Today is the first day of our couples’ retreat for our pastors for our Fort Hub (Makati, Malate and Fort Bonifacio).

Allow me to share a few quick takeaways from today’s session with Pastor Juray and Deah Mora.

– “More than having a Christian president, one of the greatest contributions we can give to this nation is a marriage that works at home.”

– Our devotion to God is our topmost priority. As He takes the #1 spot, He alone has the right to dictate on which ones will be number 2, 3, 4 and 5. That now eliminates anything that is not according to His will like for example a second or third wife.

– Your values will dictate your priorities. And your values are dictated by your highest value – God. If God’s purpose is for you to be in the Philippines with your family, then migrating to another country won’t be an option no matter how huge the salary may be.

– The saying, “Sacrifice today so you can enjoy tomorrow” only works with money but not with relationships. Whoever is sacrificed is always the one that is of lesser value no matter how beautifully we articulate it. Relationships suffer when we sacrifice no matter how good the reasons may be.

– Priorities reflect what we value.

There’s an old cliche that we hear often enough – “Time flies”.

I remember my daughter make this comment one time.
I thought, “she’s only in elementary and she’s homeschooled! How busy can she be?”

I remember when I was in elementary, time seemed slow. We had to think of games to play – from patintero to tumbang preso. But even then, it still seemed slow.

When I started working and having kids, that’s when time seemed to zoom right past me. But my kids? I am not sure why they’d feel that.

I realized that gadgets may have something to do with it. We all say we are busy but when we survey our time, the minutes or even hours per day that we spend on social media do add up.

I like what John Piper said, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” 

How do we number our days aright? Here are a few random thoughts.
This list surely is not exhaustive.

1. Know the priorities you have in life – God, family, work, ministry.

2. Understand that you only have 24 hours in a day.

3. Line up the to do list and write them down.

4. Start listing down a not-to-do list. Often times we get stuck doing things that are unnecessary.

5. Seek God about each day. While you may have everything planned out, He may send “interruptions” that might just be a blessing in disguise.

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicole10f/

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A couple from Shanghai was charged with the possibility of going to jail for many years after allegedly selling their baby daughter to buy an iPhone and other luxury items as reported by Yahoo.

While this news article is indeed shocking, I so appreciated Ryan Tan’s comment when he posted the news article on his Instagram.

“Before you judge, ask yourself: Am I “selling” my own kids for success, money, fame, convenience?”

He is absolutely right.

While as a parent, I may not be literally selling my kids to a buyer, it is possible that in my pursuit of career, financial gain, or maybe even ministry, I am already sacrificing my children in the altar of success.

This thought pushes me to think about a few things…

1. TIME

Do I spend most of my time for personal gain or maybe even on something world changing while neglecting moments of building life with my kids?

2. WORDS

Do my words build up or do they tear my kids down?

Worse, I don’t even speak to my kids to connect with them.

3. AFFECTION

Do I spend moments to tell them that they are valuable to me?
As an indication of that value, do I physically express my affection by giving them a high five, pat in the back or hug?

I often hear Joey Bonifacio’s voice and his proverbial “Dying Breath” visualization.

“When you are catching your last few breaths in your death bed, the ones who will be around you will not be your golfing buddies. They will be there an hour, maybe 2. It will not be your officemates nor your high school friends. It will be your spouse who has stayed with you all these decades. It will be your children who have been your source of joy for years. It will be your family who will be holding your hand in those last few moments on earth. With this in mind, guess who you should be investing your most precious moments with?”

Just a thought. A good one at that.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your situation? I have.

Sometimes, life feels a lot like a juggling act – family, work, personal, ministry, responsibilities…

The same grace God gives to save is the very same grace to empower and enable.

Here’s what John Blanchard says,

“So he [God] supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God’s grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)