Rescue!

Rescue!
by Danny Tariman

 

“I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me.” – Acts 12:11

It was past 10 o’clock in the evening. The city was almost asleep. Only a few cars were visible, even on major streets. I was driving home alone. From the top of a hill going down through narrow roads to a major street below, the way was a bit confusing: it was zigzagging, steep and had many crossroads.

As I drove further, the road became darker and darker. “I must be lost!” I uttered as fear crept into me.

I made a U-turn on a narrow road on the edge of a cliff. I had to make several maneuvers before I finally succeeded.

But I couldn’t find the way. I was trapped! I did another difficult U-turn on a narrow road. I felt so helpless and there were no other cars on the road. I prayed and waited.

Just when I was about to give up, a car came. The driver gave me directions but I was too scared to proceed. It was dark and I was unfamiliar with the place. Moments later, a pickup truck with a Filipino driver passed by. He not only gave me directions but led the way for me. I was able to drive home! Thank You, Lord, for guiding Mang Ernie to pass my way. He was an angel to me that night!

REFLECTION:

Are you in a difficult situation with no one to help you? Call on the Lord!

Thank You, Lord, for giving me angels to help me. Cover us with Your protection all the time. Amen.

Responding to the Call

Responding to the Call
by Danny Tariman

Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:17-18)

I remember when I was first called to serve in a church ministry. I had mixed emotions. I was excited to serve but at the same time, many things were coming to my mind that made me hesitant to respond to the call: I was inadequate, I was shy, I lacked the ability, my job, and so many others.

If we read the Bible on how the first disciples responded to the call, the response was immediate.

When Simon & Andrew were called, they immediately left their nets and followed him. They did not had any second thoughts about their current job — that of being fishermen. The verse says “they immediately left their nets”.

When Matthew was called to follow the LORD, he “rose and followed him” (Matthew 9:9). Again it was immediate. He did not say, “Lord, let me fix my desk first and sort this out, then I will see you later”. The verse says “he rose and followed”.

How many of us when called to serve the LORD cannot immediately follow?

Let me tell you my experience. I said “Yes” immediately, despite my inadequacies. There I saw how the LORD transformed me. Quickly.

As a popular line goes “the LORD looks at your availability, not your ability”.

Go ahead, say “Yes” and you will see the hand of God equiping you.

Blessings!

Friends

Friends
by Danny Tariman

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov 18:24)

It was a usual evening after The Feast, a prayer meeting of the Light of Jesus Family. This Feast I am referring to is the one in Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea.

I and my friends Paul & Agnes Sive, Rhomel & Maricris Villacastin were huddled in the dining hall of Ela Beach Hotel Brassierie last Saturday, 5th May. We would have been with Monj & Brenda Garay but they called up last minute to apologize as they will not be able to make it that night.

Over 2 large pizzas — one tropical pizza and one super-supreme – we just enjoy the company of each other. We shared stories and fun, at times reflecting on the blessings the LORD had given each one of us. We shared on what happened earlier in the day.

It is really a blessing to have friends like them. They are very supportive, fun to work with, will stick with me through thick and thin, and above all, all are God-loving, God-fearing people who will never say no to a call to serve the Lord.

Yes, earlier in the day we had the Feast which we hold every first and third Saturday of the month. Wow, we had an afternoon of pure blessings! We had a wonderful worship led by Monj, and I gave the talk on “Bouncing Again: Be Unstoppable”, while Paul & Agnes busied themselves with the admin side of the ministry and Rhomel with the technical.

We were so busy the whole of the afternoon, that a relaxing fellowship in the evening over pizzas and drinks is something that really soothes our weary body… and soul.

Blessings!

Angels?

Angels?
by Danny Tariman

Dear friend, you demonstrate faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers, even though they are strangers. (3 John 1:5)

I was taking down the announcement posters at the church entrance doors. It has been there for 1 month now. We are into a new topic.

As I was busy with this simple task, 3 men approached me from nowhere.

“Sir, when is the next Mass here?” one man asked me.

“Oh, this is the last Mass here (referring to the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians). There is a Mass in town in the afternoon at 5pm.” I offered to give them more options.

But they appeared uneasy.

I learned in our short conversation that they are new to the city, and are working in a campsite several kilometers away.

I suddenly remember that there is another Mass at 11am at the nearby St Joseph church. So I tried to give them directions. But all the more they were puzzled. They really have no idea of the place.

They have no transportation of their own; they were just dropped off by the company bus so they can go to Mass.

