Sunday, October 03, 2010

Courage

"The courage required to face our fears will not come to us because we are brave but because we know we are loved." ~ Helen Cepero, Journaling as a Spiritual Practice - encountering God through attentive writing.

Really should have known this, but as I read this line, I realized I don't!! (Head-wise maybe, heart-wise and life-wise, not yet.) Courage does not come out of us, but firstmost our God, who is trustworthy, faithful, loving, and unchanging. He may also through others, communities we are in, to give us courage. As I'm facing with fears of losing, fear of unable to be in control, where am I finding the courage to cope, to face, and to live on in life? I do turn to God, but not fully submit or fully embracing Him, still struggling to see what's in me to face the challenges. God is more than enough for me is not simply a line of lyrics, it really is a fact. Fact that no matter what, He still loves me and I'm still loved!

How do I truly grasp it and live it? How do I let God minister others through me? The "how's" are still the question. With increased awareness, I am praying that God will let me be more alert to His moves both in and out of my life~~

No matter where you are in your journey, may you be reminded that you are loved by the Creator God today and always, may you have the strength and courage to face the uncertainties, the challenges ahead of you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A different kind of worship~~

I praise God for a very different kind of "worship" today -- it is different not because of the environment or music ... but the way He acts unexpectedly.

Was deeply distressed and hurt this morning. Even after a long time of quietness alone in car in the parking lot, I still couldn't calm down. I was a bit frustrated, for I want to worship God, but don't seem I was able to for I was broken.

When I walked into the building finally, a few closer friends saw me and tried to ask what's happening, and my tears rolled down again, failed to utter any words. Thus, I decided to sit at the very back for I think I couldn't worship, so I'll simply "tag along" this event as a "bystander."

Yet unexpectedly, each song touched me deeply and reminded me of God's love. It is God's touch to me that He is there, He is still there. Especially the response song, "The pair of invisible hands." The preacher first gave us a video of a choir's presentation of the song, the choir is from a tribe in Taiwan, and all members are orphans, they were being rejected and left alone for many different reasons. It is really touching and a great witness of our wonderful God. Then praise team led us to sing this song together. Having calmed down through sermon, I thought I'd be able to sing along and give Him the praise He deserves, yet after the first half sentence, I couldn't help but cried again ...

In terms of "doing," I failed to do anything in this worship. Didn't sing, read, or pray audibly at all. I seemed to have excluded myself, yet God gently invited me in by kneeling down, comforting me and bless me! ("Barek" - a root in Hebrew that means bless and kneeling down, how meaningful!)

It is true that worship is people's work to praise and please God, yet God never excludes those unable to come close to Him, instead He enables them~~ My God is amazing, and His grace and love is abundant -- more than enough, yes more than enough!

"The pair of invisible hands" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHl3YEiJo9k
My translation of the lyrics:
Though can't see You, Though can't touch You
But I know that You are whispering in my ears
Oh Lord Jesus, oh Lord Jesus
I truly know that You are always here with me

It is Your hand, the pierced hands
Comfort my broken, weary heart once again
It is Your sweet voice, Your most tender words
Fill up my thirst and hunger deep down my soul

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Great Privilege

Praise the Lord for giving me a great privilege to witness His transforming power in people's lives and how they can be blessings to others which creates a wonderful community!

Today, I witnessed a change in a 10-year-old little girl. As I was giving praise, God led me to realize the change is not only in the 10-year-old, but her whole family!

I still vividly remember couple years ago in our church's missions conference where I helped introduce some Christian organizations to the children. I learned this one fascinating and amazing story of this organization that greatly testifies the power of the Gospel (how a lame beggar was healed and now he's serving God faithfully in that village spreading the Gospel). Thinking that it is interesting and powerful, I told the kids when I was introducing this organization. This little girl gave me a quick response that got me grief and reflect deeply what value systems are we teaching our next generation. She innocently challenged why are we using so many resources on one little beggar, someone so useless and worthless in society (I believe most of us had similar mindset when we were young and while our parents try to get us study harder in school).

Today, I witness how gracious, loving, and kind this little girl was towards an older kid who is a special need child. This is not a one-time thing for I observed their relationship for some time, and I can see how comfortable and joyful this other child is when with the 10-year-old. This won't come overnight, no, not for this child at least! I am really touched and thankful for the change in this little girl's heart and mind. This is life transformation.

Pondering deeper, I realize this change is facilitated through, not her own, but the life transformation in her family ... the life transformation of both of her father and mother as their love and faith in God grow and deepen, they are able to raise their child according to the heart of God enabling the love of God be manifested through His own creation - this little girl. Thus, she can be a blessing to others. That’s amazing!!! Truly amazing!!

It is true that ministry is full of toils and sweats and even pains and tears, yet it is so worth it when we have the privilege to witness the power of the Gospel, the life transforming power of God’s work in people's lives~~ To see how God works in and through people to be blessings of others!

Speechless ... but deeply touched and thankful~~ You are truly worthy of all praises, Lord!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

random ...

