A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quote of the day....

If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it. 

~Earl Wilson

A little prayer....

Make me remember and make me celebrate always what You have done for us — through daily Eucharist.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thoughts to ponder.....

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. 

~John F. Kennedy

A little prayer....

Grant me the grace, Lord, to follow You every day of my life.

The Creator seen in our Planet

Fr. Shay Cullen
PREDA Foundation

Earth viewIt struck at 3.35 AM last week, in the darkness of the night, a loud rattling grew in intensity as the roof tiles went off like castanets clacking and clicking rising to a crescendo as the building shook violently.
It was another earthquake, a strong one, 5.9 on the Richter scale and I leapt from sleep and called on all in the house to evacuate. Then the violent shaking stopped as suddenly as it had begun. It was over but taking no chances the volunteers hurried out side. A second quake could strike but mercifully it did not.
Standing a safe distance from the sturdy building the earthquake reminded us all of the powerful destructive forces of nature on this planet on which we came and live and depend for our every existence. An earth that we need to respect and care for.
The heaving and trembling of the earth, the rattling roof, the shaking buildings was a vivid reminder of that shocking and terrible day that Mount Pinatubo began its eruption in 1991.  It began with a violent earth tremor that grew in strength. I was trying to stay standing upright as the ground shook and then whopping bang Mount Pinatubo, thirty kilometers away, blew it’s top with mighty boom.  Within seconds it was belching and blasting what seemed like a billion cubic meters of ash and smoke and a thousand tons of rock half a kilometer into the sky.
I was stunned, awe-struck, amazed and stood transfixed in wonder while gazing at this spectacular display of celestial fireworks. Huge burning volcanic debris continued to shoot upwards like a New year’s fireworks display.  Great booms were heard as if an arsenal exploded.
The black thick clouds of ash and smoke that billowed upwards crept across the face of the blazing tropical sun and quickly covered it turning day onto night. The lightening was continuous, the bolts shot through the darkness burning a flaming path through the sulphur laden clouds.  It was a sight to behold and never to forget.
This planet, a place of wonders and incredible beauty is but a tiny speck of dust in the vast expanse of the galaxy, one of billions of galaxies, it makes us ask, why? Why are we humans the only conscious self-aware life form here that contemplates the universe asking where it came from and wondering how something so grand came from nothing but a big bang. Since we are of the universe, have come form it and are part of it, it is like the universe contemplating itself through us. The creator is in the universe and we can be one when we love and protect creation.
Here on earth the planet was showing its power and majesty against which the human species, the one with the big brains, stupidly and arrogance has set out to challenge. The voracious appetite and overwhelming greed of the human species is changing the atmosphere to such an extent that the planet’s fragile climate and ecosystem is changing too.
Burn burn burn is the cry of the capitalist and the communists and all the money making moguls who, drill, dig, bore, pump and excavate the fossil fuels that create a human volcano. We are burning of coal, oil wood and belching clouds of fire and smoke into the environment. This is heating the planet to the point of no return.  The tipping point is too close, there can be no going back if we don’t act now.
There will be no safe future for the next generations. We see droughts and floods, climate extremes that cause massive forest and bush fires raging across the earth, pumping clouds of polluting acrid fog of co2 that chokes and poisons every one who breaths.
The oceans absorb some of the CO2 that turns the waters into a acidic bath. Plankton is the food whales and many fish and it is diminishing. Fish species are threatened with extinction never to swim and swarm in the oceans of the planet. What are left are scooped up in huge nets for the tables of the moguls while a billion people go without.
What is happening? The planet is covered in a shroud of CO2 and methane gas, the sun is beating down and heats the earth, the hot air cannot escape trapped beneath the shroud of gases. The ice sheets are melting fast, the sun’s rays cannot be now reflected back into space and instead they heat the oceans and waters rise up to flood millions of homes.
The waters of rivers and seas warm up, the fish cannot adapt and they die. The coral reefs, the feeding grounds of fish are dying too. Its a real scenario of doom and gloom. But its is not fiction as some tycoons and their paid scientists would have us believe.  We can stop it.
With a warmer world the more ocean water will evaporate to fill the skies, the cold and hot air streams collide and gigantic rain and wind storms – typhoons come raging in destroying everything and everybody in their deadly paths.
This is what the global conferences on climate change is all about ,now to stop the burning and heating and use renewable source of energy like wind and solar power. Later this year the next conference in Paris is crucial, there has to be a binding agreement between nations to limit the burning of fossil fuels and hold down the planets temperature.
In Tacloban, Pope Francis will hopefully, refer to this terrible dangerous situation of climate change and global warming which created the greatest storm ever to hit landfall last November 2013 in Tacloban.  He comes to heal the wounded, comfort the bereaved, call for justice for the most vulnerable of all – the poor and the jobless, the hovel dwellers and the downtrodden. We all need to put our faith into action and be fully alert,aware and alive, to save the planet, the poor and ourselves.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quote for the day......

