He who seeketh, findeth

September 9, 2009

Why do you think you are here?

Filed under: Happiness,Meditation,Reason for Breathing,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 9:33 pm

I was searching for various things online, and I ended up at Successful Blog -> http://successful-blog.com – and while there, I searched around, and found this interesting question that interviewees get asked all the time. I have been asked that question my fair share, but I have never given it much thought outside the job scenario. The question may go something like this: Why should we hire you? or What separates you from all the other candidates that seem to be equally qualified for the position?

One way to approach the question, is to think about the things that you have or you are, that is common to all other candidates or most of them, and cross those out, and whatever remains, is what separates you from the others, good or bad. Usually people will focus on the good (because that’s what the interviewers expect). Usually.

That is about work, and the public image. How about privately? If you were to look deep inside, and try to find out why you are here, what would you come up with? Why did God find it necessary for you to be here? How would the world be different without you? How is the world different with you in it? May be those questions may be hard to answer, and they may focus on the past. How about going forward. Why should you still be here? Why should God give you another instant, second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year… to live? How would you like to be remembered when you die? How would you like your impact (i.e. past) to be when the hour comes? Answers to the last four questions may provide a platform for effective living.

I will spend sometime answering those questions. I think that if those questions are answered, applying for a job would not be just applying for a job, spending time with family would have a different meaning, etc. Life takes on new meaning. We now have different motives for our actions.


September 5, 2009

God answers both hidden and unhidden prayers

Filed under: Happiness,Health,Reason for Breathing,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 7:20 pm

God answers many hidden (and unhidden) prayers, only if we learn to look.

Example 1:

A person, X, goes through a test for which one of the conditions for success is to be free from any life-threatening diseases. Most of the diseases being tested in this test are infectious. It will take months or years for the person to get results back as various people are testing the samples, analyzing the results, and sending their recommendation to a central unit that makes the final decision on success or failure of the test. X is worried that through contacts with another person or other persons, contraction of one of the diseases may have occurred. X starts to pray for mercy and grace that everything turns out well. At times X is worried and stops praying because, what can it change, and other times, prayers rules the day or the week, for another (selfish) reason.

Coincidentally, P, one of the people with whom X had contact goes through a test that has a few tests similar to what X had. P’s results will come out much quicker because for one reason or another, the decision-makers on P need the results as soon as possible. It is an expedited case. P is congratulated on being successful in the test. P shares the results with X. X is happy for P, and excited for X-self. God has indirectly answered X’s prayers, or has at least provided solid evidence for hope.

 Example 2:

P has a problem that will take several hours or days or months or years to be resolved. P prays to God for guidance, strength, faith, and a happy ending, if it is God’s will. Most prayers are like this one, whereby the solutions may be wanted now, but it usually will take a while for the situation to play itself out. Thus, when one prays for success or happiness in such cases, one is asking God for so many things, usually without knowing it, and God answers those unknown, but vital, prayers without the person knowing or acknowledging that tons of big time prayers have been answered. Let me go through examples of prayers which are loaded with hidden prayers.


–          A dear one is sick and everyone is sick. P prays for the dear one’s recovery. That is the unhidden prayer. Now with this unhidden prayer, come at least the following hidden prayers. That P lives long enough to see the recovery. That anybody who is negatively affected by the sickness, for example, caretakers, workmates, of the dear one, will be given relief.

–          P is waiting for interview results that will take weeks to come out. The results will be sent through international mail. Prays to get positive results and that the feedback period should be normal (that is, no delays). Here are some hidden prayers. That all the critical people in the process live, at least until they perform their part of the process. That all the hazards against the mail do not happen. That P lives to see the results.

–          P needs shoes. P prays for God to provide the shoes from whoever, soon enough, if it is His will. Other than the hidden prayer for life, there is hidden prayer for the legs to be there, and to be functional, and for the things that the legs and the person need the shoe for to continue being there. If it is to walk to a job, a hidden prayer is for the employer’s life, P’s continued employment, and so on.

 One can add more to the list of prayers and the hidden, tag-on, appended unexpressed prayers that go with it. A critical aspect of the hidden prayers is that if you remove the hidden prayers, the clear unhidden prayers do not make sense. Since God has purpose for everything, we have grown to assume that He will take care of all those other things as well. If one needed proof that God is Omniscient, the hidden prayers that are answered as well should provide a little bit of proof, or at least food for thought.

