Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Humble submission to the Lordship of Christ.
Go. Make disciples. Witness. Testify.
Hardest part: saying no with your mind even when your heart says otherwise. Know the attributes you're looking for. Be selective.
Be very clear about your Master and your Mission. Then make sure your Mate is the one that joins you in this same journey, rather than one that pulls you away.
Such are the words of wisdom from the wiser, matured pilgrims.
Thank You Lord for sending me reminders & pointers, every now and then.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
As I enter my final two weeks in Msia, I've been thinking a lot about the year ahead
A run-through of 2006 made me realize that I often hit the wall, as mentioned in the preface of "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon Macdonald. I thank God that I lost the earlier edition of the book (yea, the one that vanished from my hands). The previous book was already convicting me yet the new edition spoke right into what I've been feeling and experiencing.
My inner garden needs cultivation. Some serious gardening needs to be done by the Gardener.
This book has given me really practical pointers and I appreciate the many examples the author used to help me see a point. It's an easy read on one hand (not that kind tt makes u go "huh?" every so often) yet on the other hand, it calls for a deliberate decision on the readers' side to start the "ordering" process.
Many times I find myself in the midst of every hustle bustle. I'll try to dirty my hands somehow and just fill up every empty slot with things to do. I've been a driven person. But after all these busyness going on at the surface, what's it really like on the inside?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Looked up. Saw Jane. Closed the little book in my hands, put it in my bag and got into her car...
It wasn't until after we visited several locations (petrol kiosk, Coffeebean, dentist etc...) tt I realised the book's nowhere to be found!
How can that happen? I rmb slipping it into my bag. Jane saw me holding the book while I was waiting for her. Yet, the book seemed to have vanished into thin air! We went back to all the places we stopped at, eyes kept on the floor, under the tires of some cars... Zilch.
Thank God I managed to find a replacement. It's a different edition though. I feel really bad cos the book's not mine. Sigh. I hope there's no sentimental value in that book. Maybe God wanted someone else to read it too...
Anyway, i started on the new edition of the book immediately. The updated examples were more fitting for the here and now (in relation to me i guess). More amazingly, the author's personal experience described in the preface was something I could identify to.
Lord, I commit this unto You. (but when I get to heaven, solve this mystery for me eh?). Give me the courage to tell the truth.
P.S. if the owner of the book's reading this, erm... ya, maybe i can buy u coffee? =P
Despite not having slept much the previous night, having a whole day out, and in the midst of reading another book, I was led to pick up "Can Two Walk Together? - Issues Christians struggle with" written by Ps Tony & Aunty Teresa. After I unwrapped the book from it's plastic covering, it was the point of no return. I just had to finish it in one sitting.
The excerpt, only a page long, had me in tears, even though it's a story I've heard before. Yet, in the 1st chapter, Ps Tony & Aunty Teresa's love story sent me into bouts of laughter, with my face still wet with tears. I admit I'm a sucker for love stories - I try to stay away, but this is different. this is no fairy tale - it's real. God is in it.
As I flipped the pages, the words came alive and I heard them in either Ps Tony's or Aunty Teresa's voice. It's refreshing to see how God is at work here in Malaysia. Having been away 1/3 of my life, I embrace the Malaysian flavour. It's like inhaling the exotic aroma of curry laksa after the numerous cuppa with cheesecakes. And the beauty of Malaysia is that you can have ur cuppa and drink it, you can have ur cheesecake and eat it, after your curry laksa.
From the heart-warming love story, to calling vs job vs vocation, serving God in the drudgery yet finding joy, superstitions, the spirits in the world, identity, the faithfulness of a God who provides, NS in Msia, the typical Asian dad we can't relate to, sufferings... God is there.
Yes, indeed, God is right here with us. Every step we take in His will.
Monday, January 22, 2007
1. Have u laughed several times today?
2. What percentage of ur self-talk was positive today?
3. What amt. of time this past week did u spend living in the present?
4. Did u do something 3 times this week for relaxation and recreation?
- No? Call me out for coffee... cheesecakes...
- Let's throw out the Js and be Ps!