The wishbone will never replace the backbone.

-Will Henry

A little prayer....

You are my hope, O God. Let me hold on to You in moments of despair and helplessness.

8 leadership lessons from the extraordinary Pope Francis

By Wilson Lee Flores
The Philippine Star

One need not be religious or a Catholic to discern and admire the remarkable leadership qualities of Pope Francis. Although the historic and successful visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines has ended, I recently came across a unique 2014 book published by the American Management Association entitled Lead With Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis.

By the way, it’s authored not by a Roman Catholic, but by a Jewish admirer who has previously authored books on the management prowess of legendary former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.

A son of Holocaust survivors, Jeffrey A. Krames wrote at the beginning of his book that he views Pope Francis as “the 21st century’s answer to the 20th century’s most malevolent mass murderer” Hitler, and as a leader who personifies real hope for a better world.

Here are eight practices that Krames believes have made Pope Francis so outstanding as a leader. I believe businesspeople, professionals and even more so our political leaders can learn much from these. I’ve added my own comments to each practice.

1. Reach out to non-customers. This is one weakness of many leaders in business or politics, with executives often overly focused only on their existing clientele and ignoring the rest, while some politicos in power tend to pander only to their core constituencies but tend to alienate non-believers.

Pope Francis is a statesman and visionary leader in effectively reaching out beyond the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and others. He can win over more people.

Pope Francis surprisingly declared that God has redeemed all of us, not just Catholics. Management guru Peter Drucker said, “Every organization has more non-customers than customers, and that you can learn more from the people who aren’t buying your product than from those who are.”

2. Embrace risk. The book shares an interesting anecdote about the young Francis when he was once very ill in Argentina. The nun caring for him had disobeyed his doctor’s prescriptions by adding three times his dose of antibiotics, because she knew from firsthand experience that Francis would die without that higher dosage. Pope Francis cites this “as an example of living on the frontier.” Is that one of the reasons he often broke security protocol during his visit to the Philippines, in order to physically reach out to his numerous well-wishers on the streets and in crowds? He is a risk-taker in many ways, a trait true leaders need to cultivate.

3. Reinvent your organization. Krames said we should all emulate Pope Francis: “Don’t change — reinvent!” The world’s first Jesuit pontiff is a gutsy reformer who has shockingly taken on different groups within the Vatican hierarchy and bureaucracy, publicly lashing out at their shortcomings with oratorical fire and brimstone. He has even fired a top European prelate for the latter’s extravagant lifestyle.

How many of our politicians are harsh on people outside their own clique, but slow or paralyzed with inertia in firing, castigating and reforming erring officials within their own organization, party, government or corporation? Reinvent or suffer atrophy!

4. Be patient. Krames wrote that although a fearless reformer, Pope Francis is also wise enough to understand that reforms take time and also require the right timing. An example of this was Pope Francis letting one year pass first as pontiff before he famously commented that divorced and remarried people could receive Holy Communion.

5. Get in the field. This is interesting, especially in our local TV stations’ often stereotypical depictions of businesspeople in telenovelas or teleseryes, showing executives in fancy suits comfortably ensconced inside plush boardrooms or luxurious offices. Some executives do believe in this kind of wrong or weak thinking.

