Friday, July 30, 2004

Nuggets of Wisdom

Learn not just the truth but the whole truth about God's nature and character

It is only when we understand who God is that we will understand what He does.

We must be careful not to interpret God's character by what we see, but what we see by God's character.

" "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory - even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?"
- Romans 9:15,16,19-24

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Co-heirs with Christ

"So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."
- Galatians 4:7

God only does what is right, and what is best for us. Instead if questioning God, our attitude should be like this:
"I don't know what You're doing, Lord, but I know this:
You are a God of justice, of faithfulness, of holiness, of purity, of power and of right judgment.
I bow before Your superior knowledge and wisdom and ask for grace to bear Your discipline."

This should be our teachability.

"Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain."
- Psalm 127:1

God is always right!

God always acts according to what is right, in His righteousness reflected in the moral fibre of our hearts. God obeys every law He has laid down for us:

By all that God requires of me
I know that He Himself must be

God is right in everything He does, no matter how things must seem.

"Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
- Genesis 18:25b

"I will proclaim the name of the LORD .
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he."
- Deuteronomy 32:3-4

"Far be it from God to do evil,
from the Almighty to do wrong.
It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
that the Almighty would pervert justice."
- Job 34:10,12

Double Portion

Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah's anointing, and got it. He believed he would get it even though Elijah told him many times to stop following him. In the end, God granted Elisha's request.

If you want something, be persistent in seeking God for it!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Customised Service

God deals with us each on a personal basis, depending on our understanding of Him and our condition.

For example, He may choose to reveal himself after a certain time, like He did with the two disciples en route to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32). These two were grieving, so Jesus wanted them to come to terms with their sorrow and deal with their pain. That's why He spoke to them wothout revealing Himself first.

Alternatively. Jesus appeared suddenly to His disciples in Jersalem soon after (Luke 24:36-49). Why the difference? The disciples weren't grieving; it was mroe an issue of confusion and unbelief that Christ needed to address.

God can be trusted to reveal Himself appropriately and pertinently.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

A Timely Word

Your listening should not be restricted to God. Also keep a wise ear to people who seek your counsel. Draw on God's wisdom, and listen fully before speaking.

"A man finds joy in giving an apt reply - and how good is a timely word!
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones."
- Proverbs 15:23,30

Sounds of Silence

God does not always shout. Sometimes He whispers too. Pray that God will sharpen your listening skill to hear His still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-13)

Friday, July 23, 2004

Go on...

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

My friend has just been christened Grace. And what a name, because God has grace for everything. However difficult to accept, God's revelation to you must be obeyed. Pain or no pain, there must be no turning back - we must march on.

If you accept what God says, He will "strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come"" (Isaiah 35:3-4).

Yield to what God has shown you. After all, God knows best!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Light That Scorches

Can we handle God's plan for us? If He told you to drop everything, quit your job and prepare to go to the mision field in three months, would you? If He told you to forego your natural talent and preach the gospel instead?

Easier said than done certainly, but follwoing God's will is the only way to true freedom. Do not let this frighten you from seeking God's answer but instead be encouraged that God has a unique plan just for you.

"Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."
- Philippians 3:7

Friday, July 16, 2004

Are you ready?

What are the reasons God does not answer promptly? Well in Habakkuk's case, his situation was one that you can contrive to be either firghtening, or frightfully exciting.

"For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told."
- Habakkuk 1:5

Whoa. That's the reason for God's silence to Habakkuk. The reason for God's delay was that Habakkuk was simply not ready to receive the answer. He would've got a spiritual heart attack! God's reasons for His timing are always impeccably self-explanatory.

Let us be teachable, for we may be big enough to ask the questions, but are we big enough to handle and accept God's answer? Say what you need to say to God, and be honest with Him. Then when the saliva runs dry, be still and know that He is God: Wait on Him.

Furthermore, what is the point of God revealing His plan to you if he knows you cannot or will not understand it? He knows when we're ready so let's trust Him.

"He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith."
- Matthew 13:58

"He rebuked them for their lack of faith."
- Mark 16:14

Beware, for our lack of faith, in God's timing for example, can prevent God's work from being accomplished in our life. It can also be a reason for God's rebuke.

Have faith in God's timing, for He knows when we're ready. Amen?

MORE good news!

Oooh goody.
Little uniformed birds on a tree told me that the pay increment for NSFs is actually closer to $100, and might be implemented earlier than thought.
Also I'm to be promoted to Trainee Corporal wef 16 Sep 04, so that's ANOTHER $20. Let's hope the pay hike takes effect quickly!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Unanswered Prayer (15 Jul 2004)

Oooh. Frustrating isn't it? Especially if it's something you know is in God's will. Why does God take so long sometimes?