I really am longing for a real break ... It's been a week after I finished my exam and assignments, yet my life is continue to be driven by other tasks / commitments / last minute "urgency" ... Continue to be in debt to my lovely "sleep."

Sometimes I wonder do I know what am I getting myself into? Why don't I insist in not helping when asked ... but then is it what God asks me to be? to have a comfy life? .... On the other hand, it is also a struggle to help, struggle to just give God very rough "offering," ("求其"的事奉) with little time of preparation, little prayers and meditation; not giving Him my best. Struggles never end, yet God is gracious .... Though it continues to bother me as to where to draw the line ... maybe maybe ... maybe that's not the answer God wants me to answer ... I just need to be on my knees~~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Season of Advent

Advent - a season of joy? a season of anticipation?

In this Advent season, many memories came to mind, to be accurate, not very pleasant, painful, hurtful memories ... At times these bother me, not only do they bother me as they trigger my emotions, they bother me also because of "guilt": ain’t I suppose to expect for Him joyfully in this season? Why these sad stories?

But as I let them flow and touch me deep down, I found that there is a beautiful message in every one of my story ... He is there, He sees, He touches it, and He delivered me!! Without Him, my life will be so different!!

This is the reason I can be joyful and joyfully expecting His return and to celebrate His birth! God's good! So Good! He's good for who He is, and He just make it so much more understandable and apprehend-able through His touch on me, over my life~~

God teach me to be grateful and thankful!! And these are the attitudes I need as I am awaiting in this season. Continue to give thanks for what He had done. Let me rejoice, rejoice in anticipation~~~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Busyness ...

Despite the number of times I said I need to get away from the busyness, get away from being occupied with and being driven by many various tasks ... I always find myself being caught in busyness time after time~~

Is busyness really unavoidable for people in this century? I hope not, cuz in my busyness, I can't breathe. Well, to be exact, when I'm so busy that my life is being driven by the various activities, I feel stressed, and feel so burdened that I can't breathe. I'm sure this is a signal that I need a break~~

This signal has been on for a few weeks now, but no break yet still ... so bad~~~ Thank God that He always gave me a way out ... only in quietness, in prayers, in singing, and in writing that I can find pieces of myself (and peace in myself!) in this busyness.

I was very upset with myself this morning when I got to church ... It's a gospel Sunday, and I intended to try asking mom to come. I had been praying about it for a while too, yet I forgot about it totally from Wed on ... I even saw mom and talked to her for a bit this morning over breakfast and I still didn't recall the gospel Sunday until I entered into our "gathering place." I blamed it on this busyness, yet I felt bad too. Why didn't I just ask earlier? I felt guilty for not praying for it till the end, for letting it slip off my mind ...

Yet, God is good ... Though tired, I joined choir practice tonight. I was able to connect with a sister for a little chat, and then couple hours of practice on a number of very meaningful Christmas hymns. They remind me the goodness of God. God is good, God is so good that He knows when I need to be lifted up and be encouraged~~ His timing is always soo perfect~~

Let me not let my eyes slip away from Him in the midst of my busyness, as He's my strength and energy, the One who sustains me through~~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

childish?

Everyone wants to be loved and to be understood ... but how often do we put too much expectations on others, and how often do people just being too insensitive and pushing the line too much? Like any other things on earth, there's the tension, the dilemma ...

I don't eat lamb for its "weird" taste (at least to me) ... but I learn to tolerate it so that I can sit comfortably with others who eat and enjoy it. At times, I even ate a little piece of it when I'm around people who really love it and think I'm really missing out the best thing on earth, yet I'd never order lamb as main course -- to me it is a torture.

Yet, when I open my lunch box, it's lamb .. I actually didn't aware of it until I started eating ... First reaction, wanted to spill it out~~ I understand the effort and all the work has been put into preparing this, I know I *should* appreciate it, but at that time, I was angry ... I really am, for I know they know do know I don't eat lamb. Why force me to eat it? And a whole bowl of it!!!

Seconds after, I was angry with myself for getting angry ... why don't I appreciate the work in preparation? why do I have to react so negatively? It is not like I'm allergic to it, it is not poison ... I don't think I'll die after eating the lunch ... why can't I just eat it with gratitude? Don't you see there are many out there starving, and you are sitting here being picky about your food?

Yet, I expect them to understand and never force me to eat something I don't like ... is it too much of an expectation to ask? They know it, it is not news to them ... It's plainly painful to know people don't care what you like and dislike, and force "something" on you, especially someone close to you~~ BUT ... may be they just forgot about it somehow ...

Starring at the lunch perplexed ... I thought of throwing it all away to express my anger, but think it is too rude on second thought ... so I took all the lamb out into another bowl .. and just ate the rice and vege ... The rice is of taste of lamb too, but it's at least bearable to handle, and the unpleasant taste can be easily "washed" away by a cup of coffee~~

A really really small matter, yet it bugs me ... and I still can't make sense out of it ... is it valid to be angry, to express my pain/ disappointment? or is it plainly immature? ...... Need wisdom ... wisdom to handle and to make right my feelings to self, so that I can own it and not to suppress it ...

Now I also need the grace of God to help me get back into my study and writing up my assignments~~