Brothers Bonifacio – Thanksgiving

It’s 4:39 in the morning, I’m sitting in my car parked somewhere in Bonifacio Global City, ready to start the day. One problem of my sleeping habits is even when I sleep early I end up getting up super early because I’m wired to sleep so little. Today I got up at about 330am, only to find a message on my phone that the person who I asked to sing the song I wrote for my brother’s wedding may not be able to sing it.

Which means… I’ll have to sing it. Yikes!

The last time I sang in public was for a team building activity that had this karaoke challenge. Now, you know someone is a bad singer when people crack-up and start laughing when he sings. You know someone is a terrible singer when the room assumes a deathly silence. That evening, the room assumed a deathly silence.

But let’s see. You never know. I have  a way of improving on stuff I’m not supposed to be good at. Besides, my dad attempts to sing in front of a few thousand people every sunday during his sermons. This can’t be that difficult.

The other night, Joseph invited Joshua and I as well as our friend Dan Monterde to hangout and give Josh some married advice. A lot of Joshua’s childhood friends are sadly out of the country and will be missing his big day. This includes the Murrells, the Magpantays, the Duques, and a bunch of other friends.

But the guests aren’t the important part of a wedding. What’s important is that you get it over with as soon as possible, claim your driver’s license, and go for a ride.

Just kidding.

I guess we know why I’m the single brother.

Anyway…

During our time together, Joseph gave his usual wise advice but this time in a context of being married. He has a 4 year head start on Josh so had some insight. I had absolutely no contribution to the discussion other than at the start when we talked about a joint investment I’m proposing. After that it was mostly Beowulf himself advising Josh on the ins and outs of marriage. No pun intended.

I have never appreciated my brothers as much as I do today. Sometimes distance and time have to do their work to bring us further away and give us a better perspective. Now, everything we enjoyed together and fought about are fond memories of shared life. Now the differences and similarities harmoniously come together in this thing we call family. This Thanksgiving Day, I thank God for my family, specifically my brothers, hand-picked by God to swim against currents as we did as boys, and in doing so, become an opposing tide ourselves to push back the waves crashing people’s lives, to lift travelers to new destinations.

Now that I’m older, I can see why Joseph was so wise as a kid, or why Josh was so good with people, I can see how their gifts are starting to come bear in the bigger stage of real life and I’m excited to see what they’ll accomplish. This is even more exciting for me when I think about Philip Bonifacio, Joe’s coming baby, and the very real potential of 7 little Joshuas.

I still don’t know the purpose for why I’m the best-looking of the brothers but hey, some things we can’t understand, we can only enjoy.

Speaking of looks, I was talking to my mother about my date for the wedding, which led to another classic conversation with her.

Mom: Who’s your date?
David: It’s a secret. I want to surprise you.
Mom: You HAVE to tell me.
David: No. It’s a surprise.
Mom: Make sure she wears clothes.
David: Yes, yes. I told her to wear something really hot.
Mom: I’m going to bring a towel – a beach towel – to cover her.
David: Bring the beach towels from Florida.
Mom: Those are too expensive.
David: You can wrap the towel around her bosom. The towels are big enough.
Mom: David…

It’s a good thing she doesn’t read blogs or she might back-out. Or I could just be taking everyone for a ride like I like to do.

The beach towels from Florida are souvenirs from a crazy non-investment we made years ago in Florida. I call it a non-investment because it was financially nuts. To make a long story short, while vacationing in Orlando, my parents saw this golf resort coming up, thought since we liked our vacation there so much we would be going back often, and decided to become members. I remember my dad telling us, “This is where you’re going to learn how to play golf!”

We would go back to Orlando, many times in fact, but we never got to realize that “golf dream”

The most we got from that were two huge beach towels from the resort. I have to say they were the most amazing beach towels I’ve ever used.

Today, those towels stand for something new, a token, a nemonic, a reminder, not of a failed investment, but of life – shared life. It is a reminder of what’s really important. Don’t get me wrong I’m not encouraging reckless investing and wasteful living. I am saying this:

There is no mistake, no failure, no lost chance, or dumb decision that love cannot fix. While there are permanent losses, that’s why we need to be wise and avoid mistakes, there exists a permanent love, a love only from God that redeems us from our foolish and evil choices, and leaves us with a life story that’s even better to tell. This is the power of choosing forgiveness, humility, and grace. 

