Thursday, March 31, 2005

Who's the judge?

We are all self-centred people, aren't we? We want everything to be done our way, on our terms, in our timing. Anything less, and we'll start playing the "finger-pointing game"...

Have you ever watched the show "Under One Roof" where the father will tell a long, boring, and seemingly senseless story, and then give an amazing moral of the story? Well, this post is something like that. I just want to warn you before you get bored... if you intend to skip this post, there are others in my blog that might just interest you. Oh my, I think I'm starting to sound like an insecure woman... Yer...

Anyway, back to the point...

The finger-pointing game was introduced to us by my dad(I'm talking about a real game!! As in an ice-breaker...). It's really a game to trick people. We haven't played it in a long time, but until now many are still unable to get it.

The game goes like this: a circle is formed. My dad will start off with a question, and everyone's suppose to guess. The question will be something like this : "This is a finger-pointing game. Who is the fattest of us all?". Then, the people will be given time to give their answer... In the end, dad and I will close our eyes and miraculously point to the same person. The ultimate objective is to find out how we manage to come to the same answer, considering the fact that the answer is subjected to different opinions.

At the beginning stages of the game, everyone is eager to give an answer. But after many rounds and wrong conclusions, tensions begin to rise, everyone is reluctant to answer. How do we determine who is the fastest, prettiest, smartest of us all? Where is the standard to compare and tell who is more dumb, ignorant, lazy, or evil?

Let's see what the bible says about this --

Luke 6:37 Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.

Matthew 7:1-3 DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

SO, any ideas yet? Can you break the code? More importantly, do you know the moral of the story?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Response

John 9 tells us a story of a man blind since birth. A question was raised to Jesus – “Who sinned? This man or his parents?”

Jesus answered with profound wisdom.

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Whenever something bad occurs, we always wonder who’s to blame. We look at the things that are happening in the world – tsunami, war, murder, and ruthless crime – and try to figure out what’s the cause. Was it man's fault? Did Satan cause it? Why did God allow it?

The truth is that I don’t have the answers. All I know is that as long as there’s still time, I want to reflect the light of Jesus. What can I give? How much am I willing to sacrifice? What am I called to do? I believe I'm created for such a time as this. And I want to serve my purpose in my generation.

The Message provides a greater light into this passage:

John 9:3-4 -- Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world's Light."

Matthew 5:14-15 (New Living Translation)-- "You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

Chasing the wind

Here is a sad but true fact - The world will embrace you only if you embrace the world. So how then shall we live our lives?

I was watching a stupid show one boring night. Ya, I know. It's a stupid show and yet I still watch it, stupid right? Oh the stupidness (note:no such word, meant purely for exaggeration purposes)of a stupid person's stupidity... Anyway, back to the point.

This show gathers local celebrities(most I don't know of... Aren't celebrities famous people? Which proves another point, right? Yes, very stupid people getting conned by studip show)to talk about... 'stuff'. So there was this one time their topic was the metrosexual man. So what is a metrosexual man? One dude, celebrity konon-nya, said the following statement with a strong conviction.

"Metosexuals are guys who dare to wear a pink top with white pants, because it's "in"..."

At this stage, I'm like "What?!! Did he just say that on national television? You mean metrosexuals are men whose lives are all about conforming to current trends, what's 'in'?" Oh ya, and by the way, he was wearing pink bunny ears on his head during the entire show...(I know, I hate myself for actually sitting through the entire show. But you know what boring nights do to you...)

I don't think guys should wear pink, because it doesn't really look nice on us. Few can pull it off nicely, but I think that it should remain as a girl's colour... But so what?That's my opinion. Besides, that's not the point I'm trying to put across here. Please believe me, I have nothing against guys who like the colour pink. In fact, I don't even care for your colour prefences... let me repeat, I DON'T CARE. Colour prefences have no effect on your soul...


1 Samuel 16:7 "...For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

I believe that we shouldn't be proud when we can fit in to the trends of the world or feel insecure if we don't do "in" or cool things... Our identity and security shouldn't be based on who we hang out with, what clothes we wear, how late we catch a movie, how fast we can drive, how many times in a week we go mamak with friends, how good our grades are, how many girlfriends we had, what handphones we carry, where we shop, how cool we are... Why? Because all these will fade away. Trends change, get substituted... Will we ever be satisfied? If our identity and self-esteem are based on trends, we will find ourselves constantly pursuing temporary solutions for our ever-present emptiness... Chasing the wind. And there's way more to life than that...

Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to know what it is will break you
I don't know which way the wind will blow
(From Kite, All that you can't leave behind, U2)

Matthew 5:5 "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

My security is based on one truth - that God loves me no matter what. And I want to live my life embracing that truth.

Romans 8:38-39 I'm absolutely convinced that nothing--nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable--absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Deeper, Sweeter, Brighter

I think maturity is knowing that we are not always right, and we can't learn everything by ourselves.

In my life, I've come to a stage where I know that there'll always be areas in my life that I need to improve, I'm sure you would agree. There will be those times where you look back at your life - be it 10 years or even 10 minutes ago - and you'll say, "Man, that was DUMB!! How could I be so careless?"

The worst part of such a scenario that no one says anything about it!! Not to me, at least... They could be gossiping about it right now!! Why didn't anyone correct me on the spot? I could have admitted my mistake and apologize to everyone involved immediately, instead of having to now remind everyone how stupid I was earlier and then say sorry...

Am I not open enough to receive rebuke and correction in their eyes? Or is our relationship not genuine and strong enough to freely discuss each other's mistakes and falls? Is pride so evident in my life?

I want my life to be a journey towards Christ-likeness, not circling the wilderness making the mistakes over and over again without knowing and without growing. I want to love deeper, speak sweeter, shine brighter. And it must begin with a surrendered life and a humble heart, I know…

Psalm 111:10 The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Job 28:23-28 "God surely knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth, under all the heavens. He made the winds blow and determined how much rain should fall. He made the laws of the rain and prepared a path for the lightning. Then, when he had done all this, he saw wisdom and measured it. He established it and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: `The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.' "

Proverbs 3:6-8 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The truth shall set you free...

For us young people, it may sound a bit… ‘off’. Truth doesn’t set us free, instead it bounds us and deprives us from our freedom. The only thing that truth seems to lead us to is this reaction – “What?!! You mean I can’t do that?” The truth is this: truth hurts.

I heard of this most romantic story from a pastor…

During their Form 5 year, John and Mary, both Christians, fell in love with each other. They felt that the “feeling” was right and decided to “go steady”. Few months down the road they decide that it was time to inform their parents about their relationship. Guess what happened? Mary’s dad totally disapproves. Sounds like a typical Chinese series? Anyone starting to hate the father now? Wait lah…

Mary wouldn’t let go of the matter without a fight. “What must we do to gain your approval and blessing?” Mary asked with tears in her eyes. Her father sits her down gently and waits for her to be calm. Then he said,

“I want your boyfriend to have gone through college, and be settled down with a job. I also want him to be able to be friends with me.”

Hearing her dad’s requirements, Mary informs John and they both decide to go along with dad’s wishes. In the next few years, John enrolls himself in college, graduates and gets a decent job. Through it all, John frequently visits Mary’s house. Not for Mary, but to befriend the father. They talked about books, current events, shared experiences and thoughts, played chess… You can tell the ending by now, right?

It happened during one of John’s visit to Mary’s house when the father took Mary aside and said, “So, when are you going to marry this guy?”

Most youths today wouldn’t respond to their parents’ or leaders’ disapproval like Mary did. “Why should I do it their way?” Because they know better… “I can’t accept that!!” Well, the truth hurts…

They are there to guide us through life, helping us to avoid pitfalls that they themselves may have fallen into. They love us. Can we appreciate them more? Why do we want to make our teenage lives so miserable by constant rebellion and pride, refusing to admit that someone DOES KNOW BETTER?

The truth shall set you free. But you’ll only know it when you practice it and submit to it… or find out the hard way. Would you accept the fact that if you jump down from KL tower, gravity will pull you down? Or you want to try it for yourself? I think that’s what we young people always do. We prefer finding out the hard way, to fall flat on our backs before we finally say, “Yeah, I guess you’re right…”

It’s not too late to believe it. The truth shall set you free, that a fact. Really!! God said it. Or do you know better?

