Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Strength In My Weakness

Outside my safe and dry room is the gently falling rain. 

Somehow I can't stop listening to this song Скрой Меня, or Cover Me by Hillsong Kiev. The lyrics go: 

Let the storm rage and the thunder roar. 
Above the fray I will be with you (I think?), 
My Father, my King in all the earth.
I am not afraid, my God is with me.

It's not thundering outside. Neither is any kind of hurricane storm raging. But inside I am still fighting battles that seem impossible sometimes. And there are times when I actually doubt if I will ever be entirely delivered from these troubles. I mean, didn't Paul cry out for a thorn to be removed from his side and yet it wasn't? (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). 

But I think about the reason why his thorn was not removed- Paul said that it was to "keep [him] from being conceited." As a result, there's a side of Paul that was always kept weak, powerless and uncertain. And in that weakness, that powerlessness and uncertainty, God knows that Paul will run to Him for help. And only when Paul humbles himself before the Almighty God, will the Holy Spirit work His mighty arm for the salvation of His peoples. 

It's like the Old Testament tradition of circumcision. Why did God require it of His holy nation, Israel? Circumcision was a physical mean to curb the pride of man- just like a ring is sometimes put through a bull's nose to control the angry animal. In 1 Samuel 17:26, David asks, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" Therefore, the uncircumcised man is not only proud, but he is also defiant to the will of God. 

"For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." (Galatians 5:17)

If anything, God requires a "circumcised heart". A heart that is so humble and weak for its master than a slight tug is all that is required for His servant to move. In the same way, only a slight tug on a bull's ring nose is necessary to get the animal in motion. 

All that being said, I must give thanks to God, even for the thorns in my flesh- the daily battles that rage around me and never seem to go away. They remind me of how weak I actually am; what little power and wisdom I actually have. And only when I am leaning completely and utterly upon the Holy Spirit, can He work through me for His glory!

Amen! Hallelujah! His ways are indeed higher than my ways...


Tonight, (or I guess, since it's 03:45 in the morning right now), yesterday night, God led me to a Bible study at T.J.'s house. The reason why I say that God led me there, is literally because I wasn't supposed to go because I didn't have a ride there. But at just the right time, God provided a ride! 

Truthfully, I felt very uncomfortable when I first got there. But that's a normal feeling, I guess, to be in a room surrounded by people you don't know, all facing each other and sharing deeply personal prayer requests. But once we started praying, I could just feel the Holy Spirit speaking through my thoughts and other people's prayers. His was such a familiar voice, yet such a voice! Many times during the night, He sent my heart racing with conviction, with rhema and with revelations. Even in my earthly discomfort, the Holy Spirit lifted me up in His arms and wrapped me in His garments of righteousness. 

Then, as if our conversation could not bear to end, I went home and just ate up God's Word in a way that I haven't in a long time. It touched my heart to see well-known verses spring to new life- injecting my soul with fresh perspective and renewed passion. 

This, this is the living water that I have been craving for! 

I have so much more to learn, to take hold of...... May I never feel as if I'm "already there"! 

Dear sweet Jesus, my soul faints and longs for You. There is none like You who satisfies my spirit. Your fullness, Your wholeness overwhelms me. You fill me to the bursting with good things from Your table. From Your throne Your living waters flow into my life, washing away all unclean things, healing all diseases and watering crops to bear a fruitful harvest for You. Better is one day in Your courts, one day in Your house than thousands elsewhere! I pray that I may always dwell in Your sanctuary. Never take Your Spirit from me, but put Your Spirit and heart in mine always. In Jesus' name, Amen! O Holy One of Israel, Jehovah Nissi my banner of Love, You alone are worthy to be praised and lifted up! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Death At 2 A.M.

It's two in the morning and I've got church in a few hours. But before I go to bed, I've had to sort a lot of things out with God. And now that all my questions have been answered, all that's left is for me to stop being so frustrated at things that I cannot control, and just give them up to God. 

As much as it hurts to die inside again, I am looking forward to tomorrow. The reason why I've even come so far in the past few years is because God's been pruning me and molding me into something new. So death is not a new concept to me. It still hurts. It still stinks when I have to give up something, when a piece of me just dies...... Wilts and falls off. 

