Monday, May 23, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

Where sky and water meet,

Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.

The journey would be enjoyable not because of the journey itself but because of the hope of seeing the much awaited and longed for destination. In fact the reason why we are having the voyage is because we are targeting a specific place that we already anticipated before we even started the expedition. And the sad thing is that we settle down in between the starting point and the destination. We unboarded on a different station.

We started the journey on a train station. We were told to stay on the train until the final stop. We agreed because the plan was overwhelmingly excellent and eternally rewarding. We really longed for something much more fulfilling and has eternal significance than the life many are living. All were explained to us and we found it logically sound. So we boarded the train. It's first class. All the things that we ever needed was provided. All you have to do is to get it yourself. It was a luxurious transit. We met some friends. We made some good friends. We even traded some things and made some fortune. The train made a stop to a very beautiful and promising place and we talked a lot about that place that it was good to settle down in that area. Many of our friends thought it was a nice idea. They said they will try it for just a few days. We also decided to give it a try because the place was full of opportunities. We settled down until we're sixty. Now we're old and we suddenly remember the thing that really matter. Eternal things. We remember the old plan that was supposed to have eternal significance. It all came back to us. But all that we did was for ourselves and our own ambition. Nothing about what matters in eternity. That was the thing that time cannot understand. A place where time stops and the past and the future is one whole present before the Eternal One. A place where whatever we do if truly done out of our love for the Eternal One will have an eternal reward. 

Hurry. There is still time.

I remember what a Man from Nazareth once said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

Enjoy the journey. Remember, the "journey" is not the destination. But we can make some eternal investments while on it. Why not try to have the best of both worlds at the same time? But if there would be any conflicts, choose the place where you'll  "find all you seek...Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet..."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Mother's Love

                             posted on youtube by :MontgomeryGentry101

We will never forget those times when we needed someone and there she was waiting for us all along. We remember the love that was selfless. The sacrifice that she went through to provide what we need. How can we forget the caring embrace that made us strong. Her life made us want to discover what she has learned. Her faith has been an inspiration. I know her. She had problems too. Big ones. But that was the beauty of it all. She can smile and play with you. She can sing you a song and you'll know that there is something in her that is somewhat extraordinary. In the midst of a troublesome time you'll find in her a different kind of strength. Peaceful.Joyful. A strength of character that can only be molded in the anvil of difficulty and tested in the fire of adversity.
I am the eldest. I know what she had been through. I have two brothers and a sister and they love her as much as I do. And a mother who loves us with her life.
Some say that we don't have a mother anymore who can see the things that we do. She's already gone, you know. But I say she's more alive now than ever because she is now with God who is Life. 
One of the legacy of our mother was that she gave us a love for books and a desire to help others with what we have.But her most important legacy was that she pointed us to an unwavering faith in the character of God.
She loves us. And we love her. And we will love her forever.
Love your mom. Don't break her heart. Show your love by giving her something out of your heart. Or you can give your heart to God and your mom will be fully satisfied.

Happy mother's day mom! We love you!
Happy mother's day to all the mom's out there! 
Thank you for all your sacrifices and love! God will not forget that. He's been watching all along.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Gift of Pain: An Excerpt

Some cultural responses to pain nearly defy belief. Societies in Micronesia and the Amazon Valley practice a child birth custom called couvade (from the French word  for "hatching"). The mother gives no indication of suffering during delivery. She may break from work a mere two or three hours  to give birth, then return to the fields. By all appearances it is the husband who bears the pain during the delivery and for days afterward he lies in bed, thrashing about and groaning. Indeed if his travail seems unconvincing, other villagers will question his paternity. Traditionally, the new mother waits on her husband  and sits by his side to entertain the relatives who drop by to offer him congratulations.
Ronald Melzack tells of another cultural anomaly.
In east Africa, men and women undergo an operation-entirely without anaesthetics or pain reliving drugs-called "trepanation,"in which the scalp and underlying muscles are cut in order to expose a large area of the skull. The skull is then scrapped by the doktari as the man or woman sits calm. without flinching or grimacing, holding a pan under the chin to catch the dripping blood. Films of this procedure are extraordinary to watch because of the discomfort they induce in the observers, which is in striking contrast to the apparent lack of discomfort in the people undergoing the operation. There is no reason to believe that these people are physiologically different in any way. Rather the operation is accepted by their culture as a procedure that brings relief of chronic pain.

