Archive for the ‘Author Wednesday’ Category

Understanding the relevance of the Bible is critical to the modern reader just as milk is essential to a baby. Without it, spiritual growth is hard to achieve. We’ll be deprived of wisdom, guidance, encouragement and especially, God’s revelation of Himself in specific terms. If a Christian ignores this issue, the tendency is to treat Scripture reading as ritual. But reading the Bible is more than just a duty to perform. The key is to have a grasp of its relevance. If we understand this, then we will gladly discover that there are treasures to be mined in the reading. And to grasp its relevance, I offer the following observations:

First, the Bible is relevant because it is the foundation of our Christian faith. The truths about God, our purpose, our identity, our hope, and many other things are explained to us by the Scriptures. We heard and believed the good news of Christ and our salvation from its pages as presented to us by those who came before us. The early believers carried this message and preached it to the nations. It created a movement that grew rapidly even in the midst of persecution and poverty. Believers continued to proclaim the message for generations and in doing so the Word reaches us today. In short, the message we believe as Christians is not new. We can always look back to how it all began and be encouraged. We can always look back to the man, Jesus of Nazareth, who himself is the message. Reading it confirms our faith and guides us so we may not drift from it. The apostle Paul firmly urged Timothy to “…continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15, ESV). (more…)

Kristian Aldrich Cabullo serves as a Marketing Officer at OMF Literature. He is also a pastoral assistant at Bliss Christian Fellowship Church. He took up Pastoral Ministries Program in Conservative Baptist Seminary Asia. You can read more of his writing at his blog Stitches of Bliss

“This is probably just a typical leadership book that talks about integrity, just like the hundreds, if not thousands, that have been published under this category.”  That’s what I thought the first time I heard the title Leadership Ellipse: Who You Are Shapes How You Lead

 

Although I love reading books on leadership, the ever-increasing popularity of do-this-and-do-that-and-you’ll-be-a-good-leader concept creates in me a fear that we might be missing out something more important than a to-do list. And what bothers me more is that even the meaning of virtues such as integrity have been watered down into mere formulas to attract people and make them follow whatever the leader tells them. In Christian circles, virtues are no longer pursued for personal and spiritual transformation, but are used to draw people and achieve success. So before I started reading Leadership Ellipse, I felt the need to pray to be rescued from another book that tries to persuade me to “aim high and hit the mark.” And indeed, I was rescued.

 

Using a poem, the author, Robert Fryling, starts his book by confessing his own dilemmas. In this poem, a peacock prays to reconcile two seemingly contradicting realities: its external beauty and its “meager heart.” He then explains how this is true for him, how the imbalance between his “external organizational success principles and internal spiritual disciplines” makes him struggle. He asks, “Is the world of success different from the world of the soul that I simply have to live with this split personality and hope that God is okay with this kind of average life?” This dichotomized emphasis in leadership leaves many of us leaders with either a guilty conscience that hinders us from effectively serving our people, or a numb heart that ignores the complexity that weakens us from within. The issue is not that we lack the other half, but that most of us wrestle to find a connection between these two worlds.

 

We need to see that one point is not inferior to the other. Fryling, a “highly cognitive person” (he prefers not to call himself a nerd), urges us to understand this tension as an ellipse. I was about to abandon all hope because he mentioned this – something from geometry and math – but his analogy compelled me to get another cup of coffee and move on with my reading. He says, “…an ellipse, which looks like an elongated circle, is defined by two distinctly different focal points that are of equal importance… Spiritual leadership can be understood as an ellipse. One focal point is our inner spiritual life, our longings, our affections and our allegiance to God. The other focal point is our outer world and organizational life, what we do and how we do it. Together these focal points define an ellipse that circumscribes our true spiritual leadership. It represents the dynamic tension between our soul and our actions, and gives us a mental image for personal, spiritual and professional integrity in who we are and how we lead.”

 

Interestingly, he does not present these two focal points as two separate entities, as though they’re treading different directions. Both of them aim for integrity in leadership, the shaping of how we lead by who we are. Though they are both unique in their nature because one is an inner experience and the other is more of an external manifestation, there is a connection – an interweaving of the affairs of the soul and the actions of the self. He recognizes that there is a “dynamic tension,” that one is needed for the other one to progress. For the leadership ellipse to take shape, these focal points must consistently be developed while complementing each other.

