Life is Not About Waiting for the Storm to Pass…

Life is not about  waiting for the storm to pass ...it’s about learning to dance in the rain

I love learning about individuals who have overcome difficult obstacles.  What makes them inspirational to me is that they have been willing to endure tough moments, overcome doubts, and work at their skill set until everything has come together in a positive way.

Today’s story involves a young woman who has endured tough times and come out on top. I recognize that not everyone will succeed in just the same way.

For some of us, success may mending a relationship. For others, success may be an accomplishment in spite of a handicap.  For yet others, it may be nothing more than not giving up.

We all have difficulties and obstacles. My prayer is that, collectively, we will all endure the hard moments and wade through our difficulties and find that place in our hearts where love and peace and hope can eternally dwell. I hope you enjoy today’s story. For further enlightenment, go to YouTube.com and enjoy listening to Charice as well!

The Story of Charice Pempengco

Charice Pempengco’s dream of becoming a singer began halfway around the world in the Philippines. She found a following on the Internet after a stranger posted her jaw-dropping performances on YouTube.

Oprah’s producers were among the 13 million people who logged on to watch this 16-year-old sensation sing songs made famous by artists like Celine Dion and Beyoncé. Then, in May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

Millions of viewers were moved by Charice’s powerful voice—including Gayle King. “That evening Gayle called me,” Oprah says. “She said she fell off her treadmill when she heard that girl.” Oprah says the performance blew her Manolos off!

Charice’s voice wasn’t the only thing that impressed Oprah. “One of the things I love most about Charice is that no matter what obstacles she’s faced in her life, she’s never given up on her dream of something better,” Oprah says.

In the small Filipino village where Charice lived as a child, there wasn’t much to sing about. When Charice was 3 years old, she says she remembers seeing her father fly into a fit of rage and take out his anger on her mother. She says she watched as he choked and attacked her.

Charice says the argument escalated, and her dad grabbed a shotgun and pointed it at her mom. “My dad was about to shoot my mom, and I couldn’t do anything,” she says.

Neighbors heard screams and broke down the door just in time. Fraternidad, a former neighbor, remembers it clearly. “The gun [was] pointed to the mother and then the children are crying,” she says.

Charice and her mother escaped with their lives. “We left my dad, and after that, I never saw him and I don’t want to see him,” she says. “I’m just singing now for my mom. I didn’t help her before. That’s why I want to help her now.”

When Charice was just 4 years old, her mom discovered her talent for the first time. “She thought the radio [was] playing,” Charice says. “She went to the living room, and she saw me singing and she was, like, ‘Oh, my gosh. She’s singing.'”

A few years later, Charice entered a singing contest. “Some people [were] saying that I’m not good enough and I’m not pretty,” she says. “I just wanted to prove that they’re wrong.”

When Charice first decided to enter competitions, her mother was working 16 hours a day, six days a week at a garment factory. Charice signed up for more than 80 contests to help support her family. “I really want[ed] to help Mom,” she says. “When I’m joining singing contests, and I won some $50, she was, like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have some food for one month, and we’re very happy.'”

After years of struggling financially—even being homeless—Charice has been able to use her contest winnings to help her mother pay for an apartment in a nice neighborhood. Charice now has her own room where she can draw, sing, play the guitar and continue to dream. “I think this is a big improvement because we’re more peaceful, and we’re happy,” she says.

In her bedroom, Charice has a notebook where she keeps drawings of the singers she idolizes, like Celine Dion. “I can say this is my dream notebook,” she says.

Charice can now say her dreams are beginning to come true, starting with an introduction to one of the most famous names in the music business. After hearing Charice sing, Oprah just couldn’t get the little girl with the big voice out of her head.

Instead of flying back to the Philippines after her appearance on The Oprah Show, producers pulled Charice off the plane and brought her back to Harpo Studios. Then, Oprah called legendary producer David Foster to see what the starmaker could do for Charice.

David invited Charice to join him in Las Vegas for a PBS special called “Hit Man: David Foster & Friends.” Backstage, Charice ran into some of show’s headliners, like Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. “I’m so glad I don’t have to follow you because that would suck for me very badly,” Michael said to Charice. “Because no matter how good I am, I know that you’d kick my butt.”

