Category Archives: Christian Life

Thanking in Adversity

Thanking in Adversity
by Danny Tariman

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Phil 4:6)

Our car conked-out in a far-away city, almost 70km from where we live.

I was with my family. We have no friends nor acquaintances in this place. And we have no one to run to, except to the LORD!

We stopped at about 6:15pm due to a broken engine belt. It was past 6pm and most, if not all, automotive shops were closed for the day. But we were still hoping to find one.

We prayed to the LORD and lifted up to Him our situation.

Despite this problem, we continued to thank the LORD.

We thank the LORD for a wonderful day at the beach! Yes, we had been from a beach.

We thank the LORD that we stopped not in the middle of a dark highway, but in the city, in a well-lighted road.

We thank the LORD for “Nomer” the tricycle driver who accompanied me in looking for an open shop as fast as he can, trying to beat the closing of shops. We went to over 5 shops – all closed!

We thank the LORD for “Noni” a café owner, who had extended his all-out help calling his friends from his mobile phone, and even knocking at his neighbors trying to help us resolve our situation.

We thank the LORD too for the complimentary coffee that “Noni” offered from his café.

We thank the LORD for the automotive shop near our stalled car for helping us; even contacting a car service provider to help us.

We thank the LORD for the mechanic who fixed our alternator belt; the LORD sent a skilled mechanic!

We thank the LORD for keeping us safe the entire night sleeping inside our stalled car.

We thank the LORD for bringing us back home safely!

As the Bible says “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Phil 4:4).

Yes, it was grace that despite the problems, we were able to say “Thank You LORD!”

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“Noni”

“Noni”
by Danny Tariman

“Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers, especially for strangers… Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.” (3 John 1:5,6b)

We were driving back home late in the afternoon.

Suddenly, after about 57km of travel, at around 6:10pm, our car’s dashboard alerts lit-up. Something is wrong!

I tried driving a few meters but I noticed that the breaks were not okay, while the alerts continue to blink.

We stopped and parked our car at the roadside, in front of a café.

I called our mechanic who advised me to check the alternator belt. I checked, and it was indeed broken!

It was past the usual business hours (at past 6pm). But we were hoping we can still find an “open” automotive shop to buy alternator belt. After running around the city checking at over 5 shops, all were closed for the day.

Exhausted from running around, I decided to enter the café, to ask – out of courtesy – if we can park in front of their shop overnight.

The cashier said it’s ok and asked why. I replied, “An engine belt is broken.” She asked me to wait for a while as she tries to get help. She texted her boss.

After few minutes, “Noni”, the café owner, came out to help. He tried calling his contacts on his mobile phone trying to find a shop where we can buy a replacement part.

I watched him speak to his friends on his phone. Inside of me, I was awed at his kindness! I know calls using mobile phone are expensive, but he did it more than once just to help.

Having no positive response, we, together, went on to knock at his neighbors who have business connections. Unfortunately, no positive result too.

My family were all in admiration for his kindness. It was one-of-a-kind show of kindness, helping a total stranger get out of his problem.

To top it all, he offered us brewed coffee famous in his province, the “barakong kape”.

Truly awesome!

As Christians, we should indeed be faithful in all that we do, especially in helping strangers (3 John 5,6).

I pray that the LORD will pay back “Noni”, not just thirty, nor sixty, but a hundred-fold return!

Thank You LORD for giving us “Noni”.

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!

Battery Tested Integrity

Battery Tested Integrity
by Danny Tariman

“The one who lives uprightly and speaks honestly… This is the person who will live in a secure place” (Isaiah 33:15a,16a)

The battery of our car has been dead a number of times in the past few weeks. It happened at a time when all are rushing to go to work early in the morning.

The other day, when I and my wife visited a neighbor, it happened that a serviceman of the same battery brand was servicing our neighbor’s car battery. I took the opportunity to ask about our car’s battery which is just about 2 months before its warranty will expire. He said he will come to us to check.

Good enough, after few minutes, the serviceman came. He checked our sales invoice and noted that the warranty is about to expire. He said that a brand new of the same model can cost us P5,700. He further said that so I can save the cost of a new battery, he can “make it appear to be defective” by destroying the unit, and I can just give him some money. I then can simply call their service center for replacement.

I was uneasy because by destroying the unit, it will be unfair to the battery dealer. I further I told him I cannot lie or allow it because I am “close” to the LORD.

And so I asked him to check in detail the battery condition. He got the voltage reading of the battery with engine off, another with the engine running, and then another with the air-con and headlights on.

Based on his tests, the battery is still good. The alternator is working, only that the idling rpm or “revolution per minute” of the engine needs to be increased to fully charge the battery.

Deep inside of me I praise the LORD for saving me from the falling into the trap

In the end, the serviceman had apologized for offering the malicious “service”. I believe the LORD had spoken to his heart. As the Bible says “You must change the way you have been living and do what is right. You must treat one another fairly.” (Jeremiah 7:5)

REFLECTION: Have you experienced a trap to commit sin is laid before you? How did you respond?

PRAYER: LORD I pray that you grant me the strength to uphold what is right and true in every situation that I may be in. Amen.

A Merciful God

A Merciful God
by Danny Tariman

Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ (Matthew 18:33)

My family & I were traversing a heavy traffic intersection along the National Road in Los Baños. I was driving our car at the outer lane, but a jeepney in front of us stopped to pick up passengers. Noting a chance to safely change our lane, I signaled our car that we are going left, and quickly changed to the inner lane.

Suddenly, the mini-bus from behind crashed into our car! Our car was hit at the left-rear corner of the body!

