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Thursday, 31 May 2007

Equal but not the same

We all talk about this, we all sing about it. Equal this, equal that, equal right etc... but what are we really fighting?Are we fighiting for equality for the sake of equality

I know that i am not you, and you are not me, if so, why do people who say that compete against each other? Subconsciously, a lot of people strive to "succeed" to prove their worth. I am useful, i am smart, and i can prove it to you, look at my kingdom, my fame , my wealth. Of course, i am not speaking for all , i am just saying it for some.

John Stott gave a very good perspective on equality and identity  and i would like to share with you.

Equality, not identity <

BR>The equality the Bible commends is not a total
egalitarianism. It is not a situation in which all of us
become identical, receiving identical incomes, living in
identical homes, equipped with identical furniture, and
wearing identical clothing. Equality is not identity. We
know this from the doctrine of creation. For the God who
has made us equal in dignity (all sharing his life and
bearing his image) has made us unequal in ability
(intellectually, physically, and psychologically). The new
creation has even increased this disparity, bestowing on us
who are 'one in Christ Jesus' different spiritual gifts or
capacities for service.
How, then, can we put together this biblical unity and
diversity, equality and inequality? Perhaps in this way:
since all have equal worth, though unequal capacity, we
must secure equal opportunity for each to develop his or
her particular potential for the glory of God and the good
of others. Inequality of privilege must be abolished in
favour of equality of opportunity. At present, millions of
people made in God's image are unable to develop their
human potential because of illiteracy, hunger, poverty, or
disease. It is, therefore, a fundamentally Christian quest
to seek for all people equality of opportunity in education
(universal education is arguably the principal means to
social justice), in trade (equal access to the world's
markets), and in power sharing (representation on the
influential world bodies that determine international
economic relations).

--From 'Economic Equality Among Nations: A Christian
Concern?' "Christianity Today" (2 May 1980).

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 368, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tomorrow: Gender, Sexuality, Marriage and Divorce

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

May Bank holiday Monday

May 28th was a holiday MOnday. So i stayed at home to clean the house, yeah, my new role , housekeeper. I must admit i am not very good at cleaning and tidying... butwe can't be doing everything that we like by nature all the time, there are some things you just have to do. So , after the first half of a day, i decided not to spend the rest of the day within the four walls. Albert and I went to Ikea. Not a very interesting place you may say, but we enjoyed it. The house need some facelift.
Something caught our eye, among those nice masked wood, and light builbs. Have you seen a pokka dot camel? or a blue giraffe? We were amused by it, so we decided to buy it. Our house need some imagination.


my hand posing the pokkadot camel
Also, some poppy, nice bright red, it's adhesive... very expensive , but we are paying for the design.

We were also looking at mirrors, but that, is really designer feel.The one in the picture, it's being sold per piece, for that piece of art there, it cost around £200. Talk about spending it on some design, instead of feeding the poor huh...we bought a £20 mirror in the end.. to decorate our corridor

That was our day out, when the weather was not-so-nice,, it has been raining day and night over here.. so an indoor ikea trip is not too bad.. well ... i am in London.. what can you say?

The Husband's part in marriage

889. The husband's part- By John Stott
We picture the 'authoritative' husband as a domineering
figure who makes all the decisions himself, issues commands
and expects obedience, inhibits and suppresses his wife,
and so prevents her from growing into a mature or fulfilled
person. But this is not at all the kind of 'headship'
which the apostle Paul describes, whose model is Jesus
Christ. Certainly, 'headship' implies a degree of
leadership and initiative, as when Christ came to woo and
to win his bride. But more specifically it implies
sacrifice, self-giving for the sake of the beloved, as when
Christ gave himself for his bride. If 'headship' means
'power' in any sense, then it is power to care not to
crush, power to serve not to dominate, power to facilitate
self-fulfilment, not to frustrate or destroy it. And in
all this the standard of the husband's love is to be the
cross of Christ, on which he surrendered himself even to
death in his selfless love for his bride.

