Monday, September 29, 2014

WORDS THAT HAVE MADE THEIR MARK







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Well, has it ever occurred to you getting hooked by something someone has said? That's what Maya Angelou's words did to me. 

Many, in fact dozens, of Maya Angelou 's quotes have bitten off a huge chunk of my heart and mind ... replaced them with her wisdom. Here are just a few which I bring here to share with you. I appreciate and thank Maya for putting these thoughts brilliantly together in such a wonderful piece.. or pieces.

Let's see.... beginning from the top....

1)  
Admit that on this planet not everybody is your ally or friend. And people as they are have their own individual lives to live and agenda to pursue. Remember how often we've been told and reminded by the wise that life should be lived positively and not to allow any of the negatives to anchor itself on you. Sometimes I forget that rule because I just do what we ordinarily do.... trust. Realizing soon enough and too late that I was just an option. Sad but I have learned since. God is good.

2)   Friends have always warned me to be careful of 'friend requests' here or on any social site. They're talking about 'wolves in sheep's clothing'. Honestly, it's a fact in and out of connections and contacts. There will be good as well as bad in most everything in life. Yet I won't ever want to miss the chance to meet someone who God might be sending into my life as a friendly blessing. Or maybe meant to be both to each other. By God's design.

3)  
Everyone is born with talent. But receiving this gift from God doesn't end there. Use it. God blesses you with a kind heart, be kind.. super kind. God gives you the ability to paint, paint masterpieces. God equips you with the skill to write, so then write till your fingers drop - write your heart out till it bursts. When you receive, learn to give back. You see, it's a wonderful way of praising and thanking a Magnificent God.

4)  
I keep hearing this from my relatives who believe that success is measured on how much you earn or how much is in your bank account. But as a teenager I was bothered by that and felt that something was wrong in there somewhere. If it was all about money and looking from where I was starting, it would surely use up all of my lifetime to get where I wanted to be. But Mom would always remind me that ... 'it's what best you can put on the table which truly would define your success. The kind that matters.' -- And it's not always all about money.  
  
So there you are. Am sure that you have your own lists and corresponding insights to words of wisdom from people you admire. Indeed they too help us understand much of what goes on in life.



Friday, September 26, 2014

ALL FOR A GOOD REASON --- YOU





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'Everything happens for a reason.' -- I have heard that spoken and written about for hundreds of times then and now.

When fortunes crumble, relationships disintegrate, dreams melt away, or hopes get snuffed out just like that....  they say it must be for some reason. But even to the wisest of men its reason or reasons may not be known right away, except for those already visible to the eye. Oddly its true understanding enlightenment or explanation would come much much later when the dust would have already settled down, so to speak. A dear friend, who I will always remember, said this .. 'Wait and you will know.'

 
I  have always thought that waiting would be too late. Because the hurt, pain, disappointment, frustration, sadness, sorrow experienced would have already taken its heavy toll and leave deep scars both in the mind and heart.... and to the body as well as anxiety would have worn it down, too. All seemingly beyond repair. Or so it all seemed.

But my friend insisted... 'Wait and you will know.'

To cut a long story short, I did wait.

Time took over.

And one by one the reason or reasons unfolded itself to me. Amazingly.

I have learned....  It is when one has learned to receive peace, learned to forgive, learned to adjust one's sails on the turbulent seas of life, grown by leaps and bounds in maturity, gained a better self-worth, and seen the world and its people for its myriad of flaws and imperfections that one is able to see... truly see beyond all of that pain and hurt. And finally begin to understand the why's of it all.
And best of all learn even more.. so much more. To be healed and joy be restored abundantly is its reward.

Everything happens for a reason. Definitely it's for a good reason --- You! By God's design. 
Be kind to yourself; wait where the waiting should.
Don't lose your smile. God will make the waiting worthwhile.
Blessings, everyone!




