Sometimes fatherhood feels like pulling your own teeth with pliers

At Malcolm’s karate class last week I saw a dad packing up his 5-year old son’s karate gear while asking his 3-year old daughter to wear her jacket and come to him. Good thing, his other child, an infant, quietly waited in the car seat.

He almost lost his cool toward his daughter. He raised his voice–almost a yell. Perhaps being in public helped him rein in his temper.

I’ve been in that position, too.

Being a father sometimes feel like pulling your own teeth with pliers.

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The Price of Success and Achievement

I’ve been fascinated with the lives of people who have achieved significant success and made a big impact in the world. I’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.

While the author tries to present a full view of these famous person’s lives, I was still left in awe at the magnitude of what they have achieved.

Elon Musk has introduced significant innovations in online payment systems, in electric cars, in solar power, in the race for reusable space rockets. Steve Jobs also innovated many different industries – computers, animated movies, the iPhone, and the iPad.

As a person of faith, I have also read about the life of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. How he established a movement in the 1700s that some analysts say prevented civil unrest in England; and this movement continued and grew into the global denomination that it is now.

There is always a price for achieving huge success and creating big impact.

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7 Simple Hacks to Achieve Goals Effectively and Efficiently

I thank God for the New Year. It’s a great reminder of the circle of life. The previous year might have been great for you. Or not. But the new year brings fresh hope that things could be better if we make the most out of it.

We should all review the past year to learn from our experiences and celebrate our wins. But we should also plan for the new year that is here now. On the first few days of this year, I sat down to identify my goals. This has really become my habit at the start of the year since 2010.

During a meeting with my team, I just reflected on the renewed sense of commitment and energy. It will probably not last for very long. But by making some changes to my schedule and my lifestyle, I could probably make the most out of the excitement of the new year. I might even make this the year I achieved all the goals I’ve identified!

7 Simple Hacks to Achieve Goals Effectively and Efficiently

Here are 7 Simple Hacks that I am implementing to help me achieve my goals effectively and efficiently.

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The Over-Committed Person’s Guide to Streamlining Commitments & Simplifying Life

Bambang LRT Station, circa September 2012

She turned from me and wiped her eyes as the train sped away from the platform of Bambang LRT Station. Tears fell from her eyes, I’m sure of it. And my chest constricted. I looked up the ceiling of the station, trying hard to prevent tears from falling.

It must have been my wife’s monthly appointment with her OB-GYN. It’s the fourth month of the baby in her tummy.

And I could not be with her…

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Recapturing Our Sense of Wonder

During our trip to the Holy Land, I was amazed at the excitement and sense of wonder of one of our participants. Lawrence would really just say “Wow!” and wonder at all the beautiful places he saw.

While climbing down Mt. Arbel, he marveled at the wonderful view of the Sea of Galilee flanked by mountains, and of the town of Magdala below.

He reminded me and the group about the importance of our sense of wonder.

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Don’t Submit Documents Unless Asked For: Lesson Learned from our Ongoing Green Card Application

Back in October 2018, we applied for Permanent Residence (Green Card) in the USA. We initially did not include the medical examination (Form I-693). The form said that we can submit it at a later time, which, I thought, made sense.

So in June 2019, I sent our Forms I-693 to the USCIS. It had a cover letter and included the receipt numbers for our application, as well as our A numbers.

As it turned out, we should not have done that.

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On People Skills

My chosen career is in church ministry, particularly in the area of ministry with young people. I had been asked many times not IF but when I was going to enter “full time ministry” as a pastor.

I often answered, half-jokingly, that I am already in full-time ministry. Just not as a pastor.

Why have I not decided to be a pastor?

In my late teens and early twenties, I came to understand myself as an introvert. I literally cringed at the prospect of being a pastor, meeting people and engaging with them every Sunday and everyday.

Pastors, at least in our faith tradition in the Philippines, tend to be very visible. They officiate weddings, baptisms, and funerals. They pray a lot for people on their birthdays, when they have a new house or car, when they are about to take an exam, and when they are going through tough times.

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Should You Fight Your Battles on Facebook?

Back in the day, social media was more of a place to find long lost friends and socialize online. These days, though, social media seems to be more about debates and ugly conversations, especially when it comes to religion and politics.

We all know of friends who stopped talking with each other because of intense disagreement on social media. I personally know of former friends and neighbors who got their circle of friends all caught up in their online feud.

Maybe, social media is making us unsocial and we’re just too deep into it to notice. The TedX video below says as much.

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Must Have Food and Beverage in the Holy Land

While visiting the market in the Old City of Jerusalem, you’d notice the pretty strong smell of spices. It is quite the experience.

This experience is similar to entering a public market in the Philippines, except that there are no “wet goods” in the Jerusalem Old City market.

Thanks to our tour guides, we were able to try several food and drinks in the Old City. I recommend at least one must have food and two beverages in the Holy Land.

Knafeh/Kunafa/Kanafeh and Arabic Coffee

This is a dessert made out of fine semolina dough, which is soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup. It is layered with cheese! Yum!

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