Sensing that they came all the way from their campsite which is about 30km away just to go to Mass, I offered to take them in my car so that they can fulfill their wish.

While on board my car for a very short 1km ride to the next church, I have learned that they seldom go out of their campsite. It was indeed an opportunity for them to go to Church that Sunday.

I was touched by their zealousness to go to Mass. While many people, just living across the street, and would easily excuse themselves from not going to church, these 3 men who don’t even know the place, braved to go to an unfamiliar place 30km from their dormitory.

After that short 3-minute drive, I dropped them off and reminded them to call their company driver to pick them up at St Joseph Church.

I feel blessed after guiding them and giving them a ride. It made my day!

I remember the verse from Hebrew 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels…”

Yes, they could be angels.

Thank You LORD for my Family

by Danny Tariman

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. (Psalm 128:1,3)

I cannot thank the LORD enough for giving me a truly wonderful, loving, supportive, caring family, and a happy home.

Whenever at home, I can just relax in the warmth of the love overflowing… and laughter and joys we share… the food they cook (wow! all my children are good chefs, but my son has a special hand in doing really hotel-like plating!), the hobbies we do together. My lovely wife takes care of coordinating all these.

I like to honor my wife of almost 25 years, the other-half of my life — Niña. Thank you for all the love, support, understanding, and care you lavish me. You are indeed my best friend, my very able assistant, my strength, my joy! I cannot imagine a life without you. You have been a very loving partner in raising up our two wonderful children.

To you my children, I thank the LORD so much for you! You had been, and is always, obedient, loving, caring and yes, brilliant children! I am so proud of the two of you. I praise God for your respective achievements! You are the bundles of joy of your Papa and Mama.

I thank the LORD for you, family. Indeed, you are a blessing to me. I am truly blessed, as Psalm 128 says!

Easing the Burden at Work

Easing the Burden at Work
by Danny Tariman

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. (Exodus 18:21-22)

Do you know that the concept of management was practiced as early in the days of Moses? The art or science of delegation was not introduced in modern-day management theories. It was used thousands of years ago.

When I was new to management position, I had the tendency to do it all. I thought I should do it so that I will get what I want. Initially it was ok! I felt good after accomplishing a single task.

But things changed when more tasks came in, and my responsibilities were rising. I can no longer do ALL things on my own.

And so I started assigning some tasks to my staff. They would take the task but when things do not go well, or when it turns out not as I expected, I take back the task and then do it myself.

And eventually everything is on my lap again!

Three things I learned from this Biblical principle whom to delegate: able, God-fearing and trustworthy men (v21).

It is very important that you have as your staff, people who are God-fearing. This one is a non-negotiable quality. This is why during the hiring process, you should be able to know this trait.

Since trustworthiness is IN the person’s character, and I believe that the fact you have him as your staff, you trust him enough. Therefore, I will not dwell much on this.

Being “able” on the other hand is something that you can develop in a person. When we get someone to work for us, we don’t usually get a perfect match to our requirements. “A round peg to a square hole”, or “square peg to a round hole” so to speak. There is almost always a need to train to enABLE a person.

One thing I learned when I delegate: do not be tempted to take back an unfinished task from your staff. Instead, train him, coach him, and empower him so that eventually he becomes the ‘able’ person that you want him to be.

Expect that there will be some missed deadlines. Expect that there will be some errors. There will be some things that will turn out not as you expected. That’s fine. These will show you the areas where you need to train him, and coach him.

And soon, only big and important matters will be brought to you, while they do the small matters. It will then be easier for you (v22).

God bless you!

AIDS Epidemic at the Office

AIDS Epidemic at the Office
by Danny Tariman

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in every respect, not only when they are watching – like those who are strictly people-pleasers – but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. (Col 3:22)

There is an AIDS epidemic in most, if not all offices!

No, I don’t mean here the Accute Immune Deficiency Syndrome disorder.

I mean here the disease that is plaguing most offices wherever you go. This is the “As If Doing Something” disorder that is spreading.

I have seen many employees opening up their Facebook, or Yahoo, or Gmail — which are mostly personal — while the boss is away or not looking at them. Or maybe sorting out personal items, trying to type a personal report, doing some things pretending to work, when it fact the task is not work-related.

And suddenly the boss comes. The staff jerks. The shoulder suddenly stiffens. Immediately the computer screen is switched to a true work-related task.

The Word of God is very clear about this. We need to obey our bosses even if they are not watching over us. Work on your task, as if working for the LORD.

Blessings!

