Paano Ba Ang Tamang Pagpapatawad? | Relationship Goals

To my non-Filipino readers, I wrote this article in the vernacular because I felt the message will go through much better in this medium. But you may use the Google translate button below or at the sidebar of this page. I just hope Google will do a fine job of translating it. *wink*

“Paano Ba Ang Tamang Pagpapatawad?”


Noong nakaraang buwan, may isa akong status update na ni-post sa Facebook. Ito ay tungkol sa kasong adultery at concubinage. Hindi namin pinagdaanan ito ng asawa ko kaya sa mga nagtataka bakit nga ba bigla lang akong nag-post tungkol doon, wala akong ibang maisagot kundi dahil sa naramdaman ko lamang na kailangan ko syang i-post.

Infidelity: Kasong Concubinage at Adultery

Ang infidelity o pagkakaroon ng kabit o karelasyong babae/lalaki maliban sa iyong asawa ay isang sensitibong usapan pagdating sa ating lipunan. Madalas natin itong napapanood sa mga pelikulang Pinoy at teleserye. Ngunit sa totoong sitwasyon, ito ay itinuturing bilang isang kahihiyan. Kaya hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit maraming mga biktima ang piniling manahimik na lamang at indahin ang sakit at mga pasakit na dulot nito.

Ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit naisipan kong i-post ang tungkol sa adultery at concubinage case. Dahil nakita ko ang dalamhati nila, ang sakit na dinaranas bawat araw, at kanilang mga sakripisyo sa pamamagitan ng pagiging matatag sa kabila ng lahat alang-alang sa kanilang mga anak at ikatatahimik ng lahat.

Ang iba naman ay nagpaubaya na lamang dahil hindi sapat ang kanilang impormasyon tungkol sa infidelity at sa mga batas na nangangalaga sa mga karapatan ng isang asawa. Kahit saang bansa sagrado ang tingin ng batas at ng lipunan sa isang kasal o pagsasama ng isang mag-asawa.

Ang adultery case ay iba sa concubinage case. Ang una ay kaso ng isang asawang lalaki laban sa kanyang asawang babae at ang kabit nito. Ang huli ay kaso ng isang babaeng asawa laban sa kanyang asawang lalaki at ang kabit nito.

Para sa karagdagang kaalaman tungkol dito, maaari ninyong basahin itong artikulo:

“A Brief Discussion on Infidelity, Concubinage, Adultery, and Bigamy”

Hindi ko inakala na maraming kababaihan ang dumaraan sa ganitong mahirap na sitwasyon ngayon at walang alam kung paano ito resolbahan. Nakita ko ang mga komento ng iba’t-ibang kababaihan na naglahad ng kanilang mga kanya-kanyang sitwasyon. Hindi ko rin napaghandaan na ganito ang magiging kalalabasan ng post na iyon na ni-share ng mga kaibigan at ng mga kaibigan nila.

Ngunit ipinanalangin ko sa Panginoon na gabayan Nya ako kung paano makakatulong sa aking mga kapatid na kinakaharap ang ganitong masalimuot na sitwasyon. Ang itinuro sa akin ng Dios ay ang website ng Public Attorneys Office at ang mga numero kung paano ito kontakin. Ito ang kasagutang aking naibigay dahil hindi ko masasagot ang mga katanungan nila at hindi naman ako abogado.

Ano Ang Iyong Gagawin Bilang Isang Kristyano?

Marahil sa puntong iyon ng pag-post ko, marami sa mga kaibigan ko ang nagtaka lalo na sa konteksto ng pagiging isa kong Kristyano. Dahil ang utos sa Bibliya ay magpatawad at huwag maghiganti sa isang maling gawain na ginawa saiyo.

Mga minamahal, huwag kayong maghihiganti; ipaubaya ninyo iyon sa Dios. Sapagkat nasusulat, “Akin ang paghihiganti, ako ang gaganti,” sabi ni Panginoon. – Mga Taga-Roma 12:19

Ngunit ayon din naman sa aking pananaliksik, ang pagpapatawad daw ay laging may kaakibat na kondisyon. Dahil ganoon din ang hiningi ng Dios sa atin kapalit ng ating pagkakaligtas – tanggapin si Hesus bilang iyong tagapagligtas at talikuran ang masamang nakaraan. Pero meron din namang nagsasabi na sa anumang uri ng pagkakamali, palaging maging handa magpatawad.

Naisip ko na may rason ang Dios bakit Nya pinagawa ang sampung kautusan kay Moses noon na ‘yun ang naging basehan ng ating mga batas upang mapanatili ang katahimikan sa lipunan ngayon. Lahat ng ito ay naglalayon na mapangalagaan ang karapatan ng bawat isa sa ating mga mamamayan at mamuhay kasama ang iba ng tahimik at may respeto sa kapwa.


Sa usapang infidelity, and katanungan ng karamihan ay paano ba magpatawad at nararapat bang kasuhan ang iyong nagkasalang asawa? O patawarin ko na sya kaagad at ibaon ang lahat sa limot?

Kung walang nangyaring paghingi ng kapatawaran, para sa akin, mas pipiliin ko pa ring magpatawad. At sa ilang beses na naging bigo sa pagtupad ng kanyang pangako ang iyong asawa ngunit patuloy pa rin na gumagawa ng kasamaan at patuloy ding humihingi ng iyong kapatawaran, mas nakakabuting hingin mo ang payo ng Dios sa kung ano ang nararapat gawin.

Nakasaad sa Bibliya na ang adultery/concubinage ay isang sapat na rason para iwan mo ang iyong asawa. Ngunit nakasaad din dito na ang tunay na pagmamahal ay handang magpatawad sa lahat ng oras, sa anumang pagkakamali, at hindi basta-basta sumusuko.

Ang mga batas natin ay hinayaan ng Panginoon na maisakatuparan dahil ito ay may magandang pakay para sa lipunan at sa mga mamamayan. Hindi ito ginawa para lamang panakot kundi magsilbing gabay sa mga tao para gawin kung ano ang tama at maturuan ang mga may sala na talikuran ang paggawa ng masama at mag-bagong buhay.