But when an empty space is made in my soul- that's another space that the Holy Spirit can pour His love, joy and peace into. So what else can I do but praise God for His wisdom? 

In His wisdom, He brings about circumstances in my life that usually leave me shaking my head in puzzlement. But later, He reveals that they were actually planned and placed situations to either teach me, perfect me or protect me. 

I know that sometime soon, I will likely look back and feel stupid for feeling frustrated at things that were meant for my good. 

No one likes to eat vegetables or medicine. But they bring about nutrition and healing. 

So I find myself here on my knees again... Caught up in grace like an avalanche. 

God if it takes a million deaths to get to You, so be it. Each time I try to satiate my spiritual hunger on things of this world, may You pry it out of my hands and throw it far away from me! And then, may You come and bring me the healing that I so desperately need and crave. Every inch of me longs for You. This burning in my heart for You- let it never be quenched! 

I guess, right now can never be too soon to begin on a prayerful journey towards victory. 

In Jesus' name! Amen!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poka Koshka

I'm sitting here next to my bedroom window looking outside at the grey skies and loving every bit of this cool fall air. Goodbye summer, hello autumn! I wonder if I'll get to see the leaves change colours before I leave. 

Koshka is no longer around- I've given her to my friend for good and she's got a new home now. I wonder how she's doing. I miss her furriness and nails in my arm. Not to mention her snuggywuggy widdle face whiskering right up my leg. Sigh... I didn't cry when I gave her away because I felt that I would see her again someday. And also, I know she's going to a fun place with lots of mice, dogs and chickens to keep her occupied. She'll have a warm place to sleep and food aplenty for the rest of her life. What more could a kitty ask for? 

But I had so many memories with her...... 

On nights when I felt so depressed I thought I could die, I used to hold her tight and cry into her fur. Even as a kitten, Koshka knew. And there were days when she used to sit in the front seat of my car with just one paw on my leg with her eyes closed. And then there were times when she'd pee into my stuff and I'd get so mad at her. 

She was always a little presence when God was just reaching out to me. I feel that He sent Koshka to me to be my little non-talking-back friend in my darkest days. When the light of Jesus came into my life, she was there to share my joy- to listen to me laugh and sing songs in my room. And later when I dormed up at in college, she'd always be waiting at home for me on the deck or in the basement when I came back on the weekends; and we'd chill just like old times. 

I wonder if she remembers all these things as I do. 

But even if she doesn't, I'll always remember her as I do my other pet friends. But Koshka will always have a special place in my heart. No other cat could ever replace her. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something At 06:39

Wow, check that time out! I haven't been able to sleep all night; partly because I can't and partly because I didn't even try. And even if I did try to sleep, I don't think it would be possible. I currently feel energetic enough to go out for a run. I see the sky outside's been getting brighter by the minute now and my feet are getting itchy. 

Where is this fast taking me anyway? 

Why haven't I been able to sleep at normal times for the past few nights? Where is all this energy coming from?! Sitting home all day??? 

I want to do something

And not just something, but something helpful. Something... I don't know what. But something! I've got to do something... 


Trying to focus on God is actually getting harder. Why? Is it because I'm trying too hard? Is it because I'm relying on myself and not asking the Holy Spirit to work instead? I don't know what it is but I'm getting antsier by the minute. 

Okay, that's it. 

Come 07:00, I'm going for a run! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Russian Around

Hmm... Other than going on occasionally to update my music playlist, I haven't touched Russian in a while. I guess a lot of it has to do with not having any Russian friends that I talk to regularly anymore besides you, Tanya :P 

Guess it's time to brush off the dust on my Russian books and start studying! 

On a crazy-cool note, I just realised there's someone who went to the same high school AND college as me! How weird! Most people who live around these parts have never even heard of Jersey City, let alone Saint Peter's! This really tickles me...

That's today, right now, in a nutshell I guess. 

Being in limbo gets kind of quiet sometimes... 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nothing But Dust

Who am I? 

Who do I think I am, that God could bear to live in my heart? 

That this perfect, Almighty, unblemished God who is HOLY could live in this dark dirty temple of my heart? 

Who am I that God could ever think to forgive me? 

I have and am nothing. 

