It’s been a few weeks then since the last time I wrote. It was great to be back in the habit again for some time after the holy week as we called it here in Manila.
During the holy week, I have nothing to do but to read books, watch movies I’ve watched before, and pray every morning and evening. I pray for the men I am discipling, pray for the nations, pray for my family and, pray for my future wife. I guess that’s what a man should do.
Until then, I’ve had time to talk with this friend that out of nowhere introduced me to learn a new language. It was difficult and fun to learn a new language. But it was fun to learn new things with someone or with your friends.
You shared the same sentiments while learning and you understand each other as you struggle to remember every new word you’ve learned, you failed, you get up, you learn, and the best part, there’s someone who can remind you of those words. It makes learning more fun and engaging!
This made me realize that in school, teachers wants us to learn the lessons and do them right. Even in the corporate world, some companies do the same. They expect employees to behave well, do the right thing by following mere sets of processes and procedures, avoiding the risks, discouraging people from being creative and exploring unchartered waters.
But in reality of life, most things in life aren’t learned when we do them right, they are learned when we make mistakes.
And most of the skills I have right now was not come from sitting and listening to the instructor in the classroom. I learned it through constant practice, making mistakes, walking in the unchartered territories, rising from it, repeat until it is learned.
But most of the time fear of making a mistake crippled us. Aren’t you?
But there’s one person I look up to with this matter, it is no other than Apostle Mark. He is one of the four men who wrote the four gospels in the Bible. He walked with spiritual giants like Peter and Paul.
But the Bible talk only a few about him. We met him in Mark 14:51–52 as a young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment and was following Jesus. It was odd to know Mark in this picture.
Mark was from a wealthy family in Jerusalem. Remember the house where Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover Meal? Mark’s family owned it.
This might also explain why Mark was almost wearing nothing when the night Jesus was captured by the soldiers.
Bible Scholars believed Mark smelled a danger and to avoid from getting caught, he jumped out of the window.
But it was not only the time he ran away. In the book of Acts, when the church in Antioch commissioned Paul and Barnabas to preach the gospel to the pagan world, Mark was with them.
What a big opportunity to be with this spiritual giants! They made their way to Cyprus in as much a few weeks but as we continue to read in Acts 13:13, said: “John [Mark] left them to return to Jerusalem.”
What a coward move! If I were Paul, I will not forgive Mark for leaving us in the middle of the mission.
Continuing the story, after their mission, Paul and Barnabas went back to the churches they planted but Barnabas wanted Mark to be with them again. This is when Paul and Barnabas had a “sharp dispute”. At the back of my mind, perhaps Paul was arguing with Barnabas not to bring Mark as he is a coward. The dispute got loud and it went for some time.
Paul argued that there’s no place for a betrayer like Mark who left them in the mission field. The mission field is not for the cowards, it is not for the mama’s boy or a rich kid who can’t give up his daily entertainment.
What happened after the dispute? Paul and Barnabas parted angrily. They never worked together. The Holy Spirit told the church to work as a team but because of Mark, all of the plans was destroyed, it was a devastation. But once again people said, “Mark had run away.”
I can hardly imagine how it is to be in Mark’s shoes. It was like being a man who was a spoiled brat and a man of no spirit. A man with no guts. Ouch! Was I like Mark before no wonder my second name was Mark?
But the story doesn’t end there. Mark regretted his foolishness. He accepted his shortcomings. Barnabas trained Mark and helped him to grow as a man God destined him to be. After that something significant happened to Mark’s life.
He became useful, his character changed, his understanding deepened and, he became more like Jesus. In Colossians 4:10, Paul wrote: “you have received instructions about him (Mark), if he comes to you, welcome him.”
Also in 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul said: “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”
Wait, what happened here? Paul who was angry at him, now commending him! What a drastic change! It got even better when Peter refers to him as “son”.
You see, Mark failed miserably. He distorted God’s plan for the churches. But then what he did what true men do.
1. He gave himself to the changes his failures called for.
2. He willingly submitted to mentoring by Barnabas.
Many men today dwell themselves in their failures. I’ve met and got a chance to disciple them and yet they chose to run away.
Some of them posting their rants and complain in social media, blaming other people for their mistakes, directly attacking those people who have nothing to say but for his good.
Some do not leave their room. Chose to stay away from their accountability group or band of brothers. No wonder why God cannot use them because of their hardened hearts.
Mark was different. Mark’s story ended when he became the bishop of Alexandria. He led his people well and fiercely faced the wave of persecution that ultimately killed him and the church. Mark did not run away this time.
Apostle Mark is a hero. Even though he doesn’t have superficial power, but he’s a great man.
Sometimes fear may cripple us and makes us to ran away. I can still feel that way whenever I did a mistake. Sometimes I want to stop, I want to quit, but instead of quitting, I know failures are purposeful.
