Posted in Inspirational

Success and Abundant Life Have No Secret

“Patience and hard work are necessary for success”

From Worry To Glory
The road to success is like the dusty and muddy old country road, which maybe difficult to traverse and you need patience and hard work to reach your destination.

During my high school years, I observed that our teacher’s favorite quotes were posted on the walls of the classroom. They were neatly printed on bond-paper sized colored cardboards, wrapped with transparent plastic to lengthen its poster life.

“Patience and hard work are necessary for success” is one of these classroom quotes that had remained ingrained in my mind since reading it when I was a freshman. I do not know where my teacher got that statement but it stuck like a nail driven into my head. This saying keeps on flashing through my mind; it always seems to reverberate every time I have difficult undertakings.

Perhaps, the statement made lasting impact on me because I recalled that I was in a very difficult situation at that time. My parents got no stable job then.

My father was a pastor but he can’t get a pastorate because denomination leaders blocked invitations to work in a church. He was tagged as inimical to the Convention Baptist institution when he fought for justice and righteousness.

To make ends meet, he sold floor wax, later, he switched to selling powdered fruit juices around Roxas City and Mindanao to support his family.

To augment food on our table, we cultivated and planted vegetables on a small patch of lot behind the house that we were renting. In several occasions, I would bring some vegetables, like camote tops, alogbati, malunggay, and tugabang to the nearby “talipapa” (wet market) and either sell it or barter it for fresh fish.

Many of life’s situations taught me what patience and hard work really mean. The very thing that keeps me toiling and persevering is the calm assurance that pursuing my passion with zealousness is already success in itself. The rewards that would follow are the further rewards, the bonuses, and blessings that patience and hard work bring.

The many successful work students that graduated from Central Philippine University (CPU) are legacies of patience and hard work.

One of them is Johnny Ancheta, who hails from San Andres, a remote coastal town in Tablas Island, Romblon, Philippines. He went to study Theology at CPU in 1950 as a work student.

He was about to quit school after two to three months for lack of financial support but he begged the seminary dean for any kind of work. Johnny did carpentry and janitorial work in exchanged for tuition subsidy. Getting a chance to work and study in the US, Johnny and his wife, Nellie became successful realtors in California.

Another work student who defied the odds is Rosanna Lim. She came from Northern Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines. She studied Hospitality Management at CPU in 2004 through a pre-need company scholarship but she later became a work student when the pre-need company went bankrupt.

A year before coming to CPU, her mother died. With her bed-ridden father incapable of sending support and her pre-need company scholarship gone, Rosanna applied as work student at CPU. To earn extra for her board and lodging, she took tutorial jobs. She graduated with honors despite the difficulties she faced.

She finished her on-the-job-training ahead of time, working overtime to complete the required hours. Her diligence to find work resulted into getting a full-time job as customer service specialist at a call center while she was still finishing her last three months in college. Currently, she is now assistant manager of a branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

From Worry to Glory
In order to win, the soccer player has to focus on one objective alone, to score a goal. He needs patience and hard work to achieve it.

I am sure that each one of us has his/her own unique stories of patience and hard work that resulted in triumph. Sweet success is the fruit of the bitter seeds of patience and hard work.

Those who went through extreme difficulty in life could always look back with fond memories the experiences that led them to tremendous achievements. Showing great fortitude and diligence in every life’s endeavor will bring about the triumph that you want to have.

There is no limit to what a person can do when patience and hard work has manifested in one’s family, career, and community. It has been proven that these two values attract success and abundant life.

_____________________

Praying for a very successful Christ Emphasis Week celebration at Central Philippine University.

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Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love

My Search for Abundant Life

 

“… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

From Worry To Glory
Searching for the abundant life apart from God’s will is like sailing aimlessly on an endless sea of opportunities.

One statement of Jesus that has a deep and significant impact on me is “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I read and memorized this verse when I was a small kid attending one of the summertime Daily Vacation Bible School or DVBS. What started then as rote memorization, became gradually a journey to my search for the abundant life.

I was born of parents who are both theology graduates and I grew up with them working from church to church. Because we lived from parsonage to parsonage, I would often say jokingly, “No permanent address” when asked where do I live.

Experiencing the economic and psychological hardships and challenges of being a son of a rural pastor, I would always wonder about that abundant life that the Great Teacher expressed that He came for us to have.

But how can I affirm my confidence on the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised when I experienced injustice, dishonesty, corruption, jealousy, envy and all kinds of strife through and among the very faithful followers of him?

Where is abundance when you went through hunger and poverty because opportunities have become scarce after you made a stand for what is right?

Of course, it is easy to understand what abundant life is in the context of the material world. I grew up with the carnal understanding that to live a life of plenty is to always have more than enough food to eat and you have lots of money to experience living the lifestyle of the rich, like a good house, cars, travels, parties and anything that a person or family could wish for.

Thus, while keeping in my heart and mind the questions I had, I chartered my course towards prosperity. My goals were to study hard in high school to get a college scholarship, graduate a course that would be my ticket to get high paying jobs, do well in my chosen career and finally, live comfortably in affluence.

Then I was well on my way to fulfilling my goals, sailing smoothly, successfully achieving victories left and right. However, later on, after almost a decade of searching and chasing, I reflected at all my striving and struggling using all the gifts that God endowed me to gain the prosperity that I sought, I found myself living a meaningless life.

