Tag Archives: Thoughts

Grandeur of our Universe

I just got a glimpse of the real grandeur of the universe and the immensity of God. How large & magnificent can the Creator be to have made the universe.

A few weeks back my son & I were walking around the neighborhood & my son saw a red ant hill. He runs over to it, takes a stick & goes to destroy the ant hill. I stop him and tell him to leave the ants alone. I remember imaging an ant looking up and being overwhelmed by the shear size of my son in relationship to theirs.

Earth & the SunSo today I got a feeling of what the ants might have visualized.

The perspective of our place on earth. I am one person in, a small town in the state of Florida, in the best country on earth. Now imagine the U.S.A. in relationship to the mass of the earth. Then the relationship of the earth to the sun (that’s the earth on the lower right side), the third rock from the Sun. Then just picture our solar system compared to our galaxy and the size of our galaxy compared with the universe.

Yes, I know this is actually old news – and yes any grade school science student knows that. The science is elementary, so I won’t go there – What I want to discuss is something bigger, more magnificent – so just hang on & ride it out with me…

Imagine the grandeur of a Creator that can conceive all of this!

Our Earth is really tiny compared to the sun. This is enough to leave me in awe! but I want you to know that our sun is only an ordinary star, classified as a dwarf star. There are more than 100 million such stars in our galaxy.

If our Sun is a dwarf then imagine the size of a Giant star! A typical one is about the size of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Now picture a star even larger! so large that “Giant” is not enough to describe it. The scientists had to come up with a name like “SuperGiant.”

Beatelgeuse vs Our SunA star that fits this description is Betelgeuse (More…)

So in comparison, imagine the size of a creator that can conceive Betelgeuse as only one in a million NO billions of stars.

That little white spec on the lower left side, under Antares, is our sun. WOW I feel so small!

That is nothing! Check out the next step and the greatness of our Creator.

Yes Betelgeuse is thousands of times larger then our sun. So large that our Sun is barely a spec next to Betelgeuse, but imagine even bigger stars!

How about a star so large that ‘Super’ is not enough to describe it. It is classified as a ‘HyperGiant.’

VY Canis MajorisImagine a star that is 2100 times larger then our Sun. VY Canis Majoris (More…) is such a star.

This really leaves me in awe!

Our sun is but a pixel next to this giant. Can you imagine the vastness of the universe where this HyperGiant exists only as one piece of a giant constellation!?

Now imagine a creator that can conceive of all of this.

He is so grand that we as humans cannot even fathom this greatness. He is all, sees all and is omnipresent, even with us.

So grand that anything we conceive as a ‘BIG’ concern, issue or problem is minuscule compared to the greatness of God. By this I mean that anything and everything is do-able for God! Nothing is a ‘big problem’ for him and the vastness of His compassion can help us with our BIGGEST problem.

Think of this the next time that you are dealing with the ‘problems’ of life:

“Don’t tell God how big your problems are…tell your problems how big God is.”

Give them all to God and surrender to His greatness. I ask you to accept His generosity, compassion and His LOVE. His love is bigger then anything we can ever imagine!

Here is the whole thing for a complete perspective.

It is truly breathtaking to see it put together like this video shows.

The grandeur of our universe never seizes to amaze!

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Lessons Learned from Randy

Tribute to Randy Pausch on Google

I, like millions of people have watched Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture on YouTube. This lecture is extremely powerful, empowering and has been impactful in my life. I developed a great appreciation for Randy’s wisdom and the lessons this Carnegie Mellon professor had for us. This talk is meant to teach life’s lessons as his legacy in life.

Now that Randy has past away, how can his legacy live on in me? I am a firm believer in that everything that is put before me, there’s a lesson to be learned. So what are my, as Randy puts it, “Lessons learned…” What lessons can I get out of Randy’s life experiences, and his passing, to “achieve my dreams and enable the dreams of other.”

I thought about that a little bit more and went back to listen to the lecture. This is what I came up with – my list of 10 things I’ve learned from Randy’s lecture (in no particular order):

1. The Brick Walls are there for a Reason: Walls are there to separate those who do not want it bad enough from those with the dedication and commitment to live their lives to the fullest. It is there to allow us to climb over them and get to the other side even when we do not know what is on the other side. Reaching for what you want requires work – so work hard. Scale those walls and show that you have the desire.

