Love is amazing, it comes in so many forms and in mysterious ways! But sometimes, it is crazy too, right?
God’s love for us is the most wonderful thing that has happened to our lives, the genuineness, sans conditionalities; it is the kind of love that comes from the heart! You know what that means. Have a blessed and meaningful Lenten season to you all!
My Useful Tips would like to share with you this song….down memory lane….LOVE IS REAL! Pleasssssseee like it:-)
I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so, I decided to start over”, are excerpts from the speech of Steve Jobs, entitled, “You've Got To Find What You Love” at the 2005 Stanford University commencement exercises. When he delivered the said address, he had already the incurable cancer which he was probably afraid of but actually have learned to face his fears head on, as he talked about it with courage and preparedness, knowing that his life on earth was already limited. Still, he was fortunate to be given 7 more years to live and compose the best that he could do, perhaps for himself, his business and family.
I don't know Steve Jobs personally. I am a small time "David" and he was a "Goliath"! I don't belong to his circle of moneyed friends. As such, I don't have a single idea who he was, as a son, a student, a friend, a lover, a husband, a father, a boss and most especially his spiritual life, his relationship with His Creator. All I simply know is that he is the CEO of Apple, the company that engineered the state-of-the-art technologies such as iPhone, iPad, iMac and iTunes. Believe it or not, it was only today while I was about to open my mail box when I learned about his death and began researching who he really was. His personal background, especially his younger days, struck me the most, as he appeared to be a self-made man, born from immigrant parents, an adopted child by a middle class family, having no affluent and powerful connections but because of his ingenuity and extraordinary talent, he was able to make it to the top. As I said, I don't know the man but I had this gloomy feeling that made me decide to share the sentiments and expression of sympathies of the many via www.myusefultips.com for his loss, the man who pretty much revolutionize technology, the man who was always responsible and visible to introduce computer innovations.
(Steve Jobs – 1955-2011)
“I had been rejected, but I was still in love…” is being referred to by Steve Jobs during the time when he was fired from his own company due to some “power play” in his firm with his former colleague John Sculley. He got removed from his post, frustrated and devastated, but was able to pick up the pieces and start all over again. He used this as an opportunity to build another successful business empire, an empire which gave him accolades, especially now that he's gone, he had no idea, that he just did leave a mark, a legacy which will live on forever, particularly to the young tech-savvy people and the budding entrepreneurs aspiring to be like him, wanting to turn their passions into lucrative business. He would no longer be able to witness and hear the said accolades from throngs of people, young and old, with or without Apple products, about his immeasurable talent and his being a technological visionary.
“I had been rejected, but I was still in love…” could serve as an inspiration for all of us, particularly for those who are currently facing rejection and difficulties in life. That despite the problems that we're into (e.g. bad economy, unemployment issues, family, love and health problems, etc.) there is always hope to reach what we've been longing to aspire, especially during times when we are still strong enough to go through the rigors of our daily lives. And thereafter, we would be able to realize that there is always joy in living
“I had been rejected, but I was still in love…..” could serve as a reminder for all of us that life on earth is not permanent. That we don't own our lives, we are mere temporary migrants commanded to propagate what is good and as much as possible avoid bad things. Despite of our weaknesses and shortcomings, we have God who loves us unconditionally, always ready to welcome us, to forgive us for what we've wrongly did. It is not too late for us to renew our lives, do good and go back to Him. As Steve Jobs said, "Death is very likely the best single invention in life…..it clears out the old to make way for the new….".
To Steve Jobs, may you rest in peace. Amen.
Here are some positive, funny and interesting comments I saw on the web:
" He is Steve Jobs restless waiting to reincarnate and will be back on planet earth for iphone 10. He'll be back".
" Can we have Flash on the iPhone now?"
"….. thanks for my Mac and saving me from the dark side, Windows"
"You will always be the apple of the world. May God show you a better life that you deserve".