But we have to choose love. We have to choose His love. Like I wrote in another post, the love we choose dictates who we will draw from. It’s not just about loving, but loving the right things. I’m a proud flawed man of incredible degree, this is why I draw from God daily because He is infinitely loving, and infinitely loving beats incredibly flawed any day. The light will always overcome the dark.

This is why in everything, big or small, smart or dumb, joyful or painful, run to God and give thanks, knowing by faith that if I choose love, if I choose the right love, I will find beautiful permanence in His permanent beauty, and discover an even greater joy, a joy I have foretasted in having the privilege of being in the middle of two of the most amazing people in the world.

Brothers Bonifacio: Joseph’s Baby, Joshua’s Wedding, and David’s Girlfriend

It seems that the years are flying past faster than ever.

When I was young, I couldn’t wait for the years to pass so that I could drive, or watch certain movies, or live on my own. I don’t particularly like driving in Manila traffic and I can’t seem to stay awake in movies, so among the three things I mentioned, only living alone has turned out to be better than I imagined.

That is not to say that living in my parents’ home was terrible. On the contrary, in my biased estimation, it was the best place to grow up. An intense yet affectionate dad who couldn’t understand why a whiteboard and a pie chart couldn’t take the place of a bed time story, and a sweet, artsy, incredibly comforting mom who grew claws when it came to people threatening her babies. Threats of course included the ladies I went out with. She told me that I placed too much importance on looks, to which I replied, “Do you want ugly grandkids?” 

She responded, “No David. But I want you to marry someone wise and moral.”

“Did you marry Pop because he was wise and moral?”

To this my dad interrupted, “Of course not. She married me for my looks.”

And we all laughed.

More on my girlfriend later. I always put the good stuff mixed into the end of my posts that way people don’t leave my long-winding writing. I worked on this. I want you to enjoy it.

 

Joseph’s Baby (Carla’s Too)

 

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
Sithi uhm ingonyama
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba
Sithi uhhmm ingonyama
Ingonyam
Siyo Nqoba
Ingonyama
Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala

 

(Ok if you’re wondering where these lyric like weird words are from, they’re actually the chant from The Circle of Life. Just so that I don’t mislead you, I did not draw that from a reservoir of African knowledge but from google.)

The first is always a special occasion, and in Brothers Bonifacio lore, we’re about to have our first offspring. For my parents it is their first grandchild, officially earning them the titles of Lolo and Lola (grandfather and grandmother). My mom has said that she wants to be called Nana (like we called her mother, our grandmother) and my dad wants to be called Obi Wan (yes, from Star Wars, which was his laser tag code name as well). Joseph of course wants to be called dad, Josh has decided on “heart break kid” instead of uncle, and I’ve warmed to “fearless leader”.

This is also the first kid from us brothers. This is understandable of course as we are just following the natural chronology of events. Joe’s born first so gets married first so has a baby first. I was born next so I…

…Screw chronology.

During one of our conversations, it came out that Joe and Carla wanted to name their baby Olivia, which I told them is the same name I want to give my daughter, to which they replied, “You don’t even have a girlfriend.” I had no idea you needed a girlfriend to reserve a baby’s name. I’ve always liked that name because I really like olives. To prevent them from getting this name I have come up with some amazing names for our upcoming little prince.

If it’s a girl, I was thinking Kate Middleton Bonifacio if they want to go for something more royal and is much more behaved than Kate Upton Bonifacio.

If it’s a guy, I was thinking of pulling from Joe’s roots. Many people don’t know that before all this “Pastor Joe” stuff, Joseph wanted to become a GENERAL. Which made the guy do hundreds of pushups and sit-ups every day as a boy because he read somewhere soldiers did that, and that’s why along with World War 2 books, an Encyclopedia of modern warfare’s weapons, tactics, vehicles, and equipment, he wanted to collect guns and knives. So my name suggestion is Jose “Ghurka” Bonifacio III because my dad’s Jose, my grandfather is Jose, and Joseph is related to the name Jose. So I guess that would make him the IV? Yikes. I personally think having Roman Numerals in your name is passe. I never liked them in school either. But Ghurka, now that’s something legendary. If you don’t know what a Ghurka is, do what I did with The Circle of Life, google it.

Other ideas were Jose Hannibal Bonifacio or Jose Mossad Bonifacio or even Jose Jack Ryan Bonifacio, his nickname could even be Rainbow Six but might be hard to be a six year old boy growing up with the name Rainbow. I was also thinking of Jose Wellington Bonifacio but may not match because we’re not Chinese.

