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?

pastordennis

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/

 

 

 

 

 

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On Its Second Year

 

It is true what they say. In time you will no longer feel much pain. You will keep moving. You’ll finally get used to the absence.

As much as I love him,  I try not to dwell on the thought that we lost him. I try to see it in a different perspective. He lives in us, we carry him in our hearts.

I still cry but not as much as I did. When he crosses my mind I feel sad but I feel much stronger now.

Although there are moments when I can’t help the tears especially when things around me bring vivid memories of him.

Like last night my kids were playing with their Dad. My little girl was walking on his back and saying that she’s giving him a massage. I remembered during our younger days when we would do the same. Tears fell from my eyes.

Just a while ago when we were watching one of our favorite comedy shows, if featured the 1980 something show called Knight Rider. I remembered the talking black car called KITT, that drove super fast, was bulletproof, fireproof, and helped Michael fought injustices in the world. It brought up some childhood memories. My siblings and I were fond of the super powered car that we named our family car, Kit. If I remember it right, our father even put up a moving light in front of our car pretending that we’re really driving Kit! Something like this:

kitt

Every morning, to wake up my kids, I put up the curtain and let the sunlight into our bedroom. I talk to them or sing to them just the way our old man did.

I know there will be more reminders along the way. One clear proof that our love ones continue to live…

 

 

First Christmas Without Her

When we go to church every Sunday, I always notice a couple who I think are on their 80’s. Although they’re very old, I can definitely still see and feel their love for each other. They look very happy.

I remember in July 2016, they had to sit close to us because the church was packed. I could hear the old man singing so beautifully. Before leaving, the old man handed us a prayer pamphlet. It was a devotion to St. Joseph. The old lady had a very sweet smile.

Sometime in October 2016, the church recognized all the couples who celebrated their wedding anniversary. This couple was one of them. I heard they celebrated their 57 years together. So after the mass, I came up to them to congratulate them. I told them that they are an inspiration to young married couples like us. I saw the old lady’s face beaming and they proudly talked about their kids, grand kids, and great grand children. I gave them a hug and said bye.

In November 2016, I noticed that the old man was alone. For a few weeks, I wanted to come up to him to ask how he was but never got the chance. I had a feeling and I hope I was wrong.

Last night, my eyes were fixed on the old man. It is a week before Christmas and I decided to greet him a Merry Christmas in advance after the service. His name is Raul. It is the first Christmas without her after 57 years. He said he always sees her in spirit.

We talked for a while. I mentioned about my Dad who passed away last year. Somehow when I see Raul he reminds me of him. Same age. Both wearing their favorite beige/khaki jacket. After mentioning about my Dad, Raul said at age 82. I was so shocked how he knew that my Dad was 82 when he died. He said it just came to his mind and that the spirit works in mysterious ways. I gave him a hug and told him that I’ll pray for his  beautiful and sweet wife.

I know I will be seeing Raul by himself every church time, and I pray that I will see him for a very long time. I can’t help but think again about the bitter reality of growing old, death, dying, and being left alone. And for us who are left behind, we have to live and keep going.

I also remember my Tatay (Dad) and Mommy who were together for 53 years. This January 2017 is supposed to be their 55th Anniversary. Here is a photo of them taken by my sister that year  before he passed away. One of the most beautiful and meaningful photos I keep.

tay-and-mommy

 

 

 

Loving Each Moment

One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is just being there for them, when they’re not feeling well or when they’re just chilling out.

Sometimes I complain about the stress of raising kids especially when they fight a lot or when they’re being difficult.

I just say that. I know the the time will come when they will no longer need me and I will miss every moment they were little.

I will have all these memories when they were growing up.

It is a nice cold morning today.

tennieanddrei

 

My Church

WORDS IN THE LIGHT

My church has no wall
my church has no roof,
birds of freedom fly through,
so many stars shine inside,

my church has neither doors
nor stained glass windows,
it is the Lifeblood of Spring,
the golden paintings of Fall.