Immediately, I checked our car to asses the damage. Then I spoke the driver of the mini-bus, but instead of being apologetic, he was so arrogant to point that it was my fault. I said, it cannot be because my car was hit from behind!

Sensing that I cannot settle this alone, I called the police. In few minutes, a police car came, took photos of the accident scene, and accosted us and the mini-bus to the police station.

Inside the police office, the bus driver was still arrogant, insisting that I was wrong. However, the police was on our side: it was the bus which hit our car from behind. Clearly, the driver did not give-in.

The police investigator also noted that his driver’s license was ‘expired’ because of a recent apprehension that he didn’t settle within the required time frame. Thus, he can be jailed.

But then the police officer also noted that he had 3 recent apprehensions, and that he did not settle his last one, which can be reported to the LTO (Land Transportation Office) for a more grave offense. The penalty I hear is a fine of 10,000 pesos!

At this juncture, the driver became meek. His arrogance was slowly melted. And he asked me to forgive him. He cried because according to him, he has a family to feed, and that driving is his only means of livelihood.

Asking him what lessons he learned from this incident, he said he has to be humble and not arrogant, and that he has to observe road courtesy.

Taking it as a cue that he learned his lesson, I told him, with my wife beside me, “We are forgiving you.” I told him further to go to church on Sundays, and ask the Lord for forgiveness.

After this, we were allowed to go.

We were driving a bit slow, and the mini-bus overtook us. However, in another intersection, we saw the same mini-bus, in another accident. This time it appears it hit a tricycle. Oh my!

Inside of me I was telling myself “I should not have forgiven this driver” because it appears that he really didn’t learn his lesson in our incident.

While this thought was entering my mind, the Lord spoke to my heart “I have forgiven you too, despite repeating the same sin. You should forgive him.”

As this Bible says “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:35)

Thank You Lord for being a merciful God! Thank You too for giving me the grace to forgive.

Bringing Joy to Orphans

Bringing Joy to Orphans
by Danny Tariman

“Religious observance, pure and undefiled with our God and Father, is, this – to be visiting orphans…” (James 1:27)

Celebrating birthdays with the poor or the less-fortunate people is something that really blesses my family. We are so blessed that my daughter had her birthday celebrated again this way, and this time, with orphans.

My family and our daughter's friends, with kids at the orphanage.
My family and friends, with kids at the orphanage.

I coordinated with an orphanage in Tagaytay City. I was able to communicate with the nun in-charge of this kind of program for the orphans. She gladly accepted our proposal to hold a ‘birthday party’ for the kids in the orphanage.

Weeks before, me and my wife started buying the individual kiddie gifts, and some food & grocery for the orphanage. Our daughter had planned what kind of games to play with the little kids.

Just a week before the “big day”, my family had assembled the kiddie bags with gifts (an assortment of hygiene, food, and toy items). It was a wonderful time doing all these together for the love and care of the orphans.

Our daughter and some friends playing with little girls.
Our daughter and friends playing with little girls.

On that bright Saturday, together with our daughter’s friends, we drove to the mountain city of Tagaytay, about 50km from where we live.

We reached the orphanage before lunchtime. We were greeted by a little girl who showed us the parking area. Oh, that little girl! She was so cute waving her tiny hand as she was signaling me the direction to go.

We quickly unloaded our gift packs and brought them inside the orphanage’s reception. Wow, there were about 25 kids – from infants to early teens, both girls and boys. It was a joyful moment for us family, to be with these kids to celebrate our daughter’s birthday.

Kidsat the birthday party eating their lunch.
The birthday party lunch.

After an opening prayer, which the kids actively participated, we had our first game. Then we had our lunch together. We had a very nice interaction with the kids during and after mealtime. I had noticed, they liked to be hugged and play with. Most of our time were spent interacting with the kids – playing, talking, and simply being beside them.

Towards the end, my family and friends were treated with a special dance number by the orphans. Oh, what a touching moment. They were also prepared!

One of the games we played with kids.
The “Pabitin” — one of the games the kids really enjoyed.

Before we parted, we personally handed our kiddie gift bag for each child. We were so happy to see the kids play with the toys we placed in the bags.

Truly a blessing for my family to be a channel of God’s love for these children! Thank You, LORD!

[Pls note that the faces of the kids are blurred to protect their identity. Thanks.]

An "intense strategy" play with kids.
Interacting with kids at play.

Business As Usual

Business As Usual
by Danny Tariman

“Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?” – Luke 2:49

I have been out of “service” for 12 months. Since I had set my foot in Papua New Guinea, I had not a chance to proclaim the Good News the way I did in Manila.

I was enjoying my secular work as manager of Information Technology department of one of the country’s biggest retail chain. There was, however, a void deep inside of me. It was about my Father’s business.

When I left Manila for this job, I knew there was something I needed to do. I knew that my new workplace and the new city I will live in is my mission field. I did my best to share the Lord at every opportunity; I tried to witness for Him, even in the most difficult situations. I spoke of the Lord to my peers, fellow managers, guards, janitors and whoever I had the chance to meet. Person-to-person, one by one, sharing the Good News. I was not “ashamed of the Gospel” (Romans 1:16).

Until one day, the Lord opened up a bigger audience: I was given the task to do the teaching for the archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal weekly gatherings.

After the long wait, it is now “Business as Usual.”

REFLECTION:
Are you ashamed of sharing the Lord to your officemates and peers?

PRAYER:
Lord, I am sorry for the times I passed up the opportunity to share Your goodness. Empower me to witness for You!

[This reflection was first published in Didache June 12, 2010]