WHEN WORK AND FAMILY COLLIDE

I’ve been reading Andy Stanley’s book, “When Work and Family Collide”.

A statement in chapter 7 got my attention. He said, “re-prioritizing your world around your family is not just a good idea; it’s a God idea. As a Christian, I don’t think I have any options when it comes to establishing my priorities. To ask my family to take the leftovers is more than insensitive. It flies in the face of everything we’re taught in the New Testament about the family.”

Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to lay down our lives for stock options or to love our careers like Christ loved the church. We are told to “do” our jobs and “love” our families (Colossians 3:23). When we love our job and do our family, we have not only stepped outside the bounds of family life but we’ve also stepped outside the will of God.

“God doesn’t reveal his will for our consideration. He reveals it for our participation.” (Charles Stanley)

Making a decision by the grace of God is the way to go. Daniel “resolved in his heart” to obey God. Building a conviction and making the decision is painful and difficult but it is well worth it.

The Latin word for decide is decider which means to ‘cut off’. Deciding not to cheat at home involves “cutting off” whatever behavior and habits that are contrary to your new conviction.

Making up your mind isn’t just choosing an option. That’s only half the battle. It is also about thoroughly eliminating all competing options.

Henrando Cortez had a conviction. April 21, 1519, he resolved to whatever it takes to conquer Mexico for Spain. He was up against the Aztecs, Cubans and Mayan warriors. As long as there were ships to retreat to, retreat would remain an option.

What did he do? He had the ships burned so that retreat won’t be one of the options anymore. That resolute choice rallied the men to focus all their strength and resources on achieving the only option – to win! In an incredible short amount of time, Mexico was theirs.

Decide today.

Decide now.

God’s grace is available.

 

POINT MAN

As I was working on my desk at the office this morning, I noticed a book on my shelf that I read a long time ago that really helped me as a young dad.

If there was one book I can recommend for all the dads out there to read, it is this one by Steve Farrar entitled “Point Man”.

One of the quotes he had in the book was …

If a man is passive and indifferent to the things of God and the spiritual leadership of his home, then attack is not necessary. He is already neutralized. – Steve Farrar
 This hit me so hard that I asked God to continuously make me the man He designed me to be, the husband I am to be and the father I am supposed to be to my kids.
For more Manhood articles, you may visit my friend’s site – ACTLIKEAMAN.ORG.

ROAD TRIPS

One of the things I’m so thankful for are the simple road trips we get to do as a family.

These trips are one of the joys we have. We try to ban iPads while on the road so that we can interact more. More conversations happen there because they are captured market. Haha. They can’t go anywhere.

Here are a couple of videos of what we took on the way to a beach trip. Our kids are crazy. I guess they take after their parents.

I’m just glad we get to do a lot of these as a family. It’s what I pictured long before I got married. I’m thankful God has given me a family like the one I have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FAITH OF A CHILD

I love coaching Little League baseball.  My son, Ryan, enjoys the game very much.

I heard of a story about a particular game and it goes like this…

A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing–we’re behind.” 

Boy,” said the spectator, “I‘ll bet you’re discouraged.”

“Why should I be discouraged?” replied the little boy. “We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!”

I love that attitude!

Faith can move mountains!

WHEN DADS WORSHIP

Here’s a survey made when dads worship with their kids.

1. If both your parents worshipped with you regularly while you were growing up, there’s an 80% likelihood that you’ll worship God regularly as an adult.

2. If only your mother worshipped regularly with you, there’s only a 30% probability that you’ll worship regularly as an adult.

3. If only your father worshipped regularly with you, the likelihood that you’ll worship regularly as an adult increases to 70%!

Fathers have an enormous impact on their children’s faith and values. One of your most important ministries is worshipping with your kids!

SAYING SORRY IS TOUGH

Asking for an apology is a tough one.

It becomes tougher when it’s someone younger we are talking about – particularly a son or a daughter.

Coming from a Bible study (Victory small group), I was on a spiritual high that particular morning.
But right when I pulled in our garage, I get a text message from my wife, Jenn:

“Paolo, your son,  accidentally spilled water on the laptop.”

When your wife tells you “your son” and not “our son”, you know there’s trouble.
You parents know what I mean.

I then rushed in the house, picked up the laptop, rushed back out to the car to bring it to the repair shop while my 8 year old son profusely apologizes for the accident.

What did I do next? I ignored him and drove off.

Coming from the computer shop, I sit on the couch. Ryan, my 8 year old comes and in tears profusely asks for forgiveness once again.

I froze.

I didn’t want to say anything, scared that I might say something dumb. At the same time, tension was so thick you can slice it with a butter knife.

Ryan walks away dejected because I wasn’t responding to his expression of regret.

After a few minutes and finding the strength to calm down, I call my son and tells him that he is more valuable to me than the laptop.

I asked him, “You know that, don’t you?”

To my horror, he shakes his head and responds with a ‘no’.

Right at that moment, I get a bonk on my head (of course not literally) from God, telling me what a jerk of a dad I was.

“You jerk of a dad, making your son feel that a piece of gadget is more valuable than him.”

In that instant, I had a choice, I could ignore it and hope that my son forgets about the incident. Or I could swallow my pride, apologize and ask for his forgiveness for the way I reacted.

In and of myself, I probably would’ve ignored the prodding and just went on with life hoping he’d just forget it.

But thank God for His grace, I gulped and talked to my bruised boy that his dad is a jerk for making him feel that the laptop was more important than his feelings.