I read His Word and feel so unworthy. I feel as if I couldn't read anymore. I do not deserve the honour of hearing His Words or seeing His face. 

And yet, my heart longs for His presence. 

Dear God, You are HOLY. You sit upon the highest of highs. You judge the hearts of men and nations of the earth. Nothing is hidden from You. Everything is laid bare- including my heart. When You look at me, Your eyes pierce into the very inner parts of my soul. Your light casts my being in shadow and I cannot bear to lift my face. God, why would You ever choose me in all my sinfulness, inadequacies and disgusting habits? All my righteous acts and thoughts are too disgusting to mention. Why would You even bother? Why am I still alive and not thrown into the pits of hell- condemned to what I deserve? Oh God, I appeal to You in Your great love and mercy. Do not look upon me but upon the blood of Jesus Christ. Cover over my shame with the grace You have shown on the cross. Lift me up in my despair and reassure my spirit with Your voice. I long for Your presence with all my heart... Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. I am so sorry Lord Jesus, for all the times I have ever grieved Your Holy Spirit. Do not leave me in my sorrow but deliver me... In Jesus' Name, I pray, Amen.

Who am I? 

I am nothing but dust. 

And I submit myself to the will of the compassionate Potter.


I just finished reading the book When God Winks On New Beginnings- Signposts of Encouragement For Fresh Starts And Second Chances by Squire Rushnell. It was actually a really fast read for a valid reason: I am currently SO involved with this subject of "new beginnings". 

For almost a year now, the building anticipation of graduation and a move to Singapore has been causing my heart to swing from anxiety to excitement. Even now, I sit with the weighty expectation of a job search on my lap. 

I love the fresh new smell of an unused notebook. 

To my mixed fear and delight, a beautiful new book has just been gifted me by God but I am just stumped as to what kind of story I want to fill its pages with.

In When God Winks On New Beginnings, Squire Rushnell mentions Alice asking the Cheshire Cat for directions. Unfortunately, she does not have a destination in mind- to which the Cheshire Cat points out: "Then it doesn't matter much which way you go."

I suppose that's me right now.  

I sat in bed last night trying to trace some lines around the things I'm passionate about and the dreams i've always held in my heart and came to one conclusion: I need to narrow them down. 

Is it a good or bad thing to have a thousand and one dreams? 

Perhaps it's merely a clue as to my lack of passion in any one particular thing, but I've come to some general ideas about the things I truly enjoy just for the sake of doing them. 

  1. I like to be in the great outdoors.
  2. I like to work in interaction with people & animals.
  3. I like to feel as though the work I do is socially rewarding.

I guess that narrows it down a bit, doesn't it? 

Now I just have to step out in faith and wait patiently for those green light moments, those "Godwinks" when I know God is nodding His head in approval and smiling upon the work of my hands.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fasting For Change

Last night as I sat in bed reading God's Word, I felt a tugging in my heart telling me to just focus on Him for a while. So for this month or so, I intend to give up watching any sort of Youtube videos, movies or TV shows. They always tend to keep me up late anyway and distract me from what I really should be doing- poring over God's Word and talking to Him. As for other things that seem to entice my heart toward the world and away from Christ (such as shopping, secular music, etc.), I intend to take a break from them as well.

After all these months of not doing much and enjoying life without any sort of structure or schedule, I think it's time to leave Lala Land and get into a new gear of discipline and hard work.

I know this won't be easy but something's gotta get done, and it's gotta get done now. I'm not going to sit around and wait for God to show me a burning bush anymore. I'm going to actively pursue Him, cry out to Him- and then listen to and obey Him.

I KNOW that I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)

At the beginning of this year I prayed that God would change me so much that by 2012 I'd be unrecognisable again. I know that change won't come if I just sit here waiting for a sign. If I want a more disciplined life, the time is now. If I want to become a strong woman rooted in Christ, the time is now.

Today in church, Pastor Mark gave a basic sermon on salvation. And even though I know I've already accepted Christ, been baptised and whatnot, it felt like a rededication moment. I am remembering the wedding vows I made to Christ the night I decided I would be His. Whether in sickness or in health, whether I feel like it or not- I will always follow Him.

