Church Worker

Church Worker
by Danny Tariman

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household…? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.” (Matthew 24:45a,46)

It was already the third meeting we had for an events project.

After two months and past two planning sessions, a committee coordinator, up to that third meeting, has not given yet a concrete plan for his working group.

I was very unhappy of what was happening. I know this work is on voluntary basis but this is not for anyone else. We are all doing this for the Lord!

We are servants of the Lord. We are church workers.

I was so exasperated, but with prayers and grace from the Lord, I was able to maintain my composure. And even trying to put a smiling face.

Today’s Gospel reminds us to be faithful in our service to our Lord. We have to be committed. We have to do what is expected of us, especially when we work with a team, so that others who are waiting for our output is not jeopardized. We have to give our best!

Unfaithfulness takes many forms: absence from meetings, not doing an assigned task, not replying to emails or text messages, or even coming-in late to service.

The Word of God is very clear about this: blessed is that servant whom He finds doing his job.

Let us give our best in our service. Not only in Church, but even in workplace. Ephesians 6:5,6 says “be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart”

Reflection: Are you giving your best to meet the expectations of your leader or boss?

Prayers: Lord, please forgive me for not giving my best. Grant me the grace to be faithful to You and to Your Word. Amen.

Casting Out Demons

Casting Out Demons
by Danny Tariman

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19b)

It was an experience I will never forget.

We were at the ending portion of the prayer service in a remote mountain village. We were “praying over” the attendees who want to be prayed for.

Suddenly, a pregnant woman ran to the front and jumped as if she was to fly. The good thing is that our brother-servants were able to catch her before she landed on the floor.

She was extraordinarily very strong. She was trying to free herself from the hold of the men. The men tried to pacify her and brought her to the office. She continued to be defiant, with eyes looking sharp and fiery. She was possessed by some evil spirits!

Our elder asked her “What is your name?”

“I am the king of the well” she replied in a deep man’s voice, not her usual voice!

We checked around and found out that she regularly does her laundry beside a water well near her house. She must be possessed by a spirit residing in the well!

And so our elder commanded “In the name of Jesus, I command you, king of the well, to be bound and chained and be cast out of this woman, and I lose this woman from your possession!” Everyone in the small room replied “Amen!”

Immediately, a pungent smell came out of the woman.

And the woman came back to her senses, freed from the possession of the evil spirit.

Indeed, we can drive out demons in the name of Jesus (Mark 9:38)

Reflection: Are you in a bondage of vice, or sickness, or poverty? You can cast it out of your lives, in the authority of the Name of Jesus.

Prayer: Father, grant me the boldness and the courage to use the name of Your Son to cast out evil spirits that lurks in my life. Amen!

Just Say No

Just Say No
by Danny Tariman

“We are concerned for what is honorable not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of others.” (2 Cor 8:21)

“Hi Danny, can we meet this Wednesday?”

“Sure! What is the agenda?”

“Will discuss when we meet.”

This was the exchange of text messages between me and my friend of many years.

Over lunch, we updated each other. He did most of the talking. He told me a lot of stories about his growing business.

In the last few minutes, he requested to me go to a bank for a meeting, where his team will see a manager to discuss a project that his company is proposing to do. He asked me to pretend that I am a Software Architect/Business Analyst representing a competing technology company. I was also told to pretend not to know his team.

I was just listening to him discuss the meeting room scenario. He told me that I have no business card to give because I am supposed to be a new hire of this company that I am “representing”. He further asked me to give my mobile phone as contact number of the company I am to represent.

After about 5 minutes briefing of what I am supposed to do, he said “Bro, you have to go now as the meeting is to start at 2:30”.

I told him that it will be difficult for me. But he insisted.

And so we parted ways, with me walking toward the direction of the bank.

While walking, I prayed to the Lord to guide me as I was not at peace: these are all lies and pretensions. I also called my wife. She too was not at peace and felt that this is not pleasing to the Lord and very deceptive to the client.

With a very clear message from the Lord, I texted my friend “I am sorry bro, I can’t do this.”

He quickly called me to once again prod me to do it. But I insisted and asked for understanding. At this point, he did not press me anymore.

