Teacher’s Reflections: When your Blog “doesn’t” Mean Anything, Anymore

Friend: “I want to make a video blog. Is that a good idea?”
My close friend asked me after her makeup class while on the car.
Me: “Yes, it is an awesome idea. Like you’re studying it already, might as well make the most out of your talents. And through it, you can get some future clients and projects like a legit makeup artist/vlogger.”
Friend: “But many of my friends are already doing it. Entering to it makes me an ‘another vlogger’ in a pool of YouTube vloggers.”
Me: “There’s nothing bad about it, you just have to be different and have a good purpose for it.”

I don’t know how to start here, but one thing I’m sure when it comes to blogging is this – it’s NEVER EASY, BUT WORTH THE INVESTMENT OF TALENT. I can encourage people to go and do blogging with a caution. But because of the popularity that this industry can give, most of us are not well-educated to see its good and bad side of it. That’s why many of us can jump to a wrong conclusion that blogging is ALWAYS GOOD.

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For some, it’s easy to see the life of blogger/vlogger/online influencers as luxurious and fun because of the events, travel, and perks. But the reality is this: NOTHING IN BLOGGING IS FREE and NOT ALL THE TIME IT IS ALL ABOUT LUXURIOUS. IT COMES WITH A PRICE. A price that you need to constantly need to pay if you want to keep your blogger name stay alive in public.

How about this, the blogging community is getting larger every year. And because of that, some people don’t want to enter anymore no matter how great their ideas are. There’s another dark side of it. Because the blogging community is so big today, fake news is starting to put poison to the name that we protected. We’re no longer making a difference because of these issues.

So this is how we make our blog sites not relevant to the public. By experience, these are the things I’d seen that dull our color and credibility as a blogger (no matter how we try to impress with gimmicks):

1. Your blog ONLY fuels for MONEY

Any blog perks/honorarium/cool stuff you get as a blogger is not a bad thing. However, if these things are the only fuels you to blog, better recalibrate and have a heart check. Just like a famous artist once told me, “If you’re only doing your art for money, it’s like your making a prostitution out of your talents.” Personally, I used to be tempted to do a blog project that compromises the values of my blog for a good price. Yes, I get my honorarium, but I lose some of my readers in the process because they no longer know me and my niche. Money or Niche? Where do you focus your blog? Have a heart check now and recalibrate.

2. Your blog is “NUMBERS-oriented.”

One of the things that keeps me all night is to OVERCHECK the numbers of my follower and stats on Instagram, website, etc. It gets so weird to the point that I even bargaining to people, just for them to like or follow my social media accounts. And that’s how it can ruin a blogger. When every single thing we do is the ULTIMATE GOAL of making us big in numbers, we’re degrading our values, not just a blogger but a person as well. We’re living on a facade that we need to try so hard to fit in, ALL BECAUSE OF NUMBERS. The effect: depression and self-doubt come in. People see their self-worth based on their social media likes and they will lock to this delusion that being popular is better than not. I learned this lesson by shutting my phone sometimes and rely on God alone for more followers and stats. Because if I don’t, it will hurt my reputation and it will leave me obsessed and arrogant. There’s nothing wrong with numbers, you just have to learn how to control it right, not the other way around. And because of that, you can now sleep tight and so will I.

3. Your blog is ALL OVER THE PLACE.

People from the blogging industry always reminds us of this main important point: FOCUS ON YOUR NICHE. For some reason, I tend to jump from one niche to another; even if I’m not good at it. Before I started blogging way back 2015, I made it clear to myself and my readers that this blog site is a Christian Blog. So I started that way from promoting church events, worship songs, and my favorite Christian kids show online. Little did I know, opportunities start to open, that leads me to do food, beauty, and lifestyle blogging. And it didn’t stop there because I ended up selling food supplements, and doing PR posts of the things I have no idea what it is. So people no longer distinguish me from the rest, even PR companies don’t know where to put me because my website is full of things that are no connection to who I am as a blogger. So I have to learn to choose well my blog projects. I should not be swayed to any perks nor gimmicks just to fit in. Be a blogger that I want people to be, and surely God will honor my work.

