Category Archives: Christian Life

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]

Volts and Nuts

Volts and Nuts
by Danny Tariman

“Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

My vehicle’s battery is dead. I tried to start the engine but only ‘clicks’ from the ignition can be heard.

I and my wife were in a nearby province north of Manila. I frantically called my son back in the city to phone the call center of battery company who services cars stalled on highways and roads. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday, and the shops were closed.

We prayed. We asked the Lord in faith that we will be able to run again.

The good thing is we were with our car mechanic.

He checked the battery terminals and found out that the negative clip was not securely fastened. This could be a reason the battery is dead. It did not charge while we were traveling.

Fortunately, we parked just across an auto-supply shop that sells car battery clips. But no battery.

Our mechanic, knowing that the battery is discharged, just put on the clip and securely fastened it to the terminal.

I started the engine. He couldn’t believe that it started. A miracle indeed happening before our very eyes!

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

We were finally able to drive again.

As we drove back to the city, our mechanic told us another story involving our other car a few months back.

We have this other car checked by him at his shop because I hear an unusual sound at the front while driving.

Upon inspection, he pointed to me that there was this big nut supposed to hold another part near the front tire’s axle. And it is missing. Wow! Thank You Lord we didn’t had any road accident!

I asked if I can buy the item from a store. He said it is not usually available. He told me further that he might have that single missing piece of nut in his house garage. Being a mechanic, he usually have a stock of spare nuts – old and new.

So I requested that he bring the following day that nut we were looking for.

He related to us that he tried to look for that nut in his boxes of bolts and nuts when he arrived home from work. He found nothing. He tried again, piece per piece, looking for the item. And again, he found none.

He said he prayed that the Lord will show it to him. In jest he told us “you are close to God that is why I believe the Lord will show it to me”. Laughs.

Just when he was about to quit and sleep for the night, he found that single missing nut!

Whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, you will receive. (Matthew 21:22)

Truly the Lord works miracles! Have faith in God.

Thank You Lord for giving us a mechanic who believes in You!

Reconciliation: Blessing Opener

Reconciliation: Blessing Opener
by Danny Tariman

“Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:24)

It is truly a wonderful feeling, a feeling of freedom, a liberating experience after I had spoken to two persons who had not spoken to me for a few months.

Separately, I had attempted to call them and text them many times. On different occasions. But all where unsuccessful.

They neither picked-up my call nor replied to my text messages.

The feeling of resentment started to come in.

I continued to pray for them silently in my heart. Daily. That the Lord will heal our relationships.

One day, I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to call one. My call was picked up. I am hearing the voice “hello” from the other end. I got excited. We exchanged briefly our life statuses. Finally I was re-connected.

Within the same week, a situation unfolded where I can communicate with the other person.

I had some hesitations that I will not get a reply.

I prayed in my heart. And my hesitation turned to expectation.

I sent my text messaged. After 5 minutes, no reply. Few more minutes later, I got a reply.

Wow, this was a long awaited reopening of communication!

Finally, we exchanged text messages again.

I thank the Lord profusely for healing our relationships. Finally I am free!

But the LORD didn’t stop there.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1Pet 3:12)

I had long prayed for a car. But this ill-feeling somehow blocked the blessing.

Finally, I am free! Free from guilt, free to receive His blessings!