Right now, I don't feel like it. But I know, now, more than ever, I have to press into Jesus. I have to seek Him with all my heart, mind, soul and body. I have to endure hardship, sacrifice and die to myself. But the life in Christ that I have to gain is so much bigger than what I have to lose. In fact, what do I have to lose? Everything that is dragging me down- that's what!

Fight My Losing Battle

I've never fought in a physical war before, but everyday I fight a spiritual war. Everyday the enemy waits for an opportunity to come at me- and when he sees an opening, he sweeps right in with his darts and arrows and tries to kill me.

Sometimes I huddle in fear. Sometimes I fall prey. When that happens, I feel like the ultimate failure... I think to myself: where are you, God?

But I know deep inside that it's not God who's failed to protect me.

God's been very specific in His Word:

"Flee from sexual immorality..." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
"Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:14)
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:11)
"Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22)

He never called us to try to withstand the devil's schemes. We are told to run away as fast as we can, to find refuge under the wings of the Almighty God!

But sometimes I stand so mesmerised that running away is the last thing I feel like doing at the moment.

It's like in those scenes in movies like 2012 or Day After Tomorrow where people are standing in the street staring at the oncoming tornado or tsunami, so entranced by what they are seeing that they're not even attempting to run away.

But that's how the fish gets caught doesn't it?

It sees something interesting in the water, swims after it, thinks it looks tasty, bites it, swallows it...... then gets hooked!

I am so tired of getting hooked. I'm not perfect- I seem to be one of the most gullible and stupid fishes in the pond ever; and it stumps me as to why Jesus would ever want to keep forgiving and pursuing me. But He does! And I am honestly sick of this vicious hooking cycle.

It makes me sick to my stomach.

Dear God, this is obviously a battle that I seem to be losing. Each time I crawl up again, I feel weak and lose confidence at the sight of the enemy. He pushes me over and laughs when I fall. Holy Spirit, will you fight my battles for me? Will you be my shield and rampart? When the enemy comes at me, will you extinguish his arrows? Forgive me for not running to You and for following the desires of my evil heart. Change my heart oh God! Make it ever true... In Jesus' name, Amen!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Just came back from a really interesting evening of fellowship. We actually gathered to watch a movie together, but by the end of the night, almost everyone had split off into their own little group or corners to do their own thing.

It made me wonder, why? Why can't we all just sit together to watch a movie? Why must we always go off to do something else than we came to do?

Anyway, after the movie ended, we had some pretty intense conversations about relationships, spiritual warfare and stuff like that. Half the time, I didn't even know what I was going to say until I was saying it... But it all kind of made sense. I don't know why but I just felt like I HAD to say something! Turns out they may have been things that certain people needed to hear tonight...

And tonight definitely felt like one of those "Wow, God, why would you ever use me?" moments.

What is the meaning of all this?

I don't know... All I can do is to pray and wait upon the Lord. Wait until He lets me know what my next move should be. And when His instructions come, I can only ask that I will have the courage to step up and out in faith. I don't ever want to act in fear of the unknown.

It's strange but I feel tired from all that talking I did.

I wonder what will come next week?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freely Freely Give

It's so incredible to think about how much God loves us. No matter how much I screw up, He always ALWAYS takes me back. He never throws tantrums and refuses to talk to me when I run back to Him crying for forgiveness. He doesn't stand at a distance, reminding me of all the times that I've disappointed Him.

Instead, He's always ready to take me back. He forgives without even the guarantee that I won't do it again. Not that I want to do it again... That's not being truly repentant.

The Holy Spirit also assures me of His promises when I lie in bed at night and the devil comes at me with all kinds of accusations.

How freely He gives to us!

But how freely do I ever give to others?

Do I forgive people readily, or do I wait until they come crawling to me on their knees, begging for forgiveness? And do I only treat people well when they are nice to me? Do I ignore or put on pause those who ignore and put me on pause?

Heart-check, one, two.

Sometimes it hurts to hear the truth. When the Holy Spirit convicts your heart of something, it feels all sore from shame and guilt. But just as physical soreness after a good workout in the gym is an indication of good results later on, so does spiritual soreness indicate a future result of "getting better" spiritually.

Those who don't feel sore once in a while have simply stopped exercising their heart muscles. After a while their spirits atrophy, much like normal muscles do without regular exercise.