Thursday, September 25, 2014

BEHAVIOR OR SPEECH TELL LITTLE OF WHICH THE EYES CAN TELL MORE







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Standing by the window to make sure that Bk the cat won't get into his usual early morning feline mischief was futile effort as it proved to be because as soon as he was let out the door off he ran, jumped up to the ledge of the fence and jumped again up to the roof - agile indeed with his usual brand of bravado. Well, that goes to say that I won't be seeing him until feeding time..... That's BK!


Bravado - audacity – boldness - daring. Humans do that, too, and for a diversity of reasons. Even mischief, as BK the black cat was predictable in his own.

For whatever the reason, humans meaning you and me and the rest of mankind, are indeed brave, audacious, bold, daring. It’s what we know best how to live this life. We do it in different measure or degree of intensity, purpose, and will. Some of us may be transparent in our efforts and then some just quietly struggling behind masks which admittedly we also put on our selves sometimes. But the effort is the same.... brave.

Here in my place and out on the main road one could easily be eaten up by the busyness of life carried out by every two-legged creature moving from one place to the other and back. And then back again. On one side of the street stands the Jeep terminal where a Jeep barker reigns supreme with his voice calling out to would-be passengers to take this ride down to wherever it’s heading for. Mang Amboy stands tall in spite of his thin wrinkled aged frame and always with a friendly smile every time my family and I pass by or take that ride. Just like every friendly face you see in the neighborhood.

Does my story stop there? No.

I like looking into people’s eyes. Be they near me or far, and why I love the malls. It’s the perfect landscape for studying eyes. Nope, it’s not for or on a scientific or medical point of view. I’m neither of that. It’s from the standpoint of the eyes being the windows of the soul.

Behavior or speech tell little of things which truly matter or would make serious sense. When I want to better know a person I look into his or her eyes -- the so-called windows of the soul. Because truly behavior or speech tell little of which the eyes can tell more ... so much more. The eyes can never mask what is felt in the depths of one's heart. Eyes do not lie. The eyes tell the truth.

Mang Amboy’s eyes belie the smile on his face.

But brave definitely he is. His future may be dim, his problems plenty and challenges mountain-high, his family perhaps dysfunctional, and maybe he has health issues, too, on the side. Yet he carries on day after day after day. Because that is what he knows best --- to carry on even with these burdens on his frail back. 

Does that remind you of somebody you know or.....maybe yourself?

If that isn’t brave, what is??
Life is tough but people tougher.
God bless you!



Monday, September 22, 2014

MOM ---- THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS



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Just a little something which crossed my mind today ......

When I was a young kid of fourteen and in school with dozens of others more of my age there was this unspoken rule among the studentry that whoever the most popular girl or boy would be on the campus was... 'it'. Meaning she or he would be up there on the pedestal of adulation and esteem... a much coveted post. 

Did that bother me? Nahh I was busy with my books (nerdy you would say) and being the nice person Mom taught me to be. Besides I was content with my share of  (so-called but not essentially important) 'adulation' and of genuine respect from people who mattered among my fellow students and teachers as well. This traveled back and forth quite so easily. Whatsoever you shall sow... so shall you reap.

I guess my mother knew all about this long before I could read and write my alphabet as she prepared me early on ... self-worth. She highlighted my talents... ballet dancing, drawing, designing dresses, writing essays .... by giving me the freedom to express myself in the genre I felt comfortable with. She gave me wings of confidence and self-worth at an early age which allowed me to soar in my mind heart and soul..... and I learned to see myself as able in my strengths and not 'disabled' in my weaknesses as I grew stronger in maturity, intellect, and abilities. She taught me to focus on strengths and at the same time understand human weaknesses and limitations, too. She said that human beings are flawed to start with but must discover their strengths and grow with that knowledge. I learned it better by the way she lived her own life on those principles she taught. These words I will never forget, she said......

.....'You don't need anybody's approval to be you. And because someone cannot see your uniqueness and worth does not mean that you don't matter at all. On the contrary, you're very special -- there's nobody else like you. Believe that because it's by God's design.'

