Monday, November 14, 2011

Dealing with Delays

"It is important to grasp that when unfruitfulness, delays, and time are against you, you must keep doing the things God has already given you to do."

I felt a pinch in my heart when I read that line from Frank Damazio's book, Delays All Leaders Must Contend With. I was convicted. I have been impatient because of a recent delay in my life and I have been tempted to think negatively of others who are causing the delay. I felt neglected and unimportant. 

Haven't we all felt bypassed, ignored, neglected, abused, and as a result, unimportant and insignificant just because things are not happening to us the way we want them to happen? We waited, we stood firm,  we kept our part of the bargain, yet the other party didn't even move or give a hint, or send an apology. The greater danger is not in being annoyed with the other person and turning your back on the person or on the project, but take note, it is in getting angry with God. 

If we will be honest, we have been angry with God over something at least one time in our life, haven't we? We have been hurt by unanswered prayers and unmet expectations and naturally, we long for an explanation. Sometimes, the reply doesn't come too soon. Just like what happened to the couple Zacharias and Elizabeth who "were doing all the right things in the right way with a righteous motive" (p.132). They were both righteous before God yet God still hasn't heard their prayer for a child. Elizabeth was already too old to bear a child but instead of getting angry at God, both she and old Zacharias kept serving faithfully in the Lord's temple as priests. They kept  doing the routines while bearing the pain of being childless until one day, God sent an angel to proclaim the coming of a heavenly gift--the birth of their son John the Baptist. 

Delays are part of life. But they do serve a purpose. By the time I finished reading the chapter, my eyes were clouded with tears but my heart was cleansed by an understanding of God's purpose. My heart is ready again to trust God and His perfect timing. 

Delays All Leaders Must Contend With: Understanding God's Timing and Faithfulness  by Frank Damazio is published locally by Church Strengthening Ministry. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

God Calls, We Write

Speakers and Participants of Compassion International's Curriculum Writing Workshop
October 2-7, 2011

A week ago, I was at a curriculum writing workshop. I shared with the eager participants that writing is a calling--it is God who calls and we are the ones to write.

As in the case of others whom God calls to do great things, there are those who are not sure and even fearful. Who, me, a writer? Can I really write? Yes, God calls people who will write for Him and that person could be you reading this piece. He imparts to those He select an interest for words, a passion for paragraphs, a desire to create and communicate, a dream to be published, a longing to influence multitudes through the written word. Along with it, He gives abilities to choose words and craft them into stories, articles, or even lesson plans. 

God calls us not just to write, but to know Him, the Author of life Himself. As we write and enroll in His writing workshop, we discover a rich supply of His wisdom. He opens our eyes, gives us insight, and shows us how to write. It will not always be easy, and we would need to persevere. We must be willing to rewrite for writing is a process of writing and rewriting. We must battle with pride on one side, and insecurity on the other. But remember, God accompanies, enables, and gives victory to those He calls. We write a story, but in the background, God writes ours. 

Are you ready to write?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Here's great news from OMF Lit! 
Booklovers once again will troop to the SMX Convention Center on September 14-18 at the annual Manila International Book Fair. And this year, OMF Lit Bookshop wants to share with you what we read for inspiration, instruction and insight
We also want to share our excitement for the love of reading through outrageous discounts, exciting new homegrown and licensed titles, and fun activities and events for readers (and aspiring readers too!) of all ages.
Aside from the fact that all books at the OMF Lit Bookshop booths at Aisle D will be at 20% off, visitors with the I Read Postcard can avail of selected titles at 30% off. They can get the postcards for free at any OMF Lit Bookshops in the Metro Manila area.

Booklovers can also look forward to the launch of new titles from both homegrown and international authors.