In stark contrast, Pope Francis is more similar to the world’s best businesspeople, professionals and leaders, especially the rugged self-made entrepreneurs who roll up their sleeves and are often out in the field talking to customers or employees.

In ancient China, the greatest emperors would disguise themselves as commoners in order to visit ordinary citizens to feel the real pulse of the masses and the true state of the nation, not rely on their own “praise releases.”

Krames wrote: “Francis hates any members of the clergy who sit in offices and push paper. When he was a bishop in Buenos Aires City, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio would dress as an ordinary priest and go out at night to talk with people.”

6. Listen to diverse voices. One of the weaknesses of egoistical leaders, whether in business or politics, is surrounding himself with like-minded sycophants, who tell him not only similar ideas and views, but also often only the good news.

Leaders who quarrel with contrarians or critics, who refuse to hear different opinions, can never truly rise to greatness, because nobody on earth has a monopoly on ideas, genius and access to truths. Pope Francis avoids becoming an insular leader by seeking out ideas and information from diverse people worldwide.

7. Put the organization’s goals above your own. Another weakness of some natural or strong leaders is overwhelming and suffocating his or her organization with his persona and his personal objectives. Prioritizing the needs and interests of the organization over one’s self will eventually result in a stronger organization, which will benefit any leader more.

Krames wrote in his book that during the papal election of 2005, Bergoglio encouraged his supporters to vote for Joseph Ratzinger after successive votes showed that he was the only other strong contender, because he didn’t want the delays that he believed wouldn’t be good for the Catholic Church. Ratzinger won that election to become Pope Benedict XVI, but resigned in 2013 due to poor health.

8. Lead by example. This practice of Pope Francis isn’t just ideal for business executives, political leaders or professionals, but for all of us. Before he became Pope, Bergoglio accompanied his priests to the most dangerous slum areas of Argentina’s capital city Buenos Aires, where religious people had been killed, kidnapped and even tortured.

He not only encouraged his priests to go out and mix with ordinary folk, he himself did so to set an example and to boost the morale of his people. It’s the same with many of the world’s heroic military commanders like Alexander the Great and others who are often at the frontlines of battle, setting examples of valor, chivalry and fighting prowess, also immeasurably boosting the morale of his people.

In fact, despite his being a brilliant Jesuit intellectual who is predisposed to eloquence with words in speeches and sermons, Pope Francis is even more effective in his teachings via his actions and through the sheer power of his example.

It doesn’t matter what our vocation, profession or even our religion is, let us all emulate and be inspired by the extraordinary leader that is Pope Francis!


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Toughts to ponder....

You will never be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.

~James G. Bilkey

A little prayer.....

Help me to unravel the “mystery” that You granted to me, Lord. May I bear fruit for Your Kingdom.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A little prayer...

Give me a humble and obedient heart, Lord, that I may follow Your leading, even if it’s hard for me to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quote of the day....

No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities.  Always see them, for they are always there. 

~Norman Vincent Peale

A litlle prayer....

Grant me the grace to accept and bear trials that come my way, Lord. May I learn to be humble in my own suffering.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thought of the day...

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

~Arnold Schwarzenegger

A little prayer....

Make me courageous enough, Lord, to respond to Your summons to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thought of the day....

The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.

~Robert Collier

A little prayer....

Just as You took time to withdraw and be alone to quiet down, help me to do the same, Lord, so that I may be able to give more in service.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thought of the day....

If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!

~Emily Post

A little prayer ....

Dear Lord, help me to see each person as Your child and share with them the love that You give me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A little prayer....

Lord, help me to make love always the basis of all my choices and decisions.

