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
Photo Credit: Aben Garlan


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!

Man in the Mirror

Man in the Mirror