Carrot, Egg & Coffee

A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee – you will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? 

September 15, 2006 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

When You Fall In Love

WHEN YOU FALL IN LOVE
(Debunking The Myths That Are Driving You Crazy)
By: Bo Sanchez

This article isn’t for teenagers only.

Falling in love happens to the young and the not-so-young. (Did you see 42-year-old Tom Cruise jump up and down Oprah’s couch because of Katie?). It happens to everyone. Fat, thin, tall, short, intelligent, uneducated, holy, not so holy, dark, white, yellow, green… it doesn’t really matter. All of us fall in love. And we get stuck in myths that drive us absolutely crazy. My goal is to debunk these myths and convince you not to believe in them. Let’s begin…

MYTH 1: LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL.

Let me qualify. This is such a tricky myth. Because love, as defined by the Bible, will conquer all. But love, as defined by glazed-eyed lovers, will not. If you believe in this myth, you might do the following:You overlook major obstacles in your relationship. Everyone you know is wondering why you chose that creature from outer space as your boyfriend. Your bestfriends are telling you to get rid of him. Your family is telling you to throw him out of a running vehicle. Aling Rosa of the sari-sari store across the street is telling you to lace his drink with poison. But you won’t, because you’re in love. That’s why there are songs entitled, “You And Me Against The World.”

Your bestbuds comment, “but he’s been jobless for the past three years!” And you say, “He’s free-spirited. He feels boxed in when he’s in the office. (in other words, he’s undisciplined, lazy bum.)

Your officemates say, “He flirts with other women constantly!” and you say, “No, he’s just friendly.” (in other words, he’s a pervert).

Your cousins say, “He’s taking drugs, he’s got needle marks all over his arm.” And you say, “No, he’s into cross stitching.”

You overstay in toxic relationships, believing that your love will change him.

The wedding doesn’t transform anyone. Even if three Popes officiate the wedding. The person you’ll march with into the church will be the same person you’ll march with out of the church. He doesn’t change one bit. In fact, the marriage makes the hidden more obvious. If he was selfish before he got married, he will be even more selfish after the wedding. If he was hypercritical before he got married, he’ll even be more vile and prolific with his criticisms after the wedding. Here’s the truth: You need more than feelings of love to make a relationship work. You need mature character, total commitment and a minimum level of compatibility. Especially compatibility in the area of values and mission in life. I hear people say, “We’re compatible. Our names begin with the same letter J. My name is Julie and his name is Julio. We’re both born in July.” Wow. That’s so deep, I want to cry.

MYTH 2: WHEN IT’S TRUE LOVE, YOU WILL KNOW THE MOMENT YOU MEET THE OTHER PERSON.

I’m sure you’ve had this experience before. You are in a crowded room. You’re surrounded by boring, noisy chatter when, suddenly, this gorgeous guy enters the door. Your eyes meet. Instantly, time stands still. The universe grinds to a halt. Except for this attractive man in front of you, everything in your vision becomes a giant blur. The hubbub of the crowd becomes a soft muffle and, from out of nowhere, you hear gentle violin music from the background. One week later, he’s your boyfriend. A few weeks later, you discover that your boyfriend’s a pathological liar, buried in credit card debt, borrows money from all his girlfriends (you’re his eighth in six months). Your mind says, “Dump him!” Your heart says, “But it was love at first sight!” Here are the consequences…

You become so focused on the magical first moment, you become blind to the dark side of the relationship. Six out of seven days, you’re fighting with your boyfriend. But you can’t give him up because you met each other in such a magical moment. Your car keys fell and he picked it up, and then your eyes met, you smelled his deodorant, and you dropped your keys again… How can you not be meant for each other?

You become a love-at-first-sight junkie that you could miss out on the “real thing”. One intelligent woman told me, “Bo, there’s this guy who’s courting me. He’s okay. He’s kind, he’s responsible, he has a good job…” I could hear a ‘but’ coming ,” I said. “but there are no sparks!” she bit her lip. “No violin music playing in the background, huh! None. When I see him, the background music I hear is lululalu-lalulalulalei…” Listen. You don’t need a magical first moment to meet our potential husband. The important things are mature character, financial responsibility, ability for commitment, compatible mission and values. I actually met this girl again on her wedding, and before she marched down the aisle, she whispered to me, “Do you hear the violin music, Bo? It’s loud and clear.” It doesn’t have to be love at first sight. In fact, marriages with the least adjustments are those between friends who’ve known each other for years before they realize that they’re good marriage material. What is love at first sight? Many times, it’s lust at first sight. Or infatuation at first sight. Don’t give it too much weight. Here’s the truth: it takes a moment to experience infatuation but true love takes a lifetime.

MYTH 3: IF IT IS TRUE LOVE, YOU WILL FEEL THIS WAY FOR EACH OTHER FOREVER.

