Are You One of the Few?

True Faith

Have you entered the small gate that leads to eternal life?

Jesus said “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

Are you one of the few who’s traveling the narrow road?

When Thomas asked Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus Christ answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Don’t be caught up enjoying life’s revelries but neglecting the simple and real meaning of life – Jesus Christ.

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.

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

Central Philippine University Blog

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.

Had He Ever Lived?

Had our brother, Ivan ever lived?

In our memories perhaps…  Thinking of our brotherly fellowship, helping him grow, sharing and supporting his dreams, listening to his good singing voice, arguing, fighting, reconciling, forgiving, thoughtfulness, and knowing his struggles and frailties, we can say that our brother, Ivan, indeed had lived.

Memories will forever remind us of his existence, but for how long?  Memories fade!

Still had he ever lived?

If I could turn back time during whenever I’m clean, I thank the Father above because when I yearn for something more in my life but I cannot identify what it may be, I know you are the answer” Ivan wrote on his short journal dated November 22, 2009.

He continued to write: You renew my spirit so that I am aware of You and aware of myself as whole and holy person—spirit, mind, and body.  As I commune with You in prayer and as I observe Your presence everywhere my spirit is renewed.  The renewal of my spirit enriches my mind and body.  I am wise and healthy, strong and SECURE.  Ivan.

So with his life filled with purpose he became a good friend, perhaps to everyone, if time had been generous.  He was a passionate leader…even if it means taking risks and compromises. 

He was a soul with an inner struggle striving to go somewhere.  He was a person who grew up with faith in God, patience and perseverance—to win the test of time but his inner struggles would often overpower him like a dark cloud enveloping his being.  Through all these…Ivan had indeed lived!

And his early death surprised us and his friends.  It was so sudden, so unexpected.  We were all praying and waiting for God’s miracle on him.  He was still at his prime when he died; his life a great loss?

Now think had he ever lived?

Ivan was in a moment in the hearts of those who knew him.  We mourned his passing, expressed our moment of sorrow, our bereavement for the loss of a friend, a brother, a son. 

Yes, in a moment he had lived.  He was in a moment amidst us and little did we know of his understanding of life.  “Returning to the simple truth of my divine nature, I appreciate life anew” – this was Ivan’s opening statement he mentioned in his December 10, 2009 reflections.

This was his last entry on the short life journal that we found among his things.  Reading through his reflections gives great comfort and assurance to us that after all that he had gone through,  he is holding on to his faith in God.

Ivan’s complete December 10, 2009 journal entry says: 

After two days of joyous celebrations, I still survived the obstacles and hindrances that came.  As I quiet my mind, I become aware of the here and now moment.  I breathe deeply relaxing as I exhale.  Then, I smile, enjoying the miracle of being alive.  I appreciate the new surroundings taking in every vibrant sight and sound.

I enjoy consciously being a part of life, instead of being distracted by mind’s endless list of things to do.  For now, breathing and smiling are the only things on my “to do” list.  In these moments of renewal, simply being alive with the spirit of God is enough.  I pause now, aware of my nature as a living, breathing child of God, and I smile as I enjoy life at the purest level of being.  Ivan.

AFTERTHOUGHTS

For those who don’t know, Ivan had epilepsy.  We learned that he had it when he was nine years old.  Despite his illness, he tried to live a normal life.  He finished AB History and Public Administration at Central Philippine University. 

He was active in sports.  He was a high school varsity athlete in the long distance running event.  He joined the college soccer, softball, and basketball teams.  He had skills in organizing events, like sports and camping. 

He could cook for a large group.  He had a good singing voice and he could enthrall one’s feelings by the way he sang.

Ivan had his last pause on the evening of June 22, 2010 at the beach of Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines. 

There is no doubt that he had lived indeed and he is now smiling and enjoying life at the purest level of being.  ‘Til we meet again, Bro.