Rising Above Failure

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.

Why Volunteering Can Develop Your Leadership Skills

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.

And last,

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?

Permission Granted

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.

To change.

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!

Coding For Jesus

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

The Tyranny of Being Picked

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.

If you are complaining read this…

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?.