No, you won’t. Here are the consequences for believing this myth :

You panic when the feelings wane, and wonder whether the marriage is over and whether you really loved one another in the first place. Imagine the night of your honeymoon. Your new bride is sleeping. The cotton curtains are gently swaying in the cool breeze. You gaze at her lovely face. You study her soft cheeks. Her long eyelashes, her beautiful nose, her parted red lips. And all of a sudden, she snores.”Ngggggggooork!!” How do you react? Because it’s your honeymoon, you say, “How cute!” Six months down the road, the same scene transpires. Your wife is sleeping. And the same cotton curtains are gently swaying in the cool breeze. And you hear her snore.”Ngggggoork!” What do you say? “Ssssssheeeesh, Honey! You sound like a boat!” What has happened? The feelings have gone. Let me say this: That’s normal. It happens to everyone. But it doesn’t mean your love is gone so don’t panic! You can make a decision to love the snoring boat.

You start blaming your partner for the loss of love. This is nutty. But many people do it: when we don’t feel in love, we think it’s the faultof the other person. And so we fight him. Again, we fall out of love because we’re human beings. It’s nobody’s fault. The moment you fall out of love, the real work begins . Let me explain. This is the most important point I’m going to make. (I got this from Scott Peck in his bestseller book, The Road Less Traveled).

Falling in love isn’t love. Here’s why. When you fall in love…

  • No decision is required. Falling in love just happens.

  • No effort is required. Falling in love is like…. well, falling.

  • No hard work is required. Falling in love is being bitten by the love bug.

On the other hand, true love requires all three : Decision, effort and lots of hard work. In the Bible, love is a command. You make it happen. Sure true love can only happen after you’ve fallen out of love. When you begin choosing to love, even if you don’t feel like doing it — that’s true love. And that’s the foundation of a lasting marriage.

MYTH 4: YOUR PARTNER WILL FULFILL YOU COMPLETELY.

Again because falling in love satisfied you completely, you want the same satisfaction to last. No it won’t. Consequence? You might fail to recognize a good relationship because your partner isn’t fulfilling the needs you should be fulfilling yourself. Here’s the truth: the right partner will fulfill many of your needs but not all of them. There are just some things your husband can’t give you: Your self-worth. Your spirituality. Your inner happiness. These are things you have to work on your own. I’ve met lots of people who think they’re dissatisfied with their marriage. In reality, they’re dissatisfied with themselves. I’ve met lots of people who think they’re bored with their marriages. And they complain to the high heavens how boring their husband or wife is, when in truth, they’re really bored with life. Meet your own needs. Find your happiness in God. Find your niche, your calling, your destiny. And then share your joy with your spouse.

MYTH 5: IF IT’S TRUE LOVE, YOU WON’T BE ATTRACTED TO ANYONE ELSE.

If you believe in this myth, you panic when you get attracted to someone else, questioning the authenticity of your love for your spouse. One man told me, “Bo, I love my wife. Or I thought I did. But then I met this woman at work. She has nice make-up. She smells nice. She wears a pencil-cut skirt. When I go home, my wife is wearing a drab rag. Her hair is undone. She smells of vinegar. Gosh I am attracted to this girl atwork.” Being attracted to someone is normal, even if you have a happy marriage. But being attracted doesn’t mean falling into adultery. Every time you think of the other woman, discipline your heart and say, “Home, boy… home!” and escort your heart back to your wife. Because if you feed your attraction with fantasies and constantly think about the other woman, it grows . But if you starve your attraction, it dies a natural death.

August 10, 2006 at 1:29 pm 2 comments

36 Christian Ways To Reduce Stress

An Angel says, “Never borrow from the future.  If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn’t happen, you have worried in vain.  Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.”

  1. Pray.
  2. Go to bed on time.
  3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
  4. Say “No” to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
  5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
  6. Simplify and uncluttered your life.
  7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
  8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
  9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
  10. Take one day at a time.
  11. Separate worries  from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
  12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
  13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
  14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
  15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
  16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
  17. Get enough rest.
  18. Eat right.
  19. Get organized so everything has its place.
  20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
  21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
  22. Every day, find time to be alone.
  23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
  24. Make friends with Godly people.
  25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
  26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.”
  27. Laugh.
  28. Laugh some more!
  29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
  30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
  31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most.)
  32. Sit on your ego.
  33. Talk less; listen more.
  34. Slow down.
  35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
  36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.

GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

July 10, 2006 at 6:59 pm 3 comments

Father’s Day

By: Dr. Stanley Watson 

In the dictionary a father is a man who begets or raises a child. Today let's honor those who nurture and raise their children. We would do well to ignore the shrill accusations of that small group of women who label all men as being oppressive, overbearing and insensitive simply because they are men. Why? Because this nation has a host of fathers who are responsible and caring and their families are doing very well indeed. They love their wives and children and are loved in return.