 

Moreover, Fryling also stresses that it is not sufficient to just be authentic because authenticity is neutral by nature. One can be a serial killer and authentic at the same time if the crimes he committed are just evidences of a heart full of hatred. Integrity, therefore, is not achieved simply by applying a formula of adding spirituality to your steps towards success. And it is more than just trying to make what you do consistent with what you are. He says that “our interior lives not only have to align with our external lives but they need to be aligned with the call of God’s Spirit in our lives.” The principles and practicalities proposed in his book hang on this single principle. So before he tells us what behaviors a good leader must have, he begins with helping us understand the inner world of the leader.

 

I think Fryling’s book has an edge over other writings on leadership. Most of these other books tell you that you have mistakes, that you just need to work out on your organizational and interpersonal skills, and that you just have to know a few basic steps on how to handle and motivate people. But they do not really tell you that your heart has a problem; and that is where Leadership Ellipse rises above them. Fryling recognizes what the Bible teaches on this matter citing Jeremiah 17:19, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” He wants leaders to understand this so much that he confesses that “I need my heart to be tutored with biblical truth and I need a spiritual and prepared mind to lead me into holy nonconformity.” Thus, Fryling discusses in first part of the book a very common problem that most leaders have in their inner world. In the hearts of those with high positions, hidden from the eyes of their followers, lies discontent. Now it’s one thing to say that we must not be contented with routines and average results; but it’s another thing to be restless and struggling inside because of unmet expectations. He conveys that this discontent is the result, not only of the pressure that comes from other people’s demands, but also of the pressure that comes from our selves. This happens when we fail to recognize our human limitations and expect too much from ourselves, or dream too much for the people that we lead. If we fail to discern what’s really happening inside ourselves, we would be drawing a shape of leadership that looks so different from an ellipse. It is a solid biblical principle to always go back to check ourselves before going out to either reach or judge others. And I commend the author for leading us back to where and how our leadership should start.

The Leadership Ellipse: Who You Are Shapes How You Lead by Robert Fryling is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops nationwide for only P250

Last July, to celebrate National Children’s Book Day, we asked you to send us your stories about the books that got you started on your reading adventure. Judges had a hard time choosing from among all the entries. The stories varied: some were humorous, some were touching, some were dramatic and some heartfelt.

Over the next few days, we’ll be posting the answers of our 5 winners. To read the first winner (Wennielyn Fajilan), click here.

This week we feature Mark Madrona’s winning entry. To interact with Mark, you can follow him on twitter @marksphere

Thank you and congratulations Mark!

 

My love for reading began even before I started schooling. At age three, I can already read the title of the newspapers that we sell in our family’s newsstand – much to the delight of our buyers. Mom also made it a point to buy me children’s text like Dumbo, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, and many others. Of all the books that I read in my developing years, nothing had influenced me as profoundly as Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You Will Go!”

I first read it when I was four, and up to now, I still get amazed at how Dr. Seuss was able to inculcate many essential life lessons in a seemingly ordinary-looking short story like that. Undoubtedly, the great author opened up my mind about life’s great offerings. Through this particular book, I discovered the power of reading books to fire up one’s imagination.

The book convinced me that I have boundless personal potential, and that it is absolutely important for me to always believe in what I can do. Lines such as “Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best / Wherever you go, you will top all the rest” motivates readers that success is possible if you have confidence in yourself.

The book not only talks about success. It also prepares the reader about life challenges. Dr. Seuss tells us that “un-slumping” oneself “is not easily done,” but adds shortly after that at the end of the day, “Once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky.” I know that the future will give me plenty of opportunities for success as well as tough challenges. I thank Dr. Seuss not just for making me a lifelong reader, but also for shaping my insights about life early on.


Last July, to celebrate National Children’s Book Day, we asked you to send us your stories about the books that got you started on your reading adventure. Judges had a hard time choosing from among all the entries. The stories varied: some were humorous, some were touching, some were dramatic and some heartfelt.

In the next few days, we’ll be sharing some of the winners and their stories with you. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did

Wennielyn Fajilan

 

Dahil Kay Santa Bikbik

 

Ako ang nanay ni Bikbik. Iyan ang lagi kong sinasabi sa mga kalaro ko tuwing nagpoprotesta sila pag tatapusin ko agad ang paglalaro ng piko. Paano raw ako magkakaanak, 10 taon pa lang ako?

