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Men need to lead

God the Father

True Fatherhood

Mr. Kerby Anderson, President of Probe Ministries and author of several books that cover biblical perspectives on the topics of Islam , homosexuality, spiritual warfare among others is also a lecturer in various US universities like Princeton and University of Michigan propose in a paper entitled “Decline of Nations”  , a study pertaining to an understanding on how nations and civilizations like the Greek and Roman empires and the more modern ones like the British and the French rise and decline note that the process goes through 10 stages and he identifies them as follows:

Bondage to spiritual faith to Great courage to Liberty to Abundance to Selfishness to complacency to apathy into moral decay into dependence and back to bondage

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Money is not the Solution

Money is not the Solution

I have heard a lot of people and friends blurt out, “If only I had money!”.  I have heard this so often that it seems that the solution to every problem or difficulty is money.  However, when probed,  most of the time, that is not the case.

Money can help in a lot of situations but it is not the solution to most of the challenges of life.

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Boys to Men

Boys to Men

Over the years, I have realized that we all do not really grow up.  Our bodies might age and we certainly are expected to mature but somehow the person inside all that never changes.  There are just some desires of the heart that never leave.

Being male, I can only speak of us men.  There are traits that are innate in us that it never leaves.  We loved doing this as young boys and I am sure if we get a chance we would still feel the same joy even as adults.

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A Father’s Confession

A Father’s Confession

When I watch you playing I really want to play with you.  I remember when I was your age, it may not have been baseball as  I was playing basketball then, I would enjoy just going out there and playing as hard as I can.  When I watch you play, I wish I could be right there on the field with you,  waiting for the ball with you and completing a play with you.    I would back you up when a line drive goes  directly to you and would cover your base when a ball pulls you off it.

We would be building great memories together if that were possible.   But of course I can’t.  I just get to watch you play and hope that you are enjoying as much playing as I am watching you.

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Pacquiao-Mayweather-  I was at the fight of the century

Pacquiao-Mayweather- I was at the fight of the century

Manny Pacquiao after the Mayweather fight

Manny Pacquiao after the Mayweather fight

Its been almost 3 months since the Pacquiao Mayweather fight.  Though the quality of the event did not give justice to the hype, it was and still is one historic moment.

I was interviewed by USA Today this morning asking about the Periscope App that I was using then.  It just then occurred to me, how truly wonderful that experience was for me.    I suddenly realized how blessed I was to be able to watch and call the fight from just 2 rows away from the ring.  It was because of where I was and what I was doing that prompted the skype interview.  At that moment in May,  I was in one of the most important locations in the world.

Wow!  That is really all i can say.  Thank you Lord.

Debt of Gratitude- the Filipino way 1

Debt of Gratitude- the Filipino way 1

“Utang na Loob”  is how it is commonly referred to.   A loose definition would be a desire of one to repay another for a past action where the latter helped the former.  The assistance could come in different forms and circumstances.  It could be where money was lent out at the the right moment.  A job was given when it was badly needed.  An opportunity provided when there was nothing else to turn to.    It is a form of help that characteristically bails out the receiver from a grave situation.

At the surface, the transaction is a simple give and take agreement.  It is by its original intent a selfless act of compassion…to help.  However, the gravity of the assistance sometimes makes the debt somehow impossible to repay.    That is why, ideally, there is no agreement that it has to be repaid.

This wonderful act of giving is oftentimes corrupted by the very same people who participate.  It is tainted when the giver expects something in return… that the debt of gratitude be paid back and also when the receiver lives the rest of his life trying to give back what was freely given.  In any case , both are imprisoned not by each other but by their own guilty disposition.

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Thru His Eyes….

Thru His Eyes….

Alabang New Life Christian Center is my local church… that is where I am planted.

