Friday, July 27, 2012

Women of Worth – a safe haven for single mothers in CDO

It’s an interesting coincidence (or is there divine power at work?).  In the short amount of time since I made my “Traits of real men” article, I had very long Facebook chat conversations with three single mom friends of mine.

In each of these convos, I truly felt their pain through their keyboards.  My heart ached for them as they retold accounts of physical and emotional abuse; of the lies and the infidelity; of their struggles in doing twice the work with only half the resources; and, among lots of other things, their great loneliness and their fears of becoming a less desirable catch because of the baggage that they carry (emotional and, with kids in tow, physical).

If you’re expecting from this article a list or some tips on how to cope as a single mother, I’m sorry, but nope, because I will not serve you well if I try.  However, if you’re a single mother from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, I’m going to do one better.

While you have the daunting task of raising your child(ren) on your own, you don’t have to face the trials of single motherhood on your own.  My church, CCF-Cagayan de Oro, has a great support group for single mothers.  It’s called Women of Worth (or WOW for short).

WOW offers a safe and compassionate environment for single moms to have fun, unwind, relate, and most importantly, grow to become the Woman of Worth that God has made you to be.  They meet every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month…and that means they’ll meet tomorrow.

My apologies for posting this blog just today, less than 24 hours from the time they’ll meet for this month.  I got the idea to make this post from last night’s conversation with the third friend from the above-mentioned single mother trio, a long conversation where I eventually suggested she join WOW (the other two are not based in CDO, so the thought never crossed my mind).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My reflections on the Colorado movie premiere shooting incident: a slippery slope, yet there is hope

I was, and still am, excited to finally watch Batman: The Dark Knight Rises this weekend.  To celebrate the occasion, I was gonna post my all-time favorite Batman movie spoof in the hopes of getting a good laugh out of the two or three Batman fans out there who have not seen it yet.

But then I heard the shocking news when a gunman armed to the teeth opened fire in a Colorado movie theater during the midnight premiere of said movie, killing 14 people and injuring dozens others.  There goes the Batman spoof post…no way can I post that after what had just happened.

As I read the news, I was overwhelmed with such anger and grief.  It blows my mind how someone could be capable of doing such a barbarically evil deed.

As a shell-shocked dad blogger trying to process what just happened, my reflections on the Colorado movie premier shooting incident drifted to two main ideas, which are basically: “a slippery slope, yet there is hope.”

For the slippery slope part, allow me to show you snapshots from a video teaching module that I have, made quite a long time ago, which cited a USA Today article comparing the biggest problems in US public schools in the 1940’s with the same in the 1980’s.

So, here’s the problems schools had to deal with in the 1940’s:

Now, here’s what schools had to deal with in the 1980’s, just 40 years later:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Young ladies of high school or college age, learn to be His Girl

JZone, being a great youth group in the business of changing young lives, has a great event for high school and college age girls, called Becoming His Girl
Our mentors: Doc Allan and ate Blessie Melicor

Indeed, young girls today are under such ridiculous pressure to conform, to look a certain way, and to prematurely give their hearts away to some guy (partly in infatuation, partly because their friends are also doing so), and surely they need wisdom to put all this in perspective.

Here’s the perspective: bottom line, there’s only One Person you should aim to please, One Person who you ultimately give your heart to.  Young ladies, strive, ultimately, to be His Girl.

The special guest who will guide our young ladies to be His Girl is Blessie Melicor.  She’s a very lovely woman who serves as a mentor to my wife and to so many other ladies in our church, CCF-CDO.  My wife (and I) look up to her greatly, and definitely JZone couldn’t have picked a better resource speaker for Becoming His Girl. 

So, if you have college or high school aged young ladies in your house or in your acquaintance, please do make sure they come to CCF-CDO this Friday for JZone's event.  It’s a fantastic community for young people, including young girls, to grow in friendships and to grow in the Lord.

My daughter, Lynn, LOVES the JZone community, and I’m so blessed how she’s being discipled by so many wonderful “kuyas” and “ates”.  When so many young people are so passionate for God, I can’t help but smile and have my eyes tear up. 

Thank you for the ‘7 Habits’ Stephen Covey. RIP

Thank you, Mr. Covey.  Thank you for your wisdom
This was supposed to be a no-blog day, since my workload is crazy heavy (not to mention I’m in the kitchen crew this week) and I have to prepare lessons, talks, and whatnot.  But what I saw in the news shocked and saddened me to the core; so much so that I had to drop everything and write a post.

Steven Covey, author of the granddaddy of self-help books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has died at the age of 79.  He didn’t die of a lifestyle disease or anything like that.  He died from complications of a bicycle accident.  He was active, and highly effective, to the very end.

This amazing man’s work has touched millions of lives, including mine and so many of my friends’.  Simply put, he made our lives better.  He made us better people.

Not only have our personal lives have been touched by his work, but his influence even extends to my professional and ministry life.

Some of the best messages at church (and our church’s retreats) were based on the 7 Habits that Mr. Covey espoused, as well as a later book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traits of real men, and they’re getting rare nowadays

 One of the funniest and most popular status messages on my Facebook timeline is actually Biblical advice geared towards single young ladies.  It goes something like this:

"To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: ‘Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.’ While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheating-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz."

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny!  But at the same time, it’s also a bit serious, and not just to the ladies, but to the men. 

This was further emphasized when a former student of mine, who just entered his first weeks of college, came back to the school to visit.  I’m honored that he sees me as more than a mere teacher, but as a personal mentor, and he tells me everything from ambitions to fears to observations to secrets.  This is what he said after he experienced his first week of college life:

“You know, Mr. Carlo, the guys in my class talk about what being a man is, and for them it’s about the ability to drink lots of alcohol and stuff like that.  I wanna show them what real manhood is…based on what the Bible says.”

