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Failure can be devastating.

Just recall your most painful failures.

Have you failed in school?  Have you experienced waiting outside the registrar’s office, your body sweating, your knees shaking, your stomach churning, praying that your grade isn’t a 72% but 75%–or you get kicked out of school? (Been there, done that.)

Have you failed in your job? In your business?  Did you lose money in your investments?  Have you plunked in hard-earned money in a business—only to have the money disappear? (I’ve experienced this ten times in my life…)

Have you failed in your diets?  My friend tried the Atkins Diet and he failed. He tried the Mediterranean Diet and he failed. He tried the After Six Diet, and he failed. He tried the South Beach Diet, the North Beach, The East Beach, and the West Beach—and failed all of them too. Finally, he’s doing the Seafood Diet and its been working. What he sees, he eats.

Have you failed in your exercise programs? Have you decided to run each morning—and lasted only for two weeks? Have you bought a treadmill and now use it as a clothes hanger?  Skywalker? Abroller? Abflex? ThighMaster? StepMaster?  Used them for three weeks max, and are now symbols of your undisciplined life?

Have you failed in your love-life? Have you ever experienced a broken heart? Have you loved someone with all your heart, but that someone didn’t love you back but just wanted you to be a friend? (“But I don’t want to be just your friend! Grrrr!”) Or have YOU broken someone’s heart?   Is your theme song, To all the girls I’ve loved before. Who travelled in and out my door       Have you failed in your family life? As husband, wife, father, mother, sibling, child, grandchild? 

Have you failed God?

Have you failed yourself?

People ask me how could I have written 27 books, so far. The answer is easy. It’s not because I have more brilliance. It’s because I have more blunders. Because every time I fail, I try to learn from my failures—and share this wisdom in my books.

Here’s God’s big message for you today. Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail…

3 Lessons I Will Never Forget

       A few years ago, I wanted to learn how to play badminton. I asked my friend Mike Joseph to teach me how to play. Mike was phenomenal in badminton. He has been playing the sport for 30+ years. Before badminton became fashionable, he was already playing it as a kid. I bet when he was still in his diapers, he wasn’t holding a rattle, he was holding a badminton racket.

After two training sessions with him, something unforgettable happened. While we were dressing up to train, two guys invited us to a doubles game.

I was about to tell them, “Oh sorry guys, I don’t know how to play yet. Just in kindergarten…”  But Mike blurted out, “Sure!”

My jaw dropped. Was he out of his mind? I told the two men, “Excuse me for a moment while I confer with my friend…”

I walked near Mike and whispered, “Are you insane?  I don’t know how to play! These guys look like star players. We’re going to be massacred.”

He said, “It’s okay, Bo. Here’s what you do. Just stand in front of the net. If the shuttlecock goes near you, raise your racket and swat it down.  Remember these two things: Give it your best shot.  And I’ll take care of the rest.”

So I did the unbelievable.

With trembling knees, I took my place near the net. I looked at the two opponents on the other side and froze. They looked like pros.  Because they had expensive badminton rackets. And matching outfits!

In the entire game, I did what Mike told me to do—stand near the net and swat whenever the ball came near me. And Mike would do everything else. Believe me, he was like The Flash. When I turned to my right, he was there. When I turned to my left, he was there. When I looked behind me, he was there!

What happened? That day, Mike and I crushed those guys. They didn’t know what hit them.

I felt great winning the game. Honestly, I didn’t do much. Goodness, I think I didn’t even perspire. In the entire 45 minutes of playing, I probably hit the ball twice. Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  I did more than that.

Let me share with you three key lessons I learned that day…

1. Always Play Doubles

Today, you’re fighting different battles in your life. Perhaps you’re fighting health problems. Or you’re fighting financial difficulties. Or you’re fighting relationship conflicts. Sometimes, you feel these opponents are huge and strong and powerful.

Here’s my word for you: Don’t try to fight alone.

Because God designed your life to be lived NOT as a Singles Game, but as a Doubles Game.   You need a Partner.

There are people I know who fight their fights alone—and sooner or later, they lose.  People think they lose because of a lack of proficiency. Or a lack of power.  Or a lack of perseverance. Or a lack of provision. But actually, they lack a Partner. They lack a Champion Partner. Because if they had a Champion Partner, that Partner will give them the proficiency and power and perseverance or provision they need.

In our first game, the score was 15-9. We got 15 and they got 9. Do you know why the opponent had 9 points? Because I made 9 mistakes.

Here’s what I learned: If you Partner with a Champion, you can make all sorts of mistakes—and still win.

I Shouldn’t Be Here!

This is the story of my life. I have made so many mistakes in my life, I’m wondering what in the world am I doing here, experiencing great blessing and success?

As I told you, I failed in school.

I think it all started when I was in Kindergarten. My teacher asked the class to write our names. Simple, right? Not if your name was Eugenio Isabelo Tomas Reyes Sanchez Jr. At that time, I couldn’t even memorize my name, much less write it down.

So I probably felt bobo (dumb)because by recess time, all my classmates were already playing outside—but I was still on my seat writing my name.

Seriously, I probably was mildly dyslexic because I couldn’t spell my words right. In Grade school, my teacher gave us 20 words to spell—and I only spelled 2 words right. The two words were “cat” and “dog”. But I couldn’t spell words with two syllables.

I was also bullied. Note: Not just by my classmates but by my teacher. Not only was I small and thin, but I was terrible at sports. I remember playing baseball. My teacher assigned me to be right outfielder. But I was so uncoordinated, I couldn’t catch the ball. My Teacher told all my classmates, “Try to hit the ball towards Eugenio because he won’t be able to catch it…” and then he’d laugh really loud and all my classmates would laugh with him.

For our yearbook, they couldn’t write anything under my photo. There was nothing to write about. So they wrote something like, “Eugenio existed… sometimes.”

As I grew up, I failed God. I sinned against God many times.

And that’s why God’s big message for you today is very close to my heart: Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail.

Despite all those failures, I’m living a dream life today. I’m blessed beyond my wildest imagination. Everyday, I’m surrounded by love. I have a wonderful family. I have phenomenal friends. I have the most amazing work in the universe. There are days when I pinch myself. How can someone who has failed so much be so blessed?

Here’s how: God’s specializes in transforming your failures into your fortunes, your defeats into your doorways, your disasters into your destinies, your messes into your magnificence.

Have you failed in your life? Have you made so many mistakes that you can’t count them? I’ve got good news for you. If you make God your Partner, no matter how many mistakes you‘ve made in your life, you can still win!

I repeat, Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail.

Here’s my second key lesson…

2. Always Give Your Best

Mike told me only two things. He said, “Give it your best shot. I’ll take care of the rest.”

As I said, in our first game, the opponent had 9 points because I made 9 mistakes. Think about it: If I stood there like a flagpole, and did absolutely nothing, we would have won the game with the score 15-0. It would have been a more impressive win for Mike.

But Mike’s goal wasn’t to win. Mike’s goal was to teach how to win. He wanted me to learn, to grow, to develop, to be better. So before playing, he told me, “Give it your best shot.” Even if my best wasn’t good enough. Even if my best meant making all sorts of mistakes.

Friend, that’s exactly what God is telling you to do now.

God wants you to give life your best shot.

The world is your stage! And everyday, God wants you to go out there, stand on that stage, and give your best performance.

So if you’re a teacher, then teach your students so well that they’ll be wiser and better and kinder and nobler than their parents. If you’re an Entrepreneur, sell us products that will elevate the human spirit.  If you’re a janitor, hold your mop like a king holds his scepter and make that floor shine so that when people look at it, they’ll say that life is getting brighter everyday.  If you’re a nurse, then love your patients so well that they’ll think angels are walking in our midst. It doesn’t matter what you do. The world is your stage and your audience is begging you to give your best performance every time. Soon, people will travel for miles, line up for a chance to sit at your feet to watch you give your best.