--From "The Message of Ephesians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London: IVP, 1979), p. 232.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 371, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tomorrow: Gender, Sexuality, Marriage and Divorce (cont'd.)

http ://www.johnstott.org/

Saturday, 26 May 2007

The reality of being forgotten

At this hour, 24 minutes pass midnight, i feel very down. I feel the pinch of being forgetten, being betrayed.

How relevant was my last week sermon on 'Remembering God in the good times and the hard times", about How we are so easily to be Gold fish, with 3 seconds memory. One minute we cling to God and seek for help and the other minute, we cut off the history that we once have.

The same applies to human relationship and business partnership.

Two months ago, i was invited to be part of a Gp surgery partnership, 20% of profit with my 10 hours per week effort of managing a GP surgery. This GP is about to retire, he is looking for a GP to take his place. So he was looking. Since he has my interest into this matter, i helped him look for a candidate.

Last two weeks, before i went to HK for my holidays, i found him a good canditate. He likes her, compared to the previous one that i recommended.

Tonight, i received an e-mail from this GP that there is no next step to discuss. There is an issue about "Conflict of interest and ethical ground" because i work for the government arm that monitor GP's performance. They may be a conflict of interest for me being a partner in the GP surgery and yet working with the government that manage GP's performance. As a result, i suggested my husband to be the partner of this surgery, in place of me. I also checked with my organisation that my husband's dealings with the surgery will not be a conflict of interest.

The outcome is, i received an e-mail from this GP that there is nothing more to discuss and they just wanted a straightforward partnership, implicitly saying that i am being excluded from the entire partnership.

Such a reality from the Word of God that i shared last week in my sermon. It is the nature of human beings to forget. When one forget, one will betray. Israelites forgotten about their Saviour who took them out of slavery in Egypt, they forgot the love and provision of God in the desert where there was no water, food, full of scorpions and snakes. WHen they entered into a land full of honey, and olives, and iron and copper, when they become wealthy and prosperous, they betrayed God by breaking their promise with God and worshipped other God, some worshipped themselves and said " It's my hand that produce all this wealth", but it's God that blessed them.

How real, How true. Another very good example is that the Hong Kong drama has a theme in their plot, where the poor young man who later became rich, would deny his poor neighbours who helped him when he was poor. He denied his association with them because of pride. His status now is in no need of his poor neighbours.

A classic illustration of Fragile relationship where it was built on interest. When there was no interest for any of the party, there was no relationship.

"There is no next step to discuss... says my ex-business partner.., "We just want a straightforward full partnerhip" implying there is no need for me anymore, i have no value to them anymore. They have forgotten my help in making it happen. I was the one who introduced this salaried GP in becoming the new owner of this New GP surgery. This salaried GP has tried her opportunities elsewhere but in vain. She was looking but she doesn't have the network that i do. I know one third of the GPs in this areal.I know that's going on with them. I know people that she doesn't. I knows things that she doesn't.I was the one who called her, and gave her this possibility. Now she has it. Now this Retiring GP found her, whom i have brought to him.

Now they don't want me.

It hurts. Chinese has a saying that you drop your glasses when something unexpected happen. My glasses dropped. Have i been too naive? NO. I knew there is such possibility, but i gave my best. I choose to trust the retiring GP.I choose not to undermine the outcome by this possibility.

But it hurts. It hurts to be betrayed. It hurts to be forgotten. It hurts not to be wanted, Not to be involved in the plan.

God feels it too, the magnitude being magnified infinitelY.
It hurts him much more to see that His love is being trashed in a bin.
His heart breaks when we forget about him. When we rise up every morning and take for granted the free oxygen, the sun that never fails every single day, the rain etc..

It hurts him not to be wanted, Not to be involved in our plans.

The fools and the pride say there is no need of God, YET forgotten that it's GOd who gave them the BREATH and the FREE flow of Oxygen to even say that!

How sad, How true, How real are the words of God.

The true nature of human being is clearly written in the Bible.

Don't say you haven't been told, Don't say you haven't been warned.

I feel the pinch but i don't loose hope. I trust that My God has the best interest in me.

I am disappointed not because of the outcome that i have been excluded. I am disappointed because they excluded me before me telling them about the confirmation that there is no conflict of interest here. They already decided to kick me out even before I checked with my organisation.