December 25, 2008

How long did it take God to create the world?(or Man?)

Filed under: Meditation,Reason for Breathing,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 3:51 pm

Let there be lightHow long did it take God to create the world? How long did it take God to create man? People ask these questions usually because they doubt that it is possible to create all that there is in several days (i.e. less than 7!) and also because there is “evidence” for evolution, and also because there is “evidence” showing that certain things in the universe or universes are several billion years old. Before I try to explain what my thoughts are on how long it took God to create the world, or to create man, I would like to look at several things as they have been or documented to have been.

If somebody asked a Physician today, how long it would take to cure a person with full blown AIDS, or cancer, or leprosy, or whatever “incurable” disease, he or she would probably say, it is not possible to cure such a person. They may also say, we can try to contain the disease,… or in the case of cancer, that we could try chemotherapy and hope for the best. All of this is reasonable, and is consistent with our understanding of life and disease and medicine as we know it today, 12/25/2008. Let us assume that there was “evidence” that it took 45 years for a person to be fully cured of AIDS, or Cancer, or Leprosy, then with that “knowledge” we could say that there is no way, God could cure somebody of any of these diseases in less time.

If somebody asked a Chef how long it would take them to prepare meals (from scratch) for several thousand people. They may say, several hours, or days… depending on what you are preparing, how much help you have, how many microwaves, stoves, etc. With the knowledge that we have today, of how long it takes to prepare food, (well done, medium, or whatever) – it is reasonable to say, that nobody can have food for several people prepared from scratch within seconds… Now, if I think I am ready to share my answer to the question of how long it took God to do anything – for example, create the world or man.

First, I must say that I believe whatever is written in the bible about Jesus… that the essence of the Old Testament points to Jesus – and everything after that points back to Him. With that belief, I see that the things that are beyond human understanding or capacity, for example, healing a person from leprosy, or knowing people’s hearts, or feeding multitudes from a few fish and bread, or bringing the dead back to life, Jesus accomplished instantly, perfectly, with His word. He said it, and it became as He willed it. It didn’t take forever. It did not conform to human understanding, nor was it limited by it. Thus, I can see how it is possible for God to create the Heavens and the Earth and all that was, is, and will be in it, unlimited by time.

So, the idea about God’s time, for  example, His day being a billion man-years, does not really make sense to me… and it is not necessary to explain how or when He created this or that. God does not need time to accomplish anything. He is not limited by it. Our ancestors saw Him in action when He healed the sick, fed the hungry, or bring back the dead. (I think time and space are things for creatures to deal with. The more we become like God, the less we have to worry about time and space limitations.)

December 21, 2008

Right beside you

Filed under: Happiness,Reason for Breathing — Steve (Chessiq) @ 10:58 am

I am here waiting for you. I am thinking about you. I am wishing you all the best.
I wish you well. I wish you happiness. I wish I could take all the pain away.
On another day, I could have left your side, to … grab something to eat, or
to … go to the bathroom, or to… grab a book and read. Not today, not now.
Since I am here for you, thinking about you, your welfare being my sore purpose,
I will sit here a moment longer. I know you can feel my presence. I want you to know
that you are not alone. Your burden is my burden. I don’t have to know what is going on.
I am convinced that I can be of assistance just by being right beside you.
I am sending you thoughts of love. Wishes of good health and happiness.
Wishes of brighter days. And a promise, to be right beside you.

November 3, 2007

Accounting for Heaven and Earth

Sometimes I have “insights” that are not fully formed, but I just want to write them down so that I don’t forget the ‘idea’. This is one of those times. I am just saying that what I am about to say may not make sense, not just because the reader has a different point of view, but because I have not clearly communicated my thoughts and impressions. Caveat lector!

