Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Act of Random Kindness

In the movie, “Evan Almighty”, the main character was a Congressman who was chosen by God to build an “ARK” – a storyline parallel to the Bible story “Noah’s Ark”.

Evan suffered so many insult, rejection and abandonment for his seemingly forced obedience to the God who called him to do an unusual thing in the midst of a progressive and corrupt society.

In the middle of the story, he finally went to God and complained, “Why are you doing this to me?”  To his disbelief, God’s only response was, “Because I love you”. It was through these words that Evan was able to keep up and finish the job.  It was only after everything was said and done, when he finally understood the reason as to why God made him do what he would not willingly do at first.  The end justified his sacrifices and pains.

How many of us can identify with this situation in our life? We always want an easy, self-serving and comfortable life. How many of us prefer that no one gets in the way of our own thinking and doing, most of which (if not all) are self-gratifying if not self-seeking.

One thing we must never forget -- in everything we do, there is a greater call and greater purpose than us. It is more fulfilling, more rewarding and more satisfying. It’s usually more than enough for us.

Come to think of it, what if our forefathers did not obey a simple act of random kindness? What if we failed to forgive, to give and to look beyond our own need? Our world would not have been as good as we have found it. Can you remember someone who has shown you a random act of kindness, things that they don’t have to do but decided to do it anyway? How about that driver who let you pass by as you cross the street though it was red light for pedestrian? Or that police officer who flagged you down when you were speeding? Or that neighbor who called 911 when he heard a commotion in your home.

How about our spouse, children, employers, superiors who scolded us because we failed to perform as expected, because they knew that we can do an excellent job at it?

What if God just left us without conscience, conviction or a burden? What would we consider more fulfilling than doing what we are supposed to do as our morals and values dictate.

I would like to submit to you some thoughts:
  1. In any situation you come into, always look for a good purpose it will bring to you or to those you love.
  2. Do not give up on those who might have different thoughts about you or your situation. Remember that things happen for a good reason.
  3.  Forgive then forget, but learn from your experience.
  4. Choose to do good deeds in spite of. Doing good to others always comes back in manifold of good and more often greater things. It’s been recorded both in history and Bible stories.
  5. Endure until the end. You’ll see how blessed you are to be able to pass through exciting things and journey of your life. “The greater the challenge, the greater the fulfillment”.
  6. Remember those who came before us.  We remember those who did good things to others than those who just lived for themselves.
  7. Continue a lasting legacy. What you have now is a result of someone who decided to do something that have been passed on to you and that you have now received. Choose to pass on something good from your end.
Well, the overall lesson in life is that we never cease looking and taking every opportunity to do random acts of kindness to someone that the good Lord shall bring to us.  Who knows what impact your simple acts of kindness will bring to those you choose to touch.  The JOY of knowing that possibility, my friend, is PRICELESS!

Keep on Jamming In Life and make it worthy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

No Regrets?

by Pastor Bong Gonzales

“Every choice you make has an end result.”  – Zig Ziglar
During our trip to Rome, my wife and I passed by Barcelona, Spain where we met a 'long lost friend'. As we listened to his story, his life of struggles and difficulties, there was an obvious expression of 'regret'. Regret is a word that many of us could not avoid but we can lessen in our life existence, if we are careful with our choices.

But many times, we decide on things when we are angry, frustrated, wounded or simply overcame by our pride.

Regret is as deadly as cancer, as painful as wounds and sometimes it blocks all other good things that have come in spite of the situation.

I remember he mentioned, "I was deceived by those who convinced me to resign".

After our short talk, it dawned on me how difficult it would be for someone who has been carried away by the thoughts and suggestions of others. At the end of the day we just find ourselves out of the way, out of peace and have lost all of which should have been our joy, blessings and fulfillment.

Here's what I resolved:

I will not sacrifice my conviction to satisfy my pride.

I will submit my arrogance by recognizing it is not a virtue but destruction.

I will treasure the trust given to me by those who are above me and live with equal regards to those who are under me.

My choice should be guided by my principle and of morals.

