Is Your Headlight On?

I remember the night I was new here in the US. While driving along the highways and streets, a police car followed me. “U Oh, I’m in trouble,” I thought.

Immediately, I parked and waited for the officer to approach me. My family and I were wondering what did I do wrong.

“Officer,” politely I addressed him, “What is my offense?”


“Driver’s license and registration please,” he asked. “Did you see me making a signal? Your headlight is on a high beam.”

“Oh no, I’m so sorry, sir,” I apologized while he is checking my information. “We just came from Pennsylvania and I didn’t notice that I forgot to lower the high beam when I entered the route from the interstate,” I explained a little.

Taking a look at the car inside, he asked, “Are these your kids?” “Yes sir,” I replied.

“How old are they?” he said. “Aaah, thirteen…twelve…nine?” I struggled to remember.

“You don’t know their ages?” the officer grinned and chuckled.

I sheepishly smiled, “You know, dads are very forgetful of dates and the like. Are you a father also, officer?”

The officer laughed. “Ok, next time, do not forget to check your lights or you will cause an accident.” He returned my license and registration and I said, “Thank you, Sir!”

He said, “Drive safe and have a good night.” He did not give me a ticket but I’ve learned my lessons.


That incident made me think how important lights are when you journey in the dark. But you also have to be careful that others will not be blindsided.

We all know that a light is needed in night driving. It is very dangerous to travel at night with no headlights. That’s why cars are loaded with different kinds of lights to assist everyone to safely travel down the road and be visible at night.

However, we also know that too much light can cause harm than good. Honestly, I don’t like the glaring LED–not just that it’s a light pollution for me but–because it also causes some trouble that could blindside you and cause an accident.

However, I have to be aware also that my light is properly on or else others or I will be in trouble along the road.

Beam On

In life, a lot of people go through their journey without their headlights on, while others are not using them well.

When the Scripture says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105 ESV), it highlights the power of God’s Word to illumine our lives as we go through time.

It means God’s Word will shed light on your surrounding and help you see your state of being and situation in life. It also brightens your direction in life and enhances you not to stumble when life goes dark and dreary.

A person who does not seriously take God’s Word in life is like someone driving in the dark without his or her lights on.

It’s not a question whether he or she will have an accident or not; it’s just a matter of time.

The best option, however, is actually to have the Word of God and apply it to our lives. Then your path grows brighter, better, and best than ever before.

Glenn Plastina © 2018


The Pastor Who Invented Basketball

I came from a land where basketball is very popular, the Philippines.

Even though it’s almost 10 years I haven’t played any basketball competitions, I still love watching it and had fond memories as a young playing coach, touring in our many-island country.

Christian Beginnings

Do you know that in 1891, James Naismith invented Basketball as we know it?

Naismith is a Presbyterian pastor who studied for the ministry at the Presbyterian College in Montreal. After his theological training, he went on to work as physical education instructor at Springfield College in Massachusetts where he invented basketball.

James Naismith proceeded to work as a gym instructor at a YMCA’s International Training School in Denver with their goal to “win men for the Master through the gym.”

Elisha Coffman wrote an article “The Sport of Saints?” about the Christian history of basketball. He noted,

“Winter gets cold in Massachusetts, so Naismith wanted to devise an indoor activity that would keep his students busy and fit. Thinking back to rock-throwing games he’d played during his childhood in rural Ontario (origin of the phrase, “give me the rock”?), he nailed half-bushel peach baskets to both ends of the Springfield gym, split his 18-member class into two 9-member teams, and instructed the boys to try to toss a soccer ball (accurately, not forcefully) into the other team’s goal.”

But having 18 players on the basketball court did not look pleasant. “Naismith quickly refined the game to its current form: two five-player teams, a ball four inches larger in circumference than a soccer ball, and hoops with nets and backboards,” Coffman describes.

After the modifications, in January 1892, the basketball rules were published. Since then basketball spread from America to Europe and the whole world, including our country. It was an indoor game that found its way even to the streets and corners of the world.


Were you wondering why referees penalize technical fouls in Basketball?

