Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guarding my heart

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23, NLT

God tells us that how we allow people to move our hearts will influence our entire life. Discern well for it is no small matter, He says.

Found my heart stirred towards a really sweet-looking guy in camp. I don't know much about him but hearts don't really care about these things as we all know. 

"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm." Song of Songs 8:6, NLT

A relationship grounded in biblical principles speaks of permanence. Do I seek this permanence or is it a self-aggrandizing desire? 

"His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:34, NLT

The simple fact that is a constant struggle for me is that God should be the first priority, as our Greatest Treasure. It goes against the grain in this world, for the world does not know nor seek God. 

What exactly do I want? That is, the I rooted in Christ. A dear colleague and brother who is happily married shared that his wife had a prayer list of items she wanted in her future husband. If it is to my Father's pleasure, may He give me:

1. A man after His own heart, like king David,
2. Someone passionate about making a difference; and
3. Cares about animals the way I do, or even more so.
4. Someone able to connect with me at a deep level; to understand the nuances of my speech and action,
5. Who is willing to commit time into resolving conflicts,
6. Who is able to lead me in the relationship while being open to direction.
7. To see my brokenness clearly but love me as Christ commanded,
8. Having a gentle and kind spirit.
9. Taller than me?  Has a nice smile and likes to show it;
10. Someone pleasant to look at and be with.

Ending off, I am reminded again that this time is the furthest I've went for someone I'm attracted to. Does it mean anything? Till I find out if he meets the requisite item 1~ Already crossed out the height criteria because of him :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

blessings

Adapted from the diary entry I made just now:

Only this week did I truly (or perhaps not really) see how attractive I am. When I wore contacts, everyone was commenting how pretty I looked it made me feel kinda uncomfortable. I don't really like it when guys look at girls differently because they have a pretty face. Well I admit I'm guilty of that too. 

God gave me those pretty eyes and that winning look for a reason. So I think it's also sin to hate what He has sovereignly blessed me with.Well she does make people (especially guys) open up to me faster in social work. But I'm still scared by how she can cause me or others to fall into sin. Guys taking too long a look, me looking too long at pictures of this earthly self, or feeling proud.

Always before I pray earnestly (as earnest as my heart distracted by evil desires can) that I will glorify God and not sin against Him. Or cause others to sin against Him. It's a struggle to set my mind on things above and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2) when the youths take to me and I am kinda in their world.

"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" 1 Corinthians 4:7

I have received  many blessings. Help me to be humble, to seek Your Person and not the things that You give so graciously O Lord. I just received news that I got into the Dean's List. It feels like a dream I never bothered thinking about because I thought it was beyond me. And I have such awesome work which I am good at, awesome colleagues who think well of me. Baking vegan cupcakes for my 20th birthday fundraiser which is going well. I get praise from people because of this. I have quite a few stuff going on which I find meaning in that makes makes my resume look good. 

Well, on the other side of the coin, I have some griefs too. Whether I let myself retreat into the ivory tower called Convenient Amnesia Amidst Daily Life is another question. Perhaps that is why, by God's good sovereignty, I have periodic lows of doubting and sadness. And friends who are so against Christ. Family who have yet to come other Christ's grace, a brother whom I scarcely have a normal conversation with anymore. Or sometimes I feel so lonely and unliked, unattractive both on the inside and outside.

Indeed God's sovereignty encompasses our weaknesses, such that we can be Christ-like even with them. By His great grace can we even want to continue to partake of the 'free gift of the water of life' (Rev 22:17). It is hence fitting that the last verse in the Bible is
 "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." (Rev 22:21)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

10 000 reasons

"From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4, RSV

MAD at 20: Vegan cupcakes for Africare


Guidance Programme

Satisfying internship at Lakeside Family Services 

Resident cat
Dessert and dialogue with dear colleagues



















 Living out my childhood social enterprise dream in ways more awesome than I imagined

















"Bless the Lord O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!" Psalm 103:1, RSV

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why I don't watch Korean dramas

I'm writing this more for myself (since I realised I periodically re-read my posts and am encouraged by some of them, especially this one.).
I remember I made this promise to God not to watch Korean dramas again after I threw a hissy temper when my parents refused to let me watch the last episode in the midst of my exams. That was when it hit me that I was so deeply engrossed.

