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Hi, I’m Verge Ascabano.

I’m a pastor, worship songwriter, and course creator. I help motivated but overwhelmed Christian leaders learn how to clarify their focus so they can become more productive and fulfill their God-given purpose in life. 



Embracing Failure: Practical Steps to Achieving Greater Productivity

I failed in publishing my blog post on time this week.

Does this mean that I have become unproductive? 

I’m not making any excuses for why I wasn’t able to publish a post last Tuesday. I simply failed in my weekly commitment and I take full responsibility for that. I know I can do better next time. 

I know I was unproductive in the area of blogging this week but in my family, I wasn’t. I took care of our son, Zion at the hospital and I know I spent my time well with my family despite not being able to meet my blogging deadline.

Now I have time to write this blog post so I’m catching up on my weekly commitment. This may be a few days late but as they say, better late than never.

What I have learned this week is that you can still be productive despite your failures. Actually, the only way to fruitfulness is by failing. The only way to live a productive life is by dying to yourself. 

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
JOHN 12:24 NIV

It is in our weakness that God is glorified. It is in our failure that God makes us fruitful. 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

God’s approach to productivity is counterintuitive. This is usually the way of the Kingdom. The way up is the way down. It’s an upside-down kingdom.

Jesus, although divine, lived as a hundred percent human here on earth. He did not rely on his superhuman strength as a divine being but instead relied on the strength of the Father living inside of him.

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

The only way to be fruitful is to live this life by the indwelling life of God in us. What we need is to be filled with God more, not more productivity strategies and tactics. And the way to be filled with the Spirit is to put to death the deeds of our sinful nature, our flesh.

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


Take Action

Here are some steps you can do right now to practice living in the Spirit. Don’t worry, this will only take around 10 minutes to practice:

  1. Call on the name of Jesus and ask for his help. 
    Admit that you can’t live this life without him. Say something like this: “I need you Jesus. I need your wisdom and guidance.” Do this for around 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Ask God who to serve.
    • Write in your journal or on your favorite notes app the following: “Who do you want me to serve today, God?”
    • Listen to what God says and take note of the persons that come across your mind. Ask God and confirm with him whether that is the person you should serve today. List 1 to 3 names. 

  5. Ask God how you can serve these people.
    It may be as simple as praying for them or helping them with something.


Practice these steps at the start of each day and see how God enables you to become fruitful every day.


Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

A Gentle and Humble Expert

I give up.


I simply couldn’t keep running at the same pace as this expert runner. I might as well do it without him and run at my comfortable pace.


The only problem is I don’t know the way to the finish line.

Life feels like this most of the time. You keep doing things your way and at your comfortable pace. But without the help of an expert, it’s impossible to finish complicated tasks.

On the other hand, it can get too tiring and burdensome trying to keep up with the pace of an expert. It’s impossible to follow every step of the expert without him slowing things down for your sake.

The good thing is, there is another way.

There is an expert who knows the way to the finish line but is humble and gentle at the same time. He slows things down for you so you can follow and he doesn’t leave you behind. He speeds things up at times but just enough to keep you challenged and make you grow.

Read Matthew 11:28-30 and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The Ultimate Productivity Counter: How Do You Measure Your Success?

How do you measure productivity?

I have one major task for today and that is to publish this blog post. Do I consider it a success once I publish this article? Does this make me productive?

Productivity is not measured by the number of tasks you have done or the number of projects you have accomplished. The best way to measure your productivity is by answering this question: “How well have I served today?

I have learned that the best way to stay productive is not to obsess over my results. The fruits are not my focus. The branch bears fruit when it is connected to the vine. In the same way, I bear much fruit when I stay connected to Jesus.

My focus, therefore, is not to count my fruits but to stay connected to Jesus.

Jesus says in John 15 that we need to remain in his love. And we stay in his love when we keep his commands. And what is his command? Love each other as Jesus has loved us.

Therefore, we will remain in Jesus when we love one another as Christ loved us. And we give the most extraordinary kind of love when we lay down our life for a friend.

The key to productivity is to remain in Christ. And the way to remain in Christ is by loving one another to the point of giving your life for a friend.

Let me give you some questions to help you assess your fruitfulness:

  1. Who did you serve today?
  2. What kind of service did you do to that person?
  3. How much did it hurt you to serve that person?