I am grateful for the Lord's discipline and rebuke in times when I need it. Though my heart feels sore, I know that He works through all things to bring me good!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Give Me Your Arms

Have you ever been around someone so cheerful, so loving and welcoming, that it seems as though they'd like to embrace the world? Everybody wants to bask in the sunshine of their smile!

I want to be that person.

Even to the ones who doubt or hate me, I want to always be standing there with open arms. I don't ever want the truly lost or hurt to feel as if I haven't time or energy for them. What unending love that Jesus has put in my heart, I want to overflow out to everyone around me!

But easier said than done...

As I type, several scenarios are coming up in my mind to remind me how far I am from being able to love others so freely.

Whenever I am hurt by people, I try to run and hide from them. Avoidance is key. Although that's slightly less terrible than what I used to d0 (hurt them back), it's still not the way to go.

Still such a long road ahead and I don't think I can do it. But leaning on the strength of God, I know I can!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sharing In Christ's Sufferings

I was gonna start writing a post about how difficult life has been... how tough it is to live the Christian life amidst this dark world- but then I realised that this "tough Christian life" is exactly what I've been asking for.

I asked God to help me live outside of my comfort zone didn't I? And I asked that He would help me to live carrying the cross each day didn't I?

So now that I've got great opportunities to test my mettle, witness to others in God's love, why am I screaming "pain! PAIN!"? Has not God prepared the way ahead? Is He not right there with me in the fire? Will He not deliver me when I call?

So I'll just say one thing- things are definitely not getting easier by the day. But at least I know that I will not be tested beyond what I can handle. I also know that all these things are to reap a great harvest when the time is right. I am just grateful that God has counted me worthy to take part in His sufferings.

Today when we took communion in church, it struck me that I am always eager to participate in the blessings of Christ, but not so much in the sufferings of Christ.

Yet Romans 8:17 says "Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Also in Job 2:10, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

I know that all these things will pass... They are worldly temporary troubles. But we work for a prize that is far greater. A prize that cannot be destroyed by rust, moth or mold. So I count all my miseries as gain!

Thank you God, for testing me and molding me into someone who may stand in Your presence someday, knowing that I have pleased You. I pray that You will give me the right attitude in handling all the trials that are coming my way. Help me to lean unto You with all I've got. Use all of this for Your glory! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

The Burden Of Making & Keeping Friends

Friends come and go. We've all experienced this, and the world tells us that it's normal. But is it normal for a Christian? When Christ tells us to "love others as yourself", does that include the option of choosing who you want to love?

I think the answer is a clear NO.

From my recent posts, you may have gathered that I'm really struggling with some friendship issues.

The thing is, I've been getting hurt a lot lately by people whom I considered as good friends. Most of them are hurting me unintentionally, but it doesn't make the pain any less real, nor does it excuse their words and actions. However, I can't change them anymore than I can stop water from pouring over the Niagara Falls. The only person I can change in these situations is myself.

And I am so afraid of falling into the trap of avoiding and leaving them like I am prone to doing. I know that may not be what God wants me to do right now.

While I understand that in abusive relationships, staying and "riding it out" isn't usually the wise option, I just feel that shutting out other people isn't being a very good witness for Christ.

But oh it's so hard!

Every time I make the decision to love a person who has hurt me, I feel like I die a little bit inside. I literally feel my heart pulse with sadness as I choose to forget the things they have done or said. It pains me to realise that they may never understand the sacrifice I've given in my heart... Not for their sakes, but because of what Christ has done for me.

How can I not forgive when Jesus has so freely forgiven me- a disgusting worm?

Dear Lord Jesus, help me and sustain me in my time of need. Help me to focus on the love that you have spilled on the cross. Give me the strength to continue loving those who misunderstand me and hate me without reason. Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me. Let no bitterness or hate take root in my heart, but fill my spirit with Your love, compassion and peace. I want to see others as You see them. In Jesus' Name I ask all these, Amen!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Children Of The Light

After spending a week visiting up at school and hardly making time to read my Bible, I feel totally filthy and tired. Spiritually-speaking, that is. I snap so easily. Small things piss me off and everything just seems so stupid. Instead of running to God, I find myself running towards other distractions for comfort instead.

