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Archive for July, 2009

I have developed a sore eye over the weekend.  There’s no indication of an infection, nor is there any blood strain on the eye ball; just plain tired and sore.  I had no idea where or why the pain is coming from, but there’s this persisting discomfort.  I was worried, but couldn’t do anything about something I do not know head or tail about.  Yep, nothing worse than when you know there’s no solution to a problem.

My dear husband visited the chemist and brought back an eye drop solution, as well as some good advice from the pharmacist.  “It could have been sun-burnt, your eye,” he declared, “the pharmacist said it’ll heal itself over the next few days; but if it doesn’t we’ll visit a doctor.”

Wow!  I wasn’t going to go blind!

(Yea, I’m a worry-er.  The good side of it is that when pronounced quickly enough, it sounds like “warrior” ;ppp)

The relief ran through my head – now I know why the eye felt so crook!  And there’s a remedy to it!  How nice to be in the know!?

I’m like that, when I find out something is wrong, I want to know the reason.  Then I’ll go searching for a solution.  Yea, the perfectionist in my mentality.  When I do not find the reason I would think that something is terribly wrong and it’s never ever going to get back to how it’s supposed to be. 

That’s why I really love this devotion piece the moment I read it – it explained the reason behind my insecurity, guilt and shame.  Better still, it tells me there’s no need to worry about it – Christ has come to deliver the remedy!

(Copy taken from Neil Andersons Daily in Christ devotion)

Adam and Eve were created spiritually alive. The attributes they experienced before the Fall became glaring needs after the Fall. 

1. Acceptance was replaced by rejection, therefore we have a need to belong. Ever since Adam and Eve’s sin alienated them from God and disrupted human relationships, we have experienced a deep need to belong. Even when people come to Christ and fill their need to belong to God, they still need the acceptance of people. You will never understand the power of peer pressure in our culture until you understand the legitimate need to belong and the fear of rejection we all share.

2. Innocence was replaced by guilt and shame, therefore we have a need for a sense of worth. Many psychologists agree that people today generally suffer from a poor sense of worth. The secular psychologist responds by trying to stroke the human ego and psychologist responds by trying to stroke the human ego and encourage us to improve our performance. Your worth as a person is not an issue of giftedness, talent, intelligence or beauty. It’s an identity issue. Your sense of personal worth comes from knowing who you are: a child of God.

3. Authority to rule over creation was replaced by weakness and helplessness, therefore we have a need for strength and self-control. There is no one more insecure than a controller. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not spouse- or child-control.

Only Christ can meet the most basic needs of humanity such as life, identity, acceptance, security and significance. These needs are eternal, unlike our physical needs. If we present Christ as meeting only our physical needs, we will have stiff competition from every humanistic organization. 

 

 

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I really struggle to give this post a title.  Anyway, this is about the devotion I read in Neil Andersons Daily in Christ today.  It is so true and Biblical, so simple…. yet something I often fail.

The devotion compares between behaviour and feelings – whether which one would come first.  As a result of the Fall, us human beings have landed in bad feelings – depression, shame, guilt, fear, anger – you name it, we’ve got it.  And the solution to all these?  Good behaviour, which comes from God.  Many (including myself) feel good when the circumstance is pleasant, then good behaviour follows.  That’s not what God taught Cain though, when he was feeling downcast when his sacrifice wasn’t pleasing to God. 

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  (Genesis 4:6-7)

There!  Sins of bad feelings can come to us when we do not do what is right – be it anger, shame, guilt – the feelings are a result of behaviour not pleasing to God.  If we choose (with God’s grace and mercy) to behave as Jesus had taught us to, we can lose that grip of sins on us.

But how do we choose righteousness over sins in challenging circumstances, though????????  When my friend has taken me for a ride and I feel angry, and getting back at him is the more acceptable route to take?  How about the occasion when I’ve wronged my spouse and I ought to apologize, but I was reminded the last time he had wronged me? 