Charice then took the stage and sang three songs, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to a crowd of 10,000. Her soul-stirring performance brought the audience to its feet. “A star is born tonight,” David said.

Charice’s summer of dreams didn’t end there—after her performance, she received a surprise call from world-famous singer Andrea Bocelli. Within weeks, Charice was on her way to Italy to meet Andrea and sing a special duet with the renowned tenor. “That’s really a dream come true for me,” she says. “I really love Andrea Bocelli because he’s my idol. When I was younger, I’m always drawing some things like me singing with Celine and me singing with Mr. Andrea Bocelli.”

More than 8,000 people gathered in the Tuscan countryside near Andrea’s hometown for the exclusive concert. Together, they sang “The Prayer,” a song that holds special meaning for Charice. “I think that God is always listening to all my prayers, and I have so many dreams in my life,” she says. “That’s why I’m always praying that someday I’m going to achieve all my dreams.”

“The first song that I learned was ‘My Heart Will Go On,'” Charice says. “Of course I want to sing with [Celine Dion] soon, I wish, someday.”

After her performance, Charice learns she has a fan who’s been waiting to speak with her via satellite. She’s a working mom with a 7-year-old who also loves to sing. She also happens to be one of Charice’s idols—Celine Dion!

Celine says watching Charice sing left her speechless. “I can tell you that we have lots of things in common. I was very shy too. And I also had a mother—still have a mother—who is my strength,” Celine says. “You have more talent than most people. You can sing. You can speak and sing with your heart. You can play guitar. You can draw. And you can have dreams.”

Because Charice shares so much of her talent with others, Celine wants to give Charice something in return. “I’m going to be singing at Madison Square Garden, and I would love to ask you to come and sing a duet with me,” she says. “Maybe we can sing ‘Because You Loved Me,’ and maybe we can dedicate this song to your mother.”

Now it’s Charice who’s left speechless! “Thank you, idol,” she says.

Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/teen-singing-sensation_1

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When We Have Health, We Have the Most Important Tool for Success!

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything Arabian Proverb

There once was a time when I was sick – 24/7. Each day, for approximately 15 years, was  spent coping with a migraine headache that never ended. Due to the incessant pain, the last 5 of those years included severe depression.

I look back on those years now with gratitude. I am so very grateful for the healing that I was allowed to experience. Even more, I am grateful for the strength that I was granted by the Lord during those grueling years.

During some of those years, I dealt with a busy household of 6 children – 4 of them being teenagers. Along with that busy household, my husband and I ran two businesses.

There eventually came a time when I could no longer cope but the fact that I was able to function as well as I did for so many years is nothing short of a miracle.

As a result of those experiences, I have gained a passion for health that is rarely gained by being healthy. My eyes and heart have been opened to effectiveness of many alternative therapies and relying on the Lord’s guidance. I have also seen the pervasive failures found within the walls of western medicine’s sick care. Additionally, my near-death experience has taught me the priceless gift that life is for each of us.

There is so much more to being healthy than popping prescription pills! Our thoughts, our mindset, our attitude, our movement (or lack of), the foods we eat and the company we keep all contribute their important part to our health! Stay tuned…I am going to be sharing more in the future about my journey back to health.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Be sure today’s inspiring stories about two wonderful people who found health and healing in their lives!

Stamatis Moraitis

Stamatis Moraitis was a Greek war veteran who was living in the United States when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told he had only 9 months to live. He was offered aggressive treatment, but after 9 doctors apparently assured him that it wouldn’t save his life, he decided to save his money, decline treatment, and move with his wife back to his native Ikaria, a Greek island where he could be buried with his ancestors in a graveyard overlooking the Aegean Sea.

He and his wife moved into a small house on a vineyard with his elderly parents, where he reconnected with his faith and started going to his old church. When his friends got wind of the fact that Stamatis was back home, they showed up with bottles of wine, books, and board games to entertain him and keep him company. He planted vegetables in a garden, basked in sunshine, savored the salty air, and relished in his love for his wife.

Six months passed, and not only did he not die, he was actually feeling better than ever. He started working in the untended vineyard during the day, making himself useful, and in the evenings, he’d play dominos with friends. He took a lot of naps, rarely looked at a watch, and spent a lot of time outdoors. At one point, 25 years after his diagnosis, Stamatis went back to the United States to ask his doctors what had happened. Apparently, the doctors were all dead. Stamatis finally died this year in Ikaria. He was 102 years old.

