Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Joys and Challenges of Marrying Your Opposite

Hello friends.  In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’m in a season of my life where blogging would unfortunately have to take a back seat to more pressing concerns.  Rest assured, I have not forgotten you and I do want to post every now and then.

Well, today’s my 15th wedding anniversary, so I guess this is as a good occasion as any to wipe the dust off this blog and write something.  Yup, 15 years of highs and lows, joys and sorrows.  I became a husband and a dad at a very young age (see my testimony here) but I wouldn’t trade the past 15 years for anything in the world.

One thing that you may not know about my wife, Jhean, and I is that we’re complete opposites.  In just about every way, from upbringing, to types of movies, to personality, to recreation choices, we’re just very different.

Opposites attract, so they say; and indeed, Most couples I see do not have the same personality.  However, there are also some unique challenges and joys when it comes to marrying your opposite.  Here’s another Focus On The Family broadcast featuring author Melanie Shankle as she humorously looks at how we can use these differences to strengthen our marriage.  Enjoy, and feel free to look up her books below.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My family, children included, are CRAZY over this super-nutritious food

For about a year now, I have been doing a small sideline business of bringing top quality milk (including raw milk, which some people, such as myself, consider the healthiest form of milk) to my customers who live in uptown Cagayan de Oro (see my article here).  Well, as great as it is, I will now introduce a product that turns milk into an ultra-nutritious superfood that is among the healthiest foods you can give to your family:  kefir.

I introduced kefir to my family years ago but they found it quite unappetizing.  Recently, I gave it another go and the taste improved so much that my family now LOVES it, to the point that it has now replaced milk in our household!  

So what is kefir?  What’s all the fuss about it being so good for you?  Allow me to officially start this blog entry by answering the first question.  Kefir is milk that has been fermented by kefir grains.  This gives it a yogurt-like taste and a truck-load of additional nutritional benefits (which I will explain later).

For those of you who are screaming out, “Yogurt?  Ew!” rest assured that you can enjoy this drink in the many flavors it comes in:   strawberry, buko pandan, vanilla, mango (our favorite), and, of course, plain.

What’s all the fuss about kefir being so good for you?  Okay, I’m about to drop some knowledge, and it’s gonna be a bit lengthy, so hold on tight.

Kefir is one of the greatest sources of enzymes, nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms on the planet, and it does our body great good in three ways:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My daughter’s testimony – TEAM ONE 2014

Very rarely do I allow others to write on my blog.

However, my eldest daughter, Lynn, had the time of her life as she attended TEAM ONE 2014, a national youth leadership seminar held by Elevate, the youth group that my two daughters attend every Saturday.

Here’s the recap video of what transpired on that magical 4 days of fun and learning.  The participants were those who currently are leaders of Elevate or those who are being groomed to be such.  Lynn was very flattered when she was endorsed by her D-group leader and was strongly encouraged to join (D-group = short for Discipleship group; she's also being challenged to lead a D-group of her own).  How can I, her dad, refuse such an endorsement?  So she was among the 800 teenagers who flew to Manila to join TEAM ONE 2014.

Watch the awesome recap video:



I asked her to say a few words about how the event affected her, and so here it is.  May it encourage you if you are a parent of teenagers, and may it convince you to consider putting them into youth organizations like Elevate…this country would be a better place if more kids joined this kinda stuff, in my opinion.

Lynn's TEAM ONE 2014 Testimony:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Raised to Run - Dr. Ravi Zacharias in Manila

Dr. Ravi Zacharias at CCF
Last weekend, the Philippines in general and my main church in particular was blessed to host one of today’s greatest men of God, world renowned speaker and author Dr. Ravi Zacharias.  He and his team were in Manila to give an amazing conference called Unshakable: Standing Firm in Changing Times last Saturday; and the next day, he gave the Sunday message for everyone in the congregation, titled Raised To Run.

Because technology is awesome (and so are the wonderful people at CCF), the Sunday message was shown simultaneously via Livestream to the CCF churches all over the Philippines, and that includes where my family and I worship, CCF Cagayan de Oro (though my lucky eldest daughter was able to see him live as she’s there for a youth leadership conference).

This blog entry has the pleasure of featuring Raised To Run – by Dr. Ravi Zacharias in CCF Manila.  All you need to do is click on the video below.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are you feeding your family sickly chickens? Feed them the best!

I live in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, and the neighboring towns are mostly farming communities that raise all sorts of crops and animals.  In regards to chicken, I heard people say that the ones who raise chicken actually don’t eat them.  I don’t know if it was said jokingly, but I have a feeling it was serious.

How come?  Well, I suspect it’s because the ones who raise chickens know first-hand of all the junk that is being fed to these poor birds.  I’ve done some research on the internet, and if what I saw there is the practice over here, then indeed, we should stop eating chickens too.

That is, stop eating chickens raised the conventional way.  What if you can enjoy delicious, very healthy chickens raised naturally…and we reap the great health benefits of such?  The brand that I offer to you, La Granja pastured chickens is just that.  Better yet, if you live in uptown Cagayan de Oro City, you can get these superior meats straight to your doorstep.  

Are you feeding your family sickly chickens?  Feed them the best!  But first let’s talk about the chickens you’ve been eating all along.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A great finance lesson from Plants vs. Zombies...thanks to this gem of a book

Learning how to manage your money is among the most important skills one should know.  However, I strongly feel, and I think you’d agree with me, that Filipinos in general do not manage money very well.  The subject of money is not talked about much either.  Why is that?  Maybe…

  • It’s too sore or sensitive an issue (often in homes where it’s all-too-painfully in short supply)?  
  • It’s taboo to talk about it as you’ve been taught that doing so shows you’re greedy and “money is the root of all evil.”  
  • Because the task, especially the financial jargon, is too daunting and you resign yourself to leave money management to those who work in banks?