I’m quite confident Joseph and Carla will look upon my name suggestions favorably.

I’ll continue this later. My cleaners are here and I want to go for a quick swim.

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Ok. Where was I?

 

Names.

 

So my brothers have their own names for me, names of females they think I may be interested in. Obviously, none of these candidates have ever materialized into anything significant or I wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t be doing a lot of things if there was a female bothering me on a regular basis. I’d be getting text messages like “Where are you?” or “What are you doing?” or “Do you want to shop with me?” or the hardest of all “Do you think I’m fat?” I haven’t figured out how to answer that last one so I now answer with “Oh no. I’m not falling for that one. Go pick a fight with someone else.”

 

Then I pretend to take a phone call.

 

Usually when Joshua tells me to go out with a girl he phrases it this way, “David, you should go out with  ‘blank’. She’s hot.” My mom or dad will say, “Who’s ‘blank’?” and Josh will say, “‘blank’ is hot.” then Joseph will say, “No, Carla and I have someone we think you’ll like. We met her on this trip…” and he’ll outline a list of credentials including having some degree or further education (yawn). So I have to explain to my well-meaning family that I don’t need a rocket scientist but what’s more appealing is waking up to a fresh fruit and greens protein shake, an incredibly clean and nice smelling home, and someone to handle all the domestic issues of a home – all of which I can achieve with “Alfred” my dream butler – at a fraction of the price of promising my whole life.

 

Of course they remind me that there’s one thing he can’t do for me, which is, “David, it’s time for bed. I’m waiting.”

 

Ok. They got me there.

 

But progress has been made in this area which I will tell you more about later.

 

Joshua’s Wedding

 

What possesses a man to promise his life and love to an irrational other?

 

Love.

 

True love on display is an amazing thing to behold because it’s so beautiful, and these days, it’s so rare. It’s especially nice to see true love happen with the people you care about. I’ve seen how beautiful it’s been for Joseph, not without its difficulties and challenges, but beautiful nonetheless. I know it will be the same for Joshua as he embarks on this new chapter with Kristie. These two have been together for more than 8 years. That’s longer than all my relationships – combined!!!

 

I can boast of my own long relationship.

 

If you have to know her name, it’s Issho.

 

Her last name is Genki.

 

Shameless plug.

 

Anyway, so Joshua, proposed to Kristie earlier this year by dancing Zumba for her (she’s an instructor), and you know it’s love when bad dancing is sweet to someone. What is it about females that makes them so giggly when a guy makes a fool of himself for her? I remember watching Knight’s Tale with my parents and I couldn’t understand the part when the girl he liked asked him to lose the joust. I was so confused. I asked my dad, “Why would she want him to lose if she likes him?” My dad just said, “Girls”, to which my mom responded, “What’s that supposed to mean?” and my dad replied, “It’s true.” but then in the movie, the princess would change her mind and send a message to him to win the joust. This got me even more confused and I looked at my dad. My dad just looked back at me and said, “Girls”.

 

Yet despite his comments, my dad’s been the ultimate promoter of marriage. I once asked him, “Pop, if you were Josh and you had Kristie would you get married?” Without a hesitation he replied, “If I was Josh I would marry her tomorrow.”

 

NOW you know where romantic Joe gets it.I really like Kristie for Josh. My family does too. She’s an amazing addition to us. Beautiful, smart, with a kind and generous heart, she’s able to make life work with Josh in ways no other person can. And just so you don’t think this is a problem-free fairytale as many simple minds tend to do, what makes their love amazing is durability despite the circumstances. This is the inspiration to a song I’m writing for them that has the lines:

 

Beautiful girl
You light my life
Every time I see you
I don’t want to go
We’re in a moment
A moment in time
We must move forward
Or say goodbye
I can’t be without you
Please say I do

 

I’ll post it when it’s finished. The whole idea was to capture how their relationship lasted and how they’ve hit a point of having to either firm up their commitment or stop. I’m happy they’re taking this step. Marriage will be good for them. Marriage is good NOT because it puts us in a perfect situation. It is good because, like I said in an article about Joe’s wedding, it brings two imperfect people together to be perfected by love.