I hope that these assessment questions will help you not just measure your success but keep your focus on serving and loving others as Christ did to you.

I have a challenge for you.

Can you think of a person who will benefit much from reading this blog post?

Why don’t you serve that person right now and forward this article to him?

If you did that then you’re on your way to greater productivity in life. Congratulations!


Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Give Yourself Permission to Rest

I almost missed my blog post release today.

I was too busy for the past few days that I didn’t have time to write my article. I needed time to rest after a hectic week.

May this be a reminder to you that you need rhythms of rest in your weekly schedule:

  • Give yourself permission to rest
  • Make time for one whole day of rest in your weekly schedule
  • Enjoy your rest day and don’t be guilty about not doing any “productive” work that day
  • Make sure you minimize exposure to social media and other distractions on your rest day

How do you spend your rest day?

Say Goodbye to Distractions: One App to Rule Them All and Become More Productive

Distractions like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are some of the greatest enemies of productivity. It’s easier to mindlessly scroll through Facebook than to finish your most important task for the day. It’s easier to laugh at those funny TikTok videos than to finish writing your article.

I have tried many different ways and strategies to minimize distractions on my mobile phone but none of them seemed to work for me. I want to share with you this app that helped me minimize my social media addiction. It’s called One Sec.

One Sec is a mobile phone app that helps you delay distracting apps and websites. Basically, it forces you to take a deep breath and helps you ask if you really want to open the potential time-wasting app (like TikTok or Facebook) before jumping in.

This is how it works according to its website: “One Sec works so great because it doesn’t forbid you to use apps and websites. It makes it more annoying. That way you’ll effortlessly change your habits.”

Here are 3 things One Sec has helped me with:

1. Fight against social media addiction.
By forcing me to pause for about 10 seconds before opening any social media app, it has helped me become more aware of my social media addiction. I didn’t realize I was mindlessly opening Facebook app on my phone until One Sec stopped me in my tracks.

2. Recover lost time from distractions.
This app has already helped me save 12.2 hours away from distractions in the last month I have been using it.

3. Establish a healthy relationship with social media.
By helping me become more mindful of my social media habits, I am now more purposeful in using social media apps. I no longer find myself opening Facebook automatically. I only use it now if I have a purpose.


You may want to try using the app for free so you can see it for yourself. Download it now and start redeeming lost time from distractions.

Wishing you a fruitful and successful week ahead!

And, oh, you’re welcome!

“I Really Don’t Know Anything”: How to Walk in Fruitfulness

I’ve always thought productivity is all about strategies and tactics. If I could just master the latest tips and tricks then I can be very efficient in my work and maximize my full potential. If I could just minimize all distractions, then I can be more fruitful.

Although these things may help in your productivity, what I have learned to be the most effective path towards productivity is this: confessing that you don’t know anything.

Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

If you want wisdom in your life, you need to start by confessing your need for it. If you want to be more productive, then you must start by confessing that you don’t know how.

I think Aristotle said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

The apostle Paul also said, “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (1 Corinthians 8:2 NLT)

The key to productivity is to know that you won’t be able to make it without God’s help. Your knowledge and human understanding are not enough. What you need is divine revelation.

We need to pray the prayer of Paul for the church in Ephesus. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19a)

No one knows productivity better than God himself. He is the one who created all the trees that bear fruits. He is the one who created us with the capacity to multiply and bear fruits.

Jesus said it best when he talked about the vine and the branches. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

The key to fruitfulness is to remain in Christ. Our productivity depends on how we as the branches remain in Christ as the vine.

Here are some insights we can learn from the vine:

  1. The branch gets its nutrients from the vine.
    Our source of life is God himself. We cannot produce fruits apart from the life that comes from Him. True productivity comes from Him and is sustained only by Him.


  2. A branch that is detached from the vine cannot produce fruits.
    The greatest enemy of productivity is self-reliance. When you think you know all the answers and you think you can do it by your strength, then you are no longer dependent on God. You are now detached from the vine and you cannot produce real fruits.


  3. A branch that is connected to the vine cannot have a will of its own.
    You cannot remain in Christ and still have your way of doing things. To remain in Christ is to do his will and to keep his commands.


It takes humility to admit that you don’t know it all. It takes brokenness to say that you need God. If you want to walk in fruitfulness, start by saying, “I really don’t know anything.”


