Saturday, October 29, 2011

Failing In The Future

Today is going to be a church marathon of sorts. I'm attending the 12:30 bilingual service (English & Chinese combined), having lunch, then rushing off to Lakeside for the Nazarene home Bible study. I might not get home until it gets dark. At this rate, I wonder when my laundry is ever going to get done? Nobody knows how to use this washing machine except my mom, but nobody knows which of my clothes can't go in the dryer except I. Yet we never seem to be home at the same time. 

Anyway, I'm kind of excited to see what today will hold. There are so many things that could possibly take place or be said and done. What will today's future be like? Guess I'll find out by the end of today...

Sometimes I think about how God knows us so well that He already knows that we will choose a certain path down the road. It must really break His heart, or encourage Him to have that kind of foresight. Imagine me praying that I will give my life to Him; yet He already foresees that I would fail Him later. Basically like how Jesus foretold that Peter would disown Him three times before the rooster crowed. Ironically, even after Peter heard Jesus' prediction, he still disowned Christ! 

Honestly, this only goes to show how loving our Heavenly Father is. He actually loves us sooo much that even though He knows we will trip up in our future, He is still willing to forgive us and show us His salvation when we go to Him with sincere hearts. He doesn't say "oh, I would forgive you, but do you know that by this time next Monday, you'll be cursing my name? So, I can't really do anything for you right now until next Tuesday when you will repent..."

Instead, God loves us enough to trust us with His heart. He shows us His love when we seek it. Unconditionally He makes Himself known to us. He doesn't wait until we are washed white as snow before He comes into our lives. Rather, He comes into our hearts then washes us white as snow. 

Okay, I guess what I'm trying to say is, God loves us so much that He trusts us to make our own decisions. And even though He may foresee failure in our future, that doesn't stop Him from loving us anyway. If you knew your friend was going to betray you next week (let's say she cheats with your boyfriend), would you still buy her that expensive Prada bag for her birthday tomorrow? I know many people wouldn't... 

Thank you God for Your great love! That You were willing to forgive us and die for us before we were even born. And that You are also willing to forgive us even though we are still yet imperfect and may fail you in the future. I pray that I will trust in You as You have so faithfully trusted me with Your heart. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Interview

I went for my first interview in Singapore today. 

Boy, when I finally put on all my clothes and looked into the mirror, my professional-looking self kind of scared me for a moment. I thought about all the times I watched my mom get ready for work when I was little, and here I was, preening myself just like she did when I thought she looked so "big" and "adult"! 

The interview didn't go amazingly well because I was a little bit too nervous. The interviewer kindly gave me some honest feedback afterwards and her comments such as "too fidgety" and "not enough energy" only served to highlight what I'd already suspected. 

Not all is lost though. I am really glad that my first interview did not go smoothly, so that I will be better prepared for my next one. 

Who knows?

I hope in a month or so, yours truly will be fully employed. By then I'd probably look back on this day and smile. I'll probably also miss my carefree (extended) summer days. 

Tomorrow is going to be an important day. I am going to spend some serious time with the One who will give me a REAL interview someday... You know, the one where He decides whether I go to heaven or hell......

My mind is heavy but my heart is light. 

Praise God for all the things He's done in our lives! Even the "bad" things! I am praising Him for them because "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Monday, October 24, 2011


Well, what can I say? Life in Singapore has been awesome so far. I wake up in the morning, silence the alarm, do nothing for almost the whole morning, walk around, meet up with a friend or two for dinner, then go home and sleep. I seem to do very little, but my mind is going crazy with all this thinking about this, that, and everything. 

A few things I've been thinking about today... 
  1. My conversations with Talia about our future marriages (Will it ever come for us? Are we doing the right things? Will it happen a few years or when we're 50?!)
  2. The reason why a lot of people seem to hate me even though I've always been nice to them (or at least I think I've been nice to them!)
  3. The kind of job I'll be working this time next year
  4. How patient God is with a loser like me... 
  5. How Singaporeans may slow down their lives in such a cosmopolitan country
  6. If people can hear my music through my headphones in a quiet lift

Okay, on the way home today, this one thing was really bothering me...

I know because I'm tall and dark, I tend to stand out (literally) in a crowd. So it's not uncommon for people to stare at me. But to be honest, I really don't enjoy all this eyeball attention. In the U.S., it wasn't so bad. Mostly because I don't take public transport all the time. But in Singapore, I am always conscious of a zillion eyes staring at me everywhere I go, analyzing my appearance from my head to my toes. And often times, it's GIRLS who are staring, not guys! I can't seem to take the bus or train without constantly feeling like there are eyes boring holes into my back.

