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”

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LIT UP Leaders: Benedict Francisco

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Benedict is one of my all-time friends. All-time, because I have been friends with this guy since we were really little.

I would be the one of the first to testify that he is one rowdy kid, but always had the leader in him way back. He’s younger than me about a year but I always let him lead during the times we were playing with toy cars, guns; stuff the boys like to do.

Growing up, I also saw how he changed from his old self; passive and all, to this purposive and passionate leader that he is today. He isn’t perfect but I see his direction. I got the chance to ask him about his journey and let’s see how it went: Continue reading “LIT UP Leaders: Benedict Francisco”

A Call for Impact

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Leadership comes with the idea of legacies. Great leaders have always managed to leave great legacies behind even with them not really thinking about it. They just had a sense of the bigger picture and focused on it but leaving a legacy is a fruit of their body of work.

With that said, still, the impact we leave is still something we want to think about. This could very well have an effect to how we will act today.

One time when I was in some conversation with one of the best leaders I know, Leovic, he said “What if Victory Malate just disappeared from its current place right now, would the community feel that loss?”

That made sense; not for vainglory of the church but if we truly say that we are a body of Christ, being obedient to God’s mandate of being a salt and light of this world, then we are to make an impact to places where we go.

Yesterday, I had the privilege to serve with some of the singles group in Victory Malate to do an outreach in a nearby community, aptly called Zafra (don’t ask me why).

I was amazed with how organized it really was considering the call to organize was within a week. It was a slim timeline considering the factors of who will lead and scout the land beforehand, who to tap as volunteers to do work before and on the day, and not to mention the funds needed to be raised. Continue reading “A Call for Impact”

The Pursuit for an Imperfect Man

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I don’t have clear memories of how me and Ronald met. He said it was in a basketball court during our high school days. I am some years senior but he’s that huge guy in our team who’s amazingly slow in offense but deceptively fast in defense. If we wanted to have someone get blocked, we ask Ronald.

Yesterday I got to witness one of the best weddings I have been to. Well, honestly I haven’t been into many, but I certainly have this one in the books. It was Ronald and Prim’s wedding and it was certainly quirky and entertaining; it surely showed the couple’s qualities–both artisan souls at that.

I was honored to be part of their entourage and was happy to have witnessed how they have organized this one, and this shed a light to a part of Ronald I didn’t really know--his leadership. Continue reading “The Pursuit for an Imperfect Man”

Kian, 17

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At 17, my problems were mostly college subjects, or my tuition fee. Apart from that, I think it is mostly chill and relaxed.

At 17, Kian Delos Santos begged for mercy for his life, still thinking of his academics.

I can’t fathom how this could be sustainable. I usually am up for positivity in the leadership blog but this time, I couldn’t bear it much longer. Inasmuch as it pains me, I see this as a leadership issue and pointing at the wrong root.

In my limited perspective, I know it is not good to kill. It never will be, especially that I espouse that I am a Christian, with Jesus teaching us something about killing. I condemn all of these killings, and by the Grace of God, retain what He taught to us about it.

I cannot turn a blind eye any longer to all of these. Let us call it as it is: murder. What happened to Kian is murder. A young man with hopes and dreams yet all stopped because of some men “obeying orders” of killing suspected victims.

This really brings pain to my heart, since we all look at the next generation as our future. We aim to mentor them so that the wrong things, ranging from experience, characters that we seen now that can be corrected tomorrow. We pass on the good things of today.

I am honestly, visibly disappointed with current leadership but they are placed there for a reason. Still, it is an everyday battle to pray for our leaders. I just can see that their leaders before them failed to give them guidance thus the current style, thus all the more the need to really disciple the next.

As current leaders, us, in the now, we have the big responsibility to share the original vision God has given, through mercy and grace. I see two roles: to pray for the current leaders, supporting the right initiatives but condemning and never turning a blind eye the wrong actions; and the second is to disciple the next and instilling them the mercy and grace of God. 

This is a bit of a write-up that is not linear, I admit I am a bit clouded in my judgment here, but at the end of it, I still ask for God’s hand to move. I pray for steadfastness and boldness for of us, in this trying times, to still hold on to that hope for a better future.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. 
(Habbakuk 2:3 ESV)

I pray for you, Philippines. 

 

 

LIT UP Leaders: Micah Pascual

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If we’re to talk about “Alpha Females”, she’d be on top of my list of friends, only because Ronda Rousey isn’t in my radar (yet). No, she is not a fighter like her in the Octagon nor any martial arts field (though she does of a bit of Taekwondo), I could say she’s one tough cookie in terms of the spiritual side.

She is one of my workmates back then when I had a short stint for 7107 International Music Festival and clicked we did right away. I consider her one of my dearest sisters in the faith and surely, how God molded her into this heroine is truly just amazing. She could have done her work here in the Metro, big city but she chose to dig deep and go back to her roots, and lead where God told her.

It’s been a while since I last had a “LIT UP” Leader section and sharing this short but concise interview. Let her answers do all the talking and let’s see if you’re not going to be impressed. Continue reading “LIT UP Leaders: Micah Pascual”

From Pain to Praises

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Let me start this one with a reference to one blog I did before, about my heroes.

My heroes aren’t in pedestals,
nor those etched in myths and legends.

Earlier I was able to have a chance to join a local prison ministry led by a friend and a fellow Kairos classmate, Krizzia Yuzon. The reason behind it is because I became curious with all of her posts about her being in this ministry. Just imagine being a woman in a crowd of almost all men, inmates with cases tied with their name. I wanted to first hand see how it is and break some mindsets I personally have.

Last time I was near a prison was in college when I had an assignment to cover a police station. I wasn’t even inside the cell but I could smell the stench, and feel the heat of a place packed with people. I could not imagine nor would I wish to go inside but that’s why I wanted to go with a ministry to at least have a glimpse, and also a bit inspired by this: Continue reading “From Pain to Praises”

Heroes.

My heroes aren’t in pedestals,
nor those etched in myths and legends.
Fighting skills they do not possess,
nor weaponry, artillery that strikes terror to the enemy.

For the great, worldly comforts already at hand,
or bright promises that await.
All abandoned, shunned, and tossed to the air.

But yes, my heroes are fighters.
They are engaged in battles, all bloodied and bruised.
Fighting an ancient war, one seemingly absurd and mundane.

Assess and possess.
The Nations as the mission, the goal.
Not for conquest or domination, no, not even close.
To bring the heavens, different set of operations,
not for an earthly master, but for the divine.

My heroes may never be counted,
not in dailies, or history books.
But lo and behold, they fight gallantly,
not for their glory, but for the Lamb to see.

This one is dedicated to all who’s doing missions now. Technically, every Christian is a missionary to each field we are called. But this one is specifically for the friends I have who are dying in and everyday to self, giving life to what Jesus said before He went back to heaven. People who are doing the role even when it entails not doing their ‘dreams’, but dreams of having heaven come down.

As for us, may we have our hearts beat for each field we are in. As the song “The Beat” says, may we have our hearts beat for the lost.