Understanding that we’ve been forgiven empowers us to forgive others.

Here’s the story of Raquel who understood the forgiveness of Jesus in her life and now is able to forgive her father as a result.

Here are a few Bible verses on forgiveness…

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace… (Ephesians 1:7)

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; (Daniel 9:9)

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Ps. 103:12)

So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.” (Luke 17:3)

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)


On the way home from a family reunion, my 4 year old, Joaquin, kept on talking incessantly.

Part of my conversation with him went this way…

ME: “Joaquin, you love to talk…”

JOAQUIN: “Not really. Only when I’m sitting… and when I’m standing… and when I’m lying down.”

Well, that sounds like all the time.  I didn’t tell him but that’s what I thought.

Parents, your kids go through seasons when they’re talkative and seasons when they want to just be silent. My teenager is in the stage where I will have to draw out his thoughts from within him.

If you have a talkative toddler like Joaquin, enjoy it and have fun.

If you have a teen who is less talkative, God is able to give us parents grace how to ask questions without the feeling of interrogation and teach principles without ‘sermonizing’.

Either way, put down the cellphone or iPad.

Take the opportunity to connect with your child.

The window is for a brief period.

Time flies as they say. To some, time zooms faster than a flight.


Janina (feeling Audrey Hepburn) with Carla and friends.

A few days ago, my daughter met with one of our closest friends, Carla, together with some of her peers.

Since Janina was a young girl, we’ve tried to connect her with people who can bring input in her life. We were deliberate and intentional. We wanted to look for adults who have the same principles and convictions as we have and impart those values into the lives of our children.

How come?

We wanted to find key individuals who can be the right kind of influence for our kids.

According to a research conducted by Mark Kelly of Lifeway,

“Teens who had at least one adult from church make a significant time investment in their lives … were most likely to keep attending church. More of those who stayed in church – by a margin of 46% to 28% – said five or more adults at church had invested time with them personally and spiritually.”

But more than staying in church, we’re more concerned about “staying” and cultivating the relationship she has with God.

The older they get, the more important it is for them to have other perspectives and different voices in their lives telling them the same things but in a different way.

You would probably be able to relate with me when your child quotes a teacher, coach, mentor and act on what they’ve heard while you’re there on the sideline saying, “But I’ve been telling you that for the past 13 years!”

They were hearing it in a different way because they were at a different stage…

Plus they just needed a different voice.


Last Monday, I wrote about the stages of growth and the stages of parenting.

(click here to read)

Since we have 4 kids, all 4 of them are in different stages.

Our youngest Joaquin is still in the telling stage. Ryan, who is 9 years old, is now in the teaching stage. Janina, 14, is now on the coaching stage together with our 17 year old, Nathan.

Part of releasing Nathan to make his own decisions is allowing him to go on an international trip all on his own.

Recently, he went on a missions trip to China to meet our pastor there. He spent 2 weeks to assist, play the guitar, speak and do whatever it takes to serve our church and pastor.

It wasn’t an easy decision because since it’s summer time, we’d rather have him with us most of the day and many days of the week.

However, we saw that it was also an opportune moment to get him into a posture of service and position of independence to learn lessons he wouldn’t be able to if he was with us at home.

I guess this is part of what it means to release our children into the purposes of God.

The goal is to transition them from being dependent on us to become more dependent on God.

It’s not the easiest to do as parents because we want to stay in control and micro manage their life.

But by God’s grace, we can.


Growing up has different stages.

And so does parenting.

Because of this, we need to discern as parents what stage our kids are already in which may merit a different approach.

For 0-6 year olds, that’s usually what I’d call the TELLING stage.
We tell them, “go to sleep”, “brush your teeth”, “pick up your toys”, “take a bath”.

For 7-12 year olds, that would be the TEACHING stage.
This is the stage where we begin to release our kids to do things on their own.
They learn to study for their test, change their clothes, eat on their own…

For 13-18 year olds, this is the COACHING stage.
Because they become more independent, we slowly release them to make their own decisions.
We are there to coach them to make sure they make the right decisions.

For those 19 year olds and above, I would call that the FRIENDSHIP stage.
Mentoring… coaching… teaching… all rolled into one.
They now transition into adulthood and hopefully by the grace of God, we’ve been able to help them stand on their own feet as they fully make their own decisions.
They are released to their own destiny without us and just like an arrow (Psalm 127), we pray that they will hit their mark.

Ultimately, our goal as parents is to transition them from being dependent on us to becoming more dependent on God… less on us and more on Him.

We will not be with our kids 24/7… we won’t and we can’t.

But Someone will. And our kids cultivating that relationship and dependence on their Heavenly Father will help them make the right decisions in the future.


Somebody said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

I found that to be true.

I didn’t realize how freeing it could be to let go of the past and release the person who has hurt you.

It doesn’t change the past but it definitely opens up greater things for the future.

Here’s a post I wrote on that experience. 

Below is an amazing video on the power of forgiveness.


“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” (Corrie Ten Boom)

“Unforgiveness denies the victim the possibility of parole and leaves them stuck in the prison of what was, incarcerating them in their trauma and relinquishing the chance to escape beyond the pain.”  (T.D. Jakes)

“Every time you ask for forgiveness, you recognize that the biggest problems you face in life exist inside of you, not outside of you.” (Paul David Tripp)

“You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you.” (Max Lucado)