7. Is the sexual part of your life healthy?
- "For the single person, that involves a discipline & commitment to purity consistent wf 1 Corinthians 6:19-20."
- Can't decide who's the lucky person? U've got my number.
- "It is inaccurate to say "I cannot forgive" since forgiveness is a matter of will."
11. Did u talk with ur spouse (or, if single, a close friend or relative) 3 times this week abt ur feelings?
12. Did u share ur burdens with a friend this week?
- "Each of us needs abt 6 ppl wf whom we can share our true feelings & still feel loved."
- "Allow others to give friendship to u; the give & take of friendships will be impt to keeping ur life balanced."
"An impt. principle to improving one's life is that proper actions lead to proper emotions."
Dun feel like doing the "right" thing?
"The actions of doing the right thing will soon be followed by the desire to do them..."
(from "How to beat Burnout" by F.Minirth, D.Hawkins, P.Meier, R. Flournoy)
Ard late June last year, I was sitting at the exact same spot, furiously journalling away.
This time, I had a book with me.
It wasn't raining to begin with. Yet, as it poured, there's a sense of thanksgiving tt I'm indoors. It's somewhat like a reminder that God is right there with me, and as I watched the rain, I thank Him that I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Thank you, Lord.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
so were the rest: esther, ellie, april, ann nyee... such gifts from God displayed through them!
the highlight for me must be the cajón. Ooohhh~ it's the first time i've seen one actually. but wow! it really got into me...
(more on the cajón: http://www.tonecajon.com/index.php?page=history)
i quite enjoyed being part of the hustle bustle. it's kinda like the hustle bustle in OCF yet a completely different feeling. oh yes~ it's OCF hustle bustle sans stress =)
thank You Lord, for the opportunity to serve You.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
One thing I've realised about myself is that when an obstacle comes my way, I tend to get so sucked into the circumstances that I don't see beyond the big boulder on my way. It gets into me, burdens my shoulders and blocks my path...
and then God steps into the picture and reminds me "Hey, don't forget Who's your Father in Heaven and that you are serving not just anyone but ME..."
yesterday was like that. I was almost crying out "see la! i knew this would happen! i knew things are gonna go wrong..."
then God reminded me...
"Hey, I never said things are gonna be easy eh?"
That's true. It has never been easy (most of the time). I should have learnt and know very well by now that whenever there's an opportunity for obstacles to arise, they will. BUT, it is in those times that God has delivered. Time and time again He's proven faithful. So why am I still worrying? Man, i need to learn to trust God.
The picture that came to mind yesterday in response to the boulder that I was almost cynically admiring, was that we're in spiritual training. And it is when we need to take the longer routes, the more challenging paths, that our spiritual muscles are exercised to develop perseverance and endurance. I like exercise. Sometimes. OK, maybe I should say I like the benefits of exercise. The kinda exercise that helps develop cardiovascular health will require u to huff n puff, to sweat quite a bit, so that ur heart rate will increase. It takes effort. Likewise with our spiritual muscles. We're all undergoing spiritual training here. We need to take the longer routes, huff and puff over the increased intensity of the training in order for us to develop perseverance.
After i get into the routine of habitual exercise... a little laziness could very well bring me back to ground zero. and it's all zilch again. Beware of a little laziness here and there... we need to be alert at all times.
But then again, let's not focus too much on the pains of training and forget abt the joys of running~ =p we serve an Almighty God after all. He who allows that boulder to increase the challenge of the training will also equip us with whatever we need to overcome it. Above all, enjoy the training with Him and watch Him work wonders for u. And after u have suffered a little while, go treat yourself some Häagen-Dazs.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I doubt I like KLIA very much. My turn's creeping up soon and before i know it, I'll be heading back to the moo-moo & baa-baa land of Dunedin. I'm thankful I'm not the one boarding the plane today. I am so not ready.
3.5 weeks. If I'm not careful, each day will slip me by unnoticed, so quietly that I would have suspected someOne fast forwarded my time. Already Taiwan has come and gone. So has Singapore.
This time, it will be different. Dare I say it's the final time I'm heading back for studies? The emotions are so similar to the ones I had when I did high sch in Spore. *Gasp* tt means it's my last summer hols?! after that... i'll be joining the ranks of "unemployed". *gulp*.