Anita Moorjani

In her book Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani tells the story of how she was dying of end stage Stage 4 lymphoma when she experienced the classic “white light” near death experience many have described. As she traveled to the other side, she was able to look down upon her loved ones, even though some of them were not in the same room with her. Her heart was filled with a feeling of profound unconditional love, and she was happy to be free of her dying, tumor-riddled body.

Then she was told that she had a choice. She could stay in the white light and die, or she could go back and share her story with others. She didn’t want to come back. Her body had been in so much pain, and her soul had been suffering. But she was told that if she came back, her cancer would be cured. She believed what she was told, and felt called to come back so she could share her experience.

Anita’s cancer was gone within several weeks. This all happened under the care of her bewildered doctors, who documented her spontaneous remission. Anita is now on the Hay House speaking circuit with me, spreading the message that death is nothing to fear.

Today’s inspiring stories of restored health are shared from the following website: http://lissarankin.com/6-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-power-of-your-mind-to-heal-you

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We are Capable of the Impossible!

“It’s impossible,” said Pride “It’s risky,” said Experience “It’s Pointless,” said Reason “Give it a try,” said the Heart ¨Unknown

Do you have accomplishing the “Impossible” burning in your heart? Do people tell you that your dreams are impossible and that they will never happen?

There is a secret to accomplishing impossible tasks – YOU have to believe that they are possible! Not just on a conscious level but on a subconscious level as well.

We all have an important contribution to make to the world – what is yours?

As you dream over this holiday weekend, I hope that you will be inspired by the following fun facts!:

Fun Facts about Great Accomplishments

All the world’s greats would never have been great if they had listened to the opinion of even their closest friends.

Caruso, the world’s greatest tenor, was told his voice sounded like a tin can.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures, was advised that no-one would pay to listen to sound coming from a screen.

Edison told Henry Ford to give up making cars and work for him instead and make millions.

Marie Curie was told to forget about radium.

Laurence Olivier was told by friends to give up acting.

Benjamin Franklin was told to stop fiddling with lightning.

People told Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) that no-one would ever beat his fifty swimming records. His 1936 world record was the qualifying time for the 1972 Olympics! Attitudes of the time said his records could never be beaten. Now 12 year old girls regularly beat his times.

Christopher Columbus took 14 years to raise funding for his ships and crew before setting out on his explorations. The science and culture of the day had said that the world was flat. However, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain had faith in Columbus. With that faith and money behind him, Columbus took just six months to discover the New World.

In the same way, a “flat-world mind-set” can limit our thinking and lead to mediocrity. In the same way that you can train fleas to jump a certain height in a bowl, when you take away the bowl, they still do not jump higher than the learned height.

Our mind can tie us down and limit us, so that mediocrity becomes our destiny. Negative attitudes get cemented in concrete.

Abraham Lincoln grew up in a very difficult environment. He had less than one year of formal schooling. He experienced defeat and failure year after year, but is one of the greatest success stories of all time. In spite of everything, he had the right attitude to achieve success.

Today’s fun facts shared from the following website: http://fortunefavours.blogspot.com/2007/07/people-who-achieved-impossible-with_12.html

 

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Adversity Can Grow Us into Better People

Strength doesn’t come from doing what you Can Do It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you Couldn’tToday’s story has reminded me of how very much I have to be thankful for. I live in a country where clean water is often taken for granted. I don’t have to wonder if I will have food to eat, all I have to wonder about is what will I eat. If I need to go somewhere, I get in my car and turn the key.

Life hands each of us a different story…but no matter what our circumstances, we all have the ability to choose. We choose our attitude. We choose how we will use our resources. We choose how we will treat others. We choose how or if we will use the gifts that God has blessed us with.

What kind of choices are you making? I hope that today’s story will inspire you to be the very best that you can be!

Meet the Wonder Women of Indonesia

Battling the darkness of poverty with lamps, filters and stoves one at a time.

I came to know Rovina Surat, one of our Wonder Women in late 2014.

Living in the driest part of Lembata Island, in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, is already tough to begin with, but the challenge for Ibu Rovina goes beyond the dry well and months of failed harvest.