God Is Always With you

Para saiyo kapatid na patuloy na nagdadalamhati sa sakit at pait na dulot ng infidelity, ito lamang ang aking maipapayo:

  • Hindi na mahalaga na tanungin mo ang iyong sarili kung saan ka ba nagkulang at nagawa ito saiyo ng iyong asawa. Lahat tayo ay may kakulangan. Pero kung totoong mahal ka nya, kaya nyang tanggapin ano mang pagkukulang mo at kung mahal mo rin sya, kaya mo ring tanggapin ang buo nyang pagkatao.
  • Hilingin mo sa Panginoon ano ang dapat mong gawin sa sitwasyon ninyo ng inyong asawa. Tanungin mo Sya kung nararapat bang kasuhan ang iyong asawa ng adultery o concubinage case o patawarin mo na lamang sya, talikuran ang mga nangyari, at hayaan na lamang na panahon ang maghilom ng lahat.
  • Dios ang palaging nagtatama ng lahat. Ngunit tayo ang kikilos ayon sa Kanyang mga utos. Ika nga nila, “Nasa Dios ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”
  • Huwag kang panghinaan ng loob, hindi lamang ikaw ang nagdurusa at nasasadlak sa ganitong kalagayan. At lalo na, hindi ka nag-iisa. Maraming tao ang handang tumulong saiyo sa anumang paraan na alam nila para ikaw ay makabangon muli.
  • Patatagin mo ang iyong kalooban dahil karamay mo kami at ang Dios. Sa Dios pa lang, panalo ka na. Hayaan mo Syang igabay ka sa mga tamang taong tutulong sayo at gagabay din sayo sa tamang daan.
  • Lahat ng bagay may simula at katapusan. Ang paghihirap mong ito ay matatapos din. Ang unos ay titila at ang araw ay lalabas din. Madilim man itong dinaraanan mo ngayon pero liliwanag din sa huli. Manalig ka na lahat ng mga nangyayari sa mundong ito ay nakikita ng Dios. Dios ang pinakahukom kung saan lahat ng bawat kilos natin ay ating pananagutan at sisingilin Nya sa atin pagdating ng tamang panahon.
  • Bumangon ka kapatid. Harapin mo ang bawat umaga ng may tapang at lakas. Na sa kabila ng pinagdaraanan mo, mananatili kang matatag. Isa kang magiting na sundalo na sa bawat laban, ang bandila mo ay patuloy na mamamayagpag. Higit sa lahat, isa kang magiting na mandirigma dahil kakampi mo ang Dios. At ito sana ang panghawakan mo palagi:

“Tinutulungan Niya ang mga nagdurusa at ‘di binibigo ang walang pag-asa.” – Mga Awit 34:18

Patuloy na nananalangin ng taimtim para saiyo, kapatid,

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How Social Media Is Shaping Our Lives: Is It For The Better?

I am “hibernating” on social media lately although not entirely because I still log in daily to check my messages and browse through newsfeeds. But compared to my regular social media habit the past months, I’ve been posting fewer updates recently.

I Was Gently Reminded

Last Christmas, I was excitedly capturing photos of the moments shared with my family from the food to the presents, to the activities that we did, to a whole lot more of fun-filled memories.

When my Mom saw what I was doing, she told me one thing that I’ll never forget:

“So you’re taking photos and will most probably post them on Facebook to show people the things that you have or done, which some of them might not have or can’t do.”

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Ever since the Facebook revolution started, Mom has always been cynical about it. At first, I contradicted her by saying that Facebook and all other social media channels (she doesn’t know IG, yet 😀 ) are beneficial, too, in some ways. She relented but with a gentle reminder to be wise when sharing on social media.

I must admit I had moments back then when I felt that my Mom was right. As what they say on Facebook, always “think before you click.” But it was her very recent reminder about social media that cut deeper through me – the “why” of my social media hibernation except here on WordPress.

Is It Good?

I love Science and Technology so much that I am always excited about every new discovery and invention out there. And yet, we all know, too, that every single one of them has its own pros and cons. When it comes to social media, I was wondering to what extent can it affect our lives? Is it more on the pros or the cons?

I observed one negative side of social media, what study experts call as “humblebragging.” I never even knew the term existed until I encountered it while reading a couple of articles. These write-ups describe the studies conducted to observe the effects of social media on human psychology.

Research revealed that one of the most notable effects social media has on users is depression. To connect this to what my Mom said, more often than not social media posts can breed feelings of misery, discontentment, disappointment, and discouragement, which will eventually lead to depression. If we are to trace what is causing this, the root of the evil so to speak, it is this – envy.

I have a lot of photos and a lot of status updates to share on Facebook and Instagram, but what my Mom told me last year made me think twice whether I really should go ahead and post them or not. I want to share them BUT I know what my Mom is really telling me is to be responsible for what I will share. In other words, if it isn’t beneficial to others, then leave it unshared.

My social media hibernation isn’t because I won’t post anymore. Rather, I am thinking of ways how to share to people the things that I know, the things that I did, and the things that I have that won’t elicit any feelings of jealousy and disappointment on their part.

It is not my intent for my newsfeed followers to have the wrong notion that my life is way perfect and better than theirs because it is not just true. That’s why I make it a point to share a couple of bad news, even sensitive ones, just to bring light on my weaknesses and my lack of certain things and abilities, too. This is to affirm that we are all equal and go through different circumstances but the same seasons of drought and bountiful harvest.

Yes, Facebook and Instagram have become a “bragging wall.” This is becoming a deadly trend, and I really mean deadly because it can kill someone through depression. This is the deadly trend that portrays perfection on social media and it is encouraging everyone to have a false and pretentious lifestyle just to keep up with the game.

What if you can’t keep up?