From then on, I have used that word in all of my writings.... 'By God's design' It's etched right here in my heart forever. Thanks, Mom.

I am special... you are special. By God's design. Let nobody tell you otherwise.

Prayers for bushels of blessings to rain down upon you and your loved ones. In Christ.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

THE THANKSGIVING ROOM




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There's a story that goes this way (It's a long one so I took the liberty to shorten it)....  in heaven there are many rooms and in every room dozens of angels can be seen going about a particular task assigned to that special room. All the rooms are buzzing in such a big frenzy as the angels take to their tasks ministering to every concern everyday.  There is always plenty to do in ...  the petition room, request room, complaint room, grief room, sad room, sick room, jobs room, deliverance room, divine intervention room... even one called the anger room.

Except ... for this one room where only one angel is seen working or seems to be as he appeared almost dozing off. Apparently already finished with that one task in his In-Tray. And nothing more is there to do. It was the same everyday with an almost empty tray and a sleepy angel.

Do you know what this room was or is called?

--- The Thanksgiving Room


Maybe... we don't understand what authentic 'Thank you' means. Maybe... we don't understand what a true 'blessing' means. Maybe... we take so many things for granted like life is there and it will be there tomorrow and the next and the next. Maybe... we are so busy with our lives that we don't stop awhile to see God's part in it. Maybe... we see God as a 'vending machine'.... just stick in the coin, press the button, and out comes the goodie.

Maybe... we don't understand God enough.

As we have expectations in our lives and in prayer.....  God has his expectations, too. Oh no his expectations does not make the world go round as we make of ours; it is HE who makes the world and the universe go round needing no help from us. But in His magnificent godly heart He still waits for his beloved children to say just a tiny simple .. 'Thank you, Father.' A typical father who loves His children this B-I-G!!! ... and so mightily pleased when His children remember Him.

Let's keep that little solitary room busy now, pack it to overflowing.... and have that solitary angel screaming frantically for reinforcements.

Thank you, God, that you nudged me to write this post. We needed to see this. I do!

Have a blessed week, friends! I thank God for your wonderful friendship.




Monday, September 15, 2014

SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA SEE THINGS THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD

 Photo 1
 Photo 2
 Photo 3
 Photo 4
 Photo 5
Photo 6

Here's a short story sent me by Mr. Quote Man this morning  (Thank you, Mr. QM) ... and to quote --

PROBLEM SOLVING

A bear was walking across Rainbow Bridge (Old Hwy 40) at California 's Donner Summit, when two cars also crossing the bridge scared the bear into jumping over the edge of the bridge. Somehow the bear caught the ledge (see Photo 1) and pulled itself to safety.

Authorities decided that nothing could be done to help that night so they returned the next morning to find the bear sound asleep on the ledge. (Photo 2)

After securing a net under the bridge the bear was tranquilized, (Photo 3) fell into the net, and lowered, (Photo 4 and 5)  ..... then woke up and walked out of the net. (Photo 6)


This bear made a wrong move and found he was hanging by his nails. Somehow, he was able to pull himself up onto the ledge, where he saw he was in a very bad, impossible situation, so, what did he do? Yep, he took a nap and sure enough, the situation took care of itself while he was asleep.

The moral of this true story: --- When confronted with a bad situation, sometimes, the best solution is to --- take a nap!                                     -End of story-
----------------------------------------------------
 
But.....

In life, as I have learned it, problems are aplenty yes but some of that may not even need your solutions. Sometimes all that is needed is just to let go and let it. Because as God works in strange ways maybe the problem is not for your direct learning but for somebody else in your circle. That is why you should always try to connect with your God and ask for enlightenment. Ask that he open your eyes, mind, and heart to what His objective is for that particular problem you're faced with. Because maybe it is there to be used as a tool to help others with. You see, nothing is impossible with God. He uses everything both good and bad to work out the better good, yours or somebody else's or some helpless four-legged creature.

Imagine how the bear in the above story unknowingly did his part in the divine order of things to help bring out the goodness of man (his rescuers).

