Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WHEN THINGS HAPPEN, PASS IT THROUGH YOUR MIND


"Everything in life comes to you as a teacher. Pay attention. Learn quickly." 
-- A Cherokee Saying

That's what my Mom would always tell me, too. Further adding, 'much of life is understood from thinking about it well...' One day a friend visited our home. Mom took her into the living room to chat and for some refreshments where I was also doing a bit of reading. I was twelve then. Her friend saw me and commented ... 'she should be out playing...' To which Mom replied with ... 'she enjoys reading and thinks much about what she reads...'  To this her friend said ... 'she thinks too much...'  I heard the conversation from where I sat but I didn't look at them, but from the corner of my eye I saw Mom smile and say.... 'oh she's a good kid and I'm mighty pleased. So all that thinking must be good... Besides she just came in from a kiddie pool party next door...'  Hearing that my heart smiled. I've never stopped thinking from then on. Thanks, Mom!

Our minds are a gift from God. He knows that we need one to go through this life. He knows that many things will happen both the good and the bad to which we should --- analyze... process... evaluate... understand... create and recreate.... and we can't achieve anything of that and more without first passing it through some great thought or thinking. It's as simple as that....  think and use your head. That was God's plan from the beginning ... a smart plan from a wise God.

Again.... Merry Christmas, everyone! God bless!


(Photo source:  travel.nationalgeographic.com)




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

YOUR LIFE IS A TAPESTRY WITH OTHERS IN IT



This is a good morning to start with. Nice warm sun, cloudy skies ( I don't mind it this time because it shields me from the hot rays of the noonday sun which is just a few hours away), a slight breeze, and some birds chirping away also in appreciation of a new blessed day.

Let me ramble on but on this particular line lifted from yesterday's post.....

'...-- see life in its huge tapestry and not just a small thread of it. Appreciate your little corner of it and also in being an integral part of the whole. Respect others who are there too.'

We think in boxes, in compartments. We don't try to go outside the comfortable secure niches we have placed ourselves in. Thus called 'comfort zones'. Seems ideal; looks ideal. Maybe it's ideal... if a life of solitude, distant, unconnected, uninvolved, and isolated is your cup of tea. Just by your lone lonesome disconnected self. But life isn't like that at all. It is not. Actually where it truly counts you won't get to do what you want, at least not from the heart and eyes of God.

Soon enough, like it or not, you will see things happening close to your perimeter or right in your own backyard. And which seriously pushes you to move out for solutions or relief, escape, or even change. There's a Divine plan to that.

When these things happen, it's God telling you .... 'Wake up, child; I didn't create you for you. Because if that was the plan, I wouldn't have bothered to create others more.'

You see, we are simply threads in the huge tapestry of creation and life which God has created. That no matter how weird or unlovable or dysfunctional or loose-jointed we may be to ourselves and to others, we are those very threads running through the tapestry and have its purpose laid down for us from the start. And that purpose is to .....  'love one another as I (God) love you'.

We love with our uniqueness individually or collectively. We care for one another with who we are and what we were born with. We link, intertwine, interweave, and connect with the rest of creatures and creation to create a whole. We need not wait to be made special for the job. The job is already special and our doing it makes us special.

You see, the threads may go helter-skelter, run off the design at times, break at some points, lose shape and color... but still patiently managed by the Divine. Oh you bet He has His ways. Just that we pay good attention and work within the plan of the Supreme Being. And when everything is done, it will be hung up the holy walls of heaven as God looks at the final work with a huge pleased smile and say ......... 'EXCELLENT JOB!'

To my blog friends, God bless you..... be blessed, stay blessed, and be a blessing to others. Have a lovely day!


(Photo source: dadirridreaming.wordpress.com)




Monday, December 10, 2012

WHEN GOD ASKS YOU TO GROW...... SO THEN GROW


And now the dust is slowly settling down and we are back to our normal lives. Or trying to. Many thoughts have come to my mind throughout these past events. This particular and final episode in the life of my brother was mercifully short. This is where you get to understand how God truly is a God of mercy and love.

As I sit alone by myself I began to gather these thoughts .. sorting them out to make some sense of it or discern lessons where there might be. Stuff which I've heard long ago through my Mom, but here it is again as a gentle nudge lest it be forgotten. Useful in our everyday lives I'm sure. Here they are as written by the heart......



--LIFE is short so don't waste time on foolishness and non-essential things. It's not a forever thing. Remember, life is a candle in the hands of the Divine.


-- LAUGH when the moment asks you to; in fact, have many such moments of laughter and joy. Live.. love.. laugh!


-- TELL someone you love.. 'I love you' ..a thousand times each day. Say it... say it... SAY it!!!


-- treasure your FAMILY no matter their imperfections. Only a family will and can stand by you through thick and thin.


-- COMMUNICATE.. speak.. talk; people are not mind readers.


-- KNOW when a moment comes whether it is your moment or not. Sometimes the event is not at all about you no matter how it may seem to be... but of someone else or of someone you love. Respond properly and accordingly.


-- DON'T make room for half-hearted choices or decisions. Clarity avoids confusion or distress.


-- when God asks you to grow -- that's what you should do... GROW.


-- BELIEVE in the power of PRAYER.


-- SEEK and see blessings with a prayerful and grateful heart.


-- PAY kindness forward. Just do it!


-- SEE life in its huge tapestry and not just a small thread of it. Appreciate your little corner of it and also being an integral part of the whole. Respect others who are there too.


-- GOD never fails. God is hope.

 
..... and many more.

Blessings to everyone! Have a happy week.





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR PRAYERS



--------------

I now have lost a brother and his family lost a husband and father. He passed last December 01 after fighting a fierce battle with cancer at Cardinal Santos Hospital. May I humbly request my friends in the blog for prayers for the eternal repose of his soul.

