Category Archives: Faith

Gain All You Can

Have you ever wondered why people nowadays are so inclined on getting rich as fast as they can?

Competition is intense especially when you live abroad. I’ve heard the same is true with our fellow Filipinos working overseas.

There is nothing wrong in being competitive.  But when we take shortcuts to get rich quick, most of the time, whatever we gain doesn’t last.  What comes easily doesn’t last long and what lasts long doesn’t come easily.

I have seen people taking shortcuts to get rich quick. They either end up hurting others, their love ones, and most especially themselves.  They end up worst from where they started.  Why does this happen?

Is it wrong to gain all you can as fast as you can?

There is nothing wrong in trying to get rich.  What makes you truly rich is how you answer these two questions; how you got there and how you are using it?

For example, we all know about the corrupt politicians in the Philippines.  It’s sad but, when you see these politicians owning huge mansions and nice cars, one cannot help but think they are corrupt.

How did they get there?  Did they acquire riches through honest work and service?

How are they using it?  Did they use their money to fund their lavish lifestyle while they do nothing for the country?

What are you truly gaining?

Gaining all you can is not only about money.  Truly gaining means winning in all aspects of your life.

This verse has been the foundation of everything I do; “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  (Matthew 6:33-34)

The message of Jesus is very clear.  To truly gain in life, “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”

When you do this, “all these things will be given to you.”

If you strive for the glory of God, he will give you the strength you need to accomplish everything. You will be able to do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us.

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Again, gaining all you can is not only about money.  Money is just the result of your true honest work but it should not be your reason.  Do not love money because money will never satisfy your deepest needs.  The love of money can get your priorities out of line. Remember, you already have everything you need.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

Can you strive for the kingdom of God and His righteousness if you have been dishonest in the past?

If this question looks like a stumbling block to you, you are not alone.  I’ve been there done that.  The great thing about the mercy and love of God is – it’s never too late to change.  God’s love does not show partiality.

If you are worried about the dishonest money you accumulated from the past, it’s not too late to use your riches appropriately by giving back, sharing more and giving more.

What causes us to accumulate more in life?  Is it because – “Feasts are made for laughter; wine gladdens life, and money meets every need.” (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

We all know that money is essential in our lives.  Money enables us to do many things in life especially if we have lots of it.  Having material things are not bad. But accumulating material possessions and being attached to them is toxic. Release your attachments so God can fill you more!

Just imagine what your life could be when you set your mind to accumulating treasures in heaven?

Let us read the parable of the rich man.

“As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'”  He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” (Mark 10:17-22)

The rich man left sad not because he have many possessions. He left sad because he could not let go of his possessions.  He missed the opportunity of gaining all he can because he chooses not to go all-out for the kingdom of God.

So let us do what we are purposed to do.  Love and enjoy what we are doing because I believe this is how God wants us to be – always loving and enjoying the life He gave us.

In my life, my wife and I dream of an early retirement and spend our remaining healthy active days working for our Lord God globally.  It’s almost 22 years ago since we started serving in a community as a couple and we have no plans of stopping what we have started – to value the opportunity given to us and doing whatever it takes to gain all we can for the glory of God.

God is the greatest!


Do you always have to fight to get the things you want?

Do you always haggle to get what you want from people, especially with your husband or wife? For almost 25 years of being married, I never have to compromise anything to my wife. I will tell you how we kept our marriage strong at the end of this blog.

If you are in a situation where conflict is inevitable, is to compromise the only solution to end the conflict?

What does it really mean when you compromise?

From the dictionary, compromise means a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.  It is the result of such a settlement.

It’s been said that those who compromise reduce the quality, value, or degree of something, such as your ideals and beliefs.  Compromise weakens your principle and it reduces your standards.

But, is to compromise really a solution?

In relationships, to compromise seems to solve a lot of issues. On the other hand, unhealthy compromise feels a lot like a disaster especially when you’re the only one giving up things and getting nothing or not much back.

I’m not in favor of compromise. I will avoid it as much as I can whether they are healthy or positive. The scriptures says, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” (Matthew 5:37)

If I have to compromise in a relationship, I do it in a healthy and positive way that would result to both parties feeling valued and fulfilled. I will give you some examples:

1. When you compromise, both parties need to give their share. Before you ask for someone to give up something, be prepared to offer something to the table yourself.

2. Do your best to engage in positive compromise rather than in a sacrificial way. One person does not have to suffer more than the other. Suffering is painful but it becomes positive when shared.

3. Compromise should only be used when you’re not angry.  Discussions is achieved better when you’re both calm and feeling open. Negative compromise with resentment built into is unhealthy in both the short and long term.  People who engage in negative compromise always end up bitter in the end.