Tuwing hapon, pinapaliguan ko si Bikbik, ang alaga kong baboy. Binabato ko siya ng tabo-tabong tubig, kinikiskis ng may sabong eskoba ang makapal niyang balat saka babanlawan. Papakainin naman siya ni Tatay ng kaning baboy. Kailangan lagi siyang busog, kailangan lagi siyang malinis. Kapag busog at malinis, masarap siyang panoorin kasi nakangiti kung matulog.

Ang sabi ng kuya ko, wag na wag ko raw pangalanan si Bikbik dahil madali raw mawawala ang alaga ko. Hindi ko naintindihan iyon hanggang sa araw na kinakatay ang aking alaga para ibenta. Naiyak ako habang naririnig ang matining niyang iyak. Ayoko na uling tumulong sa pag-aalaga ng mga baboy ni tatay.

Ilang linggo pagkatapos mawala ni Bikbik, pinahiram ako ng kaklase ko ng aklat na Ang Unang Baboy sa Langit ni Rene Villanueva. Puro teksbuk lang ang pinababasa sa amin. Noon lang ako nakakita ng librong pambata, tungkol pa sa baboy!

Paulit-ulit kong binasa ang kuwento ni Butsiki, ang baboy na gusto ng kalinisan. Naalala ko si Bikbik sa pagbasa ko ng buhay ni Butsiki. Parehas silang laging malinis. Parehas silang laging nakangiti. Naisip ko na parang umakyat rin sa langit si Bikbik gaya ni Santa Butsiki. Nang mamatay ang alaga ko, nasalba niya ang pag-aaral naming magkakapatid.

Salamat kay Butsiki, naintindihan ko ang pagkawala ni Bikbik. Tumulong na uli ako sa pag-aalaga ng mga baboy pero hindi ko na sila pinangalanan at di ko pinanood kapag natutulog. Nakilala ko na rin sina Maria Makiling, Lam-Ang at napakarami pang tauhan sa mga aklat nina Grimm, Andersen at maging mga modernong nobeleta ni Pascal. Lahat ng ito buong ingat kong hinihiram

Faith in the Corridors of Power is a thought-provoking collection of reflective entries. The late great Mrs. Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano interacts with Former Senate President Dr Jovito Salonga on the issues of life and faith in the context of Filipino society. 

Here’s a chapter from the book, entitled Wise Leadership

 

How do we usually judge if a country is stable, even progressive? The population is growing and active, with more youth and people of working age.  Its land area is sufficient for varied industries to thrive and prosper. Its gross national product is healthy; its government and bureaucracy are in place such that the working relationships are not adversarial but harmonious; it is in stride with the technological developments of the world as well as enjoying political, economic, and cultural connectedness with other nations.

 

These are just some indicators.

 

All these could happen and more if there is wise leadership at the top; if there are officials who can be trusted by the people – officials whose actions are not routinely contradicted by the citizenry for their irresponsibility or downright wickedness; if sensible men and women sit in the halls of power whose shared vision for the country is large and wide and whose practical bent of mind gets things done with a minimum of political infighting within a democratic framework.

 

“What the Philippines needs at this time is not simply popularity in poll surveys or dogmatic assertions of doctrinal correctness,” Dr Salonga reiterates, “but ethical moral leadership – if we want a government we can really be proud of, one that is good and decent because its high officials do not confuse ends with means, and are themselves upright and competent, honest and dedicated and compassionate.”

 

In a democracy, such quality of leadership emanates from the people. It has always been said, we get the government we deserve because the people themselves choose their elected officials who will lead them. And most of the time, citizens do not use their best judgement in choosing their leaders, but think with their grumbling stomachs.

 

The time to become an educated voter is now, by being responsible and wise as a leader in your own right.

 

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Mrs. Evelyn Miranda Feliciano took a peek into the mind and heart of the noble statesman Dr. Jovito Salonga who reveals how his relationship with God plays a crucial role in his decision-making as a politician, as an advocate of justice, and as the so-called conscience of the nation. The result is Faith in the Corridors of Power, a powerful and inspiring book that tries to bridge that gap between belief and politics.

This book is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops, National Bookstores and PCBS nationwide for only P250

The Filipino Book Bloggers is holding the first ever Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards this coming August to “develop awareness and appreciation of Philippine literature; recognize the reader’s role in creating the meaning and experience of a literary work; and give the readers a voice in the Philippine book industry.”

One of the categories here is the Children’s Picture Book category for titles published in the Philippines from January 2010 to December 2011.
Hiyas, OMF Literature’s imprint for children, has published several titles in this category.

