Thursday, December 31, 2015

Filipino American Christian Dad Blogger's Quick and Unofficial Review of 2015

So long super 2015! It has been a good year: new job, my son had a sudden growth spurt, my 11-year old daughter officially reach puberty and my wife and I got deeper and intimate in our relationship. Some friendships were lost but some new friends were gained and grown closer. Here's a quick mention of a few good things that happen to me this 2015.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Soldier! Black Friday Shopping with My Wife

Call me the "Black Friday man," dad or husband! I did it! I made it through Black Friday shopping with my wife. It was a mission I was not willing to accept, but as loving husband who wants to serve his wife, I did anyway. I drove the van, fought for parking spaces, stood in line in her behalf, held her purse and carried shopping bags. To prevent myself from snapping, I kept myself entertained by documenting my experiences during Black Friday 2015 on Instagram. Read below... Smile soldier!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When Dads at Play: Let Dad Be Dad!

Moms and Dads interact with our kids in different ways. Like play time. We fathers enjoys making goofy faces and funny noises, throwing the kids up in the air, pretending to be a monster or a super hero.

And while sometimes mom might want to scream or cover her eyes, now there’s affirmation that, as long as kids are happy and enjoying themselves, our goofy teasing and horseplay make for a healthy father-child relationship.

Dr. Kathryn Kerns, a Kent State psychologist, conducted a recent study to assess the interaction of both moms and dads with their children. She found that the “random, sometimes silly play” of dads encourages children to trust their fathers, and can even predict “the quality of a child’s future friendships, social skills and romantic relationships.”

So, there you go, moms, let dad be dad!

(Source: The Point)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We Need What Our Grandparents Have: Age and Wisdom

Our culture have valued the elderly for their wisdom and experience. However today, they are segregated in society. They're in assisted living facilities, gated retirement communities, and nursing homes. Are we cutting ourselves off from something valuable?

In a research paper by Harvard and M.I.T, they found that our elders have excellent abilities to discern people and read their thoughts.

According to Benedict Carey of the New York Times, the older brain may move more slowly than its younger self, but is just as accurate in many areas and more adept at reading others’ moods on top of being more knowledgeable. That’s a handy combination…

The findings just confirm what Christians have always knew and taught about the elderly and why the book of Proverbs calls their gray hair and wisdom, a crown of glory (Proverbs 16:31).

God takes seriously the respect due to the senior members of our society. They have dignity and earned a lifetime of respect and value. We need to grow old with that understanding too.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Things I Learned Living With Filipino Families

Early last year, my wife and I opened our home to individuals who have no place to stay and invited them to live with us. Welcoming others has been the most humbling and life-changing experience for my family. It has blessed us and has given us a deeper understanding of loving our neighbors and serving the strangers in our midsts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Your Teens are NOT the Center of the Universe

Everyone has a smart phone nowadays, and texting, mobile apps and the Internet are here to stay specially to the younger generation. According to author of the book "Screen and Teens" Kathy Koch, these technologies influence how our children think about themselves and their worldview.

Constant use of smart phones, tablets, computers, gaming systems, and cable television has inculcated five major lies in today’s teens:

One: “I am the center of my own universe.”
Two: “I deserve to be happy all the time.”
Three: “I must have choice.”
Four: “I am my own authority.”
Five: “Information is all I need, not teachers.”

Dispelling these lies is a worldview issue. Teens need to learn and embrace that God is the center of the universe, not them.

Parents love their children, and want the best for them. Unfortunately, the best is not always what society offers. Faithful moms and dads have a duty to find acceptable balance between new technology, and the timeless values that make family life possible. Only by setting smart boundaries, and by combating the lies technology influences, can we raise children and teenagers ready to face the world on their own.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dude, Stay Away From Twitter!

In a fascinating article in the Zocalo Public Square, writer Jacob Brogan admitted “I’m ashamed of the way I am on Twitter.” He's ashamed over what he tweets, his need for approval, and even that his mom's tweets are about him and has four times the number for followers compared to his.

Brogan's self-reflection is honest and commendable but if something is causing you to despair, then why not get off Twitter for a while? 

According to The Point, what Brogan describes is what theologians call an “occasion of sin” a circumstance or situation that makes us more likely to stumble. 

It clearly makes sense! Don't play with fire if you don't want to get burned. Recovering alcoholics shouldn't hang out in bars. A person who struggles with porn, shouldn't surf the Web alone or look at a Victoria's Secret catalog. I stay away from cable TV and R rated movies because I struggle with lust.

I'm not advising that we should all abstain from any forms of social media. Just know your triggers and weaknesses. Scripture says, to be vigilant because our enemy is prowling like a lion, looking for someone to devour. We should avoid situations that will cause us to sin and stay away from people and places where temptation calls our name. 