4. Set everything on the table and know what is negotiable and non-negotiable before you start talking.  Be flexible on the things that are negotiable. For the things that are non-negotiable, state your reason why and how important it is for you to stick to it.

5. Ask for the other parties help. From the famous line of the movie Gerry McGuire he said, “Help me help you.”

We all know that every person understands the need to compromise from time to time. Your ability to consider the needs of others as reasonable is necessary in a happy life but there will be occasions when you should never settle for anything less than exactly what you want.

Although positive compromises gives results to move forward, in some situations, it’s best not to move forward at all whether this could be your work, business, relationship, or sometimes even your dream.

I’ll tell you when you should stop compromising.

1. When you try to save something that shouldn’t be saved.  When you are faced with losing a relationship that you desperately want to keep but you continue to compromise in an unhealthy way, this will just create more division.  When you compromise with a toxic person who continues to hurt you, they will eventually destroy you. There will always be problems even after you compromise. The only way to stop your pain is to end the relationship itself.

2. When you are being manipulated by the lies of other people. Compromise can be used in a dishonest way by making the other person think you are working on a problem, when in fact you are being manipulated in the situation to their own advantage. Don’t put too much effort in helping people who does not want to be helped. This is not because you don’t care, it’s because they don’t.

3. Avoid compromising when you know you are mentally and spiritually weak. One of the hardest things to do is to be assertive to get your needs, while at the same time being sensitive and willing to engage in a give and take. Some people think this is humility.  Humility is not being weak.  When you appear weak and unable to express your needs in a healthy manner, you allow yourself to be lowered in a relationship.  This is weakness, not humility.

4. When compromise is a failure to meet one’s own needs. When you are willing to be unhappy so that the others are happy, then that’s the beginning of your end. Compromise should always be undertaken gladly and in an honest and open way with compassion and understanding. It should never be undertaken to abuse anybody.

Finally, there are some areas when you don’t compromise like your investments and your faith.

You don’t place your investments when you know you cannot handle risks.  Do you due diligence and stop when you are unsure – no compromise.

When it comes to our faith, imagine if Jesus compromised his divinity to earthly kingship, Christianity would never exist.  I would not be here writing about faith and money.

At the start of my blog I wrote, I never compromise anything with my wife.  Here is what I have learned in my 25 years of being married – when you cannot get what you want from your wife, don’t try to understand her – but accept her.  This is my secret.

Acceptance is more powerful than compromise because with acceptance, you embrace everything. Compromise is accepting only 50%.

Believe me, you will last together for the rest of your life because there’s no compromise in acceptance.

Wishing you all the best in life – without compromise!

God is the greatest!

Healings and Miracles

In July 25, 2014, I posted this blog that has given me much hope, faith and love during the last days of my Papang. I would like to post it again (with a bit of editing) in his memory…

In July 22, 2014, my wife and I are waiting to board the plane for a very special trip.

No, we are not going to Philippines or Europe or the Caribbean. We are going to a very special place where love abounds and caring is everywhere.  It’s a place where a lot of miracles happen!

Many people don’t want to be in this place but there are circumstances when life would bring you here.  (In my experience, this was the place where I experienced God’s comfort and presence.)

Do you want to know where we are going?

We are bound to visit my father in California who is currently in the hospital inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

For almost a year now, my father has been battling with cancer.  It’s been a tough battle not only for my father but to our family as well.

What kept us strong is God’s word through the scriptures.  I’m very thankful that my father and mother believe in God, the Father almighty – a legacy passed on to us.

But even though I have my faith, I would be a liar not to admit the times when I cannot help but question Gods plan for us especially during the times when these critical moments happen.

You ask your family and friends to pray for healing or a miracle to happen but after days and months and years of prayer, nothing happens – then finally you ask, why is God not answering our prayers? Or worse, why are things going from bad to worse?

When you don’t get an answer to your prayers, a fair question would be – “Is God too busy to answer my prayer?”

I asked God this question several times!

It is hard to know the message of God when your mind is clouded with negativity like worries, anxieties, problems, and at the same time carrying the burden of taking care of our sick love one.  When I’m overwhelmed by all these things, I cling on God’s promise of “seek and you shall find” and I’m given rest.

Oftentimes we find the answers in the scriptures.  But do not limit yourself by seeking God’s message only through scriptures.  The message of God is everywhere. It can be from an event, a teaching, a song, a friend, a relative, your parents, a love one and most from your wife or husband!