They excluded me before the verdict.

They already intended to exclude me, that was just an excuse.

No thank Yous, No sorries, No appreciation for all my hard work, my meetings at night, my phone calls, my emotions, my hopes, and my trust in him for giving me that 20% share of the profit when i find him his replacement.

I was just cut off like that.

God must ache too.when we have no thank yous, no sorries for him. We just cut him off from our lives, we shut his face, but we are enjoying the gifts from His hands.

I tear, i cry, i am disappointed, but i don't loose hope.

God will only give me the best and i trust that He knows the best. He has the bird's-eye view of everything, He knows what is in a man's heart. I don't.

Like i mentioned, it's always a win-win situation for the child of God.

I am beginning to feel what He feels, on a much smaller scale of course. But it's good. I see how real god's words are. I see how, by learning more about God's word, i see the nature of human beings in God's word. It happened two thousand years ago, it's still happening now.

At this hour, i feel alive, i feel the reality of living in a broken world yet comforted by the reality of God's love for me.

Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal

2 Corinthians chapter 4

Praise the Lord!

Stay With Me When I’m Sinking in Doubt

I trust in you, Lord, but keep helping me in my many moments of distrust and doubt. They are there and will be there every time I turn my eyes, ears, or hands away from you.
 
Please, Lord, keep calling me back to you, by day and by night, in joy and in sadness, during moments of success and moments of failure.
 
Never let me leave you. I know you walk with me. Help me walk with you today, tomorrow, and always. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)

The people of hope

We Are Called to Be People of Hope

We are called to be a community. We are called to be together, in a fellowship of the weak, to proclaim Jesus as Lord. We must not romanticize this. It is a humble task. Quite simply, we must call our brothers and sisters together -- there may be only three, or ten, or fifty -- and say, "We want to come together as people in prayer in our common anguish."

We are called to be people of hope. Together, we can face our despairs - personal, global, or ecclesiastic. Together, too, can we find the risen Lord, emerged from his tomb of despair, ready once again to love us first. In embracing us, Jesus gives us the hope we need to find and live the life he has hidden in us and in the world. (Henri Nouwen)

The voice of pleasure and Your voice

Help Me to Choose the Narrow Road

Dear Lord Jesus, I remain so torn and divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, human respect, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me be attentive instead to your voice, the voice which calls me to choose the narrow road to life. The choice for your way has to be made every moment in my life.
 
 I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are no times or places without choices.
 
And I know how deeply I resist choosing you.
 
Be with me every moment and in every place so that I may recognize your way and choose to walk it. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)
 

Who can fill my deepest hunger in my heart

Jesus, You Fill All Our Deepest Desires

Your Father's love was so unlimited that he wanted us to know that love and to find in it the fulfillment of our deepest desires. So he sent us to you, with a human heart big enough to hold all human loneliness and all human anguish.
 
Your heart is as wide and deep as divine love itself. Your heart does not distinguish between rich and poor, friend and enemy, female and male, slave and free, sinner and saint. Your heart is open to receiving anyone with total, unrestricted love.
 
For anyone who wants to come to you, there is room. You want to draw all people to yourself, and offer them a home where every human desire is met, every human longing comes to rest and every human need is satisfied.

But your heart is gentle and humble.
 
You do not force; you do not pull or push; you do not coerce. You want us to come freely to your heart and trust that we will find there the peace and joy we most desire. You do not put any requirement on us; you do not expect any great act of generosity; you do not hope for heroic gestures or dramatic signs.
 
The first thing you want is trust. You can only give your heart to those who come to it in trust. Help me today to give you that trust. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)
 

Help Me Hang Onto You in Faith

Dear Lord, amid my turmoil, my mind is not able to concentrate on you, my heart is not able to remain centered, and it seems as if you are absent and have left me alone.
 
 But in faith I cling to you. I believe that your spirit reaches deeper and further than my mind or heart, and that profound movements are not the first to be noticed.
 