Many of them follow the teachings of Jesus who chose to identify God himself as the Heavenly Father. In what might be the world's most popular story of all time Jesus described the traits of the ideal father. The story is generally called "The Prodigal Son." but If you will reread it in Luke 15:11-24 it will become clear that Jesus is identifying the father as God and the wayward son as each and every one of us. The traits of the father in the story stand out clearly as follows:

  • A good provider, owning a large farm with hired laborers and an abundance of material possessions with which to care for his family.
  • A generous spirit, giving his son his inheritance before his own death.
  • A deep concern for the welfare of his son who chose to take his wealth and leave home for places unknown.
  • A forgiving father who accepted his son, now broke and repentant, back into the family circle.
  • A loving father who ran to his son, embraced and kissed him and had a banquet to celebrate his return home.

In recent years the importance of the role of the father has been questioned but numerous studies prove that the Father's role is as important as that of the mother. You don't have to review the research to verify this fact. Ask the mother of any successful family and if doubts still linger, ask the single mother who is struggling to fill the role of both father and mother.

Yes, today is the day set aside to honor the many fathers who provide, however modestly, for their families, who are generous, who care deeply for their wives and children, who rejoice when the children learn from their mistakes, and who express their affection freely. If you ask you will also find that most of them get their strength from the relationship they enjoy with their Heavenly Father. As we observe Father's Day, let us pray that the next great revival will be for more fathers who fill their roles after the example of the Heavenly Father.

  • He provides us with an earth rich in resources; enough for everyone.
  • He gives us the freedom to make use of all that he has provided.
  • He is concerned for our welfare more deeply then we can imagine.
  • He forgives us when we repent of our many mistakes and accepts us back into full fellowship with Him and His family.
  • He blesses us every day with his love because, as the apostle John pointed out, "God Is Love."

June 18, 2006 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

Mothers Are The Best

The instinctive nature of mothering comes to the fore many times throughout a child’s life, particularly when it is needed most. A mother knows what her child needs and hastens to give it to him even before he asks. And when a mother gives her best to her child, she gives him one of the greatest gifts she can give – just like my mom. She is a prime example of a mother able to play a multitude of roles, giving all of herself in order to let us (me and Ate Belle) feel that the best care is given all the time.

A mother is a constant teacher, who continually helps her child learn. From his earliest days, even while in the womb, a child forms his perceptions and understanding of the world according to those of his mother. By her words and actions a mother sets the stage.

A mother is a child’s first source of tender love. Love is the most vital emotion for a child, particularly in his formative years, and his mother is its foundation. A mother’s love is what enables her to bear the pain of childbirth, to spend sleepless nights caring for her children, and put their needs above her own.

A mother is a wellspring of emotional support. Mothers rejoice in the achievement of her children. And well they should, for these achievements are the fruit of their very best care.

Mothers are unique, special and irreplaceable. It is because of them and what they go through that we enjoy the best care and love. All that we are, and all that we can be, we owe them to our mothers.

To my mom… and to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14, 2006 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Internet vs. World Wide Web

Many people nowadays talk about "the Internet" when they really mean "the World Wide Web". You often hear them talking about the latest sites, blogs and other fads they come across in cyberspace by surfing "the Net" lately. It's as if the Internet is somewhat "distinct" or "different" from e-mail, FTP, chat, ICQ, and even Kazaa and BitTorrent.

Did you know that the Internet has been existing since 1969?!?! At that time, the Beatles were still intact and Elvis Presley was still actively making music.

Well, the fact is, the Internet and the World Wide Web are two different, albeit related, concepts.

Think of the Internet as a highway. If you want to go to some place (i.e., retrieve information from somewhere on the Internet), then you must travel on this highway. But you cannot just travel on this highway; you need a vehicle to do that. As for the vehicle, you have many choices. You can ride a car, get on a bus, ride a bike, and so on.

The World Wide Web is just another vehicle on the highway. In techie speak, the World Wide Web is an Internet service. There are many other Internet services: e-mail, FTP, chat, ICQ, Kazaa and so on. The World Wide Web is one of the most popular Internet services. (But according to many sources I found, e-mail is still the most popular Internet service.)

At the surface, the Internet appears to be a "gigantic supercomputer" where all the computers in the world are connected. But in reality, the Internet is a very large computer network where millions of computers around the world are interconnected. This networking world is actually like a populous city where the computers are the houses and the buildings, and the Internet is a system of roads connecting the houses and the buildings. You will see many vehicles traveling around the city.

