Pizza & Passion

I’m currently reading one of John Maxwell’s books entitled, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader – Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow” (thanks to a good friend for giving this book).  Past days, I was reading the chapter about the importance of Passion. Maxwell shared the story of how Papa John’s Pizza started and grew.  Maxwell describes the owner as, “John Schnatter not only eats Papa John’s Pizza; he breathes, sleeps and lives it.” The success of Papa John’s Pizza is because of passion.

As I continued to read, it made me ask myself what is the one thing that I am really passionate about? What is the one thing that I am willing to spend hours and hours to do it? What is it that I specifically accomplish that gives me a sense of fulfillment? Sounds cliche, right? But it’s a question that most of us are really finding it hard to answer.

As I thought about it, I realized there is one consistent thing that I always enjoy doing and is always present in all phases of my life – teaching/coaching/mentoring.

I remember when I was in grade school, I would play pretend as a teacher of an imaginary class. When I was in high school, I remember I did tutorials to some of my classmates. When I was in college, I volunteered teaching kids on a Saturday as well as did tutorials for Korean students. I also tutored my younger brother on his Math. When I started working and grew in my career, I learned and enjoyed coaching/mentoring people in my team. Currently, I volunteer on some Sundays to teach kids during Sunday school. As part of my ministry, I’ve been doing discipleship with group of single women that allows me to encourage and mentor them as we all grow together in our walk with God.

I believe God has cultivated in my life to have a heart for people’s growth. If there’s one thing I can see myself really being patient – it is on people who are willing to learn and grow.  However, this so-called passion that I think I have is something I still haven’t really thought about deeply. I just know that I enjoyed coaching people at work or teaching kids but the pattern since I was young never occurred to me until recently.

This is something I really have to think through in the coming days, weeks, months. I must stop ignoring and really start not just thinking but also praying and seeking wisdom on how I can pursue it with an end goal in mind.

As Schnatter’s philosophy goes, “Concentrate on what you do well and do it better than anybody else.”

Also, just like Jesus when He was here on earth. He is the perfect example of what it means to pursue your passion. He never got off tracked of what He needed to do. He did the one thing that was expected of Him. And because of that, His passion (suffering) and resurrection made way for us to have the hope of a new life and be reconciled with God.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

How about you? What are you willing to suffer and spend long hours at night? What is the one thing that excites you and you will never get tired of doing?

A conceptual image representing a focus on passion

Could Have Been

There are days that I long for my sister, Amity. Days that I wish I can just talk to her. She is irreplaceable. We had conversations that I can never have with other people. Her opinion and insight just matters so much to me.

And today is just one of those days. I played all the music that she used to like. Looked at old photographs. I just wish I had more pictures with her when we were already working. Then, I started googling her name to see if there’s anywhere in the internet that I can find her.

And I found this…

LET result LET result2

An archive of the list of LET passers last 2006. We totally forgot about this. The Monday after Ate passed away, she was suppose to take her oath taking as a licensed teacher. But with everything that had happened that time, we didn’t care anymore. It didn’t matter anymore. But now, seeing her name in that list for the first time, it made me think what she could have become.

Some or maybe most may have not known, while Ate was ranking high in the insurance company she was working that time, she was also pursuing a different career. A teaching career for special children. If you know her really well, you would be surprised. You see, my sister had little patience with kids. She pursued that career because of a dream that she wanted to achieve long term. She was thinking that by taking that step, it would take her to greater heights. However, that experience changed her. She became in love with teaching, especially with the special children. I remember when she told me stories of how she dealt with the kids, instead of losing her patience, she would just find humor and laugh about it. She even showed us photos of her students. I never thought Ate would stand long when she was doing her practicum, but she did.

I can’t even imagine what could have been her life as a teacher. All I know is she will for sure do great things. It’s just sad that we never get to see what she could have become. Hopefully, someday, my family will be able to fulfill all the dreams that she had for all of us. So that all her hard work will not be put in vain.

Ate is not just family or a sister. She inspires me. As what I always say, she taught me how to dream big. She is one bubbly soul.

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I always miss you Ate. I love you so much!

This is one of Ate’s favorite artist and song. She influenced me to enjoy jazz music.

Not Keeping Silent in Love

I had never talked about homosexuality in any form of social media because I know these are things that are talked about in a personal setting and not just a topic you want to post in social media so that people would either like your post or make comments about it.

But last Friday, I can’t keep silent about it anymore. Not that my purpose for making my posts were to attack the homosexual group but it was to give more awareness especially to the young generation who have unlimited access to the social media that not everything people seem to think is okay, you just have to agree with it.

I realize that if you really truly care for someone, you have to make sure that you do something as well. I’m not a parent but I have a 9 year old sister, I am a Sunday school teacher, I am  a god parent and, I have cousins who are in their teen years. There is a generation that we need to look after for, to care for. If we just remain silent not teaching them what is true, then, how will this generation distinguish what is right from wrong?

I believe that just as God commanded us to share His love to people, He also commanded us to teach them, which is one of the ways we show our love.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

I talked to my older sister, Otella, the other night and I asked her if she can ask our youngest sister, Dora what she understands about marriage. And then, I told her that she must teach our sister what the Bible says about marriage. I don’t want my sister to grow up with a knowledge about marriage in the way of how human law now wants to define it. I want her to grow up believing how God created marriage and defined it. But you see, the concept of marriage is suppose to be something that should not be taught but something that you just understand as you grow up seeing your parents.

I will never be silent when I know that with my few posts I can remind people of what is the truth. I will never be silent when I know that it could shed light to one teenager who is confused with what to believe anymore. I will never be silent when I could help affirm burdened people that it is okay to stand for what is true. I will never be silent when people are scared to stand for truth because they might hurt others. But then, that’s what truth is for. To break us, to correct us, to discipline us, to teach us, to make us better people.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Proverbs 27:5

It is not because I want to tell the truth, the reason for it is to prove that I am right and they are wrong. What do I really get from doing it? I hope people realize that we tell the truth because we love them, we care for them and we don’t want them to fall into a great deceit that just because it makes you happy and makes you feel good, you can just do whatever you want, believe whatever you want to believe.

I hope we all realize that telling the truth is very different with judging or condemning people. If truth bites you, then maybe, God is telling you something about it. Judging a person is attacking the person’s being. Telling the truth based on God’s Scripture is attacking the wrong teaching or belief. I hope we all see that difference.

And lastly, I hope we also understand the kind of love that God has for us. Loving others doesn’t mean we won’t hurt them. Loving others could sometimes mean we might hurt them because we want them to be better people, just like how my parents disciplined us when we were younger. There were painful times but those were motivated by love. When we say we must do things in love, we must model it on how God loves us also. When we start keeping silent because we say we love other people and don’t want to hurt them, then maybe we are more concerned of the relationship, than of the person.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Hebrews 12:6,11

Always remember, God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to remain unchanged. And if we say that we truly love God and believe in Him, then we must as well do what He asks us to do.   “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15

Teach

I saw a video today posted in Facebook which is still related to the shooting in Connecticut, a news personality answering the question where was God during that time? I can’t help but get teary-eyed. I realized that some kids might have never heard about Jesus.

Video:  Where was God?

One of the things I’m always grateful to my parents is that they made sure we came to know God as we grow up. It allowed us to seek God more and walk in His ways.  As for me, it’s the best thing any parent could do to their children.

I was reminded by these verses in Deuteronomy 6:5-8.

” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

It’s time we truly care for the next generation, parent or not.