Manhood, Leadership, and Discipleship

We are starting another chapter of our lives.  As the new year begins, let us continue to find our passion and do the things that we love. Let us be inspired and be an inspiration to others as well. We try to focus more on the good things in life!

The next person I am featuring here is an inspiration to others. He is a minister. He leads people and prays for them.  I do not share the same religion with him but, we are both Christians.  I was raised Catholic and I am still a devotee. Religion for me is a path. We all have different paths to one destination. So personally,  I always believe in respecting people’s differences.

Anyway, I would just like to share why I am featuring this Pastor. He was an acquaintance in College more than twenty years ago. I believe we went to one class together in De La Salle University Manila. Just a few months back, my friend sent us a message. She  was telling us about the conference that she attended, and she wanted to confirm if the speaker was the person we knew.  With technology on hand (which makes research easier), I checked his Instagram account and sent him a message. He recognized me and my friends.

I can still remember in  College, we were all trying to survive school and meet its demands. We wanted to follow our dreams and fulfill our destiny. Sometimes you will never really know what life has to offer.  I just feel very happy seeing people become successful in their chosen paths. For this particular instance, Pastor Dennis is living  a meaningful life and that is being of service to others.

Dennis Sia Sy was born in Tondo Manila on October 7, 1979. He is a Pastor, a blogger, and an author of four books: (1)  SYNC: How to Know God’s Will for your Life , (2) Rich for Life: Secrets of Those Who Stayed Rich for Life and How You Can be One, (3) Act Like a Man: Taking Manhood Back and (4) Why Settle for Good Sex when you can have Great Sex?

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What did you study in College? What did you do after graduating?

“I had a Major in Social Planning and Development. During delay days, I worked part-time in our family business as the marketing and sales head. I was also a bodegero. Our family is in the textile industry sa Divisoria.”

When did you FIRST hear the calling to be a pastor?

“First felt called when I was 12 when a youth pastor preached and told him I want to be like him going to different schools raising next generation leaders who will change the world.”

How did you become a Pastor (training/schooling?)

“After working for the family business for 2.5 years I decided to pursue my study as a Pastor at the same time working at night hosting events and doing stand up comedy to provide for my needs.”

Where do you preach?

“I pastor at Victory Greenhills (Shopping capital of the Philippines).”

The most difficult challenge you’ve experienced as a Preacher?

“It’s difficult challenge is leadership is ME. The major hindrance to living Gods purpose in my life is me.

I needed to be transformed by His word. Romans 12:1-2

The fear and insecurity of a young pastor leading was evident in my first few years in ministry trying to prove something when there was really nothing to prove because Christ already paid the price by dying on the cross for my sin.

The tyranny of doing more for God and trying harder to be good to earn Gods blessing till you read the Scripture and realize that you are already blessed and favored by God.”

Your prayer for the Philippines

“Prayer for the nation is that we would see a resurgence of people’s hunger towards the things of God – that we might see that real change comes from us going back to Jesus who is the ultimate hero of history.”

For more information about Pastor Dennis, you can visit his website: http://dennissy.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Gift of Life

Last night, I found out that a person I knew just passed away. He had a heart attack last week. I could not stop thinking about him because exactly three months ago he was at my father’s wake trying to help out. Who would ever think that he will be gone?  Truly death comes like a thief in the night.

At this point in my life, I just figured out my greatest fear. To see a loved one gone, and the thought of leaving my family behind. With my father’s passing, I often think about things pertaining to the after life, about our existence, and some other “weird” things. It is like seeing things differently. Talking to my  husband keeps me grounded. He would plainly state that it is the reality of life. So he does not really think or worry about it. That it is something that we should accept. Maybe I am just about to learn that step.

Last night I told him about one of the things I always pray for. And I said he should pray the same thing so it makes us two. I said I hope we will be blessed together with a long life (I state specifically at least 90 years old) so we can see our children and grand children grow. He replied, “Whatever is God’s will.”

Now, when I kiss or embrace my family, it feels more than that. When I say some good words to a friend or to a relative, I truly mean it. Slowly, my heart is learning how to forgive and how to sing to each waking moment.