Every game has rules and regulations. Basketball, for example, prohibits tripping, striking, shouldering, pushing, holding, etc. To some extent, the basketball rules are reflective of its inventor.

A.A. Stagg, who is considered as “the Dean of American football,” described Naismith as the “inventor of basketball, a medical doctor, a Presbyterian Minister, a teetotaller, an all-around athlete, a non-smoker and the owner of a vocabulary without cuss words.”

Since the inventor of basketball is a man of principle, prohibitions are part of the discipline in the game.

For me, the beauty of the game is in developing that self-discipline. You could win too many titles but without discipline, it would amount to nothing in life.

Creating Winners 

It was in 1936 Berlin games that basketball became the first team sport in Olympic competition.

One of the inherent powers of the basketball game is in its compelling influence to create winners.

How come? Isn’t it that in a game, there will always be losers and seldom winners?

Take a look at NBA, as well as other leagues, it’s a winner takes all, right?

But have you noticed that there were great players who remained in the game for the love of it?

Many of them may have not won a championship ring but they have brought out the best in them through basketball. Their attitude makes the huge difference.

The environment where basketball flourished was the YMCA. It used to value the “Christian” aspect of the game. The YMCA gyms were the “basketball’s incubators” for young men to have a “wholesome alternative to hanging out in saloons. They were also intended to promote civic and religious education.”

There is no doubt that Naismith’s job at Springfield was to train men for the Christian ministry. Remember, those were the times when the Sunday school movement was growing and thriving. As such the YMCA focused on “the fourfold program” for fitness, namely the “physical, social, mental, and spiritual development.”

No wonder, the fitness program produced great spiritual men and leaders in the past.

In my life, I’ve watched men who’ve lost their temper and testimonies through basketball. Indeed, the game will build or break you. It will manifest what’s within.

I hope that in basketball season or games, we would heed Naismith’s advice. He said, “Let us be able to lose gracefully and to win courteously; to accept criticism as well as praise; and to appreciate the attitude of the other fellow at all times.”

Have you ever thought that the real winners in whatever basketball category you might be in are those who win in the spirit?

Love the game. Just don’t lose your soul.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

Your Way or God’s Way

In this life, we all make choices: To live your way or God’s way.

Millions of people know. It is not just a seeming national anthem, but also a personal one. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” is both a famous and infamous song.

It is not just a summary of Sinatra’s life journey, but a defiant anthem echoed in the lives of millions.

The Making

There is a story in every song. My Way is not an exception. It was actually a rewrite from a song “As Usual” (French Comme d’habitude”) that didn’t make the charts much.

Meanwhile, Sinatra decided to quit the business and made a deal with singer-songwriter Paul Anka to write a song that would summarily epitomize his life journey. It must be a song that would define Sinatra’s whole life and music.

Anka placed himself on the shoes of Sinatra and wrote the lyrics the way Sinatra would express his defiant outcry with the “As Usual” swag. The remake became very successful as millions could identify themselves with the anthem.

One commenter even said, “My Way has become one of the most covered songs ever written with over 100 different artists recording versions of the song.”


The core message of the song is about the life journey defined by the one traveling and no one else. It is uncompromisingly defiant as it declares:

“I’ve lived a life that’s full / I traveled each and ev’ry highway / And more, much more than this, I did it my way.”

It’s basically captured in the phrase, “I did what I had to do.”

As such, people from all walks of life could find themselves captured in the message of the song. Presidents, dictators, Mafioso, artists, rock stars, and ordinary people sing it alike.

But an existential question–“For what is a man, what has he got?”–came out shorthanded. Sinatra only found it in his own persona. “If not himself, then he has naught.”

If only Sinatra knew Jesus threw the similar question of what shall a person gains in the whole world and yet loses his own soul along the way.


Late in his life, Sinatra actually became sick of the song. He abhorred it.

Dominic Utton said, “Perhaps the strangest twist in the story of My Way is that the man who immortalized the song grew to hate it.” It’s been overheard that old Sinatra could not stand the song himself.