"….If his man could have run the country the way he ran Apple, America would most likely be a better place to live in right now…"
"….imagine what woul've happened if he never created apple…"
Perhaps, majority of us must have heard about the parable of the prodigal son. It was about a father's unwavering support for his wayward son, no matter how long it took for the latter to come to realization that he got lost and had to return home. The said father and son story was published many centuries ago and it was reported in a form of an allegory. It didn't actually happen but what is ironic about it is that after many centuries have passed, almost all of us have a so-called black sheep in the family, like that of the prodigal son. It could happen to either one of us, our brothers or sisters or perhaps the only son or daughter in the family.
With all the enjoyment and the pleasures in life these days, it may be observed that in all parts of the globe, there were and there are factual incidents regarding children giving headaches to their parents, so to speak, due to wrong values (e.g. disobedience and stubbornness), leading to the parents life of sorrows and sufferings. One example is this real story below which I would like to share with you.
Let's call the child “Nieves” for confidentiality. Nieves is the only child of a middle-class senior loving couple living in suburbs. Being the only child, the couple was able to give her all the comforts in life since childhood until she reached her teenage years. She was sent to high standing reputable schools, from grade school to college life. The couple never missed the opportunity to be good parents to her as far as discipline is concerned. However, in her teens, everything turned upside down. Nieves was already problematic, she showed tantrums whenever her parents couldn't deliver the material things she wants. She would squander all the money intended for her tuition fees and allowances to partying, clubbing and experimenting on illegal drugs with her female and male friends. To make the story short, the young lady obviously wasn't able to finish her schooling and to make matters worse she got pregnant which made her parents very frustrated. She was a pain in the neck especially to her father who has already given up on her as he became so ill and that he could no longer sustain the day to day living of the family. Subsequently, the father died due to lingering illness, leaving her mom to look after her.
Accustomed to city life and always in the company of happy-go-lucky friends, Nieves easily wins friends especially with men. It was during this time that she bore another child and finally another three with different fathers and all out of wedlock. The irresponsible fathers of her children left her with no alimony to speak of , leaving her with five kids to support by herself. All these times, the mother of Nieves acted as both her father and mother and that of her 5 youngsters. Even with kids in tow, Nieves maintained her escapades at a certain level, and her mother while continuously reminding of her responsibilities, would refrain from further discourse about the matter so as to avoid arguments and making Nieves upset. Instead, she was always there on her side, and tried to understand the situation. Their neighbors had even advised the mother to leave Nieves but she couldn't because it was more agonizing for her to leave her daughter and grand children in such a miserable state.
Apart from being the homekeeper, Nieves mother had to accept additional odd jobs (e.g. washing clothes, etc.) to continue their daily living, She actually became the breadwinner of the family, in her late 60's. Nieves was a little help but it was not just enough, she was not used to a life of misery.
One time, Nieves candidly told her Mom she's leaving them to seek for a job with a promise to be back as soon as she's able to save money for their needs. While for the neighbors the said move could have been the most appropriate and should have been done by Nieves long time ago, it was not the same case as her Mother's. That moment was the saddest part of Nieves' mother's life as it seemed to her that the probability for Nieves to be back that soon could be remote, knowing her. She was truly concerned of the plight of her daughter, even at that time.
Several months have passed, still no word from Nieves. Now, three years later, and still the mother has not heard any news from her. The mother, in her daughter's stead, had been lovingly and painstakingly taking care of her grandchildren sans the moral and financial support from her own treasured daughter. She endured the many hardships and the struggles in order to provide them with at least some food to eat. Frail and sickly, the mother with the help of the the kids (the youngest of them is 5 yrs. old) are now dependent on the kind assistance from her neighbors, by doing some errands and other menial tasks for other people. When asked by the social worker if she has at least a tiny grudge on her daughter, she said nothing. Rather, she told her that having Nieves is the biggest happiness in her entire life. Her love for her daughter never falters and it's still there, embedded in her heart. She's going to wait for her for the rest of her life, God willing, as she really believes that someday Nieves will come back to them someday, with a renewed heart.
Not all parents are blessed with wonderful doting children. But all parents, in their right minds, would always want the best for their children. Our parents, especially our mothers serve as light to us, they mold and sharpen us to be better persons.
Humans as we are, however, we encounter shortcomings and failings in life. It is for us to formulate our own strategies on how to have a better family life. We are responsible for what we are, for what we do. But, it's not too late yet to rectify the said shortcomings and to reconcile again with our loved ones.