  • Hula, Multo, Faith Healing Atbp by Pastor Hiram Pangilinan explains the different occult practices in the Philippines and how people can break free from them
  • Pass or Fail by Ronald Molmisa, a practical and relevant book that teaches young people how to be the best student ever (in Taglish format)
  • Solo Flight by Grace Chong and Francie Castaneda-Lacanilao, a guide to single women and how they can make the most of their lives
  • The Last Man Dancing: The Nestor de Villa Story by Gicky Soriano, a biography of Mr. De Villa and his faith journey, written by his son
  • Oh Mateo 14: Tree for All by Grace Chong which teaches kids good stewardship and taking care of the environment
  • The Great Crocodile and Duck Race by Robert Magnuson which teaches kids to get along while at play
  • Bee Safe by Joyce Piap Go, a practical and informative book that teaches kids how to be safe in their environment
  • Dopple Ganger Chronicles Vol 2: The Secret of Indigo Moon by G.P Taylor, a graphic novella featuring more adventures from twins Sadie and Saskia and their friend Eric
  • Cupidity by Hayley and Michael DiMarco talks about 50 stupid things people do for love and how you can avoid them
  • Making Room for Leadership by MaryKate Morse, a practical study on the gift of power of servant-leadership
  • Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman, a practical little book, packed with wisdom and tips that will help many develop the loving, supportive and mutually beneficial marriage men and women long for
  • Think by John Piper brings together the life of the mind and the love of God
  • What Women Don't Know (and Men Don't Tell You) by Michelle McKinney Hammond and Joel A. Brooks Jr features the unspoken rules of finding lasting love
  • Workplace Grace by William Carr Peel and Walt Larrimore which deals with becoming a spiritual influence at work

You will also get the chance to meet and greet these home-grown authors on the following dates:
    • Joyce Piap Go - September 14
    • Francie Castaneda-Lacanilao - September 14
    • Grace Chong - September 14
    • Hiram Pangilinan - September 16
    • Gicky Soriano - September 16
    • Ronald Molmisa - September 17

To find out more about all the activities and happenings at the OMF Lit booth, log on to or like us on facebook/omfliterature or follow us on twitter @omflit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

“Ito ang Pinoy!” at the 32nd Manila International Book Fair

From electing a new president to showcasing unique talents in sports, arts, and other forms of expression, we Filipinos have definite reasons to stand proud and to appreciate our worth as a people.

As this year’s 32nd Manila International Book Fair re-opens a new chapter to local publishers and book enthusiasts, Church Strengthening Ministry also chooses to strengthen the Pinoy spirit as we bring you, “Ito ang Pinoy!” CSM values our Filipino roots as we feature Filipino-authored books, audio books, and videos sold at a very affordable price of P100 each!

With a lineup of materials crafted in the light of God’s Word, CSM seeks to provide a stream of resources for readers to find encouragement and affirmation amidst the storms that batter us.

The 32nd MIBF is happening on September 14-18, 2011 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay (beside Mall of Asia). Visit Church Strengthening Ministry at booth numbers 40-42 and get better value for your money.

Meet our local authors like Rex Resurreccion, Ed Lapiz, Eric Maliwat, Joey Umali, and more, and witness the launch of CSM’s newest titles on September 17.

Sale items are limited to 200 copies for each title only. Free entrance passes for the book fair are available at the CSM office at Pascor Drive, Sto. Niño, Parañaque City. Call 851-0521 & 25 for more details.

Pre-ordering will be from September 5 to 9 only via email at Check out CSM’s website at for the pre-ordering guidelines and to see the list of available resources for sale. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who Wants to Be Rich?

The Power To Create Righteous Wealth

I guess the right question to ask is, “How does one become rich?” Most people would probably not shy away from being rich, or at least from having more than enough, of having the ability to buy whatever one needs and desires. There are too many books out in the market sharing secrets and tips on how to get rich. I haven’t read most of them, but there is one book that I was eager enough to buy and read—the book The Power to Create Righteous Wealth by Rene Resurreccion.