Thank you. Blessings to you all.



 (Won't be around for a few days. Back soon.)
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

COMPASSION WILL SHOW YOU HOW


I was going through my old files this evening, sorting stuff, separating those to keep from those that should be in the trash bin. I believe if ideas don't come out sooner or soonest from a bundle of words and things, then it is the wrong bundle of words and things. So off it goes to the bin.

And then.... I saw this tiny quote lifted from the movie "Patch Adams" which said ..... "If we don’t show compassion, who will?"

That is right, you know. We can't just wait for someone to come along and show compassion for the least of our brothers....... someone more intelligent, more moneyed, more charitable, more religious, more resourceful, more creative, more inclined towards such a task. Although these too have its uses.

But we can be that person with just who we are and what we have. It's not how much you can give but how you give. Compassion will show you how.

Blessings to you all. Remember God loves you.

WE CREATE OUR WORLD BY HOW WE CREATE OURSELVES



Saw this on my news feed this morning and it is good......

Sudhir Krishnan ---

"The quality of your earthly experience has less to do with outside circumstances, and more to do with your own level of consciousness. It's like each one of us shine our own inner light on to the external world. The brighter our inner light, the brighter the world appears, and vice-versa. Our primary work then, is not to change the world, but to be that change, to brighten our "inner light" that will go out and naturally brighten the world."

Unquote.

Simply stated -- change your self, change the world. Other similar sayings....'be the change you want to see in the world'  -  'change begins with self'  -  'you want to change the world, begin with you'  -  'the world will change when you change'.

So then there is no escaping this simple truth.... that we create our world by how we create our selves.

Blessed week to you all!

(Photo is from agoalplanner.com)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

DREAMS ARE NOT ALWAYS BUILT ON HUGE BOULDERS OF EFFORT


This is wonderful and should inspire those who have wonderful dreams inscribed in the heart.....

"Just because the effort is small, doesn’t mean it is insignificant. Just because you can’t do it all at once, doesn’t mean it is out of your reach. Success and fulfillment are built on a day-by-day basis. Keep going, keep building, and enjoy the ride."   -- Ralph Marston

Mom would always nudge me with this .... 'Rome wasn't built in a day' as she pushed me forward with tasks, big or small. I have always remembered those words every time I felt like giving up my goals through the years. It works every time.

So don't give up.  Do you know that what is happening in your day is just what it is supposed to be? By God's design. If it looks slow, God wants it slow. If it seems that nothing is happening; God is doing something - you just don't see it. If you are made to do small tasks; God wants you to start small. If all you ever see yourself doing is plucking roses from your garden, do so and enjoy the moment. He probably wants to see if you can be diligent with the small stuff.

Not for any reason must you think that dreams are built on huge boulders of effort. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to do everything right now. Because in the reality of chasing dreams it is the day-by-day things that you do with your dream which will keep you on track and eventually take you there. The journey may be long but you WILL get there! Besides, trust God to know what he is doing with you.

Hope your day is doing just fine. Blessings for the week up ahead.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PLANT THE SEED -- GOD WILL GROW IT

--------------------
This was in a friend's email ------ 'The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.'  --- Nelson Henderson

Nobody will argue that, I know. Because it's true. It is rooted in our daily lives in huge or small measure. One mother said that she raised her children but she won't get to enjoy them because they have gone off to live their own separate lives. A hardworking father amassed great wealth but soon departed and left his children fighting over the fortunes he left behind. And many other stories similar to that occur in our families, our neighbors, our friends... in the bigger world outside.

There is only so much we can do .. and can see only as far as our eyes allow .. with our minds understanding only what it can understand. This simply states that we are simply to plant seeds of life and leave its growing in the hands of an All Knowing Supreme Being who apparently has a much better plan for it than we.

Remember HIS own story.... he preached the good news far and wide, healed, converted and forgave sinners, and blessed people with every good thing he thought they needed. He even went to the cross in exchange for our freedom. But, didn't stay long enough to see the work of his hands. And yet look how much it changed the world thousands of years after.

In the same manner that we now benefit from the good planted by others before us... let us in our time plant the seeds of good which will surely benefit those coming after us. We don't even have to be there. So is it and so will it be in the succeeding generations down the line because that, I believe, is by God's design.

And this is the true meaning of life we are asked to see.. understand.. and live.

Keep doing good. Nobody may be counting but Somebody up there is watching. Of that I am definitely sure.

Blessings to you all.

Friday, November 2, 2012

THE POWER OF WORDS - A Video



Mr. Quote Man sent me this with a note that I would like it very much. He was right! I'm bringing it here to my blog page to serve as a post-it in times I might forget. Although some of you may have seen this before (I have)  but view it again and remember.

So many things have been written about the beauty of our world. Truly so awesome in its magnificence. But sometimes we are nudged to bigger awareness through the taken for granted things or people in our day to day life. And of how WORDS can change it. Here's a video to tell you what I mean........

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PRAYER AND THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF MAN


I sit here glued to watching CNN with its update on 'Sandy'. Flooded streets, dark homes, snowed-in houses, fallen trees blocking roads, explosions and the fires after..... but my thoughts and heart goes inside those homes. Can you feel what they feel? Oh yes, we have been through the same perhaps much stronger with a 200kph typhoon .. not 85kph. But it's the same. It's a catastrophe. Mother nature is having a temper... a bad temper.. and we puny mortals are made helpless in its sway. That's the catastrophe.

But as my mother would tell me.... 'sometimes we are brought down to our knees to make us realize that we are nothing... but... for a very good reason'  We come to realize this that we are all the same no matter from what part of the globe you are... we fear, cry, go hungry, go thirsty, want warmth and shelter, seek safety and protection, seek help and healing, feel disappointed and frustrated, and pray to our God whatever his name be to us. I can see myself just like that if I were in their shoes.