Everyday life has a way of putting hurdles in our path. Some may seem insurmountable, but it is in my passion for life that I can overcome them. It is in me to excel and jump over those hurdles.

2. Disney Imagineering – The Nicest “Go to Hell Letters”: Anybody can get chewed out and rejected. It is in how you receive & accept the feedback (even just seeing it as feedback). Learning from the rejections & the failures is one of the biggest lessons in life. At the end of the lecture Randy says it is the rare person that can “cherish it and use it” to grow as a person.

3. Wait Long Enough & People Will Surprise & Impress You : Perseverance is the key. Give people the time & the space they need to find their own greatness. Guide them along their paths so they can get themselves to where they want to be. As Randy says, “Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.”

Give up whatever impression you may have of them. Don’t make them wrong and allow them to be themselves. You may be surprised!

4. Good Way & Bad Way of Saying ‘NO’ : It is in the attitude & in the words I use that I can influence/ get people to do what I want from them. It is a way of being that I can create for myself. I can have something worth saying but saying it to empower others (not to disempower them) is where the powers lies.

At the end of the lecture he shares something Andy Van Dam told him. “It’s such a shame that people perceive you as so arrogant, because it’s going to limit what you are going to be able to accomplish in life.” Randy continues with “What a hell of a good way to word – you’re being a jerk!” It was in the positive nature of the wording that this became a constructive conversation.

5. The Next Star Wars Film :When Tommy shared his dreams, Randy said “You know they are probably not going to make those next movies…” and Tommy said “No they are!” This shows me that no matter what people say or think, just live your dreams. Don’t let people dissuade you from living & achieving them.

6. You Obviously Don’t Know Where the Bar Should Be – You’re Only Going To Do Them a Disservice by Putting it Anywhere : Dream Big!! Randy was amazed that his students did not stop and “just kept going!!” Do not sell people short by my own limits and perceptions. Encourage people to give their best & they will surely do so. See people bigger then they see themselves and they will live into who you make them out to be. Create an energy where greatness comes from believing one is great!

7. My Favorite Moment in 10 Years is a Brilliant Ad Lib : “He pulls out his ninja sword and says – ‘I am dishonored!’ and just drops.” What I got from this moment is that the best part of life are the moments that are unplanned and are true and honest from the heart.

This is where we get to live our life to the fullest and where I can create a great bond with people. Being authentic, honest & real with myself will allow me to be just that with others.

8. The Yin and the Yang : The left and right side of the brain are essential for the success out of anything I do. The Geek and the Artist in me / the Good & the Bad are both necessary for being complete. One cannot live without sharing with the other.

9. Paint My Bedroom : Let your kids paint their bedroom. Allow them to flourish & encourage them to be self-expressed. His parents may have been reluctant, but they saw the spark in his eye and encouraged him to express his creativity. They allowed him to express himself – even if it was unconventional art.

As an architect, I know the value the environment can cause to spark the creative flame in people. And I also know the value I can create in my son by giving him the space to express his artistic flare.

10. Are You a Tigger or an Eeyore? : Are you going to live your life having FUN or not? You get to choose. Like Randy says, it is not only a choice but its a requirement. “I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there’s no other way to play it.” There really is no other option. We will all die and at the end of our lives, do we want to be remembered, like Randy, “as a person who had fun” or as a person who never allowed himself to enjoy his life. You choose!

OK, so getting ten powerful tenets from Randy’s lecture is incredible and an amazing contribution, on Randy’s part! And then I get to the end of his lecture and he throws out “How to get people to help you?” This hit home because it has been a big one in my life. Inspiring & enrolling others to follow me has been challenging. So what is the “lesson learned?”

You Can’t Get There Alone : Acknowledge the people in your life. Tell the truth to others & to yourself. Show gratitude & appreciation. Have an intention or purpose in your life to live for and share that with others. Live for others and they will give you your dreams.

Inspire in them their dreams & they will be inspired by your dreams.

Lastly Randy reveals the great “head fake,” the lesson we did not know we were meant to learn –

It is not about how to achieve your dreams, but how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the Karma will take care of itself.