According to Sinatra’s daughter, his father “always thought that song was self-serving and self-indulgent. He didn’t like it. That song stuck and he couldn’t get it off his shoe.”

The song is, in fact, infamous in the Philippines. Several people allegedly died because of the song. Asia Time said, “The song is so popular and singing it is taken so seriously that dozens have died because of My Way.”

Ironically, it is still the most requested song in funerals according to Co-Operative Funeralcare survey.

However, in 1998 Sinatra died and did not choose “My Way” as his life’s epitaph. Instead his other song, “The Best Is Yet to Come” was etched on his tombstone.

From a biblical point of view, it is true. The best is yet to come when you trust Christ as your Lord and Savior and live His way—not yours. Other than that, the worst is waiting on the other side of life.

May our prayers be like the Psalmist who said, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever” (Psa 86:11-11-12 ESV).

What would you do if you’ll find when “the end is near” and you’ve lost your way?

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Don’t Worry Along the Way

Do you feel that you’re very vulnerable?

As we grow older, the body is getting weaker and the mind is getting tired.

Moreover, there are older people who feel that their money is slipping away, getting drained due to medications and their needs. Many are also feeling isolated and just living indoors.

Anxious and lonely people are, indeed, very vulnerable.

Is there an antidote?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).


What are the things that you are worried about these days.

The command “Don’t be anxious about any thing” shows us the reality that, indeed, in life people are worried about a lot of things.

The truth is God knows everything in your heart and what you’re worried about. He also knows that you are not in control. He is.

Jesus even commanded His disciples not to worry or be anxious about their basic necessities. He also challenged the meaninglessness of worry.

Likewise, the apostle Paul is on the same line of faith–to not worry, no matter what.


There is something in human nature that easily makes us to worry easily–something that is not common among animals.

Have you observed that anxiety affects the body?

I did had an experience where my emotional state did huge damage to my health and well-being, especially when I struggled about my previous work that caused unjust pain on my family.

Those were the evil days, but God took us away from that hellish environ.

Have you also heard of what medical practitioners call “psychosomatic diseases”?

The fact is this. If Placebo can impact the body, the same is true with anxiety. And yet, people are often tempted to worry.
But what good does worry bring on a person?

If worry leads someone to take action and get results within his grasp, then it does something better. But to worry on things beyond your control, is there really a point on that?


In the midst of time and circumstances where we feel we are anxiously lonely and vulnerable, gratitude makes a person hopeful.

Most recent scientific researches found out that being grateful is great in achieving goals. But what I love about gratitude is in its ability to magnify the good things in your life, instead of the bad and those things beyond your control.

Be thankful and take everything to God. Be still and know that He is in control of your every situation–not just today, but also of tomorrow and forever.

That’s why in everything, you can come to God in prayer and commit whatever is bothering you, whether it’s about your health, money, family, and anything else.

I fully understood that the moment I take the wheel and drive, I only have control of my car. I don’t have any control of other motorists’ attitude or whatever accident that may come.

In life, either I will allow myself to be paranoid, paralyzed, and not moving forward or move on and pray all will be well in the journey.

Why worry when you can pray?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

Do You Know the Way?

It’s often assumed that before we hit the road, take the wheel, and move on, we know exactly where we’re supposed to go.

But why do people don’t do that in life?

Why do lots of people drift in their journeys and do not care where the roads would lead them?

There was a time when Jesus said, “You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:4 NIV).

If Christ is going to speak to you now and repeat these words he spoke to His disciples, what would you say and do?


Have you ever observed that before anyone would ever take any journey, at least they have to know their destiny?

The same is true in our spiritual journey.

It is interesting to note that almost every religion talks about eternal destinies.

Even Jesus Himself spoke of an eternal destiny for His followers. He assured them:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms” (vv.1-2a). This means that faith in God leads to a definite destiny.


Whether we like this or not, a day will come for everyone to depart in his or her time. No one may have known when but it will certainly come.

When Jesus said, “if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (v.2b), He meant every word He promised.