Here’s my final lesson…

3. Always Trust Your Partner

We actually played three badminton games that day.

In the first game, we won. But in the second game, we lost. The score was 13-15. Yes, I made more mistakes.

We took a water break after that. I walked up to Mike and said, “I’m such a lousy player. I think we should give up.”

“Nonsense!” he said, “You’re getting better!”

“Huh?” I looked behind me, wondering if he was talking to someone else. Nobody was there.  “Gosh Mike, we lost! All because of me.”

He shook his head, “We just lost one game. We’re now going to win the next game.”

That’s when I remembered that Mike gave me only two instructions. First, he said, “Give it your best shot.” Second, he said, “I’ll take care of the rest.”

I realized I needed to trust my Mentor. If he said, “We’re going to win this next game,” then we’re going to win the next game. If he said, “Bo, you’re getting better,” then I’m really getting better!

True enough, we won that third game. The score was 15-7. They made 7 points because I only made 7 mistakes.  I was getting better because I was committing lesser mistakes.

Friend, perhaps you’ve made a lot of mistakes and you feel disappointed with yourself today. But God is telling you, “You’re getting better! You’ll win in the next game.”

When you turn to the right, God will be there.   When you turn to the left, God will be there too. When you look behind you, God’s got you covered. He’ll back you up. He’ll make you win.

Live by this Law: Do your best and let your Partner do the rest. Friend, remove worry from your life. Trust in your Partner! Even when your situation is impossible. Especially when your situation is impossible!

Do Your Best And Let Your Partner Do The Rest

       Let me tell you a true story of my friends, James and Diana, a married couple who have been members of Light of Jesus for 30+ years now. (I’ve changed their names.)

30+ years ago, James and Diana had 3 friends who wanted to work abroad. Luckily, Diana had another friend who was in charge of hiring staff for luxury ships—and asked for her help for their friends. In no time, the three men got jobs as waiters in restaurants in the ship. The men happily worked as seamen, sending precious dollars to their family.

That same friend offered James a job as well.  “James, we still need waiters. Why don’t you apply?” she asked.

Diana and James talked about the offer – which was really tempting, because at the time, they were in their 20s and were minimum wagers.  Diana worked in a printing press and James in a food chain. They already had three kids, and their eldest, already six years old, would soon start school.

At that time, they were already part of the Light of Jesus Family.  After praying together with their friends in community, James didn’t feel peace about working abroad. He decided he should turn it down, stick it out here, and believe that God will prosper them.

“In the beginning, it was difficult to stand by our decision,” Diana told me. “I saw the families of my 3 friends happy with the money the men were sending them.  They had big TV sets and nice ovens. The ladies also showed me their branded imported bags.  Their kids played remote-controlled big toy cars—and my sons just watched them, their mouths salivating.  When the men came home for a vacation—they gave us chocolates and imported canned goods. Through those early years, we wondered if we made the right decision or not. It felt like we were failures and they were winners.”

Fast forward 30+ years later. Here’s what happened to them…

Friend #1 fell in love with a chambermaid in the luxury ship. His wife threatened to leave him. James advised his friend to quit working at sea.  He listened.  He found a job as waiter in a local restaurant—and saved his marriage.

Friend #2, lonely at sea, found comfort in shabuhe found in ports where his ship docked.  He became a drug addict and was fired.  Because of his addiction, he couldn’t find work in the Philippines, so his family went bankrupt.  To save her kids from poverty, his wife left him and lived with another man who provided for her. Friend #2 is now living on the streets, begging for food from his neighbors.

Friend #3 did not have a mistress, neither did he become a drug addict.  He provided for his family so well that his kids were able to go to exclusive schools. Happy ending?  Not quite.  His wife, unable to sleep during the long nights that her husband was gone, took downers—sleeping pills that eventually affected her brain. She is now mentally ill and he had to quit working abroad so he could take care of her and their kids.

Meanwhile, James and Diana, gave their best. And God did the rest. Their home now also has the large TV set. James rose through the ranks until he became a top supervisor. But most importantly, they had their family intact.

By the way, I’m not telling you this story to tell you NOT to become an OFW. It’s still possible, but I urge you that if you’ll be separated from your spouse, it can’t be for too long. If at all possible, find a way to be together. Because that’s how God designed families.

But that’s the main reason why I tell you this story.

Here’s my main point: Early on, Diana and James thought they failed in life. But God vindicated them. 30 years later, they realized that failure is temporary, and victory is permanent, because God cannot fail.

God Doesn’t Do The Easy Things Only

Nothing is more impossible than death.

In the Bible, Jesus raised 3 dead people to life. They were the daughter of Jairus, the son of the Widow of Nain, and Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.

The daughter of Jairus had just died a few minutes ago. Her body was still warm. Because when Jairus asked Jesus to pray for his daughter, she was still alive. But when they arrived at the house, someone told Jairus, “Don’t bother the Master. Your daughter is dead.” But Jesus still entered the room, and said to her, “Rise!” and the daughter of Jairus rose up from her deathbed.

The son of the widow of Nain died possibly for more than 12 hours. When Jesus met the funeral procession on the road, the guy was already in a coffin about to be buried. So his body was stiff and cold. They didn’t embalm people then, so they bury people in the same day they died. But Jesus stopped the funeral procession, touched the coffin, and said, “Rise!” and the man rose up from his coffin and started talking.

But among the three, no one was deader than Lazarus. Lazarus has been buried for four days. In fact, when Jesus came, Mary said, “Jesus, his body smells by now. His body has been rotting for 4 days.” But Jesus still said, “Lazarus, come out!” and Lazarus walked out of the grave.

What do these three miracles say to you?

Perhaps your dreams have died—and they’re dead in varying degrees.

Perhaps your dream just died yesterday and it’s lifeless now on its deathbed. Perhaps your dream died some time back, and it’s now lying stiff and cold in a coffin. Or perhaps your dream died many years ago and it’s rotting in a grave.

All that doesn’t matter. Because God is in the business of resurrecting dead dreams.

God isn’t here to do the easy things only. God is here to do the impossible things.

God is telling you now, “Nothing is too hard for me.”

All your failures are temporary. All your difficulties are temporary. All your disappointments are temporary. All your heartbreaks are temporary. All your bankruptcies are temporary. Even the pain of death is temporary! But your Victory is permanent. Because God cannot fail.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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Everything will change.

When I say everything, I mean everything.

I can think of four obvious things that will change…

1. Fame Changes

          What is famous today won’t be famous tomorrow.

A few days ago, I felt nostalgic and googled old TV shows.

Remember Combat! Starring Vic Morrow and Rick Jason?

This was shown before I was born.

Just kidding.

Actually, I was a tiny kid then, watching beside my Dad. This was my Dad’s favorite TV show.  Vic Morrow was a huge star then. He even visited Manila. But his death was gruesome. While doing a movie, a helicopter crashed on him—and the blade cut off his head. Very few remember him now.

Or how about this show?

Our family loved watching this drama every Tuesday night. It starred Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Melissa Sue Anderson (I had a crush on her blue eyes.) Landon a very accomplished actor. But he died of pancreatic cancer in 1991.

This was a detective show called Hawaii Five 0. People loved the program, it lasted for 12 years. Jack Lord was a very big star. In his later years, he suffered from Alzheimers and died of cardiac arrest in 1998.

The next one was my favorite TV show…

Lee Majors is the Six Million Dollar Man. Pictured above is Bionic Woman Lindsay Wager. My classmates and I worshipped that guy. Like our star, all of us ran in slow motion. He’s still alive today, but obviously, not a very big star anymore.

