To each HIS own


By Rianne Lim

Archie & I have agreed since day 1 that the standard for which we are going to lead and coach couples who are about to be married, are newly married, or are married for a long time already is the Word of God (period). It is true that our testimony or love story can also be of big help to others, but if it becomes the central message and the main story in our coaching sessions, I think there has to be some checking and balancing that should be done there. It can also get to a point wherein it becomes the standard you impart to or teach others, and if they don’t meet your criteria or the standards or practices that you uphold, God only knows what thoughts you have in your heart.

For me and my husband, every love story and marriage blessed by God is wonderful and beautiful… truly beautiful! Whenever we drive home coming from a wedding (which by the way feels like we have one going every week!), we can only speak in awe about what we just witnessed that day—a beautifully written, Christ-centered union. And we stand amazed on how God never runs out of ideas on how to uniquely give each story its own twists and highlights. Some probably got engaged after just 2 months of dating, some may have fully enjoyed years of dating and only after a while decided to pursue marriage, some even have longer engagement season than their actual dating season, some also may have been disengaged first before they finally got engaged to the person God has prepared for them, some may have been pursued for marriage in their early 20’s or mid 40’s. Nonetheless, each story is a masterpiece, well thought of and wholeheartedly written by God himself!

Let me get this straight, I am not, in any way, saying that you can go ahead and deliberately commit mistakes, after all God can repair it later. What I am saying here is that the moment one heeds to the standard of God in their lives at any given season, no matter how different and unique each story is to another, it is still part of the beautiful story God has perfectly written so that His glory may be known through their union! To look down on one love story and esteem yours is a mockery towards God, for He is the author of not just your story but theirs as well.

Why coaching with your story as the HIDDEN standard is unhealthy:

  1. You will never depend on the Holy Spirit as you lead the couple in their pursuit for a Christ-centered marriage.
  2. You will less likely be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you minister to the couple.
  3. You will panic when the story of the couple is totally out of your league. And may end up hurting them instead of inspiring and helping them.
  4. Your pride grows and you forget that your story is still by God’s grace alone.
  5. When you find someone who has a “better” love story than yours, you pout and frown.
  6. You sow unnecessary seeds of insecurities and ungratefulness to the couple you are coaching.
  7. You can altogether dismiss a couple when they come to you not with your ideal story or standards, but with an honest heart that says, “We had a bad start. Can you help us honor God in this?” and you go on thinking “We told you so,” “See?”
  8. When you are a couple who has been tragically planted with seeds of insecurities and ungratefulness by people around you, you will forever remain silent about God’s story in your life and would only choose a handful of people to whom you want to share it with.
  9. You may be pushed to a point of convincing yourself that your added make-believe highlights and twists to the already complete and perfect story God has written for you is genius and inspiring. Thereby living a lie for the rest of your life.
  10. You will be hindered to celebrate other people’s stories on how God has been good and gracious in their love story.

And the list goes on…

I am glad you love your love story, it is actually a good thing. But I hope it doesn’t become a stumbling block to you and to the people around you, instead may it become a story that would keep on reminding you how good and faithful your God is, and how undeserving you are, but still….

Here’s to more weddings in the coming days, weeks, and months! And may you never be surprised to see tears brimming my eyes as the bride walks down the aisle (even if she’s completely unrelated to me!) in every Christian wedding I will be in.

Compromise or Consensus (Team Meeting Context)

In preparation for our upcoming church strategic planning on May, our would-be facilitator and consultant gave me a very interesting book about running meetings. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
Rarely does it happen on a team to always be agreeable with everything. If that is prevalent, then we got ourselves “yes” men in the team or a set of non committed individuals. A good team usually brews challenges without foregoing the rules of engagement.
To come up with a major decision a team usually would either make:
A Compromise or 
A Consensus
When some interesting points are being discussed, usually a leader in a team pursues compromise to give in to the unanimous decision of the majority. This promotes gridlock and unity. Lest one point can take up the entire day which is absolutely draining for everyone. The little sacrifice after all is for the good of the all. This practice is somewhat effective. However, it usually brings out unhappy team members despite the decision to just give in.
Consensus on the other hand is an interesting practice. Rather than pursuing a “give in”, it is more interested on having “buy ins”. Meaning to say as a leader and team member you have given a “fair hearing in the court and the jury simply has decided” therefore because people agreed to disagree, then you begin to pick up the matter and decide to buy in. Buying in means the “trial” is done and you have no business of opening up the matter outside the “court”. Since you were not able to convince everyone in the team then you are now convinced that everyone else’s proposition is convincing.

