We are faced with a myriad of choices every single day – from what to eat for breakfast to what kind of coffee to order from Starbucks. Some choices are trivial, while others are tragic, if we make a mistake. Buying the wrong coffee drink is not as damaging compared to placing our money in the wrong investment.

But in making decisions, here’s a principle I’d like to share:

When values are clear, decisions are simpler.

Simpler doesn’t mean easier. But when our priorities are in place, then the decisions will be plain and straightforward.

Allow me to illustrate.

For me, family time is a clear value. Since the Christmas parties in Manila have started, how I wish I can attend all of them. There are many friends both from grade school and high school I haven’t seen in a long time. Relatives who are from out of town are setting up reunions left and right. Moreover, there are many parties from the different departments and ministries from the church.

But if I go to every one of them, that would mean, I would be out many nights in December. Advent nights would be missed, certain Christmas family traditions would be dropped, and dinner times with the kids would be compromised.

Another example is in the area of finances. If education is a value, then buying the new iPhone would come in second to paying your son’s tuition fee.

If relationship with God is a value, then spending the first moments after you wake up connecting with Him through His Word and prayer will be a priority rather than checking your Instagram or Twitter.

Simpler doesn’t mean easier. Saying no to friends’ Christmas parties is hard. Sticking with your jurassic Nokia 5110 (haha) instead of buying a new iPhone is torture. Stopping yourself from getting lost in the cyberworld early in the morning before connecting with Jesus is quite a challenge these days. But because the value is clear, then the decisions are simpler.

As we begin this week, may we remember our highest value – Jesus.
As Pastor Joey Bonifacio would say, “God who is the most valuable so valued you that He gave us Jesus, who is the most valuable to Him.”

And as we put Him first, remember what Proverbs 3:6 says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (TLB)

Have a great week!


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.