I used to watch Superman when he was black and white. George Reeves was the first Superman on TV. Sadly, reports said that he killed himself at the young age of 45 years old.

I also watched Batman starring Adam West…

When Batman punches someone, it’s so powerful, you don’t only hear the sound, you read it…

We laugh at this now, but we loved it then. Batman and Robin climbed the wall of buildings. This was how hi-tech our camera tricks were…

Imagine how fame changes. Now, these shows are gone. Some of these showbiz gods are dead. And three-fourths of my audience doesn’t even know them anymore.

That’s not all that will change.

2. Cool Changes

What is cool today won’t be cool tomorrow.

This was what was cool a few years back…

All the teenagers wanted to look like him. But if you look like this today, you might just be murdered on broad daylight. (Joke)

And everyone wanted his hairstyle…

Even cool toys today won’t be the cool toys tomorrow.

 

For a few Christmases, this was the most wanted toy in Manila. You couldn’t even buy one if you wanted to—because it was out of stock. But I never got to own one, because it was very expensive. Voltes V was so hot then, President Marcos wanted to ban it—because all the kids went gaga over this robot.

But today, young kids don’t even know who the robot is.

During my time, all the young guys wanted to drive a Lancer boxtype. It you owned this car, you owned the world. It was the coolest thing. If you drove this car, you opened the windows and waved at everybody.

But if you still drive this car today, you tint the windows really dark and you only drive at night.

Remember this machine? During my time, students were lucky to have it at home, so they didn’t have to line up in the school library to borrow one…

If you’re my age, you remember that if you made a mistake, you had to use “snow pake” (Gosh, I don’t even know how you spell that word. It doesn’t appear in google.)

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to carry this thing in your bag anymore.

And what was the greatest desire of my mother? This…

We were telephone-less for years. When my Mom asked the phone company to give us a phone, they told us, “Hopefully in one year, we’ll install your phone.” I’m not kidding. It took a year for them to install our phone. But we waited patiently.

And our phones had something that phones don’t have anymore: partylines. That meant we shared one line with our neighbor. When we lifted up the receiver, we usually heard our neighbor’s daughter chatting with her boyfriend. So we interrupt her and say, “Excuse me Partyline, can I use the phone?”

But cool has changed. You don’t like this phone anymore.

Hey, even your body changes…

3. Body Changes

       Your body today will not be your body tomorrow.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your body is changing now.

What used to be flat is now round.

What used to be fast is now slow.

What used to be light is now heavy.

What used to be smooth is now rough.

What used to be tall is now short. (My mother used to be 5’3. At 87, she’s just 5 feet tall now. If you think you’re short now, wait for a few more years…)

One day, you’ll lose your black hair.  You’ll lose some of your teeth.  You’ll lose your smooth skin. You may even lose some bodily functions… Until you die.

Finally…

4. People Change

       The people in your life today may not be the same people in your life tomorrow.

Did you have best friends in the past? Where are they now? Remember how you used to hang out everyday? But you don’t see them anymore. Because they’ve changed. Because life has changed. Because jobs have changed. Because locations have changed.

When my wife was growing up, she had 3 best friends. They used to hangout everyday. But today, they’re all gone. One is in America, the other one in London, and the other one in Australia. They’re thousands of miles apart.

I was talking to Jamie, a young woman who was crying how she lost her friends too. Since her High School days, they were inseparable.  But one by one, they got married. And Jamie was always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. Today, she feels so alone. Left out. Her world has changed.

Do you have kids? Enjoy them while you can.

Because one day, whether you like it or not, they will leave you. They’ll walk out of the door. They’ll have families of their own. And one day, you and your spouse will be left alone in an empty house, looking at each other over the breakfast table, surrounded by eerie silence.

Are your kids noisy? Enjoy that noise because it won’t last.

Are your kids messy? Enjoy that mess because that mess won’t last.

Let me ask one last question.

Did you have a very close person whom you trusted—but who shattered that trust? Who betrayed you? Who broke your heart? Who hurt you deeply?

You can’t depend on people because people change. You can’t depend on your friends, because they leave you. You can’t depend on your parents, because they die on you. You can’t depend on your kids, because they’ll build their own lives. You can’t even depend on your spouse, because he or she will grow old and die too.

I repeat: Everything will change.

There’s only one other thing that will never change…

God Will Never Change

       God says, I am the Lord and I change not.(Malachi 3:6)

God doesn’t change in His nature, in His attributes, in His will.

But if you read the Bible, it seems that God has changed.

In the Old Testament, He was the “God of Wrath”. Cruel. Vindictive. Judgmental. Racist. For example, in the book of Joshua, God ordered the mass slaughter of tribes—men, women, and children–who were living in Canaan. These Canaanite tribes were living there for thousands of years—but according to Israel, God wanted them to be massacred so that they, God’s chosen people, could live in their promised land.

In the New Testament, all of a sudden, He is the “God of Love”. Instead of a Warrior God, He becomes the helpless baby in a manger. Instead of a Judge that gives a death sentence, He becomes the Good Shepherd willing to die for His sheep.

So has He really changed?

No, God doesn’t change.

Instead, it’s our understanding of God that has changed.

We change. We mature. We develop. We transform.

When you read the Bible, remember that the human writers’ understanding of God is always limited by the weaknesses of their culture, psychology, language, and history.

That’s why you can’t get one verse from the Bible and say that’s the entire truth. That’s crazy. When you read the Bible, you’re entering into a 3000-year long Journey.

Where does this Journey take us?

God is Love. (1 John 4:16)

These three words summarize this Journey.

Today, you’ll experience the power of these three simple words—and how they have never changed and never will.

He loves you not because you’re lovable. He loves because He is loving.

Yesterday, He loved you. Today, He loves you. Tomorrow, He will love you. Nothing will change. (Hebrews 13:8)

Why? Because that is who God is.

God loves you with an Eternal Love.

Through the chaos of life, God will love you forever.

Some people think that if they sin against God, His love will decrease. And they think that if you keep sinning some more, His love will finally disappear and will send you to Hell.

Here’s the truth: God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. Hell is a personal choice. You choose to go to Hell. No one pushes you there. But you can’t do anything to make God love you less.

A Prophet And Prostitute Get Married

       Hosea was a Prophet.

One day, he was praying. And God talked to him and said, “Hosea, I want you to get married.”

Hosea answered, “Really? Wow, thank you! With whom, Lord?”

“I want you to marry Gomer.”

“Gomer… beautiful name. Who is she, Lord?”

“Gomer is a prostitute.”

“Wow, a prosti…. WHAT?” Hosea couldn’t believe his ears. “Why do you want me to marry a prostitute?”

God said, “I want you to prophesy not only with your words. I want your life to be a movie to show to everyone my love for my people. My people are worshipping other gods. They have been unfaithful to me. But I still love them.”

So Hosea was an obedient guy. He went and looks for Gomer.

Can you imagine this scene?

Hosea looked like a prophet. He had the walk of a prophet. The robe of a prophet. The staff of a prophet. What was he doing? Looking for a prostitute.

And Gomer was standing on a sidewalk, with her thigh exposed, twirling her belt, whistling at guys.

Suddenly, Gomer’s eyes bulged as she saw this holy man walk up to her. “Yes, you want… uh, anything?”

Hosea says, “Gomer, I want to marry you.”

Gomer’s jaw dropped. She said, “Is there a punch line somewhere? Are you joking?”

It wasn’t a joke. And there was a wedding between a prophet and a prostitute.

Multicolored Children

       In the entire time that they were together, they had three children. Some Bible Scholars say that none of these three kids came from Hosea.

Meaning: Even as a wife, Gomer was still in business.

