Caffeinated morning with Mr. Kong

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One thing I have learned over the years, or at least in the years when I started to become bolder, was to take every opportunity that you can get. Proceed with caution, use wisdom especially in high-risk ones, and take the ones that you deem necessary to add in your arsenal.

But there are ones which you just take out of the blue, looking low risk yet high in rewards. So I tried joining this Success Options’ contest of having coffee with Francis Kong, one of most respected business speakers in the Philippines. The only requirement? Send one question that you would like to ask him in person.

“How do you do your business without compromising your faith?”

Amazingly, I did win! I don’t believe in luck, but I believe in God’s divine appointments. This one is one of those moments in which you’d be surprised and ask “Why me?” but then again, also reminds me of how God’s grace works. We can’t earn it, yet it is given–freely.

I have only seen Francis Kong speak once, in a 2016 event called “Will to Win” and I was amazed in how he was able to mix business excellence and his faith in Christ. Amazingly, that event was one of the events that helped me mix my faith in Jesus and my craft and speaking engagements about design.

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And there I was, in that coffee session along with three more winners for that breakfast with Mr. Francis Kong. It was almost a family affair for them as it was a small, intimate breakfast with him, his famous Ilocana wife, and his daughter, Rachel Kong (who’s also the current CEO of Success Options, Inc.).

Here are my major takeaways from that breakfast. Continue reading “Caffeinated morning with Mr. Kong”

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10,000 (com)Promises

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This year has been super interesting so far.

It was in 2016 when I started doing ‘public speaking’ by teaching design through I Saw Design and that really opened up some doors for me; opportunities that happened because I stepped out in faith in line with goals of knowing if I could teach and adding value to others by teaching design.

Fast forward to this year, I have done 24 (more or less) graphic design classes, and leveled up a bit by organizing talks that feature great design/creative personalities, and it’s just getting started with more ideas in the pipeline. This has also opened up some avenues for me in getting speaking engagements.

Here’s the catch–they are not design talks.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3 ESV)

Been pondering on this and why can good things be bad?  Continue reading “10,000 (com)Promises”

Running is boring

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Running is boring. 

I mean, in reality, it is. You go run, have left and right feet strike the ground repeatedly, for either a set duration of time or distance. Nothing else.

It’s repetitive and can be painful in the long run (pun intended). YET there’s something about it that’s why we do it. I, for one, do it inasmuch as I can, constantly.

This is why this book by Ptr Ferdie, Run, was just timely. I had an early copy because I was there in #Discipleship2018 (I wrote about it here), and immediately, I read and finished it right away. It got me glued because I was able to relate to Ptr Ferdie right away.

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But it wasn’t who he is what got me more, but it was how he related the Gospel to running. One detail that I really liked about this is something that we hear too often at the church: Continue reading “Running is boring”

If I Was There

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I have been meaning to do something about mixing art and writing and with a real plan of creating one bigger devotional book, gave time and energy this Holy Week to create a smaller one thus this series “If I Was There”.

As a primer, I have always been “envious” of the squad Jesus had (same sentiments with my friend, Micah). I mean, to be with Jesus, that would have been amazing, right? Still with this verse:

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29 ESV)

Yes, we’re blessed today but I cannot help but think, what if I was there?

To share the same air, walk in the same earth He walked on? 

Let me take you on this journey to that time when Jesus entered Jerusalem until His eventual death on the cross, and then His triumphant resurrection.

This is for FREE! I just wanted to share this wonderful attempt in sharing the drama that unfolded, that one that gave hope to every one of us. Happy Easter to everyone! :)

You may download the ebook here.

 

Nothing to prove, no one to Impress

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I stumbled upon this article last week about a woman who racked a massive debt of about $20,000 just for her to have Instagram stardom. It was a sad story of our lives, just focused and visualized thru this woman’s life. We’re like living lives with GREAT FACADES, but in reality, BAD FOUNDATIONS.

ESTABLISH– this is the point of this year’s #Discipleship2018 conference attended by about 11,000 Victory group leaders and interns. If last year was about ENGAGE (and I wrote about it too last year) his year’s theme was to establish Biblical foundations which is crucial and important in a leader’s life.

If there are two things that I believe as I write about leadership in this blog is this: 1. That everyone is a leader whether we like it or not, and 2. Because of that, we need to be mindful of our actions because it directly influences the people who follow us. That is the reason why I write about leadership, it is because I know I need to have quality leadership skills for others.