Some of us are claiming upon the promises of God, but the redemption coupon is taking ages to process. Maybe it got lost in the mail? Got thrown to junk mail? Maybe we need to phrase the prayer just the right way with perfect diction and enunciation? Why, despite our earnest and intense intercession, does God still not reply?

If you're asking all these questions, congratulations! - you're human. The fact is - God has heard, and will attend to your request within three working days: His working days.

The three words we need to remember are: In God's Time. Of course we're confused, confounded or even despairing! We have to learn to submit ourselves to God's impeccable sense of timing. Learning to wait on Him builds our faith and character in Him. Trust that God will deliver, even when things get desperate.

All in His good time. =]

No Need to Bleed (15 Jul 2004)

What does God require when we come before Him?

A humble spirit, a contrite heart, and no unresolved emotions. There's probably more, but for my purposes this will suffice.

God does not require self-mutilation, a crawl to China on your knees, ot other sacrifices to prove worthy of His love. If all of us went crawling to China, wouldn't the church be in trouble! "Brother So-and-so is now at Laos, but realises he can't cross the Mekong on his knees. He's returning next month."

He certainly isn't sadistic, and His grace is sufficient forus.

Jesus has already spilt His blood to redeem us. By metaphorically cutting ourselves, what we're saying is that CHrist dying isn't good enough for us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A Spiritual Revolution

"The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend."
- Exodus 33:11
Some of us may have been brought up in a family of traditional patriarchy, worse still if it is Oriental in origin.

Aloof yet acerbic;
authoritative yet abstemious;
absolute yet absent;
some call it asinine.

A rude tongue would be promptly forked (ouch), and insubordination was (is?) taboo, and probably liable to corporal punishment. Damn I hate my rank. If you're wondering, rang is rank in French. So is the weirdly spelt corporal.

It is an authority led by fear rather than familiarity.

I'm glad to say that our Heavenly Father is none of these. God has been involved in our life even before we came into this world, and He loved us even before we knew Him personally. When God sent His Son Jesus to die for us on the cross, a spiritual revolution took place.

He is not aloof; far from it. This is a God that has His fingers in every pie, a cook for every broth, to handle what we can't.
He is not acerbic; far from it. His rebukes are borne of the unconditional love that He has for us.
He is not self-contradictory. While He exercises His authority in our life, He gives us Choice. And when we struggle to choose correctly, He is not abstemious; He's there to help us out.
He is absolute and omnipresent.
How asinine to suggest that God is otherwise!

Yes we ought to fear God, but positively. The fear of God is respect given to God as an acknowledgement of His deity. Yet GOd wants us to be familiar with Him and understand Him, that we may the desire the godly things that He does.

We can speak frankly and honestly to Him because He is our Heavenly Father. Bring your frustration and fallibility to Him, and let Him turn it into "something beautiful".

Let the spiritual revolution continue in our hearts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

God's Amazing Patience (13 Jul 2004)

"I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me."
- Psalm 13:5,6

Lord Your patience is amazing, but mine is not. I am having trouble focusing on Your will and purpose. Worse still, I am stumbling others similarly.

Lord, I have already decided to take such a difficult and heart-wrenching step, but I trust it is right. This step I have taken tests me on how much I trust you, beyond however much I've been tested thus far. And as I see it, this test might extend up to four years, and perhaps more. 16 seasons, 16 stars in a glass jar.

Humanly, I look at the situation and I know it's impossible: I can't Lord. I thought ORD would represent a watershed in the testing of my faith, but it is not. It is only the beginning, and I am clueless as to what lies beyond.

I need you to show me quick. I have already sacrificed and foregone my greatest source of happiness for You! What more must I give or give up? I am near my limit Lord, please help me.

"But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children -
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts."
- Paslm 103:17,18

And then God spoke to me.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise."
- 2 Peter 3:9

Phwoar! Fantastic right?

Our God is an awesome god
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power and love
Our God is an awesome God

More good news!

I have just been officially informed that I have been permanently downgraded to PES C9L3, with permanent excuse No 4 uniform. What this means is:

1. No more IPPT, now and reservist.
2. 5-year reservist cycle (I think)
3. No need to run Army Half-Marathon. Sorry donations made are unrefundable.
4. No more folding Smart No 4, Hello spiffy No 3.
5. No more lacing up boots.
6. No more garters.
7. Admin attire every day till I get my No 3.

Unfortunately, it also means:
1. No cash reward even if I pass IPPT in reservist.
2. Gee can't think of anything else. Hooray!

10 THings You Didn't Know About Yourselves

OK all my rabid fans! Here are some quirky facts you might not have known about yourselves!