Then this now becomes the problem. This is how people start feeling less about themselves, the inadequacy around them, the hopelessness, and ultimately, the unhappiness.

So I struggle.

What should I post? Will my post make me look like a humblebrag? Will it help other people feel good about themselves? Or should I not post anything at all?

Hmmm, I think I’m humblebragging in this post. So now I’m at a loss on what I should write about. 😀

Seriously, I’m going to end this article with a prayer asking for guidance and discernment to know the right actions when sharing about our daily lives to others. And my next article will be related to this, if God wills it, entitled “Humblebragging in Christianity: A Study.”

I am guilty of humblebragging one way or the other and I want to make up for all those feelings of misery and discontentment that I have caused on other people through my past social media posts. So yes, may the Lord give us new ways to make up for these mistakes made unknowingly. ❤

Asking for the Spirit’s guidance always,

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5 Wrong Attitudes When Writing | The Journeyman’s Moments

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope

We all make mistakes every single day, big and small. That’s the norm. If we don’t make mistakes, then I suppose that makes us an extraterrestrial with exceptional IQ and perfect capabilities. 😉

Seriously, there are mistakes that can be corrected right away, there are those that take time or practice to do them right, there are those that can be avoided, and there are those that will forever remain irreparable.

It’s a good thing that writing falls in the first and second categories. Yes, practicing always is the key to honing your writing skills close to perfect and eliminate mistakes. But it usually takes time so patience is necessary.

It is also a rule of thumb to make room for mistakes when writing because this is where improvements come in. So far, I haven’t committed a writing mistake that’s difficult to correct.

Some of the writing mistakes though were made by having the wrong mindset when it comes to writing. In the succeeding paragraphs, I’ll be giving a rundown of the wrong attitudes to avoid if you want to be a better writer.

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Photo credit: Unsplash

Mistakes Make You Write Better, But The Right Attitude Makes You Write Excellently

1. “Never mind the grammar as long as I can submit it on time.”

This has to be avoided first and foremost. Why? We cannot sacrifice quality over quantity just because we’re on a tight deadline or we still have to finish other tasks. Grammatical errors usually happen on my end when I change a particular sentence, edit the latter or first part, and skip rereading the entire sentence because of time constraints.

This habit of mine is “okay” if I write here on my blog where I do multiple revisions before and after publishing my articles (I still overlook some errors though). But for work-related write-ups, this is critical.

Again, never sacrifice quality over quantity. I’ve read some formal write-ups with multiple grammatical errors and when I checked out the profile, the writer has a Ph.D. It somehow made me doubt about the credibility of the write-up. No offense here though, but I believe having a good grasp of grammar also speaks so much about professionalism.

If we’re going to say that it’s just grammar and committing grammar errors is okay as long as the idea is there, unfortunately, it is not. Grammatical errors oftentimes confuse or mislead readers. They make the text difficult for the audience to understand because the ideas are in shambles.

2. “Memorizing new words is hard so I’ll stick with what I already know.”

This is not a proper mindset if you want to improve your writing skills. Better yet, make it a habit to learn new words every day. Every time I learn an unfamiliar term, I use it in context by including it in my writing asap, thus, retaining the word in my vocabulary bank. I’ve been exposed to different writing disciplines which require I learn and adopt a certain lingo/jargon in my writing, so this comes as a necessity for me.

Your vocabulary bank will enable you to deliver high-quality output and allow your writing style to be on par with the company/client’s brand voice. If it is about real estate, read up on all real estate-related terms. If it is about technology, you also have to be familiar with technical terms. If it is news writing, choose strong words that will have an impact on your readers and so on and so forth.

The same goes even for personal blogging. There are specific terms which best describe your thoughts and portray the emotions that you want your reader to feel. If your vocabulary is limited, it’ll be difficult to choose the appropriate words in conveying your ideas.

3. “I don’t see how my area of expertise can benefit from other disciplines.”

It’s best to read across several disciplines and not just in your area of expertise or topics you’re interested in. I also derive other interesting ideas from non-literary discourses (I have a bachelor’s degree in Literature), which can sometimes be the next topic of my story or become a useful piece of information for my future articles.

LinkedIn is one of my go-to reading platforms for technical learning. For more on personal experiences and journals, I usually browse WordPress. You may also include online news publications to stay updated with the current trends and issues happening locally and globally.

The more informed you are, the more ideas you have which will be relevant in your profession as a writer. As they say, you cannot write about something you do not know. So all the more that your knowledge bank has to be interdisciplinary. In a sense, it is like studying a new course but on your own pacing and the facilitator is yourself.

The lack of pertinent details is sometimes what causes a writer’s block. Unless you also space out easily, like me, which is why I prefer working at home where I can eliminate all distractions and avoid “the blockage.”

4. “I know better than them.”

Thanks to my former and current editors for some of these nuggets of wisdom and thank God for mentors in the writing industry. I’ve only been in this industry for 2 years after a career shift. But I felt like I already learned a whole 4-year-course-worth of knowledge that I can only acquire not in the academe, but by infiltrating the mainstream of writers, editors, and the digital publishing arena.

I am grateful I was given opportunities to explore several writing industries from business writing, technical writing, news writing, to feature writing. Because for every industry, there is a myriad of takeaways that I now apply in my writing in general.

Mentors are essential. Don’t take it personally when they review or criticize your work. You need their valuable insights so you can improve the quality of your output.

I always see it as a favor to make me better. When working with clients, it also allows transparency for clearer communications and well-met expectations resulting in a satisfying deliverable and performance.

5. “I have poor writing skills, thus, I should refrain from writing.”

There’s no better way to apply what you’ve learned than to keep on writing. The more you make writing as an integral part of your lifestyle, the more that it’ll become more flawless, more fun, and more fulfilling.

In writing, I don’t believe that you get stuck with where you first started. With each passing year, with every writing opportunity presented to you, and with each writing experience you’ve had, you’re now better than the writer you once were.

How would I know if I really improved?