She is a single mother of two, and had been living in her brother’s living room since her then-husband left for Malaysia in 2012, and never returned. She said that this was rock bottom.

Left to care for her daughters alone, she made ends meet through various creative ways: from renting out her old motorcycle to neighbours, to gathering honey from the forest, to skilfully using a traditional harpoon to hunt squid and sea cucumbers.

Simple dream

In 2014, she joined Kopernik’s Wonder Women program in the hope of realizing one simple dream: to build a home for her children.

At every opportunity, she enthusiastically talked about the d.light S300 solar light, which she always carried with her when hunting for squid before dawn.

This demonstration of simple technology in action worked better than any big budget advertising campaign, and Rovina began to sell more and more technologies.

Within a year and a half, she had saved enough money to start building her house, and in June 2015, she finished.

It is a simple house made of bricks and bamboo, but up on a hill with a million dollar view overlooking the beautiful Flores Sea, mountains, and breath-taking sunset.

To see Rovina standing in front of her house during sunset made me smile – and still makes me smile each time I remember it.

She is such an inspiration.

One villager in her community said: “I’m so proud to see Rovina now. She has transformed from a weeping widow without a house to an inspiring woman in our village.”

“Thanks to her, the whole village doesn’t have to live in complete darkness anymore.”

When asked her what her next dream was, she said she wanted to open her own small kiosk selling everyday goods.

“I used to keep all of my money in a soap tin and bury it in the ground. Now I’m starting to open my own bank account, so I can save more and make this dream come true.”

To see her grow through the journey she’s gone through, and transform from a woman to a “wonder woman”, is one of the most inspiring things about Kopernik’s Ibu Inspirasi programme.

Micro-social-entrepreneurs

Rovina is one of hundreds of “wonder women” in the initiative that has empowered women to become clean energy micro-social-entrepreneurs, connecting life-changing solar lights, clean cookstoves, and water filters with last mile communities in some of Indonesia’s poorest provinces.

More than 80 million people live without any electricity in Indonesia, and many more live with unreliable access to electricity.

Almost 100 million people rely on smoky, fuel-hungry three-stone fires for cooking.

And clean drinking water is often a costly luxury.

There is great demand for affordable, clean energy technologies, especially in the poorest provinces of eastern Indonesia, but geography and demography make energy access a huge challenge.

This is where Kopernik’s Wonder Women Eastern Indonesia initiative comes in.

Equipping women with the skills and resources to become clean energy micro-social entrepreneurs is a viable, sustainable way of connecting these technologies with the people who need them the most.

It creates access to clean energy technologies for last mile communities, allowing people to save money and time spent collecting firewood, buying costly kerosene, boiling water, or buying costly drinking water. It allows them to enjoy improved health and safety.

Not only that, the wonder women like Rovina and Ibu Bekti, get training on financial management, sales and marketing, public speaking, technology use and maintenance, as well as mentoring to motivate them to expand their businesses.

They also get the clean energy technologies on consignment, so they can start their own business without going into debt, and they earn something from every sale.

These women’s determination to help their families and villages, along with their smiles and laughter often seen amid challenging situations, make them truly some of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet.


Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: https://www.ourbetterworld.org/en/story/kopernik-indonesia-wonder-women

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You Can Never Cross the Ocean Unless You Have the Courage to Lose Sight of the Shore…

art wood sign on beach

I don’t know about you but personal growth always feels like a remodeling project to me – with too many walls being demolished and the new construction always fraught with delays. Yet, when the work is done, I never fail to look back and feel a heart full of gratitude.

Personal growth is such a blessing! Self improvement always requires a leap of faith and courage. Although we may see massive benefits to changing, where we are is usually where we feel most comfortable. God is our most ardent fan. He is mindful of our capacity and our abilities. No one knows us better – not even ourselves. You only know yourself from a mortal perspective. He knows your mortal history and your pre-mortal history. He knows your magnificence! Best of all, He believes in You!!

Are you feeling a need for some changes? Perhaps God is nudging you! Listen to your heart and allow yourself to really feel deeply what God is trying to speak to your spirit. Then use His guidance to start the step by step process that He will provide. He will help you across your “oceans” and you will never regret the journey.

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