And yes, Jesus did. He even departed from earth back into that eternal dwelling place of the Father. He also pointed out that He is preparing that celestial place for those who truly believe.

In short, heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

Think of this. Before you leave this earth, isn’t it reasonable that we must think of where we are really going while we live and where we are really heading after we die?


Jesus assured also. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (v.6).

Do you remember the American General who promised the Filipino people “I shall return?” Whether he was also making a declaration of himself to return to prove his power and make history, the possibility that he might get not is still there.

But for Jesus Christ, the promise is not a “shall” but a “will.” It will certainly come to reality and not fail.

I will come back,” Jesus vowed to take those who believe.

That’s why when Jesus talked about the ultimate destination, there is no second guessing. And that promise is really great for you if you believe.

I pray that before we leave this place called “earth,” you have already heard the basic instructions. For on that day before God, there is no coming back.

Always be prepared.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

The Road to Learning

Teaching children does not have to be complicated. As a father and founding CEO of a Christian school (hope it is still Christian), let me share some wisdom.


Here are my four-way tests to a truly Christian school.

  1. Is the school essentially a ministry in mission and vision or just to make money and fulfill personal ambitions?
  2. Do the administrators have the moral ascendancy to lead such school or just positional appointees to serve some vested interests?
  3. Does the Spirit of God fill the teachers and transform the students?
  4. Do the policies and dealings of the school with the parents reflect Christian ethics and values?

As parents, your choice to send your kids to a Christian school or not to enroll them to a “professing” school only makes a huge difference.


God designed that parents must be the first–not last–teachers of children. They are to be at the forefront of education, not at the far side.

Since the ancient times, one of the primary roles of parents is facilitating the learning process of children.

Parents are commanded to teach God’s revealed truths and laws to their children.

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19 NIV).


Every parent must never let down their roles as teachers to their children.

On the other hand, every child must know and understand that it is God’s will that their parents are also teachers.

One of the most dangerous stage in a student’s life is to believe everything their teacher says and fail to hear their parents.

In an educational system that is increasingly anti-Christian, atheistic, humanistic, and politically correct, traditional values, character, and godliness are harshly opposed and bullied.

Students are not allowed to pray and banned in reading the Bible at school, but those who are in prison are not.

Every parent must take every chance to teach their children about the things of God.

While there seems to be an emphasis on the teaching and talking, the key is on the clarity and consistency of the communication process. Handing down information cannot replace the need for transformation.

This is where every parent must be creative in their ways of teaching children. There must be variety in the times, places, and topics that are meant to prepare them for life and–don’t forget this–for eternity.

Are you leading your children to the path of life and wisdom, as well as to eternity?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

Clarity in the Highway of Confusion

Have you ever read Abdu Murray’s new book “Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World”? I did and it’s a great read.

If you take your Christian faith seriously, regardless of your denomination, this book is a good deal.

Imagine thousands or even a million motorists traveling through a major highway without any demarcation lines and signage. Everyone is making their own way in all directions.

Added to it are the hot climate and raging tempers insisting on their own path of truths, pushing their one-way whims, barging anyone in total confusion. If ever there are road signs, the meaning depends on the personal interpretation of the motorists.

It’s a total rampage. What would you do and how would you respond?

Culture of Confusion

Fake news is the new truth. Unfortunately, it is also very violent and indecently adamant.

Such culture of confusion is addressed in Abdu Murray’s Saving Truth. This book is a timely, scholarly contribution for serious-minded Christians who want to tread the maze of the post-truth world (yes, the post-modern era is dead. Welcome to the post-post-modern age).

“Post-truth,” hailed as the “word of the year” in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as the prevailing feeling-above-facts phenomenon, especially in the Western civilization. Objectivity is irrelevant, subjectivity reigns without restrictions.

As such, it is a major highway where mob rules based on emotional appeals and personal beliefs, even if those are devoid of established truths and full of falsehood. Worse, it is politically motivated.

In the post-truth world, there is no such thing as absolute truth. If you embrace such clear-cut truth, you’re either a bigot, intolerant, oppressive, and offensive. In other words, you are an enemy to be eliminated and those who are confused are hailed as heroes.