I promise I will not run away, not give up, not stop praying, even when it all seems useless. I love you even though I do not always feel loved by you, and I hope in you even though I may sometimes feel despair. (Henri Nouwen)
 

Keep Me Open To Your Holy Spirit

Dear Lord, forgive me for projecting my present condition into the future. If I feel dark, the future looks dark; if I feel bright, the future looks bright. But who am I to know what life will be like for me tomorrow, next week, next year, or ten years from now? Who am I to know who you will be for me in the year ahead? Lord, I will not bind you with my limited ideas and feelings. You can do many things with me, things that might seem impossible to me. I want to remain open to the free movement of your Spirit in my life. Why do I keep saying to myself: "I will never be a saint. I will never be able to overcome my impulses and desires." If I keep saying that, I might prevent you from healing me. Help me to be free to let you enter my heart however you desire. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)


Help Me To Live Joyfully in Your Service

Dear Lord, you say, "Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." How often I complain about my yoke and hear others complain about theirs. So often I consider life and its many tasks burdensome, and I spend much time and energy expressing my annoyance and irritation. You did not say, "I will take your burden away," but "I invite you take on my burden!" Your burden is real. It is the burden of all human sins and failings. You carried that burden and died under its weight. So you made it into a light burden.

O Lord, let me carry your burden in union with you. I know that only then will I overcome the temptations of bitterness and resentfulness, and begin to live joyfully and gratefully in your service. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)

Moving Toward Full Incarnation

You can look at your life as a large cone that becomes narrower the deeper you go. There are many doors in the cone that give you chances to leave the journey. But you have been closing those doors one by one, making yourself go deeper and deeper into your center.
 
 You know that Jesus is waiting for you at the end, just as you know that he is guiding you as you move in that direction. Every time you close another door – be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection – you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and therefore deeper into the heart of God.
 
This is a movement toward full incarnation.
 
 It leads you to become what you already are – a child of God; it lets you embody more and more of the truth of your being; it makes you claim the God within you.
 
You are tempted to think that you are a nobody in the spiritual life and that your friends are far beyond you on the journey. But this is a mistake. You must trust the depth of God's presence in you and live from there. This is the way to keep moving toward full incarnation. (Henri Nouwen)

Lord, Help Me To Avoid Being Too Busy For You

Dear Lord, all you ask of me is a simple "yes," a simple act of trust, so that your choices for me can bear fruit in my life. I do not want you to pass me by. I do not want to be so busy with my way of living, my plans and projects, my relatives, friends, and acquaintances, that I do not even notice that you are with me, closer to me than anyone else. I do not want to be blind to the living gestures that come from your hands, not deaf to the caring words that come from your mouth. I want to see you as you walk with me and hear you as you speak to me. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)

The Center of my Prayer-Henri Nouwen

Lord, Be The Center of My Prayer

O Lord, let me praise you, bless you, worship you. So often my prayer turns to introspection of my own confused feelings and emotions, or my attention wanders to people and events that swirl in my restless mind. Why do I keep focusing so much on what separates me from you? You are the source of all goodness, beauty, and love. You have shown me your mercy by coming to me and lifting me into your own life through the life of your Church. And still I keep living as if the thousand other things that crowd my mind need more attention than you.

Help me to make you the center of my inner life. Give me the grace of prayer. Show me how I am fooling myself when I fail to make you the center of my life and my prayer. Let me understand that in and through you all my little concerns will be taken care of. You do not despise my worries, but you ask me to trust that you will deal with them when I simply keep my eye on you and your kingdom. Teach me your way, O Lord. Amen. (Henri Nouwen

Thursday, 24 May 2007

E-mail subscription

Sorry, it's a bit late for having this facility for you. I have added the possibility of subscribing my entry via e-mail. Feel free to use it if it's more convenient for you.

Answer to "How do i Know"

Coming back to my question previously, how do we "know"? Few blogs that I read recently have a common theme: what should do I do? Where should I go? How do I know if I have made the right choice? Should I buy this business? Will it be worst off owning my business than salaried?

 

Well, will it bring you any consolation if I say to you that you don't? You don't really know, so don't spend time thinking about it. Unless you are really a person who follows 100% instinct, that instinct becomes your "knowing", if not, majority of us do think a lot about our directions and decisions.

