Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is your mind flabby?

something i picked up from Leadership Wired



I have a designated "thinking chair" in my office.

I don't sit in it when someone drops by to talk. I don't take
power naps in it. I use it only for thinking.

This chair doesn't think for me, but it does speak to me every
now and then. If I've gone a few days without sitting in it, its
presence subtly reminds me that I'm not devoting enough time to
the all-important task of thinking.

When we fail to make thinking a priority, we develop what author
Gordon MacDonald calls "mental flabbiness." This may not sound
like a life-threatening condition, but some ways, it can be quite
dangerous. Here's how MacDonald explains it:

"In our pressurized society, people who are out of shape mentally usually fall victim to ideas and systems that are destructive to the human spirit and to the human relationship," he writes. "They are victimized because they have not taught themselves how to think, nor have they set themselves to the lifelong pursuit of growth of the mind. Not having the faculty of a strong mind, they grow dependent upon the thoughts and opinions of others. Rather than deal with ideas and issues, they reduce themselves to lives full of rules, regulations, and programs."

You can't be an effective leader with a mindset like that—it's
just not possible.

Fortunately, there is an antidote to mental flabbiness: making time to think. I realize this can be a daunting assignment for
people whose schedules are already bursting at the seams. And
yet, when we don't make thinking a priority, we're actually
sabotaging our own creativity and success.

Think about it. One of the highest commodities in a person's life
is a great idea. A great idea has transforming power. It can take
you places you may never have dreamed of going. But great ideas
don't come out of nowhere. They begin as thoughts. So it stands
to reason that the more time we spend thinking, the more great ideas we'll have.

The good news is that it doesn't take hours of thinking each day
to generate ideas and stay in good mental shape. You can
accomplish a great deal in a few moments of concentrated,
intentional thought.

Let me give you two examples of how this works in my life. Every
morning, I devote three minutes to what I call "big-picture thinking." I look at my schedule for the day and ask myself one
simple question: What's the main event? Of all the things I'm going to do, of all the people I'm going to see, of all the experiences that I'm going to encounter, what's the main event?

You can't prioritize your day if you don't see everything in your
day. That's why I practice big-picture thinking in the morning. I
have to pick out my main event early, because whatever it is,
that's where I had better be at my best. I'm human, and I don't
always hit the ball out of the park. Sometimes I don't hit the
ball at all. But at the main event, I had better hit a homerun.
Big-picture thinking helps me achieve that goal.

At the end of the day, I spend another five to 10 minutes doing
what I refer to as "reflective thinking". I go to my thinking
chair and spend time reviewing my whole day. I ask myself
questions such as, "Who did I see today? How did I add value to those people? What lessons did I learn?" Reflective thinking
doesn't take long, but it's an incredibly valuable exercise
because it turns experience into insight.

Can you imagine what would happen in your life if you practiced
big-picture and reflective thinking? You would stop wasting time
on things that don't really matter, which would give you more
energy for the really important activities. You would be more
organized and efficient. You would experience less stress. Most
importantly, you would also take more away from each day that
would enable you to lead better the next day.

The best way to start this process is to designate a specific place to think. It doesn't matter if your "thinking chair" is in
your den at home or your office at work. It just has to be a spot
where you can do nothing but think for a few moments twice a day.

The bottom line is this: If you find a place to think your thoughts, you'll have more thoughts. If you find a place to shape your thoughts, you will have better thoughts. And if you find a place to stretch your thoughts, you will have bigger thoughts.

All this, from just three minutes in the morning and five to ten
minutes at night. As you can see, the results far outweigh the
time investment.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the great blondin

last night i attended a wake for my friend sherwin's grandfather, victorino pajarillo. as i listened to friends and family talk about this great man that they were blessed to have in their lives, i kept remembering how, years ago, i attended my own brother's wake. butch passed away when we were kids, and although he did not have a full life like sherwin's granddad, we celebrated his life in the same way, how he was a great blessing to us even though he came just for a short while.

pastor pao gave a sermon last night... it was such an amazing and powerful message, and i couldn't stop my tears from falling as i listened to his words...

