Focus on the Prize

When you were a child, have you ever received something from your parents, godparents, older siblings or relatives because you’ve done something good? Maybe you excelled in the class, or maybe you’ve just done a simple household chore without them asking you to do so.

How did it feel? The mere accomplishing the task is rewarding in itself, right? What more when you receive something unexpected. I’m pretty sure you’d jumped for joy!

Now that you’ve already grown up, for sure you have experienced failures, obstacles and difficulties. Those experiences that saddened you and destroyed your day. You want to achieve something, but it seems so far and the path towards achieving it is like a dwindling road that you want to give up and never try again.

Maybe it’s about your finances. You are burdened and it seems hopeless to get out of that financial crisis. Maybe it’s about your business or career, that for months and years nothing good has been happening and things are even getting worse! Or maybe it’s about your relationships. You are trying to fix such it but it seems to come to an end.

You see, it’s easy to rejoice and jump for joy when everything is falling into place. It’s easy to worship God and thank Him for the good things that are happening to you.

But my question is this…can you still rejoice amidst the chaos inside and around you? The Bible says it clearly… “we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”. (Romans 5:2-4)

We’re already on the second half of the year. As you continue to paint a colorful and beautiful year, I want you to gain a new perspective in life: That you can still jump for joy in times of trials; that you can still rejoice amidst the pain; that you can still be hopeful in spite of difficulties.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
(2 Timothy 4:7)

Don’t focus on the negative stuffs, rather, focus on the prize – the fruits that sufferings may bring in to your life: Perseverance, Character, Hope, and a lot more!

And at the end of the day, just like St. Paul, you can also say to yourself: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Cheer up! God is with you.

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By: Aben Garlan
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Man in the Mirror

We’ve seen several protests and rallies against the government in different areas, different Cities, even in different countries. Some of them are fighting against corruption, some are fighting against other anomalies, some are fighting for human rights, some against globing warming, while some are fighting for economic change and against poverty.

It’s good that we as human beings should voice out our thoughts, our opinions for the good of the nation. Especially in a democratic country like the Philippines, you can see such activities all over the place. One of the most famous, like what we will be commemorate every February is the EDSA Revolution anniversary (For non-Filipinos, it’s called the People Power Revolution. A kind of revolution that the Filipinos have left as a legacy to the world.)

In the 1980’s, maybe this kind of revolution is effective. But today, that the (Philippine) economy (Stocks and GDP in particular) is increasing, I guess there’s another revolution that we need to do. Not a revolution to change the government, or to change the environment around us, but, to change ourselves. To change for the better, to succeed in life.

It was 12 years ago when I encountered this song by the late Michael Jackson and until now the message applies to each one of us. The chorus goes like this:

I’m starting with The Man In The Mirror

I’m asking him to change his ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself, and then make a change…

Let us start and sustain this kind of revolution…a revolution for CHANGE and CHARACTER development. Let’s look at the “man (or woman) in the mirror”, working his/her ways to be a brand new person! Because positive change should start from within, not from outside.

This will keep us rejoicing despite the chaos happening around us!  Have a great adventure called life!

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Man in the Mirror

Man in the Mirror

Sign of God’s Love: The Healing Grace

My healing from Meningitis, suffered from 60/40 life and death situation from March to April 2013. One year after, I feel that I'm fully alive! Apr2013 and May 2014

Healed from Meningitis. Last year from March to April 2013, I suffered  60/40 life and death situation. One year after, I feel that I’m fully alive!
Apr2013 and May 2014

13 months ago, I suffered severely and almost died from Meningitis. A very painful brain infection that almost robbed my life. I battled against 60/40 life-and-death situation. This was how I look  while I’m on my 4th week in the hospital here in Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines.

One year after, this is how I look like. A man fully alive!  This is a clear sign of how God shows His love for me, with His mercy and love, saving me from the verge of death. This is actually the Nth time that God rescued me. I’ve been saved a couple of times from near death situations.

Praise be to God, He never gave up on me.

Thank you Lord for the grace. Thank You for the miracles. Thank You for the gift of life.

And thanks to those who have prayed and helped me in times of difficulties.  May God bless you abundantly!

For those of you who are suffering and in pain, you who feel are in the dark clouds of doubt, believe that God is with you all the way. God is faithful, He will never abandon you. He will never forget you.

If you can’t trace God’s hand, trust His heart!

“Yes you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right!” – 1 Peter 5:10

POWER UP TO CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY!

      The first quarter of 2014 is about to end in less than two weeks. I bet when the new year started, you have visualized, wrote down or thought of your dreams or your resolutions for a better life. How’s your journey to success going on as of this time? Do you still have fire in your belly amidst the trials and challenges that you face every day?

       Along the way, you will encounter difficulties in pursuing such dreams. I wrote this short poem to guide you when the going gets tough:

A midst the uncertainties in the path you are taking,

B ecause of the humungous obstacles you are facing.

E ntrapped by fear, covered with clouds of doubt,

N owhere to go, though you gave your all-out!

 

G ive yourself another chance, it’s not the end;

A ll your sacrifices will help you transcend.

R emember the reasons why you are fighting hard:

L ife, Light and Love for the people that you regard;

A blessing to many, that you dreamed to be.

N ow power up, to continue your journey!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. - Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau

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Through you, Jesus hugged me: A miracle story (Code name 2.8)

abengarlan

Image  

All things work for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28)

Last July of 2013, I got confined at San Lazaro Hospital and Medical Center Manila because of a life-threatening health situation. My hemoglobin have been continuously dropping, from a mere 10.6 last April, to 7.7 by June 7, to a very alarming 2.8 by June 30.(Take note that normal hemoglobin level for male is 14 to 18). And so when I found out from a hospital here in Bulacan that I am advised for transfusion with 6 to 10 blood bags. Whew! What a great amount of blood! We went back home, contacted my former doctor in Cagayan De Oro City, and asked for advise. Then he told me that I must really be confined because of this critical condition. And so me and my family planned our course of action very well –…

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