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Archive for June, 2009

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Three weeks ago, I attended a professional seminar and was very pleased by the approach of the facilitator on his topic. Although the subject matter was intended for the workplace, the audience appreciated his examples that applied to people’s lives in general. He boldly declared: “Life is all about relationships!” While discussing the 3Ps for success, I was delighted that he added an additional “P” word to the renowned triad of Passion, Practice, and Persistence. He gave this fourth P its very own presentation slide and referred to it as the most important element of success—Prayer. 🙂

The facilitator made plenty of jokes during his presentation. I thought he had a good sense of humor, yet beyond his funny stories, there was a lot of truth and wisdom in his statements.

There’s this Primary song about a foolish man building his house upon the sand, and the wise man building his upon the rock. Just as another song says “sand castles fall apart when the tide comes in,” we know that when one puts up his house upon sandy foundation, it won’t be long until it will all get shattered.

Through my life’s experiences, I’ve learned that true success is not measured by anything that the eye can see or the hand can touch, for these things are deceiving. It’s as intangible as a warm feeling when we’ve done something good that made someone else happy; or the peace and contentment that we get when we hear our children’s laughter; or an honest day’s toil whether in the farm or in the office; and a joyful heart after doing what we know is right. 🙂

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the knowledge that our efforts had been blessed knowing we did the best we could with whatever it was that our Heavenly Father had entrusted to us. 🙂

 

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 (Photograph by Franco Advincula)


I got up early this morning thinking about the many things that I need to get done. They just simply keep coming. 🙂 But I’ve learned to be grateful for these responsibilities when I realized that working—in whatever form—is a privilege. 🙂

Work is an eternal gospel principle. Even God worked for six days when this earth was created and rested only on the seventh. In the same manner, we are admonished not to be idle and to use our time wisely (see D&C 88:124). As parents, we are advised to encourage our children to work in the capacity or level that they are able to. We are not doing them any good if we do everything for them. At times we may have to repeat washing the dishes or mopping the floor after they’ve already done it, but it’s the only way we can effectively teach them—by having them practice a skill or task until they can perfect it! 🙂

When I was a child, I sometimes resented it when I was asked to do household chores while all my younger brothers and sisters played. I felt like Cinderella as I cleaned the house while their youthful giggles filled the air. 🙂 There were times I wished that I wasn’t the eldest child in the family.

But as I grew up, I became more and more “proficient” in doing household chores that performing those tasks became natural to me. And now as an adult, I look back and feel grateful that I was given the privilege to learn those chores while I was young for it has blessed my life tremendously. This experience taught me that we don’t have to like everything that we’re working on at the moment, but if we keep at it and learn from it, we will benefit from it in the future. 🙂

So, let’s all be grateful for work opportunities and the blessing of being able to work. I think it’s a celestial principle that, if we try to be good at, will bring us immense blessings untold. 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)


I sat speechless the other day as I listened to someone talk about her thoughts on ending her life due to something that other people would consider a great blessing. Just a few days prior to that incident, someone I knew grieved tremendously for the loss of the very blessing that this person was considering a burden—such a complete contrast of perspective!

I admired the hope in the heart of this acquaintance who suffered a great loss. Despite the deep sorrow she must’ve felt, she acknowledged the miracle of being able to keep her blessing even for a short period of time. I know that her blessing will be restored to her again someday. And I trust that when that day comes, she will receive an even greater blessing for having a grateful heart despite this painful challenge she has faced in life.

On that same week, a rare opportunity was offered to someone I knew who considered the chance as a great privilege; while another felt that it was only an additional load that would add up to this person’s already numerous responsibilities. It was again interesting for me to see such different points of view.

We can see through these instances that there are times when we are given the exact same glass of water, but some of us see it as half-full, while some see it as half-empty.

When I look back at the things that happened in my life, I could see that each phase was a step towards the next. Everything happened for a reason—even the most unpleasant experiences, for they became my refining moments.

We may not understand the purpose behind every single heartache and painful trial, but we can learn to have faith that things will fall into place if we put our trust in Him. Let’s follow the admonition written in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…” and consider everything that happens to us as a blessing, instead of burden.

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

For the past three weeks, my car’s dashboard was lighting up the “check engine” sign. I kind of ignored it the first couple of weeks, and I guess I was hoping it would just go away like all signs of flu. Hehe. 🙂 But it didn’t. 😦

As the days went by, my car didn’t function as well as it did before the warning sign appeared. It would sometimes jump for no reason or stall even if I was flooring the accelerator. Last Saturday, while I was cruising down the highway, the car choked and I finally had to have it fixed.

I know some of you would freak out and say that I should’ve had it fixed early on. I agree with you. 🙂 And I offer no excuses for my procrastination. I shouldn’t have waited until the last moment and put my life on the line.

As I waited for hours for the car to be repaired yesterday, I realized that all things broken must be fixed. They will simply not get magically fixed, even if we ignore them or pretend that they don’t exist! 🙂

There are times when we get into situations in life where we choose to just turn a blind eye or not confront the situation for fear of the outcome. We sometimes hope that things will just go away like all flu symptoms. Now and then we tend to leave so many little things unsaid that we end up barely saying anything at all.

But I’ve experienced that there are a lot of instances when it’s best to gather enough courage and faith to make the necessary steps and correct the situation. Sometimes it takes humility on our part to put things right. And it pays to do the right thing! Always! 🙂

I’m glad that my car’s now fixed and I’ve learned my lesson. 🙂 As we go through life, we should remember not to procrastinate fixing broken things and put our eternal life and happiness on the line. 🙂

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

 

Do you work to live, or live to work??

 

I had a dream the other Saturday about a person whom I haven’t seen or talked to for ages. I was surprised to see him in my dream and immediately thought of getting in touch with him when I woke up the following morning. But a lot of things came up—as they usually do—that I didn’t get to touch base with him for a few more days.

 

When I finally did, I was excited that he replied right away, but at the same time felt a tinge of sadness and had to do some retrospection when he said “I am sure you have lots of things in your world to keep you distracted from contacting me over one dream. Your life is most likely as active as it always was.”

 

Ouch! There was a prick in my heart. Sometimes we get overly distracted by so many things that we fail to make time for those that are equally important. Every now and then we take for granted what’s available simply because we think it will always be there. But some things don’t last forever. And we might miss important moments in our lives if we get too distracted by the world. 😦

 

When I visited this person’s blog before I sent him the email, I was surprised to see a blog entry he made especially for me on my birthday last year!! He remembered me on my birthday and I didn’t even get to see it until after several months. Can you imagine how guilty I felt after reading that?!

 

Yes, I was very guilty, but I always try to operate on hope of success rather than fear of failure. When I wake up in the morning, I always think that it is another day given to me by my Heavenly Father to start over and correct things that are amiss in my life. Just like what I heard yesterday from a talk given at the pulpit by a friend, we can become like diamonds through time even though right now we are just as charcoals.

 

So it IS another day! Another chance to start over. It is a beautiful day actually. It was drizzling and I love the rain, so for me it is perfect! 🙂

 

I hope that each of us would find time and make time for things that matter. I know that it can sometimes be a struggle, but I wish that we would try to live a balanced life so that we would be peaceful and be confident that we did the best we could with everything that has been entrusted to us when we finally draw our last breath. 🙂

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