Avoiding Stragedy

Bo’s Coffee. 12 noon. Monday.

Putting our books down my wife and I decided to discuss what needs to be discussed. Our leaders are leaving on the 28th and that’s roughly 3 days from now. That leaves both of us to lead and carry on the huge work that they have started and lead the past 12 years, of which both my wife and I are fruits of.

The nature of ministry is quite diverse and unique. Having worked with my pastor for six years, I am a firsthand witness of the travails and adventures of a minister. I myslef decided to be one and I will have to say that I have been comfortable under the wings of my pastor. I have been bold and confident over the years simply because I got myself a good sounding board in him. I have made mistakes upon mistakes over the years and he carried the responsibilities of it simply because he is the leader. At the end of the day, all the weight falls on him and that’s simply how its is.

My wife and I made a commitment that we will serve our leaders wherever God leads them. And it has been our desire to make them look good, defend them, protect them, pray for them, and simply rally with them. I may have failed them on all those areas at some point, but nevertheless that’s my battlecry.

What made our relationship stronger with the Perezes are the battlescars that we bear from the battles we fought together. Our battle scars are indicative of the loyalty and undying commitment for each other. And if differences between us may arise, our battle scars remind us that we are for each other and never against one another.

Far from our wildest imagination that God would orchestrate something huge. Huge in a sense that He has paved a route for us to part ways. We learned about the news April of last year. We did not see it coming. Battling through sleepless nights from our initial conversation of which we were hiding our defiance over the idea, my wife and I finally ceded and realized that this is how things are. As missionaries, there’s nothing permanent. The most sensible thing to do is to obey.

Fastforward to almost a year after, they’re finally all packed up.

And so this morning over a cup of coffee, Rianne and I would again talk about the same thing. This has been the nth time we have been discussing this. We would talk about:

How are we to go about this.
How do we handle the pressure.
How are we to pick from the things that they’ve left.
How are we to compensate for the lack of experience.
How do we raise money.
How do we deal with issues.
How do we staff the church.
How could I still watch UFC.
And so on.

My wirings would always bring me to the drawing board and utilize my mind to think of the strategies for the next coming months. On the same aspect Rianne would always come out with brilliant ideas in her spontaneity. She could always blurt out the brilliant ideas during lounge conversations or formal meetings.
BUT both of us together with our team would be cautious in considering that the best way to always come out with the best is to always inquire of the Lord. We need to be in step with the Holy Spirit. Ater all, this is His work.

Everytime the Israelites would take their step in line with what God wants them to do, they are always fierce and they can route ten thousand enemies in a single battle. And everytime they take the matter to themselves, they are the ones routed.
In the same way, we always have to be careful not to leave God off the picture. I have slowly gathered for myself a team with the most brilliant mind I could think. But at the end of the day, it is always God’s wisdom and grace that would enable people to pull things off.

What makes us confident is the fact that this is God’s work, this is God’s church, and we are God’s people. Our daily operations and strategies will come in full reliance on the Holy Spirit.
Lest our strategies become tragedies.  We call it a stragedy.


I want to thank Ptr Dawny and Te Janet for raising us up, for believing in us, for trusting us, and for leaving with us a legacy that is marked by your faithfulness and passion for God. It’s hard to imagine a Sunday without you, but nonetheless we are biting the bullet and we are committed to take on the responsibility. We will miss you.

I want to thank my wife Rianne who has agreed to marry me in the first place knowing full well that by doing so she will have to give up her own dreams. From the beginning I’ve always known that you are a missionary by heart and you are cut out for this. Thank you for inspiring me to be the best at my craft. I always pray for you and I am utterly proud of you. You simply are the best.

To evryone at Victory Dumaguete, there is no better place to be at than where we are right now and where we are headed. Let’s get it on!

Strat Plan, Meetings, Stress, & Some Love

What has been keeping me up lately are the things that we have been talking about at work. We have been reeling on a couple of things as we prepare for the things ahead. Some of the stuff that we need to prepare for as a church are events like the anniversary, launching another cycle of our discipleship process (small groups, training for victory, victory weekend),church leadership transitions, the big move to a new center. I have no idea why these things need to happen altogether at the same time. But I’m just so confident to have a great team working with me. I work with a bunch of volunteers who guts it out like there’s no tomorrow. Plus I enjoy working people who knows how to have fun. But in my line of work, nothing can be sweeter than a loving and supportive wife. My wife’s got no idea how much she inspires me. I don’t care getting swamped at work as long as I come home to a real home with some real love from my wife. I feel like I can take on the world with the love she constantly gives me!

Money Talk

Why blog about money?