Can you imagine how Hosea was waiting for his first born to come out? He was pacing outside the house, until he heard a baby cry. He climbed up the stairs and entered the house, to be greeted by the midwife giving him a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.

“I’m now a Daddy!” Hosea shouts. He then uncovers the face and is shocked. “Uh, why is he colored green? I’m not green, and you’re not green, why is he green? He’s an alien!”

Second baby, same thing. “Why is he blue?

Third baby, same thing.   “Why is he orange?”

Pursue Her Again

       Well one day, Gomer runs away from home.

I have no idea what Hosea’s reaction was, but I’m guessing it was this: “Lord, Gomer is gone. I can’t find her at home. Praise the Lord!”

One day, he was praying, and God spoke to him again.

God said, “Hosea, I want you to get married.”

“Again? Wow, thank you Lord. With whom?”

“Gomer,” God says.

“Whaaaaa! Lord, you’ve got to be kidding. Look at what she’s done to me! Look at my kids,” he pointed to them, “they’re Technicolor!”

“Hosea, I want you to look for Gomer and pursue her. Because this is my love for my people. It will never change. It will never decrease. No matter what you do, I will still pursue you.”

So Hosea looks for Gomer, traveling to one town after another.

Finally, He finds her. He knocks on the door.

The window opens. And Gomer sees Hosea.

“You’re still here? You still want me? After all that I’ve done to you?” Gomer asks.

Hosea doesn’t say a word. He kneels down. He brings out his harp. And he sings, “Oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your touch…”

I’m kidding. He didn’t sing that song.

He sang this…

Come back to me, with all your heart, don’t let fear, keep us apart. Trees do bend, though straight and tall, so must we, to others call. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.

       I used to hear this song in church.

The title of the song? Hosea.

Because it’s based on the words of the Bible.

My friend, God loves you.

This is the only thing that will never change in your life.

Bank on God’s eternal love for you. The Biblesays, Your unfailing love will last forever.  Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. (Psalm 89:2)

Follow The Flow Of His Love

       May I give you an analogy?

Last month, my family and I went to Ilocos for a little vacation.   One of the lovely places we visited was Bangui. On the northern tip of Luzon, planted by the seashore, facing the China sea, were 15 gigantic windmills. Each wind turbine is as tall as a 7-storey building, costing 2 million dollars to build. These windmills provide 25 megawatts of electricity to the Ilocos province.

God’s Love is like the wind. It’s constant. It’s always there. One hundred years ago, the wind was there. One thousand years ago, the wind was there. Ten thousand years ago, the wind was there. When the dinosaurs roamed the earth, the wind was already there.

You’re like that windmill. The windmill cannot change the wind. Nothing you do can ever change the direction of the wind. But the wind can change you. The wind is the wind. It’s older than you are. After you’re gone, it will still be there.

God’s love for you is eternal. It will flow towards you forever. All you have to do is receive that love.  All you have to do is accept the wind, flow according to its direction, and generate phenomenal power to serve humanity.

Or you could stubbornly resist the wind’s power and be utterly destroyed—not by the wind—but by your own stubbornness. In the same way, you could refuse God’s Love. You could refuse His forgiveness. You could refuse His blessings, His healing, His peace, His strength, His joy…

Don’t do that.

Receive His Eternal Love today.

It will never change.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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An Interview of Dylan Wilks

by Bo Sanchez

Dylan Wilk was born to a poor family. But at the young age of 20, he started a computer games company that made him a millionaire. Soon, Dylan operated in nine countries and ran his own TV channel. Then at the age of 25, Dylan sold his company for multi-million British pounds. He became the ninth richest person in the Great Britain under the age of 30.

But one night, while lying in bed, he was distressed by a nagging question that wouldn’t let him sleep.

“God, why am I rich?”

He asked if there was a reason for his immense wealth. Ironically, he also felt terribly empty inside. This, despite his ability to have any kind of pleasure he wanted. He had just bought himself a brand-new Ferrari and took one holiday after another. But he was discovering that pleasure was like fire… it constantly needed more fuel to keep it going.

And he realized he would never be happy in the path he was taking.

One day, a Filipina friend visited him. She said she felt guilty going there because her plane fare could have built two homes for the poor. That made Dylan pause. How can you build two houses for that measly amount? He decided to investigate.

In January 2003, he visited the Philippines. And for three hours, Gawad Kalinga (GK) Director Tony Meloto brought Dylan to different GK villages for the poor. With his own eyes, he saw something that would change his life forever…

Bo: What did you see on that day?

Dylan: I saw hope. More than newly built houses, I saw transformed lives. We were entering rather dangerous slums, breeding ground for thieves and kidnappers… yet in the middle of that was an oasis…the Gawad Kalinga village. I saw people smiling, men working, children laughing… I’ve seen many other projects in South East Asia and across the world. And I’ve never seen anything like GK. This was different. This really worked!

Bo: So what did you do after your trip?

Dylan: I went back to England. I saw my BMW parked in the garage and realized I could build 80 homes with it… and affect the lives of 600 people. I saw the faces of the children I could help. I called up Tony Meloto and told him I was thinking of donating $100,000 to Gawad Kalinga and asked him if that was okay…

Bo: What did Tony say?

Dylan: He said, “No, I don’t want your money.”

Bo: Only Tony can say something like that. (Laughs.)

Dylan: He said if I was really serious in working for the poor, I should go back to the Philippines. So two months later, I sold my BMW and flew back to Manila. And in June of that year, I made a decision to stay in the Philippines and work for GK for seven more years.

Bo: Wow.

Dylan: I’ve decided to invest in the poor of the Philippines. Not in stocks or bonds. If I can help in uplifting the poor of this country, I can say that I spent my life well.

Bo: I presume your family wasn’t too crazy about that decision.

Dylan: No! They thought I was brainwashed by a religious cult! (Laughs.) So my mother came and spied on me. But she was soon convinced of the beautiful work we were doing and went back home and told my sister about it. And my sister said, “Oh no, they brainwashed you too!” (Laughs.)But today, all of them support what I do.

Bo: You’ve made a decision to give up your wealth for the Filipino poor.

Dylan: I don’t see it as a sacrifice. When you give charity out of pity, you feel pain parting with your money. But when you give charity because you love, you don’t feel that pain. You only feel the joy of giving to someone you love. That’s what I feel.

Bo: I hear you built an entire village for GK in Bulacan.

Dylan: I don’t see it as my village. I just provided the materials. Architects, engineers, volunteers gave their labor. Together, we built 63 houses for the poor.

Bo: Amazing. What else do you do?

Dylan: I go around the world telling everyone that Filipinos are heroic. Because I work with them every day… the volunteers of GK.

Bo: What do you see in the Filipino that we take for granted?

Dylan: You’re hardworking. You’re always laughing, always eating, always singing. Even in your problems. You’re loyal. And honest. Sure, there are exceptions, but generally, that’s been my experience. And you have the bayanihan spirit. The pyramids of Egypt are beautiful but they were built by slavery. GK villages are more beautiful because they’re made through the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino. It’s especially this bayanihan and love of family and
community that makes the Filipino more valuable than gold. If you take a golden nugget and kick it on the floor for 400 years, afterwards you won’t be able to see much gold, just mud. This was what happened to the Filipino… for 400 years you were slaves and then you suffered under dictatorship and corruption. This is where the crab mentality came from; I don’t think it’s a natural Filipino quality because every day I see the gold under the surface of ordinary Filipinos. If we wipe away the mud by bringing hope and being brothers to one another in bayanihan, the gold will shine through and the world will see it.

Bo: Let me get personal here. I hear that you don’t only love the Filipinos, but you’ve fallen for a particular Filipina.

