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Archive for November, 2009

Thought on nice…

The other day a friend told me that his hairdresser was telling him how a nice lady I am, after just having met me the other afternoon.  It is a compliment, I guess.  A nice one too.

Then I began to think, yeah, for an hour I was “nice”.  Anyone who’s close enough to me would know that I’m not even close to “nice” – I can be well-mannered, smiley, kind and sweet; coz it’s easy enough to NOT be myself and put up the best performance in the one hour.  But give me enough time and one would find that I’m not such an angel – at home I’m impatient, grumpy, annoying, bad-mouth… and the list goes on.  That’s probably why it can be tiring to be with people for a long period of time, my “evilness” begins to creep out of the closet.  Well, sometimes I am myself shocked at the thought of me being nice.

God knows how I am, but He is still gracious to me.  It doesn’t bother Him that I’m un-nice – that’s why He is here.  Thank the Lord.

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Baggage

This morning we sent off my husband’s nephew to the airport (well, the bus terminal, onto the bus which will bring him to the airport..).  The bus carries many other passengers also travelling to the Sydney International Airport, most of them you could tell are international students.   It seems that nothing much has changed since the 80’s when I was an international student – we used to carry so much wherever we went.  Of crouse my husband’s nephew was no different – 3 suitcases full of lanoline cream, Australian chocolate and what-not to share with fellow countrymen when he lands home.

Then along came a young lady with just a sling bag on her shoulder.  Wow, I began to admire this sight – when was the last time I travel with ease and such carefree?  Even when I go to the local market, I would be carrying quite a few things on me, let alone travelling a few thousand miles?!   When will I be able to travel without any baggage, I wonder….

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“Cast all your anxiety on the Lord, because He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

I have always thought this is a cliche verse, “yea, right, you don’t know what I’m going through, of course you can say that to me?!” But hey, doesn’t the Bible tells the truth and the truth only?

Yes, of course it is the truth, but we can make it our truth when we plunge ourselves into it.  This is the story of my journey, or plunge as I put it.

Well, it started with an accidental episode on the radio.  I caught a snippet of the “Focus on the Family” and the host shared about his anger encounter at home.  He shared about the “anger button” his wife pressed on one Easter holiday when her comment came across as undermining his authority as the head of the house.  As the husband didn’t want to make a scene by bursting as usual, he prayed in his heart this prayer, “God, I don’t understand this situation and why she said that, even though I feel very angry inside; but I am giving this into your hand, because you understand and you know better than me how to deal with it.  I thank you that you have given me a wife who’s made me pray.  Amen.” 

Shortly after that when the couple was alone again, the wife shared with her husband the reason behind her seemingly “rude” comment.  That all fell into place and how glad was the husband that he didn’t blurt out in his usual way – by submitting the situation to God’s hands they were able to enjoy the intimacy God has designed for them; not to mention his little homework on anger management.

I have a lot of negative thoughts in my head all the time – confusion, depression, anxiety, loss, weariness, fear….. you name it, I would have come across it at some stage.  I don’t exactly know how to deal with these thoughts except by feeling really angry and useless.  Which doesn’t quite work when I live in a community because feelings multiply – try talking to one who sulker and you’d feel all your energy being sapped away. 

So today as I heard the snippet I felt this in my heart – I could try the prayer, you know?  So the next time when I came across a feeling I didn’t know how to deal with, I prayed this, “God, I don’t exactly know why this feeling is inside of me, but I am giving this into your hand, because you understand and you know better than me how to deal with it.  Thank you and amen.”

Things happen when I surrender it to God entirely, He takes over and it’s gone with the wind.  Our pastor often says, “if you don’t understand a particular verse in the Bible, park it.  Let God know that you don’t understand it but you are willing to park it until one day He reveals it to you.”  Well, this is similar.  One day, when I am ready, He will reveal to me what it is He wants me to work on.

I have to admit I’m not there yet.  Moments come when I still struggle with ill thoughts but yes, casting my anxiety on God, for He cares for me.  Amen.

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Obedience

We had a guest preacher today at church and his message was on obedience, drawing from verses in 1 Chronicles 14.  Here are the points I took home and would like to share with all:

  1. Knowing our position and purpose in God’s kingdom (verse 2) – David knew that God has establish him king over Israel, it wasn’t his own power or ability, but God’s will.  He also knew that him being made king over Israel was part of God’s purpose for His people, not to exalt David but to exalt God over His people.  Wherever we are now, whatever circumstance we may be in, God has allowed it, for a purpose – His purpose.
  2. Challenges are everywhere but it’s important to inquire God’s will (verses 8 – 10) – The enemy saw that David was made king and they came to attack him.  Being able (well, he did defeat the giant Goliath?!) and strong, David was not short of ideas and courage but yet the first thing the king did was going to seek God’s direction.  How unbelievable is that?  I don’t remember doing that in my life, I only “seek” God’s will when I’m stuck; even then I would be telling Him what I would like to see happening, rather than seeking His will!
  3. Seek God’s grace in everything we do – it’s often easy to seek and ask God what His will is, but it may not be equally easy to carry it out.  Like all parents, our God loves an obedient child (Jesus promised us that when we ask, He’ll answer; when we knock, the door will be opened and when we seek, we’ll find it.  Asking for guidance had better come with a humble heart willing to follow – if David had not done what God has told him to do the Philistines would not have been conquered.
  4. Seek God’s grace and guidance over and over again, don’t rely on our past experiences – our minds are clever, they record past incidents and soon after a pattern of circumstance-reaction forms.  After the 1st enemy attack, they came again (of course, being God’s children doesn’t come in vain).  David could well have followed his past experience, “yep, here they are again, let’s go back to plan A, folks!”.  No, the enemy looks the same (depression, fear, rejection,…) but God has different plan for us each time we befall into that trap.  He took David and his army on a different route this time, even though the same enemy raided again (verse 13).  And guess what, David followed whole-heartedly and won the battle (yet again). 

Yes, going back to the basic – seek, ask, follow – like a little child.

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