I have here a couple of points to share with you, a checklist I came up with to monitor my progress:

– How long did it take me to finish this write-up compared to my previous articles?

– After writing the first draft, how many times did I revise it?

– How many words, sentences, and ideas require a major overhaul?

– Do I love to read my article again and again or I got bored in the middle of it and just wanted to stop (this is basically what your reader will feel, too)?

– Will my reader learn something from my write-up? If yes, what is it and if no, what can I include to make it useful and informative?

– Am I satisfied with my work? If yes, it means a job well done. If you’re half-satisfied, then something is lacking and you need to tweak the article a little bit (your writer gut feeling is always right, trust it always).

– Does the article contain one solid thought from the beginning until the end or it has too many misplaced ideas?

The last point is my waterloo which is what I am currently working on. I can write a 2,000-word article and when I reread it, it’s as if I am literally talking about “everything under the sun.”

This is a bad habit when it comes to writing. You’ll bore your readers after just a few paragraphs. I address this by cutting the article in chunks and classifying them according to the main idea. I list them either as new topics for my next articles or I find a way to relate it to my current topic.

So that’s it, my beloved readers. I hope I encouraged the writer in you and to be good (if not, the best) in what you’re passionate about. Always remember that we are all a work in progress. But keep in mind, too, that improvements do come with consistency, diligence, and lots of prayers.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

I’d love to hear your thoughts and learn from you, too. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. ☺

Have a blessed writing day, everyone! ❤

Your every Friday writer (I’m back to my Friday stint),

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P.S.

Do revisit this page for my last-minute changes. 😉

When God Blesses, He Blesses Abundantly

This is a praise report because we just have a GREAT and WONDERFUL GOD worthy of our praise and all the glory. ❤😊

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

The title sounds familiar? It should if you sing it. 😉

A few weeks ago, my husband and I have been going through rough months in several areas of our lives. Our families were there to give us comfort and support and yet we all know that the deep grievances of the heart can only be comforted by God and God alone. Emotions were high, tough decisions have to be made.

I must admit I was never that strong. In fact, I was very weak during these moments – I cried, I lamented, I complained, I was bitter, I was enraged…but I held on to faith. Because God rewards those who remain steadfast in times of testing. I know that He will always be there.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. – Psalm 147:6

What Are Blessings?

When I speak of blessings, I am referring to both tangible and intangible things. Most of them, in fact, won’t fit the standards of this world and how the world defines success – riches, accumulation of possessions and material wealth, winning a competition, having a prestigious title, achievements, etc.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

Yes, this has always been my mantra – don’t go with the flow when it comes to social practices. Assess whether what you are doing is indeed to glorify God, do His will, and serve others. Because as much as we want to deny it, this is our only purpose in this world – spread the Good News.

Are We Really Doing It For God?

I realized that thanking God for our achievements doesn’t really glorify God. I, myself, was a victim of this. Every time I accomplish something, I always think that it is also what God wanted me to do. Little did I know that it is the enemy’s trap to slowly enter in his lair – temptations for worldly success, to please the world, to be prideful about what I can do, and to boast about what I have.

This drive to pursue selfish ambition and using God as a cover-up is a very deadly addiction. It poisons your motivation until you are suddenly being led astray. You become hungry for power. You become hungry for validation. You become reliant on your own efforts. You become envious of others. You become addicted to worldly rewards. In other words, it is now the world that is feeding you and your soul, not God anymore.

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.
These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17

How did the realization come? Sometimes it comes as a painful rebuke and sometimes through other people’s lives as examples of who I should be and who I shouldn’t be.

This was how one challenging situation became a blessing. As I’ve shared in my previous posts, circumstances demanded I go through several medical checkups – I was feeling the symptoms and the effects of doing things my way driven by my ambitions.

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It was a “health scare.”

But that “health scare” was God’s wake-up call. He doesn’t want me to do things apart from His will and guidance. He knows I was being led astray from where He originally called me to be. As God’s blessing for my obedience, I came out clear in every single test with just a slight work-up (yay for this!). But, I know I need to receive it with a promise on my end – follow the path that He chose for me.

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And if you’ve been a follower of Christ for a long time now, I know you can relate when I say that the road that God sometimes asks us to tread on is never an easy path. It requires a lot of sacrifices but in the end, it is always about this – relinquishing the “self” and embracing God’s will.

Our notion of “best” is oftentimes not what God has in mind as His best for us. Don’t be deceived by the enemy, always check your heart, and never forget to ask God for His will every single day.

We always have to be careful with this and look into our hearts what really is our motivation and agenda for doing the things that we do now? Are they really to please God or to please ourselves and other people?

Do you still sense that tinge of “I want” when you make decisions in life or is it always about “what does God want?”.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3

I have learned to let go of promotions, of pursuing my dream to have initials attached to my name, of following my timeline and bucket/wish list, and of being regarded as society’s “best” all to pursue God’s calling. I have learned to deny the cravings of my flesh and the demands of the world when God says they are not what I need.

God always sees our hearts.

Two Sundays ago, a preaching by one of our pastors in church resonated with me. It came just very timely. It is about the pursuit of being a COO or a CEO or being at the top, in other words, and the dangers of it. His question just lingered on me all throughout the week:

“At what cost?”

Yes, there is nothing wrong being at the top or being the best and yet what is the motivation behind it? If we have the wrong motivation and if it is not God’s will for us, then, definitely, there is a collateral.

What are we willing to sacrifice? Is it time with our kids? Is it quality time with our spouses? Is it our health?

This brings us back to the hierarchy of priorities:

  1. God
  2. Spouse
  3. Family
  4. Career
  5. Ministry

These are never interchangeable. When we do rearrange them, then we know that this is where things go bad – imbalance. Sooner or later we will experience the consequences of it. My only prayer is that it won’t be too late before we arrange them again in that order.

How many people now are diagnosed with stress-related obesity or have been stress eating? How many have been diagnosed with ailments that have unexplained causes? How many have already died because some of these ailments have no cure?