I cannot explain everything that was discussed this year, but good thing is that all the preaching can be found here, but I will be pointing out the one that struck me most. Continue reading “Nothing to prove, no one to Impress”

What’s the Real Deal with Love?

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4.54 billion years.

Doing a quick search in the internets (as the millennials call it), the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old according to science. By dating rocks and meteorites, scientists have concluded this range with an error range of 50 millions years.

Zooming in, us humans have been speculated to be 200,000 years old, and civilizations only about 6,000 years. Along these lines, we have had so many developments in the society in different fields.

Despite these numbers and seemingly factual statements, here we are today still having problems in an area I’m pretty sure existed too back then—love.

It just amazes me that after all these years, we are still having these problems with love. As one local celebrity said last year,“Guys, it’s already 2017!”, and now we’re at 2018 and we’re still seemingly clueless. Making and maintaining relationships are still a dilemma for all of us; not one excluded here. We may have developments in tech, algorithms and all that, we still can’t find the right rhythm for our hearts. Why so?

Last night, I had the chance to attend a yearly event that is ALWAYS the blockbuster among all, a love event in the church. This year’s event is named “Truth About Love”, and that elusive truth about it is what all attendees were wanting to hear about.

Skipping all the warm-up activities (which I skipped too because of another event next door), I was just in time for the preaching of the Word by none other than the newest Senior Pastor of Victory Malate, Ptr Ritchie Llanto. 

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To start, this would be written in the Biblical perspective. If you’re not subscribed to this, it’s okay, you can stop reading. If you’d still want to read, which I would be glad for you to do so, plow through. Not here to change your mind, but I’m just here to present a perspective taken from God’s Word. Some of these are infused too of how I have learned it from other preachings by pastors and other book reads.

To summarize things, let me put them in three bullet points: Continue reading “What’s the Real Deal with Love?”

LIT UP Leaders: JP Cuison

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Meeting sir JP way back 2016 has a funny story at it that cannot be explained here in this post. One thing is for sure, it is only by God’s grace and divine appointment that we did.

Just as a gist, we both spoke in Muni’s Passion Pitch in Ayala and he talked about brainhacking. While I was listening, I told myself, “I think I know this guy, I just can’t fathom but he’s a good designer, I just can’t remember. What is he doing here?” And then after I spoke, he approached me because of what I said. Imagine my shock.

Anyway, that started a good and Godly friendship and knowing his passion in art, advertising, and of course, God’s word, I consider him one of the leaders I look up to. I asked him some questions and sharing you his thoughts on leadership. Continue reading “LIT UP Leaders: JP Cuison”

The Impossibles

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The Expendables are one of my favorite movies. It’s a movie that speaks that every problem can be solved either with a chop of a machete, a quick punch to the gut, or a pull of a trigger. Cutting it short, not much deep lines but all about action. I don’t need to stop and pause to ponder on anything really, but I would just see how action unfolds.

What attracts me most though with them is the center theme of impossibilities. I mean, how can a bunch of about 15 guys (and 1 or 2 women I think) take on a full army of killers? I know, it sounds absurd in reality when we watch, we firmly believe in this bunch of ‘expendables’ to win against all odds. Sure, the battle won’t be easy, another thing we hope for, because we also know the best stories are well-fought for.

Same goes for us in our lives, we believe in the impossible things yet we don’t act like the expendables–with complete and reckless abandon in faith. Sharing this because this is the posture I am taking this 2018, or better yet, a posture I pray to hold on to for the rest of my life:

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

This struck me so much upon meditating on these words last week. Much like last year, the first week seemingly is full of doubts and fears. I’m a relatively new full-time design entrepreneur with a year of experience and after doing a retrospect of what has happened in 2017, it’s a showcase of how God has been truly faithful to me even when I wasn’t. Struck me that why would I doubt a God who went with me my whole life, only for me to respond better starting just last three years, why would he suddenly pull the plug in our relationship? Unlike us, God will remain true and faithful to His Word.

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV)

I would like to inspire whoever’s going to read this (relatively) short piece. God is a God of impossibilities and because of that I hope that we hold on to that; never limit God in how He can work in you and through you. That He is a God who’s very creative, limitless, and compared to how we view Him, it’s like us being flat earth thinkers versus Him who can and is affecting you on 360 degrees, coming from all sides. Sounds absurd, right Kyrie? (*wink*)

With His Word confirming it, I’d like place my hopes on that plane of impossibilities, because it is where He works best–to the things that WE CANNOT DO. This shows our dependence on Him, not to say that we won’t move and just let Him be, but since He is faithful, if we honor Him, it is uncharacteristic of Him not to move too. There’s common grace for everyone but there’s a special grace only for those would depend and trust on Him fully.