And too that we are the same in wanting to rise up and build our lives anew with what's left for us to build on with the strength and courage we find within our souls. The indomitable spirit of man.  And that has or knows no color, race, or creed. By God's design.

From where we are we may seem powerless to help them. But nothing can restrain the power of PRAYER. Even God can't say no to that. Pray. He will listen. So let's send a deluge of prayer in their direction. Right now.





Sunday, October 28, 2012

BOOKS CONNECT US WITH ALL OF CREATION



One day a cousin of a friend came up to me at a gathering with friends and said in jest... 'ang lalim ng mga sinusulat mo' (translated...'it's hard reading you').

I looked at her and replied... 'try it from here' (pointing to her heart) in jest too. 

'Baliw ka talaga!' (translated....'you're crazy') she replied with a laugh. 

To which I countered....'O diba, nasa puso ang kabaliwan' (translated.... 'yup, crazy is right there in the heart'). 

Don't worry when among friends, close friends, you get the privilege of being crazily straightforward and funny and come out of it in one piece. In our group we do it all the time.

Books fall in different categories, don't we know that. Correspondingly we either read with the mind or with the heart. In most of my reading I lean towards those which tug gently or fiercely at any of the strings in my heart. Stories which tell of human struggles, heartaches, foolishness or sometimes stupidity, passion, inspiration, spiritual growth and everything else which resonates with my own in my tiny niche of life and the world. I want to be reminded that I am not alone in my humanity - that out there in the big wide world there is or are other souls going through the same things I do. I want to feel this connection, this oneness with the rest of creation. So I read. And, so I write.

May God pour out blessings upon you today and in the week up ahead. God bless.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

STAY AND LISTEN


It's early evening and just got back from a lovely lunch and day with my daughter Christine and son-in-law Daniel who celebrated their 2nd anniversary. Imagine what lovely time it was with two families (from Las Pinas and Antipolo) sharing a sumptuous meal at Vikings!  Such wonderful blessings and a memorable day from a loving Father above. Thanks, Dad!

Then of course I'd check the blog; don't want to miss comments from my readers-friends -- replying to them promptly as I can make it. Next checked the inbox for emails. Hmmm... the usual things except for this one... one lovely person, a friend for quite a long time now, from the blog pouring out her heart so burdened by troubles. I don't think she wanted to find solutions from me but rather it was more just wanting a listening ear to her woes. I replied and sent off an earnest prayer in her direction. God will take care of her. I am sure. Positively!

You know what, we go through something similar to that at some point or other in our lives. And in those moments we sometimes long for or need someone who would be there for us, perhaps guide us walk through misery, lend us strength where ours has gone, or simply listen.

And if one day you find yourself being that person or being called for such Divine work..... stay and listen. But also remember this as you stay there and listen ......... it's not you but GOD who works in you or through you WHO is blessing your friend's soul.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. Blessings!!


(Thanks to my friend, Mr. Quote Man, for the wonderful picture above.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

GROW YOURSELF


 
I sit here sipping a glass of warm water thinking of a friend. By the way, have read that a warm glass of water is good to start the day with upon waking. The point? Warm water does not jar or shock your system to wakefulness but does it better with a gentle nudge. Well that said, this friend whom I love dearly images that part of us -- that part which contributes to the misery of the self and the misery of our lives.
You know it's not acceptable to allow yourself to wallow in pity, hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, unforgiving, resentment because these are like ground bugs (anay) which literally gnaw at your strength, courage, self-esteem, confidence, hope, faith, and joy. It punctures holes in your character, your mind, your heart, and soul. Bit by bit you are reduced to a person engulfed by this dark power of negativity no longer recognizable from your true self.
But we are told to fight it! So You must do the best that you can with life; you give it your best shot. Don't give yourself permission to be miserable. When life hits you with trials, punch back with incremental changes which can alter your internal landscape. Change from within (internal) guarantees change from without (external). Be consistent, persistent, vigorous, determined, and resolute in wanting change. And you begin TODAY! Nobody can do that for you. It's just you and you owe that to yourself. GROW YOURSELF. It's tough work (who sez change is easy?!) but tell yourself that you deserve nothing less than the best!

And last but certainly not the least, ask God our FATHER to recreate you, to restore you to whole again. He WILL!!


Have a blessed Sunday. Love your family. Love yourself. Always love GOD.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

EVERYDAY IS A NEW DAY OF LEARNING



‘Everyday is a new day of learning’ – I like that line. Each day brings with it the wonder and awe of new things. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to know them, savor them, and enjoy them-- To be there side by side with it and to know that by its experience our lives are further enriched. To know that learning transforms our minds and hearts; thereby leading us to becoming better versions of our old selves. To discover too that even in the nothingness of a day there is a tiny seed of learning somewhere there that is simply waiting to be unfurled.

Don’t we go through all lengths to better ourselves through education, a thriving career, lofty positions, or a string of achievements or connections – so then why don’t we use that same energy to better ourselves in the arena of our humanity? Wealth or the best of schools does not necessarily produce people for the world but people of the world.

It’s not who we are or what we have but rather what we do with ourselves or of our god-given talents which define us. Because who we are or what we have do not really belong to us although they seem to -- the truth is it is not given us for our sole use alone. But rather it’s given us to serve others with and to try making our world a better place. In the end it redounds to making our lives better (within) enabling us to create a happier world (without).


Behind every new experience is the opportunity to grow even bigger and better, to like and know ourselves more, to appreciate our gifts and to understand how better to use it, to see and appreciate the work of God’s hands in everything around us, to be kinder and compassionate to others, to appreciate the beauty of a person regardless of color, race, or creed and to respect that person for his contribution to life and to the world, and if I may add, to appreciate his contribution to our own little corner of that same world. Those things can come with each day God brings to us.