It got to the point where this morning, I was woken up by the most horrible, violating nightmare ever.

It's interesting... Even though I tried to stay away from "worldly things" these few days, just being around and talking to worldly people has just been so draining. My spiritual batteries feel as if they've been running on empty since last night.

I need some serious Jesus time. Need to just sit quietly with Him, soak up His presence again. There is still so much work that needs to be done. So much growing up to do. This week just showed me again how much further I have to go.

Help me finish this race Jesus!

Help me to remember who I am...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Living In Reverse

I just finished reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I especially loved the ending because it gave me a powerful reminder about living in reverse.

For example, when God tells us to love our enemies, how would that really look like in our lives? I mean, we as Christians talk about it all the time, but how exactly do we love our enemies?

Francis described our enemies as possibly people who annoy us, or people whom we try to avoid or people that we don't like talking to because they irritate us.

I used to think that I didn't have a lot of enemies. But the way Francis Chan describes "enemies", I realised that I actually do have a whole lotta them. People that I've just conveniently shoved out of my life because I didn't want to "deal with them".

Yet God commands us to LOVE them.

I honestly can't say when was the last time I did or said anything loving to these people without expecting anything in return. I certainly don't treat them the way I wish to be treated because I was busy "protecting" myself from the hurt I knew they would cause me. I try to justify the way I act by remembering all the times they've attacked me without cause. Wouldn't it make sense to NOT put yourself out there, only to get stepped on again? But that's definitely not acting in love. That's acting in fear.

Whew. Major heart check.

Jesus, give me the strength and courage to do exactly as You say! I'm sorry that I've slid back into my comfort zone and watered down Your Word. I am sorry for only caring about my needs and not the needs of others. Put Your love in my heart so that I may love those who hate me, who talk bad behind my back. Help me to translate that love into real actions so that I may treat them the way I know I want to be treated. Help me to remember that I am but dust of this earth- here today and gone tomorrow. Nobody owes me anything, but I owe You my life! Teach me to live my life washing the feet of others, humbled daily and taking up my cross. Take me out of my comfort zone and let Your Holy Spirit transform my life. In Jesus' Name I pray, let it be so, Amen!

Monday, September 05, 2011


I know well my tendency towards pride.

I know that I have a knack for making myself sound or look 10x better than in reality. And I enjoy attention- the more the better! (It's really the reason why I started this blog in 2006...)

To some, my arrogance may come off as confidence. To the more discerning who cannot be fooled, a stench.

One of the hardest things for me to do ever is to humble myself. To not talk someone else down to make myself look/feel better. To admit that I am wrong. To apologise without agenda and to sit quietly in a corner. Those are all things that I have to constantly work on with all my heart, mind and strength. Inside is always a raging battle against malicious gossip, self-righteous denial and selfish agendas.

And to be honest, I'm afraid of that old me resurfacing again when I move back to Singapore. That ol' prideful, arrogant, showoff-ish me.

You know, one of the thoughts that popped into my head when I saw our new house actually went something along the lines of: "I can't wait to show this gorgeous place off."


Yeah, no. Really. I really did think that.

I can't believe how retarded my thoughts can be sometimes.

Did I BUY this house? No! It's not even mine!
And so what if I live in a nice house? Anyone who saw the numbers in my bank account would never care to rob me. I don't even have a job!
And what do I gain from all this at the end of the day?

In fact, I have so much more to lose when I give in to selfish thoughts like that. I lose my confidence in approaching Christ because I know my pride grieves Him. My senses become numbed as I start to live in the world again.

The world may care about such things; but now that Christ is in the picture, everything is different!

And things are different now.

I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now I see!

Maybe when you woke up one morning as a born-again Christian, things haven't changed much. But for me, it has. And not only my lifestyle- but mostly in the deepest darkest thoughts of my heart.

See God doesn't care if I'm a goody-two-shoes in front of other people, "witnessing" to them out of my daily life. What He truly cares about is my heart, because what my heart thinks and feels will eventually overflow into my daily actions and habits.

If my heart were truly right with God, I would not have to struggle with being a better person. Because "being a better person" is not my goal. If my heart were truly right with God, I'd obey Him not because I have to, but because I want to. Whatever hurts God, hurts me. Whatever makes Him cringe, makes me cringe.