This was one of the toughest lessons I’ve learned. I still cringe thinking about it, much less, blogging about it.

We think that our kids will lose respect when we go down our knees and acknowledge our mistakes. It’s actually the other way around. Number 1, they already know we’re not perfect. Number 2, they are so forgiving, we will will actually be surprised.

A tough lesson but a good one though.

God help us parent the next generation well.

DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT


My 9 year old Ryan loves sports – from baseball to basketball, and recently, football to ping pong.

The other day, while I stayed with him during his basketball practice, he felt very discouraged because of the team mates he had. Not only that a couple of them were ball hogs, moreover, they would react negatively when Ryan would miss a shot. Because of this, he felt very discouraged.

Sports give a lot of life lessons. It teaches a lot about character and attitude.

Here were the things I shared with him.

1. There will always be people who will discourage you, whether intentionally or inadvertently.

There are those who feel like it’s their calling in life to be negative and discourage everyone they encounter.

2. When someone discourages you, you have a choice if you will allow it to dishearten you or not.

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.

3. Failing doesn’t make you a failure.

Failure is only for those who quit.

He didn’t really feel better right away. Eventually he did. But the words I shared with him was not to make him feel better. It was truth. And it will continue to be true whether in basketball or in life.

What made him feel better later on though was french fries. Haha. French fries or ice cream usually does it for him.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VALUE

I just watched the video of the move “Moneyball” featuring Brad Pitt.

Fascinating story – a general manager  (Billy Bean) who wanted to change the game of baseball. With a third of the budget of big teams like the Yankees, he usually loses his best players at the end of the season because of better offers.

He, then, tries out a new way to figure out a way to win games without paying big name All Stars. He hires a young Yale grad who studies the statistics and figures out a way to put the puzzle pieces together of what can potentially be a great team.

As a result of getting no names and players baseball teams no longer want, they put together a group of guys who are not All Stars (so it can fit the budget) yet win games. They end up breaking the record of the longest streak of wins in a season – 20 games.

Because of this, he gets an offer from the Boston Red Sox to become their new general manager for the coming season for 12.5 million dollars which would’ve made him the highest paid general manager in the history of baseball.

But all throughout the movie, Billy’s 12 year old daughter worries that if her dad loses his job or moves to another city, she will be further away from him because she’s been living with her mom since the divorce.

The final scene comes to a close with Billy’s daughter sending him a CD of her singing. But before she starts the song, she once again reiterates her fear of being far away from daddy.

Twelve point five million. Better team to manage. Nicer platform. Much better chance of winning a World Series championship.

All these, he dumps because of one value – to be near his daughter.

Commitment is making a choice to give up other choices.

As Brandon Sanderson said, “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” 

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”  (Stephen Covey)

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HOLIDAYS

Sleep, rest or movie marathon?

As a dad, this is probably on the top of my list when I find out there’s an upcoming holiday.

I’ve always heard my mom tell me, “vacations are never for us parents, but really for you kids.
I’ve always responded sarcastically in my mind, “yeah, right!

But when I became a dad myself, my response to her statement? “Yeah right! You are absolutely right!

So yesterday, we visited Abe’s Farm in Pampanga. Great food. Great place to hang out with your kids and take lots of photos.

Oh, another thought…

Lots of our out of town trips have been with families where our kids are of the same age of our friends’ kids. We’ve strategically built these friendships and relationships. How come?

  • same values shared among our families.
  • similar age and similar interests.
  • we enjoy the same things together with God in the center of our conversations.

Now, onto the next holiday plans… haha…

 

 

TALKING ABOUT SEX TO YOUR SON (Part 3)

We are continuing the series on talking about sex to your sons.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here. 

Insights come from chapter 4 (The Virtues of Manhood) of Steve Zollos’ book, “Time for the Talk.”

1. Your young man needs convictions and they can’t come from you. Convictions come from hearing the voice of God. They come from having a holy fear of God and knowing in your heart of hearts his will for you. Convictions allow a man to steady his walk in order to stay on the narrow road that leads to life.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:21-24)

2. Here’s the challenge: Like Adam, we are required to be perfectly blameless and completely holy in our obedience to God. The problem is that none of us ever do this perfectly.

So if we are sure to fail from time to time, yet God calls us to be perfectly holy, what does it mean to walk as a man before God?

It means that we must put our trust completely in the finished work of Jesus Christ, who alone can make us holy and pure.

3. Six Key Virtues for Men

  1. HUMILITY. To pursue humility means choosing to accept the fact that your knowledge and abilities are limited, and in light of that, you are regularly seeking help and graciously receiving advice and correction.“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word (Is. 66:2).
  2.  COURAGE: To pursue courage means choosing to do what is right despite the opposition of others or of your own desires (often the more difficult enemy to fight).“Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong (1 Cor. 16:13).”
  3. PURITY: To pursue moral purity means choosing to live by the highest moral principles in both speech and physical relations, despite your own desires to do otherwise, and despite any external pressure to compromise.“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word (Ps. 119:9).
  4. FAITHFULNESS: To pursue faithfulness means acting in integrity, keeping your word, and doing what is right before God, with fortitude and without complaint, because you trust God to give you the ability to complete all he has given you to do.“A faithful man will be richly blessed.” (Pr. 28:20)
  5. SELFLESSNESS. To pursue selflessness means placing the well-being of others before your own needs and desires.“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
  6. SELF-CONTROL. To pursue self-control means to live according to the Spirit of God, choosing to glorify God with our lives and deny the sinful nature when tempted to do otherwise.“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)