Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two couples who inspire

I’m not really into chick flicks or anything too “valentine-y.”  My wife loves those kinds of movies, and I am often forced to watch mushy stuff with her, and sometimes, oftentimes, actually, I feel bad when I find myself not enjoying it that much and wish I was somewhere else.

But I’m sure all of us become very joyful when we learn of a single friend becoming not-so-single.  I don’t care who you are, that puts a smile on our faces.

A man I’ve recently befriended through a mutual friend (co-worker actually) is now one of those not-so-singles, and so many of us still aren’t over the euphoria of the news.  What makes me especially happy is that both Job and Margarita (fondly nicknamed, Its) are really, really good people who passionately make a point to glorify God in their love story.

Job, who loves to blog, shares this newfound passion in his blog site, which I paraphrase below (with his permission).
I am in love.

As soon as I changed my [facebook] relationship status last night, most people started asking: “is this for real or another ‘I love Jesus’ kind of gimmick?”

For one, I love Jesus and that’s not a gimmick. Secondly, I love HER…Indeed, God has now given me someone to love the Song of Songs way. What a way to spend Valentine’s Day 2011– blogging at the hotel lobby beside the woman I so love.

Right! Jesus Christ’s love is the PERFECT LOVE. But I’m amazed how his perfect love ignites me and her to love each other more and more everyday.

There’s a lot more in that entry, but you can already see what a wonderful example this couple will be to those who know them.  Their example and testimony excites me more than anything else about these two.

Job, who is a life coach, has been helping us (the Abba’s Orchard faculty) out by visiting our school from time to time to mentor our students.  His impact on their young minds and hearts has been invaluable.   In fact, Job again blogs about one of my students in his latest blog entry, “Have you tasted the triple delight?”  Again, he heaps loving words to Its, and even features an excerpt of her blog, but what is especially striking is how his teaching and example (in his treatment of Its, no doubt) has impacted my student.  Click here for that entry.

If it looks like I’m putting Job and Its on a pedestal, please don’t think that.  Again, what makes these two and their relationship so special is that they put their focus most on the One who brought them together, the One who invented love (including romantic love) and, most importantly, the One who they depend on in their treatment of each other.

As said in the Bible verse that Its quoted so aptly in her own blog: “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)

And therefore, this is the perfect segue to…SOUL MEETS

I’m sure all of us dream for that kind of pure, yet passionate, love to be ours as well.  Well, the singles of the church community I belong to can get you on your way there (if you’re single, that is).

This is our way of equipping you in the ways of love and romance, which can often be rocky and turbulent.

The speakers for this event are two wonderful people who Jhean and I are proud to call our mentors, Dr. Allan Melicor and his wife, Blessie.

Not only are they among the best speakers, but their love story is one of the best, if not THE best, that I know of.  It’s a wonderful story of trust, passion, purpose, and patience…it’s the ultimate TRUE LOVE WAITS story, in my opinion.  And nobody tells it like they do, so don’t even think that you can get it second hand and expect it to be even half as good.

You just have to be there.

So be there!  It’s on February 26, 2011 at CCF, and registration starts at 5:30pm, program starts at 6pm.  Bring all your single friends, especially those who are unlucky at love.  Who knows, with the inspiration and the principles you learn from SOUL MEETS, your story could be as wonderful as Job’s and Its’, or Allan’s and Blessie’s?

Wouldn’t what they have be worth attending?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learn to love better this Friday

Before I start this blog proper, I’d like to announce that, in case you’re interested, I have finally filled out my “about me” page in my personal website.  I know, I know…it’s about time.  I once thought only people who know me personally visit this site.  I’m starting to realize that that’s not the case, especially lately.  So, if you’d like to find out who Carlo Alado is, then click the “about” icon above.

With that out of the way, I’d like to let you all know that I’m quite excited for this Friday, February 25, 2011.  You see, my wife and I are blessed to lead and shepherd a wonderful group of young couples (one of several in the community I belong to).  We usually go through a lot of lessons together, programs that are designed to help us become better individuals, better couples, and better parents.

This Friday, we will start our newest, and probably our most exciting program yet…and we would like you to join us.

The 40 Days of Love curriculum

As I have hinted in a previous blog, the community I belong to is starting a new program for small groups called 40 Days of Love.  It is a video and study guide curriculum taught by Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

For the next six Fridays, we will let Mr. Warren teach us why it’s so important to treat people with love.

Is it really important?  Yes!  In fact, the Bible says, very clearly, to “let love be your highest goal…” (1 Corinthians 14:1).  Above being rich; above being successful; above status or professional position; above being proven right…above all the things we strive for in this world, we should strive hardest to love.

This extends far beyond your special someone, your family, and the people you like, because loving these guys is easy.  Being loving extends to the people beyond your intimate circle, even the people who give you pain, and to those you’d rather not associate with.

Now that’s another ball game, altogether…and these kinds of people in our lives seem to be growing larger in number by the day.  Even with the people who are easy to love, we seem to have lost the ability to show them how much we love them.

And that’s why you need this video study series.

These stressful, lawsuit-riddled, divorce-plagued, non-altruistic times almost demand a video series like this.  We’re all blessed to have 40 Days of Love in our fingertips.

Or, shall I say, in YOUR fingertips as well.

If you are a younger couple married 10 years or less, or are aged less than 40 years old, feel free to join our group, or any of the other young couples groups shown in the video above.  This blog officially serves as your invitation.

If you’re interested, but do not fit the group’s demographics (you’re still single, or you’re a bit older, etc.), you can still join us for this study.  The principles in 40 Days of Love are very broad and serve as a good introduction to the kind of fellowship and mentoring that we have.  After these next six weeks, I’d be more than happy to hook you up with a group that’s a good match for you.