The power of confidence

I attended the TedxManila event a few days ago, not as a speaker but as a participant. My son, Bryan, together with his band mate, Siops, did a talk on music and technology.
Their lead singer, Sara, completed the presentation by singing a new song of their own composition.
It was a very good presentation. And the key element that made the presentation good was because of the confidence they have shown.
Perhaps, it’s because their group named “Taken by Cars” has performed in many places not only here but also abroad. Or they have really taken the desire to do a good presentation right to the heart. And so they practiced hard and developed the confidence to present well.
Confidence is key. What makes me confident today?
I wouldn’t stand in front of many people to speak if I don’t have the confidence. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that building confidence should start as early as childhood. And it starts with something as simple as always handing things to an adult using two hands. This Asian custom always gives a good impression.
Confidence is important because it sets the tone.
Confidence creates favorable impressions that build up your public image. Confidence is not cockiness. Cockiness is for people with shallow minds and empty hearts camouflaging their insecurities. True confidence comes from the inside.
To create a good first impression while exuding confidence, here are some suggestions:
Dress appropriately for the occasion. Casual clothes are for casual occasions. And if the occasion is not casual, do not wear casual.
Hand things like business cards, pens, etc. using two hands.
And when somebody gives you his or her card, take time to study the details printed on the card. Do not just casually put the card away.
Shake hands firmly.
Make sure you pack with you the following tools:
Courtesy. Always be polite.
Attentiveness. Listening makes you a great conversationalist.
Being pleasant. There is power in charm.
Confidence. Do not be cocky.
Preparedness. You do not want to waste other people’s time by being sloppy with your work.
Consistency. Be constant in what you say and what you do.
Being positive. Do not relish in giving negative comments.
And most important of all, do not try to be somebody you are not, this is hard to live up to, just always be yourself.
And if you cannot exercise the suggestions given, then I would highly recommend that you spend more time working on your attitude and character.
This simply means you lack the confidence needed to create a positive impression. Read books on personal growth. Get a mentor. Attend seminars. But most importantly, be the person God wants you to be. Seek constant improvement and remember, the more you learn, the more confident you become.
And above all, consider others better than yourself. True humility is the most convincing evidence of confidence.

Quote of the day....

When anger rises, think of the consequences.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Quote of the day....

Life is the movie you see through your own eyes. It makes little difference what’s happening out there. It’s how you take it that counts.

~Denis Waitley

A little prayer...

Lord, grant me prudence and wisdom to adapt the good in the new and throw away the bad in the old.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A little prayer...

Teach me, dear Lord, to live my life with joy and wonder, no matter what storms may come.

Thought of the day....

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

-Wayne Dyer

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quote of the day....

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

~John Wayne

A little prayer...

Grant me a compassionate heart, Lord, that I may see all —including myself — with understanding and acceptance.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Quote of the day....

Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness that precedes the dawning of the day of success.

~ Author Unknown

A little prayer...

Grant me an obedient heart, Lord, that I may follow You with all my heart .

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quote of the day...

The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.

~Brian Tracy

A little prayer...

Lord, help me to accept the things of the past for what they are and have faith that everything will be well in the future — so that I can focus on living in the present.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quote of the day....

History has noted that the most notable winners usually encounter heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

~B.C. Forbes

A little prayer....

Grant me zeal, Lord, to do what You have planned for me to do when You created me.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quote of the day....

I think in terms of the day’s resolution, not the years. 

~Henry Moore

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quote of the day....

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

~Albert Einstein

A little prayer....

Thank You, dear God, for inspiring the prophets and evangelists to preserve Your teachings in writing. Thank You because, through the Bible, we know how much You love us.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quote for the day...

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

~Vince Lombardi

A little prayer....

Thank You for loving me, Lord. I do not deserve Your unconditional love but I do need it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quote for today....

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

~Mother Teresa

A little prayer....

Dear Lord, teach me how to be brave and courageous, to meet every difficulty and especially the unknown, relying on the victory that You have won for me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quote of the day....

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its chapter is New Year’s day.

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A little prayer....

Grant me compassion, Lord, that I may be Your heart and hands to Your suffering people.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quote for Today....

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.

~George Washington Carver

A little prayer....

Lord, grant me clarity of mind and heart that I may be able to see You in everything and every person that I encounter.