Showing posts with label biblical principles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biblical principles. Show all posts

Saturday, April 19, 2014

From rape and tragedy to forgiveness and victory: the Joy Tan-Chi story

I hope you all are having a great Holy Week / Lenten season.  As for me, it’s a staycation (staying home vacation) where I just simply rest—which I badly need—and catch up on good books and chilling with family.

One of the highlights of my Holy Week was watching the true story of Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza on TV yesterday.  She was a good, very innocent, teenage girl: never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, etc.  But then a group of thugs broke into the family home, tied up her siblings (their parents were away), stolen their goods…and then the worst nightmare happened: they (7-8 of them) violated her innocence by raping her.  That’s not the end of this tragic yet amazing story, because from rape and tragedy comes forgiveness and victory.  

This indeed is the true to life Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza story, and I’m so glad I found the video on youtube.  It’s divided into four parts, and I will feature all of them here.  WATCH IT!!!  I know the story even before the TV reenactment of it, but it’s here where we see where the impact to the family, even many years later, is still so evident and poignant.  Enjoy—and prepare to be moved to the very core, as this is one of the greatest examples of the adage that God uses even the most horrible of events for great good.

Friday, January 25, 2013

How should a leader act? Look at the best leadership role model…EVER

It saddens me that I will not be able to attend my church's latest nationwide leadership conference.  The said conference will be on the same day as the Open House of the school I work in (and where my kiddos go to school).  Darn it.

Well, I know the basics of what great leadership is, and it's been modeled by the greatest leader of all time: Jesus Christ.  Whether you're in business, you're employed, you're a parent, whatever…Jesus' leadership principles will bring you to sorely-needed excellence.

Andy Stanley, one of the best leadership communicators on the planet, awesomely summaries the gist of Jesus' leadership in one of his talks.  I have a short clip of the talk below, and please check it out if you want to know, in a matter of a few minutes, how a leader should act.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Awesome examples of changed lives

(Note: This blog post is quite video-heavy.  I suggest that before you read on, you scroll down to the videos and start the streaming by pressing play then pause so that you won’t have to wait.  I strongly suggest you do not miss or skip the videos, as they are very, VERY powerful and this blog entry revolves around them.  Big thanks.)

My favorite movie of last year was probably The Avengers, and one of my favorite scenes from that movie was when Loki, after shouting at the Hulk that he is a god and would not be bullied by a “dull creature,” gets totally and pathetically mauled, his deity made totally helpless by the latter’s overwhelming brute force.

But let me ask you something: is the God that we worship a “puny god”?  Is the brute force of our circumstances too overwhelming for Him to handle?

Short answer:  No.

Long answer:  No, but then many believers often (mistakenly) think so.  Yet, our view of Him, whether He’s big or puny, affects our actions and decisions.

I propose (well, I got this from recent Sunday messages) that our Heavenly Father is not a “puny god” but the God of the HOW MUCH MORE.  

Now, you may be saying, “Look, Mr. Lessons Of A Dad, you don’t know my situation.  It’s just too dire!  There’s absolutely no hope for me!!”

You’re right.  I don’t know the troubles you are going through.  But, I DO know that Jesus knows…and if you're His child, then He has promised you peace, because He has overcome them.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

To illustrate my point, allow me to show you the first video.  Ariel had it really rough.  He was frequently molested as a child, then he became a drug addict, then he became a prostitute, then…something beautiful happened.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reflections of an eventful 2012 part 1

As per my blog’s tradition, every end of the year I will come up with a reflection on the year that has just passed.  Of course, since Lessons Of A Dad is only a little over a year old, this is my second such blog entry, the first being among my most popular article as it talked about Sendong, traveling, defeats, and other stuff.

So, as I type this on a restful vacation morning, I look back and reflect on an eventful 2012.

1. Be careful what you pray for, because God has a sense of humor.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guys, Manny’s faith was not responsible for his loss…or was it?

I’m not supposed to be blogging.  I’m supposed to be checking my students’ essay-based literature exams, which will take me all night.  But something about our reaction to Manny Pacquiao’s loss keeps me from working properly, and I need to express it here on Lessons Of A Dad before I go back to my work.

I’ll let a former student’s Facebook status update tell you what irks me:

“I love how Filipinos always find something to blame…The reason why Pacquiao lost is because he stopped being a Catholic and stuff about God. Really, man. Really.”

I’m sure there’ll be comments like what she’s calling out, and my knee jerk reaction was, “Manny’s new-found love for God is in no way responsible for his loss.”  

But then, as I reflect further, maybe God, indeed, was responsible.  Let me explain.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why does God allow pain and suffering?

One of the students in the school I work for, a member of the championship-winning varsity soccer team, smashed into his teammate so hard that his two teeth have been permanently damaged (they’re basically dead, and he’ll have to be out of action as the rest of the team goes to an all-expenses paid trip to Manila to represent Mindanao. 

On the ride to the hospital, in great pain he, being active in youth ministry, would often ask why God allowed this to happen to him despite him being so faithful and so excellent for Him.