Photo by Design Wala on Unsplash

Maximize Productivity: 4 Essential Tips

Staying productive can be very challenging at times. You start your day with your goals and priorities in check but then something comes up along the way. You get distracted by social media and you end up watching a bunch of videos about self-improvement. You rationalize that you need these videos to help you become more productive. But at the end of the day, you were not able to finish the tasks you have set for yourself.

Sometimes you simply don’t have enough drive and motivation to do your most important tasks for the day. You struggle to keep your focus and you give up being productive.

Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. Distractions, time-wasters, lack of drive and motivation, and other enemies of productivity will always be there. What matters is you keep pushing through all the challenges and focus on staying productive.

Let me give you 4 tips to help you stay productive:

  1. Start the day with God.
    How you start your day greatly impacts your mood and your posture for the rest of the day. Jesus regularly prayed early in the morning. That shows that his priority was to be with his Father and to do his will upon his life.

    Start your day by calling upon the name of the Lord. Simply whisper, “Lord Jesus”. Say it over and over a few times, turning your heart to him and surrendering everything to him. Calling upon his name means you need God more than anything. Without him, you can do nothing.

    Commit your day to God and set your intention to fulfill God’s purpose and plan for you for that day. “Let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”


  3. Remember that you were created to be fruitful.
    God’s mandate to Adam was to be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth. And God doesn’t give us a task we are not capable of doing. This means fruitfulness, multiplication, and ruling the earth are all part of our functions as human beings.

    You were created to be fruitful and that is your identity. Productivity is in your DNA. Every part of your body is wired to bear fruit. Productivity is not something you strive to become. All you need to do is trust in God and walk in your identity.


  5. Do everything God’s way.
    You won’t make it doing your own thing. Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing when they ate the forbidden fruit and because of that, they were banished from the garden of Eden.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”


  7. Don’t focus on the results.
    Just remain faithful in fulfilling God’s purpose and assignment for your life and he will take care of the results. Our job is to serve well. Finish the task at hand and God will take care of the outcome.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

“I cannot do this”: How to be Fruitful God’s Way

"I cannot do it".

That was the prisoner's answer to the king's request.

How dare he say no to the king!

It is highly disrespectful to turn down a request of the king, let alone a Pharaoh who was considered to be a god-king.

What was the man thinking?

Was the king's request too difficult for him to do?

The god-king had been troubled by a dream. All the wise men and magicians could not interpret his dream for him. So he ordered a man to be brought out of prison to help him interpret his dream. This man was highly recommended by the king's chief cupbearer since he was able to interpret his dream for him some years ago.

So here he was, in front of the king to hear his request.

The prisoner knew this was the moment he had been waiting for. He had been in prison for two years for a crime he didn't commit. He had been longing for an opportunity like this, to find favor in the eyes of the king and take him out of that dungeon.

The king said to the prisoner, "I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."

"I cannot do it," the man replied to the king.

Perhaps the god-king was not expecting that kind of answer from the prisoner.

"You cannot do it? I thought you were the one my cupbearer was speaking so highly about." Maybe the king was thinking these words when he heard the man's answer. But the man was not yet done speaking.

"But God will give the king the answer he desires," said the prisoner to the god-king.

You probably know by now who this prisoner is.

Joseph knew that dream interpretations belong to God. Yes, he can interpret dreams but he was not doing it by himself. It was God giving him the interpretations. He was just a spokesperson.

He interpreted two of his co-prisoner's dreams two years ago and the interpretations were both spot on. Now it was time for him to interpret the god-king's dream and Joseph doesn't hesitate to give God all the credit. He knew he needed to find favor with Pharaoh so he could have simply shown off his dream interpretation skills and finally be set free from prison. But he chose to give God all the credit.


These words jumped out of the pages of my Bible when I was reading the story of Joseph a few days ago. These words are still reverberating in my spirit right now.

This is such a powerful statement and I think I want to integrate these words into my life.

I admire Joseph's boldness and confidence in God. He knew he could not interpret dreams on his own, but he was sure that God would do it for him.

May I be able to say those words as well…

  • When I'm faced with a difficult problem, I pray that I will be able to say, "I cannot solve this problem but God will help me solve this!"


  • When I'm thinking about how I can provide for my family, may I be able to say to myself, "I cannot provide for my family but God will provide for us!