Life is SHORT... whether we live to 3 or 89 years, it will always seem too short. how time flies when we're caught up in matters of "importance". i guess every birthday, every Christmas...or even every time someone dies we wonder, where did time go? and even though there will also be days that seem to last forever, life is barely a blink compared to eternity...(Hebrews 13:14) DEATH is sure... death is an appointment we all one escapes death. but we must remember that even though life is short, and death is sure... God is GOOD.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:4-6

as pastor paolo closed his sermon, he told us the story of the amazing Charles Blondin. Blondin, born Jean Francois Gravelet, was a french tight-rope walker and an acrobat who lived in the late 19th century. he was famous for his feats of walking across the niagara falls on a tight-rope. each time he crossed, a distance of over 1100 feet long above the falls, he would ask the audience if they believed he could do it...and they would always reply with an enthusiastic "Yes!" "We believe in you!" "You're the Great Blondin!". and he would cross with ease, and even back again. when he asked if they believed he could cross the falls with a man on his back, they replied the same way. BUT when he asked who would volunteer to be that person on his back... do you think they replied as enthusiastically? they were silent, or probably tried to volunteer each other. they were hesitant.

we are just like those people. we pray to God fervently asking him for miracles, we are passionate and wholehearted when we sing praises and when we worship Him... "Yes! You are good!" "You are the great Father" "Amazing God! You can do anything!". but when we are put on the spot to give up everything to Him... to put our trust in Him and to lay our lives before Him just as a person would ride on Blondin's back across the Niagara...we are hesitant. we are scared.

if we believe in God who is great and can do amazing things with our lives, then we should wholeheartedly give that to Him. how much easier life would be if we let Him carry us across...!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

an email i got at work today :) took the liberty of adding the passages (from NIV)

Five Reasons Why God Uses Problems

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you - depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? "Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways."
Proverbs 20:30
30 Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.

2. God uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags...if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you? "When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience."
James 1:2-3
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

3. God uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned.
Sometimes we only learn the value of, money, a relationship... by losing it. "It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws."
Psalm 119:71-72
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

4. God uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem - but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management's actions were eventually discovered. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..."
Genesis 50:20
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

5. God uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you're going to take with you into eternity. "We can rejoice when we run into problems... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady."
Romans 5:3-4
3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Here's the point:
God is at work in your life - even when you do not recognize it or understand it.
But it's much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

"Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way"

LIFE IS AN ECHO. What you send out, you get back. What you give, you receive.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

last leg of Remission... spread the word, people! :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Why join...?!?

Join the Quest

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word
and call it Pluralism.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and porn and called
it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and
called it enlightenment.

Everythings messed up.. And no ones taking a stand.. How Annoying!!

- Jose Villanueva

Friday, July 14, 2006

Join the Quest

Dont wait for change coz it will never come

Dont sit back and watch things be done

Coz Deep inside we're all longing for something

But if you do nothing then you'll get nothing

Dont be lazy, Stop complaining

Stop debating, This nations ailing

We dont need a new President, we need a new heart

We need to change our mindsets, Lets go back from the start

Throw away our pride, Begin to listen

understand our needs, stop the dissin

Another edsa revolution will lead to nothing

Chaos is not the sulotion for our nations suffering

United we stand,Divided we fall

The second statement is exactly whats happening to us all

Take your stand, Do whats right, play your part, Live your role

Thats when you will begin to see transformation unfold

The little that you do will matter when we're all grown

Coz the next generation will reap what we've sown

Every individual is crucial for a better Philippines

And we will once again be the pearl of the orient seas

Coz the Philippines is not Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao

Not the islands or the infastructure we have now

Not the three stars and a sun, the red, white and blue

Coz The Philippines is Alive... Its living in YOU!

- Jose Villanueva

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

All hail King Benjo!

he was my brother peter, and he called me sister lucy (he still does!). since then i felt like it was more than just a role in a kids church skit... when i first met him at cat's house for friday's small group meetings i felt drawn to this charming, funny, energetic guy. he had a big smile and an even bigger laugh, always ready with a funny hirit or two. everytime i see him i can't help but give him a hug.

recently, we learned he's been diagnosed with hodgkin's lymphoma, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy...he gave us a visit one time, just to say hi and to let us know about his condition. at first i felt tears in my eyes as he described in detail how he felt, his doctor appointments and their plans at first to go to the States but deciding to have treatment done here instead. but as he talked, i felt he was as strong as ever, and i felt a bit guilty for feeling sad. he still had his big smile on and it wasn't fake...he wasn't just being brave for us...he genuinely believed that this is God's answer to his prayer for spiritual growth. he said this was his chance to grow closer to God, to walk the path He meant for his life, to perhaps be able to finally fulfill his destiny. as he sat there and talked about his great trial, i felt his passion for life even more. my heart felt lighter, and i found myself wearing a smile almost as big as was as if his excitement was catching. physically, he looked like he needed rest, but his eyes still shone with the same passionate energy and his voice was powerful and resounded through the room.

benjo's faith in God keeps him strong and he is an inspiration to so many people, and i think his good friend lance said it best in his entry...

"what makes Benjo an astonishing person is that he chooses to be defiant in the very face of despair."

just like a true king, don't you think? i can't wait to see him again, to hear him call me Lu and then give him a big big hug.

for schedule on gigs for his fundraising, check out "Remission Is Possible"

other multiply entries about our dear DJ Benjo:
Hail the Lizard Kings
Benjo the Brave
Benjo Marquez Fundraiser Updates #2 Pls Read!

