Category Archives: Didache Reflections

Mourning to Morning

Mourning to Morning
by Danny Tariman

“You will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” (John 16:20)

I saw in my Facebook page a group called “Mourning to Morning.”

What a beautiful catchword!

I don’t know the group but it seems a good description of how we, Christians, should handle frustrations, defeats and problems. While we mourn our situations, we should look forward to “mornings” which signify a new day, a new hope.

A few years back, my overseas work contract abruptly ended because of a change in management. I was not bitter, but I was saddened of this development in my career. I had lost substantial earning capacity.

I kept my faith in the Lord. I held on to His word that He is the “God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). I was not able to get a job immediately after I went home, but this gave our family more bonding time after years of being away. We went to beaches and islands, explored mountains and volcanoes, and toured many places. Meanwhile, consulting jobs came in and God prospered us.

God turned my sadness into joy!

Reflection: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Philippians 4:4,6)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for all the blessings. I pray that You will meet all my needs, and even my dreams, for my enjoyment. Amen.

[This reflection is published in Didache May 25, 2017 — both online & hardcopy editions]

God’s Favor

God’s Favor
by Danny Tariman

“Do not be afraid… for you have found favor with God.”  (Luke 1:30)

My family arrived at the airport departure area at about 4 o’clock in the morning for our 7 a.m. flight. I noticed an immense number of people were massing at the check-in counters of almost all the airlines. It seemed impossible for us to reach the counter in time for the cut-off, as the lines were very long.

I called my friend who was booked at the 6 a.m. flight for the same destination. He arrived at the airport at about 2:30 a.m. but his flight was canceled. No wonder it was chaotic at the departure area.

My family and I prayed that we would easily get our boarding pass. Suddenly, we saw three computer kiosks for online check-in. In less than 10 minutes, we were able to check in and get our boarding passes.

All we could do was exclaim, “This is the favor of God!”

Thank You, Lord!

Reflection:The Bible says, “Come! let us go to implore the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 8:21). Before you leave home for work or any activity, pray for God’s favor to be manifested in whatever you undertake for the day.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the grace You have given us to see Your hand moving in our lives. May we see Your favor manifested in us in many more ways.

[This reflection is published in Didache (online & printed edition) March 25, 2017]

Proclaim!

Proclaim!
by Danny Tariman

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15

This verse is a tall order.

Many times, I shrink at the thought of this “call” to go and proclaim the Gospel. I usually think that proclaiming means preaching or sharing the Word of God.

How do I tell people about the Gospel? Do I organize a ministry? Do I give a talk? These questions would run in my mind. But I realized lately that a better way of “proclaiming” is “doing the Word,” not just speaking about it. I realized that the Lord wants me to “preach” in action and not in word.

One day, my daughter confided to me her wish for her birthday: a free dental service to benefit the poor. We gathered dentists and friends to join our family for this unique celebration. On her birth month, we went to this remote rural village together with a dental team and performed our mission. It was a mission of love.

The rural folks tell me, “Thank you, Bro. Danny. We are so lucky to get these services for free.”

I believe this is love in action — the very way I sense the Lord is telling me to “go and proclaim” the Gospel.

Reflection:
You do not have to say it to proclaim it. Share the Gospel through your actions.

Prayer:
Father, grant me the grace I need to proclaim the gospel of love.

[This reflection was earlier published in Didache 2017, Jan 25]

The Shortest School Year

The Shortest School Year
by Danny Tariman

“Persevere in the faith…” – Colossians 1:23

We homeschooled our children using the US curriculum. Because of this, they were required to take exams to qualify them to enter Philippine schools.

The exam results were released in August. My son was okay since he could start the next semester. My daughter, however, had to start immediately in a Philippine-based homeschool.

She started her last year in high school in September and she wanted to finish by February to catch up with university enrolment.

She studied from 8 a.m. until about 8 p.m. There was no let-up for her. She focused and gave all her energy to finish it in time for college enrolment. We gave our all-out support for her.

