WHAT CONVINCED ME TO RENEW MY MORNING DEVOTION

During a global leadership conference (Haggai Leadership Experience), I had this conversation with a fellow participant.

Fellow Participant: “Do you have a structure in your devotion?” (He probably meant a designated time to read the bible and to worship)

Me: (Without a blink, I said) “I don’t have.”

This was not where the above conversation took place. But this is a photo of another meaningful conversation with fellow Haggai Participants. Photo was taken at Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii, USA. Photo courtesy of Brother Junep Ocampo, our resident photo journalist. haha. 🙂

I said “I don’t have”, but what I truly meant is that when I was a new believer, I enjoyed every minute of alone time with Him. Everyday, I would wake up early in the morning and I was always excited to read His word and praise Him. I was looking forward to His new revelations and encouragements.  No one could even make me open the door of my room unless I am done singing praises to Him. Sadly, that was before. 

Somewhere along the way, the busyness of life got me. I became more complacent about my faith, started to trust in my own strength and I just go back to HIM for consultation. Yes, I reduced Jesus to merely being one of my consultants.

Yes, I reduced Jesus to merely being one of my consultants.

I lost that habit of meeting Him and I did not even notice it because everything was doing well in my life.

After coming home from the said conference (Haggai Leader Experience), admittedly, I still did not strictly go back to my former routine of morning devotion.

Blessedly, the organizers of Haggai sent me a recording of a Leadership Class that I missed. And while listening, I learned this:

We may have the office or the position (the position of a leader, a pastor, a speaker, an influencer), but not the anointing. We lose our anointing when we are not connected with our creator. And when we are not anointed, we are not effective.

And when we are not anointed, we are not effective.

In the recorded Leadership Class, the importance of seeking Him DAILY was reiterated.   The facilitator called it “Verdict Continuum” or a “Continuous Decision” of surrendering to Jesus. A believer, when he wakes up EVERY MORNING, apart from being thankful for another day, should say “Here I am Lord, Use Me”. Accordingly, we must have that continuous commitment of willingness to be mightily used by Him. We must have that continuous yearning for the Lord’s daily anointing. Otherwise, we lose our effectiveness.

A believer, when he wakes up EVERY MORNING, apart from being thankful for another day, should say “Here I am Lord, Use Me”.

That insight encouraged me.  And I was all the more fired up when in my morning devotion I read Psalm 105:4“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually”

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually”. 

It is written in the bible that we should seek His presence – CONTINUALLY

As a lawyer by profession, I stand by my arguments when these are evidence-based. It is easier to believe when there are clear reasons to do so. The Lord knows how my thought process is so He led me to Psalm 105:4.  This convinced me to finally settle to renew my morning devotion and yearn for the Lord’s anointing DAILY.  

This convinced me to finally settle to renew my morning devotion and yearn for the Lord’s anointing DAILY.

I would like to share to you how I bounced back to my morning devotion through the following tips:

5 PRACTICAL STEPS TO JUMPSTART YOUR MORNING DEVOTION

This photo was taken at the Prayer Garden at the Haggai Institute, Mid Pacific Center, Maui, Hawaii, USA. This is the garden where Christian Leaders from different nations start the day with a prayer at 6:45AM.

People are unique and I understand that we do things differently, but here are some practical tips that helped me jump start my renewed morning devotion:

  1. Find a time where every family member is still asleep. This gives you the freedom to worship and keeps you from being distracted. Just like what Jesus did when he prayed as shown in Matthew 14:23 “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…”
  2. Find a designated place where you can do your study. This will make it easier for you to be on a worship/study mode. For me, I get out of the comforts of our room and use our dining table.  
  3. Make notes in your bible or have a separate notebook. What helped me go back to the lessons I learned from my readings are the scribbles in my bible. You can try that too. I also realized just while writing this that I might want to start having a notebook again where I can write my thoughts while studying to facilitate quick reference.
  4. Apply/Do what the Lord has spoken to you through your devotion. In Ezra 7:10, it says: For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to DO IT
  5. Discuss the insights that the Lord gave you.  You can tell about it to a friend, to a colleague, to someone you love, or you can even post it on social media.  In short, TEACH what you learned so you won’t forget. Ezra 7:10 fully states: For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and TO TEACH his statutes and rules in Israel. 