For some people that’ll be social media. For others, it’ll be something else. But for all of us, the advice is the same: Be alert and flee!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

God Loves Poetry: A Daughter's First Poem

I didn't know my 10-year old daughter was into poetry until last weekend when she read to me the first poem she wrote. I was impressed with the theme she picked for her first poem. I'm pasting and sharing it below so I have an online record of it.

I believe God loves poetry and He uses it to nurture spiritual formation. However, for many of us, we don't think of poetry as something that can contribute to our spiritual well-being. Poetry can be so unrelatable and can be viewed as old-fashion and boring at many times. But don't dismiss poetry as a powerful literary form to stimulate one's soul yet. Perhaps we should remember the most "spiritual" book in the Bible, the Psalms, is entirely written in poetry.

Without further ado, here's my daughter's first poem:

The Beast Below
A poem by Isabelle Bruce (written: 3/14/15)

A horse and a man fall below,
One has a plan but both must go.
The beast below should know that both must stay,
For this is the game we all must play.
Before it’s too late come follow me,
Don’t disobey or go astray.

My home has a room for each of you,
My house is a dream and so are you.
I created you so don’t go away,
The beast below will make you his prey.
So come follow me and don’t astray,
I will protect you day by day.

The beast below will pay the price,
Don’t play with me or roll the dice,
For all whom do evil will be crushed like rice.
So please don’t go your own way,
Or you must be the one to pay.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Social Media Campaign: 2:30PM Daily for 2.30 Million Prisoners

Just want to share the latest social media campaign I developed for Prison Fellowship.

There are approximately 2.3 million prisoners in America that need our intercession and petition to God. They need to know that we are praying for them and we need to spread the word to other believers to pray for them.

That’s why starting this March, at 2:30PM EST every weekday, Prison Fellowship will post a prayer reminder on its Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #PRAY4PRISONERS, to encourage everyone to pause for a while and lift up these men and women behind bars and anyone affected by crime and incarceration.

We will be posting prayer requests on the general needs of prisoners as well as specific prayer requests submitted to us by inmates (their names and identities will be changed to protect their privacy).

Every prison ministry team needs prayer warriors lifting up the needs of prisoners. Even if you’ve never been inside a prison or jail, you can be a prayer warrior interceding before God for those who are incarcerated. Our goal is to get as many people involved in prison outreach and build an active movement of praying for for prisoners. So join us and become a faithful prayer warrior and speak blessings into the lives of prisoners. As the apostle Paul said, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison … (Hebrews 13:3).”

Please remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, mark your calendars at 2:30pm every weekday and #PRAY4PRISONERS.

Join the Prison Fellowship Prayer Team here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Parents Who Preach and Practice Their Faith at Home are More Likely to See Their Youngsters Keep the Faith

Mom and dads who preach and practice their faith at home are more likely to see their youngsters keep the faith. That’s the conclusion from the latest data collected from the National Study of Youth and Religion.

According to them, “No other conceivable causal influence ... comes remotely close to matching the influence of parents on the religious faith and practices of youth. Parents just dominate.”

So consider this: Parents who don’t go to church consistently and don’t discuss their faith can anticipate their kids to have little enthusiasm for religious services or spiritual issues when they grow up.

In conclusion, our kids will take us at our words and also at our actions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Children Have a New Sex Education Teacher: Their Phones

Dads (an moms too), in addition to the “sex talk” with your kids, it might be a good idea to have the “tech talk” too.

A middle school teacher in California told CNN, “our kids are learning about sex on their mobile devices, not from us."

When you have a child that is internet savvy, they have access to information and images you'd rather them not see. That’s why a “tech talk" is highly recommended. Be strict about setting parental controls and putting limits on what they can and can’t access. Limit the time they spend with their gadgets, and teach them not to give away information or maintain their privacy. Do not to use their devices in private, and not to chat with people they do not know or not approved by mom and dad.

As you set boundaries, explain to them why it’s in their best interest. And when it comes to sex education, beating the internet is crucial if we want children to understand God's proper design. Someone is going to teach them, and it should be us, not our phones.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Much Time Should Kids Spend in Front of An Electronic Device?

How much time should kids spend in front of an electronic device?

Pediatric therapist Cris Rowan wrote an excellent piece last year called “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.” Referring to research finding by the American Academy of Pediatrics, he claims that a little use of an electronic hand-held gadget (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) is bad for children's social, physical, and psychological growth.

Even Pope Francis expressed his own concerns on this topic, urging young people recently to not waste time on the Internet, smartphones and television, but to spend their time on more productive activities. He said, "Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things... Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions... chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve the quality of life, but distract attention away from what is really important."

The 77-year-old pope has described the Internet as a "gift from God" but also cautioned that the fast and digital world of social media need to be used with discernment and reflection so the young generation will be "a network not of wires but of people."