“The dreams will come to you.”

So at the end of Randy’s lecture, I realize that in our daily life, we get caught up in the circumstances, the daily challenges and the hurdles we have to jump. Constantly bumping into the proverbial “brick wall” of life and constantly staying stuck inside my head. It is about getting outside of your ‘self’ & contributing to others. Being with others and giving of yourself to others. This is where life fulfills your dreams.

I have only one choice! I cannot stay wallowing in my junk. I must allow myself to experience life and to have fun while living it. There really is no other way to play it!

Thank you Randy for
who you were. Your legacy lives on!

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Today is our 20th Anniversary!

This video is titled – Habibi Ya Nour El Ain. Loosely translated it means My Love – You are the light of my eyes.

I dedicate this video to my wife. 20 years ago today, I made her a promise of love, trust & understanding. I still hold dear that promise. See for the last few weeks I’ve been upset that we are not communication, but I forgot something. I forgot that when two people love each other deeply the communication is also deeper then just verbal, physical or even emotional. It’s spiritual…

What do I mean, well let me tell you what happened today. This morning my wife left by 6:30 & I did not get to see her. When I got up, I got my cup of coffee & right next to the coffee machine was a card, a small gift wrapped in paper & a tall box. All sitting on the counter waiting for me. I opened the card & read the words. I opened the small gift & it was a spiritual CD. So I hate to admit it but the CD of hymns stopped me & I said to myself “I don’t have time for this, I’ll open the tall box later.” So I rushed out the door with my cup of coffee and went to work.

As the day progressed, my son & I went to get her a card and some flowers. As I’m looking thru the card aisle nothing seemed interesting & as I was ready to leave, a card at the bottom shelf caught my eye. I turn around & go check it out. The front was a black & white card with vines on it. I open up the card & before I could read it the music started playing. It was a very slow tempo song, sort of beep-bop song from the fifties. I immediately closed it without reading it because I did not like the song, put it back on the shelf & I said to myself “I don’t have time for this!”

I walked away, but something called me back! I opened the card again, ignoring the music & start to read the words. it said

“When I married you, I made you a promise to love you…”

WOW that’s exactly what I did & all of a sudden that promise was brand new for me again! So of course I got the card.

But the surprising part came when I got home. I gave my wife the card & flowers. As she is reading the card, she gasps! I ask her “what’s the matter?” She says “Open the box & read the name of the sculpture that is inscribed on the bottom.” As I grab the statue – a couple in a loving embrace – turn it upside down, inscribed on the bottom are the words…

“The Promise”

Wow! I can believe it. this is us in that loving embrace! We are both in a spiritual embrace and I didn’t even take the time to recognize it. We have both chosen “the Promise” in the gifts that we were giving to each other. Reaffirming that we are in sync with one another – even when the physical world only gives us challanges. I just have to trust that there is a greater force and we are one with it.

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You Can Count On Me

Today I am feeling a little sad & melancholic. In a couple of days it will be my wife’s & my 20th year anniversary and we are not getting along too well. I’ve tried creating communication with her but it never goes how I want it to. I do things that I think will make her happy & it does not turn out that way.

To give you an example. Yesterday I decided to clean the house. My wife is working alot with her new business. She is even working on Saturdays till 5pm & has not had time to do the usual chores. It started simply enough. As I’m cleaning, my son tells me he wants to get a goldfish. I needed to prime the pump, clean the tank & get the water conditioned for the fish, but the sink was full of dirty dishes. So I think – get my son involved in the chores “I’ll clean out the dishes and you help me by putting them in the dishwasher.” I thought innocent enough – no big deal, but that is what it became – A Big Deal! In that moment my wife walks in the door, sees us doing the dishes, the vacuum hose sprawled out on the floor & the furniture moved around. She walks in & does not say a word. She picks up the vacuum I had left on the floor & starts vacuuming. Good so far right? She’s getting into it!

– wrong – a storm’s a brewing and I didn’t even see the clouds roll in!

Within minutes the thunder clapped with “I walk in the door & you guys don’t even kiss me hello! – never mind!” Then more cleaning – this time furiously – Oh Boy! something is going on! Even my son noticed. He finished the dishes and before I knew it he was gone to his room. Now the storm is in full force! Thunder and lighting – then a sharp lighting cracked “You don’t have to smack me in the face like that!!” Whaaaat is going on?! Where did this come from & why is she feeling attacked just because I am cleaning the house?