I exhausted all means to meet my goals but at the end of the day, I found out that when everything in life redounds to achieving financial gain compromising the basic values of truth and justice, I can not find real peace and happiness.

So where could I find true abundant life if it is not present in having material affluence alone?

Finally, after a long tiring journey, my search led me to one great discovery that abundant life is using my fullest potential for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I discovered that living my life to the fullest is having all my faculties, availability and resources of good use for the glory of God.

Life has never been so very fulfilling. Surprisingly, the more I focused on having my fullest potential be used for him, the blessings keep coming and coming. Indeed, Jesus Christ has come to give life and have it abundantly.

Posted in Inspirational

Smile for All Things Happen with a Purpose

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Central Philippine University Blog
“Smile” by Jadyn Castillon (@ 4 years old.)

 

Everything that happens in your life has purpose. There are great reasons you are where you are now, many reasons for the events in your life, a reason why you are making a living.

Indeed, life is hard, especially today, when the global economic crisis is affecting everyone. In whatever walk of life you are, you will always have your taste of hardships and triumphs.

Is it not that the meaning of life is best appreciated through the hardships that you went through and you hurdled every obstacles successfully and unscathed?

With God as your guide, you will always see how life unfolds its great reasons, both in the present and future. What is oftentimes revealing is how the past would tie up to your present and future state. Are these not causes to make life full of zest?

For everything that happens in your life, good or bad, always put in mind that it is an opportunity for you to realize that you are living under the merciful loving care of the Almighty Loving God.

Make every moment an opportunity to serve Him; an opportunity to show grace and give thanks in all circumstances. You can make it as one rare chance to pay humble service to life itself.

Well, you maybe someone who have achieved well in life, amassing great success, great love, joy, and perhaps, fame, and recognition. Towards achieving this, you took a different route and you find yourself different from your friends and work mates.

You wanted power, admiration, and wealth. You are owning various villa rentals and vast real estates.

Despite the outstanding gap that you have achieved from everyone else in terms of material wealth, there is one equalizer that would place you on the same level with everyone else — death.

Tracy Chapman’s song, “All that you have is your soul” rings true.

Indeed, when you leave this mortal world, you cannot take with you all the riches and comforts in life that you have acquired. You can not bring the material things you have acquired to life beyond because all that you will have to bring is only your soul.

Never forget to share what you have. Just because you have invested so much effort and time to acquire wealth, you appropriate everything for yourself and you don’t even think about caring for your neighbors. Remember that one secret to happiness is found in serving others.

Always do what is true, right and just. Let God be your center for service, for it is from Him whom you gain the greatest strength and recognition.

Life will always be kind to you, blessings will come to you, and challenges will be instruments for a better version of you when you persevere.

Go on with life, pursue your career with vigor, nurture your passion, enjoy the beauty of things around you. Love and treasure your family and friends, and let God guide all your ways.

Keep smiling as you revel in the blessings of God’s mighty purposes.

Posted in Inspirational

My Moonlight Sonata

Central Philippine University

Everything around me reflected a dull pale glow. The rustling of mahogany leaves added a cool effect as the gentle breeze declared its presence. I squatted on the bamboo table in front of the kindergarten building.

As I slowly sipped a mug of warm coffee, I savored the peaceful effect of the moonlight on the surroundings. It was a full moon night. I decided to sit down and observe God’s masterpiece under a unique night-effect moonlight.

The thick nimbus clouds failed to dampen the fluorescence the moon gave. As if sympathizing with my reverie, the full moon quietly bathed the distant hills, towering trees and the church edifice.

The white orchid flowers were the most luminous. Perched on the Molave trunk and refracting the moonlight, the spray gaily swayed with the wind’s tempo.

Then I began to think of life’s ups and downs. While I was in deep thought, thinking of every whys and hows, crickets somewhere in the nearby grass chirped in thrilling chorus.

Not to be outdone, Mr. Toad, hiding under the Bougainvillea pot began to echo broken croaks. They were probably trying to cheer me up. Really, I couldn’t help but think what lay ahead.

Recalling the events in the past months, I considered life too bleak for me. I thought everything was impossible.

But like the Psalmist, I was confident that there would be rejoicing in the morning. Several more hours and another day would break. The rooster alit on the langka tree never failed to greet the dawn with great rejoicing.

Why should I worry about the future when God takes care of all these creatures—the sparrows, the lilies of the valley? Am I not special in God’s eyes? In fact, I am the apple of His eyes.

I paused from my thoughts. From the distant seashores, I could hear the wind rushing through the treetops. As it accelerated, tree branches crackled as they resisted the gushing wind.

Then it moved towards my direction. It stroked my face, sending a tingling that stood my hair on end, causing my hair to wave back as the gentle wind blew on my face.

As the wind came, I took a deep breath to inhale as much of it as I could. I could only have enough. Not enough of that moment affected the quantity of the gentle breeze. I too, realized that like my breathing moments, I could have enough blessings for the day.

Suddenly the thick clouds no longer shrouded the full moon. Everything around became bright. I stopped from my deep reverie resolved that tomorrow would take care of itself.

NOTES:

I wrote this piece in late 1995 when I went home from Manila to Concepcion, Iloilo, jobless and broken-hearted. In February 1996, I accepted the challenge to work as project director of Ajuy Baptist Church’s school, Ajuy Christian Development Academy (formerly Ajuy Christian Development Learning Center).

The school grew from a kinder school with 19 pupils to elementary and high school levels. Indeed God takes care of our tomorrow!