"Remission Is Possible" - fundraiser for Benjo Marquez

  1. June 21 Wed at LUCE BAR (Jupiter St. near Fiamma and where Starbucks is)"Keep Spinning" for Benjo c/o the Luce partners
  2. June 22 Thurs and June 29 Thurs at 6 Underground , "Smashing Hodgkins: The Benjo Marquez Project" c/o Jericho Fernando BANDS playing are: Cultured Milk, Mute Madness, Kjwan and Happy Meals Tickets at Php500
  3. July 6: Watch the World Cup Semi-Finals Night at Fiamma (Jupiter St) Tickets are Php300 with a free drink or two =)
  4. July 13 at Capones 9pm "REMISSION IS POSSIBLE" with Rivermaya, Urban Dub, Sandwich, Bitter Pill, Ciudad etc..
  5. July 20 at Embassy "REMISSION IS POSSIBLE" with DJ's Marie Garcia, Erwin Edralin, Owens Sun, Manolet Dario, Chuppy Cedran, Roman Mojica, Cao Ocampo, Mars Miranda, Raji Mata (all star DJ cast!!) Open bar 9-11pm!!

Aug 12: Casino Filipino: Poker Night c/o Rose Montenegro

hope to see you there :)

other multiply entries about our dear DJ Benjo:
Hail the Lizard Kings
Benjo the Brave
Benjo Marquez Fundraiser Updates #2 Pls Read!

Friday, May 19, 2006

no limbs, no limits - no worries

Nick Vujicic is a young man, 22 years of age, a resident of suburban Brisbane, Queensland. Nick has a positive approach to life, is outgoing and friendly, with a happy, cheerful personality. He has a smile that makes anyone feel comforted and at ease. But life hasn’t been easy for him.

His parents, both lifelong Christians, had eagerly anticipated the birth of Nick, their first child. But when he arrived, all his mother could say was, “Please, take him away!”

Nick, although generally healthy, had neither arms nor legs.
continued at No Limbs, No Limits

I think God is trying to speak to me this last week. First, a good friend of mine at the office texted me about his favorite cat who died. He's been really depressed, and i consoled him the best I could, but i know the feeling of questioning God...why? Then Jose made an entry on his blog about just worshipping God for what He is, and not for what he gives us. It's good to be thankful for our blessings, we should always be grateful for that...but we shouldn't miss the point of glorifying Him because He is great.

And then just this morning I read an email from the brother of my best (best best best) friend Jewel, about Nick Vujicic.

Nick is a motivational speaker with a heart for young people...his concern especially on the high suicidal rate among teenagers. But through him, a lot of lives were changed, people were inspired, and he continues to inspire today. (Actually there was a short article about him in Inquirer the other week, in the metro section). His disability makes it hard to do the simplest everyday things, but he's done far greater achievements for a young man in his twenties. I myself have a disability, but sometimes it is difficult to look past that and just be thankful.

Thank you Lord, for this little reminder.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
- James 1:2-3


i suddenly remembered a similar hero, right here in Manila! I've met him once or twice during our philmug (philippine mac users group) meetings... he's a creative director, a writer and an awesome speaker. he's the nicest guy and a fellow Apple lover, hehe. read more about juan and visit his blog at Fight Pompe. ü

Friday, May 12, 2006

our deepest fear...

when i start blogging quotes and articles it's either because i don't have time to write anything else or that the said quote really inspired me or moved me to think.

this one is the latter, of course :)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

a return to love - marianne williamson

visit World Prayers for more inspiring invocations, meditations..etc. (you can even just click "Random"... i love it).

our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate... our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...

we were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us

in pic: my younger sis in a man-made forest, bohol

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

why photograph war?

got this from my friend jonna who got it from a friend of hers...


"Why photograph war? Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior which is existent throughout history by means of photography? The proportions of that notion seem ridiculously out of balance yet that very idea has motivated me. For me, the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke a sense of humanity.

If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war. And if it's used well, it can be a powerful ingredient in the antidote to war. In a way, if an individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war in order to communicate to the rest of the world what is happening, he's trying to negotiate for peace; perhaps that's the reason why those in charge of perpetuating the war do not like to have photographers around.

In the field where your experience is extremely immediate, what you see is not an image of a page in magazine ten thousand miles away with an advertisement for the Rolex watches in the next page. What you see is unmedicated pain, injustice and misery.