Proverbs 11:2 Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Reasonable sacrifice.

There was this comic in The Star paper I came across. It was a picture of a guy standing in a supermarket food's section which was divided into two categories. On one side, a big board hanging down from the ceiling saying : "Tastes good, bad for health". The another side, the board says : "Tastes bad, good for health".

Doing the right thing is always harder than doing the wrong, isn't it? Refusing an invitation from a friend to have some "fun" makes us unpopular and uncool. Obeying our parents and following curfew deprives us from the joys of being young and energetic. Taking the initiative to mend a broken relationship puts our ego at risk. Saying sorry even though we believe we're right might cause others to think that we can be pressed down easily. Wanting to stay a virgin till marriage positions us as old-fashion...

"This tastes bad... Are you sure it's good for me?"

Doing things disregarding our parents' orders, our leaders' advices, or even the law, could be quite fulfilling. The excitement, the rush, the high... Tastes good, but only for a moment. How do I know?

I've heard men in their old age speak about how all the momentary pleasures of the world caused enormous hurt and great sorrow to self and everyone around them. To end their life story, all of them almost issue this same statement cum warning : "I thank Jesus for giving me true joy and peace. I'm grateful that He took away all my sin. Young people, don't follow my footsteps!!"

There are mixed reactions to such stories... "Aiya, I'm not him what...", "I won't go that far one, just want to try once only", "Only people that has so much problems need Jesus, not me...", "The bible never said that this is wrong..."

The bible provides light and wisdom concerning this matter:

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed
lest he fall.

Psalm 34:8 Oh taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blsssed is the man who trusts in Him.

Now that's good advice... Come, taste and see that the Lord is good. All you ever need can be found in Him.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethen, by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Jesus suffered on the cross not because it was the easy thing to do... He too struggled to go through with it, pleading with His Father to spare Him the pain. But He did it, because it was the right to do... And He proved that God's will is good and perfect. The cup was bitter, but Jesus carried on... The ugly, bloody cross, became a beautiful cross to those who understood what Jesus had actually done...

Now, was it reasonable for Him to suffer that way?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bright Enough

As I was walking along the hallway of my college, my eyes found a poster on a door. It's a beautiful picture of a lighthouse by a rocky beach with a saying below that goes like this - "If a man does not know where he wants to go, no light is bright enough to guide him".

Sounded like a practical advice to me. At least it used to be... I mean, it's just so simple. If you're in a car, in the middle of the night, and you don't have a destination in mind, no amount of street lights or roadsigns can guide you. They may suggest to you where you should go, but ultimately, you're the one that's going to make that choice...

Unfortunately for my generation, many don't know where they want to go or who they want to be. Everyone is searching for something to take away and replace the emptiness that fills their empty souls... They look around for suggestions - parents, teachers, businessmen, celebrities, clubbers, party-goers, religious people - and all they see are happy faces with miserable souls, grabbing hold on things of the world that would only bring momentary entertainment, glory, and happiness. Some come to their senses earlier than others, some refuse to face the truth. And in everyone's mind there's one question : "What in the world am I here on earth for?"

There is more to life that chasing down every temporary high....

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. "

Why don't you try Jesus? He's bright enough to guide you. He can light your way to the truth. Stop searching - only in Jesus will you find everlasting love, peace, hope and purpose.

Monday, March 14, 2005

First steps

Every fulfilled dream has its first steps. As for my dream to inspire my generation with the love of God through my writing, it didn't begin here. It began when I was inspired to write poems - just for fun. Then I learned to express my emotions and thoughts through writing - my love, my passion, my desires, my cries...

It's been 8 years now... My life has changed. My thoughts more mature, my walk with God more intact, my motives healthier, my heart bigger... Through it all, God was the master-builder. And still I continue writing... And He still is the master-builder of my life...

My greatest desire is to know God, my creator. I believe that as my pursuit carries on, He's revealing me more of Himself, more of His glory and beauty, majesty... He's showing me His master-plan for my life, bit by bit, day by day, step by step...

In my journey, I want to humble myself before my God, allowing Him to interrupt every moment. I want to be moved by His heart and hands. I want to trust in Him and lean on Him for my writing, my dream, my life, like a child, taking his first steps...