Today certainly sparked off a lot of thoughts - thoughts that needs organizing. The cabinet has gotten a little messy of late. Caffeine insufficiency.
All these aside, McD sure is THE place @ KLIA. sending off a friend? not sure where to find him/her? Just wait @ McD's. If they would open a Sbux there, I just might leave a little happier.
Take heart, SC. Our Abba Father is with you at all times.
The thought that keeps ringing in my head?
Sunday, January 14, 2007
How sweet is that?
It was a thoroughly enjoyable night. Either I've never realised it, or I've forgotten, how live music (good ones) in the appropriate ambience can bring such relaxation to me.
And of course, I was most drawn by the percussionist. Even though it was quite hard for me to eye him from my angle (and with my height) but the drum beats n rhythms just went into my soul. The full sounding bass beat he made from a simple slap in just the right section of the drum skin (pardon me for the layman terms, my music lingo is painfully lacking) aligned my heartbeat with the drum beat instantly. Recalling my TK days, finding the right part to hit with the right curve of ur palm with just the right amount of pressure to bring the most beautiful sound has resulted in endless attempts which brought swollen red palms. and I doubt I ever got the right note.
Of course, I enjoyed the company of good friends too. Thanks for your time =)
So now i know how i find rest and relaxation. One of the means anyway.
Next weekend - 19 & 20th Jan. Angelita Li's "Journey of Brazilian & Fusion Jazz". I heard the whole grp's pretty good. Like, there's the best drummer in Asia. Can I allow myself to miss that?
Brazilian & Fusion Jazz anyone?
i only meant to do a simple post. yet i found myself entrapped in the world of blogging again. 1.5 hrs into giving my blog a "new-er" look. my simple post is still in queue...
this being 2007 and all~ i do hope tt the new-er look will tear off the cobwebs & wipe off all the dust collected over time...
there's been a big gap from 26 Nov 2006 til now (14 Jan 2007). i wish i could fill u in on the thriller ride I sat with God in Taiwan. those on my prayer mailing list - you got the juicy bits. those tt weren't: sorry, there's no discrimination here k. forgive me if i left u out... believe me, it's unintentional.
in short, Taiwan was a really awesome time when God opened my eyes to see what He's doing in other parts of the world. It stretched my horizons beyond me, myself and I. Not just that, it's beyond the community I serve, beyond the nations I'm more than a visitor to. The verse "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few" (Matt 9:37) rings even louder and clearer and hence, there's a sense of urgency in "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt 9:38)
Prayer. I must confess I'm not the most fervent and faithful pray-er for missionaries. Not having met them before nor knowing them personally simply meant that the burden wasn't really strong. Having lived with the OMF TW missionaries, having spent Christmas with them, all these opened up another dimension of praying for missionaries. It's like you're praying for ur own friends. You know them. You've worked with them before. Being in the field with them, even for a little while, and with the increased understanding of what they're doing in TW amidst the working class, increased the awareness of the reality of spiritual warfare - the unseen battle that is easily forgotten and neglected by many. Hence, the need of spiritual weapons (Eph 6) and above all, PRAYERS.
Do this little exercise with me. Take a deep breathe. Close your eyes and count 1 to 10 on a 1 count per second tempo.
What's this 10s to you? A short time?
What's this 10s to you in say... 2 weeks? ("Oh boy, how many 10s i spend a day day-dreaming anyway~")
DO join us in this spiritual warfare - PRAY for Taiwan! it's just 10s in 2 weeks.
1. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. write "pray" in the subject line
3. in the body write the email addresses where u want to receive regular prayer updates.
only this process takes more than 10s. after that, it's only 10s. every 2 weeks.
(c'mon, u spend multiple 10s reading my blogs anyway...)
I did struggle with re-entry "culture shock". Feel free to ask me for more details. (Sneak preview: how God ministered to me and erm... how I'm currently feeling now...)
OK. it's 2am (M'sian time). church's in 6 hrs. I really *should* go to bed - after I finished my "simple post" tt's been in queue for 2 hrs now...