This was the wake-up call for me. It is in my nature to be a multitasker. I want to accomplish a lot because I want to do a lot of things to the point that my body begins to fail me because I was just too tired.

And it all dawned on me, all for what and for whom?

I know God is giving me an assurance that I have made the right choice – to never pursue the things of this world. He knows my heart did not completely embrace this yet. So He sealed it with reminders for two consecutive days from my daily devotion last week about worldly success, busyness, etc.

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Filling Up The Tank

When I was staring at the speedometer, a thought came into my mind. Just like a car when it’s low on fuel, it needs to stop or better yet, it needs to be filled up. Only then can it run smoothly again back on the path – the right path. No stopovers this time, no detours. Unless it’s time for yet another refill.

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One wise question to ask ourselves is this: “If we are the car, what, or rather, Who is our fuel?”

To end this article, I am just grateful for the abundance of blessings, too, for each and every member of our families. I never fail to include them in my prayers every single night because, once again, they come 3rd on my list of priorities. I don’t want to boast specifically but let me just boast about a God who is more than enough. ❤

My only prayer is that I can spread the love of God to others, too, in whatever medium, through what God has called me to do, and with what He has given me. The future seems dim and covered, for now, and my view of it is limited. But I have faith God is already waiting for me at the end of the road. I was just stopping by for a fuel refill for now. 😉

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“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – Corinthians 4:18

Blessed to have a God who calls me His daughter,

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P.S.

Who’s ready to enjoy summer with me and bask under the bright sun with a grateful heart? ❤ Life is just good when you have God in it, isn’t it? 😉

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And of course, what is life without God and your God-given mate? My deepest gratitude goes out to my beloved husband, too, for a whole lot of things. ❤

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

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The Role of Climate Change and Rice Tarrification Law in Rice Production: Agri Talk

Before I begin the actual article, I’d like to share an update to those of you who have been following my blog posts lately. And let me begin by saying, thank you to all those who prayed for my checkup – the doctor’s initial assessment turned out negative. BUT, she suggested I still undergo the 2D and 3D mammography tomorrow. We will get my other test results tomorrow, too, but it will be assessed by my doctor on Saturday. The battle is not over yet, not yet.

But life must go on – I am still breathing and I am still walking. So let’s keep the ball rolling. 😉

What Do Experts Have to Say About the Rice Tarrification Law?

For today’s article, I will be sharing about the Rice Tarrification Law recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. Since a majority of our family’s agribusiness revolves around rice farming, I had to do a lot of research about what this law entails and what are the different opinions of industry experts on the matter.

Here are some of the articles I was able to dig up:

“Rice Tarrification Bill Enacted Into Law”

“Rice Tarrification Law Good for Farmers, Agri Group Says”

“Rice Tarrification Law: Farmers Worry; Lawmakers Wary”

“CARD MRI Holds Forum on Rice Tarrification; Vows to Launch Related Module for Its 6.2M Clients”

The Rice Tarrification Law basically proposes a better alternative to consumers by lowering the market price of rice through minimal import restrictions and importers pay a 40 percent tariff only. Tariffs collected will be distributed to farmers as incentives and financial assistance which the government will provide through programs on mass irrigation, new grains, fertilizers, etc.

This law also aims to eliminate rice traders and middlemen since the tariffs will go directly to the rice industry, experts said. But along with the elimination of rice traders in the agri system sprouts two new challenges – rice cartels and rice smuggling.

The latter poses a new threat since there will be those who will try to evade paying the tariffs imposed by the Bureau of Customs. The challenge to the government is this – will there be other security agencies who can monitor the imported rice that comes in? For one, we don’t have enough border patrols.

The emergence of rice cartels would also mean an even stronger market group to compete with. The challenge here is this – will small-time local rice farmers, who cannot pay enough for the tariffs, get the chance to buy imported rice or still have a chance to sell their produce locally and earn a decent profit?

Yet another challenge is this – with the unresolved cases and ongoing graft and corruption in the country, what is the assurance that the farmers will receive their due share of the tariff proceeds?

When I called my Dad and Mom last Saturday to check up on them and talk about this matter, as expected, the conversation lasted for 2 hours. 😀 That’s one thing about our family, it is like a debate team. We love to discuss, analyze, and assess matters with little oppositions and contradictions here and there but can honestly escalate to an actual debate later on. lol Just kidding. 😀

My parents advised us to let this year pass since this will be the adjustment period, so to speak, for registrations and all. Next year will be the time to assess whether this new law will indeed benefit the local farmers or not. I suggested to my parents that if this means producing rice for personal consumption only, maybe it is about time we explore other crop ventures – the initial proposal of my siblings and I for the new family project.

The Toll of Climate Change on Rice Industries

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Local rice farmers are facing yet another challenge brought about by the extreme heat wave. Dad told me we are experiencing El Nino this summer – severe drought. The last time this happened was back in 2008. My Mom said time will come when intervals between seasons of El Nino will be shorter with the ever-worsening climate change and heat wave.

Extreme drought for farmers means a lack of sufficient ricefield irrigation which will then result to lower crop yields a.k.a. less or no profit at all. According to Dad, farmers right now are in dire need of sufficient water supply since rivers are almost dried up. He shared how two farmers started to drill on their ricefields hoping to tap into a good water source, a spring, but to no avail.

Every drilling activity costs 15k. This means that if you attempted to drill twice, you shelled out 30k already. It’s a big waste of money unless you reach a water source asap and won’t have to spend more. If you’re unable to get the water supply that you need for your crops, they will all dry up with huge losses on your end than gains.

An Outpour of Blessings

God, in all these circumstances, was good to my Dad. Maybe it’s because I pray about the farm every night? 😀 Nah, I won’t take the credit because I know it is all God and God alone.