Knowing Apostle Mark has been through, we can see failure not as something to fear, but as something to look forward.
No wonder, I can say that I learn from failing not from winning.
How about you? When was the last time you fail and it caused a drastic change in your life?
I have so many things to tell, but I’ll let you share your story so I can read it and be encourage with it as well.
I remember 10 years ago when one of my classmates in college encouraged me to be part of the student government in which I refused because I don’t like to associate with people. I’m an introvert and I had other important things to do and I want nothing to add up into it.
For so many years, I once believed a lie in which my grade 3 teacher told me: “You will achieve nothing in life.”, then she picked out her stainless ruler, hit it into my hands until it turns red because I refuse to give my 10 pesos allowance to her in exchange of a snack she prepared for the class.
I can still remember how many times my classmates voted me to become a leader or be a group leader but I refused it because I have been framing my mind the belief of I was not good enough.
But God has a different plan. It started when I signed up to become a volunteer in the church I am attending. Little by little it stretches me to become a leader and learned how to work with other volunteers.
After becoming a volunteer in the church, I led a small group of young single professionals who were older than me. I was leading a group of men was around 25 to 35 years old when I was 22 years old! I also volunteered twice in mission trips abroad and some outreach projects in which stretched my faith, character and leadership ability. Followed by managing a group of volunteers in one of our company corporate initiatives.
All I can say is that my life has changed because of volunteering. And let me give you some reasons why it can be also beneficial to you.
1. Volunteering allows you to figure out who you are.
I believe each person has their own imprint of what they will become. Some people I know have already discovered their own by the time they reached 13. Some took longer just like me.
I volunteered as a computer operator in church but later on, I realized that I was not only created to operate a computer, hence I tried volunteering in communications group since I love writing, but the demand for the ministry was too low and they never contacted me. Haha!
Until I signed up to be a teacher in the Kids Ministry. At first, I was hesitant since I’m an introvert! I was afraid if one day they will call me to stand in the front! Well, it happened. I was shaking at that moment when they assigned me to become a host! I hated public speaking.
But the more I volunteer to do hosting the more I became comfortable doing it. Then I switch to another role in which I want myself to learn more.
Later on, I figured out that I love teaching. It made me remember my childhood dream to become a teacher in which I didn’t pursue because being a teacher here in the Philippine is such a noble task but let’s face that it cannot give you a high paying job.
2. Volunteering builds your leadership.
Since volunteering requires you to work with people, it will help you to build your leadership skills. I mentioned earlier that I was an insecure person.
The longer I volunteer, the more J understand people and learn how to work with them.
In my job, I wasn’t allowed to practice or learn a skill in project management. And since I cannot do it in my job, I have to find a way to learn it. That’s when I took a project manager role to handle a big event in our company. It was a frightful one but it became successful. Now I learned the skill!
Working with people allows you to learn more about them. Soon you will be leading them and it is important that you know them personally.
Volunteering allows you to meet different people that can help you to achieve your dreams. This is where I learned that leaders are not born, they are made.
3. Volunteering allows you to practice.
Do you want to become a prolific writer? a radio host? what about a public speaker? Do it for free!
Volunteering is a great place to achieve your dreams. I’ve known personalities who took their time in volunteering.
It has been my dream to become a motivational speaker, so I joined Toastmasters International to learn public speaking. At first, I was afraid, but since Toastmasters is a safe environment to experiment and practice my communication skills, I gave it a shot!
Each club meeting I deliver my speech projects and volunteered on certain roles. Until I realized, I can now manage my fear of speaking in public!
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point”, he mentioned that it requires 10,000 hours for a person to master a skill. That’s a lot of time! And volunteering is one of the best ways to practice and hone your skills.
Today, I’m a public speaker, a teacher, a writer, and a published author and a volunteer!. And how I could that? All was started by becoming a volunteer.
I still have so much to learn as of this moment, hence I will continue to volunteer.
Becoming a volunteer is a win-win. You learn and can master a skill and, you help other people. And volunteering allows you to put all your heart into everything you do.
Are you a volunteer already?
Sometimes there are things that we think we cannot do without a permission. Like permission to perform because you haven’t ask your manager for promotion. Probably permission to start writing a book, because you think you need people’s approval. Or it could be permission to do your new year’s resolution. We don’t do any of them until we get the permission.
But here you go – you have my permission.
To go for your dreams.
To reach the unreachable stars.
To stick to that habit.
To write that book.
To court that woman.
To be intimate with God.
To hold that door.
To go the extra mile even when not ask.
To perform at your best.
To do what you love.
To be the best.
To expect the best.
To love your enemies.
To quit the job you suck at.
To move on from that hurtful relationship you’ve been.