For Nieves, if you happen to read this blog, I hope and pray, you will have the heart and the conscience to be more sensitive to other people's needs, especially that of your mother and five children. They need you especially during these moments of your mother's life. Don't wait for the time that it would be too late for you to see your loved ones still full of life. Just like the father of the prodigal son, surely your mother and children would welcome you wholeheartedly with open arms!
Below are mother's day cards designed by the awesome kids in one of the schools, here at NYC. To all mothers and grandmothers in the world, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY !!!
For my Mom who is in heaven now, Happy Mother's Day to you Inay!
Hey look at this, one 10-yr. old child even wrapped his own designed card for his mom with a paper. Such a very thoughtful and resourceful child. He wants the best for his mom! Such lucky mom!
Each of us is endowed with unique capabilities, gifts and talents. The difference would be on how we unleash and use the said talents. Normally, these talents are innate in us, it comes naturally and since it is a gift that is bestowed on us by God, regardless of our beliefs, we're supposed to hone and give it back to glorify Him and eventually share the same with others through various ways.
Having a good singing voice is one of the many natural attributes given us. By singing, you get to learn to speak to people, be it in small or large crowds, entertain them, gain new friends, admirers or even your own fans if you're in the entertainment business. However, there are other singers, despite of lack of formal education in music, are called to serve God by becoming a composer or arranger of spiritual songs, a preacher thru Gospel songs, a parish musical director, a choir head or simply a member. Talent in singing and other related field in music (e.g. playing musical instruments) are gifts to us which can be applied in church related activities and if we have these, we should be grateful and generous enough to share the same as not everyone is gifted with such a natural treasure. Just like any talent, each one has to develop, sharpen and partake it with everyone to make it more purposeful. As mentioned in myusefultips previous blog on choir organization, singing God's praises in any forum be it in the liturgy or in other spiritual group gatherings, is likened to praying twice especially if you sing the said songs from the heart.
There are only a few of versatile song writers and singers of spiritual songs throughout the world who have been blessed to be able to inspire people, particular the young ones, either to do the same thing as they do or just bring them closer to the Lord .
One example is Mr. Steve Angrisano, an American who has been very dynamic and mobile from the time he was laden with such a responsibility to proclaim God's words through his songs and by singing the same and other liturgical songs. The same is true with Mr. Arnel de Pano (not the other “Arnel” of Journey!), a Filipino who writes and sings for the LORD as well. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Arnel Pineda, also a Filipino. I admire him as well for being such a total performer. For those who doesn't know Arnel Pineda as of yet, the guy is the lead vocalist of the famous American rock band “Journey”.
I was fortunate to attend two separate concerts and witness the performances of Msrrs. Angrisano and de Pano here in NYC and yep, they do possess good vocals . Both of these guys are veteran song writers and articulate as well. They both exude happy and pleasing personalities, reflective of their love for the Lord. Two of the more popular songs of Steve Angrisano which I've heard in church are “Go Make a Difference” and “Sweet Redeemer” (one of my favorites). For Arnel de Pano, he was able to compose and arrange a beautiful song, “Lead Me Lord”, which is popular for some choir groups, and some other equally magnificent pieces.
The photos below may not do justice to their songs but the message they would like to convey to us makes it more substantial. These guys indeed utilized their talents the right way! The real Maestros!
In view of the difficulties that most of us are facing these trying times, one way of making Easter more meaningful and memorable to children, is by celebrating it in a non-traditional way. Gathering and telling them the story about Jesus' Resurrection, with a 30-minute movie animation on the subject as part of the presentation can be explored. In so doing, the kids would be able to understand pretty well why and what happened to Jesus during His last days on earth. There are a bunch of DVDs and CD's for kids available in the market. Just make sure that what you get is the most appropriate for young ones. One example is the movie, entitled "He Is Risen", like this one.
After watching the said Easter movie, treat them with a light afternoon snack for that extra boost of energy and thereafter assign an Easter Bunny mascot to distribute some goodies as part of the treat. As an e-friendly alternative for “plastic egg” hunting activities, you can hold an Easter card-making fun contest and whoever makes the best will bag the top prize. But of course, all of them shall receive something in return. Easter greeting card making is more educational and at the same time a means of forming the values of the kids at a young age. Making and giving away signature cards (wherein construction papers, markers, crayons are the only materials needed) to brighten the day of someone on Easter, like their parents or their loved ones, are some of the activities worth considering.
