Accidents Do Happen

Long before you knew how to drive, you’ve realized accidents do happen.

A few years ago, I was driving my vintage, restored ’64 Volkswagen Beetle at Camp John Hay area.

As I was approaching the downhill curve, I heard a weird screeching sound between a metal and a concrete. My right rear wheel—yes, the entire wheel—broke out and rolled away. The rear part of the vehicle skidded on the pavement of the road.


Worse, I’m approaching a sharp curve to the right with two cars approaching my direction. Even if I’ll break, I still can’t stop and would hit the cars in front–an SUV and a van.

The split-second decision I have to make was to step on the unreliable break, steer the car to the right, crash it on the concrete right-side barriers, and hope for the best that the friction will cause the car to halt.

Several factors led me to quickly act that way: Presence of mind and reflexes.

I knew that the German Beetle’s body is tough. In fact, I have two friends who fell down on a 250-feet ravine and came out alive because mainly, the tough body of the Beetle remained intact.

I, too, was confident that the Beetle’s shell could keep me safe (that’s one of the reasons why I’m more confident in driving a car rather than a motorcycle).


I learned through personal experience that accidents happen at any time to any person. Both amateur and expert drivers knew that the risk of accidents is real.

We drive defensively, but we don’t have to be paranoid and think of accidents all the time.

Just like in life, we all know that driving takes a risk. But those risks do not stop us from taking the key, drive our car, and keep on moving ahead.

Even though we don’t use a single accident to define our driving skills or stop us from driving, accidents may be necessary for us to become better drivers.

Of course, nobody wants to have an accident that could make a huge damage to ourselves or even prove fatal. Such horrors on the road are some of the most painful human experiences many have gone through.

But then again, car accidents do not have to stop humans from enjoying the adventure of traveling to wonderful places.


Accidents, how often ugly they may be, helps us realize that no matter how much control we want to make our journey pleasant and safe, they come.

We do not have control over a drunk driver, text-addict youngster driving recklessly, car breakdown, or some aggressive drivers on the path to endangering the lives of others.

Personally, I’m reminded that I may have had accidents on the road or mistakes made in the past, but these words remained a powerful road sign in my journey.

And we know that for those who love God all things (that includes accidents) work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Yes, accidents do happen, but we keep on moving, hoping, and believing that everything would be better.

Glenn Plastina © 2018


Never Follow a Car Blindly

This afternoon, I got an important lesson that almost cost me an accident. Never follow a car blindly.

I was approaching a crossing when the driver of an SUV in front of me hesitated to cross. The car stopped in front, blocking my view of the other side of the street. I can’t do anything but wait behind since the red light stopped it.


When the green light came, the driver immediately moved his car and crossed to the left–and I followed the car casually. Big mistake.

Since we were closer going to the right, when I turned to follow behind, it was then I realized that my view in front was blocked. Another car came from the opposite side and I was nearly hit on the right side when I crossed to the left.

While I was appreciative of the reflexes or patience of the in-coming vehicle, I felt bad inside. I could have caused trouble simply by following a reluctant driver in a car that blocked my view.

Close Call

I’m not an aggressive driver, and thankfully, because of my pace, the driver in front of me gave way to spare us from the trouble of being placed in a middle of a compromising situation. I told my wife, “Now that was a close call. That should not be done again.”

What is a minute or two just to wait for the incoming cars to cross the road before you turn to the left?

Patience and presence of mind are always needed on the road. It should not be divorced. In fact, it is observable that people who are impatient on the road could cause problems, including accidents.

The same is true with having the presence of mind. If your thoughts are wandering because of tiredness from work or rushing to get to your next destination, your mind is fixated to just get there and not being aware of the here and now.

Have you observed that accidents happen during rush hours going to work or when drivers are tired from work?


A non-negotiable rule on the road is always having the presence of mind. Don’t drift in your thoughts and blindly go with the flow. It will potentially lead you to trouble and may cause injury to others.