Let’s seize the day not because life is precious (It is!) but also because the day contains tremendous learning treasures for you and me. For to help us better understand our rightful place in the bigger scheme of things, is by God's design.


Blessings to you all.

Monday, October 8, 2012

LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS

Heard from someone this tiny wish -- to live a life that would be remembered long after they have gone. Or live the present meaningfully.


 
 It can be done. No need to search far and wide for the key. Because it's right there within us. It's the basic good which a loving FATHER and GOD placed in our hearts when HE created us.

 Connect with that good within -- let it shine through and out to the world -- and your life indeed will be a life that truly matters.

God bless you!


(Thank you to Mr. Quote Man for the pictures)

Monday, October 1, 2012

POWER OF INCREMENTAL CHANGE


It's that time of the day when the birds have stopped chirping, the dogs have settled down to their nap, the morning chores done with, and the school buses have taken off with the neighbors' kids. And everything is quiet.

And you begin to look around you and think 'there's nothing to do'. Maybe... maybe not because I don't buy that. Even if sometimes I too use those same lines to my day and to which I bonk myself on the head with 'you can't be serious!!'.

If someone asks you 'what word is it that never runs out of anything?' The answer is --- the word 'Do!'.

You can .... do this, do that, do it now, do it later, do big, do small, do something, do anything, do everything. And even if you said 'do nothing'... still there is an energy attached to it (but that isn't what we're talking about here). The whole point meant is that the word 'do' is synonymous to 'act' ....and 'act' gives birth to 'change'.... and 'change' is the cousin of 'improve'. So then it penultimately or ultimately will lead you to some amount of improvement which could in the long run take you to whatever it is that you want to achieve.

The small do's of today added up to the small do's of tomorrow will add up to create something which you thought couldn't be ...or have believed for so long wouldn't matter. Do it everyday or every chance you can get and you will be surprised one day to see how far you have traveled or how close you are to a goal or dream. Small is the start of all big things.

To quote......
"Small and consistent actions tend to 
create small and consistent improvements." 
-- Robert Pagliarini

Do have a lovely and productive Monday. With God's blessings.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU EAT -- IT'S WHAT'S EATING YOU



My friend plopped on the couch one day... a big plop! So I asked her 'something wrong?' ...and she replied 'Ala lang!' (translated 'Nothing!'). 'Okay let's try that again.... why'd you do it?' 'Whaat?', again she replied. 'Okay that face isn't working with me. Besides you ate up all the shrimp cracklets on the bowl and you don't like shrimp cracklets. So want to tell?'

Then she turned to me and said ... 'did you know that they have this gorgeous chocolate cake at Starbucks? And Coffee Bean makes this fantastic carbonara? J. Co's donuts are to die for too?"

'Hey you're packing in calories faster than you should! What's up??' exclaimed I bewildered. Though I must admit that the cake sounded very tempting! There's a Starbucks store just some minutes away. Anyway......

And the dam burst wide open releasing a flood of tears. 'He's cheating on me!' she bawled between sobs. There you go and her story tumbled out....  a heart so betrayed and deeply hurt.

No that's as far as I go in telling her story.

But her story is telling us this....

Sometimes when people do outrageous things or simply can be so out of character don't get fooled by that. There is almost always one dominant idea or thought which moves them to do what they do.

We don't do anything just because. Always there is a reason behind it. Big reason, small reason, drama, subtle, or sometimes nonsensical. But the reason is there. And what you do with it almost always is where you get your story.

Just like my friend, it's not what she eats.. rather it's what's eating her that's the problem. Or said in a different way, it's not what you do but rather why you're doing it. That's where the gist of the story lies.
---------------------------
Hope everyone's happy with the day. It's a good one with plenty of good stuff God put into it. Blessings to you all!



Friday, September 21, 2012

YOU WANT SOMETHING GO GET IT


Just an observation.....

Some of my young friends tell of their so many plans, so many dreams, and yet never seem to know what the right one for them is. Confused and bewildered they keep on hammering at a wide range of choices believing that the right one will eventually surface, that somehow things will break and they will hit gold. I’m not convinced with that method. There has to be conscious effort. They have not recognized their path because they didn’t search well.

It’s not always smart to spread yourself thinly over a wide field of prospects. It’s like using up energy and shooting wild bullets with no specific target in sight. Besides it will wear you out faster and pretty soon you will find yourself dragging your feet from one place to another. That’s a candidate for frustration , disappointment and a waste of precious time and talent – one which you can’t afford to lose. Besides Father Time waits for no one.

On the other hand, I have seen other young people take on a well-thought out and planned approach. These boys and girls start out with a well-defined and definite sense of purpose; have equipped themselves with the necessary education and training,  studied their prospects sorting out those which they believe will be a sure fit. They don’t bother with anything which does not fill the criteria they have set down. In such a way they succeed to narrow down the choices to the best of the crop. Once this has been decided then and only then do they gear up for the pursuit and journey armed with a clearer vision of what they have and what they hope to achieve. Surprisingly the required enthusiasm, energy and imagination needed to see it through bursts forth with such unexplained intensity that it certainly amazed me no end. They then were rewarded with gaining greater momentum and ground as they steadily inched their way towards their goal confident with what they know.


"You are the embodiment of the information
 you choose to accept and act upon. 
To change your circumstances
you need to change your thinking 
and subsequent actions."
 -Adlin Sinclair
 To you reading this... GOD BLESS YOU and have a wonderful day.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

GRATITUDE TAKES YOU TO BETTER PLACES



One of the things I enjoy doing on a free day is find a nice spot in the garage to sit and watch the day move along out on the street. Of course, the dogs Buddy and Lucky would be there with me.... Buddy rubbing his head against my side while Lucky doing her happy dance of welcome.