Take a peek at what the kids did for their Lenten and Easter promises. Some of them promised to be a good girl, to leave videogames (maybe during school days), not to fight with their brothers even if the latter are still mean to them, to help their parents in the household chores and more.
Wow, awesome kids! Enjoy and Happy Easter to one and all!
Today is myusefultips100th blog post! Yeah, big deal and HOORAY for all you guys out there! However, since it falls on Holy Week, no merry making will be held.
Today is also the time wherein the feet of many of our Christian brothers all over the world are being washed by priests and pastors during liturgical rites to commemorate Jesus’ washing of the feet of the 12 Apostles. The Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles and His revelation that one of them will eventually betray Him likewise happened on this day.
One of the young girls asked me, "Why did Jesus wash the feet of the Apostles?" Unsure of what to say, I candidly told her that the Apostles feet were dirty maybe as they had just traveled on foot and I thought that was the most practical answer I could give her. But then I further explained that even if Jesus was the Apostles' Master, He was a very humble and kindhearted man, and doing such thing was not an issue to Him. During Jesus' time, the servants were tasked to wash the feet of their Masters. However, some of you may be aware that the washing of the feet was portrayed as a form of symbolism, that Jesus would want the Apostles to practice the virtues of charity and humility, a reminder for all of us that we have to be servants of one another. This is precisely the reason why Jesus, after washing the feet of His disciples, said to them: “Do as I have done to you”.
For young kids, to be humble and kind may be an easy thing to do even if it's against their will. As such, humility and charity are non-issues to them at all. Kids ask no questions, they just obey whatever is being told by their parents, their teachers in school, their leaders in the church and in any school related groups or teams and the like. However, for grown ups and adults , it would be another story! There would always be a tinge of doubt, they would always ask questions, they would worry and fret on certain things.
One of the two greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as you love yourself! But how can we love another person if we're not practicing the virtues of humility and charity or vice versa? How can we carry out these virtues if we think of ourselves as superior in all aspects of life (career, wealth, intelligence) or if we're envious of other people's attributes and properties. As I said, when we grow up things get complicated and it takes a lot of sacrifices and love to apply what Jesus wants us to do today.
If only the word “pride” did not exist, charity and humility will reign on earth! Some say pride is the opposite of all the virtues, not just charity and humility. I recall years ago, one of the heads assigned in our circle at the Opus Dei told us that we must not be wise and prudent according to worldly desires. Rather, we must be humble, simple and pure. We should never desire to be above others and that it would be better to be submissive for the love of God.
If only everyone practiced charity and humility in this world, there would be no hunger and less fortunate, there would be no greed and selfishness, there would be no divorce and failed marriages , there would be no wars and conflicts, there would be no VIP's and proud people who think they are much better than everyone else. I felt that the message behind the "washing of the feet" was really meant for the VIPs and the affluent , that for them to be like servants, willing to help and serve other people. Oh well, these matters can be so complex and debatable to many and these are facts and hard realities of life.
Ouch! In certain cases and there are times, especially these modern days, that I have been guilty and have sinned against these virtues. But with God’s mercy and forgiveness, I tried very hard to stand up hoping to do good things just to please God. Various lures and temptations however abound to prevent me from going all the way for God. I must admit even up to this day I am still struggling to be a real good person, to be holy and hopefully to change completely for the better.
A classic example of a person who practiced humility and charity when she was on earth was the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. She entrusted her entire life to God and has completely forgotten her own interests. However, hypocrites like most of us would argue this: but she was Mary, Jesus' mother ..…she was destined to be like that!
Precisely she was chosen as our model to show us a concrete example, for us to follow and be like her. Okay, it is easier said than done…but with the resolve to love God and our neighbors, no doubt we can do it. It only takes a little practice of charity and humility with a touch of love. We believe that God is love and love is powerful. When there's love , we become humble and forgiving, we can bear patiently the faults of others. In so doing, we would be able to face our daily challenges and ultimately we would be able to share it to others, making our world filled with beauty and joy.
