A Chocolate Moment

Once upon a time there lived a king. The king had a beautiful daughter, the princess. But there was a problem. Everything the princess touched would melt. No matter what; metal, wood, stone. Anything she touched would melt. Because of this, men were afraid of her. Nobody would dare to marry her. The king was despaired. What could he do to help his daughter? He consulted his wizards and magicians. One wizard told the king, "if your daughter touches one thing that does not melt in her hands, she will be cured."

The king was overjoyed and came up with a plan. Next day, he held a competition. Any man that could bring his daughter an object that would not melt would marry her and inherit the king's wealth. Three young prince took up the challenge. The first brought a sword of finest steel. But alas, when the princess touched it, it melted, and the prince went away sadly. The second man brought diamonds. He thought diamonds are the hardest substance in the world and would not melt. But alas, once the princess touched them, they melted. He too was sent away disappointed.

The third prince approached. He told the princess, put your hand in my pocket and feel what is in there." The princess did as she was told, though she turned red. She felt something hard. She held it in her hand and did not melt!!! The king was overjoyed. Everybody in the kingdom was overjoyed. And the third prince married the princess and they both lived happily ever after.

Question: What was in the prince's pants? M & M of course. They melt in your mouth, not in your hand. What we're you thinking?

Time and Love

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, Hatred, and all of the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink. And so all boats constructed begun to leave. Except for Love. Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. But when the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help. 

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There's a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There's no place here for you." 

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered. 

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!" Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where he was going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. 

Realizing how much was owed the elder, Love asked Knowledge, also an elder, "Who Helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

Truths and Lies

Truth is like surgery. It hurts but it cures. Lie is like a pain killer. It gives instant relief but has side effects forever. The side effects is the erosion of character and reputation as well in many cases. Both things one should not lose.

Some people have a casual relationship with the truth. This is not godly and it is not a good thing. Truth should be embraced and defended at all times. There are things you can be casual with like your gadgets, clothes, shoes, etc. But truth is always serious. Casualness in certain things can lead to casualty in many things. 

For anyone who is in trouble, the first thing you need to do is TO STOP doing what is wrong. Get wise counsel from people who are trustworthy. It is not a hopeless situation. Do not do only that which you desire. Be willing to be corrected and change course. There is a difference between what you desire with what is good. Make sure you do what is good and not only what you desire. 

Be Good To Yourself

Angry? Hurt? Cannot forgive?

Perhaps we can borrow the wisdom of the late Senator and poet, Francisco "Soc" Rodrigo who said: "Nandoon ako, galit na galit, nagngingitngit, nang malaman ko na lang na ang kaaway ko, tulog na tulog at naghihilik!" Translated loosely, it means, "There I was so full of anger and hate, only to find out that my enemy was sleeping soundly, snoring even in his sleep!"

Anger and hate will do you no good. So be good to and with yourself. Forgive.

Anger is a form of power; can be used for good and this is called “righteous indignation.” Scriptures say be angry but do not sin. Anger can also be a power to do evil. Outbursts of temper. Uncontrolled rage. We need to know the difference. The power that is given to us can also turn against us and when it does, this power turns into a weakness. The more you give yourself to it the more your life will be set by it and then people will get to know you as an angry person. Anger and disrespectful are closely related. 

It really takes a deep relationship for someone to see these things:

1. The sorrow behind your smile.
2. The love behind your anger.
3. The reason behind your silence. 

Unless you know the person deep enough, you would not be able to see these things.

Again, you can't give what you don't have. Be good to and with yourself first.

Impressive, Expressive

Some people are really impressive. You take a look at them and they have impressive looks, impressive bank accounts, impressive achievements, impressive social standing, impressive background, and impressive bearings. Wow! I wish though that they were more expressive.

Life is simple. Humans complicate it. It is easy to complicate. It takes a lot of effort, energy, concentration and focus to simplify things. The mark of ingenuity is the ability to simplify the complicated. The mark of foolishness and stupidity is to complicate the simple. This thought alone would give us plenty to think about.

Happy weekend. Be calm. Don’t lose your cool. Control your temper. And I will tell you why, because you and I will always be the first victims of our uncontrolled anger.

The days and the times we enjoyed so much are not random happenings; they are the things we do that align with our purpose. Think about this. The day we feel most fulfilled is the day we were most creative. Because it aligned with our Creator. The joyful person is one who delights in Him and causes Him delight.

Again, happy weekend. Enjoy! Smile!

God's Unconditional Love

GOD loves us unconditionally. We may not understand everything we are going through right now. But just hold our head high, knowing that GOD is in control and He has a great plan and purpose for our life. 

Our dreams may not have turned out exactly as we had hoped, but the Bible says that God’s ways are better & higher than our ways! 

People with big hearts sympathize, and people with small hearts criticize. But people with God in their hearts, simply give and share their LOVE! I guess we need to be aware of the size of our hearts and where it is placed.