So anyway I said to myself “I am not getting into a fight” & told her “My only intention is to clean the house.” I must have missed something or not seen something, but boy was she mad. Avoiding a fight, I left the room. I went upstairs to clean the bedrooms. Without intending, this really pissed her off even more, because 1 hour later I came downstairs & she just continues with : “Don’t start now thinking that you’re so wonderful at cleaning.” Holy sh&t;! I can’t be with this! Since when is cleaning the house a way of putting her down. I honestly did not intend nor think that she would respond like that!

Honestly, I did not have any ulterior motive in cleaning the house, except to clean it. Yes, normally this is not one of my chores, but I just could not take the dust anymore. I was physically getting sick (I have sinus problems & dust kills me!) The only thing that is present for me is that I did have an expectation that she would be happy. The thing that really saddens me is – when did I become the enemy?

In moments like this, I don’t know what to say or do – so I withdraw. All I can do is be sad with where the argument went OR I can empower myself and just express what I really feel – if only here.

So this song does that for me. It says what I originally wanted to say & feel.

Precious love
I’ll give to you
Blue as the sky and deep in the
Eyes of a love so true
Beautiful face
You make me feel
Light on the stairs
And lost in the air of a love so real

You can count on me
Count on my love
Count on me
Count on my love to see you through

Emerald eyes and China perfume
Caught on the wheel and lost in
The feel of a love so soon
Ruby lips
You make my song
Into the night and saved by the light
Of a love so strong

And you can count on me
Count on my love, baby
Count on me
Count on my love to see you through

Oooh, you can count on me, girl
You can count on my love

Precious love
I’ll give it to you
Blue as the sky and deep in the
Eyes of a love so true
Beautiful face
You make me feel
Light on the stairs
And lost in the air of a love so real

And you can count on me
Count on my love
Count on me
Count on my love to see you through
– Jefferson Starship : Count On Me

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Pure Love Comes Home

Last night my 10yr old son came home from a 3 week vacation in Ecuador, South America. My wife & I were so excited to be at the airport and pick him up. See he’s flying back with 2 of my sister, & 6 more nieces & nephews. I was anxiously waiting in the terminal with my wife, my brother, sister, sister-in-law, brother-in-law… We were a whole troop! Everyone is in conversation passing the time, but in my head I was only focused on seeing my son.

After a while of waiting & seeing many passengers arriving, we started getting anxious & saying, “they’re next out thru those doors. No – this time really – They’re the next ones.” Another 30 minutes later I see 2 female figures with a bunch of kids coming in the distance. It had to be them. Who else is crazy enough to travel with 5 boys & 2 girls at 1 am. I see all the kids jumping around & having fun. Sure enough my son is one of those kids jumping around and carefree just goofing off.

But as soon as he saw me with my arms stretched out wide open welcoming him home, he started crying. Immediately starts running towards me and jumps in the air into my open arms – matrix-like in slow motion – almost knocking me over! I’ve never seen him run that fast! Sobbingly he says “Dad I’ve missed you!” In that moment, nobody else existed around us. We hugged for what felt like an eternity & he squeezed me with so much love and sentiment. Wow! there is nothing more powerful then a pure expression of love like this one.

I have missed him & he has missed me just as much. When I asked him why he was crying, he replied “No dad, those are tears of joy! I really didn’t realize how much I’ve missed you.”

In that instant, I realized that nothing else matters. Nothing!

No matter what the struggles of life; no matter what my family thinks of me & how we’re raising our son; No matter the tribulations of life; no matter the criticism, all that matters is that my son loves me! He loves his dad with all his heart & I love him!

Not that my wife & I were failing him, but life; the negative opinions and criticism of others; and even worse of all – my little voice in my head! All have a way of making me forget who I am for my family. All have a way of allowing me to disempower myself. I just got validation that I am a good dad. No matter what anybody says or thinks – I am – and I can again trust that what my heart says to me is genuine compared to what my mind tells me.

I will from this day forward trust my heart and know that I am doing what’s right for my family.

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