I can’t get the words exactly right, but that’s the basics of what he said.  While I was proud of him that he said so (influencing the character of young people: one reason I love my job, hehe), I felt sad that there are so few guys like that and they’re getting fewer all the time.  While I’m confident he can successfully go against the flow, it’s a pretty big flow….like, Amazon river flow.   

Monday, July 9, 2012

RIP Ernest Borgnine. Now I GOTTA play some Airwolf favorite scenes

It's a sad day for those of us boys who grew up in the 80's.  Ernest Borgnine, one of the stars of my favorite 80's TV show, Airwolf, died of renal failure at the ripe old age of 95.  Truly, a part of my childhood died with his death.  Long live Dominic Santini!

Since I'm home, sick, and have time to kill, I went on a nostalgic Airwolf Youtube rampage.  Allow me to bring you to a trip back memory lane and show you the unforgettable Airwolf intro as well as some of the favorite scenes I found there in Youtube.

The awesome Airwolf intro

What is your opinion on angry and offensive Facebook status messages?

Really?  It's that simple?
Have you or any of your friends been guilty of venting or saying something very negative on your Facebook status updates in the heat of anger?  A lot of us are guilty of doing so, and the results to these very powerful posts vary from sympathy, to shock, to criticisms, to even being unfriended by people.

How do you feel about this topic?  Can you rationalize it by arguing that people have the right to say whatever they want (hey, it’s a free country; and Facebook is free, too)?  Or do you belong to the camp that asks the angry FB users to think twice before posting their gripes for all to see?

Before I tell you which side I’m on, I would like to implore you to watch another video clip from Dr. Wayne Cordeiro’s excellent talk, Dead Leader Running.  It talks about an excellent principle called “Find A Lightning Rod.”  This principle will help our lives (real or cyberspace) immensely, and it very excellently introduces my opinion on the subject.

Enjoy the video, which is based on a church leaders' summit a few years ago.  Please don’t read any further until you see the video in its entirety.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Suffering from burnout? Time management problems? Fill your tank!!

I don’t think I have any vices as you’d describe vices to be.  I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, my diet is quite good, and I have a daily exercise routine.  However, if I do have a vice, it’s this: I have this tendency to over commit.  Well, I dunno if it’s my fault, but, man, I just realize I truly have a lot on my plate.

And so this blog entry is for those of us who juggle through so many responsibilities and wear too many hats to the point that we fry ourselves.  How do we avoid burnout?  What time management skills can we use so that we can still excel even if the demands on our time are so high?

Maybe you can relate to one of my favorite speakers and authors, Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, author of the bestseller Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion.  He suffered from incredible burnout.  It was so bad that he was warned that if he doesn’t change his Mach 4 schedule, he’d never be productive again.  See his video here, an excerpt from his excellent Dead Leader Running talk:

Yeah, I can relate.  A co-worker and close friend calls me “the juggler” because of all the hats that I have to wear, from senior teacher, to husband, to parent, to active church member, to blogger.  Mach 4 schedule?  Yep. 

If you can relate as well, then I suggest you take a hard look at the tips Dr. Cordeiro presents in Leading On Empty.  The book is gold..  It would give you tips on how to bring joy back in your work, improve time management, and avoid burnout. 

There’s a smorgasbord of helpful lessons in Leading on Empty.  Here’s one that Dr. Wayne Cordeiro give in the same talk: Do What Fills Your Tank.  Check the excellent vid below:

Monday, July 2, 2012

HILARIOUS imitations of Martin Nievera and Gary V!!

After being blown away by Osang’s awesome audition in The X Factor, Philippines (click here to see my article on that), I still stayed up and watched the Icons at the MOA Arena Concert.  I thought it was a fantastic night of song, but one of my favorite parts was the hilarious imitations of Filipino singing superstars Martin Nievera and Gary V., done in a funny segment by renowned comedians Jose, Wally, and Pokwang.

I’m a huge fan of both singers, and the imiations were the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t know if both Gary V. and Martin Nivera should be proud or pissed.  I’m sure they were good sports.

Anyway, the video…and if you’re familiar with both Martin and Gary, prepare to laugh…HARD.

Awesome Osang rocks X Factor Philippines

I don’t watch too much TV, but the show that I try very hard not to miss is X Factor Philippines…and last night’s episode was a doozy.  There were so many great performances, but the best one of the night was definitely Jeffrey “Osang” Soliven.  Whoa, that ridiculously talented gay man had all of us fooled…and he tore down the house!  Check out the video of Osang’s X Factor Philippines (update: a better video quality, yay!!).  Martin Nievera’s shocked look is gold!!

Honestly, when he came out (unintended pun, I assure you!) I was expecting some Diana Ross or Donna Summer number.  You know, the stereotypical drag fare.  Then BAM, Osang belted out a rockin’ heavy metal screamer…and all our jaws hit the floor.  After the judges heaped praised, the crowed clamored for another song, the Shaggy classic you saw in the video (and I love Bombastic).

Seriously, the two songs from the dude who looks like a lady (that’s an intended Aerosmith pun) had more testosterone and more swag than all the other male performances put together.  It’s nuts!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d probably know my views and you’d deduce my stand when it comes to the gay issues and all that.  But, that still won’t make me stop praising talent when I see it, and I definitely saw it in Jeffrey “Osang” Soliven.  He’s definitely one of my favorites, if not THE favorite, among the many great performers I’ve seen in X Factor Philippines so far. 

Were you as fooled, and as blown away as I was?

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