The culture of confusion is breeding the collective spirit of anger in the world today.

Instead of being reasonable, as Murray explained, Christians and the rest of the conservative world are met with surging fury regarding the established truths about freedom and autonomy, human dignity as well as sexuality, gender, and identity.

Murray also addressed the impact of the culture of confusion on science and faith, as well as religious pluralism.

As a Christian apologist, Murray explains how the massive culture came to be and how it also influences some gullible Christians.

In fact, he is very concerned when Christians blindly propagate fake news without verifying its integrity.


Christians who embrace the culture of confusion added the vacuum and promotes ambiguity to its message. It’s like joining the chaos in the highway of confused people and not knowing where to go and how to get there.

Even though the post-truth culture is nothing new, Murray provided a clear-cut reasoning against the idolatry of confusion and its worshiping minions.

Saving truth is a call for clarity—and Murray is a watchman to listen to. It’s not easy reading, but as I believe it is a must reading.

After all, who said the Christian journey in the culture of chaos is easy?

I encourage you. If you want to be a better follow and leader of Christ, “Saving Truth” is a great read. I pray it would make a difference in your path since this book is an excellent resource.

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Children Crossing

We all care for our children and their future. But as a parent, have you ever asked yourself this question: In what path am I pointing and preparing my child(ren) to?

As a father, I love my kids. The same is true for my wife—we love our children so much. We care for the future of our kids and we want them to be prepared in their life journey.

What are we going to do?

One of the most important principles we adhere to is this: “Train up a child in the way he should go even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).


The Hebrew word for “train” includes the act of devoting children, not just teaching and training them in the way of God. It is an imperative or command, not a suggestion.

If you believe that this is God’s Word, then this is a mark indicative of our obedience or disobedience as parents.

(I really wonder why would parents expect obedience from authorities, e.g. God, parents, etc., if they themselves do not demonstrate obedience from the same authorities.)

On the other hand, devoting a child is a conscious effort from the parents to dedicate their children as gifts to the Lord and sustain that principle of setting them apart for God.

While we have decided to dedicate our children in a simple and sacred ceremony, we also realize that it is a continuing process, not just a one-time act.


I always believe that discipline is part of our roles as loving Christian parents.

I’m a tough trainer and tender father because I don’t take life easily—and my wife complements me as a nurturing and caring mother to our kids.

The problem is that the world today has been brainwashed with false philosophies and pseudo-science that discipline is not good for a child for it would reduce their intellect and destroy their self-image and mental health.

God’s timeless truth, however, shows otherwise. “Train up a child,” God’s Word commands.

Parents, if you really love your children, then you have to discipline them—or else, you’ll just be prepared when God, the government or the reality of life will do that for you.


The Wisdom tradition in the Bible shows two ways in life only: “the way” of wisdom and life or the way of foolishness and death. As parents, those are your two choices, nothing in between.

Imagine what would happen if you just let the child drive the vehicle for the family, it’s common sense what would happen.

A child who is untrained tends to be soft and when a child is so naïve to face this world, they’ll soon realize that the path of the world will not take it easy on them.

In fact, weak people who are unprepared to face the risks of the world would find themselves in much trouble. Raising an undisciplined and weak child is a potential suicide.

God has set the directive and destiny already. To devote, discipline, and direct a child in God’s way is a revelation, not pseudo-science and pop psychology.

In this family journey, by God’s grace, I’m the designated driver while my wife is the complementary navigator besides me.

Based on God’s Word, I lead my family to where were are going and how to get there and they follow my example to live a life of loving God and taking time to be holy.

Would you take the same challenge too?

Glenn Plastina © 2018

Be Thankful for Your Past

Gratitude affects your altitude.

The purpose of a car’s rear windshield is to see who and what’s behind you.

In life, there are also important aspects that you need to recognize when you look back.


Being grateful of your past is a great attitude if you want to have a bright future.

Humans as we are, it makes us unique from all other creation because we have the ability for retrospection and gratitude about our past.