1. A lot of young people are ignorant about finances.
2. Many broken marriages point to finances as a major contributor in household strife.

In the Philippines, the name of the game is SAVINGS. Older folks teach you to save and save and save. If you are someone who want to retire in style, your lifetime savings might disappoint you. If you are convinced that your SSS pension and Senior’s discount is good enough for your life ahead come to think that you will still live a good 20 or so years after retiring.

When I graduated from college, I started a small business called Busogsilog. The money that was used to start the business was the small savings I pooled together with two partners. The business faired well but later on died down also.

Any way, since I am NO EXPERT on finance, I will not intend to speak as one on this blog. Instead I will just share the ways at which my wife and I are directing and handling our finance.
Because money is a real deal, we have invested quite an amount of time and money to learn how to manage it well.

Random thoughts about money:

I. Mentors

You have a gym instructor, a grammar teacher, a theology buff, a marriage guru, a K-pop god. If you have subscribe to mentors for every passion that you have, how come you don’t have anyone to teach you about money (savings, banking, investing, making money, business, tithing, charities)?

For me and my wife when it comes to faith and finance, I love listening to Ptr Juray Mora (You can catch him on podcasts) Dave Ramsey is a good pick on financial management and getting out of debt. When it comes to business, I always catch lengthy talks with my brother who has become well versed in the world of business. I’m not a person who’s into stocks, but we Iisten to people who’s good at it. A good friend, Migs Quirante is on it and I keep asking questions.

Surround yourself with achievers and not day dreamers. Day dreamers take you to the clouds to marvel at it while achievers take you to the same clouds to teach you how to make much of it.

Have someone coach you in the area of faith and finances. Trust me, you’re gonna love me for giving this advise.

II. Emergency Fund & Savings

That’s our ATM card on a picture frame and that is our emergency fund. My wife and I are still funding it until we reach the goal that we have set. I don’t bring the card with me to reduce the impulse to use it, but at the same time we don’t make it hard for us to withdraw from it in case we really need it. Thus the picture frame.

An emergency fund as its name suggests, is for emergencies. Meaning to say you use it only for emergencies and emergencies only. Promo fare is not an emergency neither is 50 % mall sale.

Emergency fund should be liquid. It will be used and replenished upon using. Ideally an emergency fund should have funds enough to sustain you for at least three months in case you lose your job or something bad happens.

Qualifying what an emergency is is also a good thing. We haven’t sat down and talked about that yet. Next time the tires burst or someone is hospitalized, you have stored enough for these rainy days.

Credit Card is a good companion during emergencies but it can turn against you when billing comes.

Regarding savings, BPI offers a Save Up account wherein your account is automatically debited to fund your save up account.

III. Debit Card over Credit Card

It’s simple. With a debit card, you do not get yourself in debt whereas a credit card gets you in one. I’ve gotten into debts with my credit card back in college and post college years. It stings hard. My wife and I both own our individual debit cards. That way, it helps us discipline ourselves to plan our spending well.

People say that they need credit cards for plane fare purchases. Your debit crad can do just about anything your credit card does. Another thing regarding plane fares, we have made it a practice to buy tickets online and choose payment centers in the payment options. I buy tickets at night and pay at Robinson’s the next day.

I own a credit card with a very minimum credit limit. It’s safer that way, at least for me.

IV. Investments

Savings is not really an old wineskin. But if you are keen on making your money grow at least bigger than how much your savings generate annually, then investments is a good option.

What do you do with your 13th month and bonuses? It’s great to reward ourselves with new gadgets and stuffs, but I would want to suggest something. Try setting aside an amount that you can INVEST.

My wife and I are just starting but we do not have to wait to be rich before we start investing. Investing is for everyone whether you are a student or single mom. We have invested a small amount in UITF (Unit Investment Trust Fund). UITF is simple. It’s pooling altogether people’s money and an investment expert does his thing. BDO offers low minimum amount for UITF. Mutual Fund is also a good option. My wife and I have tried Variable Linked Insurance wherein you pay for insurance that is coupled with investments. All these you reap years and decades from now.

When is the best time to invest? Now.

Magazines like Money Sense will help you get it right with your finances.

But nothing beats the Word of God in its timeless principles and promises.