Although I haven’t been told personally, I suspect that a friend of mine has left her callous and abusive husband after several years of (a rocky) marriage.  My friend is also a person of faith (I really wanted them to come to my church, especially during this rocky time and before it was too late) but even then, the marriage did not work out.

Lastly, yesterday was September 11, and that day will forever go down in infamy as hundreds of people, innocent people, lost their lives in horrible acts of terror that shook the world.  Why did all of these innocent people have to die?

In devastating times like these, we are forced to ask God why He allows these terrible things to happen. 

To answer that question, here’s Randy Alcorn, theologian and author extraordinaire (author of If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil) as he sits down with Focus on the Family and excellently answers this very tough question in the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  Enjoy

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective

One of the most passionate and dynamic speakers (and therefore one of my favorites) in the Christian world is Francis Chan.  I’ve written a post about him last year, and it’s high time I include another video of him now. 

I recently spoke in my church’s youth group last weekend, and at around the beginning of my talk, I showed them this powerful Francis Chan video clip on how God answers prayer so powerfully.  Check it out and be wowed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

God’s trials in your life = mmmm, adobo!

Raw meat tastes gross. Garlic tastes nasty by itself. So does suka. So does toyo. I’m sure you can’t put pepper corns or bay leaves in your mouth and smile.

But if you put them all together in the hands of a master chef…mmmm, adobo.

That’s the way you should look at the trials that God puts in your life. Each one may be very unpleasant by itself, but leave them in the hands of the Master, and you’ll get something great in the end.

Just something I learned today in my young couples group.  Cheers!

—  Lessons Of A Dad

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Here’s a post in the site that I guest blog in.  It’s called OMG and you may appreciate it if you’re a Christian who uses this phrase often.  

Click here and enjoy…and don’t get mad at me if you somehow get a guilt trip.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revenge is sweet…?

Every morning, the high school students in the school I teach in have Morning Socratic Devotions (MSD), where they, divided into small multi-year level groups, open up a devotional and their Bibles (each has one of each) and dissect the entry for the day.  Led by a senior student, each small group discusses the topic at hand, with the senior using his/her facilitation skills to encourage participation and enhance learning.

The topic yesterday was about revenge, and the discussions that I observed went the distance (each teacher looks after–but doesn’t participate in–one group), as each student reminisced, with more than a tinge of regret, about times when they were wronged and then took the matters into their own hands…which resulted in nothing but making the situation a lot messier.

The MSD did a great job in bringing the message home into their hearts, as their journal entrees showed.  The lesson brings me back to an article I wrote several years ago about a friend who was about to lash out at someone from her past.

If you struggle with this, and I’m sure many of us do, then allow my article to speak volumes into your heart as well.  Enjoy!

For Those Who Have Been Wronged (made sometime in 2005)

I recently tried to calm down a friend who was very upset with an ex boyfriend.  He wronged her very badly (in her eyes, at least) and she was good and ready to lash out at him. As I’ve been saying in past articles, the Bible is the single best source of wisdom you can have, and I used it heavily in my efforts to stop her from doing things she might regret later.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Tim 3:16-17, NIV)

Were you in a similar situation where you wanted to lash out at someone who wronged you?  If so, try reading Romans 12: 17-21 and I’ll dissect the passage verse for verse for you.

v. 17:

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody”

The first part is lesson enough in itself.  Paying evil for evil doesn’t erase, it adds.  1 evil action + 1 evil action = 2 evil actions.

Now read the second part again.  When you have retaliation in your mind, do you take into account to “do what is right in the eyes of everybody”?  One villain is enough in this story, would hate to have two.

v. 18-19

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

First part is self-explanatory.  It doesn’t mean that you become a human doormat, but it means that when problems arise, you solve it in a way that peace is returned.  The second part will also come true if you allow it in faith.  Sometimes you just gotta step aside and let the Lord do His work in people’s hearts, especially if they’re a tough nut to crack.  You will not repay, the Lord will…if you let Him (keyword “if”).

v. 20:

“On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’”

I told my friend that if she turned around and used this tactic the Lord will make him so plagued with guilt that he would have to have a change of heart, which will transform him into a better person.  Killing someone with kindness, I guess.  Not only does it work, relationships are also restored.

And finally, v. 21:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

It’s easy to be overcome by someone’s malevolent actions and “give him a taste of his own medicine”, but that’s not the right way to do it, according to the Bible.

So choose to “overcome evil with good”.  Evil + evil = more evil and a bitter aftertaste.  Evil + good = peace.

And don’t say you have no choice, you always have a choice.

I would like to give you another verse: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Eph 4:31-32, NIV).

So have you been wronged?  Just close your eyes for a moment and ask God to give you the grace to forgive that person and even wish him well…and mean it.  I bet you, all burdens will just fly away.  Woosh!

I’d like to get your thoughts and/or experiences on this matter.  Your comments are most welcome.

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