So when the Holy Spirit looks into my heart and sees prideful selfish thoughts as these, He grieves- and I grieve right along with Him.

I hate these thoughts of mine. They make my flesh crawl. And the thought of ever going back to that selfish life again makes me feel like vomiting.

Dear Lord Jesus, keep watch over my thoughts and ways. Let me not be like a dog that returns to its vomit or like a pig that goes back to wallowing in the mud. Purify my thoughts and help me to love you with all I've got. Don't let me stumble in any way but help me to always be honest. May my lips never speak lies, exaggerations or misinformation. May they always be filled with thanksgiving, truth and pleasant words! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Back In The U.S. of A

The house smelled woody when we first stepped in because the air vents have been turned off for a week now. Everything in my bedroom looks as if I'd never left. It's too quiet outside and very dark. It feels so weird! I'm relieved to be home but I feel like an alien again.

Speaking of feeling like an alien...

Once again I'm reminded that it's not easy being a Christian. Although I live in religion-tolerant countries and do not have to worry about being killed for believing in Jesus Christ, I still feel the weight of persecution from friends and family who think that I'm "too radical", "judgmental" or "too much into that Jesus-thing". It's funny that others view me as being judgmental even when I don't speak to them about their sin. Thing is, I'm too busy fighting my own to point yours out. Could it be however, that when I speak God's Word, the Holy Spirit is convicting you in your spirit?

It's also interesting that some may think I'm "too radical". If only you knew that I don't think I'm "radical" enough!

Luke 9:57-62 describes the cost of following Jesus. If after reading this, you're thinking to yourself how unreasonable Jesus is to not let someone bury his dead father before following Jesus, you're missing the point. What Jesus is saying is: stop giving me your "valid" excuses. I want ALL of you!

Again, Mark 12:30 says "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

It doesn't say "love me when you stop sinning" or "love me after you graduate" or "love me after you've settled down, saved enough money and taken care of that health problem". Neither does Jesus ask for just your Sundays at church. He wants to be in EVERY area of your life!

And if that is what it means to be "radical", then where does that leave all the not-so-radical people who claim to be Christian but lead comfortable lives where Jesus is only present at certain times of the week?

I just read today in Francis Chan's book Crazy Love that the term "Lukewarm Christian" is an oxymoron. Why? Because if you're lukewarm, you're not a Christian. And if you're a Christian, you will never be lukewarm. See Revelations 3:15-18.

So now, even as I am hated and slandered by many, I will take heart "for just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows" (2 Corinthians 1:5)

All the friends I have ever gained apart from Christ, I count as loss. All the possessions I have will be here today and gone tomorrow. At the end of it all, who else will I have in heaven but You, Lord Jesus? Help me to bear this burden of feeling misunderstood, slandered, beaten and abused. I thank You and rejoice that You have counted me worthy of sharing in Your sufferings! Lift me up in my sadness and bless me with Your presence. In Jesus' Name I pray Amen!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

House-hunting In SG

I guess now that my family knows I'm back in Singapore, I can finally write about it here. Haha!

The reason why I didn't want to tell anyone that we were coming back to Singapore this week in the first place was so that we could prank them! And oh boy the prank went so well, I couldn't believe it myself. Got severe stomach cramps afterwards from all the laughing!

So we finally found a house today and it looks gorgeous......

I can't help but just be awed at how good God has been and is to this family. From my point of view, the way I live, the comforts of life that I get to enjoy is all thanks to God. There is no way that I could ever live this comfortably if not for His hand of blessing over us. There are no words to describe how grateful I feel today. How many other families in Singapore will ever even know what it feels like to not worry about food the next day?

As we were viewing houses today, I was struck by two contrasts- an elderly Chinese man cleaning the floors, looking dejected, and a rich young family relaxing by the side of the pool. Surely fate has dealt them both very different cards! One has to scrape by for a living and the other doesn't seem to have to.

There is so much suffering and struggling in Singapore all around us. Why don't people stop and see? Why doesn't anybody seem to care about the hearts that are screaming on the inside? Everywhere I turn, there always seems to be a sad face...