Dylan: (Smiles.) Two months ago, I married Anna Meloto, the eldest daughter of Tony Meloto. She grew up with the GK work, so we’re totally one in our mission. And yes, I’ll be having Filipino children. The best way I can secure a future for my kids is to continue to help raise this country from poverty. Instead of building high walls in an exclusive subdivision to protect us from thieves and kidnappers, I will go to the breeding ground of thieves and kidnappers and help transform their lives.

Bo: Thank you for this interview. You don’t know how much you inspired me.

Dylan: Thank you for being our partner in GK. I read KERYGMA every month and I’m happy to see GK stories in every issue.

Bo: It’s our immense privilege to tell the world about it and ask others to join the miracle.

Dylan: To me, GK isn’t just Gawad Kalinga. It is a part of “God’s Kingdom” in this world. Thank you.

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The Wooden Bowl!

SOME DAY WE WILL BE THIS PERSON AND HOPE THAT OUR FAMILY / COMMUNITY WILL NOT TREAT US LIKE THAT, but ONLY WITH LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING, AS ONE DAY THEY WILL BE THE SAME . TAKE CARE, and GOD bless!

The Wooden Bowl 

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and a four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together nightly at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

“We must do something about grandfather,” said the son. I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and mama to eat your food from when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day that building blocks are being laid for the child’s future.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:
a rainy day,the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life’
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did!

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Did you shake hands with someone today?

         If you answer “Yes”, let me ask you a disturbing question: Do you know what that hand touched before it touched you?

Scary.

Here’s a scientific fact: The hand you held probably contained millions of germs. I’m not joking. What kind of germs? The kind of germs that kills human beings. Every square inch of that hand was probably covered with layers upon layers of germs.

Here’s my question: Why aren’t you dying? Why aren’t you even getting sick? Everyday, you shake hands with people—and you seem to be okay.

Here’s the truth: Germs don’t cause sickness. (Germs are everywhere!)

I know that’s a controversial statement, but it’s the truth.

So if germs don’t cause sickness, what does?

A weak immune system.

I’m sharing this to you today to make you understand what cases us to sin…

Don’t Go After The Symptoms

       Just like germs, temptations are everywhere.

Let me shock you: Temptations don’t cause you sin.

That bottle of gin didn’t cause you to sin. That casino didn’t cause you to sin. That girl in a miniskirt and plunging neckline didn’t cause you to sin. That annoying, rude, and obnoxious officemate that tests your patience didn’t cause you to sin.

Instead, a weak spiritual immune system caused you to sin.

No, I’m not referring to your lack of religiosity.

There are religious people whose schedules are filled to the brim with religious activities—going to Mass daily, attending prayer meetings daily, reading the Bible daily, praying the rosary daily, and wearing 16 scapulars around their neck–but they’re rampant sinners. And they also have the gall to be highly judgmental and critical of others too.

A strong spiritual immune system isn’t about religion but about relationships. Specifically, loving relationships. It’s about whether you have a loving relationship with yourself, with others, and with God. In other words, your spiritual immune system is how much love you have in your heart.

Let me put it in another way. To make your physical immune system strong, you need nourishingfood. To make your spiritual immune system strong, you need nourishing love.

And when your spiritual immune system is strong, it’ll be a little bit more difficult to fall into repeated sin.

The Outer Environment

But you still need to look at your outer environment.

Yes, a strong physical immune system is the basis of health. But no matter how strong my physical immune system is, I can still die young. How?

If a 10-wheeler truck hits me on the road, I’m dead.

I don’t care how healthy I am on the inside, the truck won’t care. The truck won’t care if I eat my vegetables everyday, if I do my Tai Chi everyday, or if I drink 8 glasses of water everyday. It I get hit by 10-wheeler truck, I’ll be as dead as a flattened frog on the road, its greenish entrails splattered on the pavement.

In the same way, taking care of my inner environment is crucial for my spiritual health. But taking care of my outer environment is important too.

And this is what I want to share with you today.

Learning How David Fell

Let me tell you a Bible story.

One day, King David was in his palace “at a time when king’s go to war” (2 Samuel 11). Instead of going to war, he took a siesta. And when he woke up, he walked on the roof of his palace. And from his high vantage point, he saw a woman bathing in her house. He noticed that she was very beautiful.

This is how sin starts. It starts with our thoughts.

“Wowowee,” David said when he saw Bathsheeba.

Inside his head, his conscience said, “Stop!”

But David justified and answered back, “Hey, what’s wrong? I’m just looking. There’s no harm in looking, is there? I just want to appreciate art.”

One day, a guy asked me, “Bo, when you see a beautiful girl walk by in a miniskirt, and the miniskirt is so mini that it looks more like an oversized belt…do you look?”

I told him, “I’ll look. I won’t be human if I don’t look. But when I look too long, and the thoughts linger in my mind, that’s when I know I’m in trouble.”

Because that’s what happened to David.

He Takes Another Step Towards The Edge

He calls his servant and asks, “Who is that woman?”

His conscience was telling him again, “Why bother?” But he answers back, “Hey, what’s wrong with asking for her name?”

The servant checks Facebook and tells David, “Her name is Bathsheeba, your highness. She’s married to Uriah, one of your army officers.

“Hmm, her name fits her,” David said. “No wonder she likes taking a bath.”

He invites her for coffee. I’m sure Mr. conscience spoke up again and says, “You’re crazy! She’s married!”

And David answered, “I’m not doing anything wrong. What’s wrong with coffee? I just want to chit chat.”

Bathsheeba comes and they have coffee. After coffee, they had dinner. And after dinner, they had drinks. After drinks, something happened that shouldn’t have happened…

David probably told himself, “Oops, sorry Lord. This will never happen again.”

But a month later, Bathsheeba sends a text message to David: “I’m delayed.”

What was David’s response? He wanted to cover up the entire thing. He calls for her husband Uriah—who was a soldier fighting in the battlefield—to come home right away.  Why? So that Uriah can sleep with his wife and presume that the baby was his.

But when Uriah came home, he never slept with his wife—out of loyalty to his fellow soldiers who were in the battlefield.

So David chose Plan B. He sends back Uriah to war. He calls General Joab on his cellphone and asks, “How’s the war, Joab? Great? Fantastic. Hey, I need you to do a little favor for me. Do you know this Uriah guy? Can you put him in the frontlines?  The very front.  And when you see he’s busy fighting, can you tell all the other soldiers to run away. What did you say? Uriah will die? Well yes, perhaps that will happen, but you know, soldiers die everyday…”

Not only did David commit adultery, David murdered Uriah.

Please know: This was the same David who won over Goliath. This was the same David who wrote some of the beautiful psalms.  This was the same David who the Bible says was a “man whose heart was after the heart of God.”

Yet he still fell into a terrible sin.

How could this thing happen?

Because he was in a “perfect set-up for sin”.

Let me describe it this way. If sin were an airplane, David built a first-class, top-of-the-line, international airport—with a giant runway—for the plane to land.

Today, I’ll describe to you this “perfect set-up for sin” and what we should do when we find ourselves in it.

Perfect Set-Up For Sin

       Today, you need to learn how to change the environment of the battle. When you see a “perfect set-up for sin”, find a way to avoid it.  And if you can’t avoid it, be alert.

This “perfect set-up for sin” includes two elements.

1. When you’re Absent

2. When you’re Alone

1.Be Alert When You’re Absent From Service

The Bible says that “at a time when kings go to war”, David stayed home.

In other words, he was absent from service.

He should have been deep in the battlefield. His feet should have been muddy, his arms should have been sweaty, and his blade should have been bloody—but that wasn’t the case.  On that day, his feet were clean, his arms were perfumed, and his blade was rusty.