Through God’s grace we can, by non-ceasing prayer.  I love the example of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, it is such a reflection of how much he has gone through in his humanly form what we go through on a daily basis – he was downcast by the circumstance, but he did not give in to sin; he asked for God’s guidance and comfort and strength.  That is what we can do when sins attempt to master us.

I love the prayer in the devotion – Lord, help me do what you want me to do even when it seems unpleasant.  I seek your blessing for obedience.  Amen.

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Canberra has had some interesting weather of late – it is usually a dry region, but this year we’ve had the best rain ever.  Well, to a point that it was rather annoying (sorry God…) coz the laundry piles up and the wet clothes develop some foul smell due to the dampness.

One beautiful thing about Canberra is its sun.  Though it’s a cold region (being inland) and temperature can get pretty extreme between the day and night, it boasts the best sunshine in the winter days to make the weather quite likable.  So with the rain and sun this winter, rainbows are everywhere.  Yesterday’s was absolutely amazing – it rained overnight and travelling in the car after my morning gym session, my sight caught the mist at the tip of a faraway mountain, reflecting a faint rainbow from the rays of the morning sun.  Unlike a clearly defined rainbow, you can only make out that it’s a rainbow from the “imagination”, if I may say so.  Wish I had a camera but I would probably have traded a car accident for this awesome photography.

Anyway, I was reminded of another rainbow sighting a couple of months back.  Again, after overnight rain.  That morning, I saw a “broken” rainbow – the tip of the arch (if there was one) hid behind a great big cloud in the sky.  Sitting in the bus I was contemplating perhaps not all beautiful things is perfect all the time, such us this “broken” rainbow.  Then another day, I sighted another rainbow while driving.  After a bend, I lost sight of it.  Still fighting my regrets of missing this beautiful sight I was pleasantly surprised to catch it again on the car side mirror!!!

All these rainbow sightings gave me a thought, let me see if I can put it right.  Just like my sightings of the rainbow, I could “lose it” by turning around, but it re-appears when I look from another perspective (or through something else).  Take the rainbow this morning, even though it’s not completely visible, its faint colours has made it such a piece of unimaginable art.  It all depends on the perspective we see, or choose to see from.  Whether I like it or not, it’s only as simple as dew and light shining through it – there is always light but seeing it from a different perspective may discount the light altogether and no rainbow can be found!

 

After-words – 21 July

Today’s devotion on Daily in Christ talks about how we are shaped by our perspective of our world and this is a very powerful statement – “life’s events don’t determine who you are, God determines who you are….. That is why it is so important to fill your mind with the knowledge of God and His word – you need to see life from God’s perspective and respond accordingly.”

Amen!

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I have been slack and not in the right mindset to blog, thus the long silence.  One of the things I usually do when I log onto my PC is to check the blog stats on this site.  Normally I would expect increase in visits on days I post an article, but I feel so loved because this site continuously enjoyed visitors despite the fact that I have not written nothing in a while!  Thank you for dropping by for a visit though I have nothing to offer, just yet.

Anyway, today I would like to share with you the few verses which have inspired and lifted me over the last 2 days (emphasis mine).

  • “not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29,31
  • “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
  • “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

God’s word is the light and truth, they are the stronghold in our lives.  This morning’s devotion on the radio talks about ill feelings vs. God’s truth.  Ill feelings do not determine our level of spirituality, nor does it limit us from following God’s truth and path.  Jesus had felt suffering and pain before his time to go to the cross.  He expressed his ill feeling to his heavenly Father, and God did not punish him?  But yet, he was honest before God of this ill feeling, it didn’t remove his divinity and his position as the son. 

God longs to hear from us, be it a fair-weather or pit-bottom prayer, He wants us to empty our hearts out to Him.  That is one way to “know” that He is with us on our journey.  When we empty ourselves to Him, we have submitted to Him and His grace will lead us along the path of righteousness and everlasting.

Amen to God and His promises.

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