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Leaders at Crunch Time

“Big J” Robert Jaworski is seen here encouraging the young guns of his former team at crunch time.

Crunch time makes a whole lot of difference and leaders take the lead in mustering all the wisdom, strength, and will to win the game.

As a young gun myself, I often find myself in confusing, nerve wracking, & back breaking situations that I thought are supposedly reserved for the grey haired dudes. I have to be honest that at times “games” like this become mentally overwhelming. Suddenly, it’s the real world. I’m not complaining about the responsibilities I got on my shoulder. In fact, I like it. I like the thrill, the stress, and the stretching. I have to say I’m a little gutsy myself. Seems like having pulled off a wedding with not a single cent in the bank taught me a great deal of lesson about courage. I got into a lot of edgy You want to know what makes me so upset, Nancy? I paid a huge sum of money for the orders only to receive NO word from you after. No acknoweledgement and no updates! Even my request for a photo before shipping them out has fallen to deaf ears. Whether you say yes or just tell me it will be hard for you to do that, none at all! The fact that i cannot just easily reach you anytime and settle some issues if they would arise made me worried all the more since this is my first time transacting with you. An assurance that you will be assisting all the way until i get my package would have meant a lot, but I dont think I can expect that from you.

Another thing, you want me to send you a photo or post as a review a screenshot of your message to me saying “I will ship them on Monday first thing in the morning”? And when I followed up, you never got back to me. So dismayed Nancy. Very dismayed. cliffs at a young age so those stuff must’ve helped.

But then again, there are situations that are undeniably excruciating and unbearable. This is when my Big Js come in. Of course these are not the only times they do, but these are the times their every word are precious gold. These are times that their presence is like a pocket of air for someone who’s buried alive. My leaders provide stability. They spark a surge of confidence.
At these crunch times, in the dug outs of our own rooms in our pyjamas, we make life line calls, chats, and texts messages. My wife and I rely heavily on each other. We also rely heavily onthose who went ahead of us—our leaders. Sometimes a chit chat seems like it, but short conversations drill somethng deep in our hearts. And we get a boost. Our faith streghthened. We are reminded of the cross, we are reminded of the victory.

We tip our hats off and thank our leaders and pastors, disciplers, and elders. You all Big Js get us pumped.

How about you? Do you have Big Js who got your back?

Winning an Argument

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I came across a heated argument between two parties with diverging religious views. Both parties made their case to prove the other wrong.

How do you win a religious argument? To win a religious argument is not to argue at all.

Except maybe on a platform that requires a thourough case for the Christian faith, one has to be precisely careful not to utilize oral or written threads of arguments to win souls for the Kingdom. This is of course not setting aside occasions that call for apologetics.

Here’s why:

1. It produces quarrels.

2 Tim. 2:3
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

If at the end of the day you come out victorious with a confident argument, you are still not victorious if you haven’t inched your “opponent” closer to the saving knowledge of Christ.

You gain a more determined enemy crafting a more persuasive case to exact revenge on you.

2. It is unprofitable and useless

Titus 3:9
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

Note: unprofitable and useless.

You get how many hours a day to spare talking about or preaching the gospel? If those few hours are spent arguing and quarreling, it’s such a waste of time. While you waste time, remember that a soul is wasted.

I recently talked to someone telling me that it’s now the Last Days so we need to be more vigilant with the Devil’s tactics and bla bla. I almost blurted out: Since it’s the Last Days, might as well double time on Christ’s Last Words: Make Disciples.

So, how do you really win an argument without actually arguing?

My good friend Rye Delubio gave me a very good illustration. He said a dog who holds fast on its bone is determined to keep its bone. Once you try to take it from him, he bites and he bites hard. The only way to get the bone is to provide him with a savouring meat. That way, it leaves its lock on the bone and proceeds to eat the meat.

Arguing is like forcefully taking someone’s bone. It gets too messy and not to mention bloody if you do that.

The only way to win a person without resorting to a hostile argument is to present them with something better than the all dried up bone they have. In most cases, it’s the irrefutable argument of a changed life. Nobody can refute a changed life. At the end of the day, your life–a life changed by the gospel–is your winning piece.

To each HIS own

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By Rianne Lim

Archie & I have agreed since day 1 that the standard for which we are going to lead and coach couples who are about to be married, are newly married, or are married for a long time already is the Word of God (period). It is true that our testimony or love story can also be of big help to others, but if it becomes the central message and the main story in our coaching sessions, I think there has to be some checking and balancing that should be done there. It can also get to a point wherein it becomes the standard you impart to or teach others, and if they don’t meet your criteria or the standards or practices that you uphold, God only knows what thoughts you have in your heart.

For me and my husband, every love story and marriage blessed by God is wonderful and beautiful… truly beautiful! Whenever we drive home coming from a wedding (which by the way feels like we have one going every week!), we can only speak in awe about what we just witnessed that day—a beautifully written, Christ-centered union. And we stand amazed on how God never runs out of ideas on how to uniquely give each story its own twists and highlights. Some probably got engaged after just 2 months of dating, some may have fully enjoyed years of dating and only after a while decided to pursue marriage, some even have longer engagement season than their actual dating season, some also may have been disengaged first before they finally got engaged to the person God has prepared for them, some may have been pursued for marriage in their early 20’s or mid 40’s. Nonetheless, each story is a masterpiece, well thought of and wholeheartedly written by God himself!

Let me get this straight, I am not, in any way, saying that you can go ahead and deliberately commit mistakes, after all God can repair it later. What I am saying here is that the moment one heeds to the standard of God in their lives at any given season, no matter how different and unique each story is to another, it is still part of the beautiful story God has perfectly written so that His glory may be known through their union! To look down on one love story and esteem yours is a mockery towards God, for He is the author of not just your story but theirs as well.

Why coaching with your story as the HIDDEN standard is unhealthy:

  1. You will never depend on the Holy Spirit as you lead the couple in their pursuit for a Christ-centered marriage.
  2. You will less likely be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you minister to the couple.
  3. You will panic when the story of the couple is totally out of your league. And may end up hurting them instead of inspiring and helping them.
  4. Your pride grows and you forget that your story is still by God’s grace alone.
  5. When you find someone who has a “better” love story than yours, you pout and frown.
  6. You sow unnecessary seeds of insecurities and ungratefulness to the couple you are coaching.
  7. You can altogether dismiss a couple when they come to you not with your ideal story or standards, but with an honest heart that says, “We had a bad start. Can you help us honor God in this?” and you go on thinking “We told you so,” “See?”
  8. When you are a couple who has been tragically planted with seeds of insecurities and ungratefulness by people around you, you will forever remain silent about God’s story in your life and would only choose a handful of people to whom you want to share it with.
  9. You may be pushed to a point of convincing yourself that your added make-believe highlights and twists to the already complete and perfect story God has written for you is genius and inspiring. Thereby living a lie for the rest of your life.
  10. You will be hindered to celebrate other people’s stories on how God has been good and gracious in their love story.

And the list goes on…

I am glad you love your love story, it is actually a good thing. But I hope it doesn’t become a stumbling block to you and to the people around you, instead may it become a story that would keep on reminding you how good and faithful your God is, and how undeserving you are, but still….

Here’s to more weddings in the coming days, weeks, and months! And may you never be surprised to see tears brimming my eyes as the bride walks down the aisle (even if she’s completely unrelated to me!) in every Christian wedding I will be in.