When I think of driving and spirituality, I can’t help to relate this incidence to the instruction of Jesus on not to be a blind follower.

Jesus offered the greatest opportunity to everyone: “Follow me” (Luke 9:23). His, however, was not a-blind-following-the-blind kind of faith.

While there may be some blind spots in our lives and journey, as Christ healed the blinds, He also opens our eyes to the spiritual truth of knowing more of Him through our personal experiences. He reveals Himself through His Word.

No driver in this world could perfectly follow all the rules and regulations of the road. Road signs are symbols to guide us, not prison cues to confine us. We might be very familiar with the many road signs but there is no guarantee that our human reflexes and choices follow them to the letter.

Nonetheless, the rule applies: never follow a car blindly or closely. Keep a safe distance. Knowing that in spirituality, blind faith is never a demand from Christ, we can trust and stay close to Him.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

From Road Block to a Road Sign for Progress

One night, I was driving with my family in a back road of Mt Olives in New Jersey. It’s quite funny because we were joking that we hope it was not a “wrong turn.” Just kidding that in that dark night and narrow streets in the forest, we were praying we would not make any incidents for that would spell trouble.

But the shortcut I was hoping turned into a long road. The small bridge was closed. I have the option to go back to where I used to take that ride or explore forward into a different, probably long but unknown route. I chose the later.


From time to time, everyone has regrets. With that, the common attitude is to attach regret with a negative feeling. But you could change that.

The truth is this. How you treat regret will build or break your progress in life.

Based on the recent scientific research, people’s regret can actually be a re-course for progress. Michael Hyatt, in his book Your Best Year Ever, says, “It’s time to rethink regret. Instead of a roadblock to progress, think of it as a road sign pointing the way forward.”

He further emphasized that “The fact we feel regret at all is evidence we have what it takes to make a positive change in our situations, no matter how dire they might seem. The only people with no hope are those with no regrets.”

Do you have your own regrets in life?


Make a closure of your past and move forward into the beautiful promise of the future. Don’t allow regrets to hold you back. Instead use it to motivate you to change for something good, better, and best.

The fact that you are aware of what you regret means you know something better that has to be done. Instead of condemning yourself—a common reaction to regrets—you rather use it to compel you to make it better from this time forward into the future.

Either you use regret as a prison or a motivation for something better.

Don’t you know that God has some regrets? Nope. I’m not talking about you as His big frustration.


Although 1 Sam. 15:29 did said, “[T]he Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret,” God did have some regrets. In the same book, it says, “The word of the Lord came to Samuel: ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments’” (15:10).

God may have a certain level of regret about King Saul, but it didn’t stop him to accomplish His purpose in the long haul.

Likewise, people may have regrets on their marriages, education, jobs, financial choices, and other mistakes, but these things should not keep them paralyzed to move forward and become better persons.

Regret is a paradox, but certainly not a prison. You can’t allow a past failure to define your future.

Don’t let regret stop you as a dead-end, for it may lead you to greater opportunities ahead.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Your Faith Journey

I learned more about faith while driving.

One of the lessons I reflect says, “Faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.” It’s not a feel-good gospel, but it does bring hope to this life that our faith journey is comparable to driving.

I’m inclined to think that driving is a matter of faith. What I mean is that—not unless your car is really broken our out of gas but—nobody actually questions whether your car can bring you to your usual destinations.


What most, if not all, people do is that they just open the door, sit, key in, and drive. They don’t question whether the car seats can carry them. Drivers just sit on it. That’s a picture of faith.

Driving from one place to another can be an illustration of faith in a journey. Even people in the Bible applied faith in their journey—great people like Abraham, Jacob (and his unnamed servant), Moses, Joshua, and more.

In all their journeys, they trust in God to bring them from where they are to where God leads them.

To some extent, driving requires a certain level of faith when you travel. Driving along the freeway or major highway, you just trust that other drivers would not want to have an accident or hurt anyone—not to mention a headache it brings.


Most of us do believe that when we step into that car when we drive, we somehow reach our destination in due time. There is no doubt that it only takes a simple faith to believe that you can reach your destiny.