There is something so special in that when the usual cares and woes of the day agree to recede far in the background and allow the pleasure of uninterrupted bliss and peace. This is what we need. If it does not present itself to us then we must go seek it out.

Sitting there did far more than I expected. I thought it was just simply fresh air, sunlight, green trees, chirpy birds and happy dogs but it turned out to be more than that. My mind was leaping from one thought to another similar to Lucky's happy dance.

The thoughts.....

How wonderful the blue skies with cotton-like clouds gliding through sometimes making out figures from the fairy tales of my childhood.

How soothing the touch of the fresh gentle breeze on my face with memories of what it was like walking by the seashore in my grandfather's hometown.

How interesting to see the bunch of trees in my neighbor's backyard with their interplay of growth and decay. So much like life when we peel off old unworthy things from living and take in new ones moving us forward with new hope and faith.

How lovely the birds with their songs so inspiring in the thought that they do not work nor toil but are sustained in their needs by the Great One. We would be singing their song too if we learn how to work faith and trust into our relationship with our Father.


...... and how great it is to be sitting here while God puts on such a grand show. I am sure many out there near or far share this experience. And I am sure that they understand it's God's way of telling us just how special, loved, and so blessed we are. Thank you, Magnificent ONE! ...... so much!



"Gratitude can transform common days
into thanksgivings, 
turn routine jobs into joy, and 
change ordinary opportunities into blessings."   
--- William Arthur Ward
 


Blessings to you all. Enjoy your day. God is there. See Him with your heart.


(Big thanks to Mr. Quote Man for sending this quote).


 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EXTRAORDINARILY ORDINARY PEOPLE


A friend a thousand summers ago with a tiny smile on his face gave me this quote ..... 'The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.' - (Jimmy Johnson)  I still remember the quote well. As for my best friend .. life took him into another direction. Well, nothing much we can do bout it when life does something like that to us. But looking back now I can say it was a good thing. God speed, amigo!

You know what.. we may not see it well or are missing it by this much... but we have extraordinary people around us and seen maybe in a grand way for some lucky souls but for those who go through life quietly and solemnly (now ain't that just too serious a word) maybe it would be just too small to be noticed too. It comes to you like the whiff of a breeze..... but a most refreshing breeze .. that is here a minute and gone in the next. But if you have learned and learned well to pay attention you will see and know it. Because that special spark is there.

Extraordinary ..... is that tiny friendly smile from a complete stranger who moves aside to give you space in an almost full elevator. Is that extra banana the fruit vendor slips into your paper bag already bursting with a kilo of nice yellow ripe bananas. Is that ear doctor who painstakingly explains your case and pleasantly assuage your anxieties about it. Is that handyman who fixes the leak in your roof and puts in a little extra finishing for free. Is that neighbor who greets a warm 'good morning' without fail every time he passes by your house on his way to work. Is that sweet wonderful person in Facebook who always finds time to drop you a warm greeting or a cheerful word or two. ......And many MANY more!

It's that little extra a person does but enough to warm a heart, calm a fear, inspire, wipe away a tear, lighten up the day, make someone feel special, give hope, restore faith, or help somebody regain that which was almost lost.

It's just a little extra.. for you maybe BUT to the person you gave it to ----- it's more than enough!... it's everything! it's the world!

Blessings to you, extraordinary all!


Monday, September 10, 2012

PATIENCE BUILDS -- IMPATIENCE DESTROYS


----------------------
A friend wrote me an email and in it was everything you can imagine of a person of great impatience. He was sorely sore about something. In short, things didn't come out as expected. I'll reply to his email later tonight. But first the seed of a post has taken root......

The dictionary defines impatience as ..... 'intolerance of anything that thwarts, delays, or hinders..'

Impatience can throw us off the track as we try to hasten processes or procedures innately designed or essential to something or someone. Failure to understand that everything in life involves a process easily paves the way for frustration or disappointment which eat us up or gnaw at our highly tensed nerves until eventually falls into pieces. Impatience is like a crazed bull loosed from the pen which gores anyone or anything that gets in its way.

While patience, on the other hand, is a revered cousin even considered a virtue by many. It keeps us steady and focused on whatever task we might throw ourselves into. In fact, it gains the favor of the gods thus aiding us further towards achievement or fulfillment.

But then it's impatience which gets the better of us most times. So how do we deal with this?

Try simple incremental changes to our approach. Take it slow. Small concerted efforts done or added to the heap will create a huge mound which later we may use to bulldoze our way to the top. Further, small is manageable and feedback-friendly. Seeing results early on enables us to make good adjustments to our stride. And importantly doesn't have to tax our patience or impatience needlessly as we would be with gigantic investment of time, effort, and emotion which results sometimes could take eternity to pull off.

Remember this said 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. And that God could have created the world all in a day but He didn't. That's a lesson to be gained from there. Small simple incremental changes .....  they matter where we would let them matter most. It may take longer... but worth the wait. And this undoubtedly takes the bull of impatience by its horn and leads it back into the pen where it belongs!

Blessings to one and all!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

ABILITY TO CHOOSE



"The greatest weapon over stress
 is our ability to choose one thought over another."  
--- William James

When I saw this in my email this morning, the first thought that came into mind was........  So that's why we're all so stressed. It's not because our stresses are bigger or stronger than us, but more so because our abilities to cope are smaller than small and weaker than weak or sometimes non-existent.. thus we can't even make the right choices of good thoughts over bad thoughts. Stress is a bad thought, positivity is a good thought anytime. Even though we know that, we still struggle in choosing the right thought for us or adapt the right mental approach to the stressed situation. So then where have our abilities to choose one good thought over a bad thought (or another) gone to??!  That's for us to figure that one out, don't you think?