Before I concluded with these points, I have to learn the hard way. I was open to the good, bad and ugly of blogging and it affects me in so many ways. But let me tell you this before you question my points: I never imagine to be a blogger. As a teacher, blogging is not my cup of tea nor top of my talents. I’m still figuring it out why I ever enter this industry with less expertise and connections. But I believe the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing because of these things:

1. God gave me a PURPOSE TO BLOG
2. I value things that GIVE VALUE to PEOPLE, that’s why I blog it; and
3. It will be a PLATFORM for me to SHARE HIS GOSPEL OF LOVE to MORE PEOPLE, earning from it is the second.

And all of us need it, doesn’t it? A PURPOSE AND VALUE that makes us a blogger worth following. What I learned as I made this article is this – The only thing that separates a blogger from anyone else is their PURPOSE and VALUES they’re shown to the public. And that’s how #ResponsibleMedia works.

If you want to be a blogger, focus on these points first. Surely, with or without the big numbers, perks, and honorarium, you will be ok because God honors all good work that’s honoring to Him. In this industry, I learned that every opportunity is a blessing from Him. A blessing that I can’t take for granted nor ignore. So with or without blog events/opportunities, I AM STILL HIS. No room for bitterness nor complaining. Just pure love and stewardship for the talent and avenue He gave.

 

Teacher’s Reflection: Why I’m “NO LONGER” Celebrating Halloween?

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Photo courtesy by Reggie “Blackgoat” Reyes.

Halloween celebration is one of the things I’m hype to be part with. Christmas and New Year celebrations are too common for me. Only at Halloween where I can do “costume preparations” and scared the hell out of people; Until today. A few days ago, I created some ideas on how to participate again in a Halloween Event at one of the shopping malls at the south. As a Believer, putting up a “lighter” costume is way better than the scary zombie (which I usually do). But I felt the Lord spoke to me at that moment and said,

“Are you going back to your OLD SELF?”

At the back of my head, I immediately responded “no, I’m not. I’m just doing it for fun, Lord”. I felt confident about my “Christianism” answer. But He asked me again, doing His best to make me understand the question. And that thought about the “Halloween costume planning” finally hit me, getting to the point of saying NO to it for good.

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Photo courtesy of the owner.

The “Old Self” and the “Dead”

When I started to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I know that my sins in the past are a way “beyond cure”. The Bible already stated that “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23 NLT). The term “old self” in the Bible is similar to who we are before Christ: “dead in sin”. But thanks to God’s glorious love and mercy for us, He “showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT). His death on the cross is more than just giving us forgiveness and eternal life. It’s also giving us “new life” and “reconciled” us again with God. 

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

…even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!). (Ephesians 2:5)

These truths in His Word creates a full conviction in me to not participate any longer in those Halloween events. Not because of the church nor even the rules of Christianity. These things in the past are no longer who I am today. They’re as good as dead and it’s up to my convictions whether if I still want to bring the dead back to life.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. – Colossians 3:1-4 NLT

How about you?

On the recent post that Pastor Paolo Punzalan, he quoted an article from Travis Allen about how Christians should respond to Halloween. The article summary stated:

Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

It’s up to you on how to respond. In summary, the reason why I’m “NO LONGER” want to participate in any Halloween events is simply because my relationship with Jesus is far more important than me being happy. I am not saved by grace just to go back to the grave that I used to live in. We are made to bring LIGHT and LOVE to the world and participating in Halloween is not part of it. You may have fun at the moment, but knowing the ETERNAL JOY of having a relationship with Jesus Christ is far better than candies, the costumes and the temporal excitement that this world can give. And that’s the message of the Gospel.

“From darkness to light, From death into life, His grace changes changes everything.”

What shall I do then? Just simply LOVE GOD, FOLLOW HIS WAYS AND LOVE OTHERS AS HE LOVED US FIRST. It’s that simple. Make it not just an event that I should avoid but an OPPORTUNITY to speak light and share the good news with everyone.