 

Joshua reminded me that I have a plus 1 for his wedding and that I have to find a date. He told me this months ago but I never took it seriously, now there’s two months to go, and the chances of me running into someone who is incredibly beautiful, sweet, easy-to-be-with, fun, forgiving (because I must admit I need a lot of that), as well as not think I like her appears to be impossible. My friends have told me, “You can’t take a girl to your brother’s wedding and expect her not to think she’s special.” I asked them, “Why not? Why does it have to be so impossible?”They resignedly say, “You’re impossible!

“More on that later. I’m going to workout.

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I woke up a little before 5am today which is not rare for me. It’s not rare for me to wake before my alarm clock, to rise before the sun, and to get moving before I want to. The reality is, like pretty much everyone else, my body would like nothing more than to stay rested.

But these days, every day feels like Christmas time for me as a boy. Back then, I would wake up earlier than everyone to check what new gifts were added to the tree, and while there were lean years where the gifts were noticeably less and smaller, being a child, the excitement and belief that this Christmas would have amazing things in store.

That’s how I feel.

But now that I’m older, I’ve come to realize that the only reason why Christmas was always worry-free for me was because my parents did the worrying for me. I never thought about how much everything would cost, or the traffic, or the details that make occasions special. I simply showed up and engage. I showed up and believed that everything was going to be perfect – even if behind the scenes my dad was worrying about the money or my mom was worrying about the home.

I didn’t worry, I wasn’t afraid, because deep down inside  me, beyond cerebral definitions, I knew Papa Joey and Mama Marie loved me and would take care of everything.

(So that I don’t mislead you again and paint a picture of perfect parents, they weren’t. They’ll tell you themselves. We have our own heartaches and challenges. But that’s why there’s forgiveness as my dad likes to point out. Forgiveness restores.)

Through the years, my own challenges would grow and outgrow my parents’ ability to secure me, and with that my childlike trust go. It’s not a bad thing when our parents can’t do things for their kid. Let me repeat. It’s not a bad thing when parents can’t do things for their kids. The problem with our culture is we baby people, particularly people we think are vulnerable. I think we should stop raising kids and start raising men and women. We have 30 yr. old men with sharp clothes and fancy cars but still live with their folks. And we have women who are impressed by that. We have men and women who spend their parents money, and this is true among the rich and poor, without any thought to what it costs their folks, much like how I was when I was 6 years old.

And we have parents who are pressured to give iPhones and laptops and Air Jordans and college degrees, and piano lessons, cars, vacations, and Sunday school, thinking that if I don’t provide these I’m a bad parent. Now these are all nice, but I know a lot of people who had all of these but are not particularly useful for meaningful work.

What does all of this have to do with Joe’s Baby, Josh’s Wedding, and your girlfriend that doesn’t seem like she’s ever going to show up?

Everything.

Because here’s the first point of this long post: Time goes by and the future is upon us before we know it. Many of my childhood memories seem like it was just yesterday but reality is that season is gone and we’re now in a new one, a new season that requires us to stand on our own as our own men – not our parents’ sons. Our wives are going to need us, not their in-laws, to be strong for them. (Ok ok. Their wives.) ) Our kids are going to need us to be mature, to be examples, to provide, to protect, not lolo and lola. Our people, the men and women who rely on our leadership, will need a grown-up Joseph, David, and Joshua NOT the children of my Brothers Bonifacio stories.

It’s just the reality of things.

 

And we will mess up. We may even mess up big time. But we can wake to each day excited, like I did as a boy on Christmas morning, like I did this morning and intend to do for the rest of my life, knowing that someone is going to make things special, that God Himself promised, that despite my disqualification, He has a hope and a future for me, and all I have to do is show up and engage.

 

David’s Girlfriend

 

Last Sunday, I was on the rowing machine in my parents’ bedroom and I noticed a framed message on their wall that said something like “I love waking up next to you every morning.” and under it the names “Joey and Marie”. Obviously my mom put that up there. Can’t imagine my dad doing that. Like he says, “Your mother makes everything prettier.” It reminded me of another thing my dad told me when I was younger, “Marry a woman whose face you’ll want to see every morning.”

 

I think I understand that a bit better now.

 

When we were in Australia, my dad talked about my mom, and how she brings him delight. He explained that men will never understand women because they’re a mystery (in Tagalog our word for that is malabo. Just kidding.) He said that he has learned to stop resenting the mystery and start embracing the beauty of it, that there’s always something new, something unexpected, that there’s always something to discover. He likes to say that he’s the luckiest man alive to be able to wake up to next to her every day, to wake up next to beauty, to something new, something unexpected, and something waiting to be discovered.