To love the unlovely.
To help the helpless.
To care the careless.
To enjoy your season.
To write a gratitude list.
To say I love you
To tell a child, “You are a winner!”
To give hope to the hopeless.
To share the love of God.
To give faith to the faithless.
I give you my permission.
Now, it’s your turn. Give yourself permission to do these things.
Ditch that new year’s resolution you have. Change does not happen one-time big time.
[easy-tweet tweet=“Ditch that new year’s resolution you have. Change does not happen one-time big time.” user=“writerdhenn” hashtags=”#permissiongranted,#2017goals”]
Here’s what I know about change:
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through the accumulation of experiences you’ve learned, and practicing it.
In other words, it all begins with your action. Stop with the resolutions, we had enough of that. Instead, start revolutionizing your life. Because revolution often leads to real and massive changes.
Now, the world is waiting for you. Be the change you want to see in the world. You were born for a purpose. Go!
Whether we like it or not, technology has already invaded the world. The internet was born during the 1980’s, and it changed the life in this world forever.
Christianity is always counter-culture for one reason, “it creates culture”.
Throughout the history, the first Christians was the first who initiated outreach communities in the world, like Red Cross, Salvation Army and the people behind great transformation of a nation, like Martin Luther and of course the America who was once founded by its leaders and established its laws based on biblical principles and Jesus’s teachings.
Today, as Christians we are facing another obstacle. “The Internet and Social Media”. The Internet nowadays has been used not only to connect people to a broader range of knowledge but also the spread of hatred and lies.
Many younger people have been bullied, manipulated for sexual advances and has been addicted to internet pornography. Some millennials also are searching answers on the internet and rooting their identity on social media. I have a few friends also validating their existence based on how influential they are in the social media and how many likes they garnered every day.
Now the challenge is, with so many pages and information on the internet, how can a Christian can stand out for Jesus? Can a Christian programmer or software engineer can have their own platform to share Jesus every day except being physically present with the person?
Hack and Make Disciples
I never thought there was a place for a “tech guy” in a church except working behind the monitors.
As a techie guy, I never thought that we can also bring Jesus to the lost and make disciples in the digital space.
Last weekend, I had this opportunity to join a hackathon event in Ortigas held by Indigitous Philippines.
At the back of my mind, how in the world Christians can make disciples using internet and technology? Oh boy, I was wrong!
It was my first time to participate in a hackathon challenge. I had no friends there except for Jen who signed up as well but we do have different fortes. I aim to join a team who codes for an app, who loves to make strategies or can be a speaker to pitch the product at the end of the event, which in turn I became one!
During the event, the coordinators asked us to choose at least one challenge. There were so many challenges:
And much more! As usual, friends teamed up together. I chose #thegospelstorychallenge as it has been my passion to share Jesus in different creative ways.
I never thought those who came in without friends will also join the challenge I chose, Jen a friend of mine from Victory Fort, also chose it and what an amazing team we formed.
For two days, even we lack sleep, we were able to produce an output. Hooray! I was nervous because that was my first time to pitch a product or project, thankfully my toastmaster’s experience paved the way!
Since it’s already late night, to make this short, “WE WON!”
Yes, we are one of the two teams who chose to participate globally in the near future. What a picture of grace and mercy of God for our team.
Our project is called “Go+Share”, ’ which was coined from the bible verse in Matthew 28:19.
Our objective is to create a platform wherein we can reach out to the young millennials who we know are struggling with depression, anxiety, lack of purpose and significance.We also have plans of creating viral videos that can encourage a person and develop a mobile app where we can be connected to these individuals online by emailing them and setting up webinars or online meetings for a one on one discipleship (121) for those individuals who want to learn more about Jesus.
We realized that social media can be helpful to reach them since most of them are active on it. We made graphical images of their reality and several spoken poetry videos with a hope that we can connect to them without pushing the gospel or forcing them to change. Let alone Jesus change them.
I would like to thank Pangalan.com who offered to sponsor our domain for 1 year (www.goshare.com.ph). Your generosity will reach the multitudes of souls waiting for someone who can encourage and motivate them and share Jesus with them online.
The enemy has been using the internet to kill, steal and destroy lives. Why not use the same tool to spread the gospel and spread the love to those who needs it?
As I end this blog, I encourage you to take part also in this advocacy of “bringing back the millennials back to God”. With your help, we can save many lives.
To learn more about us, like visit our Facebook Page: fb.com/goshareph
Yesterday, we just had our quarterly meeting in the organization I chose to cooperate with, to lead with and to serve with.
We have been serving our co-employees for their holistic development in terms of physical well-being, and financial well-being.
I chose to be part of the financial wellness team because I believe most people quit because of financial problems rather than stress problems, and financial literacy is closer to my heart since I am too an advocate of it.