OF COURSE if you are a tither and if you live a lifestyle of generosity, the blessings of God will surely overflow your cup and fill your barns. No practical tips from any sage will work unless you align your heart in the will and purposes of God for you. Jesus himself talked about money more than any other topic in the Bible. It clearly shows us that money can be such a god in our lives. The things that I shared above are mere practices that we do. Those pratices can help us become better stewards of God’s blessings in our lives. At the end of the day if we are good stewards of what God has given us, He always prove Himself faithful. If you are in a tight situation right now, I say unto you, Shalom. Peace is not found in your wallet, peace is found is
n the person of Jesus. Believe that He will cause you break through and prosper. Be in faith to believe, really believe God for greater things! My wife and I do not have our own car yet. Our faith is not hinged on the money we make, but on the goodness of our Father. Our faith is that we will get our car without us spending a peso for it.

This new year, I pray that God will bless you abundantly in the area of finances and provision!

Philippians 4:19 ESV
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

All in a week’s work

First I have to say that I love my job and I don’t see myself doing any other thing in the distant future. Mondays have always been generous in giving me some moments for contemplations, breathers, and refueling. I tried reviewing what happened at work last week and I want to share it here:


I had a meeting with a local businessman about the prospect of having a new center built for us. I had a good try at haggling and negotiating. Before the meeting I was googling the how to’s in business proposals but decided to just me during the meeting.

In the afternoon, I had an exciting 3 hour discussion with our church staff on our worship services. We have concluded that we will need to add three more service ministries in the coming months. We have reviewedthe critical points in the ministry that needs attention.

Evening that day my wife and I met with the couples and some other adults at church to discuss onour Sambang Gabi. I’ve never met the adults for some serious meetings and that expalins the jitters. But our discussion went well and we had a fun time together just marveling at the what-could-be’s of the ministry if we will work together.


My goodness I can’t remember what happened that day! Rest assured I wasn’t lounging around. Ha ha


We heavily rely on volunteers. But since Volunteers Night will be Thurs Night our staff agreed we will be the ones who will work on all the preparations for the event. Volunteers Night is a time to appreciate all the volunteers in our service ministries namely the Ushering, Music, Technical, Kids, and Intercessory. So the entire day was spent on errands and preparation for the night.

Come night time, we had some endless fun! Ministries gave brilliant presentations of their own. And I together with our staff also had our turn. I impersonated the Pacman and my wife did a Charo Santos.It was a memorable night for everyone. I bet the number of volunteers will double next year.

Picture right ontop makes me emotional…

Night wasn’t over yet as it was my wife’s birthday. Some friends surprised my wife at Mc Cafe at for her birthday.

In so many aspects, my wife is just plain awesome!


I took the day off to be with my wife the entire day. We just went to the mall had snacks and late lunch. I was bugging my wife about what she wanted for her birthday. Her only answer is she just wants my time. I wish I could tell you how wonderful it is to be in the same home with Rianne. She brightens my day and lightens me up when I’m short fused, she is definitely one of the most generous person I know. She is more than what meets the eye. She packs wisdom
beyond her age. (I might as well blog about her)


At 4.30am, we had our Sambang Gabi. I was surprised that there was a good number of people who showed up. We had some salu salo and gift giving afterwards.

At 10 Ptr Dawny and I met with the businessman I wrote about. From our meeting I’m tightlipped but all I can say is the future looks bright.


Probably the most awaited day of the week. You know we have no idea what people go through during thee week and a lot of times they can not wait for Sunday worship. We had a good run yesterday. Worship team did great. Lately also I’ve been trying to change some styles on my preaching. Supposedly it is to better accomodate everyone so I’m trying my best to be more conversational. I’m adjusting and I could feel some nudge from people who gives me comments. I love it when people do that.

I dozed off past 10 last night.

Same page team

As a consequence for being inattentive, a high school teacher once   called my attention and asked me to stand and continue reading from where she ended. It was one of those boring reading classes and obviously I got lost along the way. And having me stand and scramble for the exact paragraph where she stopped was just a subtle way of announcing to the class that I wasn’t paying attention. I’m not silly enough to be pretentious and therefore read from a different line or page. The simplest way to deal with it is simply to admit you were adrift.

I have the textbook in my hand but I wasn’t on the same page with everybody else. What they’re reading is foreign to the page I was on-that amidst having the same book in our hands. The teacher may point to the third word at paragraph six and they may all laugh at the word and I could go the opposite–all because I’m on a different page.

I’m impressed with a team that operates on the same page. What we mean by that is we share the same values and ‘DNA’ as a group.  When that happens, there is stronger harmony in emotions and knowledge. Body language sometimes already becomes a suffice communication. You say one word and everybody gets it. The challenge is to get people on that page and keep them there. That may be challenging but it is rewarding. On the other hand there’s a great deal of harm when we sit with the same team week in and week out  but operate on different pages that is, we have opposing or rather different ‘DNA’. The probability for mistakes and errors is great thus it cost us time, energy, resources, not to mention stress.