I might be more socially conscious than others. But perhaps this has also caused me to lapse easily into a world where I can mindlessly lap up the pretty faces, the predictable plot and of course, more often than not, a good ending at the 16th episode.

I am writing this because I have been breaking this promise. Until 1030, I tell God. Then it was, just this one episode to spend time with my parents. Yesterday too, though I knew I would have trouble focusing on God's message in church today if I didn't sleep earlier. Lack of sleep isn't all though.

One big reason I decided by God's grace to flee from Korean dramas is due to how the scenes continue to play vividly in my mind, often blunting my discernment. For someone who has not been given her other half (yet?), the romantic plots entangle me in sin.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 (NIV, emphasis added)

Yes, so with this post I recommit myself to this promise so that I may be free.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Perseverance

/pəːsɪˈvɪər(ə)ns/

"Continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation." 

Oh for grace to trust Him more! And I know that He is with me, will be with me to the end.

Tomorrow I start my field placement in a family service centre proper. I really really thank God that He has mercifully provided a strong Christian that loves and seeks Him as my partner, and that this centre meets at 8.30am everyday for prayers. 

Bleary eyes, slow mind- can't get some eloquence out now so I'll keep it short. I'm reminded of this victorious life to which I entered when Christ took hold of me. 


And though this world, with devils filled, 
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God has willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him-
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him
(And that word is the Word of God)
Martin Luther King

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." Philippians 3:12

Saturday, May 10, 2014

in the silence of nearing-dawn

explanation:

inspiration:
conclusion:


"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." 
1 Timothy 1:16

Sunday, May 4, 2014

/rɪˈflɛkʃ(ə)n/

ruminate

/ˈruːmɪneɪt/

In my usual ruminating way, I was thinking about my social media accounts after I posted a few days ago:

CoY: This blog holds a special place in my life because it is where the least filtered part of me lies in open to all. In an often vain, self-exalting way though... but it is where I say things which I sometimes desperately wish people who know me will read, while at the same time wishing they won't. In short, a truer but more vulnerable me.

Instagram: I am kinda ashamed by how much I love it. My account that is, tracking the hearts given to my posts. I think there's nothing wrong with the pleasure of taking photos but this is a totally worldly obsession with self.

FB: Sometimes a source of grief. Quite a few (sometimes unpleasant) exchanges about theological issues with my dear old friend. But quite thankful for this place where I am jolted out of my complacency by my unbelieving friends. It shows the work yet to be done, a (very close) world yet to know God. Which is a good counterbalance to a university life which has been comfortable for my being a Christian thus far.

*********************************************************************************

love

/lʌv/

Reflections from the ruminations of today
[Guided by Piper's meditations on love in Desiring God]

Love for some people is so trying (as we all already know)

I still haven't gotten to experiencing the joy of loving my aunt and uncle. Even now as I am reminded of them, I really do not want to show love to them. I want to forget about them, because they make me angry, sad, ashamed, all of these things.


(let me give a context as objectively as possible)
My aunt is afflicted with multiple maladies. Recently she was put on dialysis. My uncle on the other hand, does not work, though he technically can. In sum, they have no source of income except from my uncle's siblings, one of which is my father.

"Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others."

I won't go into details of the family dynamics, but it is hard work loving them now, I dread the prospect of supporting them financially when my dad retires.

Piper uses an especially apt Bible passage that spoke to my situation:

"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people
(2 Corinthians 8:1-4, NIV, emphasis added)

Expounding on this passage he says of their sincere love: "It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God's grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of sharing the grace with another person."

Certainly I have tasted the goodness of His grace, these blessings on an undeserving sinner. Just that I often forget (1) The tremendous, abundant, all-encompassing grace (2) That I do not deserve it.

Love for me, for us has put the Creator God on trial

Jesus really is the focal point, the 'cornerstone of our faith'. Reflecting about him enduring the trial of the cruel cross sears many of my self-centred, worldly desires and thoughts away. That he may win sinners such as I into the kingdom of eternal joy he chose the way of suffering. 

Nothing more needs to be said now, except "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!" (Psalm 103:1)