I rarely think of my work as being related to spirituality. However, the past couple of days, several things have happened that have made me review or revisit how I look at Accounting. For example, there are times when a report or statement is one Cent off, and I cannot go forward without finding where that one Cent belongs. It is easy to “fix” things, but it cannot and should not be done, because: first, it is wrong, second, it just doesn’t work at times. For example, if you are paying $3 million and the report you printed out says you are paying $2,999,999.99, one may think that you can just give one of the payees 1 Cent. No, not really? If you overpay one of the people, they will come back and ask (may be), but surely if you underpay somebody, you might as well not do it in the first place. What if you narrow it down to a particular person? You see to whom the 1 cent needs to go, do you just throw it in there, on her account? Not really, it may belong to a particular invoice, or period (month, quarter, or year)… Things like this make accounting hell sometimes. You cannot check off something as okay (it foots) when it does not. You can bet on it that it will come back to bite you; well, most of the time. Most of the “checks and balances” that you find in life, have their source in Accounting. For example, if you make $1 million during the year, and you make this money from work, gifts, and businesses, you are expected to report that you made $1m to the tax authority. You may wonder, how would they know if you told them that you made only $0.9m? Well, for starters, your employer tells them how much they paid you. Second, the gift giver is supposed to report how much he has disposed of in gifts. Third, the people that made payments to you need to have backup for the claimed expenses, so there will be receipts with your tax id on it showing money flowing to you. Fourth, if you deposited any money in an interest-earning account, the bank has to report the interest that they paid you, and of course, the money you deposited will show. Last but not least, you cannot spend what you don’t have. By looking at your statements, the tax man can have a good idea of how much income you made. Of course, my list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of how, given time, the tax man can figure out how much you made (or spent).

Accounting has another basic side to it, which may or may not be looked at as “checks and balances”, the double-entry system. For every transaction, there is a debit and credit to it. A simple example would be if you bought a one dollar pen for your business. This is an expense. Your cash would go down $1 (credit your books), your supplies (expense) would go up $1 (debit your books). At the end of the day, your debits and expenses should match.

One last point that I need to bring up, is budgets. It is hard to imagine a functioning business that does not have an accounting budget. This just shows you what you expect to make or spend for the year. The fun is in the details. But as the year goes, you periodically look at items in the budget and see if you are where you thought you would be at a certain point in time. If something is so below/over-budget, you investigate it before the year ends (well, usually).

Well, enough accounting. So I thought about that and I wondered if the principles of accounting are applicable to other non-monetary issues. For example, if somebody hurt my feelings, what would be the equivalent in accounting? If I sinned, what happens in Heaven that is similar to accounting? So here is what I thought of as a possibility.

Assume that we are dealing with Cash, and the normal (or good) balance is a debit. Let’s also assume that good acts are debits. Then if you help somebody out and you feel good and the other person is appreciative of your actions, and Heaven is also rejoicing, then:

Debits: your good account in your heart; the recipient’s view of you; your good accts book in Heaven.

Credits: effort needed to do the good act; the recipient “pay it forward” account; your sin book in Heaven(?).

Similarly, if you hurt somebody’s feelings intentionally for no good reason, you can make the necessary entries.

At the end of the day, how you feel, the financial health of the organization, you and your fellow men, will depend on how accurate and how good your books are. Just like in accounting for businesses, the accounting for both Heaven and Earth, doesn’t lie.

The closest I could come to relating the accounting budget to life in Heaven and on Earth, had to do with expectations and potential. I think that’s what an accounting budget does, it sets expectations for performance with the conviction or commitment that the organization has potential to live up to those expectations, whether it is to cut costs or increase revenues or both. So what are our expectations and potential. On the expectations side: we are expected to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we are expected to work as if we are doing it unto the Lord, we are expected to discover what we are good at and devote it to the betterment of ourselves and of the human race, we are expected to discover our potential… It is not an exhaustive list. I presume that God and our fellow men, from their exposure and intimate knowledge of us, have a good idea of what we can do/be. That being the case, I do not think it is outrageous to think that each one of us has a budget of good works that we are expected to perform.

What if, in God’s budget, He saw that for the world to be a good place to live, I would have to help one person every day or every week. I would also have to give 20% of my income to my church, etc. If I help twice that number, and give less to the church, I am sure it may throw off the budget, but I cannot say by how much. It is not for me to know what the budget is. All I can do is my best. Just like at a company, the presidential team may have the budget, which the man in the warehouse does not know of. The man in the warehouse just has to do his best; make the best nuts and bolts for himself and the company.

If men can plan things with extraordinary precision, be it accountants, rocket scientists or Chess players, why would God do any less? Why wouldn’t God have a plan or budget for enough food or medication for everybody? Why wouldn’t God have enough leaders and doctors and followers and … for the world to function properly? I believe God has it all properly budgeted. It is just that we don’t take time to figure out what’s important and how best to allocate and manage the resources that we are. We are self-managing resources in God’s budget.

