Response to Typhoon Ruby

Great to hear from the news about the storm dissipating. DOST says as of December 8, “”RUBY” HAS WEAKENED INTO A TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE PROVINCE OF MARINDUQUE.” And I could not help but think of God’s power.

Typhoon Ruby when it was heading towards the Philippines

I remember the story when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and a furious storm came on where they were. Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were panicking, waking Jesus up, and saying to him, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25) He replied with a question which he usually does: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

It’s easy to choose to live in fear of the storm. The news says that it is the strongest storm that the Philippines has ever faced so far this year. In addition, there are videos that have many conspiracy theories about this storm like there is a face in the waves or something like that.  It’s easy to choose to fear.  And this not only applies to the storm that we are facing today, this applies to the other challenges we are facing as well. Question is are we willing to trust God in the midst of thinking this is impossible?  Trusting God does not mean just standing there and doing nothing while the storm is here.  It’s not about what I want for the nation.  It’s about what God wants.  Trusting God means trusting His plan for the nation and being fervent in what He is doing.

Going back to the story of the disciples and Jesus, Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26) Who is this man that can command and rebuke the winds and the waves to stop?! This is impressive. Impressive is an understatement. This is amazing! No one does that. But Jesus did and He can. He is Sovereign over every problem. He is Sovereign over the storm.  Let us continue to trust God that He will do great and amazing things in our lives and in this nation, pray for our fellow countrymen who are suffering right now in the storm, and believe that nothing is impossible through Him.  Let us choose to say no to fear and live in wisdom and by God’s power.

Today: Thesis Defense and The Boss Level of A Game Are Quite Similar

I could not find a good title for this post.  So, sorry if it doesn’t sound catchy.  The boss level is not even connected to this blog.  Haha!

 

This morning was amazing.  At 8 A.M., my partner, Andre, and I were to do our thesis defense.  Both of us had 2-3 hours of sleep.  (It’s strange that we slept with little time due to reasons not relating to finishing the thesis paper or presentation.  My reason was that I was anxious for the defense.)  I felt worried that we might not pass the defense due to lack of sleep and of information stored in my brain about our thesis.  While I was trying to get to bed at 2 A.M. in the morning, I asked God, “Please come through for me.  We cannot do this apart from You.”  And this is what He taught me after I asked:  Regardless of the situation I am in (whether lack of sleep or practice on the defense), He is in control and will make His will be done.  And so, I claimed the victory that is set.

 

I was very nervous.  In fact, when I woke up at 6 A.M., I recalled that I had to print the thesis attachments yesterday.  So, I did it as fast as I could.  I was telling myself, “Don’t panic.  Don’t panic.” (While, I am in panic mode.)  Then, God said, “Be calm.  I’ll come through for you.” He will come through for me.  He will provide for me.  We will claim the victory in this defense.  It was 10 minutes before 8 A.M. when we prayed as a team that God will be glorified in this thing we are getting into.  Then, after a while, the thesis defense started.  We presented our thesis topic to the panel.  And, wow.  I was blown away.  Not much questions were asked by the panel.  They agreed that we did a great job.  All the requirements for the defense were met.  Of course, the panelists suggested improvements.  It was great hearing from them ideas that we can improve in our machine.  And I loved the teamwork that Andre and I had.  We were just in sync.  God came through for us.

 

And so, the panelists said, without further a do, that we passed the defense.  It was just amazing.  After, we prayed and thanked God for being with us in this defense.  That this was not done by man but by God.  He took control.  He, despite our 2-3 hour sleep, gave us strength and wisdom to do this.

 

When I arrived home, I watched the movie After Earth, I observed that the son, Kitai (Jaden Smith), had to trust the father, Cypher (Will Smith), in order for him to overcome the challenges in facing the beasts and nature of the planet they are in.  And just like Kitai, we have to trust our Heavenly Dad in order for us to overcome.  He knows everything and is omnipotent in every situation.  Start trusting God that He will come through for you regardless of the situation you are facing today.

 

Here’s a scene where Will Smith (with his serious face and voice) tells Jaden what to do.

 

Now, it’s time for a long weekend of games and socializing!

 

Just Gotten Thought #23

“It’s not complicated to be amazing for others. The first step is to think of others more than yourself. I find that some of the most selfless people I know are not the most flattering or funnest to be with. They are sometimes wrapped in rough edges and tactless remarks but their actions speak volumes. Many times the most selfish people I know are those who seem friendliest and most sociable – but actually give little thought to how things affect others as long as they get to do what they want.”