PI would like to end this reflection with a short prayer:
Loving God, please forgive us for our shortcomings and limitations. Teach us to be childlike….whose humility and charity has love. Grant us the grace of unselfish and generous service which Mary had …..so that we may follow you till the end. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord – Amen.
Sorry guys for the belated article….and yes you may have guessed it right that there are times bloggers do encounter the so-called writer’s block! In my case, I just need to dash this write up before end of March, whatever it costs.
It was 18th of March 2011, a very beautiful warm day with a temperature ranging from a low of 60’s to a high of 78 degrees F. It was not even spring time yet as the official first day of vernal equinox or spring in the Northern Hemisphere is 20th of March. Effectively, it was still wintertime. Wasn’t it amazing? Normally, spring time temperature in NYC ranges from a low of 30’s to a high of 50’s, still very cold especially for someone who originally hails from the eastern part of the globe. One needs to sport a down jacket, a wool coat or perhaps a fleece jacket for warmer spring days.
However, that day was unusual, definitely unlikely to get a "summery" like feeling during late winter and early spring days. Oh, it was probably God’s reward for people who have spent time for a certain cause and shared knowledge to other people, for them to relax a bit and experience the wonderful daylight.
I swiftly took the opportunity, grabbed a digital cam and went out for a walk to take out the stresses from boring work related stuffs. Lo and behold, the atmosphere outside was lively, it was positively a summer-like scenario.
In fact, the skies were a bit clear from stratus, nimbus, cirrus or even the cumulus clouds that I even got lucky to see and get a photo of a cross-like trace path apparently from two jet planes up in the air.
City people from all walks of life flock to parks and play grounds expectedly in jovial mood, getting out under the sun from long winter hibernation
(American Museum of Natural History steps)
I saw people wearing light clothing materials: the seniors in their light cardigans while the younger ones in their tees, some even had the guts and were excited to show off part of their “skins” already.
It was truly a nice day to stroll seeing groups of families with their kids in tow to play and enjoy the day.
Others merely head outdoors to take advantage of the sunlight and read a book under the heat of the sun or simply walking their dogs in the park.
Most of the people I’ve seen were fitness conscious, jogging around the running path provided for them.
Even the swans and birds around the lake and of course the real “love birds” had their own way of benefitting the sunny day as well.
I was even tempted to get a snapshot of this dumpster overflowing with trash, reflective of the park's plenty of visitors that day.
That was truly a wonderful day, a breathtaking experience and a special day for me!
The final treat was a heavy dinner (glass of merlot and a bottle of beer with a mixed stewed seafood of prawns and squid) to compensate for the strenuous walking which I did during the day! (lol). Cheers and Bon Appetit!
By the way, for the information of those not from NYC, the temperatures the following day until today have quckly shifted down, back again to 30’s and 40’s! Soooo cold!
What happened on March 18th was indeed an amazing God-given thing!
Hello everyone! This month I would like to share a special and unique anniversary with you all. On the last week of February is the first birthday of myusefultips.com. And to celebrate it, I will be posting a blog on the day itself of the anniversary specifically about its experience and related stuffs. To top it all, myusefultips will be hosting a give-away as an expression of gratitude to you all for being part of this blog! Since this is the month of LOVE, I’ll call it “BLOVEsary give-away”. The give-away requires a challenge and participation from you. It’s a writing contest of anything under the sun! Perhaps it could touch about your love life, yourself, your advocacy in life, your experience as a migrant worker, your passion and so on and so forth. This is mainly for us to have fun on the web and to get to know each other fairly well.
1. The contest will start today and last for a month, until the 18th of March, 11:59 p.m. (there is a significant reason for this). This is also to give you ample time to compose the article. It could be a one or two-page write-up (single space). The write-up should be in English.
2. It’s open to all. Local and international, old and new readers/followers/visitors of myusefultips are welcome to participate. Teens, under 18 yrs of age, should get their parents permission first before participating.
3. To paticipate in and enter the "blovesary" give-away contest, just comment on this post with the write-up to be attached and sent to email@example.com.