September 23, 2007

Stewardship Sunday: make a baby for the Church or increase your weekly offerings by $4.58

Filed under: Fun (Jokes etc),Happiness,Meditation,Money,Reason for Breathing,Thanksgiving — Steve (Chessiq) @ 2:37 pm

Today is Stewardship Sunday. Today’s sermon was inspiring and funny. We were reminded that it is our duty to give to God what is not ours in the first place; that we can give through the things/property we own, through time/service, and through talents. One of my favorite Jesus’ sayings: if you cannot be trusted with small things, how can you be trusted with the bigger things. (Well, something like that!)

The funny part of the homily was when Father Vic told us that the Parish ran a deficit of about $70,000 last year. This was due to Teacher salary increments and lower school enrollment. The former increased the expenses, while the later reduced the income. Not a good combination. The Priests, (we have two), had come up with two solutions/alternatives for us: either we stop having 1 or 2 children and go back to the old Catholic way of 10 or more to increase future school enrollment, or we should increase our weekly contribution by $4.58(?)!!!

What a tough choice! (I may do both! I will just ask the Church to take care of all the expenses for the 10 kids!)

September 15, 2007

Thankful for life when you have nothing…

Filed under: Happiness,Meditation,Reason for Breathing,Thanksgiving,World Issues — Steve (Chessiq) @ 10:20 am

Here is a classic in my opinion. It reminds me that I can still be thankful even when I seem not to have anything to be thankful for.

Here is one more Nina Simone song/video that I really like.

September 11, 2007

Mother Teresa

Filed under: Meditation,Reason for Breathing,Thanksgiving — Steve (Chessiq) @ 8:44 pm

Thanks to Paul Collins Collins Fine Art www.collinsart.com for allowing me to post this FINE ART here. I saw it a couple of weeks ago and I could not resist sending the artist a request for permission to have it here. I would like to buy this piece some day.

September 9, 2007

Open Book Secrets?

Filed under: Blogging,Happiness,Meditation,Reason for Breathing,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 11:57 am

Why reveal yourself to the world?

A couple of my friends have wondered why I blog, and why I write about my thoughts (and feelings) for the world to see. I am not sure if I have given a complete and satisfactory answer to them. I know that I have given them an honest answer/explanation. Most of the things I share, are inconsequential to me (and them). People will know something about me, my thoughts and reflections, and then what? I understand the fear of sharing your life with “strangers”, but I am not sure there is anything a stranger can do with the info I provide. So I have no fears or misgivings about my thoughts/life being out there, even though I am a private (and introverted) individual. The thing that made me start blogging is that I have all these ideas that come into my mind that I never really share with anyone. Some could be helpful, some are just interesting that they even crossed my mind, some is just knowledge that I may come back to later, and some of it is just a way for me to let out the pressure, emotions, feelings, ideas, etc. I could have made it all private, where nobody could see it, but that would mean things that can help somebody would be hoarded. I am not sure I want to keep information that is useful for the general populace to myself. A way to overcome that would be to have several blogs… private and public. Kinda a pain. But that’s what I am doing… I have a private journal/diary… online! and I have a public blog. I share some of my thoughts and feelings at this blog. But not nearly enough. There are things that I cannot write here at all. What are my fears, desires, deepest thoughts, memories, food for thought, reactions, etc. Those are things that I have determined, I cannot share with the public because they are so so so… private and personal to me. I have also determined they would do nobody good if they saw it. May be people could take advantage of me then. May be some would be mad that I thought this of them. etc. So what people see here is not all that I am. I am not sure it is possible to figure out a person even if you read their most private diaries or journals. You will have a very good idea, and then what?

Why go online?

I have been transforming to having most of my stuff online for a while. Leo, at zenhabits.net made me realize that this was the right thing to do. He had his own reasons for doing what he does. He didn’t mention journaling. He, however, mentioned things like saving his photos and (other) files online. Of course, you can make these public or private too. You just need to spend some time thinking things over and learning about the system and yourself to see what’s best for you. Anyway, why go online? Well, several reasons. It is portable, as long as you have Internet connection. Thus you don’t have to carry a ton of things around and worry about losing any of it etc. I think it is secure. You don’t have to worry about somebody finding your stuff if you don’t want them to. Well, for the most part! Hackers or system failures or whatever can end up making your info open to the public or you can even lose it all. But I would rather have a stranger read my info and not know what to do with it, that somebody whom I have considered a friend or best friend, do the same and use it against me or get hurt or ask me a million questions or misinterpret what I wrote 10 years ago. I don’t have to worry about where I kept my diary/journal at all or who has access to it. If somebody figures out my username and password, props to them!