-David Bonifacio

Just Gotten Thought #22

Birthday-Celebration

 

Birthdays aren’t about you.  It was never about you.  (Haha.  Kind of tough also for me in this one statement.)  It’s about Jesus.  It’s having to be thankful and grateful on what God did in your life:  How he blessed you, made you overcome, strengthened you, protected you, and loved you.  And He still continues to do so.  It’s having to be thankful to God for the people whom He has placed you with and who loves you.  Birthdays are about thanking and celebrating on what Jesus did and still is doing in your life.

 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

-Philippians 1:21

Staying Strong: Next Generation

This is the end part of the series Staying Strong.  Over the previous weeks, I have discussed 4 things that a leader must have as he or she leads his or her group.  And these are the following:

 

Trait

Description

Favor  A leader must have favor from God.  We can recall that favor is received because of what Jesus has done; He made us holy and unblemished.
Invest A leader must invest on the right things.  We learned in this part of the series that what we invest in is something or someone that is stable, perfect, amazing, beautiful, and awesome.  The only One who can match all these is Jesus.  And how we invest is by spending time reading, keeping, and applying His Word.
Humility  A leader must stay humble in any area.  We identified humility as an action where the person knows and acknowledges where he or she really is, the position that he or she is in.  A leader is chosen not because he is better than the rest but because he is empowered by God to serve whoever he is leading.
Righteousness  A leader must be righteous, not be turning from the law to the right or to the left.  We described that righteousness is attained not by our own works but by what Jesus has done on the cross.  Also, a leader is an example to whoever he leads.

 

Today, I will talk about the last trait that a leader must have: passion for the next generation.

 

And I could not help but think of a relay race whenever this topic is raised.  A relay race is where a runner finishes his part of the race, then passes the baton to his teammate.   After the teammate receives the baton, he goes and finishes his part until he does the same thing to his other teammate as how the previous runner did which is to pass the baton.  And this goes on and on until the race is finished.  This is how Church should be.  The leaders are not keeping the leadership level on this certain group such as only the batch of this generation will lead the people and will be encouraged by the Gospel.  No.  But the leaders are to “pass the baton” (share the Gospel) to the “other runners” (the next generation) as well.

 

A Baton.

A Baton.

 

I am glad that I have met a lot of people who are passionate about reaching the next generation.  Reaching the next generation means building relationships with, discipling, training, planting, and watering them in the right foundations.  These are not easy stuff to do.  But all the work done by these people for the next generation is worth it.

 

Our God is passionate in reaching and blessing the next generation.

 

“Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.” 

-Deuteronomy 17:20

One pastor once said, “One thing you cannot do in heaven is to make disciples.”  There are a lot of people today who are lost in sin, wickedness, and the like in this world.  God values these people so much that He gave His Son for them.  If our God values the lives of these people that much, so should we.

Relationship is what God values.  Start building relationships with the next generation.  It doesn’t have to be the whole next generation of people you’ll be building relationships with.  Some are made to build a relationship with one person.  Others are made to build relationships with many.  Yet, both are reaching out.  You will never know how much joy it will bring you and the person you are building a relationship with until you try it.  From The LEGO Principle, Joey Bonifacio writes, “It does not matter what one’s skin color, social background, age, or denomination is—God designed us all to connect to Him and then to one another.”  We can connect with people because God has designed us to be that way.

At the end of the day, as leaders, we want to pass the “baton” (share the Gospel) to the next generation.  This will result to transformation of the lives of the people we are discipling and building relationships with.  In turn, these people, the next generation, will lead better than us and achieve greater things.  This is all possible through Jesus.

As I end the series, I want to say one thing that struck me the most regarding staying strong as a leader: The perfect example of a leader is Jesus.  He is the Son of the Most High, chosen to pay the price and rise again for us and His Father’s glory and reign over His people forever. (Luke 1:32,33)  He is the Word.  (John 1:1)  He humbled himself. (Philippians 2:8)  He is Righteous and Holy. (Romans 5:17 and Revelation 4:8) And He is passionate in reaching out the next generation.  (Mark 10:14)

Hope you enjoyed reading my posts on this series.  Thank you.  And have a great day!