I’ve learned in life that your past does not define who you are and does not determine your future.

You may not be able to change your past, but you can always be thankful that they can remain behind if you don’t want them for now or you want them to move forward.


Just recently, in a couples meeting, I heard someone said, “We are still in the middle of our journey.”

Since most of us are in our forties, it reminds us that we are mostly going through a significant past and a stable present (experientially, emotionally, economically, etc).

At this mid-journey, lots of stuff are going on. These are mostly part of the process of reaching our personal dreams and family aspirations.

Have you ever thank God for the gifts life, love, laughters, and even those loneliness and losses?

I believe that everything that happened in the past and those that are going on in the present contribute to the level is of your maturity in the journey.


Where you came from matters on where you’re going to. But there are those who can’t let go and can’t move on. If that’s your case, there will be no progress.

It’s a blessing that of all God’s creations, we received the gift of seeing progress and appreciation of it. As humans, we realize that growth, development, and progress are essentials to living a meaningful life.

Since grateful people attracts the good things in life, and ungrateful ones usually end up empty in heart and soul, would you take time to be grateful for what you have, what you become, and what you’ve experienced?

When was the last time you were truly grateful to God?

Be like David who sang, “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1 NIV).

In the same way, Paul instructed us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:28).

Glenn Plastina (c) 2018

Guilt Trip

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “guilt trip”?

In life, many times people go through the crossroads of guilt. No one is exempted because guilt is a universal experience and feeling.

The Bible says, “The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright” (Proverbs 21:7 ESV).


Guilt trip has some risks. Human as we are, we are prone to it. Parents do it to their children and vice versa, including other relationships like couples, friendships, fellowships or employment.

A guilt trip is often an uneasy feeling of responsibility induced by someone. There are usually a victimizer and a victim. The victimizer would cause the victim to feel punished for their shortcomings or transgressions in the past.

As such, guilt trip is often considered a passive manipulation with aggressive psychological and emotional effects.

The usual results of guilt trip are resentment, anger, self-doubt or anxiety on the part of the guilty.

However, not all “guilt trip” is manipulator-induced. Have you ever experienced guilt when you stand in the presence of someone you love or wronged even if they did not do anything?


In a time where “safe spaces” are becoming sacred altars, most sensitive people want to feel at ease even if they are aware of their shortcomings and sins.

This is where we must realize that we are accountable for all our actions even if no other person is making us uncomfortable or manipulating us.

The truth is when a guilty person admits his or her guilt either he can dismiss it or dare to be responsible.

It’s because when there is no sense responsibility for any actions, morality and truth are sacrificed at the expense of unstable feelings.

It’s true. No one can change the past but it is your responsibility to seek restitution or redemption if it is in your power to do so.

Either you use guilt as an alibi to stay the same or an accountability to be better. Instead of justifying, why not ask for forgiveness and find grace?


The problem with modern psychology is to downplay guilt as simply an unhealthy and useless emotion.

To some extent, this is a trap to accuse religious convictions as an oppressive and toxic environment that would cause anyone depression and mental disorders because they feel uncomfortable for their sins and wrongs.

Could this be a way also of putting God on a ward as a manipulative oppressor for causing guilt on those who stand before Him?

Regardless of how people feel, the fact remains. Sin causes guilt but it does not end there. It only shows us how we desperately need God forgiveness.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites voluntarily offered “guilt offerings” to God as a form of restitution (Leviticus 5:14ff). Guilt in the Bible is the natural reaction to “breach of faith and unintentional sins.”

The truth is this. Guilt is not simply an emotional feeling but a spiritual reality.

A guilty person who does not admit his shortcomings and sins will not find restoration and redemption. He will even justify sin or just dismiss it as nothing.

That’s why the path of an unrepentant, guilty person remains “crooked.” However, to the person who has integrity, the path is “upright.”

Remember this, if anyone is guilty, it’s either to put yourself in a remorseful state or you genuinely repent and be redeemed or restored in God.

Why not choose the later?

Glenn Plastina © 2018