Do you believe that God is going to be with you on your journey in life?

If so, you are not alone. Just like the unnamed servant of Jacob who was very observant. He did want “to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not” (Gen. 24:21 ESV).

Since ancient times, people traveled from place to place. Even the ancient people of the Bible were nomadic people. They are like pilgrims who were not settled in one place, although some of them did travel in one way or another wherever God would lead them.


Think about your life. See where you are right now. Whatever your condition, you have the freedom to do what’s right and go where you really want to go.

Whatever you’ve done in the past, you cannot change it. It’s just a matter of previous mileages that you can’t go back exactly. But it does not mean you cannot do anything better about it.

It’s your choice to be hindered by it or learn from your experience.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Going Home to the Point of No Return

“When we reach the end of our earthly journey, we will have just begun.” Billy Graham said these very meaningful words.

Today, 21 Feb 2018, Mr. Graham passed the point of no return in his life journey. It’s humankind’s loss and heaven’s gain.

The Man

Billy Graham is known as “America’s Pastor.” He is the most influential evangelist in the world who preached to hundreds of millions, (some say, billions). CNN refers to this as “his voice changed the lives of millions”

I am one of those he influenced for having the passion to reach the greatest number of people possible to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

My mentor, Bishop Oscar Magallanes, gave me a book to read entitled The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham by Harold Myra and Marshall Shelley. It has become one of my important possessions in that I even brought it with me to America. In it I learned the importance of the following:

  • Focusing on the mission
  • Integrity and confronting temptations
  • Dealing with criticisms
  • Communicating optimism and hope
  • Mobilizing and managing money
  • Expanding the growing edge
  • Learning from failure
  • Building bridges and birthing dreams
  • Igniting other leaders
  • Innovation and growth
  • Leading with love

One thing I love about Mr. Graham is that he hated the attention given to him as one of the most well-known persons in the world. It is because his motivation in life was not to draw people to himself but to Jesus Christ.

The Message

As an evangelist, his central message is peace with God—that God loves sinners and that Jesus is the hope of all mankind to be reconciled with the holy God by fully trusting in what Jesus has done at the cross.

It was not a smooth journey for Mr. Graham. He avoided some controversial and divisive social issues in order to unite the greater body of Christ. Some Christian leaders admired him for that but others hated and accused him as a conformist or compromiser. And yet, Mr. Graham maintained his focus on the conversion of the people to Christ rather on competing for ideas that do not transform the soul.

The Model

Lewis Drummond, in his book The Evangelist: The Worldwide Impact of Billy Graham, he highlighted the twelve distinct principles that shaped Mr. Graham’s life and leadership:

  • A sense of empowerment by the Holy Spirit
  • A sense of call to preach the true and whole gospel
  • Belief in the centrality of Christ
  • A holistic ministry that addresses human need as well as spiritual reality
  • A biblical and Christlike response to suffering
  • Reliance on the Bible as authoritative and infallible
  • A bold witness
  • A striving for godliness in public and personal life
  • A heart for revival
  • A worldwide focus
  • Love and support for the church

Billy Graham once said, “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” That day has come.

It’s a life and leadership well lived. And Mr. Graham is now, finally, home and has received his reward from God. This leaves us a promise to hold on by in our continuing journey in life towards a final destiny.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

So long, Mr. Graham.

But how about you, dear reader? Are you heading on that final journey?

I hope so. Trust in Jesus. And you will.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Who’s With You Inside that Car?

I love popping questions to my kids while driving. It’s because I love conversing with them (and of course, I realize that someday, it’s just me and my wife along the way). As such, I love to listen to what they have to say.

Karl Barth, one of the most important theologians of the past century, was once asked about the greatest theological ideas he ever learned. Of course, the interviewer and listeners were expecting lofty and high-sounding theological concepts from him.


His reply was, “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”

Who would have thought that out from the mouth of the one who wrote voluminous and complex theological treaties of Christianity would simply summarize his life’s work in a childlike song?