1. 97% of you use Windows OSes, the other 3% are either Mackies or liars.
2. 7% of you visit my site from places like the States, UK, Eastern Europe and Australia. Who are you? I wanna know! I'm guessing Nat, Foong Lay, Yew Hock, and the Mass Comm Brigade in Oz, but let me know who you are!
3. 2% of you log on from a domain. I wonder who's skiving MOE time... =]
4. 95% of you are on IE 5 or 6. The remaining use Mozilla or Netscape. Jeannie, you're on Mozilla right?
5. Most of you log on between noon and 8pm local time. At least you guys are sane. Hmmm during office hours leh.
6. Most of you visit on Thursday. Sundays and Tuesdays you just can't lift a finger to click.
7. Site traffic has increased by a phenomenal 280% since January this year. Keep it up guys! =]
8. I get about 17 hits a day, and you guys hang around for about 2 min or so. Glad to take up 35 min of your time daily. Hope it made your day.
9. All of you speak English.
10. 100% of you can't wait to get tomorrow's fix of unadulterated cow crap!

Data from

Brainiest? Or best mugger?

For the record, Singapore's Brainiest Kid highlights a lot of things wrong with Singaporean values and education. Why is memorisation so prized? Is mindless regurgitation over topics like Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant and weird video games really and indication of our children's intellect. If so, and the Singaporean public lapping it up thinks so, then God help us. Where's the brains in that? I am appalled, though I was like that as a kid. Where's the emphasis on problem-solving? Let's see the BFG expert write an original opinionated piece, and see if he's so brainy after all. All these smart-alecky kids with their smug faces, and brainier-than-thou posturing should have their misguided pride defrocked and neutered.

I Need You Now by All Star United

When worlds collide
Then drift away
I will cling to the pieces
The ones that point at the way to go
More than anything I want You to know

So here I wait
Cold and afraid
I'm not the kind to cry Jesus
Or put my heart on parade
There are four words I want You to know


I need you now
More than ever Lord
Give me truth over mystery
'Cos when you're around
The uncertainty seems to fade into history

Now that you've heard
My empty heartache's lament
I'm praying now that You'll be breaking through
This heavy shell of cement, and oh
More than anything I want You to know

I'm crying out
I'm pushing through
I'm trading fear and doubts for truth and absolutes
Was lost, then found
These things I never knew
Without You

If We Were Lovers by All Star United

Let's take a walk into the sky
Conversing with the stars to fathom why
They're not afraid to burn
To lose themselves while turning into light


If we were lovers
Like we were meant to be
Open arms, broken hearts
All the world to see
If we were lovers
Loving like we say
All the ghosts of doubt would crash and burn away

The obvious will be implied
From the simple implications of our lives
If we don't get it right
I guess they're gonna wait a long long time

An extraordinary love
Offers heal for hurt and kind for cruelty
Words are not enough
Revolution must begin for you and me

If we were lovers
Then we would love

Torn by All Star United

It's excruciating
I know you need to know where we stand
Is there harm in waiting?
Is this my only chance to take your hand?


I'm torn in two
By what i should or should not do
Torn, torn in two
Will you wait for me if I run from you?

I really must confess
It feels like there's a war in me
I'm drawn to those who offer less
But is this really where i need to be

Over this I'm losing rest
I can't bear to turn away
If I try to second guess
Will I give it all away?

Monday, July 12, 2004

A Dialogue with God (12 July 2004)

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
- Hebrews 4:16

God says to put Him first in everything. But often we turn to friends instead. While indeed some friends are capable of godly counsel, without wisdom from God, you might as well ask anybody else. The key word is godly, because there is no godly counsel without God, is there? It is God who puts the word in people's mouths to advise us. True, spiritual "knowledge and competen[ce]" (Romans 15:14) do abound in strong Christians, but we still need specific words of wisdom from the voice of the Father.

Seeking God first is also an act of obedience onto Him. Our spiritual dependence must always be in Him, not in ourselves or others. To do otherwise is sin, because we end up doing whatever is right in our own eyes. By making Him our first stop, we also acknowledge Him as the Vine (John 15:5) and our dependence in Him.

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.... Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
- Hebrews 10:22a,23

"We have confidence before God receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him."
- 1 John 3:21,22

Go to Him first, and taste His goodness.

Weekend's devotions

This is to summarise the devotionals for Sat and Sun. Well to be honest I missed both, but I read through it and gleaned this.

Basically this is what we should be doing:
1. There is nothing too cheem for God, so if there's something you need to ask God, just whack.

2. We have to learn to talk to God about our problems before talking to others. Otherwise, how is God going to use people to talk to you?

3. In the end, God's the one with the answers. Honour Him, bu putting Him first in everything.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Testing testing... this is a blog test....