The verse above speaks about it “who is able to do far more abundantly“, speaks not just of financial provisions but all around, and I believe on top of it is peace that most of us don’t. Only for those who abide in Him. He gives power, limitless at that, but again what’s beautiful about this verse is that He gives, yet all goes back to Him. Glory to Him who is above everything else. Jesus. No other name.

On top of the cherry? You’re part of this.

“throughout ALL GENERATIONS, FOREVER AND EVER.”

I have been asking the Lord continuously for visions and plans, with this constant question, with the tone of fear and excitement: “Where to, O Lord?”

I didn’t expect that His response would be far more than what I could think of, nothing specific, not a place, but this:

“Sa imposible!” (To the impossible!)

Sailing through the Rough Cs

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I like the ocean. When one is weary, they say go get some vitamin sea.  I like how vast and limitless it is, looking at a seemingly infinite horizon, and even with our thousands (or millions) of years of existence in this earth, we haven’t fully explored its depths. The ocean is like a new lover; you become mesmerized with the beauty it has and is excited to explore the mystery it holds.

Coming in 2017, I wrote a recap of 2016 talking about some breakthroughs and losses, and centered about a new hope. Inspired by the ocean, I saw 2017 as time of riding the waves. They can be friendly or harsh, and the only thing we can do adjust to survive.

I don’t know how your 2017 has been (talking to you, dear reader), but overall it has been a good, but a really rough ride. So much lessons and experience that I cannot believe all of these happened just in a year. I felt like it was a breakout year and I just can’t wait for the transition to this year. Take note, not a reset, but a transition.

Before anything else, to some who has been reading this blog for some time now, one of my all-time favorite books is “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge and I have quoted the book several times now because of how much it has impacted my life. One of the questions it posed there really had me thinking: “Do I have what it takes?” This is a very important question because it hinges on our whole being as a man. Continue reading “Sailing through the Rough Cs”

RUN FOR LIFE: Change a life, Change the Nation

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We believe in two things — the power of education and touching the lives of the next generation. This is why we invest heavily in honing next gen leaders in the church. Visit one of our churches and you’d see a lot of young people. And of course, we don’t stop there; the church also helps some deserving students in their education through its foundation arm–Real LIFE.

With Real Life Foundation’s tenth year this 2017, I may not have the numbers but I am pretty sure a lot of lives has been touched already through its scholarships. One way of raising more funds for it is through Run for Life. In 2015, Pastor Ferdie Cabiling ran across the Philippines, over 2,000KM of road from Mindanao to Luzon, to raise awareness and funds for the foundation. This year, Pastor Ferdie Cabiling ran across the whole island of Cebu for 10 days, 50K each day and with some company of pastors and volunteers, and I signed up as one of the runners for our local church, Victory Malate.

Honestly, when I first heard of the idea, I didn’t really give it some thought. I mean, sure I placed running another marathon this year in my planner but sadly, I really didn’t have focus on it. I just placed it under “Health Goals” with no solid plans of pushing it. It seems though, God has different plans, and when He helped me pen that goal, He had plans of exceeding it, as He always does.

It was a running buddy and current pastor in Malate, Ptr. Andrew Wee who invited me to go and run in Cebu for the students. I was initially afraid because I had no training but “You can do it. If the time is 9 hours, that would be like walking pace! You can finish it!” This guy. And so I said yes, I’ll GO.

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“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

Honestly, I am reminded of this while reading a book lent to me by my friend, Prim. And another honest note, I said yes to the run not because of the scholars, but for an adventure and for me, adventures mean a sure way of encountering God but after pondering and asking myself all over why run, I came to these prayers: “That this may glorify only who God is, that the run I would be thinking of the scholars, and to Ptr Ferdie who is doing it for the scholars and to share the Gospel to each city or town he visits.”, a nod to one of my favorite Psalmist line:

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1)

Indeed, the whole race was an adventure, with a lot of leadership lessons along the way. It was a 50K of stretch of Bogo City (San Remigio) to Tuburan, 10.5 hours in the road, with a team of three pastors and one super runner in Sam Maniaul, and I can sum it all up in these points: Continue reading “RUN FOR LIFE: Change a life, Change the Nation”