Hope everybody's having a wonderful weekend. 
Choose HAPPY!
Blessings, everyone.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SOFT RAIN ONE LOVELY MORNING


---------------------
SOFT RAIN

Woke up early this morning my girls still asleep in their beds. Walked to the window to see how the day was beginning.

Rain. A slight one forming a thin curtain draping my window. Yet I still could see through it.... birds unbothered by raindrops were amazingly chirping atop a branch of a neighbor's tree across the street, clouds above fading away gently making room for the blue skies to show, life in my neighborhood slowly waking up to a new day.... to the promise of a new day.

Some people say that life's problems are like rain. It falls on anything, anyone, whenever, whatever. So much of that is true. Different kinds of rain or rainfall fall down on us as there are different kinds of troubles or challenges that man faces each day.

I like this one am having this morning. Because if troubles come like this rain - gentle and soft ......  I would still be able in spite of the pain, hurt, difficulties, or problems to see beyond it all... to see the silver lining that lies underneath the troubled heap. I would be able to understand by the grace of God that whatever troubles may be it does not necessarily have to end my world. But that rather it passes soon enough after it has done its job of teaching me the lessons it wants me to learn. And that if I have paid good attention and remained steady through it all..... I will receive the promise and reward of a better day, perhaps a better life, but most essentially a better version of my old self.

Like soft rain when it is done, I would come out of it refreshed and renewed. Gratefully alive. Reborn. Thank God.

Hope you're all having a good and blessed week.

Monday, September 3, 2012

CREATE SPECIAL



Today I find myself with a day that looks  so ordinary and empty. So I wondered to myself just what am I supposed to do with such a day. Well, maybe I could play music and find myself a quiet corner to sit by my lonesome self and enjoy it. But the choices on my cd rack didn't look too enticing to say the least. Have played them over and over at different times these past few weeks that it certainly wore off its novelty easily.. So I shifted my thoughts to painting. Haven't painted for quite awhile now and I must admit that there were some nice images I was thinking to capture on canvass just last week. But again the images weren't clear enough now to ever make any sense. I guess it's just what some would say the absence of inspiration. 

Well then, perhaps a good book will help make the hours slip by unnoticed. But which one..... 'Purpose Driven Life'.... 'The Alchemist'.... 'The Road Less Traveled'.... 'The Aladdin Factor'.... 'City of Angels'.... '1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints and Tips'.... or that one bought from a book sale which now sits undisturbed on the shelf.... for weeks. Nah, I decided to let it remain undisturbed for some more as I now sense regretting that I ever bought it at all. And I decided too to leave the rest mentioned here alone although those are truly the kind of books you won't mind going back to again and again.

So what have we next? Ah food! Let's see ...... apples? grapes? bananas? oranges???... or munch on raisins? How bout biscuits or some junk food (oh but my daughter is not going to like this when she knows). Hey what about a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich...my favorite... along with a nice hot cup of tea. I'm off cola drinks for good --- something which I don't miss anymore now. Fruit juice? Have run out of that today.

So sandwich it is! And that about makes my day. 

That's all it would take really to turn an ordinary day into something that puts a smile on your face... give a lift to your mood.... and make you feel good inside and out. It's simply listening to the tiny nudge within you.... a tiny push which tells you to pay attention ..... and when you do pay attention it puts you right in sync with the moment. And that could be not just with your favorite sandwich or a cup of tea ... sometimes it could simply be a tiny book which you may have read a hundred times over anyhow.  Whatever it is your heart will lead you to it. In savoring the moment the day is transformed into special. Very special.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GOING THROUGH OLD FILES ONE DAY.....


------------------
While going through some old files, I came across this old folder. Looking inside I saw several writings which went way back to the year 1996. I wrote them for the company newsletter then. Here's one....

WHAT MAKES GOD SMILE

                                              
'What makes God smile?' audibly mused my youngest daughter gazing at the ceiling in 'mock' seriousness. I know because she always does that when doing her homework.

'You won't find the answer there, Honey.' I teased her while adjusting my reading glasses and went back to the book I was reading.

'Oh! then maybe you do.' she retorted. Bingo! this foolish fish fell for the bait easily. And I thought I was so smart!

'Mom! Got an essay to do for tomorrow’s class...' she pressed on 'what makes God smile?' tapping her pencil on the table.

So then I bid farewell to my book and precious glass of cool lemonade... the gentle breeze by the window... my comfortable chair... and the nice piano music from my player... and shifted my attention to this little kid in pigtails with her pencil-tapping impatience. 

"Remember that day you gave me a lovely red rose for no occasion at all? You saw how much it pleased and delighted me as I gave you my biggest grin which almost tore up my face from ear to ear. What you didn't see was that I was smiling for seeing your heart all wrapped up in love and affection. That made me smile."

I continued...

"It's so much the same with God. No matter if you stumble and falter in your efforts to please him, he'll understand and instead will look to your heart to see the honesty there or the faith and love that struggles to keep in step with him.

You don't have to be brilliant, wise, knowledgeable, gorgeous, smart, perfect, so everything in the world to be able to please him. He knows we aren't all that. He created us; therefore he knows us. Yet in spite of our imperfections and flaws we try to love and obey him as best as we can still ----- now THAT MAKES HIM SMILE!”


‘Thanks, Mom!’ and she stood up and almost made a run for her room when I protested... ‘but you haven’t written down a word I’ve said!’ And she replied with a smile.. ‘Nope but I’ll remember’ and pointing to her heart ... ‘it’s all in here. Love you, Mom!’
-----------------------------------

May our good Lord bless you all, readers visible and invisible, with everything good in life.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

LIFE IS TODAY - NOT TOMORROW


What's on my mind today?  This eyeopener quote from Mr. Quote Man........