Dad shared how he “luckily” drilled through a major source with overflowing water and not just a trickle. It was more than enough to irrigate all his ricefields. I told Dad it was indeed a wonderful blessing and maybe he can share the water supply to nearby ricefields and ask the owners to pay for it since the water will be coming from our land.

I know they will take the offer than to let their crops completely dry out and earn nothing. Dad will be able to help other farmers irrigate their crops and save on drilling costs and he can also recover the amount he spent for drilling and pumping for water – a win-win situation.

By the way, the average pumping cost for ricefield irrigation is 150php per hour. So I asked Dad how long does it take to completely fill up one ricefield, he said it’s overnight and sometimes it takes days depending on the size of the ricefield. Indeed, there really is more to farming than planting the crops, letting them grow, and harvesting them without doing anything. Yes, it is nowhere close to gardening. I was totally wrong. 😀

What better alternatives do rice farmers have?

I browsed the internet for better options not just for our business but for other local rice farmers, too. I found online groups and websites where they share information and discuss different agricultural practices that are on par with the drastic climate changes – how farmers can adapt to these changes.

These organizations are the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (UNIFAD), and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD). You may check them out through their social media channels if you’re also in the agribusiness industry.

One topic that requires urgent attention now is about how climate change can affect biodiversity and how biodiversity, in turn, affects food production. I realized that my Dad and other rice farmers were just worried about water supply. And yet what I’ve found out was something more catastrophic than that given the alarming depletion rate of earth’s natural resources. This is where the imbalance comes in, which, in turn, can affect how we produce our food.

One scary thought, or rather, challenging question I had after my research is this – will our children or the future generation still have enough decent food to consume in the next decades or centuries, perhaps? I am promoting two advocacies now in agribusiness and they are sustainable agriculture and local food movement. These two encapsulate the mission of the new family project that my siblings and I are working on.

In our own little ways, what can we do to support these advocacies?

I’ll have to discuss this in the next article because this post’s too long already. 😀 But here’s one to motivate us to do something and this is also one of my core beliefs when it comes to creativity: “Where there are seasons of drought, there is ingenuity.” The geniuses of our time and the times before made a lot of discoveries and inventions out of a lack of something.

How to Be Good Stewards of God-Given Resources

But let us not forget that God owns everything that we have and we are only stewards of what He has entrusted us. He will be the one to provide us everything that we need so we can continue the work that He has tasked us to do.

I am praying for summer rain in Bicol and all other rice-producing regions. Rain during the summer season is a miracle. But I have a God who makes things possible and I believe in miracles because I have faith. So, I say, it will happen. 😉

And yes, I pray for a healthy body, too. Because there are a lot of things that I still need to do and my body’s the vessel to move around. But then again, not my will but His will and not my plans but His plans always. ❤

“The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains. The world, and those who dwell in it.” – Psalm 24:1

Always an advocate by heart,

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P.S.

Is there any pill cuter and girlier than this? The bright pink got stuck in my head it helps me remember when I should take them. 😉

I’m also squeezing this article in real quick because I still have other articles to do at work until the end of this week. I just want to get this off my head – like lice. Off with your head! Errr, off with the lice! I mean, off with the thoughts. 😀

Dying Young, Dying Old: A Lenten Season Special

February this year was full of mourning and grief from deaths of loved ones of people I know. It made me think about life’s brevity and longevity – the reason why Science never stopped in discovering how life can be preserved. In fact, a lot of movies have been inspired by it – how to attain immortality. But, as we all know, only One conquered death and it’s for the purpose of giving everyone immortality – eternal life.

What is Death?

One story is about someone from our church. I don’t know her personally but we have common friends. When I checked out her profile, three words came into my mind – young, devoted, and vibrant. Her life, albeit short, was full of colors – she lived life to the fullest in adoration and service to the Lord. She was diagnosed with lupus and it was through her testimony that I discovered that lupus is also the same as cancer – incurable. What struck me after reading her testimony was this statement: “Sometimes pain can make you forget God.”

It is true. Any form of extreme pain, may it be physical or emotional, can sometimes make you question your existence, your purpose, and finally your faith. But, if you have been saved prior to the pain, or even during the pain, none of everything you will go through, what you have done, and what you have will matter.

“We, therefore, were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.” -Romans 6:4

The same goes to those who died old. It reminded me of my maternal grandma who will be celebrating her 95th birthday this year if God wills it. She would always ask me and my siblings when will God take her. Our only answer is that only God knows and maybe God has a purpose for her that is still yet to be fulfilled.

I see her suffer now from the ailments of old age. I feel her pain. I ask God the same questions, too. And one of those questions is this, “Lord, is there ever a way for us to die a painless death a.k.a. the easy death?”

I guess we all have that moment wherein we ask God how we will die. Will we ever grow old? Will we die of cancer? Will we die in an accident? Will I die in my sleep? Will I die with a mangled body? Will I die writhing in pain?

Is Your Heart Ready?

Through all these questions, one stood out: “Are our hearts ready?”

Can we live life just like my churchmate? Though she went through so much pain, she had the assurance of life in eternity. It’s the same with my grandma. Though there is a restlessness in her heart, peace also comes within her brought about by the same assurance.

There’s just one form of death that makes me deeply sad – suicide. One of my friends on Facebook shared about a niece, a high school student, who committed suicide by hanging herself. I checked out her profile and I have seen how depression overtook the better part of her.

If only someone reached out to her and shared the Good News. A shared conversation could’ve changed her fate. A shared story would’ve made all the difference. A fellowship perhaps about how we all go through painful and difficult moments in life and yet by God’s grace and because of the assurance of life in eternity, we endure them all, we strive forward and carry our own “crosses” no matter how heavy they are. Yes, carry them until we have fulfilled what God has tasked us to do as a follower of Christ.

I grieved for her soul – that which can never be resurrected, one that will forever be lost.

I Am Ready

Death, sickness, lost lives…they all dawned on me and my current situation. I lost one good career opportunity because my health demanded it. I am facing my own fears, too – dying young, dying old, and going through extreme pain.