The author is an entrepreneur and a well-sought motivational speaker and trainer who believes that it is possible to create wealth the right way, and that wealth management is not merely for one’s own material gain. Wealth is something to be used and shared for the glory of God.

In his Preface, the author promised to train and motivate the readers to earn more, save more, invest more, and give more. The first three actions of earning, saving, and investing are common principles in money management. The book’s chapters on life planning, work ethic, saving, and business offer insightful ideas with biblical perspectives. No matter what phase of life you are in, the chapter on life planning will challenge you to consider how you are currently spending not only your money, but also your life. And don’t jump right away into thinking that going into business is not for you; jump instead to the chapter on business to unlock your personal entrepreneurial competencies.

But I think the more revolutionary thought in the book is the idea of giving more. The author proposes that we are blessed to be a blessing to other people and to the kingdom of God. That’s why he includes giving as part of wealth management. How to give and to whom to give could be an eye opener to those not familiar with the practice of giving. But let it not just open your eyes. Let it also open your hands to give.

The Power to Create Righteous Wealth is so rich in ideas you’ll be excited about getting rich. This title is  published by Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM). It’s available at CSM Bookstore, PCBS, and National Bookstores. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Trip to the Post Office

After several years, I made a trip back to the post office to mail a receipt to a distant client. I used to go to the post office to claim packages of books, make money orders, and yes, mail letters. But with the advent of courier services, credit cards, and emails, I didn't have a reason anymore to go back there until the other day. Although what I saw was not surprising, it still hit me. It's finally sinking in. 

Whereas before, there were many tellers simultaneously feeding envelopes into the metered machines while chattering with each other, now there were only a handful of employees. There were only three or four tables inside, and there was much space unlike before when big boxes and piles of mails were all over the place.It wasn't as noisy as before when I used to frequent the post office. That day, aside from me, there were only two other ladies doing business at the post office, applying for a postal ID. Before I left though, a few students arrived to inquire about stamps. 

An old lady approached the window where I lined up to get stamps. I recognized her from my past visits. All these years, she has stayed at the post office. She looks thinner and her hair has turned gray. Cheerfully, she handed me three tiny stamps which I paid promptly for a very small amount, definitely cheaper than the fee for a courier service. Within less than 10 minutes, I had finished my transaction with the post office. 

I read a note just about three weeks earlier that we must be ready to imagine a world without the post office. Technology and innovative services have undoubtedly replaced the post office because it can deliver services faster and more conveniently. I myself have stopped going to the post office until the other day. I felt a bit sad, though, for something that will soon be disappearing. I think we feel that way most of the time for people and things that mean a lot to us. But when something or someone goes away, another thing comes along. Hopefully, that something or someone is much better. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spiritual Legacy for Our Children

This past week I've been hearing people talk about legacy--what you leave behind after you're gone. As a mother, from time to time, I too, think of what I'll bestow to my children. It is right and generous of parents to leave a monetary inheritance to their children, but what about spiritual legacy? 

It's a big challenge, and most of us probably don't know what spiritual riches we can pass on to our beloved children.Or even if we know the right values we should pass on,  we're not sure how to do it. I believe that trust in God, dependence on the Almighty's power and presence, and gratitude for God's gifts that result in a godly confidence in oneself--these are the attitudes and values that are important for our children to succeed in this world. These are the spiritual legacies I'd like them to have. 

I remember writing a magazine article a few years ago where I used the word "MOTHER" to remind us how to create a spiritual legacy for our children. Let me share it with you here briefly.

Model. A value is better caught than taught. For example, if we want our children to behave honorably, they should first see how we treat everyone around us with respect, whether in front of these people or behind their backs.

Openness.Take note of your children's questions. Their questions could be a springboard to discuss spiritual things, to share knowledge, and to impart good values. You may not know the right answers all the time, but even then, you will be creating wonderful memories for your children by just listening, talking, and laughing with them.

