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) 'adulation' and genuine respect from people who mattered among my fellow students and teachers as well -- people who were special to me. 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 and not 'disabled' 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-
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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.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'VE GOT WHETHER IT'S A LITTLE OR A LOT




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Good morning! The sun's out today and I got plans how to enjoy it. But allow me first to tell you a story...........

This was many years ago .. in the house of a friend. She was a housewife to an ailing husband but somehow managed pretty well with their not so meager resources. We sat around the dining table situated close to the living room and feasted on a native delicacy of ginataan she herself cooked. Conversation flowed naturally among good friends as it normally would.

Then she reached for her glass of water and drank from it. When done and with the glass still in her hand in mid-air she blurted out .....  'This is fantastic! Lorrrrrd.... thank you for water."


It was not your ordinary lip-serving praise or thanks rendered to the Divine. This was more than that, apparently. Her smiling eyes lighted up her whole countenance. The words came out strong and sure. The moment, ordinary to most, came out as so profound. Like she knew what it meant.... she understood its Creator as if she was there when He formed the beginnings of the earth.... her whole being praised the work of His hands.

I was dumbstruck by this sudden outburst of praise to her God who also was my God, of course. I know my God too; I know Him in my heart. But this lady....  her knowing oozed out from every pore of her skin, from every breath she took, and it seemed from every thing she touched-felt-experienced, from her very life. She looked at me and I didn't need to hear the rest of her words as I saw the truth in her glowing eyes telling me how wonderful this Creator was and is.

I think I learned more about faith and God in that brief moment of praise than from my catechism teacher-priest.

From then on, I made it a point to seize every tiny creation, moment, and experience with great respect, praise, and thanksgiving to an awesome Magnificent God.

And right now I am praising and thanking God for all you wonderful people with your equally wonderful friendships. 'This is fantastic! Lorrrrrd.... thank you for them all." And please bless them tremendously.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PROOF OF HOPE






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"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Just like everybody else, I get ...disappointed - frustrated - exasperated - overwhelmed - irritated - annoyed... when things don't happen the way I expect them to. Particularly in world affairs. The world is in a huge mess but it appears that those who can are too slow in sorting it out or in working out solutions. They hem-and-haw, grandstand on some, and can't avoid dipping their greedy fingers into the pot of politics and funds. I guess we need not look far outside our borders to see that.

Reading this book 'Limitless' by Nick Vujicic led me to some unlearning of old ideas which no longer serve,  relearning of old wisdom, or the learning of new ones. Made me refocus to see that which truly matters. It is found right there on the ground among the people themselves.

This is what matters......

-----when individuals or families devastated by huge catastrophes yet stand up and courageously move forward to a future they believe awaits them. They hope to rebuild their broken lives once more.
-----when a laborer perseveres in his backbreaking job with his eyes set on his young children's future education. He hopes to give his children a better future.
-----when an OFW sets aside a portion of his pay as he builds his or her dream with every money added to it. He hopes one day to come home to reap his just reward and share the blessings with loved ones.
-----when a cancer patient goes through the utter discomfort of chemotherapy sessions. He hopes for healing one day soon. He believes he will be healed.

You can find other proof of courage and bravery, of faith and hope around us. This is what suffering - struggles - troubles teach us. HOPE.  We don't owe it to ourselves but to a wise God who put it there in our hearts for a purpose. And this purpose, I believe, is to enable us to get on with life and living regardless of circumstances.

Hope is a gift. God knew that we would be needing it to carve a better future for ourselves....  to unlock hidden potential and talent...  to believe in our strengths and courage...  to enable us to see the good in men...  to help shape a better world if we so much as try...  to live our faith.

Hope springs eternal, indeed.
Have a great day. God will bless you today. You gotta believe that! :-)




Monday, August 25, 2014

LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS HAPPY 100% OF THE TIME




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I was thinking about this...............  'No one is happy and perky 100% of the time.' Quoted from the book 'Limitless' by Nick Vujicic. (I haven't finished the book yet.)

That's true. But we try to be. It's also true that what we are on the outside is also different from what we are on the inside. Here's to remember that everybody on earth is fighting some battle, without or within. People try to cope with that in so many different ways. Some would seek help from others, several would share their feelings to release tension, and a good number would silently fight their battles while keeping a cheerful exterior with a prayer in their heats.

I find myself in each of these categories depending on the battle at one time or another.

One thing I have learned....  it's okay to be 'all of the above', so to speak. Humanly natural and real. Life is a leveler, everybody gets his share of ups and downs. None exempted. We cope in ways that we know or are available to us. That is the rule.  All is good.

What becomes a problem is when we cower and grovel in the dark utterly overwhelmed and defeated by our challenges.  We then begin to lose control or grip on life happening to us. It's the feeling that the world is oblivious to our misery and God deaf to our prayers. I've seen it happening to friends and I myself have been there before.

When this happens we need to push ourselves hard and harder. The battle is no longer with the issues confronting us but the battle is with the self. I have read somewhere, to quote .. 'we are our worst enemies and our biggest battles'.

But we can also be our own heroes.

Step up to courage, determination, hope, and a faith which God can be so proud of as He watches us. Happily He will bless our efforts far more than our weary hearts can hold.  Joy will be restored in our hearts. So much to be happy about!
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Hope you're all enjoying this long weekend. I did with mine. Yesterday was a lovely dinner spent with family. Precious.

God bless you and yours!