On that fateful afternoon, the Bible says he just had a nap. Before the nap, he probably had a massage. Before the massage, he probably had a big royal lunch—perhaps a juicy steak and chocolate cake for dessert. Before lunch, he probably had a haircut and manicure and pedicure—and whatever luxuries they do for kings.

So be forewarned.

When you’re absent from service, be alert.

Yes, you can take a vacation from your Ministry but you can’t take a vacation from the Master of your Ministry.

Let me tell you a true story…

Only One Difference Between Steve And Arnold

Steve and Arnold (not their real names) were taking drugs. These two young men dropped out from college because it interfered with their shabuhabit. Soon, they were already stealing to support their vice.

Their parents would cry to me, asking for prayers for their sons.

But one day, God answered their prayer.

Steve and Arnold joined the Feast (that’s what we call our prayer meeting on steroids) and the Light of Jesus Family and their lives were changed.  They kicked drugs out of their life and went back to college. Their parents were thrilled with joy.

Steve joined our music ministry. Three to four times a week, he played the guitar in our prayer meetings. He took his responsibilities for God seriously. Later on, Steve became a Caring Group head and was leading other young guys closer to God.

Arnold however didn’t volunteer. He just remained an attendee. He continued showing up for the prayer meetings. At least for awhile.

But soon, we noticed Arnold started missing the meetings. He said he was busy. Soon, he dropped out altogether. And we didn’t see him again.

Years later, Steve has remained drug-free. He’s still serving God, involved in ministry work. He has a nice business and is about to get married.

Arnold, we heard, is back taking drugs.

One basic difference between them: Steve served. Arnold attended. The difference between “serving” and “attending” is gigantic.

The Two Rooms At The Feast

I want you to know that the Feast has two “figurative” rooms—the dining room and the kitchen. Guests stay in the dining room. Servants stay in the kitchen. These are the people who serve in the various ministries at the Feast: Awesome Kids, Ushers, Greeters, Music, Counseling, Lay Ministers, Creative Ministry, Media Ministry…

People who attend the Feast are blown away by how incredible it is. But let me tell you that what they experience is just the dining room. Wait till they go inside the kitchen. Because it’s always more exciting in the kitchen.

My personal invitation to you: Come and serve God with me. Love others. Serve others. Give your life to God’s people.

Join the Feast and volunteer in ministry. (Or any other organization or community in your area that needs your service!)

The best defense against sin is offense. Be busy in your service for God. Be engaged. Be involved. Be immersed.

And you’ll receive more protection.

Next…

2.Be Alert When You’re Alone

This is the second set-up for sin.

When David fell, he wasn’t only absent, he was also alone.   Because he sent General Joab and all his friends to fight the battle for him.

You need good friends around you to protect you from temptation. When you’re alone, away from good friends, be on guard. Because you’re more susceptible to the enemy.

The Devil Prowls Like A Roaring Lion

       Animals know this. It’s instinct. That’s why deer and antelope and giraffes and zebras and even triceratops travel in herds. That’s not just because they like each other. That’s because in a herd, they’re protected against lions and tigers and T-Rexes.

Here’s the rule of the jungle: If you’re alone, you’re dead. Your days are numbered. If you’re alone, you might as well lie down on a large plate and pour catsup all over your body. Because you’re going to be eaten alive.

Unless a lion is really hungry, it’ll ponder a hundred times before attacking a herd.  But if you’re all alone, the lion won’t even think. He’ll just attack.

That means that if you’re alone, you’re multiplying your chances of falling by a hundred times.

The Bible is very realistic. In one passage, it warns, Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  (Peter 5:8)

If you’re alone, I suggest you join a herd.

There are three kinds of aloneness in this world.

1st Type Of Aloneness:

No Inspiring Friends

God designed the spiritual journey to be taken as a family.

No solo travellers allowed.

For almost four decades, I’ve been serving God. Why? One humongous reason is that I’ve always had fantastic, awesome, wonderful friends around me who also serve God.

Never once in my spiritual journey was there a time when I didn’t have great friends around me.

That’s why the Feast is here. And that’s why theCaring Groups (that’s what we call our small groups) are here. And that’s why we have one-to-one discipleship.

We’re here for you. We want to be your spiritual family.

2nd Type Of Aloneness:

No Intentional Friends

This is the second type of aloneness.

It may be possible that you’ve got many good friends around you, but your relationships are shallow.

Usually, it’s because everyone has become busy.

For relationships to be life giving, you’ve got to beintentional in your relationships.

Relationships are like plants. If you don’t water the plant, it’ll die. If you don’t water your relationships with time and effort, your relationships will remain shallow.

That’s why small groups (like our Caring Groups) are very important to your spiritual growth. One of the most powerful things a group like this provides for you is accountability. One of the ways I got over my addiction was confessing my sin to my friends. Sin grows in darkness but it shrivels up when it’s brought out in the light.

Don’t be alone when you fight your sin. Ask help.

Are You Alone In Your Marriage?

This works in marriages too.

I’ve talked to a hundreds of married people who were having affairs. And here’s what I found out. Most adultery happens to married people when they were alone, either physically or emotionally.

Adultery happened when they were physically alone. When the husband or wife was working abroad. Or when the salesman was on a provincial assignment.

Adultery happened when they were emotionally alone. Though living with their spouse under one roof, there was no real connection in the marriage anymore.

Be intentional about your marriage. Don’t settle for an “okay” marriage. Invest time, effort, and energy to make it a fantastic marriage.

Finally…

3rd Type Of Aloneness:

No Infinite Friend

God has to be your Infinite Friend.

Then you will never be alone.

David was a prayerful man. When he saw Bathsheeba bathing at the roof of her house, did he pray against temptation?

I don’t know.

But I believe that if you have a deep relationship with God, you’ll be stronger against temptation.

I’m not talking about multiplying religious activities. I’m talking about deepening your personal connection with God.  I’m talking about allowing God to fill your heart with His love.

Yes, pray everyday. Jesus said, Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. (Matthew 26:21)

And chew on God’s Word everyday. Listen to spiritual messages like this one. Join the Feast. The Bible says, Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11)

Last Word: Don’t Fight Alone

Remember Andres Bonifacio?

One of his followers asked him, “Andy, how can we defeat the Spanish army? They’re taller and we’re shorter. They have guns and we have bolos.” That was when Bonifacio picked up a walis tingting…

Let me translate for non-Filipinos. A walis tingtingis a broom made of tingting. (Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by my own brilliance.)

Bonifacio said, “Alone, we’re easily broken. But together, no force can defeat us.”

So what did the Filipinos do? Misunderstanding what Bonifacio said, they attacked the Spaniards using their walis tingting. (Just kidding.)

Friend, look for your walis tingting.

Look for a spiritual family around you with whom you can serve and grow together.

Just in case you don’t have one, join the Feastnearest you. (Email Annie atfeastsecretariat@yahoo.com for info on the nearest Feast in your area.) You can also go towww.KerygmaFamily.com and check the right column for a partial list of our Feasts.)

We will be here for you.

You don’t have to be alone.

You don’t have to fight alone.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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Let me tell you a story.

When I was a kid, I was really thin.

If you think I’m thin now, you should have seen me when I was 10 years old. I was so thin, if I wanted to vanish, all I had to do was stand sideways—and you could barely see me.

And I wasn’t only thin, I was short too. I know that today, I’m tall, dark, and humble. But back then, I was one of the smallest guys in class.

And listen. I wasn’t only thin, I wasn’t only short, I was also ugly. (I know that’s a bit difficult to imagine now…) But believe me, I looked like an alien. I had a humongous nose on a small face.

Being thin, short, and ugly was a perfect recipe for being bullied in class.