And lastly, I will choose to pause, repose and pray very hard when frustration, anger and pride is overwhelming until I find peace and seek counsel if a decision is needed to be done. For only when we are at peace, proper judgment and decision can be made.

Now, when I come to realized that I did a mistake, I will do everything to make it right. The pious call it ‘repentance’, others simply call it a ‘u-turn’. Then to the things I could not change my mistake, I'll move forward and learn from the past, hoping that I will not take the same path of regret again.

May we find ourselves doing the choices that would lessen our regrets in this life if we cannot fully avoid it. May we become careful in coming to a decision, especially when it will affect the lives of many people.

May we Jam In Life with less regret…if we can't live without it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Life Of "Waiting": Make It Worthy

In this life we have we spend reasonable time if not most of our time in waiting.

We wait for our turn to use the bathroom; we wait for a family member to be ready to ride with us in our car pool. Wait for our turn to see the green light for us to drive ahead. We wait for the elevator to open and wait again while it brings us to the floor we desire. We wait for our turn to talk to an employee or a superior. We wait for the time to start working and wait for the day to receive our paycheck. We wait for our time to reach a certain age, knowledge, position until we could do something when the time has come. The list will be endless on our waiting.

It’s part of life that most offices, both government and private, spend money to build what we call the “Receiving room”, “Waiting room”, “Fall in line here” among others.

But what does inspire us to wait? What makes life really worth living for?

The Holy Book said; “he that wait upon the Lord shall be renewed in your strength”

In verse Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways…”(NIV)

Upon waiting and always after we take our turn, we consider it worth it when we succeed in doing, getting, gaining and finding whatever it might be.

What does it take to wait, then?

A passion for something – The foundation for which we say “I’ll wait”. Before you start spending time waiting, consider looking in you and see if what you’re waiting for deserves the precious time you will spend waiting. What is it for? Your passion is you, your time is borrowed, spend it to something worth it.

A vision for something – The motivation why we can wait to gain it. Whatever you are spending your time with, make your waiting count! Vision makes you focus and save time.

A character of patience – That will make us wait no matter how long it takes to achieve what we hope for, to gain, to reach, to receive and to become. It takes the virtue of patience to wait. Many lost their opportunity because they could not wait. Many regrets are not because of failure to do something, but the failure to wait to succeed after trying and waiting until we succeed.

So friends, wait for your turn. And while waiting, enjoy every moment while you Jam In Life with others!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Appetites of Man: A Must to Balance

If we could really examine mankind – the woman and the man we meet everyday, we will discover that we all have appetites, cravings or desires that can be categorize into four groups. May we find time to balance of all to be more fulfilled and happy.

The appetite for food – We always crave for food, this is where most of our funds are spent. We make sure we have sufficient for the next meal while still digesting the current one. If we will not learn to control our appetite and discipline ourselves in choices of food, it will become a reason for sickness and early death. According to some medical study, the number one cause of sickness is not starvation but over eating. I read in the Holy book that gluttony is a sin.

The appetite for material things (for money)– Most of the earnings we take are intended to buy or acquire something.  Regardless of generation there is always something that becomes the best seller. Man will not stop until he has whatever the latest in the store depending on his interest or hobbies. It could be from a cheap candy to an expensive car, a simple learning or a title. Most of the reason of wars, disputes and chaos are born out of covetousness. There is nothing wrong to desire to have the best in life. But when it becomes more important than people, family and respect for others, then it becomes evil. This must be managed.  It must not go beyond what we can afford.

The appetite for belonging – A social life that tends to become a sexual life. Socializing is man’s need. We do most things for the purpose of being accepted, regardless of the price we pay or even outcome to us. We want a friend, a companion. Someone we could share our life, for security, for fun or just for simple companion. The problem is when we become so emotionally attach that we forgot morals and virtues, we either become abuser or abused. This is why crime against person arise, relationships becomes abnormal because we become demanding, controlling and selfish. This must also be managed and put into proper balance.