This song was in my head when I woke up and I feel the need to share it. It is a beautiful Filipino gospel song. I really love the acoustic version but unfortunately, there is no vocal. For non-Filipino speakers, I included an English translation below. I hope you do enjoy the music.

Sino Ako?

Hiram sa Diyos ang aking buhay
Ikaw at ako’y tanging handog lamang
Di ko ninais na ako’y isilang
Ngunit salamat dahil my buhay
Ligaya ko na ako’y isilang
Pagkat tao ay mayroong dangal
Sino’ng may pag-ibig?
Sino’ng nagmahal?Kun’di ang tao Diyos ang pinagmulan

Kun’di ako umiibig
Kundi ko man bigyang halaga
Ang buhay na handog
Ang buhay kong hiram sa Diyos
Kundi ako nagmahal
Sino Ako?

Who Am I? (English translation)

My life is only borrowed from God
We’re only a living sacrifice
I did not wish to be born but it’s
A God given blessing to have a life
I am glad that I was born…
I am born with dignity
I have love and I know how to love
Because God first loved me

If I didn’t know how to love
If I didn’t know how to be grateful of
The life that God has given me
Then what is my worth?

Inner Calm

I love this comment from my fellow blogger, Alan. A very beautiful line as I pray for peace and that I would like to share.

The lasting peace found in Him, which is an inner calm in the midst of any storm of life.
-Alan

You can check out his blog: https://amlifcar41.wordpress.com/

Recurring Creepy Dream

At around 3am, I was glad I awoke from a nightmare.

I thought I was awake but somehow aware that I was dreaming. I was lying down on our bed and I see a black shadow gliding to the sides up on the ceiling. I knew something was at my side too. I remember reciting prayers. I did not stop. I woke up and I knew it was not real. When I was closing my eyes I felt like I was falling deep into something.

This is the first time I  write about this. Maybe some of you will have an explanation about it or some can share the same experience.

I am not so sure when it all started, but definitely it was more than 12 years ago. There was a time when my dream was very frequent. And it gradually decreased when I got married. But I would still sometimes have dreams about it.  In 2003 (12 years ago), when my family and I had a vacation in Europe, we visited Lourdes, France. I told the priest about this experience and he said these things are of sensitive matters. I  just remembered him saying to sprinkle holy water around my bed before I sleep. I never did that. It sounds creepy. I just prayed.

It came in different forms and I would always find myself battling with it. I am talking about the dark side, the dark forces. In my dreams, I mightily fight with them and I can feel every prayers I recite: The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostle’s Creed, Glory Be, songs of praises to God, and a lot more. After which, I felt very tired.  Most of the time, I win over them. In some dreams, it does not say how it ends. The fight goes on.  In my dreams, I feel not scared. I am brave. I feel I have the power. I began to think maybe in my past life (if there is) I was an exorcist or something.

Why is it the same theme in my dream? Battling with the dark side and reciting all the prayers? This is one weird dream I have always had.

I lit up a candle in the altar. Maybe it is a reminder to have more prayer time.

Morning Angel

After dropping off my boy to school, my little girl and I went to Walmart to see what I can find in preparation for my son’s birthday party.

Looking around, it took me more than an hour to find everything that I need. I was in line to pay for my things when this very friendly cashier asked me if I would like to purchase the item in her hand for my girl. It was a Sophia the First Accessory Set that costs for less than a dollar only. This thrifty shopper said “no, thank you.” I was thinking my girl will not need it  since she has enough hair accessories (although it was really a good deal). Then the lady behind me asked about the item. I told her that we are not getting it and she can have it. The woman said, “I am buying it for your baby.” I was surprised and I insisted that she does not have to do that. But she was very firm that she wants to buy it for my girl.

I was totally moved by her kindness. A stranger who is just kind to others. I was teary eyed since it felt so surreal to feel genuine human kindness. Caring and expecting for nothing in return. I might not see her ever again but she will always be remembered. Yes it was almost just a dollar purchase but her ACT was worth a million, even priceless! It was so huge that it touches my soul. I gave her a hug and uttered my warmest thank you.