Related post:

We Home-Schooled Our Children

by Danny Tariman

“Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring” (Vatican II – Familiaris Consortio of Pope John Paul II)

As parents, we wanted the best education we can possibly give our 2 very wonderful children.

Dino was in Grade 3 while Dessa was in Grade 1 when we finally decided to let them go on home schooling. They were enrolled in one of Manila’s best schools.

Between my wife and me, it was me who was struggling to the idea of pulling Dino from La Salle Greenhills and Dessa from St Paul Pasig, to study at home. I thought they are already studying in the best schools around the town.

But the LORD has His ways.

Bullying of classmates, cuss words learnt from others, and other incidents had gripped my heart and finally I decided we let them go on home schooling.

We enrolled them in a US-based Catholic Home School. All the materials were flown in from the U.S. and exam papers are sent back to checking and grading.

It was a difficult adjustment at first. Both for us parents and the children.

I had to call from office almost every hour to check their progress. I have to remind our children that if they want more play time in the afternoon, they need to finish their studies early. It was a bit of a ‘reward’ for them – the playtime. As they progress, they were able to know how to manage their respective time. And it also instilled in them the discipline of diligently studying.

There are a lot of fruits that we had as a result of their being home schooled. The bond amongst us is stronger, peer pressure was not there, the values they got were the family values we want them to grow, the love and fear of God are deeply instilled (we go to daily Mass together), and above all, they were truly outstanding students in their University days.

Of course, since they have no school term to follow, we can travel at anytime together, and enjoy the visits to various places.

The very nagging issue that people ask me – their social well being, how they will interact with others – were totally shattered when my children went to the universities. Both of them were leaders in their respective colleges. And they are good in handling people and events!

Dino was recruited early to write for the University newspaper and eventually handled organizing of events, while Dessa took leadership roles in University organizations. Both received Dean’s scholastic award in their respective courses.

Today I would say, without any doubt, it was the best decision we had made for our children’s studies. Indeed parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children.

Thank You, LORD!

[Photo credit: flickr]

Let Love Flow!

Let Love Flow!
by Danny Tariman

“Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another.” (Romans 12:10)

May 14 – Monday. The Mass readings yesterday talks about love. In fact, Fr Louie said that the word “love” was mentioned 9 times in 4 verses in the Second Reading, and 9 times again in the 8 verses on the Gospel Reading. He emphasized that if the Good News is to be summarized in one word, that is “l-o-v-e”.

Yesterday, I honored my wife of almost 25 years. No distance too far for me to show my love for her. I called her first hour in the morning to greet her Happy Mothers’ Day. We had a video conference with family at about lunchtime, then I called her again late in the afternoon. Because I love her so dearly.

My children cannot be outdone showing their love to their mother. They cooked food, served meals, and cleaned the house and the car. They gave their mother “day off” from her house chores.

This is love.

While I am thousands of miles away from my family, another family in Port Moresby ‘adopted’ me as their own. They treat me as a member of their family — from the father to the youngest child — all showed their love and affection for me.

We had a family gathering yesterday.

In mid-afternoon, Paul & Agnes called me to meet up with them down at Ela Beach Hotel. I hurriedly drove down and meet them at the hotel’s parking area. There I found them, together with Graham & Joy, waiting for me. Eugene and Nathan were left at home busy preparing a feast for Agnes, whose day we celebrate as “Mothers’ Day”.

We proceeded to the beach for a short walk while waiting for the pizza. Huddled in the sandy shore, we exchanged laughter and stories. We shared about our love for God, the ministries the Lord had entrusted to us, and yes, the blessings of being living in the Lord’s care!

Eventually, we left Ela Beach Hotel and headed for the Sive’s family home in Waigani. When we arrived, Eugene just finished the last dish he was cooking.

The family gathering started with words to honor the celebrant — Agnes. Paul started to honor her. Yes, he told the family of the many wonderful things Agnes had cared and given the family. With camera to shoot the moment, Paul gave Agnes a hug and a kiss.

After his honoring Agnes, he called each child to pay loving respect to Agnes. Eugene, Nathan, Graham gave their thanksgiving to their mother, while young Joy just gave her loving hug to her Mom.

After I led the prayers, we partook of the sumptuous meal prepared by the children. While sharing our time, our laughter and our stories, the love of God was just flowing freely.

I praise God for my family in Manila.

I praise God for the family who adopted me as their own here in Port Moresby.

Indeed, the Gospel of love I heard in the morning Mass is real. I feel it, I experience it, I am in it.

It is God’s love!