The bullies would call me names, push me around, steal my sandwich, confiscate my pad paper, kick my bag, order me to serve them… And at that time, all I could do was smile and say, “Hehehe….” I mean, what could a small, thin, ugly guy do?

But I had one consolation. The bullies who bullied me were smaller bullies. The Bully of bullies, his name was Jesse, wasn’t bullying me. Perhaps he thought I was small fry. That I wasn’t worth the effort.

Everyone called Jesse the Man of Steel. The other bullies were made of wood but only Jesse was made of steel.

Jesse was two feet taller than any other kid in class. While all the boys in the class were still desperately trying to grow body hair, Jesse already looked like a gorilla.

You see, Jesse was three years older than all of us. Because he kept failing and repeating the school year.

But one morning, it happened…

“I’ll Take Care Of You”

While I was reading in my seat, minding my own business, Jesse walked up towards me. He shoved his religion notebook in front of me and said gruffly, “Eugenio, do my homework for me.” (That’s my real name.)

What could I say in front of the Man of Steel? “Hehehe. Okay…” . (A little background: I had very poor grades in school. My Math was 72. My Pilipino was 72. My Science was 72. But my Religion grade was 95. Even when I was a kid, God already knew I was going to be a Preacher.)

And then out of the blue, Jesse popped a question. He pointed to the smaller bullies at the back of the class and said, “Are these boys giving you trouble?”

I said, “Well, I really wanted to beat them up, but I was afraid I might hurt someone, so I decided not to…”

Jesse smirked. He said, “If they’re giving you trouble, I’ll take care of them. Ako bahala sa ‘yo.” He then walked away.

       I didn’t think much about what he said.

The next day, I found out he was serious.

“If You Pick A Fight With Him,

You Pick A Fight With Me”

When I walked into my classroom, the smaller bullies were already waiting for me. Because I was their morning entertainment. They started calling me names, pushing me around, opening my lunch box to steal my sandwich…

And then Jesse walked into the crowd.

Immediately, the smaller bullies gave way. Some of them probably wondered what Jesse would do to me. Some of them had a sneaky grin on their faces, thinking, “This is the day you die, Bo. Jesse is after you.”

But they all got the shock of their life when Jesse puts his arm around me and says in his big basement voice, “Eugenio is my friend. If you pick a fight with him, you pick a fight with me.”

He then looks at the smaller bullies, who now quietly walk away like dried leaves blown by the wind.

For that entire year, the bullies never bothered me again.

I tell you that story because there are many bullies in your life right now. Bullies of Debt. Sickness. Conflicts. Lack. Disappointment. Big problems telling you that you’re finished. That there’s no hope for you.

Here’s God’s message to you. Don’t focus on the bullies. You’ve got a Jesse in your life, and His name is Jesus. He’s not just a Man of Steel, He’s a Man of God.

And He says to you today, I’ll take care of you.”

And He tells the bullies around you, “If you pick a fight with my child, you pick a fight with me.”

This is the message of the Cross. Jesus fought for you until death. He fought against the bully that wanted to rob you of your victory.

I pray for you today.

May God fight your battles for you.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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        I’ve realized that preaching is never enough.

The Word has to become flesh.

After preaching for 30+ years, here’s what I noticed: At first, people will listen to the message of a messenger.   But after awhile, people will want the messenger to be message itself. The life of the messenger must be the 3D movie of the message.

People don’t really listen to words anymore. People want to see the words becoming flesh in front of them.

It’s useless to talk about Jesus if you don’tbecome Jesus.

Unless you do that, all preaching is a noisy gong and clanging cymbal.

The Most Delicious Pizza In The Universe

Imagine that there’s this brilliant chef who owns the secret recipe of the most delicious pizza in the universe. He opens only one restaurant in Makati. No other branches anywhere else.

The restaurant’s name? Forget-Your-Name.

Why? When you sit down in the restaurant, the waiter will give you a piece of paper, instruct you to write your name on that paper, and ask you to slip it into your pocket. Because the moment you bite into the most delicious pizza in the universe, you’ll forget your name. When that happens, you have to pull out that piece of paper from your pocket to remind yourself who you are.

It’s such a delicious pizza that it would seem like a crime if you didn’t tell your family about it. So people would go home and tell their family, “You’ve got to go to the Forget-Your-Name restaurant. They have the most delicious pizza in the universe!”

And so the restaurant was always overflowing with patrons; in fact, the lines were so long, you needed to wait for 3 hours just to get in.

But one day, something weird happens.

Because the Owner of the Forget-Your-Namerestaurant was a weird guy. It turns out he was immensely wealthy. And he wasn’t doing the restaurant business for the money. He just loved seeing people eat his pizza.

So he did something crazy: He posted the secret recipe of the most delicious pizza in the universe on his website. Anyone can now download the recipe. The exact ingredients. The exact measurements. The exact temperature. Every single detail.

Not only that, he also uploaded on youtube the step-by-step video instruction of how to make hispizza.

Now, you don’t have to go to the restaurant. If you wanted your family to eat the most delicious pizza in the universe, you cook it right in your home.

This, my friend, is exactly what God did…

The Secret Recipe Is Out!

God is the Owner of the restaurant. The Church is the restaurant. Jesus is the pizza. Because the main product of the Church is Jesus.

Let me shock you: I believe God doesn’t want you to bring people to Jesus. God wants you to bring Jesus to people. How? By being Jesus to somebody. The secret recipe is out!

This is God’s battle-plan to conquer the hearts of humanity. People will get to know who God is not by going to Church. People will get to know who God is by you becoming Church wherever you are.

This isn’t semantics. This is deep theology.

This in fact is the difference between Christianity and other religions. In other religions, you search for God. In Christianity, God searches for you. And even if you run away from Him, God will chase after you.

In other religions, God is only King. But in Christianity, God is King, yes, but a King who lays down His crown, leaves His throne, and becomes a servant who washes the feet of his disciples. He’s a King who is madly-in-love, head-over-heels, hopelessly smitten, die-hard Suitor who will not stop at anything until he gets you.

So let me say it again: Your mission isn’t to bring people to Jesus. Your mission is to bring Jesus to people. And you do that by being Jesus to somebody.

You Can Go Where I Can’t Go

Do you want to change the world? It won’t happen by a proliferation of Priests, Pastors, or Preachers. It will only happen by a proliferation of ordinary people (like you!) who become Jesus to somebody.

Preachers like me can’t be in your kitchen table, talking with your kids, listening to their dreams, affirming their worth, encouraging them to risk, accepting their wounds, correcting them in love, awakening their values…

I can’t be there. But you can.

Oh, there are some parents who think I can do that for them. They come to me distraught, asking me to talk to their rebellious, stubborn, misbehaving teenagers. They want me to be their miracle man. They ask me, “Brother Bo, can you talk some sense to my teenage son? Even just for 10 minutes. You see, he doesn’t listen to me. He’s taking drugs. He’s not in school. He’s wasting away his life.” They hope that a 10-minute conversation with me will erase 17 years of bad parenting. It won’t work. Yes, I can pray for him. Yes, I can listen to him. Yes, I can be Jesus to that boy for 10 minutes.  But only the parent can be Jesus to him everyday.

Preachers like me can’t be in your office, supermarket, classroom, mall, farm, factory, ship. Only you can be Jesus to those people everyday.

This is God’s ultimate masterplan. This is how the Kingdom will be built: You becoming Jesus.

Yes you!

How?

By your words. By your work. By your presence. By your service. As a secretary, cashier, clerk, teacher, doctor, lawyer, engineer, businessperson… More importantly, as husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, daughter, son—Your mission is to be Jesus to somebody.

       It’s Not About High Standards

I can hear you now. “But Bo, I’m not holy enough!”