Trust. Since we're talking about spiritual legacy, we can not avoid mentioning God most of the time. I think we can not pass on to our children godly values, godly thoughts, and godly attitudes if we ourselves have not developed trust in God. Let's develop our trust in God through Jesus Christ.

Highlight. Highlight spiritual milestones in the lives of your children. I would define spiritual milestones as very important events in the development of a person's human spirit.Any instance when you sense that your child is open to knowing more about God--that could be a spiritual milestone.

Enrich yourself. You need to enrich yourself so that you can enrich your own children as well. Enrich yourself by reading good books and magazines. Connect with good friends. Be involved in a local church or small group where you can be taught the Bible and how to make it relevant in your life. 

Remind. Let's remind our children of their spiritual blessings. Children do not want to hear us nagging, but they will be pleased to hear how blessed they are. Remind your children of God's blessings everyday. 

Let us create a spiritual legacy, a spiritual inheritance that our children can hold on to even long after we are gone. Later on, they will be grateful that we have left to them a lasting legacy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Moving Up, Moving Out, Moving On

This school year, my son is moving up to college. This week, my neighbors moved out of their apartment. Last week, a co-worker confided to me that she finally had a closure with her ex and now she's moving on. 

Moving gives us mixed feelings, but in the end we realize that that there are also blessings. Though a college education is more expensive, it also means that in a few years, my son will be qualified to work. It's sad to part ways with a kind neighbor, but then again now we both have a chance to meet new friends. (Besides, she left to us her manual Nautilus treadmill!) It was painful to let a person go and realize that the relationship is finally over, but this paves the way for a fresh start.

Moving up, moving out, moving on--they're parts of life. Are you moving?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brokenness: The Heart God Revives

I was excited when I received a new book to review, but when I opened it, I wasn't as enthusiastic. The book is titled Brokenness: The Heart God Revives. I was suspicious. Does God have plans of breaking me that's why He sent me this book? In the past, books I've read have either answered my question, edified me in times of weakness, or prepared me to face a challenge. What's the purpose this time? I shelved the book but promised to read it later.

After a few weeks, I reunited with a friend whom I haven't seen in 20 years. We exchanged stories but most of the time, I let him share how his life had been since we last saw each other. He had what you might describe a "roller coaster ride"--enjoying cycles of success in his business yet enduring seasons of dryness in his spiritual life. But he repeatedly claimed that God had restored him to a renewed sense of purpose after he had been "broken". It was then that I remembered the book.

I took a renewed interest in the book. In her introduction, author Nancy Leigh DeMoss said, "This book is an invitation to encounter God in a whole new way. It is a call to discover His heart and His ways; a challenge to embrace a radically new way of thinking and living, in which the way up is down, death brings life, and brokenness is the pathway to wholeness."

I quickly turned to Chapter 1. The title is "The Heart of the Matter". A quotation from Samuel Chadwick lies at the center of the page: "It is a wonder what God can do with a broken heart, if He gets all the pieces."

I was pleasantly surprised at how things were turning out. The truth is, I was preparing for a talk for women on the topic of having a pure heart. I can see that God led me to this book so I could glean some truth to inspire my would-be audience. As I read, I jotted down notes. DeMoss described what brokenness is. She gathered portraits from the Bible and contrasted the broken and the unbroken. David and Saul. The tax collector and the Pharisee. The prodigal son and the elder brother. All of them sinned, but the first of the pairs repented, while the latter remained proud.

DeMoss led me even deeper into the kind of heart that is full of pride. In Chapter 4, she made a comparison of proud people and broken people. The list was not exhaustive but sufficient enough to prick me. God made me see how pride was hardening my heart. There are things I need to repent of if I were to continually have a fresh encounter with God and fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.

At the start, I said I was suspicious and a bit fearful that God might have plans to break me. I also said I believe God sent me this book so I could have something valuable to share to a group of ladies. Now I know it was I who needed to hear the truth first. God was speaking to me though the book. He wants me to be broken, not to destroy my personality, but to crush my self-will and make me more dependent on Him.