I’ve read several money management books (I’m especially a fan of Robert Kiyosaki’s books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Retire Young, Retire Rich), and I feel you all should read them too.  I’ve recently read a local (Philippine made) gem of a book called I Wish They Taught Money In High School, that contains one of the simplest and coolest financial lessons I’ve ever read.  

First, though, let me answer one of the questions posted above.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Mother’s Day tribute and wonderful gifts for Moms

Thanks to my article on the amazing story of Joy tan-Chi Mendoza, I had a LOT of new people on my Facebook page and who followed me on Networked Blogs.  Most of these are women, and they’re mothers, I presume.  Firstly, to my new friends, thank you for liking the content here, and I hope that one day you can bring your husbands to this site as well (as Lessons of A Dad is geared mostly to them). 

Secondly, since Mother’s Day is around the corner, and it's Throwback Thursday (at least here in the Philippines), allow me to honor you with a throwback Mother’s Day tribute and give you a list of wonderful gifts for moms. 

This is a throwback Mother’s Day tribute because I’m about to show you an older video of my eldest daughter, Lynn, and three of her talented friends as they sang Yeng Constantino’s hit, Salamat in honor of the mothers in the congregation of our church (sorry my non-Filipino friends, you won’t be able to understand the lyrics of the beautiful song). 



Indeed, advanced Happy Mother’s Day to the most wonderful women in our lives.  Gentlemen, use this time to pamper both your mother and the mother of your children.  One way to do that is to buy beautiful gifts for them from Amazon.com.  

 In fact, they have some really awesome promos for such an occasion, and there’s still time to buy some great items to show moms how much you care.  I’m gonna show some links below.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Find hope after infidelity

The Legal Wife. If you live in the Philippines, you'd know that the three words I just mentioned comprise the title of probably the country's most popular (or most hated) TV show and one of the most trending online topics among Filipinos come weeknights. It’s crazy how the show has been getting the attention it’s been getting; and often times, when I take a scroll through my Facebook timeline during the nights when the show is on, I have to scroll a long way down before I find something that is NOT related to that show.  Do you feel me?

(I do chuckle at some of the funny memes some people make out of it, though.)

I don't know why there are so many shows on this hurtful topic recently, and, sadly, I know many friends who have been burned by adultery.  One of them, who has a wry sense of humor, placed this status update:

I wonder if she’s watching #TheLegalWife

I instantly laughed and "liked" the status; but this is no laughing matter.  A few years back, she joined my young couples group (sans soon-to-be-ex-husband, of course) and she just verbally vomited all the pain she’s been feeling inside.  The hurt, the betrayal, the feeling of worthlessness, it was so…raw.  I could never imagine putting my wife through that sort of pain.  No way.

Again, sadly, she’s far from the only one I know who has struggled with adultery.  Several friends, mostly women, have been hurt to the very core by a spouse or significant other whose eyes, and later, hearts and bodies, started to wander.  As I thought back to my friend’s Facebook status update and the plight of other friends like her, I wonder how they can find hope after infidelity.  How can these women cope and heal after such a terrible trial?

Well, what I have here is another one of Focus On The Family’s radio broadcasts, split into two parts.  Its title is Hope for Every Marriage, where Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs offer valuable advice, and hope, for couples as they candidly describe their own journey of infidelity and restoration.

I love these Focus on the Family broadcasts and I use them often on my blog.  I also like that they're in audio form, so I can listen while I do something else.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

From rape and tragedy to forgiveness and victory: the Joy Tan-Chi story

I hope you all are having a great Holy Week / Lenten season.  As for me, it’s a staycation (staying home vacation) where I just simply rest—which I badly need—and catch up on good books and chilling with family.

One of the highlights of my Holy Week was watching the true story of Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza on TV yesterday.  She was a good, very innocent, teenage girl: never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, etc.  But then a group of thugs broke into the family home, tied up her siblings (their parents were away), stolen their goods…and then the worst nightmare happened: they (7-8 of them) violated her innocence by raping her.  That’s not the end of this tragic yet amazing story, because from rape and tragedy comes forgiveness and victory.  


This indeed is the true to life Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza story, and I’m so glad I found the video on youtube.  It’s divided into four parts, and I will feature all of them here.  WATCH IT!!!  I know the story even before the TV reenactment of it, but it’s here where we see where the impact to the family, even many years later, is still so evident and poignant.  Enjoy—and prepare to be moved to the very core, as this is one of the greatest examples of the adage that God uses even the most horrible of events for great good.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My middle child, Mesoo's graduation

A big congrats to my middle child, Monica Andrea (nicknamed Mesoo) for graduating from Elementary school.  Now, I have two children as my students!  How awesome (and awkward) is that?

(She also garnered one of the top scores in the entrance exam to boot!  Awesome job, buddy!)

I’ll just show a few pics of the festivities, as well as the video of her speech (in the school where she goes to, every graduating child makes a speech).  In case you’re wondering, my child goes to a Montessori school called The Abba’s Orchard.

 I feature this fantastic school quite often in my blog.  If you are searching for a school for your children, and you live either in Manila, Davao, Cebu, or CDO, then check out my blog entries about the school for more information (and their website, too).

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