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin..... But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."    (Alfred Souza)
 

--Unquote.


There you see. Life is what's happening to you today. It's not tomorrow when you finally land a good job.. when you marry the girl or boy of your dreams.. when you have a car.. when you graduate from college.. when all your debts are paid.. when you get the kinks in your life straightened out.. when you retire.. or when you have finally built your dream house.. etc.

You start living today ... where it could possibly be frustrating, disappointing, challenging, wearisome, exasperating, boring, scary, dangerous, heartbreaking, daunting........... but can also be euphoric, ecstatic, splendid, gorgeous, magnificent, adventurous, humorous, inspiring, and downright awesome.

Our 'today' is a mix of all that. Maybe at times the scale unevens having a bit more of one or the other but that's what's supposed to happen if we are to learn anything at all. Not much learning is done in comfort and ease. Pain and trials can make good teachers thus life lessons better learned. The intent is for a better you.

I have seen friends who waited .. and when the day they planned and waited for finally came .... They found out too late that they have missed out on what's truly essential in life and living. If you have your mind and heart closed to that, you certainly have not learned how to live at all.
------------------------------------------------
 
I've said this before, I'll say it again. Carpe Diem! It's today or never. Blessings to you all!



Saturday, August 18, 2012

A MOTHER LOVES THIS BIG - BUT GOD BIGGER

I was on the phone early this morning with a close friend. We chatted like old friends do even without first warming our tummies with breakfast. Coffee for her, cereal for me. Then our chat got to talking bout her children in the States. Struggling she said and at this point a mother's heart broke down. How she wished that she could gather all their burdens and carry them on her shoulders. Oh yeah, a female Atlas with the weight of the world (her kids' world anyhow) on her small shoulders. But those are typically the very thoughts of a mother for her children.

Choking with emotion and I suppose with tears streaming down her face, she spoke how life was and is still tough going for them. Land of Promise? Nah but yes eventually you could get to that point but not after you have given your blood, sweat, and tears for it. It's not offered on a silver spoon.

My friend is a devoted mother --- she'll cross the seven seas or climb Kilimanjaro for her children.... or skin a human being alive if he dares hurt any one of them. Well, she would given the reason! She's a darling mother and friend. So precious to me.

Now why am I telling her story? Because I want to say this........

Hard as it may be to accept this but our children are now grown. Individuals now traveling down their own life roads .. as designed by God. They will struggle.. cry.. laugh.. rejoice.. hurt.. be saddened.. frustrated.. disappointed.. angry.. ride high and low or be tossed about by the winds of strife. They will go through it ---- we can't do it for them. They will learn their own life lessons or fail at it. They will reap their own failures or successes.... punishment or reward. While we stand at a distance... watching... with our hearts pierced with the sharpest sword that can ever pierce a mother's heart. Our pain bigger than the wound it creates.

But if you as a mother did your job well, as God designed you to .... you can stand there confident knowing in your heart that .... 

'you have raised your child in the way he should go... 
and that he shall not depart from it'.

That is your comfort and peace. You have raised a winner. And a winner will he be all through his life, even long after you have gone. And don't worry cos ... God who took good care of you is the same God who will take care of your children.

God bless all the mothers in the world!!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WHAT'S THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS


--------------------------
My friends and I were chatting over lunch one day and the conversation moved to the subject of success. A question was posed..... 'What is the measure of success?'

These were the answers..... when you live in a big house in an exclusive street address, when you are the CEO of a huge company, when you have a huge bank account, when you have five cars and one of them is a Ferrari, when you have a second house abroad, when your children study in the best schools abroad, etc. etc. etc.

Not surprised by the answers; after all this is a material world and the tangible is more easily understood and appreciated.

But have you read what Ralph Waldo Emerson has to say about this? ................................

To quote.....

"To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

....Unquote.
-----------------------------------------------

A blessed day to you all!
 
 
 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

THE Terrible TERRIBLE SOUTHWEST MONSOON RAINS OF AUGUST




Sunday, August 5, 2012

EARTH ANGELS - KNOW WHO THEY ARE



I thank an online friend for this wonderful quote seen on his page.................


"God works through us 
to meet the needs of those around us."   
-----  -ODB


Earth angels.... I believe we've got plenty here on earth. Nope no wings, no shining halos, not even a rose scented presence, nor a trail of light from the skies above. But we surely have them.

How do I know that? Simple. Because at several times in my splintered existence angels have walked on my turf and space. It's that encounter or moment when something beautifully awesome happens... It's that moment when hope resuscitates... strength is renewed... faith is emboldened... courage is regained.... darkness is made light again.

And all because of a person who looks, can you believe this, so ordinary.. in fact even resembles you -- a human being. And yet does something so special which you can only measure by heaven's standard. And sometimes it may just be a look - a touch - a word - or one tiny thought or gesture, or a prayer ..... and yet it spells the whole world in unexplained joy and fulfillment. Like a void within has been filled and that it simply just fits!

I love earth angles and I think that I have been luckily blessed with many... both near and far.... online and in real time.  Loving this journey but who wouldn't. It's one great company to be traveling with. All thanks to dear Daddy God up there!

Blessings, everyone! Love your angels. :-)

Friday, August 3, 2012

CHARACTER IS WHAT YOU DO WHEN NOBODY'S WATCHING



“Character is what you do when nobody is watching. Character is how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Character is how you react when the pressure is on. Character is deciding beforehand that you are going to do the right thing.”   --  Every day we’re faced with decisions — many of which are made when no one is watching, at least no one we can see. But let’s purpose in our hearts to do the right thing — because character truly counts. We may not see the dividends immediately — but be assured that God is keeping track of our decisions, and He will make good on every one!   -- (Unquote)



Yes, same friend (let's call him Mr. Quote Man) sent it to me today. I think the quote does very well on its own; too bad my good friend didn't find out who said it.