 

If you do read about me, I am one of the people who always feel like I am at a crossroads. To me, there are two types of knowing. One : the external knowing I call it, and Second: the internal knowing, or experiential knowing.

 

The main difference between the first and the two is :Relationship if it refers to knowing a being, and experience if we talk about matters/things.

 

Decision regarding matters/thing:

 

Two stages of knowing are involved. First, we need that external knowing, we do research on that matter, talk to people about it, ask for their views, read loads and loads about that matter. These research and information serves as platform to help us make informed choices. I think that's the easiest, less stressful part. We can accumulate a wealth of facts about something before we make choices. But that's it not the end. To really know is to interpret that information and apply it. Knowing comes with application and action. That is really when you know something. You can research everything and read about say "Apple", e.g., there are red ones, green ones, from different countries, different "brands", crunchy ones, sour ones, sweet ones. Yes, but your knowing Is not complete until you take a bite. When you bite an apple, all your information becomes real. Your experience and your acting materialise your knowing.

 

So, to answer some of the questions in regards to choices and decisions in life, like what Pastor Mak suggested, sit down  in a quiet room, have blank pieces of paper, depending on the number of options, list down all the pros and cons. Then, you TAKE RISK on your partial learning. When you act on your information that you know   thus far, you materialise your information to reality (my apple eating example). With them, you can say that you know by doing A , you will end up with B, or A will bring you B. So to me, knowing is now just mental process or acquiring wealth of facts, that's one type of knowing, that's the knowing you need to pass your exam, but not that type of knowing that help you face life except materialising your knowing by doing.

 

So in short, you don't really know in full until you do it and experience it. There is no knowing without taking the risk in your action. One who dares not bite an apple will not know truly what apple is.

 

So it is with God and human beings. You can read about Queen Elizabeth or me, from my blog, but you really know Queen Elizabeth or me, in a relationship. Lots of people don't care about God. They don't stop even for a moment when they see the beauty in nature, the lakes, the waterfalls, the autumn. People always ask how do you know God? Not JUST by reading, more importantly, by having a relationship with Him. Just like how you know your boyfriends, wives, or your soul mates. All those that I mentioned, people whom you loved, families, friends, people you treasure are the one who knows you , whom you know, in a love relationship.

 

So, in regards to knowing  whether you should go out with Mr. A , B, or C, you talk to people to know what's he like, and you spend time with them in a friendship. You make friends with A, make friends with B, and make friends with C. With them, you will get a clearer knowing from the relationship that you have for them. Then, you come to a decision and take risk by taking action, in this case, going out with One of them whom you have decided. Once you make a decision, you continue to know them. Knowing is a process, a process for life. Knowing God, too, is a process.. and for that, the knowing starts with relationship with Him now on earth and continues for eternity.

 

We melt with our loved ones tell us they love us for eternity. But if you are like one of those people who are not sure about life after death or what happens after death, that eternity doesn't mean anything to you. This is because eternity means timeless state, duration without beginning and end. The duration of our lives here is Not eternity, it is finite, with beginning and end, with life and death. So how can we love when we die? As the child of God, eternity make sense to me because I   take a risk by trusting that my knowing will become complete when I meet God after my death, where I spend my life after death with God. Death will be an entry to eternity of knowing God in full. So, Death is a good thing. It is a doorstep to all the goodness and beauty in a timeless state   When we leave this body we also leave time.

 

That is the reason for my living: to know my God because I know that my knowing of Godwill come to a climax, revealed in full when I see him face-to-face, after that stepped through death.

 

 " Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

 

I no longer fear death like others, because I know the lover of my soul is there to greet me at the door.

 

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. …So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal." 2 corinthians 4:16-18

 

Then, there is God himself. Invisible to the human eye, the Lord Jesus, Lord of earth and heaven and all the created universe, and though we do not see him yet we love him and follow him. He is in control of history. As we approach the end of life these things will become more and more significant to us. And we shall be with the Lord

 

 My knowing will be an endless journey. And to know that my knowing will be endless and joyous one, I take the risk and act on it. The more I do, the more I know, and the more I know, the more I will do the right thing.