The heart God revives is one that is broken--humble, contrite, and in need of God's grace. When we are broken, the blessings of heaven are released--a supernatural, abundant life in Christ, deeper love and deeper worship, and anointing to minister in a fresh, mighty way.

I recommend Brokenness: The Heart God Revives to anyone who wants to have a fresh encounter with God. Brokenness: The Heart God Revives is published in the Philippines by Church Strengthening Ministry. Available at CSM Bookstore.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Refuge and Strength

The world continues to be in shock and fear as events around the world unfold before us by the minute through news channels and social media. Japan faces a tragedy unequaled in the country’s history after it was hit by an 8.9 earthquake last March 11, followed minutes later by a tsunami that destroyed areas on the east coast, particularly Sendai. As an aftermath, Japan is now under threat of radiation after separate fires broke out in the Fukushima nuclear plant. On the other side of the globe, other life-threatening events are also taking place, as pro-Qaddafi forces and rebels wage a civil war and Bahrain, on the other hand, tries to quell protests that has gone violent.

Where do we turn for comfort and safety during this time? How do we make sense of all that is happening?

I make it a habit to read everyday even a small portion of the Scripture, not only to guide me as I make daily decisions, but also to find comfort in light of what’s happening around me. I admit, I do not find all the answers I need and want to know in the Bible. But as I read, I gain a perspective that enlightens me.

This day, March 17, the verse to be read listed in my daily Bible reading guide is Psalm 46. As I read, I realized how fitting the words of the psalmist are. Let me share with you a contemporary rendering of Psalm 46 written by Leslie F. Brandt way back in 1973 in his book PSALMS/NOW.

Our great God is still our Refuge and Strength;

He is ever aware of our problems and fears.

Thus we have no business doubting Him,

Even though the earth is convulsed in tragedy

or its human masses are threatened

by nuclear annihilation.

God continues to reign as all-wise

and as almighty as ever.

His eternal plan is not canceled

by the whims of men

or the freakish accidents of nature.

Nations will destroy each other;

civilizations will perish;

the earth itself may one day become

a smoking cinder, but God will not leave us.

He is forever our sure Refuge and Strength.

Just look about you; read the pages of history.

Refresh your flagging spirits with the reminder

of His great feats throughout the ages.

And you will again hear Him speaking:

“Relax, stop fretting, and

Remember that I am still Your God;

I still hold the reins on this world of yours.”

God is here among us;

He continues to be our Refuge and Strength.

During these troubled times, we can turn to God for He alone can save us. To quote Cindy Hess Kasper in Our Daily Bread, “When we experience tragedy, we may wonder about God’s goodness. Is God always good? Yes, He is. He doesn’t promise that bad things will never happen to us, but He does promise to be “our refuge and strength”.

Most of all, we must remember that God’s plan for us does not only cover our life here on this fragile earth but even life after death. This is an opportune time to think about our mortality and God’s offer of eternity with Him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DaySpring E-Cards

DaySpring E-Cards

Know and fall in love with your divine Valentine.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Do Your Best

Ten years ago, I started teaching English in a school for would-be missionaries. Today, I had a chat with one of my former students who now teach basic English to elementary students in Paraguay. She reminded me that in her last exam, she wrote a brief note at the back of the paper to tell me that, like me, she would also like to teach English one day. I've forgotten about her letter, but God certainly took note and gave her the assignment. I am so happy to have been a part of her destiny.

What we do today could impact people beyond our borders. What are you doing today that could someday impact people and the ones in their sphere of influence? You may not have an idea yet, and you'll probably never know until ten weeks or ten years later. But today, you have an opportunity to do the best you can in all that you do. As we start the year, let's resolve to give our best in everything that we do. In the end, the rewards may just surprise us.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24