When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars. For the person with faith, he or she looks for opportunities behind calamities. But the pessimist will always look for calamities behind every opportunity. When something happens that is not to our liking, ask the question, what is God teaching me this time? Do not lose the lesson even when there is a loss.

Silence and Peace

The sound of silence simply means somebody is thinking. You cannot be creative without thinking. Creativity involves calmness so learn to be calm. Learn to live outside the noisy chatters of social media and chronic feeds.

Conciseness of words, quietness or even silence can speak volume. People who are in love are comfortable being quiet with each other because they know each other well. Those who do not will have to talk a lot in order to adjust to one another. This will explain why in meaningful relationships, silence speaks a lot.

Seek peace. Live peacefully with others. Peace brings you power so make sure you remain calm in any situation you are in.
And when things turn out to be difficult, be thankful too that you are about to learn something new.

Talks a Dad Should Have With His Children

Hey, Dads! Happy Father’s Day! I hope your children will celebrate you in a big way this month, because you deserve it. Thank you for being faithful to lead your children in the way everlasting. You are my heroes. So, fathers, we get one shot at this. Let’s rise to the challenge and make significant deposits in our children’s lives. If you have not lived up to your calling, it’s never too late to start over. Apologize. Ask questions. Learn from other fathers. Practice what you learn. Being a dad can be difficult at times, but it is an incredible privilege.

You have great influence on your kids, and I know you want to help them navigate life better. Here are some lessons that I think can help children sidestep the landmines of life.

Life isn’t fair, but God is good.

Information about Jesus should inevitably lead to transformation by Jesus.

Trust God even when you can’t trace God.

Find your identity in Christ. Period.

Humility paves the way for God’s blessing to rest on your life.

Disappointment is inevitable, but God’s faithfulness is incredible.

Somebody else has it worse than you. So, fill your heart and mouth with gratitude.

Spending more money than you earn will leave you broke and in debt.

One of the best ways to avoid temptation is not to walk down its street.

Develop your relationship with God above every other relationship.

Laugh and then laugh some more (especially at yourself).

Success does not come overnight. So, work hard.

It’s just nice to be nice to others.

Genuine gratitude will move people to want to do more for you.

Wealth is built incrementally. So, save little by little.

Don’t quit a job before you have another job.

Refuse to compromise integrity for momentary success.

No one can make you angry; anger is a choice.

Think before you post anything on social media.

Your friends will determine the trajectory of your life. So, choose your friends carefully.

Ask thoughtful and meaningful questions.

If you lead anything or anyone, expect opposition.

Be willing to say NO to what you want, so you can say YES to what is necessary.

Bounce back and do not waddle in disappointment.

Failure is not final.

Love and serve people without a hidden agenda.

God can and will use your failures to accomplish his purposes.

Take responsibility for your decisions and your life.

Read good books.

Have the most important conversations face-to-face.

Give other people permission and power to help you improve.

You cannot change people. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.

The world is bigger than your present address. So, get a passport as soon as you’re old enough.

Loving another human being is worth the risk, pain, and disappointment.

The prize of surrender to God is revelation from God.

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2–3

Our thanks to Marvin Williams for this adaptation of his blog post.

Asking Questions

When you ask for help, some people may laugh at you. But if you succeed, some people may hate you. And if you fail, some people may mock you and still laugh at you. So ask for help anyway and never mind what other people may say or do. Just do what is right and work for the best outcome. Asking for help is not a weakness but courage and humility and an honest attempt to do better and be better.

Learning is not all about classroom lectures or attending seminars. Here is a tip. Sit down. Have lunch or dinner or at least have coffee with successful people. You will learn much and you will discover that the conversation is very different. And these successful people always ask a lot of questions. Learn to ask questions too. 

"The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life." ~Confucius

Showered With Blessings

Be honest now. Let’s evaluate. There are times when we never searched but we discovered things. We didn’t wish but our desires were granted. We did not ask but we got an answer. We do not deserve it but were showered with blessings.

God is good and actually He is not fair. He loves us beyond what we deserve. His mercies prevail over His judgment. So here is a nice thing to do. End the day with thanksgiving in our heart. Always.

We have had problems and we have blessings. At the end of the day our blessings always outnumber our trials and that is precisely the reason why we just have to be thankful. We have been commanded in Scriptures to “Give thanks in ALL things.” This thought brightens my day. I hope it does yours too. 

Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on earth. We have not really lived today until we have done something for someone who can never repay us.

No one has ever become poor by giving. But I have seen many who were takers and today are poor. Somebody says: “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take or receive without forgetting.” I totally agree.

A True Friend

Sometimes you will feel upset when a mutual friend supported someone else’s point of view instead of yours. You may have gotten hurt and angry, and it strained your relationship with that friend.

Being angry can cause a lot of damage—emotionally, physically, and spiritually—both to you and the other person. But after your emotions subside, you may realize that your friend may have been honest and would want to help you know the truth and see things correctly. That’s a mark of true friendship.

Somebody says: Old woods are best for furniture. Old books are best to read. Old wines are best to drink. Old wise men are best to seek advice from. Old friends are precious.