But instead of living life in fear dreading what sad or bad news the future might bring, I celebrate life. Not through YOLO or FOMO but through a heart that is ready.

God has been postponing my visit to the doctor for a whole lot of different reasons – the doctor canceled, hubby’s loa wasn’t approved, etc. But this coming Saturday is our “hope” day. And as with everything, I will wait what and where God will bring me. So as my prayer goes, LET HIS WILL BE DONE. 🙂

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” – Revelation 21: 5

Peacefully waiting,

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Photo Feature of the Day: “Light on Carabao”

Copyright: tingineterome | photography

Let the Light shine upon you, my dear carabao. May the yoke you carry won’t be too much of a burden as you continue to do the work for your Master. ☺

A blessed Sunday, everyone! ❤

Summer In My Hometown

Just a couple more days and summer will officially start. Who’s ready? 😀

This is the season, next to Christmas, that people in any part of the world are excited about. Who wouldn’t?

Summer is beach.

The vast seas with its crystal clear blue-green waters and gentle splash of waves; the bright sun and the soft tickle of sand on your toes; the seafood fiesta…ah yes, I can just go on and on.

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My childhood memories were filled with unforgettable summer moments with my family. It would start with the birthday celebration of my Dad, beach getaways (our province is home to virgin beaches), and the usual busy farm work.

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Back in college, one of our sem breaks was scheduled during the summer. I’ll never forget how our Mom would ask us when will be our last day in school. She will then ask us to come home and help with the farm work since it’s harvest time, we need more farm workers than usual, and we’re in-charge of their lunch and snack – more helping hands to do household chores. Being the youngest, I was tasked as the dishwasher. Hmm, why is it that the youngest in the family always wash the dishes? Can anyone tell me whose law was it and where did it first start? I’d like to rally against and abolish it. Seriously – with a smile. 😃

But anyway, I loved the training. It became a part of the memorable experiences I’ve had back when I was a kid. Piles of dishes can give you that extreme frustration but a lasting fulfillment when done – an accomplishment. It kind of made me proud to see them shiny, clean plates stacked up high in our dish rack. Oh and let’s not forget the huge pots and pans. Yes, that’s quite an achievement for a kid. 😀

Summer is always there.

Now, things have changed. There are some summer days when I wish to visit our home because “home is just where the heart is.” But my brother told me just a few days back that circumstances will always pull us far from our comfort zones. Yes, it’s always a part of adulting. But always, we will always go back to where we came from.

And yes, we always move forward wherever life takes us because that is just how things go. It’s been years since I last visited our hometown during the summer. Circumstances will not allow me at this point but I am just glad our family business project there is finally rolling. I am still praying though for God’s guidance, protection, and sustenance to be upon our parents and other siblings who will help monitor the developments.

But one thing I am forever grateful for is that I have sunkissed-filled memories that are worth reminiscing over and over again. I may have a “pile of dishes” to do now, but I’ll finish them somehow.

Did I just hear someone say “grit”? 😀

Forever Grateful for Sun-kissed Memories

And when I’m done, I know the fulfillment is everything after the endurance, patience, perseverance, and discipline. Summer will always be there, anyway.

Well, unless something will blot out the sun and we’ll have a solar eclipse for all eternity. It is impossible but maybe we should ask Science if there are chances of it happening in the near or far future. 😀

Again, for now, let me just reminisce the memories of the not-so-distant past about flying kites in open fields, climbing trees to gather the fruits of summer, attending town fiestas, swimming in hot and cold springs…all during summer.

Last but not least, I pray that my future kids will get to enjoy these moments, too. They are, by far, one of the best memories any parent can give their child. 🙂

“It was You who set all the boundaries of the earth; You made both summer and winter.” – Psalm 74:17

Praising God for summers,

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P.S.

If you plan to visit our province, check out some of these cool places. These are not sponsored posts, by the way. Happy summer, everyone! 🙂

I Love Bicol (Part 1): Masacrot Spring

I Love Bicol (Part 2): Siama Hotel

How Startup Companies Began

I am back in the corporate world in my other job (I am juggling two) for a whole lot of different reasons and I appreciated the shift but I am still praying about this new season. I know I won’t be staying long in this setup, but I just felt that God brought me here for a certain reason. I cannot tell if I needed to learn more skills which I can only get through a corporate setting or something else. 🙂

The Diary of the Commuter and Employee

This means I’m also back to the daily grind beating the rush hour and the traffic and keeping up with the usual hustle and bustle of corporate employees. I usually commute via public transportation – the waiting time during traffic is bearable this way. 😉

I set aside 15 minutes of my workday walking because it syncs my mindset to the challenges I’ll encounter throughout the day. It is during these times, too, that I get to have a deeper contemplation and appreciation of things around me.

I adore structures but not as much as I love nature. And it is during one of my walks that I had a different perspective on skyscrapers. I never thought they can be beautiful, too, if you look at them from a different standpoint. For one, it reminded me about companies and startups and their value in our society.

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What is a startup company and how did it begin?

I’ve been working as a professional since 2008 although not consistently. I have been on and off the workforce because God brought me to different seasons and different places locally. I was able to try different working environments and industries and worked with different bosses and colleagues.

Some of my colleagues now are running their own start-up companies and most of them ventured into the digital marketing industry. Their number one reason for leaving the corporate world is that they got tired with the 8-5 work shift and the stressful environment considering all the demands and expectations they have to meet. And yet if you will ask them if being a boss is easy, they will tell you that it is doubly hard. The only difference is that they have the freedom to do what they love to do.

Startup companies usually come about because of someone’s passion.

The geniuses of our time and those before us all pursued what they loved. And doing what you love spurs creativity. Creativity very seldom happens in a boxed environment. The latter stifles the learning growth of an individual. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and other famous entrepreneurs and game-changers today were college dropouts. They never finished college because they pursued their passion outside the four corners of the academe.