Although I needed a project for a job, I felt free and released from the burden of pretension when I said “No!” As the Bible says “Better to be poor and walk in integrity than rich and crooked in one’s ways” (Proverbs 28:6)

I know and believe that the LORD will honor my trust in Him and my obedience to His Word. I know He will answer my prayers and my dreams will come to pass very, very soon!

Beach Camping in Calatagan

Beach Camping in Calatagan
by Danny Tariman

My family had not been camping for many months now – I mean, really “camping”, that is pitching a tent, setting up the picnic table, setting firewood or charcoal to cook. I personally missed this kind of activity.

Until one day, we stumbled upon on the internet a beach in Calatagan, Batangas which is solely devoted for camping. No resort facilities like restaurant nor coffee shop, not even a decent bathroom nor toilet. Haha! After reading a number of pertinent blogs, comments and reviews on the internet, my family agreed to try this out.

The long stretch of beach of Manuel Uy camping grounds

And so one Saturday, we headed for Manuel Uy Beach in Calatagan, Batangas. It is located between two well-developed resorts – Aquaria Beach Resort on the left, and Stilts Resort on the right. My family had been to these two resorts where we had wonderful family moments. I have separate blogs on these 2 resorts.

We left the city at 4:30am, with the objective of arriving at the beach at about 7 in the morning. Yeah, that early, as we planned to have our breakfast on the beach! Our estimate didn’t fail us; we arrived at the beach at about 6:50am.

The beachfront where we pitched our tent. Really good spot for a relaxing day.

It was a 2 1/2-hour drive passing through Tagaytay, going down to Nasugbu, left turn to Lian, and finally reaching the Calatagan town proper. From the town, it was just about a 10-minute drive.

At the road corner heading to the beach, there was a Tourism desk that asked us to pay the 30-peso per person “Environmental Fee”, which is quite normal in Batangas. This is supposed to be for the upkeep of the environment.

The beach camp entrance is just a very short distance from the main road. We paid 50 pesos per person as entrance fee. Parking fee was Php100.

We were not expecting facilities which are common in the more developed resorts. We were really ready for camping!

As we drove to the beach, we found a good spot where only few people camped, and we pulled our vehicle. It was good location: away from the crowd, we had a lone tree cover, a space for our car and a good flat area to pitch our tent and set-up our camping table and chair, and just the right beach front! We are indeed blessed!

As soon as we settled down, we prepared our packed breakfast, and set it up on our portable folding table with bench. Oh, it was really an amazing experience. Our table was just about 5 meters from the shore where the sea and the sand meets. It was quite windy too! Really relaxing and refreshing environment for breakfast! Haha!

Our breakfast by the beach; just a few meters from the shoreline.

Soon, we just enjoyed the beach and the sea! My son explored the seabed for his usual search for sea creatures he can use for his saltwater aquarium. I also had a good swim on the almost flat seabed – very safe for families with kids.

The beach has fine, light-brown sand. Since the sea was quite rough because of a weather disturbance, the water was not very clear. We couldn’t see the underwater view. But it was very safe, because it was almost flat up to a good distance from the shore. During the low tide, I observed that there was not much live sea weeds nor sea urchins which could be annoying when you swim when the water is deep enough.

Another view of the beach. Beyond the cove is Aquaria Beach Resort

The wind and rough seas washed plenty of dead sea weeds and assorted debris onto the shore while the tide was rising. The good thing is that every 30-45 minutes, beach cleaners rakes the debris on the beach and dump it into a pit.

It was a “beach camping site”. We were not expecting nice facilities. We were ready for a true outdoor experience. We took “shower” in a make-shift bathroom, with a water supply that is manually pumped by the house-owner. We used a reasonably clean rural toilet to respond to the call of nature. We have no complain.

The water in front of our beachcamp.

We thank the very hospitable homeowners who opened their house for campers. I befriended them, and when we are about to leave, we were given 2 bunches of cooking banana direct from their backyard! A bonus treat indeed!

Truly a relaxing and refreshing beach camping experience for the family!

This is me in the middle of the sea!
My ladies just relaxing in the freshness of sea breeze.
My family at our beach camp.