 

Bee Safe by Joyce Piap-Go

Follow Dee the BEe in the first of the Little Bee Book series as he teaches your kids some of the do’s and dont’s that can ensure their safety at home, in school, or wherever they are.

 

 

The Great Duck and Crocodile Race by Robert Magnuson

Duck and Croc want to race!

Think you can guess who wins first place?

Hold on to your seats! They’re ready to go!

It’s a Thrill-a-Minute, page turning, one-of-a-kind show!
Oh Mateo 13: Tree For All by Grace D. Chong

The 13th book in the Oh Mateo series teaches Teo and young kids good stewardship and how to take  care of the environment.  They are never too young to be eco-friendly.

 

 

 

 

Mga Kwento ni Tito Dok 16: Aha! May Allergy Ka Pala by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

After tasting prawns for the first time, Julia learns something about herself when her body starts displaying strange symptoms.

 

 

 
If you have enjoyed any–or all–of these books and would like more people to read them, please nominate them to the Readers’ Choice Awards.
Please click here to know more about the nomination process. Deadline for submission of nominations is on July 22, 2012.

Thank you for helping us spread the word

Having been a teenager once in her life, and now a mother to two daughters, Anne Nicomedes-Esteban now wants to share with young people what are the things she learned from being on both sides of the fence.

Anne is an artis, entrepreneur and food enthusiast who also occasionally “ponders about the profound and sometimes unusual things about life.” To read more of her writing, visit her blogs The Rare Occasions and Will Write For Food

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Now that I have two daughters, I feel like the mysterious door of the adult perspective has been opened to me and revealed a whole new world of wisdom that was simply beyond me during my youth. Everything my parents and elder friends told me before that sounded killjoy, narrow-minded and inconsiderate now actually makes sense. Yet, I still understand why I thought what I thought before. The sentiments that I held before still hold value for me. I just see now the gap that keeps these two generations apart in their thought.

So being here in this unusually eye-opening boundary, here are the insights I learned. I posted the insights I want to share with the elder sector in a previous blog entry. But here, I’m talking to the youth. Yes you.

To the young:

1. Your parents, however killjoy, annoying, inconsiderate, irritable, selfish and boring in their perspective and choices, being a parent myself, I now see that they want only the best for you. I know, I know, you’ve heard that like countless times but guess what? It’s true! And there is no other way to put it.

2. Please forgive your parents for not understanding you. You know adults are faced with pressures, demands and responsibilities that occupy too much of their minds. Even if they become hurtful, they don’t mean for things to be like that.

3. When you are young, you see the adults as your heroes whether it be your college secretary, your Sunday School teacher or your grandmother. However, they are also human who make mistakes. Sometimes, they come to a point when they are depressed but they are just hiding it from you. Sometimes they don’t tell you that they were betrayed by a co-worker, or is struggling to keep their marriage working, or is drowning in debt from a failed business, or desperately lonely for a companion. Many, many things that unfortunately, time has not allowed you to understand YET. So when adults seem to be acting unreasonably, there might be a slight chance that they are struggling to keep their heads above the water themselves.

4. Do not be too proud. I know that you think you know what you are doing. You think you got it all figured out. Well, I thought so too. So believe me, if you want to be spared from feeling utterly stupid after getting out of your crazy teenage years, if you do not want to be ridden with ugly regrets, you gotta have a teachable heart and admit that you are not as wise as you thought you were. Listen to your parents and mentors. Why is that?

5. Your parents were also teenagers. They also did practical jokes to their teachers, had catfights and messy brawls. They also made a mistake in choosing their college course and their first girlfriend. They were also unsure of who they were (heck, some of us are still unsure of ourselves after all these years!) and struggled to belong. They also spent lonely moments crying and mourning over horrendously wrong and irreparable decisions borne out of the stubbornness they had when they were your age. Many adults I know made a lot of mess during their youth that is why they can say what they are saying to you right now. It will be wise if you pause and give your parents’ advice some careful thought.

This is an excerpt from Calling Christian Leaders, one of John Stott’s last published books before his “homecoming” with our Lord

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A leader, according to its simplest definition, is someone who commands a following. To lead is to go ahead, to show the way and to inspire other people to follow. Leaders are needed in every walk of life. Leadership is not restricted to world statesmen, national top brass, the opinionformers who dominate the media, and the senior executives of multinationals. Leaders can also be influential in their local community: teachers in the school, students in the university, parents in the home, and many others ‘Leadership’ is a word shared by Christians and non-Christians alike, but this does not mean that their concept of it is the same. On the contrary, Jesus introduced into the world a new style of servant-leadership. He said:

‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the

Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise

authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever

wants to become great among you must be your servant,

and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all’ (Mark 10:42–44).

