One day, a female doctor was working late in the hospital.

       She was on the elevator with another woman. 

       When the elevator doors opened, the doctor saw a girl running towards the elevator. She gasped. She pressed the button and closed the doors.

       The other woman asked her, “Doctora, why did you close the doors? I think that girl was coming in…”

       With cold terror in her voice, the doctor said, “I know that girl. She was my patient. She died yesterday.”

       “Died?” the other woman said. “How could she be dead? She was running. You must have been mistaken.”

       The doctor shook her head. “Did you notice the red tag on her wrist? When a patient dies, the nurses attach a red tag on their wrists.”

       The other woman said, raising her arm, “Like this one?”

Are You A Zombie?

You have two choices in life.

You can live deliberately or you can live passively.

There are many people alive now, walking, talking, eating… but inwardly, they’re dead. Especially when it comes to their decisions in life. They’re zombies.


       They live passively.

       They just accept what’s happening.

·        Tempted to do the wrong thing? “I’m weak,” he’ll say.

·        Can’t get a job? “Tough luck,” he’ll say.

·        Family life is shallow? “I was raised this way,” he’ll say.

·        Health is deteriorating? “My genes,” he’ll say.

·        Poor and in debt? “My lot in life,” he’ll say.

But not to choose is already a choice!

Friend, God doesn’t want you to be a Zombie.

       God wants you to live deliberately.

       God wants you to choose wisely and pass the tests that life brings to us.

       Let me share a beautiful story written by S.I. Kishor about a man who passed the test.

Will You Pass The Test Of Life?

John Blanchard was a soldier.

One day, in a library, he found an old book with a lot of writing in the margins. He read her handwritten notes in the book and admired their deep insights. At the front cover, he saw that the book was previously owned by a certain Hollis Maynell.

With much effort, he located her address. He wrote to her and told her about her old book and how he liked her written notes. 

And she responded, thanking him for his kind words.

But that day, he was shipped overseas to fight in a war.

Still, they kept writing to each other. During the difficult times at the battlefield, her words inspired him and gave him hope.

Little by little, John was falling in love with her.

He requested for a photo, but she replied that if he really cared for her, it won’t matter how she looked.

Finally, he was going home.

They decided to meet at the Grand Central Station at 7pm.

He said he’d be in his soldier’s uniform bringing her old book.

And she said, “You’ll know me by the red rose I’ll wear on my lapel.”

When the train arrived at 7pm, John was there, wearing his neatly pressed military uniform, with her old book in his hand.

The first woman to step off the train was a beautiful woman in a green suit. But there was no red rose on her blouse.

John was disappointed. But she was so lovely, he kept looking at her. She walked in front of him, glanced at him with a smile, and asked, “Are you following me, soldier?”

A part of him wanted to follow.

But no, he had to wait for Hollis Maynell.

The next woman who stepped off the train had a red rose on her lapel. She was perhaps 45 years old. She had graying hair beneath her hat. And she was very overweight. Meantime, the beautiful woman in the green suit was walking away.

John was torn. 

Yet he looked again at the woman who was wearing the red rose. He remembered her letters and what a fascinating a person she was. He remembered how wonderful her words made him feel. He told himself, “This may not be love. But this may be more than love. This will be a beautiful friendship with a lovely person.”

He walked up to her, straightened himself, handed the book to her and said, “My name is Lieutenant John Blanchard. You must be Ms. Hollis Maynell. I’m so glad you could meet me. May I have dinner with you tonight?”

The woman smiled. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit asked me to wear this red rose on my coat. She also said that if you asked me out for dinner, she said she’d be waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!”

Your Choices Shape Your Destiny

Imagine the end of this story: John and Hollis getting married, having kids, and growing old together.

Because he lived deliberately.

Because he made the right choice.

Because he passed the test.

Friend, life is a series of tests. 

And your choices–your answers to the test–

will shape your destiny!

       Sometimes, it’s a choice between love or lust. 

       Sometimes, it’s a choice between selfishness or selflessness.

Sometimes, it’s between what your heart wants and what your flesh wants. 

Sometimes, it’s between what will bless you forever and what will give you pleasure this moment only. 

Your life is really all up to you.

       You’re the chef of your meal.

       You’re the architect of your house.

       You’re the scriptwriter of your movie.

       You’re the composer of your song.

       You’re the painter of your masterpiece.

       At the end of the day, you decide how happy, fulfilled, and blessed you want to become.

For A Bowl Of Soup

One day, Jacob was cooking some bean soup.

       And his elder brother Esau walked in very hungry. Esau was so hungry, he could eat a horse (with the jockey included). He said to Jacob, “I’m starving; Give me some of that red stuff.”

       That was when his younger brother offered the most preposterous deal of the century. He said, “I’ll give it to you if you give me your rights as a firstborn son.”

Do you know how absurd this is? 

It was like Jacob said, “I’ll give it to you if you give me your kidneys,” or “I’ll give it to you if you give me your eyeballs.”

We don’t see how insane it is because we don’t know what “firstborn” means. 

As firstborn son, Esau enjoyed the highest honor.

As firstborn son, Esau represented his father in society.

As firstborn son, Esau had first choice in the family’s inheritance.