Sometimes you just gotta see things through the eyes of God.

We are here on this planet not just to be you and me but to do a lot of practice in becoming children of God.

Let's practice some more today. God sees and is mighty pleased. Have a blessed day, everyone! God bless you!



Thursday, September 11, 2014

ONE SEES MUD -- ONE SEES STARS







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‘Two men looked through the same bars.
One sees mud, and one sees stars.’
-- F. Langbridge

This made me think... the ‘one sees mud’ part of it.

Because life as I have learned is just like that. And we are presented with similar situations but from the same vantage point of strife. Our visions are narrowed down or restricted by our minds which seem to understand only those which touch our pain when it feels pain. In pain we see more pain. In struggles we see more struggling, in hurt more hurting, in grief more grief, in darkness even more darkness. It seems to lose its grasp of joy the reason why we stay longer than it should within the sorry void of misery, mess, muck, and mud of our lives.

And this line too made me think... ‘and one sees stars.’

On a clear evening sky the stars shine oh so brightly taking one’s breath away as it praises its Creator. You do too with a prayer of thanks in the heart. As a child I stood so much awed by its wonder and beauty. Mom would always say.... ‘Look to the stars when your heart feels burdened. And find rest.’ It works every time. But apart from taking Mom’s advice literally, I also learned to take it several steps farther and higher as I grew older. Life is a good teacher. Indeed.

Life is tough; it never makes it easy for anyone. We all go through challenges, big or small, at some point of our lives or another. It’s a constant. We continuously journey the hills and valleys of our lives regardless of our brilliance, talent, titles, and the presence or absence of money.

There must be something more than just the sense of survival to get through everything.

And this I have learned that if you listen well enough and look hard enough behind the temporal frills of our mundane lives you will find a tiny spark within. A flickering steady flame right there in your heart which holds itself bravely through the long weary day and night and it waits to be rekindled again and again with every opportunity that rises to do so.

‘Two men looked through the same bars. One sees mud, and one sees stars.’

Hope. Faith. Positivity. God.

Have an unbelievably blessed day, everyone! Blessings!



Sunday, September 7, 2014

YOU JUST GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO



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My friend has this funny way of saying................. 'You just gotta do what you gotta do!'

I always thought it was funny. But on second thought, it is wise.  Because that's the way life is actually lived, like it or not.

Life hits us with ups-and-downs. We'd rather have the ups more often, don't we? But it isn't so. We can't be ecstatically happy 24/7, neither is its opposite, too. Life isn't a 'flat line' because if it was that would mean that we're either in heaven or in hell. Heaven ---- forever happy;  hell --- forever miserable. Flat line.

So life is a big ferris wheel. Or maybe it could be a small one but definitely a ferris wheel. We go through stages... moods... stations... phases... intervals... alternates... an endless moving up and moving down again and again. Turning good, turning bad. Turning beautiful with a bushel of blessings, turning difficult (sometimes ugly) with hurdles or challenges.

But the fantastic side of it is that we cope.

After the long tears through the night, we wake up in the morn and cook pancakes for the family's breakfast. After a terrible bashing from your boss for something which probably isn't even your fault, you go back to your computer and do the monthly reports. After a huge let down from your spouse early in the day (just one of many), you look out the window with the hope of finding something to feed your weary soul and get on with the chores of the day. After seeing your dreams falling into bits and pieces, you go on to build new ones. Etc and etc.

We try to cope. 

And my friend is right....  you just gotta do what you gotta do. It's not because that's what it is but essentially.................  Because that's who we are.  We cope.

Because if you dig deeper into your core....  you will see that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We are braver than we think. We have it in worthy measure what we thought we cannot or don't have  -----  faith and belief. Faith in life not being a monster that we think it is. Belief in one loving God who cares for us in spite of our weakness, flaws, and imperfections. Out of this is born our hope.

Yeah, we just gotta do what we gotta do. Rhythm of life and living.

But it can be beautiful.