Pastor Paul Chase is the Senior Pastor of Alabang New Life Christian Centre and just recently authored a book entitled,  “Thru His Eyes”.   I have been with New Life since 2006, I have not really had a chance to know Pastor Paul that well.  Although I  have had the opportunity to speak to him several times  I have never understood the man fully… until this book.

I thought it would be an easy read. The kind of book you can finish cover to cover in one sitting.  I thought wrong.  I got the book in July and just finished it last week.  I had to go back several times to some chapters.  re-read some passages and review some of his declarations.  Pastor’s Paul’s words were simple but engaging.  Each page made me stop and think.  I held on to every word as each one introduced the foundation by which Pastor Paul speaks and by which our church stands.

“Thru His Eyes” is not a book about a man’s interpretation of God’s word.  It is God’s word spoken through my Pastor.

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Pray for the living…

Pray for the living…

Every 1st of November, Filipinos flock to the cemetery to remember their dead.  “All saint’s day” is what we call it.

For those left behind, aside from honouring their loved ones who have passed away, it is also a time to meet up with other relatives and friends who chances are they do not see  during the year.  It is a time to catch up on each other’s whereabouts, catch up on stuff and rekindle relationships.

This morning’s experience was quite different.

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Shout at the boys!

Shout at the boys!

discipline hardwork inspirational

Baseball training grassroots!

The other day, a father of a boy playing in our 12 and under team from a school whose baseball program we handle came up to me and said, “Coach, you know the boys really lack discipline. They drop the ball even when they just need to shuffle it around. They are tense.  They need to be noisy, talk to each other on the field.  I give you the license to shout at them  some more.  The coaches seem to be shy and embarrassed to do so”.

 

I have heard this comment and suggestion time and again from well-meaning parents.  A lot of them define good coaching by being loud.  That discipline is achieved when coaches continuously shout at hapless boys, giving out instructions in detail short of him playing as well.

 

Stepping back however, I have observed, that the teams that are truly cohesive, those that play like well oiled machines, those that play with discipline are led by coaches who see no need to “shout” at them during games.    All the shouting has been done during practice.

 

You see, I think the first thing a coach, the leader must make sure of, is that his team understands the goal of the group and embrace the path everyone has chosen.    Once this is set, all actions by the coach, including the “shouting” must bring the group towards that goal.

 

But, the “shouting’ is one of a few visible, or should I say audible features of good coaching.  Everything else, not everybody can see. The relationships that are formed within the group, the respect that is built amongst the individuals, the common objectives the players share.  Objectives that people outside the group may never understand.

 

This forms the platform of building a team.  The “shouting” then becomes productive and integral to the team’s and individual’s growth and development, even if they are only 12 years old.

 

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If you are a writer,  WRITE!

If you are a writer, WRITE!

I stopped writing several months ago.  For some reason I just stopped.

It seemed that I didn’t have the time.  I could not find any motivation and much worse there was no inspiration.

This blog signed off for a time and I even missed renewing its domain and hosting.  Something was amiss.  Something was wrong.  I could not put my finger on what was stopping me to write.

I wasn’t writing to earn.  i wasn’t writing for any publication who requires me to submit articles regularly.  I was just writing because I wanted to write.  It didn’t matter much if only a handful of people were reading my posts.  As long as I was able to send out my message to at least one person, I was ok.

For a time that stopped. …

IMG_0818“If you are a writer, Write!”  These very same words woke me up more than a decade ago.  Back then I had so many things to say and share but was afraid to write.  Placing my thoughts in writing was scary.  Growing up I was never told by anyone that I wrote well so I believed that I didn’t have the right to write.

“If you are a writer, Write!”  I took that to mean that if I thought I had something to say then I should write it down.  It did not matter what others thought about my writing style as long as I had something to say, I believed that I should write it down.  And so I did.

I had to believe I was a writer before  I became one.

“If you are a writer, Write!” So with those words I open up my blog again,  mikeochosa.com.

Thanks to my wife Betsy and one of my best friends Monet, this portal is up and running again.