It's recurred to me that if everyone could be there just once, to see for themselves what white phosphorus does to the face of a child, and what unspeakable pain is caused by the impact of a single bullet or how a jagged piece of shrapnel can rip someone's leg off. If everyone could be there to see for themselves the fear and the grief just one time, then they would understand that nothing is worth letting things get to the point where that happens to even one person; let alone thousands. But everyone cannot be there. And that is why photographers go there. To show them, to reach out and grab them and make them stop what they're doing and pay attention to what is going on.. to create pictures powerful enough to overcome the deluding effects of the mass media and shake people out of their indifference.. To protest, and by the strength of that protest, to make others protest."

~ James Nachtwey, War Photographer

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


just had a glorious 4-day weekend... a pretty busy one, but it was wonderful. my mom and sisters finally arrived home from boracay on sunday. my younger sis even had pasalubong for me, 3 pretty bracelets (not the tacky ones, too). and that night i was asleep on the bed, the aircon was on and my two sisters made me siksik and
slept there, one on each side. i don't know if it's because they missed me, or that they thought i felt bad about missing the bora trip... whatever, it was nice anyway. besides, i wouldn't have missed last sunday for the world, seriously! it was my first time to do backup for the worship team, and i was totally unprepared for it, in a good way! i loved every second, and even though every concert i ever performed in i was always a nervous wreck, for worship i wasn't at all. i was singing my heart out because that's exactly what it was...praise and worship. i didn't even notice all the people, except that they were all singing with me as well. it was so surreal. (oh yah, i DID notice daniel's bright blue hawaiian shirt pala... )

anyhoo, i'm in the middle of this amazing book that Randee lent me, Captivating [Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul] by John and Stasi Eldredge.

i'm really loving it ... i've never been more enlightened, encouraged, or had the understanding of my own heart before. been moved to tears quite a few times and i'm not even in the fifth chapter yet (darn work keeps interrupting me haha...) i told randee it was like somehow i knew all the things talked about in the book, only it was explained much better. i can't wait to finish it.

there's a version for men, Wild at Heart. i think every woman should read Captivating...and to the men who have read it to understand a woman's soul, you have a special place in my heart. (edit: ok dane, skimming would count too ü)

of course, i'll be reading Wild at Heart next. ü

Monday, April 24, 2006

God gave me KFC ü

no seriously, He did. hahaha. funny how God seems to have a sense of humor sometimes. that night it was like He was telling me "heyu...quit whining, i got your back!"

ok ok, maybe not really like that exactly, but i'm really glad that sometimes He would give me small reminders of just how close by He really is.

i was having a bad week... work was piled up more than usual, (ben wasn't in our team yet), and my boss and i were staying up latenights (or even overnights!) just to keep up. and to top it all off, i was in the middle of a project that wasn't really going well so i was nearly giving up... i felt tired, alone, insecure about myself and...and... oh heck, you all know what i mean.

ANYway, one night, i was staying late again in the office with a few other creatives. i was so focused on work i lost track of time but then around 11 i realized how hungry i was, gredge and roni started eating KFC which they bought man! the smell was overwhelming and i was sooooooo inggit i wanted KFC. NOW. but it was too late to have it delivered and too far to walk since it was the middle of the night.

so there i was feeling very kawawa (harhar, i know you're laughing eej :P) so i took a break and tried studying Pour My Love On You with our (broken) guitar. but that made me feel even more kawawa so i went to arbee and started venting out about everything... how i was tired from work, how hungry i was, how i was missing practice...blah blah blah.

THEN out of the blue ericCa came and said Ms. Marl (one of the seniors here at our company) called...remember, this was nearly midnight! she said she accidentally left some food and thought that maybe someone in the office might want it. arbee goes, "eto si diane o, di pa kumakain". i replied with a feeble, "yeah sure, i'll have it nalang", altho i was grateful at least i had some food.

it turned out to be a 2-piece KFC chicken meal, complete with coleslaw and extra gravy.

Is there a way to show the passion in my heart Can I express how truly great I think you are
My dearest friend
Lord this is my desire
To pour my love on you...

Monday, April 17, 2006

happy easter! (and a brand new moleskine)

hope everyone had a restful and blessed holy week. i know i did. i chose to stay home and just rest and spend time with my mom and sisters (both of which i haven't done much of since moving to our new office) translated: watch tv practically all day with them. oh, we went to Ace Water Spa in qc. gotta love those herbal heated pools. :)

anyhoo... i got another moleskine! tsk, i'm not a moleskine addict. (close to being one, perhaps, but not quite yet). this one i'll dub my little miracle book. i've had quite a few miracles, blessings or even trials which i've overcome.... reminders from God that he is in fact "shaking" me -- a wonderful term i learned from Pastor Joey's book, The Promise No One Wants -- of which i decided to make a journal of.

ok, it's 1am, and my grammar's getting really horrible. i gotta go sleep already, but i promise to share a few of my writings here also.