 

Knowing is more than mental process of acquiring wealth of facts, that's just external knowing. Knowing involves taking risk and taking action, and experiencing it, and in a loving relationship with others.   We are stuck at the crossroads because we are stuck at taking risk and action. We are stuck at loving others.

 

"Everyone who love has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1John 4: 7-8

 

 Fear stops us from knowing, Fear crippled us from having loving relationships with people around us. But there is hope.

 

"Perfect love drives out fear.. there is no fear in love.." 1 John 4: 18 Since God is love, there is no fear in God, because He loves me despite of who I am, not what I could be.

 
--
Irene
"You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand"Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

question on my mind today

How do you know if you know?


Back to basic

As human beings, we have a tendency to complicate things. Apple juice or pepsi or lemonade? Too many choices, so i need more time to make a choice, just on what to drink. So if only H20 is on the menu, that's just what i NEED to quench my thirst, fine, i will be happy because that is all there is for me. Children's behaviour is the classic evidence of this. "Why does kor kor (brother) drink Coke and only water for me?" "Because you are not old enough" "That's not fair!" Okay, so in all fairness, just Water, Because that's all you need, not want.
 

Work, Wealth, Poverty and Human Rights - May 15, 2007

The principle of simplicity
Materialism is an obsession with material things. Asceticism is the denial of the good gifts of the Creator. Pharisaism is binding ourselves and other people with rules. Instead, we should stick to principles. The principle of simplicity is clear. Simplicity is the first cousin of contentment. Its motto is, 'We brought nothing into this world, and we can certainly carry nothing out.' It recognizes that we are pilgrims. It concentrates on what we *need*, and measures this by what we *use*. It rejoices in the good things of creation, but hates waste and greed and clutter. It knows how easily the seed of the Word is smothered by the 'cares and riches of this life'. It wants to be free of distractions, in order to love and serve God and others.

-From "The Christian and the Poor" (All Souls Paper: London: All Souls Church, 16 February 1981).


Conversation

A: What is the term used for : you have things to do , but you don't want to do it
V: procrastinating
A:what is the term for ppl who is at the crossroad, duno what to do or where to go?
V: confused....hahahahahah
 
A:how do you de-confuse yourself? if you don' t know what you want? how do you know what you want?
V: Only time will tell
 
A: Do you have a life outside your job? What is life to you?
V: life= having people to care and having people who care...profound leh
A: You have a life then, according to that profound definition of yours

Love is a Verb-by Rachel

I want to share Rachel's entry on Love with you.
 
Click here

Monday, 21 May 2007

My Virgin Sermon

Virgin- it's interesting how our brain connect a certain term with a specific interpretation, eventhough there are more than one interpretation of the word. I checked on "Virgin" today at dictionary.com and confirmed that virgin could mean 1) first, 2) not experienced, or not exposed to, among other meaning

Today I want to talk about my "First time " experience. I always have mixed feelings about my "first- time". My first time riding on a bicycle, my first public speaking competition In primary school, my first singing competition, my first piano exam, my first vocal presentation at the end of my vocal course. Those nerve-wracking first time moments. Mixed-feelings because on one hand it was nerve-wracking, on the other, the joy for the outcome were just so overwhelming. My knees were shaking when I spoke to hundreds of people in the assembly hall during those primary school days. My palm was sweating and my fingers were trembling during those piano exams. But I kinda like those feelings, because those feelings are a good sign to me anyway. Each time I am nervous, I pray a lot, and I rely on God to give me strength and boldness, and it's humbling. The outcome were always good. Like we all say, it's always a win-win situation being the child of God. First, I praise God when I score well or won prized, Second, I still praise God when I don't because I experienced His presence and his love during those times. I am never alone. God's presence is precious. So , no matter what, I learn to rely and depend on God.

Whatever events or circumstances that befall me, they are windows for me to catch a glimpse of God's love and provision for me. – Yeah, I like that, that's from my sermon yesterday.

So today I want to share my joy with you. I am just overwhelmed with the blessing from God, in Jesus Christ. I delivered my first, ever, long-awaited sermon yesterday in London Chinese Alliance Church, Harrow, West London in English. It's like a dream come true and it's the perfect timing.