This morning, this old man (neighbor) came knocking at my door. He just said, “Here are some tomatoes harvested from my backyard. I thought you want some since you told me last time that your plant looks dry now.” Of course I did not say that my plant is still alive and is bearing a lot of tomatoes. I wanted to savor human kindness. His thoughtfulness again made me think that God is good. He has surrounded me with a lot of angels in my life.

I prayed that the good Lord will surround my children (and the whole world as well)  with angels who will always protect them, keep them from harm, who will always show kindness to them, who will help out in times of need, who will comfort them when they are sad,  and  surround them with love and happiness.

May angels surround you too and make you realize that life is beautiful!

Irresistable Beauty!

My husband knows that I do this a lot of times. Wherever we are, whatever we do, if I see something that is really beautiful, I stop and take pictures.

I love taking photos even if I am not included in it most of the times. I take photos of the beautiful places, things, and people I see (most of the time my kids).

I do not know what to do with my thousands of photos stored in my computer. My husband asked me what if it all got wiped out? I said I would really be devastated since I collect my memories (especially of my children) through photos and I regard it as one of my most valued possessions.

My husband backs it up in some program. I am obviously so ignorant with “techie” stuff. I just like taking photos and save them. I know what to do already once I retire and have nothing much else to do. My major project is to sort out all the pictures I have collected in my life. Maybe make a website for it and at the same time print them all out and make my albums.

Is that going to be for me? A good question. Maybe it will bring me joy to look at the past through the photos while I am alive. Hopefully my children will see how much they have been loved. Pass it on to their future children and grand children.

Okay, I am thinking too much forward again.

I dropped by to share some beautiful things I saw today and this week. I hope they inspire somebody. It is a beautiful world out there. May we find peace in our hearts. And joy as well!!!

I saw this when we were walking by the church. They have pretty flowers around.

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This was from the church too.

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Saw this street full of Jacaranda trees. I took this during a morning walk with my hubby last Friday.

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Still from the morning walk…

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Just before I post this blog, I was doing chores when I noticed this from my window.

The bright red flower was in the midst of the white roses and it intrigued me.

I went closer to see and investigated. I found out it belonged to a different plant beside the white roses.

I said how beautiful!

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Then I took this photo. I love the rays of the sun.

I see God.

I see light.

I see beauty

I see life.

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Small Beginnings

I am not very talented with gardening, but my better half is! He loves to plant.  It is one of his favorite hobbies aside from reading and numbers. He enjoys gardening (by the way it is his birthday today!) Over time, I learned to appreciate its beauty. I started planting some seeds too in my tiny pots. I feel happy to see sprouts coming out!

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Last year, my husband planted nectarine and orange plants. They are still tiny and I can not wait to eat their fruits someday!  We have vegetables in our backyard too: zucchini, green beans, bell pepper, parsley, green onions and kamote (I planted the last 2). My dear friend germinated some tomatoes for me and I took care of it. Now it is bearing a lot of cherry tomatoes.

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When we moved in this home 2 years ago, a neighbor gave me some pots she no longer wanted to bring as she moved to a different place. I did not know the tiny plants in the pot. I transferred some of it in our soil. When it grew it was chilli peppers! Just like the tomatoes,  I always get thrilled seeing how plenty they are and I get really excited harvesting them.

WP_20150416_002(1)As I was looking at them earlier, I realized the wonders of life. How can a seed turn into a sprout then to a plant or a tree? How can the plant bear fruits and vegetables? How can a tree become so grand and beautiful providing shade to us? How can we have a symbiotic relationship with them, providing oxygen we need and carbon dioxide they need? This is indeed a perfect plan. Planned by nature, by the Universe, by our Creator, by God. This is just one example of the many miracles and wonders in life.

This beautiful miracle also applies to us people. How does a human being develop? How does life develop from a small beginning? From being fetuses, we turn out to be very complex, beautiful, amazing creations. I am not going into the detailed cycle of how a tiny fetus develop into a baby, born, grows up and grows old. Yes it is called Science, Biology, but it can also be seen as a miracle, life’s wonder!

For something to grow, it needs nurturing. Invest time on it. Protect it, give it love and care. Someday, soon, it will bear fruits, vegetables, or a beautiful flower. Then it will be a delight to someone. This applies to all these: plants, trees, animals, and human beings too.

Have a fruitful Life!