I knew well that song and I loved it since I was a kid. My Sunday school teacher taught me that little song with a big message. Its thought is like a love letter from my Father in heaven—and so it shall be for you and your children.

As a father to three wonderful kids and founder to a Christian school, this reminds me that the greatest motivation for teaching children must be the love of God. This is not just for teachers, but also, above all, for parents, even while you’re driving.

Laying the Foundation

In one-way or another, we all influence children. Are we setting them to succeed or to fail?

Let me share some practical insights about laying up the foundation for their total growth.

  • Engage if you want change. Making a difference in the lives of children is more than just keeping them busy. Busyness does not mean change.
  • Show your commitment in laying a foundation and leading them towards their spiritual growth.
  • Be proactively engage in the total development of your child or kids. Give them great opportunities to learn and grow. Use your time together—yes, even inside the car—as a closer place to learn.
  • Help them build meaningful relationships with good friends. Help them understand the power and potential of having friends with good character.
  • Be an encourager. Show them that you care.
  • Recognize the good things they do and freely give praise. Be quick to give compliment rather than mere corrections. Say sorry when you treat them like adults.
  • Give your kids the great opportunity to do what they do best, not what you want them to do. Some parents push their kids to do what they failed to do and throw their frustrations on them. That’s unfair.
  • Make sure that as parents you meet their spiritual needs. A child is more than just an intellectual, emotional or physical being. The child is also a living soul.
  • Make sure you are aware of your expectations and see them clearly if these are healthy, not delusional or mere comfortable ones.
  • Always strive to do more.

The key is to always expect the best by giving your best.


It does not matter if you have the best car if you left your family behind. We see great and fast cars with empty seats. It’s just cold machine bereft of love.

If Jesus loves your children–and He died for them too–that’s good enough for me. No wonder he said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matt 19:14).

Would you do what Jesus asked you to do?

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Making the Best Out of Riding Alone

When I moved to the US, I drive to my office from Tuesdays to Fridays, especially every Sunday for worship services. During those twenty-something minutes, I make the most out of my time alone.

Most people drive alone to work (except for school bus drivers and parents that I often see every weekday to my kids’ school). Going to work, meeting a client, attending a meeting, and more—what you do at this time being alone matter.


For solitary learners like me, I use driving alone as a time for learning.

For me, solitude means empowerment. I have time to hear good music and sing along or learning new things by listening to audiobooks.

For verbal learners, driving alone is a useful time in honing their speech and communication skills by listening to audio courses, mimicking speeches, or learning a new language.

Driving may not be a good place for visual learners. Watching something inside the car while driving is very dangerous and is prohibited (unless you’re a passenger). That’s why I enjoy the radio because unlike watching the TV, you can do more with your time by listening and doing other things at the same time.

But as a visual learner also, I tend to always watch road signs and associate them with lessons in life. It’s like I’m in my learning zone inside my car to where I’m going and not just recharging before reaching home.


In fact, due to that habit, it gave me an idea to share my lifelong quests for truth on biblical lessons and using driving as a picture of our life journey. This has become so strong as I write these blogs and articles.

Let me tell you a secret. When you’re driving alone, actually, you’re not. It’s not that some Big Brother is watching you or other drivers are constantly taking a look at you.

The truth is, we are not alone. There were individuals in the past that journeyed into life like us.

Take Jacob for example. He thought he was alone. He went away from his comfortable place because he betrayed his brother. He also left his father and mother. But just as he taught that he was alone, God helped him realize that he was not.

Long Way

God promised to Jacob. “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go” (Gen 28:15). And it’s a long way to go. God has to help Jacob see himself along the journey and refine him according to His way.

In this life, we often pray for God’s traveling mercies to be upon us when we travel. But we can understand more the mercy of God when we see His presence and sustaining grace alive and at work in our daily walk with Him.

Who you think about when you’re alone is a reflection of who you are. So don’t be afraid to be alone for it is your time to be with God alone.

