Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Script of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

The way we live our life is based on a script. For example, when I have no urgent matters to attend to I get lazy, but when my plate overflows I shift to hyper mode and get a lot of things done. Not my best script though. Another script is, when I meet a disappointment I took it as a lesson. Finally, when I receive financial blessing I sit aside a small amount for God. A script is a set of concepts that directs our behavior.

The question now is, who taught you your script? The circumstances surrounding you? The people around? The movies you watched or the books you read?

It's important that we based our script from the right sources because our script could make or break us. The script we follow every minute of everyday determines the kind of life we will live. Are you blessed or cursed? Are you at peace with others or at war with the world? Are you building or destroying? Are you loving or hating?

There was once a woman who wrote one of her scripts in the wall of a home for the abandoned children. This script was central to how she became what she was, and what kind of legacy she left behind...


Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.


You must be wondering who this Nobel Peace  Prize laureate is? She is no other than Mother Teresa herself. The writings can be found in the wall of one of the children's home in Calcutta under her care. This is known as The Prayer of Mother Teresa.

Every morning, when we wake up, God hands to us a fresh clean empty sheet of paper.What are we going to write on it? The same old junk we consumed yesterday? Or a script that brings a new ray of hope to our life and to the world? Mother Teresa showed us hers. It's now time to examine ours and write on our wall something that really matters...Is your script patterned from God's will like that of Mother Teresa's?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu: The Woman Who Took a Leap of Faith

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” 
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”    -- Luke 10:29~37

Is life all about eating, working, playing and sleeping, and then death? I believe that life should be more than this. I believe that our life should matter to the people around us, and to the world that we will someday leave behind. Our life should be a contribution to making the world a better place.

While teaching St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu saw the poverty and suffering of the people outside of the convent. The hopelessness and despair written all over the faces of the poor, the sick and the needy outside the school stirred deeply her soul. Her heart ached to help out. But can she leave behind the comfort within the walls of the convent, and go out to live among the poorest of the poor? And what can she do? She was just alone with very limited resources.

Dark clouds of doubts and fears must have descended upon the mind and heart of Agnes. The sheer size, difficulty and complexity of the task could paralyze even a strong man, much more a frail nun. But in 1948, she asked permission from her superiors to leave the convent school, and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Agnes helped and served people suffering from various incurable diseases, affected by natural calamities and those unwanted by the society. Love, humanity and helping others selflessly were her reasons to live.

At first, she single-handedly started an open-air classroom for poor children in one of the slums Calcutta. Lack of fund didn’t deter her passion to serve the poor. But soon God blessed Agnes’ effort and volunteers came in. Also, the order she founded, ‘The Missionary of Charity’, grew worldwide thus allowing more people to receive God’s love and care through the order.

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu or more popularly known as Mother Theresa of Calcutta has long been gone; she died last September 5, 1997. But that one decision she made left a positive global impact that inspired thousands, if not millions, of people to follow the footsteps of the Good Samaritan. Truly she was the neighbor that Jesus talked about. She is an inspiration to us all that no matter what our situation is right now, if we take a leap of faith in God, then we can do great things that will help make the world a better place. Then our life will not be wasted at all.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Year Anniversary! I Am Just a Messenger...

Today I’ve reached a milestone. A year ago, I was inspired to start something I haven’t done before in my life. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable, to say the least, because in doing so I would not only come out from my comfortable shell, I would also expose myself to the critical eyes of the world. What if I will be emotionally hurt and embarrassed in the process? What if I cannot sustain it? What if …?
When I was a little kid I participated regularly in a community prayer called ‘barangay’. In one of the prayer sessions, I was called by the prayer leader to lead a mystery in the rosary. I silently declined. She called me repeatedly, but I didn’t budge in even a single inch. Why? I was afraid to make a mistake and embarrass myself.

Pass forward many years later. I had a nagging in my heart -- to serve God. Like the little child in that prayer session, I silently ignore it. Why? I was afraid to confront it directly because I was worried of what God would ask of me to do. Maybe He would ask me to make a fool out of myself. Who knows? So I ignored it.

But God was persistent. Through a series of events I came to a point that I ‘decided’ to open my heart to what He would ask of me. And this was how the Daily Snacks for the Soul was conceived. I wrote and published the first message – I like to call an article a message – on Feb. 17, 2010. That was a year ago.

To celebrate the first year anniversary of this blog, I posted a series of questions addressed to myself. This will give you a better understanding of why I am doing what I am doing now. Hopefully, you will be inspired.

Why blogging? I really don’t have a lot of natural skills, but I do love to write poems. So one day I gave writing a try. Later I found out that I was truly happy writing articles related to God. There was peace and deep satisfaction. Also the experience was quite unique. It’s hard to explain. It was like entering a tunnel without knowing where it would lead me to, and once I was on the other end, I was amazed -- “Whoah! I didn’t know that.”

Why I chose the name ‘Daily Snacks for the Soul’? I only wanted to write short articles. So it’s like a snack, not full meal. Also, the articles that I had in mind should be inspiring, enlightening and biblical, so I put the ‘soul’ in there. Finally, I added ‘daily’ because ‘Snacks for the Soul’ was already taken. Maybe I should have chosen ‘weekly’ over daily, but it was the latter that stuck to my head.

Why I decided to do this? I was tired of being afraid, and of saying ‘no’ to God. Also, there was a series of events that made me realize that I have to make a choice then. I chose to serve God in my own little way. Now I am happy that I made that decision.

How did I overcome my fears? When I decided to do this not for myself, but to give glory and honor to God, that was when a lot of my fears vanished. I figured that some people may laugh at me or criticize me, but I know that my God can see clearly my motive. And what He thinks of me is more important than what other people think of me.

Did I have struggles along the way? Discouragement, distraction, writer's block, criticism, self-doubt, time constraint were just a few of my struggles in the past year.

Did I receive praises and encouragement? I really believe that God is looking after those who serve Him. In times when I was at a low point, God sent people to inspire and encourage me. I like to call them angels. A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘your blog touched and inspired me’ can really go a distance. I think the sweetest reward in my chosen role is to know that what I am doing makes a difference, a positive impact in the lives of other people. To me that’s priceless.

How did I keep myself grounded? Every time I receive a compliment I always remind myself that I am not the source, I am just a messenger.

To the readers of the Daily Snacks, it is my hope and prayer that through this blog you will one day discover (if not yet) the role that God has sit aside for you in His kingdom, and that may you find the courage to accept it. It can be scary. But believe me that once you get over it your life will never be the same…

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Best Definition of Love I Ever Read

Happy Valentines day ot all!

One of the interesting things happening during Valentines day back in my elementary days was the eagerness of many students to share their own definition of what love is. Love is blind. Love conquers all. The greatest love of all is love for oneself. When it feels right, it must be love. Love doesn't hurt. And many others.

Years later I ran across what I believe is the best definition of love. Since it's a day of love  I believe it's appropriate that I share this to you specially if you haven't read it before.

   "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

   Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 

   And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" 

This definition is taken from 1 Corinthians 13.