 

The funny thing is I wake up to the same thing every day as well. It’s true. A relationship with Christ can be heart-wrenching like any relationship, but as I learn to walk with Him, I realize more and more that He makes everything beautiful in its time, that His mercies are new every morning, that no eye has seen or heard nor mind has conceived what He has in store, that He can open my blind eyes to see new things and to see old things in a new way, that’s what discovery is. This is why I wake up early every day, to check His messages to me.

 

That is the second and final point of this post: It is the relationships in our lives that make life beautiful. I wake up to the most beautiful. And you could too.

 

What happened to your girlfriend?

 

I’ll tell you about her some other time. This post is too long already.

Brothers Bonifacio: Lions In Cages

“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”

– Neil Gaiman



Teach Your Kids to Read, to Think, to Uncover, and so Discover.
If you don’t want to read another potentially long post, I put my point in one, the very first line. But if you’re interested in my winding way of talking about this one idea, read on.

Growing-up, my parents made what I now believe to be a wise decision of limiting our access to TV. For most of our lives we did not have cable and had to rely on books and outdoor activities to keep us engaged. The shows we did watch were usually videos, sports, and in our maids’ room – which had cable. So there Josh would be, in the maids’ room with a bowl of ice cream watching an NBA game.

This practice has directly influenced my current way of living. I gave away all my TVs, I don’t have cable (of course, what good is cable without a TV), and I don’t find myself media-starved at all. If anything, I still feel too connected because of my phone.

I really think it’s important that parents take active participation in the media their children consume. I use the words “active participation” because I don’t simply mean being a board of sensors. If all your kid thinks you do is tell him what to read or not, then you didn’t really help him discern did you? You just taught him what your preferences are. Instead, I encourage you to go deeper than that. Read-up on what they read, and prepare book lists for them to read, or even for you to read to them. Know what they’re listening to and listen to the lyrics. I’m able to add lyrics to my posts and journal entries because, unlike most people, I actually understand the lyrics – not merely hear them.

Teach your kids not only your preference, but to know how think and uncover, and so discover not just what you think they should be consuming, but how to live a life that is not superficial (such as “I just like the beat”), but is interested in going deeper.

You’ll enjoy your books, music, shows, and other media, when you have an appreciation for the production, for the talent (and you’ll be able to spot the lack of it), and you’ll teach your kids to curate and create, not just consume.

We need more curators, people who filter and think through the millions of offerings out there. We need more creators too, people who come up with new things, with amazing things. We need less consumers, people who always needing to be fed.

Now that my moral lesson is out of the way, what I’d really like to write about are the stories of childhood. Pretty much every night, before we went to bed, my mom or dad would come into the room my brothers and I shared, and would read us a story. In my opinion, spending bed times with your kids is one of the single most efficient moments available to parents. In this moment, you are able to have fun, entertain, teach, and bond with your child, and have them going into 8 hours of rest with you and your voice being the last thing they hear. Never underestimate the lessons learned right before a person slips into the unconscious.

Many of the stories we were told, were about animals…

Lions in Cages
My dad talked to us about how in each of us was a lion in a cage. This lion is tame and peaceful inside the cage.

But don’t be fooled by appearances.

Take this lion out of his bars and out comes a ferocious animal of destruction. He said that while we were kids and lived under his roof, he could tame us and guide us, but that someday, we would have to go on our own, and if that lion hasn’t been transformed, we’re going to cause a lot of damage.

Which is I guess what happened… HAHA!

Anyway, it was his way of telling us about the limitations of external government. That you can try caging a ferocious heart, but you haven’t changed it, you’ve only held it down. As soon as the external controls are gone, the true nature of that heart comes out. So the secret was to use the time of external boundaries to learn to change the heart.

I don’t know why parents think that ordering around a child they have no relationship with should actually lead to change? Does change precede forgiveness? Doesn’t forgiveness precede change? And what precedes forgiveness? Kindness. Because love is kind. Without that, this is a lion in a cage.

I don’t know why counsellors think couples who do not love, trust, communicate, and/or forgive each other can and should stay together because “it’s the right thing to do”. This, in my opinion (and this is my opinion, not my family’s) is simple minded. It’s simple minded to place an expectation of success without recovering the factors that contribute to the desired success. You cannot build a great building without a great foundation. Fixing what’s above the soil without fixing what’s under does not strengthen the structure. You just made a future-crumbler prettier. Instead, again this is my opinion, stop spending so much time on what “should happen” or “should be” instead spend the time on actions that build love, trust, communicating, and forgiving, starting with trust, because that’s the foundation. Without these, all the nice gimmicks and relationship advice are externals that only help when the fundamentals are set right. Without these fundamentals, you have a lion in a cage.

