Quotes On Friendship, Leadership, & Discerning


We all need friends with whom we can speak of our deepest concerns, and who do not fear to speak the truth in love to us.
- Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

A leader is a fellow who refuses to be crazy the way everybody else is crazy and tries to be crazy in his own crazy way.
- Peter Maurin, from "Easy Essay" in The Catholic Worker

We would do well not to be enamored by the kind of leadership that is so prized by politicians and CEOs, the kind that is conspicuous and, as we say, "effective." Forget about charisma, go for character.
- Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor (adapted)

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. … This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.
- Peter Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization

The very first thing which needs to be said about Christian ministers of all kinds is that they are "under" people (as their servants) rather than "over" them (as their leaders, let alone their lords). Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power.
- John Stott, The Gospel and the End of Time

He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes.
- Chinese Proverb

A belief that God acts with purpose in this world must lead to attempts, however feeble, to discern how my own actions might be attuned to God's one action.
- William Barry in Presence

Discerning and acting on God's will does not mean you'll never have difficult days or feel lousy sometimes. But choosing to live in alignment with God makes you more joyful, compassionate, and peaceful, even on bad days.
- Debra K. Farrington, Hearing with the Heart

God guides us first through his Word, then through our heartfelt desires, then the wise counsel of others, and then our circumstances. At that point we must rely on our own sound judgment… . God gave each of us a brain, and he expects us to put it to good use.
- Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God

A Talent may be so great that it propels a person forever down one path, as is the case with some artists. But even for these extraordinary folks, call determines whether and how they use their gifts.
- Elizabeth O'Connor, Cry Pain, Cry Hope

Circumstance and coincidence may cause us to be in the right place at the right time to do God's work in a specific way.
- Suzanne Farnham, Listening Hearts

God is always calling us! But there are distinctive moments in this call of his, moments which leave a permanent mark on us—moments which we never forget.
- Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert

In His will is our peace.
- Dante, The Divine Comedy: Paradise


The Poison That Never Was

Author Unknown

A long time ago in China, a woman named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it!

Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr.Huang thought for a while, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you." Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do."

Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspect You.When she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. "Don ' t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen."

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother.After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset.

She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law ' s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find.Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again.

She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her."

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."

Have you realized that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you?

There is a wise Chinese saying: "The person who loves others will also be loved in return."

God might be trying to work in another person's life through you.


Miracle Behind the Wall

Author unknown

In order to renovate the house, a carpenter in Japan tears open the wall. Japanese houses normally have a hollow space between the wooden walls. When tearing down the walls, he found that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from outside hammered into one of its feet. He sees this, feels pity, and at the same time curious, as when he checked the nail, it was nailed for many years ago when the house was first built. What happened? The lizard has survived in such position for years!

In a dark wall partition for many years without moving, it is impossible and mind boggling. Then he wondered how this lizard survived for many years without moving a single step -- since its foot was nailed. So he stopped his work and observed the lizard, what it has been doing, and what and how it has been eating.

Later, not knowing from where it came, appears a young lizard, with food in its mouth. Ah! He was stunned and touched deeply. For the lizard that was stuck by nail, a young lizard has been tirelessly feeding it for the past many years.

Such concern, such a beautiful concern! Such care happened even with this tiny creature. What can being concerned do? It can do wonders! Being caring for others can do miracles.

Imagine, it has been doing that untiringly for many long years, without giving up hope on its partner.

Hope is in the next generation.


When The Lord Calls, Harden Not Your Heart

My Sister's Email To Me

Hi Bro,

I just want to share a very wonderful experience today, as I woke up, I failed to wake up early hence I was unable to go to work.

I opened your blog in the internet, where there are inspirational reflections and I come to open the song ‘Your Heart Today’ piano-played by a certain Manoling Franciscio, impulse was, I sang with him though it was my first time to hear that song. It moved me, emotionally, and I crave to learn the song immediately. So I played it several times, on and on, and I have it recorded in my portable media player. I want more of it, I searched for chords if there are any in the internet, but to no avail, I somehow was directed to the YouTube website where there are similar songs (spiritual songs). And I clicked on the song with ‘Power of Your Love’ and the video came with lyrics, and I sang all out, it touched me so much, I feel a sudden mixed emotions, I started crying. I realize how much I miss the Lord, I have had a distant relationship with him since I moved here in the Middle East. I miss singing praises, I miss attending to worship gatherings, I just miss Him. But He never failed me, although I’m that distant, His spirit is still very much alive in me, providing me the essentials of living a Christian life and most especially making me realize that He is alive and is here, no matter how things are going in life, God is here.

I feel so refreshed after having received God’s message for me today. I will continue to praise Him….He is my God and in Him I belong.

Thank you bro for posting the song in your blog. I’m sure someone else's heart will be touched by that song's message.

Love & Prayers,

Our Big Brother's Email to Sis

Dear Sis,

I am glad to know you found time to refresh with the Lord. It is really true, the Lord sometimes calls us in a very special way..just to be with Him in the most serene moments.

I used to experience God calling me through illness so I can spend quiet time with Him away from the very busy work schedules. Sometimes, it will be through my kids having illness and brought to the hospital... there I could spend time to reflect and freshen up spiritually as I volunteered to be the watcher.

My wife and I have just arrived home from the nationwide Student Leadership Conferences in the 3 locations. We were out for nearly 3 weeks. It was a fulfilling experience for us knowing that the Lord gave us the privilege to minister to about 500 students this year. Last year we had about 450 student leaders attending the conference. This is our way of leaving a legacy for the next generation of Christian Leaders.

How are you and your husband? You are always in our prayer list everyday... we do have long list of things and people to be prayed for, as God is entrusting to us new responsibilities and territories.

Wish you all the best things that could happen to your life...with the guidance of our Lord Jesus.

Big Bro

When the Lord calls, He breaths His purpose into the spirit and the heart is filled and lives for the call.

[Psalms 95:7-8] For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.


Your Heart Today

By Manoling Fanciscio, SJ - Bukas Palad

Where there is fear, I can allay
Where there is pain, I can heal
Where there are wounds, I can bind
And hunger, I can fill


Lord, grant me courage
Lord, grant me strength
Grant me compassion
That I may be your heart today

Where there is hate, I can confront
Where there are yokes, I can release
Where there are captives, I can free
And anger, I can appease

(Repeat Refrain)


When comes the day I dread
To see a broken world
Compel me from my cell grown cold
That your people I may behold

Where there is fear, I can allay
Where there is pain, I can heal
Where there are wounds, I can bind
And hunger, I can fill

(Repeat Refrain)

And when I’ve done, all that I could
Yet there are hearts, I cannot move
Lord, give me hope
That I may be your heart today

Dulce sang this song at the funeral rites of the former president Corazon Aquino at Manila Cathedral, August 5, 2009.


Death As A Law of Life

By Frank Mihalic

Around us everyday we see many examples of death bringing forth life. A kernel of corn is buried and it grows into a tall cornstalk. The ice cube dissolves and it cools the water. A match burns itself out to light a fire. Water gets itself dirty to clean you. A battery goes dead giving you music and light. Wood burns itself out to cook your food. A tree dies to give you sago. Animals and plants die to give you your food.

By dying, all these things rise to a higher life. That is what death of a Christian is all about.

* * *
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15)

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)

Truly a servant even unto death. Now she is finally free from her earthly tasks after going through the final phase of her purpose on earth.

Memories of her may die with the passing of time, but the impact of the legacy of this reluctant leader will surely live and flourish for generations to come.

In her death, may her dreams for the nation rise from the ashes of people's distrust of leaders, and passed on to flourish in the new hearts and minds of the next generations.