Showing posts from November, 2008


Last Wednesday, November 26, I did something crazy for my wife Ellen.

As you well know, my brother-in-law died due to liver cancer last November 19. (That’s about 11 months since my dear mother-in-law died. That’s two deaths in the family within the year.) Ellen immediately went home to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan to oversee the funeral arrangements while I had to stay here in Metro Manila until last Sunday for our church anniversary. After our church activities, my three boys and I joined Ellen there. Though somewhat surreal, it was a family reunion of sorts. Relatives as far as Baguio visited us. We even had the chance to share the Gospel during the last night of the wake. (We praise God because last November 1 my sister-in-law who is also a believer shared the Good News to her brother. He prayed to receive Christ. Nineteen days later, he died.) Last Tuesday we laid his mortal remains to rest. Then, we traveled back to Manila.

The next morning, I woke up to my wife’s cries. She was and st…

Safe or Significant?

In his talk “Just Courage: Charging the Darkness” (Global Leadership Summit 2008), International Justice Mission (IJM) president Gary Haugen spoke about choices that effective leaders make in the face of difficult tasks. Haugen knew courage amidst difficulties firsthand. IJM rescues the sexually exploited, the enslaved and the oppressed globally. “Dateline NBC” and“The Oprah Winfrey Show” have already featured Haugen and the IJM work.
One of those choices is the decision not to be safe. Being safe and being significant are not one and the same. To be safe is to watch things happen. To be significant is to make it happen. Safety says “Enough.Significance says “Excel.”Always keep in mind that we serve a God who wants us to be significant, not safe. That’s why C.S. Lewis' “The Chronicles of Narnia” depicted Aslan the lion (a symbol of Christ) as good but not safe. He is, after all, “not a tame lion.”God is more concerned with our character than with our comfort. He is the Lord who wo…

So Young Yet So...

Senator Allan Peter Cayetano’s decision not to inhibit himself from the probe on the fertilizer fund scam made me feel “delicadeza” (a sense of what is proper and improper, a sense of shame) is really in near extinction.

Though Senator Ping Lacson clarified that he was “not casting aspersions and giving any hint of indictment” on Cayetano, the fact that he raised is that Cayetano’s name is on a list of supposed beneficiaries of the fertilizer fund.

But Cayetano still refused to inhibit himself. Yet I find the reasons he gave self-serving. It is because he was the one who cleared himself and not the proper authorities like, for example, the Ombudsman. The one who clears and the one who needs to be cleared cannot be one and the same person.

He said the Department of Agriculture has already disowned that list. But that is the very office that Cayetano is investigating. He claimed that his district did not get any fertilizer fund when he was a congressman. But he added a caveat to be safe: …

The Coach

All his life, Doug Blevins always dreamed of becoming a National Football League coach. So, he flooded New York Jets manager Dick Steinberg with letters. He pointed out the flaws of the team’s place kicker, Cary Blanchard. He also suggested how Blanchard can improve his kicking ability. Blevins so impressed the team manager that he got hired as its kicking consultant. Fast Company magazine praised Blevins’ coaching in an article aptly titled, “This Coach Helps the Best to Hit Their Stride” (Sept. 2008 issue): “Trainers in every business can learn from Blevins’s teaching techniques. He breaks every motion down to its component parts, then squeezes out incremental but critical improvements. And he knows just how much he can change in a player—and when he should leave well enough alone.” Sounds like a coach at par with the great Vince Lombardi.

What’s so amazing with Blevins is that he never coached any team before. He never even tried a field goal. To top it all, he has never ever walked…

That Popeye Moment

“That’s all I can stans. But I can’t stans no more.”

That’s one of the famous lines of Popeye, the legendary cartoon sailor man. (I think next to “I yam what I yam.”) Then he would ingest a whole can of spinach to gain superhuman strength and beat the daylights out of the villanous Bluto who threatened the love of his life, Olive Oyl.

Last Friday, as we watched the videocast in the 2008 Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels (senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the second largest megachurch in the USA) connected that Popeye line with what he called “holy discontent.” He described holy discontent as that strong feeling about something that “breaks the heart of someone who loves God that most likely breaks God’s heart, too.” When for example you could not stomach injustice or apathy in society anymore, when you are so brokenhearted about it that you exclaim, “That’s all I can stand and I can’t stand it anymore”, when you are so frustrated that you knew you have to do something about i…