Two reasons , 1) It's perfect timing because a pastor friend of mine from Southampton, who is now in Penang, has kindly given me the custody of his library, commentaries from Genesis to Revelation. Imagine, all 66 books in the bible, and he has at least 2-3 commentaries for each book, on top of other spiritual books. They are all sitting in my study room. Such a blessing.

2) I finished 10 weeks course from my pastor in church on "how to preach" . Soon after I finished those 10 weeks, I was invited.

So my Saturday was nerve-wracking day. Sat in front of my laptop, trying to write up my sermon and practised it. Slept late on Saturday. Woke up early on Sunday , quickly prepared all my points into Powerpoint. Very unsure that I would be able to remember 7 pages of A4 sermon. Prayed super hard. No printer at home, so couldn't print my sermon, so quickly made notes from my sermon.

11.30 am: Service started with singing songs to God and worshipping Him. Heart was beating very loudly as I could "hear " it. Prayed non-stop.

Finally, the moment has arrived. Stood before the congregation, God is gentle, he gave me a small one to start with, about 35 people. Did an ice-breaker question, and introduction about "memory of a fish-3 seconds memory" which introduced the title of my sermon "Remember This" from Deuteronomy 8:1-11.

Main message: Remember God in hard times in the past, V 2-5, Do not forget God in good times in the future, v6-11. Remember defined as obedience and not just mental process..

My introduction sounds like this:

My friends who have known me for years know that I have a memory of a fish, in other words, three seconds memory. Not a very good compliment huh? Okay, I admit, I am better with faces than names. Trust me, it’s not nice to forget. I have occasion where people come to me , greet me with my name and have conversation with me while my brain is busy churning out what is her name, where I’ve met this person.. etc…

Knowing my weakness, one of many, I have memory aids, things that remind me lest I forget. I always carry pen and paper with me. I have a diary, note I did not say PDA. I think writing is faster and much more reliable because I may forget to charge my PDA you see. I always carry a camera with me. I have this obsession of capturing all those moments so that , when I am old, I can sit on a rocking chair and flip through all my diaries, all my photos to help me remember those “good old days”, history that is uniquely mine! Memory is important.


->To know a friend is to share a history with them. More importantly, to remember the history that you share, to remember that she prefers beef steak than tuna and other details about your friend. You remember your friends because you love them.

รจ God loves us, much more than we can ever imagine with our finite mind. He is calling us today, to remember him, and not to forget him in all circumstances of our lives. The Scripture says again and again “Do not forget Your God, Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
->To remember is a key theme throughout Deuteronomy and central in our passage this morning.

Subpoints: Who the Israelites are: unfaithful, ungrateful, forgetful, always complaining and grumbled, and put God to test.. (meaning asking someone to prove that they will do what they say)

Who God is and What He has done: v1: Faithful, covenant keeping God, inspite of those unfaithful Israelites,

V2-4: A god who humbles, who provides all our needs, who teaches us to depend on Him

V5: A God who discipline is a Father who loves

Challenges were along those lines : we need regular memory aid to remind us of who we are, (fish, easy to forget), Who God is (faithful even when we forgot him) and what He has done for us, What will God find when He looks into our hearts in difficult times? Will find us grumble and complaining and betraying God in hard times? Or Will we still trust in Him that He never fails to love us and forsake us, even more so in adversity. In good times, when it's smooth-sailing, do we become ungrateful and Proud? A Pride that ignore the history we had with God?

All in all, it flowed much better than my rehearsal. After that few minutes, I was more settled and I was no longer nervous. I began to have dialogue with the audience.

I am in Cloud 9, still am. Just so overwhelmed by Joy, the kinda joy when you are loved.. the Kinda joy when you are pampered!!!!

I was invited to go back again to speak.! Such a great encouragement for a first-timer. A lot of blessings for me who don't deserve this. God blessed me with supportive brothers and sisters and a mum who prayed for me, searched for commentaries for me from KL, pointers from pastor friends, to make sure I stay faithful to the text, a supportive husband who pray with me and for me and share my joy and passion, minister who is willing to give me the opportunity for me to learn and preach.

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Yesterday was a very special day for me.

The day when my dream come true.