The principal couldn’t believe she finished it in a very short period. She questioned us, suspecting that there was dishonesty in the completion of exercises and tests.

But all she did was to persevere. Despite the limited time, we continued to trust in the Lord.

By God’s grace, she finished it successfully. Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through Him who loved us.”

Reflection: Are you in a very difficult situation? Persevere in action and in prayers. The Lord promised that He will always be with us.

Prayer: Lord, let me see Your Hand moving in my situation. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache – Sept 5, 2015]

Excuses

Excuses
by Danny Tariman

“I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” – John 5:7

“Sir, the line at the train station was very long. I wasn’t able to take the first available ride,” Gel replied when I asked why he was late again.

There are people who blame others or situations for things they should be responsible for. They point fingers at others or see situations taking control over them. In short, they find excuses.

Just like the man in today’s Gospel. He wants to be healed but finds an excuse — somebody else gets into the pool ahead of him. This may be the reason Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”

Friend, do you really want to change? Stop blaming others. Just do what you need to do! Start leaving early for appointments so you won’t be late. Dispose of rubbish properly so our drains don’t clog when it rains. Use pedestrian lanes instead of crossinganywhere. Follow traffic rules even if there is no traffic enforcer in sight.

Start with yourself now. As the Bible says, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Reflection
Pope Francis Says:“The evils of our world — and those of the Church — must not be excuses for diminishing our commitment and our fervor. Let us look upon them as challenges which can help us to grow.”

Prayer
Lord, give me the strength of self-discipline that I may not blame others.

[This reflection was first published in Didache March 8, 2016

Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises
by Danny Tariman

They said, “We will obey the Lord and do everything that he has commanded.” – Exodus 24:7

“I accept the call, and I will serve the Lord in this ministry.” This is the general response of every person elected to serve in the ministry that looks after the charismatic affairs of the archdiocese here in one of the South Pacific countries.

It was my response, too, when I was elected to head the Evangelization Ministry.

I left that electoral meeting happy and thankful, not only because I was the only foreigner to be elected, but more because it was an answered prayer for me to serve the Lord in this foreign land.

When the leadership called its first meeting, I was excited to come. But only a few officers came. To make matters worse, the next weekend gathering yielded only some 20 people, the following weekend just 10, with only a few leaders attending. “Where are those who said they would serve the Lord?” I asked myself.

It is so easy for us to say, “Yes, I will, Lord!” but when reality hits, the result is negative. Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you make a promise to God, keep it as quickly as possible…. Do what you promise to do.”

Reflection:
Are you among those who say, “We will obey the Lord and do everything that he has commanded”?

Prayer:
Lord, I am sorry for saying things but not doing them. I resolve to do Your will from now on.

[This reflection was first published in Didache July 23, 2011]

Catching Up

Catching Up
by Danny Tariman

“Jesus… sat down with his disciples.”  (John 6:3)

“It’s been a long time. Come, let’s have some coffee,” I told Fidel over the phone. He’s a long-time friend I hadn’t seen for many months and I wanted to catch up with him.

When he alighted from his vehicle, I saw his smiling face, exuding joy and happiness. I’ve known him for almost 20 years and have seen him pass through trials and victories. It was good to hear that his family has just moved to a better home and his kids are all doing well in school and at work. It is a story of deliverance: from the constant struggle of “just getting by” to enjoying a “life to the full” (John 10:10).

I’m blessed when I reconnect with friends. Their stories strengthen my faith in the Lord. When they go through times of long-drawn difficulty and yet continue to trust in Him, I see God’s saving grace at work in their lives.

A simple fellowship. A simple story. But it was something that built me up and inspired me. That’s why the Bible says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Reflection:
Pope Francis Says: “I think this is truly the most wonderful experience we can have: to belong to a people walking, journeying through history together with our Lord, who walks among us! We are not alone; we do not walk alone. We are part of the one flock of Christ that walks together.”

Prayer
Lord, thank You for friends. May You always be in our midst as we fellowship with one another. Amen.

[This reflection was first published in Didache April 8, 2016]