The appetite for spiritual things – The unknown, the supernatural. We usually call it religion. All of man regardless of religious belief, believed in something. This is part of our appetite, which is also vulnerable for abuse. This is where, cult and occult is born. This is where the fanatics become a concern. Though like the three others above, when we discover the proper and the right one this will make our life morally strong and we will live in values that will guide all other appetites. The choice of what we will get involved with and believe must be carefully studied and decide with prudence and wisdom.

In all of these appetites there is a rule, a right foundation and guide, both by the experience of the olds and the discoveries of the present.

The bottom line is, choose what is right based on morals, health, peace and on the written law in our hearts.

I recommend reading the Bible for it covers all of the things that pertains to a man’s life, purpose and happiness.

We need it to have fun while we Jam in Life!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is This It?

by Gi Emas

I decided to re-visit a book I`ve read many years ago. It touched my heart before and it touch my heart much deeper now that I`m older. Here’s what I’ve learned...

People have become creatures of habit, creatures of daily routines. Wake up in the morning, go to work, go back home and sleep. And of course, eat… a lot. It’s almost like sleepwalking in this world; we just do things automatically because we think we need to do it. A very common response nowadays to "How are you?" is “I’ve been busy”. We get caught up in doing the things we think are important. Many of us still walk around this world with meaningless lives. Why, because we chase the wrong things.

The world has outdone itself in feeding our minds that ‘more is good’. More money is good. More property is good. Owning more is good. More is good. More is good. Our brain is so bombarded into thinking this until we don't think twice about it anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It is God’s will for us to live life in abundance but we easily lose our perspective on what really matters.

Our brains are trapped with egotistical things, career, having lots of money, mortgage, getting a new car and the list goes on. Often times, we choose to disregard our health just to be wealthy. We go through life and fill it with millions of little acts just to keep us going. We forget to stand back, look at our lives and ask... Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?

We need to start devoting ourselves to the things that will give us real satisfaction, purpose and meaning. Learn to give out love and to let it come in. The world is so hungry for love and people divert their longing for affection to material things. Offer others what we can give – our time, our friendship and our concern. 

Give much importance to the people we love and those who love us. We tend to take for granted the loving relationships we have – God, family, friends and community. We will find security in knowing that they are watching out for us. Money, work and fame will never give us that peace of mind. Most of us tend to embrace materials things expecting a sort of hug back. No amount of money or power can ever be a substitute for love and tenderness.

Love God. Love people. Appreciate the finer things in life. Strive on what really matters. Do what really counts.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Moving Forward

by Pastor Bong Gonzales 

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
-Helen Keller (1880-1968)

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
-Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

While looking outside my terrace, scanning through cars, buildings, and people, I started to wonder…what are they after?  Then, as I read these quotes from Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt, I started to consider the answer to my own question.

The world has almost seven billion people. And Yes, undeniably, every single one of us is in pursuit of something that we think will make us happy and somehow will give us a sense of fulfillment.  Many had to pay the price and succeeded, while others suffered from their lost in their pursuit of it.  But one thing is for sure; no matter what we have to go through, we will never give up our pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. We are somewhat programmed with the determination which tells us that no matter what comes our way, we will still believe in our dreams, fulfill our pursuit and live in it.

I remember the plot of that popular movie which starred Will Smith and his son, “Pursuit of Happiness”. Everyone can relate to it because it shares our common stories, struggles and dreams…and the relentless pursuit of it.

Like in that story, we must never give up, lose hope nor relent in moving forward. We must keep on moving on. And if we fall in the process, we pick ourselves up, and we keep moving… forward. Let’s keep on believing, trying, dreaming and praying for the best. As the saying goes, “Anything is possible” to those who choose to move on.

Life might not be as we expect it, but life as we know it is something that we need to treasure and continue living.

Yes there are standards the law has given all of us (written both in our hearts and in the natural law) to give each of us a fair and equal opportunities in this journey called “life”.
The only difference is that those who apply and live in it are more at peace with those who implement the law…the unseen God and the people in authority.

My only hope is that those of us who pursue “it” will be able to bring it to its completion without compromising the law that governs it.

May we move on forward regardless of what hurdles, struggles, or challenges that may come our way.

Let’s “Jam In Life” because we are all given a chance to live a life worthy of living.

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