That’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect to be Jesus to somebody.

You don’t have to have it all together.

Once upon a time, I didn’t know that. I was brought up to believe that to be Jesus to somebody, I shouldn’t smoke, or drink, or gamble, or go clubbing, or listen to secular music… I was brought up to believe that to be Jesus to somebody, I should memorize Bible verses and talk about God the whole day…

Later on, I realized that these high standards weren’t attracting unchurched people to God. They were doing the very opposite. They were turning them off.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. Personally, I don’t smoke or drink or gamble. But these aren’t the definition of a God-follower. I believe that the only high standard that unchurched people are attracted to is the high standard of love.

What does it mean to be Jesus for somebody? Only one thing. Do you die to yourself so that others may live?

That’s what it means to be Jesus to somebody.

What’s The Main Thing?

Jesus said it eloquently. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)

He didn’t say, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you pray everyday”. Or “if you read the Bible”. Or “if you go to Mass.”

The proof that you’re a God-follower isn’t in yourreligion but in your relationships.

In other words, if you want to know if I’m a God follower, don’t ask me how many hours I pray. Don’t ask me how many Bible verses I memorize. Don’t ask me if I know the right doctrines. In fact, don’t ask me at all. Because my answers will be biased.

Instead, ask my wife, “Is your husband Jesus to you?”

Ask my kids, “Is your Daddy Jesus to you?”

Ask my mother, “Is your son Jesus to you?”

And ask my employees, “Is your boss Jesus to you?”

John Maxwell said, “Be disturbed if the people who love you the most are the people who know you the least.”

I repeat: The proof that you’re a God-follower isn’t in your religion but in your relationships.

The opposite is dangerous. When religion, and not relationship, becomes the main thing, two not-so-good things happen.

·        We become prone to spiritual arrogance.

·        We make a church for religious people only.

We Become Prone To Spiritual Arrogance

If religion, not relationship, becomes the main thing, we become proud of our religiosity.

Our religiosity becomes a barrier.

We look down at others who don’t pray, or who don’t read the Bible, or who don’t attend Mass, or who don’t sing our songs, or who don’t wear our clothes…

Because of this, the unchurched person asks a very penetrating question: “Do I really want to become like you—arrogant and condescending?”

And so they reject Christianity.

Something else happens when we make religion, not relationships, the main thing of Christianity…

We Make The Church

For Religious People Only

In other words, we become a church for insiders.

To be accepted in church, you have to behave in a particular way. You have to act in a particular decorum, speak in a particular language, dress in a particular style—or you’ll always feel like an outsider.

But if we make loving one another the main thing of Christianity, the Church will be a safest place on earth for the wounded, the lost, the messed up, the struggling, the sinner.

I think we need to put a big sign on every church door: No perfect people allowed inside!

What is the truth? We’re in church not because we’re perfect but because we’re forgiven.

Two Ways Of Becoming Jesus to Somebody

I love this passage. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)

Good deeds, not good debates, will open people’s hearts to God. I believe it’s service, not sanctity, that will touch lives.

Don’t misunderstand me. I use the word “sanctity” the way it’s commonly understood—someone who is pious. But in my mind, “sanctity” has a more robust meaning: Someone who serves.

I love that story when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. In Biblical times, there were four ranks of slaves. Only the lowest-ranking slave washes feet. Jesus took that role and said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Jesus didn’t just teach a way of life and said, “Do this.” Jesus served us, and then said, “Follow me.”

How do you serve?

Two ways of becoming Jesus to somebody: The heart and the hand.

The heart is the personal side of relationship.

The hand is the practical side of relationship.

You need both to be Jesus to somebody.

1. The Heart

One day, in a busy airport, a little boy was running to his mother holding a completed jigsaw puzzle in his hands. He was shouting, “I finished it, Mommy! I finished it!”

But at that precise moment, a businessman was also running, trying to catch his flight.

And the two crossed each other’s path. Wham! And the jigsaw puzzle flew into the air and hit the floor, scattering its tiny pieces in different directions.

The businessman said to the boy, “I’m so sorry…” He went on his knees and picked up the small jigsaw pieces.

And patiently, he put it back together again.

After 15 minutes, the puzzle was done. It was obvious now that the businessman missed his flight. And he should have been angry and frustrated. But he didn’t know why, but he wasn’t. In fact, he felt happy that he “wasted” his time with a kid doing a jigsaw puzzle.

When the man stood up, the little boy stood up as well. He looked at the towering figure for a brief moment, and asked a question that blew the man away.

The boy asked him, “Are you…Jesus?”

Somehow the boy knew that when he met compassion, kindness, dying-to-oneself-for-the-sake-of-others, he was in the presence of Jesus.

To be Jesus to somebody, you need to give heart. The heart is the personal side of relationship. Affection. Warmth. Touch.

But you also need to give the “Hand”…

2. The Hand

       I’m a father of a family. And I need to spend time with my wife and my kids. That’s a non-negotiable thing I have to do.

But imagine this scene….

One morning, my wife tells me, “Bo, we have no food in the house anymore; I need to buy groceries but we don’t have money…” and I tell her, “What are you complaining about, Sweetheart? I’m always here at home, spending time with you and the kids 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…”

There’s something wrong with the picture.

To be a Jesus to somebody, you need to give the hand too.  The hand is the practical side of the relationship. Excellence. Development. Achievement.

Are you a doctor? An engineer? A Teacher? A businessman?

In your job, God calls you to be Jesus to somebody.

How? Give heart and give hand.

Be excellent in all that you do. That’s the hand. But give your heart too. Do it with warmth, compassion, acceptance, and openness.

Last Word: Who Was Jesus To You?

       Look back into your life.

Someone became Jesus to you.

You came to know God’s Love because somebody loved you without condition.

I think of my Dad. He was far from perfect. He never expressed his love for me by hugging me or saying, “I love you.” But boy, did he spend time with me when I was a kid.

He was Jesus to me.

I think of my Mom. Again, she’s got many weaknesses. But Mom loves me. At 86, she prays for me before the Blessed Sacrament every single day.   (When she has extra time, she prays for my sisters.) When I’m preaching somewhere, I know that Mom is praying for me, and that gives me strength.

Mom is Jesus to me.

I think of my wife. She too has many weaknesses. (And if you think I’ll enumerate them to you now, think again.  I’d rather be thrown to a pool of hungry piranha than face my angry wife asking me what I wrote about her.)

But she does something that astounds me no end. When I tell her my preposterous, out-of-this-world, “big, hairy, audacious” dreams, she doesn’t laugh. She doesn’t guffaw and roll on the floor. She smiles, looks at me, grips my hand, and says, “They’ll come true.”

My wife is Jesus to me.

I think of my professor in my Masters in Theology. I wasn’t even supposed to be there. I had failing grades in Grade School, High School, and College. I didn’t even finish College. I was just taking the Masters course because I wanted to study about God.

But my professor, a priest, called me in his office. He said he saw brilliance in me. (Huh?) He said, “After your Masters in Theology, go back to college and get your Diploma. And then we’ll send you to Europe to finish your Doctorate in Theology. There’s this great School there. We’ll pay for everything…”

I wanted to tell him, “Are you sure you’re talking to the right person? I’m not a good student. I’m a dunce. Pull out my transcript of records. It’s all there displayed in flaming red glory…”

But he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.

That professor’s perspective of me changed my life forever. After taking up my Masters, I went back to college with vengeance. I got straight A’s there from then on.

That professor was Jesus to me.

Let me ask you: Who was Jesus to you?

Thank God for each one of them.

And everyday, resolve to be Jesus to somebody.

You don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to love them in your imperfect way.

May your dreams come true,

Bo Sanchez

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