Just be careful of the distractions. But as long as you’re moving, you’re learning. His presence, you’re feeling and enjoying. You see, driving alone is ain’t that boring after all.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Why Love Is Worth Keeping?

Love is still the top theme for songs around the world of hate. But the world has often confused love with casual intimacy or passion for hobbies and entertainment. To some extent, some would say, “love is overrated.”

That’s where the problems come in.

When people begin to look for love in wrong places, from wrong people, to wrong objects, through wrong means, everything goes wrong.

Despite the world’s deficient, and, sometimes, distorted, concept of love, God’s idea of it is still the very thing that keeps our lives meaningful, intact, significant, and worth living.

The truth is that love is still the supreme character that would bind our relationships together.

The Apostle Paul says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14 ESV). He emphasized love as the binding commitment that keeps all other values intact.

Here’s what we can do.

1. Prioritize Unconditional Love.

When the Apostle Paul said, “above all else” he emphasized his statement based on importance and priority. He summarized everything of value, be it character, attitude or values. On top of all these things, love is supreme.

No wonder, love is still the highest command of God. Loving God is the highest relationship any person could have, while loving people is our chief duty in order to win people for Christ (Matt. 22:37-40).

I should say, that loving our spouses is our utmost calling in marriage, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:25).

2. Put on Unconditional Love.

Actually the instruction to “put on love” is like a picture of putting on your clothes to wear. Paul’s emphasized this when he repeated what he has just said.

In the context, Paul mentioned some values that should characterize the followers of Jesus. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

It’s like saying, “You may be wearing different clothes of good values, character, and attitudes, but the most important thing to wear on top of these is love.”

3. Practice Unconditional Love at All Cost.

Without love, all of the good characteristics we have will be deficient or meaningless. Think of it.

  • Holiness without love leads to self-righteousness.
  • Being beloved without giving genuine love in return opens up self-centeredness.
  • Compassion apart from love is just a show of helping someone for any other social reasons.
  • Without love, kindness is just being considerate.
  • Humility without love is false humility.
  • Meekness that knows nothing about love is just insecurity.
  • Patience in the absence of love is a silent revenge just waiting to explode.
  • Bearing one another is nothing but a burden apart from love.
  • Forgiveness without love is just a heartless verdict to let go—and that’s it.

In other words, love gives meaning to all our relationships. It adds value to everything good we hold on to. No wonder, Paul gives love the supremacy that keeps all other values in proper place.

Without love, there is total chaos within. But with love, even chaos will make sense. It’s not quantum physics, but love will give a sensible pattern in every difficult circumstance we face in life.

Love is more than just a feeling. It is a conscious demonstration of a selfless, and often sacrificial, commitment to give or share our selves for others.

I remember my late father who gave me a living example of this kind of love. His commitment is so powerful I cannot forget how he loved my mother until he died.

Love may be celebrated during Valentine’s Day, but it is to be lived every day, every minute. For this reason, I still believe, that love is worth keeping and it makes life worth living.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

How to Keep Your Sanity in the Face of Hostility?

Do you feel like losing your mind in the workplace? Let me guess. It’s not the work but a particular person at work.

From time to time, even if you’re trying to live in peace, some hostile individuals come along the way and make your life miserable. It could be in your community, office, church, etc.

What are you gonna do?

One of the timeless guidance a practicing Christian we can use in facing hostile persons is from Matthew 5:11-12.

1. Know Your Enemy.

Knowing your enemy matters for survival and success. An enemy is someone who is hostile and tends to weaken someone.

Hostile people are commonly very insulting, harassing, and malicious, exactly as Jesus described such evil deeds.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

The key in knowing your enemy is not much of your knowledge about them but your knowledge about yourself. The more you focus on them, the less you’re aware of yourself.

Losing yourself in the face of your enemy is one way of losing the battle. You become what your enemy is.

But for Jesus, dealing with hostile people is not about your skills in haggling, self-defense or offensive strategies. It’s the knowledge of yourself as someone who is blessed.