I just wanted to share a lesson I’ve learned yesterday that I hope it will help you somehow in your quest for a better life.
“Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!”, or I’d rather say “Choose me! Choose me! Choose me!”
Most of us are trained to wait for someone to choose us or pick us up. In the office, employees often wait for someone to make them in-charge or before they speak up. Writers often wait to be pick by agents or publishers before they publish their work. Entrepreneurs often wait for a venture capitalist or investors.
I remember one Sunday afternoon when I was preaching, to ensure kids participation, I often pick a kid to recite the answer and share it with the whole class, then he or she will get a prize.
Since most kids are participative, I was having difficulty who I am going to pick, and there was a young boy voluntarily stand up and pick himself to answer the question.
Note: He pick himself, I didn’t pick him.
Such a wonderful picture of courage, and having no fear to fail. He doesn’t care whether he will answer it correctly or not, the important for him that moment is to speak out.
True enough, that children, if trained properly, imagine how impactful are they when they become adults.
Sadly, most of us are trained to doubt ourselves. The fear of being rejected bound us in the tyranny of being picked and therefore it made us not to speak out, not to take risks and not to face our fears.
We have willingly submitted ourselves under the leadership of a cruel and oppressive leader that lives within us.
We live in a world with excessive bureaucracy or adherence to rules and formalities, especially in the corporate world, whereas one of the reasons why employees quit because they can’t decide for themselves, they can’t start projects on their own, they can’t use their creativity to move forward because of the leaders who possessed the red tape attitude.
Comply, comply, comply or else you will fire.
I admit as a rank-and-file employee, I find that bureaucracy is oppressive in so many ways. If you are an employee, you don’t decide, the upper management decides. This could exist in many organizations but not all and it such a blessing if you are working with a company preventing the red tape.
I find it one of the reasons why most people if they have the resources, often choose to take the path of entrepreneurship which I will take, once I am ready.
As Seth Godin says in his book Poke The Box, “Reject the tyranny of being picked. Pick yourself”.
He is right:
- Don’t wait for permission from others before you start achieving your dreams.
- Don’t wait for others to validate your work to be able to continue.
- Choose yourself, encourage yourself because in the end when everything else fails, no one will be there to cheer you up, it’s only you.
To continue the story, we started our meeting with a game. The game will encourage everyone to move and meet a new friend (at least 5) and ask a question from the given list of questions to ask and one must give a different question to each person they meet, repeating the same question is not allowed.
I reluctantly participated but because I felt I must, I was able to complete it first and immediately went in the front so as to avoid having the same person asked by a different person with the same question I asked.
I won! Haha. I bet you get the idea now. It’s always worth it to finish first, to come early because early birds often gave the chance to speak up, while latecomers, since they are late, often the last to serve and often didn’t have a chance to speak up.
Share if you inspired by this article.
Do you hate the current government? What about your life? What about the political issues around?
I’ve noticed that social media has been a great tool for us to express ourselves, our ideas, and our emotions but today, it makes more people divisive than ever before.
With the political issues going on, people started spreading hate rather than love and appreciation. I’ve also seen some “opinionated friends”, debating in Facebook, some says they are Christians but there’s a lot of hatred on what they are ranting about, rather being the salt and the light, they are toxic to someone’s life. © E-Rose via Flicker.com
While there is freedom of expression, I respect that each of us has the right to voice our opinions, but would it more beneficial for us if we just keep it to ourselves and instead try to support each other?
Sadly, there’s so much hatred going on. As a Filipino, I’ve seen that we have become more divided than we have ever been in the history. Now if you are the one complaining about your job, your life and about the government, I want you to think what’s going on to the other part of the world. What if you were not born in the Philippines and God made you a Syrian or an Iraqi?
What if you eventually die tomorrow and you still have that hatred in your heart?
I suggest, that we must be grateful instead of where we are right now and what we are experiencing right now. We should learn to accept the things that we cannot change since the government was instituted by God and He alone directs the course of the nations.
Before we air our opinions, consider this checklist:
- Is my opinion helpful?
- Is my opinion good for the country?
- Who will benefit from my opinion?
- If you have the opportunity to help the government, what would you do?
- Will my opinion will bless my country or it will just promote hatred and division?
Sadly, there are people who just love to complain but when they asked this questions, they answered none.
Check yourself, Am I being a toxic to other people because of my own opinions? Would you rather save a relationship by keeping your opinion to yourself or you want to make enemies out of it?
With a lot of issues that needs to be settled, I rather trust God during this time and take the time to pray for my country, for the President and for the people. Didn’t God was the one who commanded us to submit to the governing authorities?
I choose to be grateful. I choose not to curse my country but rather bless it with the words from my mouth. How about you?.