2016-10-31_09-44-46P.S. One more thing. Because the name of this blog is “Love Teacher Angel”, there’s no way that I will promote any fear in my blog site. For “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.- 1 John 4:8”. Make sense, isn’t it?

Let me know your insights and let’s talk about love and acceptance.

Let me know your insights and let’s talk with love and acceptance. 💖

Teacher’s Reflection: Knowing I’ll Get There Soon

True Story. 

During my “One2One” session (the time when I started my Christian walk), I had an encounter with one of our Campus Missionary. He gave a scenario about a claim stub; a single stub that signified a position or an identity. There’s an item that comes with that claim stub. And no matter how long you wait to that line, you will get that item because you have the right; you have the claim stub. Almost two years after that story, that principle still hits that man until he ordained as a “Certified Pastor”. What a promise!

Another one is one of our Music Ministry Coordinator. He shared his story about his early days as a musician. That he will consistently play his guitar to one of his gigs for 8 hours straight. Not only that, he sometimes starves himself (forget to eat during rehearsal time) and works hard to study different genres for his composition. This passion paid off when he became a part of a well-known band until he changes his course into full-time ministry.

Two different people, one set of direction: TO FINISH STRONG!
They might have something to achieve more but because they know what path they want to go on and who is their Power Source, all the pain, the efforts, and sacrifices are taking them over to their destination.

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As I look back on my previous years till now, I realized that I’m not in my highest peak of my season. But I believe that very, very soon, I WILL get there. Growing up when I was in my school days, I used to think that as long as I’m pleasing them and making things right; things will be ok in my path. But because of many stupid decisions with lack accountability, my growth and maturity are getting slower and slower every time. I got depressed, hungry and led astray by those consequences. But when I met the Lord through a community engagement and I had an encounter with Him last February 16, 2016, all things had changed, for the better. I received mercy, forgiveness and new life that I thought I never had. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Yes, the love of Jesus Christ changed my life, but I must not stay that way. I NEED TO THRIVE!

Being a Christian for 2 years, I learned so much of me that needs to correct, need to let go and need to change. Growing in maturity is such a battle especially if the process is gradual. I need to be patient and persistent at all times even in times of trouble. But one thing I learned from it, is that maturity is not just a process, it’s a lifetime journey! And without Christ in the middle, all of it will lose its essence and direction. And so it goes, I need to trust God that whatever he’s doing in my life, I have to obey with diligence and sincerity.

As I turned 25, I believe God still wants me to go the extra mile. He wants me to explore, discover and learn TONS OF THINGS about Him, His will, and His creation. I may not have the perfect background, but I have a PERFECT GOD who can turn things around for me and lead me to the way everlasting. Looking back from who I am and what I did for the past few years, I knew that I don’t have anything awesome to show. But life is not about having a perfect resume nor winning worthless pursuits. It’s about pursuing a heart that’s obedient, humble and submissive to His sovereign grace. Besides, without God by my side, my works are nothing but filthy rags. Yes, there’s a lot of things to work on, but I know that I can be at peace and confident. I can stand still because His love is true and His promises are sure, right down to its very core!

As I press on and move forward to what lies ahead, one thing I ask the Lord is this:

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

-Psalm 27:4 ESV

For this season, there’s a lot of growing and pruning that needs to do. The road may be hard and narrow, but as long as I’m under His wing and surely as the sun still rises,

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever

– Psalm 138:8 ESV

I believe and abide that He will finish what He started in me and I’ll be standing firm, knowing that as I wait for His finish work in me, I’ll get into His good, perfect and pleasing will completely. Soon and very soon!

I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

– Psalm 27:13-14

Teacher’s Reflection: YOU’RE IN A RIGHT SCHOOL!

TRUE STORY:
It was last year (After Ignite Conference 2015) when I was hired as an employee in a techie company and assigned to be trained in one of the exclusive schools in the Philippines. Despite long-hour drive and inconvenient expenses, I felt the thrill and a bit pride of being in that school even for a month. Every shift schedules, I just can’t help looking at these students from their appearance and their behavior. Not being biased or anything, but as I observed them, something struck me about these kiddos that’s a bit weird and sad. One of it is this: BEING SO “OVERRATED” PROUD OF THEIR SOCIAL SCHOOL STATUS. Please don’t get me wrong but as I looked closely, I just noticed how bold they proclaimed their school’s academic excellence and pride. And I can’t help but to be a bit disappointed because unlike them, I tend to shy my way out when I talked about the school I’d been with. I did the most opposite.