If you placed a monetary value to that, it would be worth millions. And Jacob was asking for all that for a single bowl of red soup!

But here’s what’s more preposterous: Esau agreed!

He threw all of that for a bowl of soup.

Absolutely nuts.

Don’t Be Like Esau;

Live Deliberately!

       Don’t live passively.

       Don’t live life sleeping on the wheel.

       Don’t live by simply going through the motions.

Don’t live your life simply accepting what happens.

       Don’t exchange your sonship for material things.

       Don’t exchange God’s wealth for man’s wealth.

       There will be many Jacobs along your path, who will try to steal your greatest treasures. There will be many Jacobs who will offer momentary pleasure in exchange for your sonship, for your dignity, for your peace-of-mind, for your long-term happiness.

When I think of Esau, I think of a man who had an affair with his secretary.

For a few moments of pleasure, he lost the trust of his wife, the unity of his family, the blessings for his children.

I too had an affair with my secretary. This affair lasted for 12 years. Of course, before I had an affair with her, we got married first. Because I live deliberately. (When I was still single, I was the boss and Marowe was my secretary. Now that we’re married, she’s my boss and I’m her secretary. Hay, buhay.)

Is The Driver Asleep?

       Here’s another analogy: You’re the driver of your car!

       I’ve heard people say, “God is now the driver of my life.”

       That’s impossible.

       God will never take the steering wheel of your life.

Because He asked you to drive.

You hold the steering wheel.

You call the shots.

You make the decisions.

You choose where to go.

But I’ve met a lot of people who fall asleep in the wheel.

They doze off. 

They don’t take the right turns.

Worse, they take the wrong turns.

And disaster happens.

Even If You Fall,

Rise Up Again!

       I repeat: Life gives you tests.

       Sometimes, you fail those tests.

       You make the wrong choices.

       You fall.

       You stumble.

       You sin.

       But failing in one test doesn’t mean you’ll fail in life.

       I should know.

       I’ve failed in many of my tests. (Many, many, many tests!)

       But I’ve never given up.

       I’ve got a word for you: God is the God of Second Chances.

       Some people condemn themselves for making wrong decisions in their lives. 

They are their own cruel judges.

·        “I married the wrong person. I’ll never be happy.”

·        “I got pregnant out of wedlock. I’m a single mom now. I blew my chance. I’ll never have a complete family.”

·        “I had an affair. It destroyed my marriage. I lost my family. I will always be miserable.”

       But don’t lose hope.

       We all make mistakes. All of us do!

       But God says, “I don’t look at your mistakes. Stop condemning yourself. Move on. Stand up again. I can still make your life beautiful. I can still fulfill your dreams. I’ll be here to supply all that you need to create a new life.”

       Let me tell you my last story of how I failed a test…

How I Fell

I was twenty years old.

       And still single.

       I was attending a meeting in a province. 

I asked one of the members of my organization, a young woman, to join me and help me in the meeting. (I never realized how dangerous this was. I never did this again. Since then, I’ve always went with another guy.)

       We rode the long 9-hour bus trip together.

       And we talked everything under the sun.

       She had an attractive smile. And a demure, quiet disposition.

       But something else was going on.

       Sitting beside a young and lovely woman stirred up sexual feelings within me. My arm touching her arm. My leg touching her leg.

       The long trip made us both sleepy.

       Or I pretended to be sleepy. (Sorry, Lord.)

And I rested my head on her shoulder. (“Style mo bulok!”) Soon, I locked my arms around her waist–like she was my pillow. And she didn’t resist.

       Why? As her religious leader, she trusted me so much.

Thankfully, nothing more happened.

When we got off the bus, I felt ashamed for what I did, because I exploited her trust. What I did was wrong. I abused my authority. I exploited our friendship.

       We parted ways as though nothing happened.

That event happened more than twenty years ago.

It Could Have Destroyed Me

       I was reminded of that experience recently.

Because one day, someone called me up. 

She said she belonged to another prayer group. And she asked for advice. She said her prayer group leader was caught having sexual affairs with his female members. It was shocking. The news is now breaking the prayer group apart.

       I sighed and prayed for her group.

       After I put the phone down, I realized there was really no difference between that prayer group leader and me.

       We both were guys.

We both fell.

       We both were weak.

       We both were surrounded by a lot of women who trusted us.

       The only difference is that I stood up after I fell.

       I exploited my female friend in the bus with an inappropriate hug. And I can remember falling at other times in my life.

       But it never became a habit. (Jim Rohn says, “Failure is not an act. Failure is a habit.”)

       I rose up from my failure.

       I didn’t wallow in my sin.

God says in Isaiah 43:18-19, Forget about what has happened before, do not think about the past, instead look at the new thing I am going to do.

       I repeat: When God looks at you, He doesn’t look at your failures. God doesn’t look at your mistakes. He looks at your beauty, your goodness, your holiness buried deep inside. He believes in you. He trusts that you’ll rise from your fall.

       I’ve not lived perfectly.

       But I’ve tried to live deliberately.

       When confronted with choices, I try to be awake.

       Not a zombie.

       Not asleep in the wheel.

       I invite you to do the same.

       Live deliberately.

       Pass the test.

       Choose the best.

       Your great future awaits.

       May your dreams come true,

       Bo Sanchez