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and TO TEACH his statutes and rules in Israel. 

There you go! I hope those tips will help you strengthen your relationship with the Lord as it did to me. 🙂 I will pray for you and I would like to request for your prayers too so that I may stay committed with the habit of having a morning devotion. 

If this article helped you, please do not hesitate to SHARE so that we can reach more people.

Blessings!

This is an image of how I make notes on my bible. It can be messy. But make it personally yours! 🙂

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3 things to remember to prevent violence against women

On March 26, 2018, I graced the Culmination of Women’s Month Celebration at the Cordillera Administrative Region Training Center, Teachers Camp, Baguio City.  The occasion was attended by uniformed trainees of the Philippine National Police.

No automatic alt text available.
An image of the token from Philippine Public Safety College. 

In the said event, I shared three things that could save a woman from being abused.  Below is an excerpt of the message delivered:

xxx

There are only three things that I would like to share to you this morning, brave men and women.  And to make it easy for us to remember, let us use the acronym: S-P-O

What does SPO stand for?

1) “S” – Speak up.

Maya Angelou, an American author and civil activist, said:

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, she stands up for all women.

Resulta ng larawan para sa maya angelou
Maya Angelou, photo taken from https://www.biography.com/people/maya-angelou-9185388

Ladies, do not be afraid to speak up.

Every day in our office, we receive complaints about women being battered physically and emotionally, women not receiving support from their husbands, women being raped and abused.  They come to our office fearful because of their experience, but behind that fear I actually see – COURAGE.

I see courage because even in the midst of a traumatic situation, they were able to carry themselves out of the room, where they were battered and abused, to go to the authorities, to the police station, to our office.

They may look very afraid, but friends, there are “others” who are in worse situations.  Who are these “others”? They are women who could not speak up, women who are still inside the four corners of their room afraid of telling someone that they are being abused.  They are the ones whom we need to reach now.  I won’t ask you to raise your hands but it is possible that some of you are here.

Do not be afraid to speak up.

2) “P” – Promote.

During your stay here as a trainee, I believe you learned about laws protecting women.

You are not learning that for nothing.  Now that you are aware of these laws, you need to use them promote the rights of women, you need to advocate for them.

Promote. Inform your neighbors and the women around you that we have these services so that they will know where to go.

3) “O” – Offer.

Offer help. Since you are empowered, through your knowledge and your trainings, when you see a woman in need of assistance. You-OFFER-help.

Violence against women is not just a domestic problem but a social and community concern.

When you see someone being abused, you offer to help that woman, you encourage her to report to the authorities.

So now, what does SPO stand for?

Speak up, Promote, and Offer.

Let me just read to you a very powerful literature that I read:

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
by Paulette Kelly

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
IT WASN’T MY BIRTHDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY.
WE HAD OUR FIRST ARGUMENT LAST NIGHT
AND HE SAID A LOT OF CRUEL THINGS THAT REALLY HURT ME
I KNOW HE IS SORRY AND DIDN’T MEAN THE THINGS HE SAID
BECAUSE HE SENT ME FLOWERS TODAY.
 

Resulta ng larawan para sa flowers
Photo grabbed from https://www.fromyouflowers.com/products/youre_in_my_heart_3.htm

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY
IT WASN’T OUR ANNIVERSARY OR ANY OTHER SPECIAL DAY
LAST NIGHT HE THREW ME INTO THE WALL AND STARTED TO CHOKE ME
IT SEEMED LIKE A NIGHTMARE I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT WAS REAL
I WOKE UP THIS MORNING SORE AND BRUISED ALL OVER
I KNOW HE MUST BE SORRY…BECAUSE HE SENT ME FLOWERS TODAY.

Resulta ng larawan para sa flowers
Photo grabbed from: https://www.flowersnfruits.com

I GOT FLOWERS TODAY.  TODAY WAS A VERY SPECIAL DAY.  LAST NIGHT, HE FINALLY KILLED ME.
HE BEAT ME TO DEATH.
IF ONLY I HAVE GATHERED ENOUGH COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO LEAVE HIM.

I WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN FLOWERS TODAY.

Resulta ng larawan para sa funeral flowers
Photo grabbed from https://www.italflorist.com/flowers/funeral-casket-sprays/all-white-flowers

So not only to the women, I will say this to everyone, do not hesitate to stand up for women’s rights, because by doing so, you are not only standing up for yourself but also for your mother, for your sister, for your wife, for your grandmother, for humanity…

xxx

It was quite an unforgettable experience for me seeing our men and women in uniform nodding and agreeing that violence against women should not be tolerated at all. Indeed, change has come for our women and we are making this change work for each of them.

For laws related to the Magna Carta of Women, you can browse on the following:

  1. R.A. 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1997)
  2. R.A. 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003)
  3. R.A. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004)
  4. R.A. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995)
  5. R.A. 8972 (Solo Parent’s Welfare Act of 2000)

6 Opportunities for New Lawyers and Law Graduates

For some, having a Bachelor of Laws Degree can sometimes be a hindrance to landing a job. Either you are regarded as over qualified for the entry level job you are aiming for or they do not see your educational background as relevant for the vacancy you are applying for.

For New Lawyers, you might still be in the cross road as to whether you want to join a law firm, put up your own office, join the government, or just venture into other things that has nothing to do with lawyering.

Whether you are preparing for the next scheduled bar examination or job hunting as a new lawyer, here are some career paths you can take to maximize your degree or to add on to the services that you offer as a lawyer.

1. INSURANCE AGENT/BROKER

Not everyone spent a semester in their life learning about the Insurance Code of the Philippines. With your knowledge of this specific law, you can easily shed light to some common concerns of prospective clients such as the difference between a pre-need company vs. an insurance company.

You can even be creative and blend your knowledge on the laws relating to Succession and even Taxation.

With those laws in your finger tips, you have better chances of convincing your prospects to get their first insurance policy from you.

How much you’ll earn?

Limitless! Depending on the plans you’ll be able to sell and the commission plan of your insurance agency, you’ll earn an amount ranging from 25 to even 45% of the premiums your client pay on their first year.

How to start?

Choose an insurance agency that you trust so that you can easily sell their products. The insurance company will usually assist you in obtaining a license to sell insurance. You can search on the big players in this field such as the following:

PHILAM LIFE INSURANCE, SUN LIFE FINANCIAL PHILIPPINES, AXA PHILIPPINES and many more!

Get a mentor and obtain a license so that you can legally sell insurance plans. It is also best that you invest in your own insurance plan so you can sell from experience. Imagine a situation where in the middle of your sales pitch, you were asked what insurance plan you have and you answer: “None”.

2. REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

In law school, you had sleepless nights reading about Laws on Property and Ownership, the Law on Sales, Land Titles and Deeds, Taxation, Contracts etc. This gives you an upper hand if you want to be successful in the field of real estate.  Your days in law school actually gave you a wholistic understanding on what can go on from the point of offer to buy or to sell up to the transfer of properties.

How much you’ll earn?

If you are unlicensed and only a referrer, they usually give 1% to 3% commission based on the selling price of the property sold. Once you get a license, you can demand 5% commission. Again, commission rates are flexible depending on the agreement of the parties.

How to start?

To gain experience, you can start selling condo units as there are a lot of developers looking for sales agents. Do yourself a favor by checking the profile of property developers so you don’t end up selling questionable properties.

Some popular condo unit developers include AYALA LAND INC., SM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DMCI HOMES and others that you are actually familiar with in your community.

Or you can even do freelance by offering to sell the property of some relatives or friends who are looking for buyers. Don’t fret, you will be able to learn the tricks of the trade as you go along but first you have to get out from that bed and start grooming yourself to becoming the next real estate tycoon!

3. HUMAN RESOURCE

Nowadays, companies look for  Human Resource Personnel who has knowledge of the Labor Code of the Philippines to help them ensure zero legal liability pertaining to labor.

