COMPARISON TRAP

I was eating breakfast with my kids one morning. We have devotions over the breakfast table everyday before I drive them to school. We were talking about being careful not to compare ourselves with others.

The problem with comparing is that one will always come up better. This ends up with either pride or a poverty mentality. Pride causes us to compare ourselves with others while poverty causes us to compare others with ourselves.

The solution? A heart of gratitude.

Reading Robert Morris’ The Blessed Life made me realize a few things…

When you think about your situation in life…
Pride says, “I deserve more!”
Poverty says, “I should feel guilty.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you!” (Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness that always acknowledges God’s provision.)

When someone says, “Wow, you have a nice cellphone!”
Pride says, “I have 2 other nice ones at home.”
Poverty says, “I got it at 50% off.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you!”

When someone says, “That’s a nice car!”
Pride says, “It’s just my everyday car.”
Poverty says, “It’s a company car.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you.”

When someone says, “That a nice shirt.”
Pride says, “It came from Europe.”
Poverty says, “It was on sale.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you.”

Pride wants people to think that we paid more.
Poverty wants people to think we paid less. (Yikes, I fall into this trap all too often.)

Gratitude doesn’t care what people think; it only cares what God thinks.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6


DINNER WITH MAU, LARRY & CURLY

Last night, I had dinner with Mau, Larry and Curly.  Not quite the 3 Stooges but it was a fun dinner altogether.

Mau is the chef/owner of Old Vine Restaurant.  Larry is the Operations Head/owner.  Curly is our pastor from Pioneer, Robert Hern.  Our wives were also with us.

As I listened to how Old Vine started, I was flabbergasted.  Mau started as a dish washer while Larry worked as a bus boy/waiter in their teens.

I learned so much from last night.  Here are a few things I got.

1. Dream big.

Starting as waiters didn’t stop them from believing God for greater things.

We cannot let our current circumstances hinder us from dreaming big.

2. There’s no such thing as overnight success.

Many people desire to be in the seats of successful people but are they willing to wear their shoes during the years of building to where they are today?

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours needed to be excellent with our craft.  Check out OUTLIERS.

3. Stay focused.

Larry said that when he would share his dreams to his old bosses while still working as a waiter, they would discourage him and tell him that he’s reading too many books.

He didn’t let these comments derail his vision.  He kept going.

Now they have several restaurants and still growing.  What a story.

HAS IT BEEN 15 YEARS?

It can’t be!

You’ve heard of that cliche – “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

That’s how it’s been with you, Jenn.

After 15 years, 4 kids, numerous trips with you, our kids, fun experiences, sad ones too …

You’re an awesome friend, confidant, companion, movie partner, popcorn partner, ‘watching-a-tv-series’ buddy (24, chuck, monk, big bang theory), someone to minister with…

Looking forward to the next 15 and more years.

I really, really don’t mind growing old with you… not at all.

“CHOICED” INSIGHT ON MARRIAGE


I was thinking about my message for the wedding I was going to do tomorrow.

Weddings are fun.  It brings all kinds of emotions – for the bride, the groom, the family, friends, relatives and even those who are walking by the beach to see all the stuff happening as the event unfolds.

While weddings are great, the real prayer is focused on the marriage.  Weddings happen in a day… marriage, a lifetime.

Much of life is about choices.  We can choose to eat breakfast (oh, that’s why my stomach’s growling) or not.  We can choose to be grumpy or cheerful.  We can choose to keep a positive attitude about life or choose to be negative all the time.  You’ve met some of them, I think.

Stepping into a marriage, you will be confronted with lots of choices.

Let me download 3 quick choices we need to make as one decides to tie the proverbial knot:

1. Choose to love.

While it is a wonderful feeling, we all know love is above and beyond just romance.  While your partner will not always be lovable, don’t be deceived.  It’s equally the same if not worse with you.  You will not always be lovable.  You won’t always look, feel and even smell lovable.

Yet when Paul told the church in Ephesus to love the way Jesus loved the church, he was talking about choosing to love without condition. (Ephesians 5:25)

Choose to love not just because, not just inspite… but choose to love.  Period.