As simple as a mountain flower,
as strong as a mother,
my church is wider than the sky,
and higher than cathedrals,

for it is the Good in everyone,
the never-ending breath of Life,
the Faith in Love,
my church is Love itself.

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Not All People Are Nice

As a Mom, I wish to shield my children from the negativity of this world. However, I know that this is not possible!

So I change my strategy. As I guide them, I would  talk to them about some bitter realities of life. Of course, I try to soften it. I want them to be prepared. To be ready. I wish to equip them with skills that will help them survive, succeed, and live a happy life.

Relationships enormously affect us. I tell my kids, when people are born, they are nice. We are all like angels. But as we all go through our lives, a lot of factors come in (environment, family, health etc.) and they affect/shape the person. As I explain this to my 8-year-old, he quickly said, “Yes Mommy but each person can choose if they want to be good or bad.”

The fact is NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE NICE. That is another sad reality of life.

Some people may not be nice to your face at all, and some people can even stab you at the back.

I tell my kids, DO NOT LET OTHERS’ COMMENTS DEFINE OR AFFECT YOU.

Only focus on the people and things that will make you better and happy. Stay away from the negative people/things that pull you down.  THERE IS NO PLEASING EVERYBODY. At times you are already doing everything that you can with all good intentions. And people can still say hurtful things about you (at your face or on your back).

As long as you know that YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN AT THE MOMENT and YOU THINK A MILLION TIMES ABOUT YOUR DECISION OR CHOICE before you act on it, then YOU SHOULD HAVE NO REGRETS and HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. You’ll see.

PRAY A LOT too and always ASK FOR WISDOM AND STRENGTH. There is definitely a God who sees through our hearts.

It  can be a cruel world, full of struggles and challenges as it is also filled with so many beautiful things.

It is a blessing to live, and we must have the right perspective in order to enjoy this gift!

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Khristine Meets Christine!

christinej
Our family was in church hearing an ordinary Sunday mass. We were sitting in the cry room since we have two young kids. The mass was about to begin, when suddenly I noticed  a familiar face walked in. I believe she was with teenage daughter/s.  I could not remember where I met her.
The mass went on and during the Holy Communion, she passed us by . She even looked my way for a while.  Then  I realized that she looked like the TV personality back home in Manila but I was not so sure though.
After a few months, I was browsing people in Instagram. From one person, it led me to the photo of that familiar face. I figured it was Christine Jacob!  I sent her a message asking if she happened to be in our parish church, and she confirmed it! So I thought I’d ask her if I can feature her in my little blog site. She was very nice to say “Sure, anytime!”
Christine Sotto Jacob-Sandejas, also known as Christine Jacob, is a Filipina Olympian swimmer, actress, T.V. host, and newscaster. She was born in Guam and her family moved back to Manila. She joined the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in 1983 when she was 16. The following year, she competed in the swimming competition in the Summer Olympics 1984.
When she was 23 years old she got offered a co-hosting job in a show called “Eat Bulaga.” More projects followed.  She stopped hosting in showbiz when she got pregnant with her first child. Now she has five children with her loving husband, Paco Sandejas. She has been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I reviewed some stories about her and found a recent one posted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=76086) last April 20, 2016.  The article talks about how Catholic faith is very important to Christine and her family  (an evident reason why I probably found her in church when she was visiting in LA).  In the article she mentioned the following was mentioned:
“Christine shared she and her husband go out of their way to instill in their children the fundamentals of the faith like teachings on the Mass, Confession, and the other Sacraments.”
“They also read them stories from the Bible to complement and reinforce what they learn at school.”
“They make sure the little Sandejases—all five of them—will grow up respectful, honest, and disciplined.”
“Values are very important for me,” exclaimed Christine.
I read another article written about her by her sister-in-law, Amanda Griffin. Christine shared here her typical day:
“I wake up at 6. Have my coffee, bring my 4 kids to school (Jaime 2 yrs old school just started in June) , Then ME time…I play tennis or yoga or run or workout…pick up the 4 yr old from school and have lunch with them. Then do errands (bank, grocery etc). Pick up the 3 older kids from school and bring them to various activities (ballet/ gymnastics/ soccer/ reading/ little gym/ cheer dancing/ violin guitar/ piano…etc (never ending activities..wait till summer ) Then come home and do homework, Dinner then Sleep by 8:30. And the cycle starts again……” (http://amandagriffinjacob.com/christine-jacob/August 1, 2011 Amanda Griffin – Jacob)
These are the reasons why I feature her in my blog. I truly admire her energy taking care of herself, her family, particularly being hands on with her five children. Based on my experience, I find it indeed challenging to  discipline children and mold them to be good people. So I am just truly glad that I got the chance to interview Christine and share some of her wisdom.
Let’s hear from Christine!
 