It's kind of unsettling and comes as a bit of a culture shock to me. 

I used to like people-watching, but I don't check out people nowadays, even if someone happens to catch my eye, because I personally hate being eyeballed- so now I don't wish this upon someone else!

Now I know why people (especially girls) are so much more self-conscious here. It's very sad. I used to be an advocate of dressing well, no matter the event, situation or time of day. But now, I wish that everyone would just walk around in shorts, tattered T-shirts and flip-flops instead. Perhaps if people felt more comfortable in public, they wouldn't be so uptight about every little thing. 

I have to constantly remind myself not to take little things personally nowadays. For example, it's not uncommon to have people stare rudely at you after you apologise for THEM bumping into you first. At first, I felt very indignant about this. But afterwards, I realised that if anything is going to change around here, it will have to begin with me. So I really have to work on being gracious and patient no matter what. 

I am in such great need of God each day. Everyday I see my need for His grace and presence growing. I know I should be spending more time reading His Word and praying, but it's so hard. Why is it so hard?!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Search Continues...

Okay, confession time. 

I have not applied to a single job in Singapore yet. Unconsciously, I've been holding back in fear, not faith. I think I'm just afraid that things will not work out- either that I'll hate my job or be horrible at it. 

Funny... I'm listening to Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture right now and they're singing "you make all things work together for my good" over and over again. 


I know that! 

But I just......

Okay. Tomorrow I will apply to at least one. I promise. 

Watch this space. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Faithfulness & Sunshine

Ever since I've been back in this equatorial island, life's been going at about 50mph as compared to the 5mph before in Pennsylvania. At least it's not 80mph (yet...), however I'm already finding it hard to dedicate time to God. It's always a big struggle for me to regularly spend time reading the Bible. I am usually not inclined to doing other beneficial activities such as exercising, eating right and sleeping at appropriate times- so spending time with God is definitely a toughie. 

And as I spend less time communicating with and hearing from God, I can feel my heart begin to get drawn to other things...... 

And then, something amazing happens. 

When I least expect it, God speaks so clearly to me through people, a song, a Facebook status, that it jolts my spirit into longing for His presence again. All of a sudden, my strange and disturbing desire to listen to Love You Like A Love Song by Selena Gomez repeat-peat-peat-peat-peatedly disappears and all I want is to sing praise to the God who set me free! 

2 Timothy 2:13 says "If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself."

Even when my heart began to wander, God was patient enough to woo me back to Him. He forgave my imperfections, looked past my impatience and understood my weakness. The human mind is truly bound to madness. How could I ever desire anything apart from His sweet presence? The joy that fills and satisfies every longing in my heart, the peace that covers and surrounds me like a breeze or a blanket... Just that unspeakable loveliness that is Jesus Christ! To ever want anything else is simply madness. 

Two nights ago I awoke in the midst of a terrible nightmare. Yet even as my spirit cried out to Jesus, He reached down and covered me with His hand. I felt so safe... like a baby sheltered in her Heavenly Father's strong arms. It was then I felt kind of guilty too, because I haven't been spending too much time with Him. I felt like I only reached out to God when I needed His help, and I was so touched that He would still listen to and help me in my time of need. 

I know that God's faithfulness does not increase directly as a result of my faithfulness to Him. I am infinitely lesser in every way than the Almighty God is. How could I ever earn His love? All I can do is to draw as near to Him as I can possibly can so as to bask in the glow of His presence. 

The sun will always be in the sky whether or not I go outside or stay indoors. But I want to go out in its warm rays every chance I can get. Sometimes I get lazy and just want to sit indoors. Too little sun though and the lack of Vitamin D could get me a bit cranky. That's okay. The sun is still there. I just need to get up from my couch and out into the sunshine again...


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Destination Arrived

We're finally here and I just can't believe it. 

My hair seems so long all of a sudden and I'm already thinking about where I'm going to run in the mornings. 

I wonder what kind of job/s I'm going to end up working the next few years? The windows aren't the only foggy things right now. My mind's all in a mess too. Mostly because we can't get settled into our apartment immediately. We have to wait for our furniture to arrive by sea shipment first. 

