temporal, but eternity is found in Jesus alone. After that, I prayed with him. That was the last time I saw him as I left for the business trip, not knowing it was our last. No regrets when all is said and done.
I just wanted to acknowledge my brother Bobby for all the sacrifices that he has done being with dad at the hospital. You’re the best care-taker ever. My dad commended him being alert, for waking up in the middle of the night to help him when he will go to the toilet, escorting him to prevent a fall. God bless you brother.
My dad, though he was not perfect, was generous, helpful, wise in counsel, wonderful father, and a great fun and playful Grandpa. Thank you God for your grace in his life. A wonderful 79 years here in this world. I hope to see you in heaven as I was told you received Jesus in your heart the other day.

GOD BLESS.

Men just love playing computer games. It doesn’t matter how old they are, young and old alike loves them. Why do men get hooked at playing computer games? I think it has to do with the hard-wiring of men psychologically. Games boosts our ego, raises our self-esteem, and gives us a sense of pride when we experience success and victory in the stages and levels we go through. It gives us the opportunity to use our brains to strategize, analyze, and execute the plans that we developed. The nice thing about it is, nobody judges us when we fail. We just try and try again. The challenges and competitions that are built-in it just appeals to our ego – to be number 1, to be the very best.

In reality, these qualities are the instincts of men. These are the very foundations which men use in daily life – looking for jobs, executing our careers, finding a girl, marrying a spouse. Everything revolves in these life skills – analyze, strategize, overcome challenges, competition, triumph, success, and achievement. Games has appealed to these skills that is why men are easily hooked, or should i say addicted to these games.

With these facts, i wish i could end on this high note but sadly to say I cannot. The downside of gaming is “IT JUST ISN’T REAL.” The digital world we live in, is not the reality that we perceive it to be. Being number 1 there doesn’t have a bearing in our “real” standing out here. It will be foolish for us when we trade the physical world for the digital world.

The disadvantages are as follows:
– For the youth, it will be in their skills/talent development.
– For the adults, it can be distraction from fulfilling their full potential.
– For married men, quality time with their wife and kids.

Because games take up our time, we can’t practice our sports or music skills. We are not able to use our creative skills in arts and literature. We cannot spend time with people and our families, with our wife and kids because we are busy in isolation, excelling in the digital realm. You can be the best at NBA but don’t even know how to catch a ball in real life. You’re a great sniper but don’t know how to fire a gun. Games has the deception of making us feel good but in really is nothing. Instead of spending time, reading story books, playing board games, playing imaginative role playing stories, leading devotions, modeling prayer, we become contented with everybody busy with their own technology – watching YouTube, doing Mine Craft. Recently, I am playing Clash of Clans and it allows me to converse with my son but what about? – the levels of the city, the warriors involved, and so on. We talk, yes, but is it deep conversation about spirituality, about deeper relationships, and important life issues? No! So i wouldn’t call that real conversation. It’s not even quality time. I may reason with myself that I’m still in control, I still get my responsibilities done, i still spend time with the kids, and even be in denial that I’m not addicted. I have it under control… Since my wife doesn’t want me to play, i play when she’s not around, and even play in the bathroom. It has become a secret, modeling lying to others. Despite of being allowed to play by your spouse, the concerns I mentioned earlier still is true.

I hope you can agree with my prayer and pray it from your heart.
Our Heavenly Father, I pray that you open my eyes to see that I am in bondage. Remove my desire and interest in these games. Let me be bored with it. Help me to know the truth about the use of my time, the talents you have given me, and the purpose of my life. Allow me to obey you radically. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may be set free and empowered to live a life of freedom and productivity. Our lives are yours, may it bring glory and honor to you. In Jesus name, amen.

What will be the best thing to do? Delete it and never open it again. Replace the old habit with new habits – spend time with your family and friends, enhance your skills, read books, engage in sports, and so on. If you have other ideas do let me know… God bless.

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