The most influential leader in the early church was undoubtedly the apostle Paul. Appointed by Jesus as the apostle to the Gentiles, he never lost his vision of God’s single new humanity, Jews and Gentiles together, for which he suffered painful opposition and imprisonment. And in his letters we watch him exercising his leadership skills.

Of course, Paul was an apostle, and we are not. Indeed, as I shall argue in this book, there are no apostles in the church today who have an authority comparable to that of the apostles Paul, Peter, James and John, the apostolic writers of the New Testament. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has evidently intended from the beginning that his church should be shepherded, or have pastoral oversight. So from the first missionary journey onwards Paul appointed elders in every church (Acts 14:23), and he later instructed Timothy and Titus to do the same, giving instructions as to what kind of people pastors should be (1 Tim. 3:1ff.; Titus 1:5ff.).

In the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians, which form the basic text of this book, Paul is responding to the complex Corinthian situation, and to the questions the Corinthians have addressed to him. He does so with admirable clarity, wisdom, humility, love and gentleness: pastoral qualities that are sorely needed by Christian leaders today.

During the last thirty-five years or so I have had the privilege of travelling to many countries and observing the church and its leadership. As a result, it is my firm conviction that there is too much autocracy in the leaders of the Christian community, in defiance of the teaching of Jesus and his apostles, and not enough love and gentleness. Too many behave as if they believed not in the priesthood of all believers but in the papacy of all pastors.

Our model of leadership is often shaped more by culture than by Christ. Yet many cultural models of leadership are incompatible with the servant imagery taught and exhibited by the Lord Jesus. Nevertheless, these alien cultural models are often transplanted uncritically into the church and its hierarchy. In Africa it is the tribal chief, in Latin America the machismo (exaggerated masculinity) of the Spanish male, in South Asia the religious guru fawned on by his disciples, in East Asia the Confucian legacy of the teacher’s unchallengeable authority, and in Britain the British Raj mentality, the overbearing pride associated with the period of British rule until Indian independence in 1947. It is easy for Christian leaders to assimilate one or another of these models without realizing it. But we need to determine that there is no place in the Christian community for the guru or the Confucian teacher, for the African chief, the British Raj mentality or Spanish machismo. These models are not congruous with the spirit of love and gentleness.

James Stalker was a Scottish minister and author at the end of the nineteenth century. In one of his books he wrote:

“When I first was settled in a church, I discovered a thing of which nobody had told me, and which I had not anticipated, but which proved a tremendous aid in doing the work of the ministry. I fell in love with my congregation. I do not know how otherwise to express it. It was as genuine a blossom of the heart as any which I have ever experienced. It made it easy to do anything for my people …

We have considered in 1 Corinthians 4 four models of ministry which Paul paints of his own apostolic ministry, and which are also applicable to Christian leaders today, even though they are not apostles. ‘This is how you should regard us,’ Paul writes. ‘We are underlings of Christ, stewards of revelation, the scum of the earth, and the fathers of the church family.’ Further, the common denominator of all four is humility: humility before Christ, whose subordinates we are; humility before Scripture, of which we are stewards; humility before the world, whose opposition we are bound to encounter; and humility before the congregation, whose members we are to love and serve.

My prayer, as you read this book, is that Christian leaders who peruse these pages may be characterized above all else by what the apostle Paul called ‘the meekness and gentleness of Christ’ (2 Cor. 10:1).

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John Stott was one of the world’s leading and most loved Bible teachers, preachers, writers, pastors and mission-leaders. He is the author of many books including the best-selling “Basic Christianity”.

Calling Christian Leaders is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops for only P225

As a child, I struggled to give things up. I refused to give up a toy that was broken beyond repair. I caught various animals to keep as pets. Dad always told me to return them to nature. I loved coins so much that I often pretended to put one in the offering at church rather than actually give one up.

In high school, decisions about giving things up became harder. Scheduling conflicts meant I could not both work and play baseball. I gave up baseball. Some of my friends began smoking and drinking. I stopped hanging out with them. I gave up my career ambition when I learned that I was too small to qualify for it.

In college, I needed to give more things up. I enrolled in a school far from home. As a result, I had to give up being with my family. I also had to give up the comfort of living in a place I knew well. Since homework kept me up late, I gave up long nights of sleep.