But these vehicles cannot just travel around as they wish; they must follow all the traffic rules so that everyone can go to their destination safely and smoothly. They must know on what lane they should travel; they must know how to respond when the traffic light goes red or green; they should slow down upon approaching a pedestrian crossing (the painted "zebra marks" on the road where people cross the street; in the Philippines, it's called "the pedestrian walk"), and so on.

Additionally, the houses and the buildings must have addresses. Addresses must follow the format established by the city's addressing system; it should state the name or unit number of the house or building, followed by the street name, followed by the city name, etc.

This set of rules on traffic and addresses corresponds roughly to a set of "communication rules" (protocols) all computers must follow when communicating with each other on the Internet. This set of rules is called the TCP/IP protocol stack, the soul of the Internet. To assure that every computer can communicate to each other regardless of hardware, operating system, file system formats and so on, they must abide by this set of protocols.

For example, TCP/IP mandates that each computer connected to the Internet must have a unique numeric address called the IP address. This numeric address used to be defined as 16 bits long (the IPv4 addresses) and it's still the dominant type of IP addresses today, but the 128-bit variant (the IPv6 addresses) is very slowly making its way to the Internet, because the world is actually running out of IP addresses. The 128-bit variant allows a very wide range of IP addresses.

Internet services are assigned at least one "transport method" and at least one numeric identifier (ranging from 0 to 65535), called the port, associated with the transport method. The transport method is either the telephone-like communication method called TCP or the postal mail-like communication method called UDP. The World Wide Web is assigned TCP port 80; outgoing e-mail (SMTP) is TCP port 25; BitTorrent owns TCP ports 6881 to 6999; and mIRC owns TCP ports 6660 to 6669 and also UDP port 113. All "snippets" (packets) of information traveling on the network are required to carry with them the IP address and port of the source computer, and the IP address and port of the destination computer.

Internet services themselves have their own communication rules, aside from the Internet itself. The World Wide Web uses HTTP for communication between the Web servers (the "web sites") and the Web clients (the "web browsers"). Each resource such as a web page, an image and a video clip is identified by means of a "Web address" called a URI (e.g., "http://my.server.com/images/hottie.jpg"). The URI of a web page is also called a URL. These URI's are referenced in a web page via hyperlinks. The web page itself is formatted using HTML.

The Internet was born in 1969 as a reaction to the then USSR's launching of the Sputnik I satellite, the world's first artificial satellite, into outer space in 1957. The US feared that the Soviet satellite might drop a bomb to anywhere on earth from outer space. So in 1958, US President Dwight Eisenhower created the ARPA to spearhead the development of technologies that can defend against possible space-based attacks. In particular, the US military wanted a computer network that can withstand nuclear attacks and keep the Pentagon and other defense headquarters connected together. This initiative resulted in the development of the computer network called the ARPANET, which became live in October 1969. By December 1969, three universities and a research center each had a mini-computer connected to the ARPANET. The ARPANET started to grow by that time. In 1971, Ray Tomlimson successfully developed the first e-mail system through his programs called SNDMSG and READMAIL. In 1973, the ARPANET crossed the Pacific and the Atlantic ocean, and development of TCP/IP was started. In 1974, the term "Internet" was first used in a paper on TCP. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II of England was able to send e-mail. In 1976, the LAN technology called Ethernet was born. In 1979, the USENET news group was born. In 1983, TCP/IP became the standard protocol for the Internet, and DNS was born (enabling people to use names instead of IP addresses for referring to computers on the network). In 1984, the T1 lines was born, and so is the T1 line-based NSFNET. In 1990, the ARPANET was retired and network connections were passed to the NSFNET; also Tim Berners-Lee invented the hypertext system we now know as the World Wide Web for use by the high-energy physics committee in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1993, Marc Andressen developed the first graphical web browser called Mosaic. Later on it will develop into Netscape. In 1994, Pizza Hut offered pizza ordering on its Web page. In 1996, Microsoft enters the Internet scene.

And the rest is history…

May 8, 2006 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

The Power of Holding Hands

By Rabbi Harold Kushner 

I was sitting on a beach one summer day, watching two children, a boy and a girl, playing in the sand.  They were hard at work building an elaborate sandcastle by the water’s edge, with gates and towers and moats and internal passages.  Just when they had nearly finished their project, a big wave came along and knocked it down, reducing it to a heap of wet sand.  I expected the children to burst into tears, devastated by what had happened to all their hard work.  But they surprised me.  Instead, they ran up the shore away from the water, laughing and holding hands, and sat down to build another castle.  I realized that they had taught me an important lesson.  All the things in our lives, all the complicated structures we spent so much time and energy creating, are built on sand.  Only our relationships to other people endure.  Sooner or later, the wave will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up.  When that happens, only the person who has somebody’s hand to hold will be able to laugh.

April 19, 2006 at 11:58 am 2 comments

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