That first line there --- 'Character is what you do when nobody is watching.' -- says it all. So if we think that we can get away with shoddy behavior or character within the four walls of our home....  think again. True.. human eyes may not see us (Except that of our family, of course. And our family loves us for better or for worse.... our worst.) But this one pair of eyes sees it all and even more. I'll leave that to your imagination.

Character isn't just  'how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you'  -- but is also how we treat the ones who love us and care for us with all of their hearts and souls. They who have put us up in the forefront of their lives or its center. They who have been the silent wind beneath our wings. They who serve with no thought of return.

Blessings to everyone, through Christ.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

STANDING ON THE EMOTIONAL LEDGE OF LIFE



Before you think that it's just one for the movies, the truth is it's also what life is about. A wise old man once said (his name skips me at the moment) ... 'joy only comes after we have crossed the threshold of pain'. It's the same as saying with positivity ... 'when you're down the only way is up'.

The threshold of pain is where things that go wrong.. do go wrong.  As expected or unexpectedly. Fortunes fail, jobs lost, marriage breaks down, relationships sour, communication flounders, health crisis, heartbreaks, and other things more which cause the heart to bleed... visibly or not.

These things and more push us to that emotional ledge -- the breaking point.

If you stop to think about this, Somebody has been there before. You know the story. Things didn't turn out the way He expected, people misunderstood Him.. betrayed Him, and He bled with sorrow and heartbroken in a garden alone and lonely. But He prayed on --- persisted in prayer, and stood up once again to bravely face the lonely and hard road ahead. This new strength led Him to His glorious reward .. sitting at the right hand of His FATHER in Heaven.

That's a lovely story. And so much like it will our own stories end. Life as we all know it to be is never easy and there's no way we can skip that part of our lives where we find ourselves standing on that dreaded emotional ledge. But this I know .. that if we listened well to that story it tells us there is a way out. There is a way to step away from that tricky dangerous ledge. It is not the end... but a much needed pause (for lack of a better word but it seems good). The needed pause to take stock of our lives, to reflect, to be renewed recharged energized. And essentially to PRAY. HE did it and succeeded.

We may at some point in our lives find ourselves standing on that lonely ledge... but certainly not alone. And we cannot do anything less than what HE did because truthfully ..... HIS is the blueprint of our earthly lives. Courage and hope is God's message to us.  Too HE promised that HE would always be with us. Such blessed comfort!

Hope you're all having a lovely and blessed week.
Blessings to everyone.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS - CHANGE YOUR LIFE


Read this in my inbox this morning but it's good that I thought to bring it here to share....

"Entire water in the ocean can never sink a ship
Unless it gets inside.
All the pressures of life can never hurt you
Unless you let it in."
(Unknown)


Now that's a tough one. Who wouldn't be affected by the pressures of life. Everybody is touched by it in some big or small measure. It can hurt. You just have to look at the status lines on a social site --- it's there life as reflected in every printed word or emotion. Sometimes a person without even saying much reveals even so much more ----- you would see and understand the ripples of the heart beneath it.  How do I know that? Simple. I'm a human being too and whatever it is you're going through I have my share. Maybe differently and in some other measure, but it has the same name..... the pressures of life.

What to do?

Let it roll. It will happen, like it or not. Because it was meant to happen for a reason. Oh you know that. But strangely when in the throes of hurt or pain the brain is numbed to a stop --- it won't think, can't think. So take a deep deep breath... breathe deep -- and exhale all that toxic energy out of your system. Once, twice, several if need be but do it! No it will not make your worries disappear but YES it will recharge you, energize you, give you a lift -- and then say  'THANK YOU!'  to  WHOEVER  it is you always thank when feeling good. No matter if it's just a wee bit good or the teeniest-weeniest good that you feel. It's still good! It's something to be truly thankful for.

Now feeling better, you can start from there. You can change your day, your life, or the world if you think it needs changing. Nothing can hurt you if you won't let it. It's as simple as that. You are in control of your responses to life, you have the power, and most importantly you have the prayer. Pray away!

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone.



Friday, July 20, 2012

SUNRISE, SUNSET, AND CLOUDS


  
GOLDEN SUNRISE

Honestly, I look to the sunset for inspiration. And I guess most people do as I see them setting their gaze wistfully on a sunset afar. You'll never see what goes on inside their hearts nor be able to read their minds but this I know --- Hope springs eternal. And none best signifies it than a sunset. Because you certainly know that it will come again in the morn. It never fails. Aside from sunsets being so awesome wherever its setting, it sends off a message of hope and promise ---- for a new beginning, a new day, a new life, a new challenge, a new rising. That as it appears to me is God's message to everyone. Be of steady faith and of good hope.

Now the sun rising in the morn tells you this -------- 'this could be the big day of your dreams -- of your life'. Embrace the day. It's God's gift to you. That's the message of a gorgeous golden SUNRISE. Here are two awesome pictures taken by brilliant professional photographer and friend Larry P. Concepcion.

 GLORIOUS  SUNSET

As a lover of nature and sunsets, I love these two wonderful pictures. Photographer Larry's subjects are as diverse as nature is, of people, or of national issues. Quite an impressive collection there on his fb page. Sheer eloquence and clarity as seen through the eyes of his camera. Thank you, Larry, for these and for sharing.


 
 
 FASCINATION WITH CLOUDS

We usually take clouds for granted.... until we come across exquisite photographs such as these. Then we pay attention. Maybe that's the reason for a Larry P. Concepcion and the rest -- to nudge us to pay attention to God's masterpieces in the sky. (Once again, thank you Larry)