In my case, my answer came while listening to an audio recording by Bo Sanchez where he was giving a reflection about the woman with hemorrhage from the bible. I started reading the story myself and you know what; this is the first time I noticed that this miracle happened within an ongoing miracle. (It sounds confusing but I will explain how this happened)

In the Gospel of Mark 5:21-42 (Miracles and Healing), you will see that this is one of the unique stories where a woman “steals” power from Jesus (forgive me for using the word “steal” but I could not find a better word to describe what she did. Please correct me if I got this wrong).

To get an idea on what I’m talking about, especially when you’re not familiar with the story, here is what happened – “When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.”  And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.” (Mark 5:21-24)

At this point, I’m guessing that Jesus has set his focus in granting the request of Jairus – to heal his daughter.

The story continued while Jesus was walking through the crowd, “A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak.” (Mark 5:25-26)

Now, let’s picture this scene for a moment. Imagine a woman who has hemorrhage, coming through the crowd just to touch the cloak of Jesus.  I can only imagine her struggle trying to go through the crowd while she was bleeding.  Her faith, persistence, desire and determination to be healed was there.

Why do you need to go through that entire struggle if your intention is only to touch the cloak of Jesus?

I mean, you have already put all your effort to get beside Jesus, then why only touch the cloak? Why not pull the cloak to get the attention of Jesus or why not tear a piece of the cloak so you can use it to wipe your whole body every time you need comfort and healing?

I think the woman understands her capacity and she knew what she wants. Many of us try to do extreme things thinking that we would get better healing or have greater miracles when we do bigger and better things.  This is a total misconception.  Gods healing and miracles is equal for everyone and by his grace, we all get what we asked for even without effort.  This is why it’s called grace.

This is exactly what happened to the woman – for she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:28-34)

By now, you probably got the idea as to why I used the word “steal” when she drew power from Jesus because clearly, she stole power from Jesus. She took it without permission. She is aware of what she did and felt guilty about it. (I did this before by “stealing” a red rose from the church garden to offer it to mother Mary in return for a miracle!) But in this story, that’s only secondary.  I’m not saying the end justifies the means but my point is, when we want healing and miracles in life, you have to find a way to receive it no matter what.

Let’s examine what happened to her to experience the miracle and healing power of Jesus.

First, she had a plan.  Her plan was to simply touch the cloak of Jesus.

How many of us today have a plan in dealing with our current condition? What’s your plan when you have cancer? What your plan when you have diabetes? What’s your plan when you have a stroke? Will you change your lifestyle for the better? What’s your spiritual approach? Will you just pray and do nothing?

Second, her healing happened immediately.

Now, this kind of healing is special.  Others go through a long process of healing. As to how fast you want to get healed, I really don’t know.  I guess your faith has a lot to do with it and this is confirmed by Jesus – “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

Third, the disciples said, “See the crowd pressing on you?”

How many of you have gone to an event when you know you would really benefit from it but you didn’t go because it was too crowded or the line is too long or its too sunny or too cold or the sun shined today?

Let me ask you, which is better for you, to join a pressing crowd and take chances to be healed or simply say – too bad for me, there’s too many people.  I’ll just go back tomorrow if there’s another one.

If you ask me, I’ll take my chances in squeezing myself in the crowd to experience the miracle I need rather than doing nothing at all.

Fourth, when Jesus was asking the crowd who touched His garments, the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)

Regardless of how fearful or shameful you are in your situation, don’t be afraid to come before the Lord and he will give you rest.  The more you hold your feelings, the harder it is for you.

Many people hold out the truth because of pride.  Unfortunately, pride is not a cure but it’s worst that cancer. What you need is humility to surrender to the truth about your condition and you will experience the miracle healing of God!

Fifth, Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

Scripture says, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6)

That passage says it all on how much little faith we need to move mountains.

To summarize, all we need to do is to reach out, have faith and believe in God’s healing and miracles.

By the way, if you have been reading my blogs for the past years, by now know that I’m a very optimistic person.  The bad will be good and the worst will be better.

When I found out that my dad was taken to the ICU, I really felt sad but here’s what makes me wonder – I don’t know why I did not worry.  Maybe I know who is in control and that is God!

I told my mom and my sisters about this. Whatever happens, I know it is all for the good of our family – for my sisters, my mother and most especially my father.

The final outcome of my dad’s condition is all for God’s glory.  I know with all the support that we are getting from our whole family and relatives who visit my dad every day, I’m sure everything will be okay because God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

To end, lets read the last part of that wonderful story from the Gospel – While He was still speaking (to the woman with hemorrhage), they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)

When we think it’s game over, that is where God’s power explode!

“Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

(It’s almost a year now since my Papang passed away.  Although we did not experience the healing miracle we asked for, we believe he is in a much better place. As for the other miracles, it continues to flow in our family, day after day, after day!  It is my wish that God’s miracles be with you all the days of your life!)

God is the greatest!