  • When I'm thinking about how I can consistently write a blog post every single week for one year, may I find myself saying, "I cannot write this article but God will help me find the words to write!"


  • When I'm struggling to stay productive for the day, may I find hope in these words saying, "I cannot become productive on my own but God will make me fruitful!"


I woke up at 4:00 am this morning so I may be able to finish writing this article and publish it on time. I know all too well that I cannot write this on my own. But I know God will give me the words to write.

So here it is. I hope you’ll find this post helpful and add value to you.

Have a fruitful week!

Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

The Art of Surrender: 5 Simple Yet Impactful Practices from the Life of Jesus

Surrender is the key to a productive lifestyle. Jesus said in John 15 that we are the branches and he is the vine. He said that if we remain in him, we will bear much fruit. So if you want to be productive in life, you must stick around Jesus. And holding fast in him requires complete trust and total surrender.

Just as the branches need to be connected to the vine to bear fruit, we need to hold on to Jesus so we can become fruitful and effective in life. To hold on to him means fully relying on him and not on ourselves. That is the posture of surrender.

Jesus showed us what complete surrender to the Father looks like. Here are 5 practices we can learn from him:

  1. Praying regularly
    Jesus spent much of his time in prayer, communing with God, and seeking guidance and strength.


  2. Serving others
    Jesus is known for his compassion and his willingness to serve others, even those who were marginalized or outcast by society. He often went out of his way to help others, and he encouraged his followers to do the same.


  3. Seeking to do God’s will
    Jesus had a deep sense of surrender to God’s will, and he sought to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. He often spoke about the importance of following God’s will and doing what is right, even when it is difficult.


  4. Humility
    Jesus was known for his humility, and he often taught that those who are humble and unpretentious will be exalted by God. He lived a simple, humble life and encouraged his followers to do the same.


  5. Forgiveness
    Jesus preached the importance of forgiveness, and he demonstrated this through his own actions. He forgave those who wronged him and encouraged others to do the same.


Which of these practices will you put into action within the next five days?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The Power of Surrender: How Letting Go Can Help You Achieve Your Full Potential

“Ouch! That hurts!” The patient cried as his psychiatrist pricked his finger with a needle.

Dr. Brown had to resort to using extreme measures so he can try to talk his patient out of his absurd belief that he was already dead.

He had told his patient a week ago to read some medical textbooks to convince him that dead men don’t bleed. His patient came back a week later to confirm that medical evidence indeed proves that dead men don’t bleed.

“So if a person were to bleed, you would know for sure that he or she was not dead?”, Dr. Brown asked.

“Absolutely!”, the patient replied.

This was what Dr. Brown had been waiting for. It was the moment of truth.

How would his patient react to the pricking of his finger?

The patient looked down at his pricked finger and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, dead men do bleed!”

People believe what they want to believe. And they will convince themselves that what they believe is the truth, even when it’s not.

What do you believe about yourself? Do you have deeply-held beliefs that limit you fulfill your potential?

I used to believe that I was a failure. I was undisciplined and inconsistent. I was too hard on myself because I could never get myself to consistently do the right thing. I would always make mistakes again and again even when I tried harder.

I knew that God sees me differently. He sees me as a victorious and productive person. But what I was seeing in my life told me otherwise.

The evidence I saw in my life reinforced my limiting beliefs that I was indeed a failure. But what if I could see them in a different light and attach a different meaning to them? What if I could see my shortcomings, not as proof of me being a failure but instead as pieces of evidence of a more empowering truth? That I can do nothing apart from God.

I think the greatest limiting belief I have is not that I am a failure. It is believing that I can do it on my own.

“I’ve got this.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“I know I’m right.”

And when I fail at my attempt to do it on my own, I don’t admit that I need help.

Just like the patient, I would say to myself, “Oh my goodness, I was right all along in believing I’m a failure!”

I want to tell you that you are not a failure. Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a failure. They only show you that you need help. You need a higher being to take over your life.

God loves us so much that he already gave us a solution to our problems. He gave us a gift so that through this gift, we will be able to live out our full potential as human beings.

Jesus is God’s gift to us. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Through him, we can become fruitful and productive.

Jesus said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

The only way to a productive life is through the path of surrender. Concede and admit that you can’t do it on your own. Yield to a higher power and you will see a victorious life.

You don’t need me to prick your finger to believe, do you?

Image by Mika Korhonen on Unsplash