On today's agenda is: 

  1. Stay awake 
  2. Buy sandals/flipflops
  3. Get a cellphone
  4. Get converter plugs 

Dear God, this is so weird...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Modesty Is The Best Policy

Starting about two months ago, I started thinking hard about the way I dress. When I scrolled through my pictures on Facebook, I began to notice skirts that were too short, shirts too low or just outfits that were plain suggestive. I'd like to say that I am this awesome person who never judges other people at first glance, but unfortunately that would be a lie. I judge people all the time. I make efforts to have these judgmental thoughts flee, but they still surface once in a while- whether unconsciously or not. God knows I need His help to overcome this terrible temptation! But when God turned my own judgmental eyes upon my outfits, it was like a light was suddenly switched on. 

I've always hated covering up my body. I like my feet aired out in flipflops even in the wintertime (or better yet, barefoot). I've always feel restricted by clothing and never saw them as a means of protection from lusting eyes or a means to respect my body. 

Not until recently that is......

So I've been ruminating on this virtue called modesty, and began to think of it not just in terms of the way I dress, but also the things I talk and think about. Do I think modest thoughts that are appropriate and fitting and do I act modestly, with discretion? 

When I think about modesty, the word humility also comes to mind. One cannot be modest without being humble. Often when I am fighting the urge to dress inappropriately, I find that the number one reason is often pride in a particular body part. It may not even be an issue of over-exposure. Sometimes, even putting on too much makeup seems (to me at least) a result of excessive pride. 

I know this may not make sense to most people, even some of my fellow Christians, but I want to ask you something: 

Are you causing someone else to stumble because of the way you dress?

The reason why I'm asking you, is because I am asking myself this daily now. 

In Luke 17:1-3, "Jesus said to his disciples: 'Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.'"

See I've thought about the excuse before that if other people sin because of the way I dress, they just lack self-control and that's their fault. Why should I watch what I wear just because men and women can't control their eyes and thoughts? 

But after reading Luke 17:1-3, I felt the Holy Spirit was saying, "Hey if you really loved people the way I want you to love them, you would be concerned about temptations that came their way- and you would care enough to NOT want to be a stumbling block that causes them to fall!"

Everyday is still a struggle, because I'm so used to dressing the way I've always dressed for the most part of my life. But now that Jesus has set me free by opening my eyes, I will hang onto His Word and follow it to true freedom- that is the freedom to live as a redeemed child of God!

Friday, October 07, 2011


Yesterday was the last full day I spent in my house. All the furniture and stuff got packed up this morning and now I'm typing from a hotel room. I know that this may well be the last time I will ever sleep in that bedroom. I have had so many memories there... It was so weird to see it standing empty after the movers had gotten the bed out and everything. 

Goodbyes are so sad yet so exciting at the same time. I don't see what's around the bend, but because of my hope in Christ, I know it is something better! No matter my circumstances, I know my residence in heaven is waiting for me. 

I wonder what Mr. Jobs was thinking during his last few moments. As a professing Buddhist, was he waiting to experience reincarnation? Or perhaps he already felt that he'd achieved nirvana. If that were the case (and I hope not), how horrible the sights he must've seen after leaving earth!

The despair... The lack of hope. 

And not just for Mr. Jobs, but for all people around the world. What a terrible thing it is to place your hope in something your whole life, only to die and realise that it has only led you to ruin and destruction! 

Praise God for revealing Himself to those He loves, for building our faith, giving us hope beyond death and joy despite all circumstances! 

Joy despite all circumstances eh... 

For some reason, I've been gradually getting more and more irritated all day today. It got to the point when I couldn't even eat dinner with my family anymore and had to go lie down in the car by myself. I examined myself and realised that I've just been getting more and more judgmental (again). I keep analysing everything my family says and does- then I get mad when it doesn't match up with God's Word. Of course it doesn't! They're not Christians and we're certainly not all perfect! But my rotten heart still demands this perfection from others. Why? Am I even perfect myself?


Monday, October 03, 2011

Coincidence, Not

Last night, temperatures outside dropped below 10 Celsius. As of right now, it is still freezing and almost all my warm clothing is either packed away in the basement already or in Singapore. I guess I didn't anticipate still being here in October and therefore didn't pack accordingly. In fact there are countless things that I did not anticipate- and I always wonder why they've turned out the way they did? 

Obviously, nothing happens by chance since God orders our lives. 

It wasn't by chance that our move got delayed for over a month, that certain people came into my life in the past few weeks, or even that we got flea-attacked recently. 

The question is, why though?

There are some things which God has been gracious to reveal to me the purposes behind His ways. But other things just leave me puzzled yet wondering. Perhaps the answer lies in the next month, year, decade... never? Who knows? 