As an adult, I face an endless stream of decisions about giving things up. Some have to do with my work. Others have to do with activities outside of work.

We are well into the Lent season. Many people are giving up something for this period. It may be meat, shopping, or the hours they spend on social media.

Why do we give things up? Sometimes, we do so because we are told to. We give up other things because something better comes along. We give up some things because we realize they are bad for us. And we give up a few things because we have limits: we can only have or do so much.

What happens when we give something up? Many people become even more focused on that one thing. As a child, I lost sleep wondering whether or not the animals I had returned to the wild would survive.

As a teen, while at work, I daydreamed about baseball. I envied my former friends who seemed to be cooler than me. I found myself wishfully thinking that I was big enough to pursue my career ambition.

In college, my mind often turned to my family and other things I missed about home. For a while, I was tempted to investigate the long-term effects of inadequate sleep. Whatever I had most recently given up became the focus of my heart and mind.

As an adult, I learned to overcome this tendency. Giving things up is not about those things. Nor is it about me. Instead, it is about turning my heart and mind to something better, something more valuable.

As a result, I no longer feel like I am giving things up. Instead, I am gaining things. And mostly, I am gaining Christ. I am giving up temporal things and gaining eternal ones. I am giving up small plans and getting a part in His big plan. I am giving up shallow happiness and gaining deep joy.

The next time you give something up, fight the urge to focus on it or yourself. Instead, fix your mind on what you are gaining. Sense how you are gaining Christ. God will gladly receive the broken, dark, and dirty parts of our lives that we give up to Him. And in their place, He will give us the wholeness, light, and purity of Christ. That is a far better something to fix our mind on!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Smith is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of OMF Literature. Although religious as a child, he came to faith as a teenager. His conversion gave him a new purpose on life. Holder of an MA in Missions from Columbia International University in the USA, Andy has served as an OMF International missionary in the Philippines since 1989. He has planted churches, particularly in Albay province. He now trains and coaches church planters on how to reap a bountiful harvest for the Lord. His first book published by OMF Lit is Meaningful Evangelism: Choosing Words that Connect.

This blog post is for all those graduating this March and those who are officially joining the Philippine work force sometime soon.

STAND UP

By Yay Padua-Olmedo

Dizzying! That’s what choosing products entails nowadays―just too many.

“Which one is more dependable?” “What value could this product add to me?” “Is it worth the price?”

Today’s job market looks pretty much the same. With our country’s unemployment rate at 7%, each year’s graduates struggle with being accepted by employers who will appreciate their worth even if they are greenhorns.

How do you stand out if you’re a new graduate? I’m sure you know the obvious answers: Submit a finely crafted resume. Look professional and dependable. A self-confident but not arrogant air helps. A good command of English is a plus. Your having graduated from a recognized school matters too.

But those are just icing on the cake; or just a badge to get your foot inside the door. Because even if you’re the most English-sera, dress well, or come from the classiest schools, if you’ve not prepped yourself for the rigors of the workplace, I bet you, you’d be resigning at the first sign of an assignment re-do, or your boss saying, “You bungled your first project! Shape up!”

To stand out, you need to stand strong and give your future employer a hint, “I’m of sturdier stuff.” Most HR professionals could sense that right away in an applicant.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” That’s where you start. You don’t need to apply for most of the jobs you see on JobStreet or the classified ads, or line up where all your friends have queued.

Somewhere out there is THE JOB prepared for you.

So pray! Consult His instruction manual, the bible. Ask God to lead you. “Where do you want me to go? Jesus, because you’re my Savior and Lord, you promised to guide me. You said ‘Ask,” so I’m asking.”

Remember your Sunday school memory verse? “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-3).

This is no lame promise. If He has a plan, then He will direct your steps. You need not even fret about it!

(For more wisdom on making it successfully―while maintaining your integrity as a Christian―in the marketplace, read “Going Up?” A perfect gift for yuppies or those graduating from college.)

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You’re trying to make your mark in the corporate world. The workplace will test your character and your faith. You either go with the flow – you compromise. Or you go away – you resign. But there’s another way. You go up – you submit to God and trust Him to mold you as you do your job in the best way you can.

In Going Up? the author, Yay Padua-Olmedo, shares with you lessons she learned from 30 years of navigating through the pitfalls and highpoints of the corporate world. Going Up? is filled with nuggets of practical wisdom you can apply in your everyday work situations.

Going Up? is available at all OMF Lit Bookshops nationwide for only P195