Where did you live in the US during your elementary years? How old were you when you came to live in Manila?
I grew up in Manila . I was born in Guam but after 6 months my family moved to Manila . I consider Manila as my home . I went to school at the Colegio San Agustin in Makati till high school .
 
You were an Olympian. When did you first learn how to swim?  Will you briefly describe your experience when you joined the Summer Olympics in 1984?
 Started competing (swimming ) at the age of 6. First international swim meet at 11 Junior Olympics held in Japan.  Then Southeast Asian age group , SEA GAmes , Asian Games , Olympics in 1984 in LA 😊  I truly pride myself in  being Philippine trained .
You have been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I studied college in Ohio , Kenyon College . I continued to swim.
All 4 years . I graduated in 1989 BA in International Studies with China as my area of concentration. 
 After 1 year of working in Boston I decided to move back to Manila then doors started to open in the field of communication. I     started hosting Eat Bulaga in December 1990, then as a newscaster for PTV4 also the same year . 
    1990-1998 Co-hosted in Eat Bulaga 
    1998-2001 MTB (Magandang Tanghali Bayan ABS-CBN)
    Married in 1999.
    First child came in 2000
    5 kids 
    
I would host various shows while taking care of my family: Mobile Kusina, Here Comes the bride, Game Na, Full Time Mom
Currently I have a daily show on CNN Philippines called Real Talk .
How do you do it? How do you raise 5 kids? What is one important thing that every parent should remember? 
Values for children . Instilling values is getting to be more difficult with the access of social media , bring the whole world into your home . The kids are exposed to a different culture, the values have changed . That’s why the importance of family life. The importance of spending time with your kids , being there for them . Guiding them during the formation years.
I am aware about your typical day. I can relate to your activities.I can not imagine how you manage five children. I often complain and yet I only have two! I heard you do yoga, runs, swim? Balancing all these things alongside with work and family.
Where do you get the energy?! What is the secret? Do you have a regular regimen/work out? 
A few years ago I was much more active than I am now. Maybe age has caught up with me😱. I remember a time when I would run 10k before my 2 hour tennis practice etc.. I am a very competitive person and feel the need to train to get better. I am trying to ween myself from that and just take it easy and relax a bit more .
Now I am happy with a few hours a week of social tennis . Maybe go back to yoga. 
DIET is now my main concern. My metabolism has changed a lot so I needed to find the right combination of foods.
As I age I find I can’t do dairy / fried foods (my stomach gets upset)
So in the morning I juice/blend a lot of my greens. I try to consume healthy fats since I stay away from grains / bread. I use a lot of coconut Oil for my food / 
desserts and at times in my coffee. I love  coconut Keffir – probiotics.  Avocado / spinach / banana shake during my tennis games . 
I eat a lot of greens / chicken – fish – soups . Once I take out sugar and eat healthy I do find I am not sluggish and have lots of energy for my daily activities . 
But my weakness is chocolates 😱😱😱
What else do you want to accomplish? What is your one great dream?
I hope to do more shows on CNN Philippines.
I love nutrition / food / parenting .. 
I love Philippine made 😍😍😍 products / clothes/ jewelry
christinejacob