I am not fretting about not knowing. I am just ruminating on how perfect God's will is. Even in not revealing His ways to me, He shows infinite wisdom. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Yet I can't help but be curious. No matter how I try to guess what God may be up to, the true answer always blows me away. 

In each circumstance, God demonstrates a "multi-faceted" goodness. 

To illustrate better, I'll share an example: 

When I found out that our move would get delayed for about five weeks, I was kind of disappointed. I was ready to get out into the world and September seemed like the perfect time. Yet this is the good that has resulted from the delay... 

Firstly, the five weeks of limbo time has afforded me a rare opportunity to soak in the Word and spend intimate time in prayer with God. Not having anything to do all day really enabled me to focus on Jesus in my thoughts. Most days I really felt like I was thinking about Him all day long. As a result, God's been able to work growth in me and to use me for His various purposes. 

Secondly, a silent prayer/sadness of mine was that if I left in September, I would probably not be able to see fall and enjoy cool weather anymore. Well, God definitely answered that one!

Thirdly, I had the opportunity to meet more Christian friends. Not only have they helped me grow, but I know that God is also using me in their lives- even if it's in a small way. 

Fourthly, the delay gave me more time to think about what I want to do when I go back to SG. Better to think while I'm in the US than in SG- so that my family doesn't think I'm just bumming!

So as you can see, in God's wisdom, this situation reaped goodness in many facets of my life. I am sure that there are a multitude of other reasons, but I do not know them all... yet. All I know is, God is good, ALL THE TIME! Even when things don't make sense, He still works for the good of those who love Him. 

You Saved Me... Again

This Sunday started out stormy- both weather-wise and emotions-wise. 

My house has been under a flea attack for the past two weeks because of Koshka. Strangely, my mother has been the only one getting all the bites while the rest of us have escaped quite unscathed. It's a profound mystery. Unfortunately, this flea attack did not come at a good time because we are currently in the process of packing up all our furniture and stuff. You can imagine the added stress this has brought to my mom. 

Yet, although I understand where her frustration is coming from, it still drives me up the wall when I feel like she's taking her anger out on me. I knew the fleas weren't even the main issue. All that anger she has inside is just coming out at every possible opportunity; and the best part is, I can't even really say much or retaliate because I'm trying to be a good daughter. However today, I finally told her that I didn't know what to do whenever she acts like this. If it's not something I did, it's something I didn't do. I felt like no matter what the situation, she was just always angry. 

Obviously that talk didn't go well- and it wasn't because of my tone. 

Afterwards, I had about an hour to myself. I sat in the car thinking about how I can't change who my mother is or how she acts. And yes, I could pray to God, but ultimately, the tangible right-now thing that I could change is me. And deep down inside, I knew that I would have to do the dreaded apology thing again. I felt God telling me to humble myself no matter how wronged I felt. He reminded me that my mom still has authority over me and that I should respect and honour that authority, not test it. 

So after asking for strength from Jesus Christ, with racing heartbeats, I told her that I was sorry for the cat bringing fleas into the house and that she had every right to be angry at me. I also made commitments to be available to help with the packing process or anything else that she needed. 

She obviously didn't pat my head or anything, but the tense atmosphere dissolved a little. 

I can't tell you how conflicted I felt inside though, as I was apologising. On the one hand, my mind is saying, "she's always taking advantage of you and acting out on you!" On the other hand, the Holy Spirit told me "honour your father and mother, for this pleases the Lord."

See, I don't care anymore whether or not I have a legit reason to be mad at the people in my life with authority over me. So my parents are human- and so am I. Who am I to forgive when forgiveness alone belongs to God? And who am I to question their authority if I want my own kids to respect mine? 

My mom once hinted that she only started going to church again because she truly saw and believed the drastic change that she witnessed in me over the past two years. Knowing that, I can't ruin my daily witness by holding pride and resentment in my heart! I should live out every second of my day the exact way that I profess Jesus Christ walks in love. If I preach a Christ humbled on the cross, then I should reflect that humility in my daily actions since I claim that He lives in me. 

And you know what, He made the impossible possible. 

I would never in a million years have been able to do or say what I did today, but when I cried out to Jesus from the bottom of my heart, asking for strength and guidance, He provided it. Not only that, but He also went on ahead of my apology and calmed my mother's nerves so that I was able to speak to her and not agitate her further. 

How awesome is He!

And how weak I am... 

It's in situations like these when I'm reminded by how futile all my "intelligence" and "learning" is. And how physically, mentally and spiritually weak I really am. 

Without Christ, I have and am NOTHING.