Being a graduate in a public university (which I’m proud by the way) I was opened in the reality bites that most people like me are not really recognized by the secular society because of our educational backgrounds and our school status. When you meet two people from two different university background, usually the most popular ones are the ones most recognized. And talking about school status, most well-known companies are eager to hire and promote someone from a prestigious campus than the public ones. So unless you’re a magna cum laude or an honor student, most graduate students from both vocational or government universities have lower chances of getting high-paying jobs and level of respect & dignity.

To this kind of circumstances, how do you usually see yourself compared to the other students? During my college days, I used to think that it’s better to be in a famous school if I want to have a high paying job right away. I’m also foolish to think that being in those schools, can make myself more socially-above than others and have a sense of proud identity. But I realized that all of it was a wrong illusion of arrogance and self-esteem issues. I don’t know about you, but I think as a student, seeking your identity and purpose in your school for all the wrong reasons is just plain wrong at all. And that’s the biggest lie, isn’t it? A lie that you should be in a high-expensive school so that your social status and respect levels will be higher as well. Well, let me tell you one thing:

Your school is not who you are!

Your school can never identify what is your destiny in your life. The school is an institute for learning, not your key to popularity success. As a student, you’re the one has the ability to make your life around for good and no universities can mold that for you. It’s a matter of your decisions and how will you stand firm to it.

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On the lighter note, I believe also on what the school can do to make you become what you want to be in the future. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in a UAAP/NCAA schools or vocational ones. Looking back to my alma mater, we’re not considered as well-known to the state. We’re used to be called “Unibersidad ng Talipapa” before because of the junked cars and old storehouses besides our school building. But with the help of our school faculty members and city administration, our school was recognized as one of the “most top ranked” universities in the Philippines by having the most number of LET (Licensure Examinations of Teachers) and Criminology passers. As students, you too can make it happen with the help and right motivations of your school, not just school pride and school status.
Each of us has the destiny to fulfill. For whatever reason you’re on that campus, I believe God has a special purpose for you to be there. He wants you to be intellectually excellent and spiritually empowered to move changes to your classmates, teachers, and to the society. He wants you to be the SALT to bring taste, healing and a good preserve of good character; and a LIGHT that exposes the right, the truth and purpose of your identity.

Just think of it. If Joseph the Dreamer, Daniel the Prophet or Jonah go to their comfort zones and not let themselves into those foreign countries, miracles and salvation might not happen to the picture. Because they knew that despite their misfortunes and being sojourners of the land, they become a channel for change and it impacts a lot of people.

Again, it is NOT about what school you’re in. It’s about God’s marvelous plan for you to be a channel of change for His glory. It’s about molding your character, breaking your heart for what broke His, and being a beacon of hope to your campus. Whatever name of that campus might be, you’re in a right place that centers in His plan and sovereign grace. So before this school year starts, I would like to inspire you with this quote:

“YOU’RE IN A RIGHT SCHOOL”.

A school that’s not based from your identity nor the world’s twisted perspective. It is a campus where God will be sovereign to mold you, establish His plans for you and use you to share the Gospel so that you can change the campus, change the world.

Young people, stop being choosy and stop those wishful thinking. Whatever God puts you right now, you’re in a right place at a right season to fulfill His purpose for you and your campus. Win your campus for the Lord right now and see how He can move through the lives of people & to the world.

Teacher’s Reflection: For the Voters Out There

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I can’t believe that after all the noise and chaos we had in a past few weeks, most of us are will practice our power to vote. And somehow I can’t sleep to the fact that I am doing my part as well. I was struggling to find the right words because I can’t believe in what I can do. Until I become a teacher and let God revealed the BIG picture of my reason. 