Why keep a journal at all?

You can look it up online to see why it is important to keep a journal. For me, there are several reasons. First, I forget important things all the time. Sometimes people get hurt when I don’t remember stuff. Sometimes I just appear dumb. etc. Keeping a journal and reviewing it every so often, enables me to help my brain remember things that are important or interesting, that I would otherwise not remember. Second, it helps me keep track of my goals, thoughts, visions, etc. David Allen said it best in Getting Things Done: “There is no reason for you to have the same thought twice, unless you really like that thought”… (or something like that). I want to record things and free my mind for the next thought, idea, vision, emotion, etc. Third, I think that when I write, I feel better… I know myself better… I understand my life better… I guess because I have to explain things – for example, why I feel a certain way, instead of just accepting the final product/emotion/thought/decision. There are more reasons, but that’s all I can think of right now. Oh, well, one more reason…. What proof is there that I existed at one time? If I look back to my great grandpa… the only proof of his existence is my grandparents and my parents and me.. I guess. There is no other record for me to see them. No pictures, no journals, no stories that anyone can repeat to me or let me read/see; nothing to tell me that he even envisioned my presence some day… well, I don’t mean to set a high standard or judge them harshly. May be it is not even important! But I would like to leave some traces behind. My thoughts as to how I would want to raise my kids and why. Why I would like my kids and grandkids to have a better life than I did/do, and what I am doing about it. May be in the future, somebody will discover how xgq3445(&&(>> (I don’t know what they will call us at that time!) thought. I don’t know. I think, therefore I am. I write, I am.

I may change my mind about all this some day!

August 30, 2007

Don’t slow down the good stuff

Filed under: Happiness,Reason for Breathing,Thoughts and Reflections — Steve (Chessiq) @ 7:58 pm

slow_play_turtle.jpgI was thinking about how addictions come about and how friendship and love get lost. How do people who at one time were absolute best friends end up not talking at all or run out of things to talk about in seconds? I realized quickly that the process is usually deliberate – (deliberate as in “slow”, consistent chipping and eroding, the way the elements turn rock into sand and soil).

Addictions: I have read or heard that people get addicted to good or bad stuff by starting off with small steps and then repeating them over and over while gradually increasing the time or amount of exposure to the addictive thing.

Habits: I have read or heard that if you do something at least once a day for 21 days, it will becpme a habit. It may be harder and slower at the beginning, but with more practice and exposure, you become good at it, regardless of whether the habit is good or bad.

Love and friendship: This I have heard, read, seen and experienced. You start off by not liking something that your buddy has done or said and you extend it to the person. You may start off by not doing something small that you always do when things are okay: cook or write or call or smile or talk or … thus denying the person something that has been a given or constant when things are okay. Next time something happens that you don’t like, you will default to doing what you did the last time, only this time, the not talking or calling or smiling or … takes longer. May be an hour. Next time, may be half a day. Before you know it, a whole week has passed. Then the rationalization is something like, “I guess I have proved that I can live without him or her”, or “since I have made it so far, why should I go back to the old stuff?” etc.

The point of the foregoing is that as the bad stuff picks up, the good stuff slows down until it all disappears and all you have is the bad stuff. You remain with the anger, the silence, the loneliness, the fights, the detachment, etc. The love, the laughter, the dancing, the companionship, the trust, the warmth… is gone.

Unless what you really want is to get rid of the good stuff, you ought to make the extra effort to make the good stay or at least not slow down. When it is hardest to hold hands, may be hold hands at that time. When you feel like not calling is the solution, call (unless you have a very good reason not to). When you feel like not looking into the other person’s eyes, do it. It doesn’t matter whether you always start. When you don’t feel like giving it a chance, do so. Don’t wait. If you wait, you will get good at waiting and doing what you do while waiting, and the good stuff will disappear.

The greatest thing is that whatever you choose to do, you live with the consequences. “He who seeketh, findeth!”

Thanks to http://www.golfvic.org.au/dir127/vgasite.nsf for the image.
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