2. Choose to forgive.

Because we live in an imperfect world made up of imperfect people, we will all commit dumb things, intentionally or inadvertently.

Forgiveness reboots the ‘system’.  Forgiveness refreshes the ‘browser’.  Forgiveness restarts the relationship.

Relationships go on for years without being fixed.  Why?  People forget to forgive.  We conveniently forget.  We choose only to forgive who we want and when we want.

Col. 3:13 tells us “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Don’t forget to read the last statement.  “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

If God can forgive knuckleheads like us.  I think, we can choose to forgive those who hurt us.  Our spouse included.

3. Choose to enjoy.

I cannot tell you how huge a part humor has played in our marriage.  My wife loves to laugh.  She knows how to enjoy life.  And I thoroughly enjoy being married to her.

The wisest man at that time, King Solomon wrote in Ecc. 9:9,

“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…”

Great stuff.  Wonderful advice.

Someone said, “Pain is inevitable.  But misery is optional.”

You can’t stop bad stuff from happening.  But you can definitely stop misery from camping in your backyard.

I read the story of Michael from the book “LEADING ON EMPTY” by Wayne Cordeiro.  I won’t have space to include that story.  But you will have to read it.  You gotta. It will change your perspective on life.

His story is found in this link.

Life has a way of presenting different choices.  It’s up to us to make those decisions.

But we have had One who exemplified making a tough choice yet followed through.  His motivation?  He so loved that He gave.  So loved us.

Because of that, He chose.

MAHAL KITA KASI

This will be our special number this weekend…

Ganns showed it and I busted out laughing…

Good one for Valentines Day.

Watch it this weekend.

Bring friends, family and your special someone!!!!! 🙂

I’M BACK

Welcome me back to the blogging world.

My friend Benzon Tan asked me where I’ve been.

I’ve been out of commission for the past 3 weeks because I had my computer re-formatted because I had too much clutter in my files.  As a result, I lost all the saved passwords and ‘cookies’.  Through the years that I’ve used my computer, certain files and ‘cookies’ make their way into my hard disk memory.

I look at that and I notice that that’s the same way with my life.  And guess what, it’s the same with yours.  Life has a way of setting in those ‘cookies’ and junk that might slow down your processor and clog your hard disk.

Paul spells it out plainly to us when he said, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2)

God’s word has a big role to play in this renewing process…

Read it, think about it, live it…

AGAIN… AGAIN…

One of the favorite things my kids like to do before going to bed is to play ‘superman’.  It is done when I lie flat on my back on the bed with the 2 legs raised vertically.  They get on their tummies onto my 2 feet and suspend as long as they could.  Nathan used to like it until he got too heavy.  He’s now 14. Ha!

After they fall, their natural response?  Again!  Again!  Again!  From the time they were babies to now that they’re a bit bigger, there are certain things that just don’t get old – fun… especially with people you enjoy being with.

I was reminded of what G.K. Chesterton said…

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged.

They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead.  For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.  But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.  It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.  It may be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.

It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

God enjoys spending time with us.

My prayer?  Lord, allow me to enjoy every bit of moment I spend with you… every single day.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

Ryan played T-ball last year. Because they were still teaching the kids the basics of the game, the league decided not to keep scores and forget about win-loss cards.

While I understand the reasoning behind it (to encourage the kids and not worry about winning and losing yet), I thought each game at times became pointless.  Why play a game when you don’t know who will win?  Why play against another team if you don’t know who will end up on top?  It’s probably the competitive spirit in me but that’s how I felt.

In the book I am reading, “Creating Community”, there were 3 questions that were posted that we need to answer as a church family.

1. What do we want people to become?

2. What do we want them to do?

3. Where do we want them to go?

For us in Victory, our leaders made it clear.  The goal is to make disciples.  A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men.  And finally, what is the venue where they will be discipled and make disciples? Small groups.

1. What do we want people to become? DISCIPLES.

2. What do we want them to do? To honor God and make disciples.  A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, fellowships with other believers and fishes for men.

3. Where do we want them to go? At this point, the best possible way to make disciples and be discipled is in the context of small groups.

All for now…