Learning in the Academy

A university or any academe is somehow a boxed environment. Learning is limited to a certain degree. This is why I took a graduate study in Special Education because I’d like to explore what are the learner’s options and how can the academe address his or her specific needs. Everyone has a different learning style and there are schools now who are adopting the progressive approach to teaching where the learning of a student isn’t just limited inside the classroom. There are several studies that showed how a special branch of education which is student-centered and not teacher-centered can help tap the multiple intelligences of a child and be a well-rounded individual when they grow up.

How is this related to a startup? Let’s assume every workplace is also a learning environment. An employee learns skills that he will use to do the work he is being paid for. The nature of a specific job isn’t taught in school and only the companies can teach an employee the skills needed to accomplish what needs to be done and how it will be done.

Creativity in the Workplace

A startup company owner takes the risks to leave his corporate job and puts up his own company because he wants to pursue his passion, maximize his creativity, do what he loves, and earn money from it at the same time. It’s hitting multiple birds with one stone, so to speak. It is possible that creativity will never be present in a corporate setting as an employee given the tense and fast-paced environment. Creativity is hard to attain in those conditions because the mind can only come up with brilliant ideas when it is not subjected to extreme pressure.

I can relate to this based on my own experience as an artist and as a writer. When I write like this where I follow no very specific guidelines, ideas just flow. But when I need to meet certain criteria and writing standards, I oftentimes get a writer’s block and come up with a “chaotic” write-up because ideas were forced.

It is because of this that I appreciate editors who go the extra mile in knowing their writers personally so when they assign topics, they are more or less related to the writer’s personal interests and preferences. As they say, you can never write about what you do not know and you can’t write best if it is something you hate.

So, are these startups successful? Yes, there are those who are thriving, there are those who are getting by, but there were also those who never made it. And yet, if you ask them all, they have no regrets because they used their freedom to pursue what they love and given the opportunity to do it again, they won’t hesitate to take on the challenge. Not all corporate employees though have the option i.e. lack of resources, lack of appropriate skills, etc. to put up their own startup companies as their fallback.

The Corporate World

I have seen so much of what a corporate employee is like at work. When I see them, I would like to give them all a big hug for working so hard. Because I, too, went through the rigors of being one.

And if I am given the opportunity, I’d like to give them at the beginning of every workday some stick notes with words of encouragement and how much they are of value to the company and commend them for a job well done regardless of their performance. Because more or less they have contributed something for the benefit of the company.

This article from Harvard Business Review is a very good read when it comes to people management and I believe everyone (we are all going to be mentors sooner or later in whichever area it may be) will benefit from this:

“Mentoring Someone With Imposter Syndrome”

Employees are like engines. They are the heart of a machine. Without them, the machine won’t run. A business is nothing without its employees. I believe companies should owe it all to their dedicated employees and make sure their efforts never go unappreciated. Earning a huge profit is as important as managing people well and make sure they get what they deserve and not the other way around – exploited.

The Family Project Remains

My family and I are planning on a project. It is technically not a startup but a business expansion since our parents are into the agribusiness sector for decades already. However, what my siblings and I plan to pursue is a different type of agribusiness (organic farming), and if it is God’s will, we intend to expand to other enterprises (retreat house, vacation home, agri training center, etc.) that will allow more people to benefit from these ventures. Yes, it’s easier said than done always because the real deal involves a lot of planning, setting up, and financing.

I have been doing my research since last year about business developments and I found a lot of reliable resources on the net. If God wills it in the future, one of those skyscrapers might be our office. *wink* It might not happen today but it can be with our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. Only God knows. 🙂

When my parents finally give us a go signal that they can no longer manage everything, we need to take over. Dad is 78 and Mom is 72 – they really need our help. Only God can tell the specific time when it will happen. But right now, as I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, this is a season of preparation. This is also the reason why I never see myself as a corporate employee for long.

One of the key research topics I have been trying to learn is about people management. Because I know we will be handling employees, too, since the new project is going to be on a bigger scale. My previous working experiences allowed me to view a company based on their company culture, the employer-and-employee relationship, employee retention, salary grades, and skills needed.

All of these led me to ask questions such as, how much does the company lose if there is a fast employee transition? Is the company willing to risk hiring someone with skills that are sub-par with the company’s standards because the high demand is already there? And a whole lot more of them questions that I never seem to run out of. 😀

Venture Capitalism and Micro-Capitalism

I also encountered in one of my tasks one term about startups that is new to me – venture capitalism. I did extra research if the Philippines has the same type of financing and based on what I’ve read, the country hasn’t tapped in this market type yet but more on microcapitalism. Both are important when it comes to helping out startup companies and small businesses in their financial needs.

I’d like to touch more on these topics but I’ll cut my article here for now because I only limit my blog post to 2,000 words max. 😀 I’ll discuss them in my future write-ups as I continue to give updates about the developments on the project this summer. I am praying the dredging equipment will be available this time and God will help me make the right decision when our parents say they need one of us to go home sooner or later to help out. But in everything, let His will be done. 🙂

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.” – Psalm 37:5

Always working for God and for God only,

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P.S.

If you’ll ask me what I’ll be if I’m not a writer, I’d like to be a farm girl. *wink* It’s just that our parents never pushed us to take college courses on agribusiness because they want us to pursue what we’re passionate about and learn all other skills first. If we do feel the inclination, the interest, and the dedication later on to manage and develop the business, then that’s the time they will show us how it’s all done.

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December 2018 farm visit.

I would just like to appreciate our parents for this freedom and for respecting our individual capabilities and particular interests. In the same way that all five of us, siblings, were given the freedom to choose the church where we will grow spiritually in respect to all the different religions. Because faith, to them, is not about a religious organization but more about having fellowship with other believers. 🙂

Back to the project, if you also plan on putting up a business or you already have one and you want to turn them over to your kids one day or let them be involved in it, here’s a great article from Harvard Business Review:

“How Family Business Owners Should Bring The Next Generation Into The Company”