Both examples demonstrate the power of the mind which no scientist has fully discovered yet. If the mind can have such an influence to the body so that it will interpret pain differently, what benefit will it do to a man who believes positively? If we train our minds to see the good in every "bad" situations it will surely make a difference. 
But I see people who do better with pain. It helps them realized what the problem is. And it push them to such an extent that they leave their comfort zone and find new and higher grounds. For more than ten years of my life teaching in different localities and villages in the Philippines I had the opportunity to examine the everyday life of those people who actually became my friends. Some of them are farmers by trade but many farmers here in the Philippines are poor. Salted dried fish and eggplant are the favorite everyday menu. That   is everyday, with the variation of how you cook the eggplant. Fried eggplant. Eggplant salad. Boiled eggplant. Fried eggplant with egg. And the list goes on.
The children of these farmers are reared in this kind of life. They go to school in the morning and when school is over they go directly to the farm to help their parents. They carry on their shoulders a wooden pole with two buckets of water at both ends. This and many others are the everyday duty starting from seven years old until they graduate in college. Because of these pressures and hard labor they are given strength of heart and mind. They started to hope and dream for a better life. Because of pain they now understand how to live.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dolly: A Day with her Father

One of the most valuable thing a father can give his child is to give him his time.
I know a person who literally grew up into manhood without him remembering a single day in his life where his father would talk to him in a friendly manner. On the contrary all that he can call up to mind was his father waiting for every little mistake that he would do and judging him the whole day and the next day and the day after it and so on. We must remember here dear reader that a man who keeps on judging has no time to love.
And this man in my story had never in his whole life ever even heard a single positive word from him. That's ridiculous ,you might say, but it is the truth.
When he was in elementary and high school he feels that there were some things in himself that was not right and he was battling with it. These were emotional issues that can affect how a person will behave. He recall that when he was in high school, he was restless. He couldn't think straight. His mind couldn't rest. He was always at war with himself because he found out that he came out to be a very hot tempered person. He can be easily angered. And he didn't want this. He didn't intend to be that kind of person. But there was another one more subtle than any of the negative emotions that he discovered in himself. That was his feeling of fear. He feared that he might fail and he procrastinated many things. Fear found him because he lives everyday of his life in this perfect world, where perfectionism was the rule and where his father was the ruling god.
Nothing good will come out of fear.
As Aldous Huxley puts it in his book Ape and Essence, "Fear ... casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth."
Conversely something good will come out of love. Love yourself. Love others. It can work miracles. But only perfect love can drive out fear. There is only One who is perfect and only His love can eradicate fear.

In contrast with the story of that man, Dolly, a charming little girl, about 4 years old was very privilege having a father who not only showed her where they are getting their food, thus teaching her lessons in life, but most importantly she was given a wonderful happy day of fishing with her father. And the memory of that single day alone can create happy feelings which could grow into a hope and that hope can turn into positive thoughts which can be the foundation of a positive joyful outlook in life. What kindness a father can give to his child!

See Dolly's photos and her catch in her father's diary The Rambling Expat.: Dolly got a fish!!!

I"ll repeat what I have said above and add something into it. One of the most valuable thing a father can give his child is his time. And a little kindness.

I'll borrow a quote from Aldous Huxley again to drive out a timeless truth about kindness and how even just a little of it can affect a whole life of a person. This is the quote, "It's a little embarrassing that after 45 years of research & study, the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other." That is how profound the subject of kindness is.
Kindness will make a huge difference in a child's life and a radiant effect to anybody else. Giving time and showing kindness can radically change a negative perspective into a positive one and a sad melancholic disposition into a radiant joyful countenance. It can put a smile into anybody's face. It can put a smile into your face and mine. It can leave a stamp of joy and gratitude on everybody's heart. Have you seen Dolly's smile and how she pose on her fishing trip with her father? That's quite charming.

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