Way back high school I knew that I can do something that most people don’t believe that I can, to be a TEACHER. But I was a victim of the system like any other average kids with a lot of doubts and insecurities in their baggage. And since then, I learned to be content of being small and voiceless towards change. I never learn how to thrive academically nor do my best to strive in excellence because my mindset before is that if I continue to do that, I would gain a lot of enemies in my school and just adding them to my miseries in life. Because we are all threaten in many ways. We feared so much, we tend to give in and dragged people down so we won’t get lost. 

Years until I become a teacher, I’m still carrying those skeletons in my baggage. I learned not to fight because basically, no one told me to fight a good fight. And it scares me because the fact that I’m facing my students; the next generation of world changers who’s looking at the way I live and how I vote later on, they will see me as incompetent. Because I refuse to stand firm at my young age; I let myself be dragged on and not be excellent, I know that the ones who will suffer for my bad decisions in life is not just me, IT’S THE NEXT GENERATION. 

A NEW PERSPECTIVE

In the midst of my emotional rough and depression, I found love in a sweetest encounter with Jesus Christ and things became clearer and new than ever before. I became hungry for change not because I want to escape, but I want God to do extraordinary in my life. I want Him to use me to be an instrument of change for my generation that I failed to do before. And now as a teacher, I know that God had opened that door for me to minister to the students about their purpose and lead them to do the same. 

For some of you, you’ll be thinking “what is the connection of my story with the elections?” Well the matter is this: 

WHAT PERSPECTIVE YOU HAVE CHANGES EVERYTHING.

The way we vote and the purpose why we vote affects not just ourselves but the next generation as well. Most of us were came to a conclusion that all politicians are all corrupt and deceitful. And the way we see our social media nowadays are so viral and fearful because a lot of people have PERSPECTIVE about their candidates. We use these tools to speak our minds and be heard because our perspective MATTERS. But instead of making good things about it, for some, they used it for selfish and unhonorable reasons that leads to broken relationships and lack of unity as people of this nation. Young people watches us and no matter how hard to believe it, we are actually leading them. And in this season, it’s hard to listen to the right voice,isn’t it? 

Just like Pastor Joey Bonifacio said, “it’s an act of arrogance to say that we have the right choice and not them, because we tend to act like God, deceivefully make decisions for other people and not practice their own rights”. All of us have our own concience and rights to do things, but not all of us know how to do it righteously and pleasing according to God’s ways. And the sad part is, we tend to bash against other people, flaunt their faults thru social media and say bad things about them instead of blessing and pray for them. Is this the right way we lead the next generation? Is this what we want them to grow up with? 

This coming elections, I’m not here to tell you what is right and wrong nor tell you what to do and bash about it. I want to you to see God’s perspective and set your eyes to the One who’s sovereign and just to do miraculous things in our nation. We are not Gods to decide what we can do to our candidates and what they shall do to us. It is God alone who has the power and authority to turn things around and make changes happen no matter who will serve our country. Many kings, rulers, presidents had passed, but “His Word will never pass away” (Matt 24:35). We may have a lot of plans and good ideas in our lap, but “every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). And whoever will sit on those government seats, I know that the will of the Lord will “fulfill His purpose for me and you” (Psalms 138:8). 

So what shall we do then?

-Get a RIGHT PERSPECTIVE of why you are you voting?

-Pray for who will you vote (cried out to the name of the Lord if necessary);

-Vote with concience, not in conforming ways of the world; and

-Pray without ceasing for your families, friends, future leaders and for the NEXT GENERATION. 

God has been so faithful in using me to lead the next generation. Just like I heard before, “success without the successor is nothing”. We need to take charge to lead the next generation and lead with them so that God can supernaturally turn all things for good and for them to succeed in life. I don’t want to let them experienced what I did before nor lead a reckless, selfish kind of leaders. Let us be the salt and lights and together lets strive for change. For the country, for His glory. Pro deo et Patria. 

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P.S 

For the next generation, you too can make a mark be an instrument for change. As much as we are, GOD BELIEVES IN YOU ALSO to become a world shakers, world changers of your generation. And it starts with one act of faithfulness, one big decision to commit and one full focus & obedience to the Lord’s commandments and will.