And may I add, in times of prosperity, your friends would know you. In times of adversity, you will know who your friends are. Agree?

Remember these when you're going through some tough times:

1. Change always happens.
2. Do not worry about other people’s negativity. It’s not worth it.
3. Find a great learning experience. Time to learn a lesson.
4. Others will not be there to help us. Know who your true friends are.
5. I have gone through tough times before.
6. I can find something to be thankful for.
7. God is still in control.

Warning Signals

Warning signals are very important – they help us avoid danger, but only if we pay attention to them. Pain is the warning signal and alarm system for the physical body. Conscience is the warning signal and alarm system for the soul. We need to pay attention to them too. 

Don't allow yourself to ignore the warning signs. People who don't care for your heart and your time will want you to remain blind to the sign. If you see them, run. Life is too fragile to let someone waste your time and your love.

You may not be able to control someone's negative behavior. But you can control how long you participate in it. Tim Ferris says “The people you meet on your way up would be the same people you would meet on your way down." I believe this is true. So just be kind. And one of the dumbest thing to do is to treat someone badly or even constantly fight with the person who might become your boss one day.

Finally, here's a reminder of “do nots.” (not donuts)
1. Do not let pain make you hate.
2. Do not let the world make you hard.
3. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
4. Do not take revenge. God says that's His business, not yours.

Peace, Silence and Being Classy

Do you know what “being classy” is? It is the act of choosing to be silent even when you have many things to say in front of those who would not be able to understand anyway.

Mr. Anonymous says; “Peace is not about silence. Neither is it about being away from troubles and violence. Peace is about a heart that trusts God even in times of distress, failures, pressures, troubles, and sickness.”

Been hurt? Offended? Pain still there? Takes time to heal. In order to move on, here is the important thing. Learn NOT to replay the hurts and pains in your mind. The mind always replays what the heart could not delete. The key is to fill the heart and mind with good and better things. Let it be a place where the Prince of Peace dwells. Let The Healer do the healing. But learn from the experience.

May God comfort you and spare you from all worries, tensions, anxieties, frustrations and stresses.

Have a pleasant and peaceful weekend!

A Circus Moment

There's a story about a jobless man who finally got a job in a circus, playing the part of a gorilla. Every day he delighted the crowd with his twisting and turning.

One day, he slipped and fell into the lion's cage and he began to scream, "Help! Get me out of here!" The lion came up to him and said: "Be quiet, you fool, or we'll both lose our jobs."

There are four words that stop, block, inhibit a person from learning more, initiating more, exploring more and growing more. These words prevent people from growing and discovering their potential. “It’s not my job!” If you want to grow you need to go out of your scope, show initiative and be willing to explore, learn and do new things. As you increase your skills, knowledge and competencies, the more valuable you become. 

Life does not force us to be the best, it only asks that we give it our best efforts. When we work more on ourselves than we do on our jobs, then we become better and our “best” actually become better. Invest in personal development. And enjoy the benefit for the long haul.

It will be easy for us to remove all the masks we put on in this life just to survive.

An Honest Boy

One of the questions we usually encounter during an interview is "What is more important, your work or family?” My response? My family. God first, next the Kapampangan and then the kids before career and work or business. But don’t get me wrong, I rise up and grind, I study and learn. I labor hard not at their expense but for their sake; teaching them to love God and understand the value and dignity of honest work. This is why my family comes first, it's my business.

One time, while waiting for a bus, a little boy was pestering me to buy some candies. To dismiss him, I handed him 100 pesos for his efforts, but he refused, saying that his parents have taught him not to accept money that he did not work for. He said it with such dignity and sincerity.

What he did next was admirable. When he did not have change for the 100 pesos I gave him, he told me that he would leave all his stuff with me while he went to look for a change. I told him that was not necessary, but he insisted, saying that he trusted me!

Lord, bless and reward honest people who do not go for easy and dirty money. Amen.

Strongest Asset

I’ve heard a lot of audio books while going back and forth from home to work; read materials on asset protection and it is important to know and understand them.

But our credibility and reputation is the strongest asset we have and we better do our best to keep it.

1. You earn trust. 
2. You are given respect. 
3. You are shown loyalty. 

If you betray just one, you lose all three.

Here's a story about an architect who was retiring from a prestigious company. The president of the company asked him to build a dream house, a showcase for his talent and know-how. Money was not to be a problem.

And so the architect started the project. But as he went on, he started skimping on the materials. Although the house looked beautiful on the outside, quality and safety were compromised. Finally, the house was finished. On the day of it's inauguration, the president of the company announced that the house was to be the company's parting gift to the architect. He realized that when he fooled others, it is only himself that he tricked.

One of the best advice I had in life came from my boss who said, “Hey, sometimes you are so serious with the person you talk to and it reflects to the other person which is making him serious too. Get over it. Let me give you two things to consider.

1. It’s just work. Why take it personally?
2. The world is a beautiful place. Why spend your time, energy and attention on ugly people? Move on."

I did. Never forgot the lesson.

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