4. There will be 3 Winners (in any order) and they will be notified via email. Prizes will be on first come-first served basis. First response gets the first choice of prize, second response gets their first choice if it’s still available, otherwise their second choice and so on. If a winner does not reply within a week, a new winner will be selected.
5. Myusefultips.com has the discretion to change the prizes without prior notice and likewise terminate the contest should problem arise.
1. Winners will have the option to choose a selection of give-aways, as shown below (photos may not register the actual appearance of the products): a Taste of Home quick cooking tips book, simple MP3 players, Victoria Secret sports sexy top,
Espirit sunglasses, imported scarf/shawl, a Calvin klein maroon wallet,
a Museum artefacts all silk tie,, Eddie Bauer denim belt, Lancome tote bag with make up kit
, Guess pink stone ring, NYC white hat, Necklace with matching earrings and Laura Rowe bracelet, Guess spaghetti light gray blouse, light yellow korean silk scarf, Ralph Lauren polo hat, Clinique make up kit with mini beauty products, Type 2 Diabetes Recipe Book, a yellow Old Navy rain jacket, blue/white rubber shoes, yellow walking sneakers,
and many more to choose from!
2. Blog write-ups of the winners shall be published and broadcasted to the whole world via www.myusefultips.com
3. Some of you may not wish to receive prizes (either you don’t need the give-aways or you just want to participate in the fun). It would still be greatly appreciated!
Wishing you all the best of luck!
Disclaimer: The products for give-aways are intended for the blog fun contest and are not for paid reviews or whatsoever. These products are out of pocket purchases/expenses of myusefultips.com. Other products like beauty stuffs may work for others but not necessarily for you, so please use at your own discretion. Thank you.
As the song goes, Love is in the air, everywhere I look around, Love is in the air……
February 14 or Valentine’s Day (V-Day) is here once again! So, what’s the big deal?
For couples, partners and lovers, this is just the time of year where you could have that awesome valid excuse to go out, spend money and freely express your love and affection for one another. Absoultely, it is wonderful to be in love!
For busy bodies and workaholics, the V-Day is something special, so special that it’s only this day that you get the chance to take time out and tell the person in your whole life how important they are to you! Funny but true!
For ladies and girls exclusively dating with someone, this is the chance to clamor for special treatment from your boys, otherwise dump them if they reason out or if they ask for something in return coz they’re not and they will not be your right “man” in the next phase of your life. Sorry guys, when you want to woo your girl, do it in a right way and to the best of your ability and capability!
For single ladies out there, it is okay to be single and there’s nothing wrong about it especially if you’re happy with your life. If you still have the urge to hunt someone, go out from that shell and socialize. Who knows, an all girls-night out on V-Day would be the night you've been waiting for! A prince charming may see you there or perhaps the ngiht could be even a hell full of fun than being with a male someone with so much pretense and who can’t even engage in an intelligent conversation at all. If you simply want to stay home, keep yourself productive and treat yourself with a nice book to read or go out and buy a bunch of roses and chocolates for you!
For haters of V-day, I understand what you’re going through. You may be someone who have loved and lost, just had an ugly break-up, making you cringe about “cupid” things and cynical about love during this time of year. There is nothing to fret and worry about, there are better gorgeous men waiting for you, so get out of hibernation mode!
For advocates of anti-consumerism/commercialization, this is another opportunity for you to shout to the whole world that you do respect love and commitment but loathe the negative sides of a commercialized, media-sensationalized and a fairy-tale like concept of love. With your campaign, people from greeting cards, floral, chocolates, pet owners, stuffed toy industries to restaurant, theaters, hotel and motel magnates would be pressured to start to think and have at least that social responsibility in their businesses.
For me? Yeah, what about me? Oh, my V-day would be low-key just like the previous years, see this? O_O so happy! I let the day pass greeting my loved ones sans cards and all. A mere call and a note is enough for me. Everyday is a V-day for me anyway. Being grateful and appreciating someone’s love and kindness should be done often and not only for a day. Anyway, V-day for a day will be over and what about the other days?
For all of us! Let’s be reminded that LOVE is a wonderful gift from GOD , so let’s share this gift with others and spend it in a Godly way with prudence and respect. Happy heart's day to all!