Monday, September 1, 2014

OUR LIVES ARE OUR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD




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"My life is my message". 
 Mahatma Gandhi

Short. Concise. Powerful.

So how are we living our lives. Do we stop to wonder? Because in those lines of Mahatma Gandhi it's telling us that our lives hold the power to teach... to influence... to shape the world... Maybe we think that's only the turf of the wealthy, of the positioned privilege, or of brilliant minds to wield this power. Maybe....  maybe not.

Perhaps the difference lies in that they nudge themselves to speak out their minds. Their lives are recorded with events of pushing themselves hard over a cause...... or stepping in where fools fear to tread..... or crossing boundaries..... or making fools of themselves over an unpopular yet worthy subject. It could spell success or on the other hand failure, but either way they have made their point and impact on a world standing by. That's power; that's influence.

We can, too. Maybe not in the same grand or grander manner or scale but certainly we can achieve that same stand of power for positive change. If we at best try to live our lives in the highest standard we can make of it in all the areas of our mundane lives...... we will be creating fertile ground on which positivity can build on.

Yes, we can do this in our small or which others may call ordinary lives step by step, one day at a time, and through incremental changes in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Incremental meaning small steady consistent improvements or making small and consistent progress toward a desired goal.   As we live our lives day by day in that mold and mode we become more and more entrenched in the act of becoming good-of doing good. By walking our talk we send out the message of power, of a can-do-it attitude, of being one with the Divine purpose of our lives ----  that of being our highest potential for good. Because truly our highest good is God's intent for our lives.

Think that we have only one chance to do it. We may never get another one. Only a cat has nine lives, or maybe not.

Making this life work will enable us to say alongside Mahatma Gandhi that .... "My life is my message".

Have a great day, friends. Live your power! God bless you and your loved ones.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

TRYING TO FIT IN - TRYING TO STAND OUT.... FOR VERY VALID POSITIVE REASONS





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This is interesting............  'We humans are a silly bunch. We spend half our time trying to fit in with the crowd and the other half trying to stand out from it.' ---- Nick Vujicic in 'Limitless'.

Why is that? I don't know but it seems to be quite ingrained in our psyche displaying itself in the various stages of our growth. Is that good or bad? Firstly, psyche is defined as the soul, mind, or spirit of a person. So it is part of the total package of being a human being. Mortal.

Let's cut through the frills. We all want to belong and too want to be different. If some people call that silly, so be it. But I think that fits in to the blueprint of our creation. God, I think, meant us for both.

Trying to fit in (or wanting to belong to something or someone) is just as normal as eating pizza pie. A small voice within tells us that we all stand connected not only in the spiritual sense but even more so in this physical world. We depend on each other for many different things, seen or unseen - understood or not, to survive. We strive to fit in or belong to that for life's continuity. Interaction, intercommunication, interdependence or whatever other name people may call it, it is there. We do it. Everyday.

Wanting to be different (trying to break out from ordinary)..... now that's second skin to us. Celebrities, personalities, and all other success or scandal stories you may hear ... have that emblazoned all over their faces or in their
small or big lives. Ordinary people do it too.  Aside from the motives or reasons for being or doing so, I believe that it still points to this tiny nudge from within for wanting to be different or do something different. That too is as normal as a tall cold glass of lemonade (which I must admit is a huge favorite... alongside a chocolate chip cookie).

But wanting to be different if taken to a higher level can (to my mind) .....push someone to new frontiers.... to becoming a better version of one's former self.... unlock hidden potential or talent.... move forward to a better understanding of who we are-why we are here..... and define in better terms what it means serving the greater good.

We are a silly bunch, that's right. But correct me if I'm wrong because if we have done our homework and diligently learned what is there to learn as life faithfully shows us and as ordained by a Higher Authority, we would wisely understand that both  'trying to fit in'  and  'trying to stand out'  have its uses for very valid positive reasons. 

 
People are meant to be wonderful. God meant it that way.

Rainy morning, folks, but don't let it stop you from working your higher purpose.  God bless you all.