The day when I get a foretaste of a fulfilment and satisfaction that can only be found in GOD's

a glimpse of the Joy when God's passion becomes my passion.

WOW! Indeed
"You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand"Psalm 16:11

Friday, 18 May 2007

on Waiting

I admit i am not a good writer. I regret my school days. I should have spent more time reading story books, or "Sweet Valley High" or " Enid Blyton", build up my english vocab. Then, i can express myself in words better, or move people with my writing.
 
Sometimes i read on my past writings and am amazed at the way i wrote on some subjects. Today i was skimming through my past e-mails and came across these few lines which i quite like:
 

you know, about the wait, it's never easy.. of waiting ..

the state of not able to take things in our hands and make it happen...

the impulse of wanting to make things happen ,

the knowing that nothing that i can do to shorten or lengthen the wait..

 it's all in God's hand...

 

Yes.. that's the hope we hold on to.. One day.. One day.. Jesus will return for his church.. He will return for me... and what will take place then will definitely worth the wait..
 
Yes.. that's what we hope for...

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Back to reality

Quite a few things on my mind, but i really don't have the time to write something serious, until after something serious happen. I am back now after my 15 days of holiday in Hong Kong. Depends how you define holidays, i define holidays as going all the way to look for good food and taste them, and meeting old friends and catch up, then YES, i have a great holiday! My mum flew from KL to meet me, to clear her chest from something that makes her wonder. She broke her toe few months ago and it took her 6 months to recover and to be able to walk. She had lots of time to think and reflect. As one of the many outcome, she wants to make sure that we don't blame her or hold any grudge towards her "process- of- learning- to- mother- us". How sweet! She apologised for any hurt she has inflicted on me. I smiled and said i don't hate her and i only remember her as a loving mother and i appreciate that we all learn at different stages of our lives. No one knows how to be a mother or a father from young. I really thank God for such a godly mother. She has set such a great example of living out the truth in the Bible, of holding on to God's promises and living like Jesus. She humbles herself and seek to reconcile, apologise to me and my brothers for any hurt ( if any) that she has done to us. As i always write here in my blog, we, human beings are so frail and weak. We are not perfect. The horror of sins is that it blinds us of our weaknesses and imperfection. I have met people who tell me there is nothing wrong with them. There are not saints but they are not that bad after all. Really? As we read the Bible, we see who we really are, our weaknesses. And when that happens, we are able to accept the weaknesses of others and bear with each other.My mum also holds on to God's promises in situation that does not encourages her to do so. She persevered and always repay kindness with evil. She doesn't complain but only count God's blessings in her life.

The first time when she flew from KL to UK, i met my husband. Believe it or not, Albert asked my mum out first, not me. He knew that my mum was a visitor in London, so he took my mum and me to a restaurant. That's how our story started.

The second time she flew from KL to HK to meet us, we discussed about preaching together. My mum sometimes shared about Christ and His word with the elderly in a christian home. So she too had some experience of sharing God's word to His people. She reminded me that my message has to be clear to the listener, and make sure that the listener can follow my train of thoughts.

Again, the best thing that my mum ever gave me was Jesus. She brought me to church , sundays after sundays since i was 3 years old.

I initially decided on Psalm 19. I spent one afternoon in Hong Kong bible seminary libary preparing for it and my mum and I prayed about it. Albert , too, prayed with me and stayed in the library, doing the same homework. But somehow, it just doesn't flow. I dont have a key message to speak on, from Psalm 19.

So one day, in my loo time, i read my bible, and something caught my eye, Deuteronomy 8. So since last week, i have been working my way from Deuteronomy 8. My friend told me Deuteronomy 8 is not for novice like me. Okay, that scares me a little. But i will go ahead with this and wait. It will come to me before this coming Sunday. Wait not meaning i am not doing anything about it, i will still do my usual reading and studying. From my reading, God will shed light into my inner being.

Can you believe it? I am preaching on May 20th. Aaahhh.. This is like a dream come true. God is full of surprises! God please help me with my preparation. Here i am , help me to have
a heart that listens,
a heart that is humble,
a heart that weeps,
a heart that obeys.



--
Irene
"You have made known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand"Psalm 16:11

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