If you’re a blessed person, you keep your center upon God, not your enemy. You’re endowed with a special character to use against hostility by overcoming evil with good.

In facing an enemy, act like Christ in every way.

2. Knock It Off.

Stop whining. People tend to complain to the wrong people their struggles of hostility in the workplace. But does it really work?

In this world, anyone can just find any unreasonable reasons just to be hostile to someone based on race, education, economic standard, religion, and more.

Some are just hostile on their own self and, thus, find it hard to relate to others. They tend to project their unhappy life on others by making them unhappy.

Have you observed that hostile people are usually unhappy and miserable on the inside? They just manifest what’s on the inside through their poor interpersonal relationship skills.

If you’re being targeted with unusual hostility, “Rejoice and be glad,” Jesus said, “because great is your reward in heaven.”

While Jesus is actually encouraging His disciples to keep their joy in the midst of hostility from persecutors of their faith, the principle is very useful: focus on the potentials of the problem, rather than the problem itself.

Problems can be rewarding. There are treasures behind it. Jesus was not saying that in order for one to get more rewards in eternity, one should look for hostile people and endure them.

Jesus is simply giving the command that His followers must stay joyful because there are greater things in store beyond the hostility and struggles at the present.

3. Keep Your History.

While Jesus has the total perspective of the past, present, and future all at once, for humans like us, it helps to see the past from time to time.

Knowing our history is very crucial in facing the present and moving towards the future.

Jesus instructed His disciples not to lose their joy in the midst of hostility, “for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The truth is, hostility is not new. In fact, it’s one thing sure that would come your way in your life journey–not once, but repeatedly.

I learned this in life. It does not matter if your intentions are good. In the ministry where I spent more than half of my life, hostility comes from the people you least expected.

It’s not a matter whether it will happen or not; it’s just a matter of time.

My joy in winning over hostility is never to be anything like your enemy. Fighting a hostile person on his or her terms will turn you into a hostile person too. You might win the war but still, lose the battle.

Don’t you know that you can still win your enemy through love?

That’s why Jesus’ idea to love one’s enemy is totally radical. It’s not easy, but it’s still very relevant.

No wonder, it’s blessed to be a Jesus follower than to be a hostility-monger.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

The Road Map or GPS for Success

Whether we are using the old-school roadmap or the recent GPS and apps, the principle is the same. We need help in finding our way successfully to where we are going.

Just like in life, we must know where we are now, as well as where we are going. Of the same importance, we also have to understand how to get to that place and reach there successfully.

If the destination is already familiar, our minds have already pictured the ways-and-turns to reach it. Yet, there are those who just want to use their guide tools to reach their desired destination faster and safer. Sometimes, for me, I just want to avoid the heavy traffics that would cause me to slow down or be stuck.


We all like to keep on moving. The same is true in life. As much as possible, we want to maximize our lives and not waste it. Nobody likes to have an accident, especially if it will involve the lives of our loved ones or others.

Like driving, we all want to reach somewhere in life and prosper.

I cannot think of anything better than the spiritual guide to success that I call “GPS—God’s Principles for Success” based on God’s Word.


Consider what God said to His people. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8 ESV).

Would you be willing to waste forty years of your life just wandering in the wilderness of being lost and lacking?

Do you like to reach your Promised Land where there will be milk-and-honey in abundance?

Would you choose to take the path to total prosperity from tiring poverty?

How about success from survival?

The truth is, it is your choice. No one can do it for you—nor should anyone blame you for what you choose to do.

However, my prayer is that you reconsider the Bible as your Driver’s Manual in Life. God’s Word will help you answer the basic questions life of your “where from?” and “where to?” It will also give you road signs that will guide you “how to get there?


I think of my self as someone in the process of going to where God is leading me continuously. Consider me as your co-traveler in life and leadership. I pray I could add value to your life journey.

Do you want to “make your way prosperous, and then you will have success”?

If so, let’s drive on in this journey of life with the right road map or GPS.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018