Didn’t you enjoy two semesters reciting on labor laws and reading jurisprudence on illegal dismissals? With that, you can actually better guide your employer in making sure that he does not violate any labor laws.

How much you’ll earn?

Salaries usually depend on your experience. HR associates can be paid a starting salary based on minimum wage while HR directors can get as high as 6 to 7 digits a month.

How to start?

You don’t go to companies and say: “Hey! I have a law degree and I’m applying for that HR Manager Position.” Unless you have prior HR experience, seldom that companies get fresh from law school people to become their HR Managers.

You usually have to climb the corporate ladder in this field which means that you have to start from being an associate, to an officer, to a manager, and a director.


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4. LAW INSTRUCTOR

If you did not pass the bar yet, you can still teach Constitutional Law  or other social sciences subjects.  Apart from constitutional law, you can also start by teaching Criminal Law to criminology students, some school don’t require that you pass the bar to teach this.

Other universities who are not that strict in law experience may also get you to teach in their law school.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the load you are given and the hourly rate of the school where you choose to teach.

How to start?

Apply in Universities and Colleges, of course. Take whatever load they give you just so you can gain teaching experience.

5. ENTREPRENEUR

Being an entrepreneur means you will be your own boss. You will be running your own company and dealing with hiring and terminating employees, tax implications of your business moves, contracts etc. If you are a person with a business sense, do not allow your four (4) years in law school to just go down the drain, you can use your legal training to guide you in building a business empire.

How much you’ll earn?

It depends on the business that you will be starting. Don’t immediately think that you’ll rake money on your first year. Businesses take time before you can even enjoy the fruits of your labor.

How to start?

Know your passion. What do you enjoy doing? Are there needs that you want to address? Do you have a special skill that you think you can offer to the public?

Entrepreneurs usually start with an inspiration to come up with products and unique business models that customers will embrace.  So what do you have in mind?

As for me and my wife, we started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., now a premiere preschool in Baguio City.  This was born out of my experience as a former tutor and my wife’s experience as a Guidance Counselor. So bank on your acquired skills to come up with a bright business idea.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING

While I was still in law school, I usually get invited to talk to college students and I usually share my experience as a job applicant. Apart from sharing my experiences as a job applicant, I also included topics on how to prepare a resume and how to answer job interviews. Since you are a law graduate, you might want to add some topics on basic labor laws, too!

After passing the bar, my topics in speaking engagements evolved to talking about labor laws, criminal law, family, and my experiences as a drugs court lawyer.

If you want to make this as a career, you can start by sharing your experiences on something that you are an expert on. Say for example, leadership etc.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the budget of the inviting organization.

How to start?

Say yes to every speaking engagement where you think you can add value to the audience.

The six (6) enumerated career paths are based on my experience and not intended to limit you but to help you realize that there are a lot of possibilities.

Bottom line, you have the ability to open numerous doors of opportunity with your Law Degree, you just have to want to open those doors! 🙂

Do you have any additional suggested career option for law graduates? Comment below. 🙂


Just passed the bar? Or planning to take it?

Do you want to unlock your potential?

Take the Clifton Strengths Assessment now and book a Strengths Awareness Session with Atty. Dexter Diwas.

Click the link below.

https://dexterdiwas.com/gallup-strengths-coaching/

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT SHARE YOUR RICHES TO PEOPLE.

(grabbed from comments yard.com)
(grabbed from comments yard.com)

Everyday we encounter people who have lost their love for life. You can hear them say “I am good for nothing” or “I just don’t know what my real purpose in life is”.

Haven’t you realized that it is not actually an accident that these people are venting their frustrations to us. If you are that type of person whom people just want to sit with and talk to, you can use this opportunity to build these people and make them realize that life is worth living.

In the book that I am currently reading, I found this powerful line – The greatest good we can do for others is not to share our riches with them, but reveal their riches to them.

All of us have hidden potentials, if we can’t find it, we just need a “potential hunter” to help us discover it and make us shine. You can be that “potential hunter” that your friend needs today!

Don’t forget to remind your friend what the bible says: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13