I can also hook you up into said group right away and you do the study with them.  The college students have already started and are now on their 2nd session.  My mom’s group will start a day after we do.  There are nearly a hundred small groups in our community that will start 40 Days of Love at the same time.  Just let me know a bit about you and your available schedule, and I can find a group for you in no time.

More attractions for you: dinner is usually served, and very delicious.  The workbook materials are also free and are yours to keep.  Most importantly, you will also fellowship with other couples who go through the exact same struggles as you do (prince charming turned out to be prince frightening, raising rambunctious little tykes, making ends meet as we start our young careers, etc.).  You will learn from our victories, our defeats, and our battles.  And of course, we usually have lots and lots of fun.

We meet at 7:00 PM every Friday.  I will only divulge our venue for our meetings to those who reply that they are interested.  If that’s you, please either email me at or comment on this post (leaving your email ad so I can reply).

I hope you can reap the benefits of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Love with us.  I’ll be waiting for your comments.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Teens who wait…and how yours could be one of them.

I remember, during a reunion with college friends, a conversation when they were telling me how appalled they were to see two very young teens just fresh out of puberty making-out in the movie theater.  According to my friends, those two were just all over each other like you wouldn’t believe, and they were maybe 12 or 13 years old.

They were telling me that teens today are way out of control.  Well, teens needed to put on the brakes during my day as well, not just today.  Hey, I became a dad at a very young age, so I should know.  And how easy for my friends to forget that they were teens once, and maybe they had their own struggles in this area, and not just in movie theatres.  Heck, some of them still need someone to put the brakes on them today, but that’s another story.

But, yeah, I agree with my friends in that we feel technology and media has made teens today less disciplined in keeping their hands, lips, and other parts to themselves than in previous generations.

However, all is not lost.

One girl my church’s high school youth ministry has promised her dad that the first kiss she will ever have will be with her husband on the altar.  Her “you may now kiss the bride” will be kiss #1.

Another teen girl in the same church, who lives apart from her parents, told them “I will not give my heart to any man until you give me your approval.”

Another girl, also living apart from her parents, not only is choosing to wait, but has gone on and mentored her dorm-mates who have fallen to pieces because of relationships they shouldn’t have had.

These are just three of many such breath-of-fresh-air statements; both made a few years ago but today are kept as strong as if they were said yesterday.  By the way, these are not girls who have faces only their mothers could love.  All three girls are actually very pretty, with looks and personalities that would attract any guy.

Oh, and don’t think it’s only the girls who are making a stand like they are.  My favorite testimony of all time in this topic is from a teen guy.  I wish I could tell it here, but as of the time this is published, I failed to ask his permission to share his (quite personal) story…and it’s such a beautiful story of conviction, wisdom, patience, and, I believe, genuine affection (How much did he love her?  He loved her so much that he chose not to pursue…man, it’s sooo nice).

Anyway, so what is the difference between the out of control, newly post-pubescent pair liplocking at the movie theatre and the examples I mentioned?  I saw two common denominators.

One, all of the teens I mentioned had fathers who were willing to mentor them in walking the right path, especially in this area.  I know so, because I know their fathers quite well, and I know what kind of men they are.  These men know that their first disciples are their families, and they take to raising their children very seriously.  I look up to all of them very much and I hope I can parent my two daughters and youngest boy as well as they did their own children.

Second, and this is just as important in my opinion, is that all these teens were part of a youth ministry.  These activities are true gems in not only molding a teen’s character, but in getting together like minded young people, with the result being some fantastic camaraderie and mutual growth that cannot be achieved when alone (a lone ranger is a dead ranger).

It also gives them a big brother/sister role model that they could look up to and emulate.  My wife and I had the pleasure of playing that role for all of the teens mentioned above except for the 2nd, who goes to the same church but in a different city.

I remember, when my students were still doing Alex Lacson’s book (see my previous blog on a BUY PINOY experiment), my final project was for them to submit their very own “12 Little Things Every Filipino TEEN Can Do For Our Country.”  A great number of them included joining a youth ministry as part of their 12 things.  I couldn’t agree more, especially if said ministry has the guts to tackle this topic head on.

And there are so many great churches with great youth ministries to choose from.

The church that I go to, Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) has T.E.E.N.S. for high school youth and T.O.U.C.H. College for the college youth.  To tackle sex and relationships, they just had their “Love Dare” event to great success and they will launch “True Love Waits” very soon.

(2012 note:  CCF’s youth ministry is now called JZONE ELEVATE)

Some of the most ministry-oriented and active Christian students in the school I teach in belong to GCAF’s Inside Out.  It is a fantastic youth group where, if my students are any indication, young people are molded really, really well.  They also do “True Love Waits”.

The school also has some wonderful people from Victory Christian Fellowship (VCF) visit from time to time for leadership and personality training.  These guys belong to VCF’s youth ministry, Lifebox, and they just had an event called “Love, Sex, and Kwek-Kwek” (what a cute name, and they served 400 pcs of the heralded street food that night) to great success as well.  The students love their weekly visits and have a blast with these awesome guys.

So readers, if you really care about your child’s purity (in both body and mind), I feel that you need to be a real mentor to your child, especially in sensitive areas like love and sex; and you need to get them in an environment where they can grow socially and spiritually, so that it partners with you in your parenting journey.  Pick any of the youth groups above for that.  In CDO, these three are among the best.

Well, this was a long one, but I hope you got a lot out of it.  Now, I’m gonna ask those Lifebox guys if they have any spare kwek-kwek left.  I love me some kwek-kwek!

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