I don’t know why people think that they can get fit and healthy by joining the latest health craze. In my experience, the ones I see who are really healthy are the ones who eat right, drink a lot of water, stay active, and don’t stress a lot. There’s nothing sexy about that, but it works. Most people think they can put their lack of discipline in a cage called a “program” and that will make them healthier. Um… No. It may help you in the short run but as soon as you don’t have a program or a trainer you’re back to snacking, to eating whatever looks good, stressing out, and living dehydrated like most people. Just another example of a lion in a cage.

Another example is religion. Religion is a beautiful thing. To have a legacy, to have traditions, to have orderly ways of experiencing the spiritual is a gift. But if inside a religious person is a heart unloving, proud, and unkind, and selfish, then religion not only becomes useless but dangerous. For the weak it becomes trapping. For the strong it becomes a tool for oppression. That’s why Christianity was supposed to be different. It wasn’t a religion for the weak to fight back nor the strong to lord it over. It was a religion for the loving. It was a way of living out your spirituality in as loving a way as possible. That the strong loved and lifted up the weaker. That the weak loved and served the strong. Without this heart of love, we have lions in cages – people trying to behave and cage their most natural instincts to become someone their “cage master” tells them to be. As soon as they’re free of that guess what will happen?

Be Transformed
Nowadays, when I view and discuss social problems, I use this frame of the lion in a cage, and instead of thinking about how I can cage and control people, I spend more time thinking about how they can be transformed.

Some simple minded person will say, “They just need to become Christian.” And my response is: What does that actually mean? How many of us Christians claim to have Jesus but still act like lions in cages? I know I’m one. I dislike these bumper sticker answers that are not operationalized into actions.

I believe that transforming the lion means capturing his heart. Capturing someone’s heart is done with beauty – with excellences so attractive – he, on his own accord, embraces you. And there’s nothing more  beautiful to someone than to be loved faithfully, devotedly. What does that look like in action? It means being patient, kind, gentle, and so on.

It means being all the attributes I’m not know for. HAHA!

Caging a lion doesn’t change a lion. I don’t think God designed us to live mindlessly ferocious BUT I also don’t believe He designed us to live in cages – not worldly, nor religious.

People need to fall in love and be transformed.

It reminds me of my mother, after years of struggling with me and how to get me to obey, behave, harness my will, sat me down and said, “You know David, I’ve realized that the reason why you’re so strong-willed is because someday, like your name-sake, you’re going to have to face giants and you’re going to have to be strong and brave, and you’re going to win. You know that your second name is Michael, we named you after the arch-angel who led the angels against satan and his demons. God gave us your names, and I know you’ll live them out.”

To be honest, it didn’t transform me instantly. There were a million more spankings and disciplinary actions that followed. But I still remember the feeling of having my identity explained to me. Through the years that memory has helped me fall in love more and more with the role I have to play – a role I must admit I’m not exactly the best candidate for. But this change of direction by my mom, from always just presenting the rod, to presenting the vision, the beautiful future the was waiting for me, changed me. Through the years, whenever life is especially difficult, among the things I remember is mom’s voice, “…you’re going to have to face giants and you’re going to have to be strong and brave, and you’re going to win.”

It’s a memory that tells the lion in my heart to be still, I’m going to win.

It’s the same with my spiritual life, I hated being told to read 4 chapters a day by people I thought had the luxury to read it because they actually liked reading the Bible (and not much else) and had nothing better to do. But I read it anyway.

I was a lion in a cage, a proud lion in a cage.

Until, not so long ago, my eyes were opened to a simple truth: Jesus loves me. Period. All of a sudden I reread C.S. Lewis’ classics, consumed some Peter Kreeft, GK Chesterton, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and ton’s of Timothy Keller media. What changed? I couldn’t read my Bible without drooling on it, now I was I eating it up.

To put it simply at the risk of sounding corny, I fell in love.

And just like my parents did when I was a kid, telling me stories that went straight to my heart, I’m giving this idea of transformation more time in my reading, spending more time to think about the noble, the good, the honorable, the praiseworthy, to set my mind on things above, hoping this lion heart will one day be completely His.

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