Well Mr Wong... since i have been given priviliges to your blog... MUHAHAHHAHAHHAHA... i'm gonna do lotsa stuff on it.. (as if i got the time). But well.. i'm gonna make all the speeling mistakes i wanna make!!Emmmm... but just wanna say that i enjoy ur blogs... so SPIRITUAL...... haha... so continue to be a blessing to others kay!! keep those blogs coming in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 09, 2004


I've just been informed that my Sunday duty on 25 July has been rescinded, thanks to a guy who slept in bunk during PE. I've done that before, though not here. THank God for His providence once again.

A Tribute to My Mum

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31:10-31)

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
26 faithful instruction is on her tongue.
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
27 She does not eat the bread of idleness.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom
18She sees that her lamp does not go out at night.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
18 She sees that her trading is profitable
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

Going Beyond Imagination! (9 July 2004)

Indeed as the Bible says, some are called to be evangelists (Ephesians 4:11), but some are not.

As challenging as it is to forego all you've known and go the frontline of the gospen proliferation, think about the people the missionaries leave behind.

Some leave behind families, loved ones, friends, all for the sake of the gospel. But it's all for you Lord.

Sometimes the hardest thing for a "sender" to do is to let go of the "goer".
They wonder why the missionary has to go and leave them all behind.
They wonder why they can't follow suit.
They even wonder why these unreached people groups who don't even know their loved one is going to them deserves him/her more than they.
They question the fairness of God and doubt His plan for them.

The question is: What can they do?
The army says LLST. (ask any soldier what it means)
Their heart yearns to be with their loved one.
Their head is ruled by their heart.
They are tempted to jump off God's path and bash their own way through.
The hokkien peng says "ai piah, ai piah, ngeh ngeh lai".
So how?

What does God say?
He reassure us simply by saying that He knows what he is doing.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD , "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11

By human perception, we can't for the life of us figure how things are going to work but thank God that He knows, and He'll tell us at some point.

I pray I'll be teachable and receptive, but it's easier said than done.

Stepping Off the Bridge (8 July 2004)

COntinuing from yesterday, today's devotional touches on independence from conventional safety lines.

Do you have confidence in God? If you do, step out into the water in faith. When you face the truth about yourself you ultimately pave the way to discovering the truth about God. The next time you face a situation that causes you to question God's purposes, do not merely accept it: Ask God why. Allow God to speak to you, and allow yourself to depend on His strength. Once again, it is better to analogise at this point, but I promise not to go into anything too slimy this time.

Imagine yourself standing on the railing of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge facing Marina East and beyond. Let's dramatise this and assume Marina Bay is infested with sharks that have been fasting for days. If you jump, you'll be dead before you hit the water. yes the sharks are probablt Christian since they're fasting at this time, but all that means is that they'll say grace before devouring you.

Marina Bay, then, represents the emotion or problem that you don't want to face, or God's prompting you don't want to follow. You know what I mean.

The bridge represents the earthly assurance you hold on to, be it your job, money, or even your status.

Look down to your feet. Attached firmly around your ankles is a bungee rope. For thos averse to heights, this analogy will be more real to you.

Here we go:
You know the rope is safe, and is securely affixed to you. But there's no way of knowing how safe it is till you step off the bridge.
The rope represents God's love and is held in His hands. Right now the rope hangs limp, because you are supported by the bridge, not the rope.

What I'm trying to say is:
Experience the power of God's delivereance and trust in Him to uphold you in the presence of your insecurities.

Step off the bridge and live boldly for Christ! Amen?

Go there! (8 July 2004)

"Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."
So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." "
1 Kings 17:2-9

Where God guides, God provides.

It's often said that God always provides a way out, and it's true.

While He isn't your "Get out of jail!" card, and you should never consider Him that, He remains Jehovah Jireh our Provider.

Are you in the place where God has sent you? If so, you will know God's provision. Our relationship with God is not a rice bowl - it's a mission. He'll never shortchange us and His supply will follow us every step of our obedience to His mission.

Where God guides, God provides! Go there!

If God is calling you to lead a simpler life for the sake of the gospel, do it! God is guiding you somewhere so He can demonstrate His providence to you. God bless those who have stepped out in faith to serve God's frontline mission, forfeiting their privileges of comfort and convenience so that unreached people groups may hear the Good News.

To those whom God has placed the burden of cross-cultural missions in their hearts, may the Lord stir their hearts and give them the faith to trust and obey.

If you do not yet know what your specific calling is, continue to ask God for His wonderful plan for you, like what I'm doing. Remember His three answers: No, Wait, and Here's Something Better? Keep waiting, but keep praying. Amen?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Buried Alive

"Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

No, it isn't David Blaine again.

OK raise your hands. Who likes negative emotions? Who enjoys melancholy more than mirth? values dourness above delight? likes to =[ rather than to =] ? A rhetorical question if there ever was one. Masochists please refrain from raising your hand.

So much so, we just want to be rid of it as soon as possible, by all means and any means.

Habakkuk asks repeatedly why bad things happen to good people and vice versa. Yes, every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), but that doesn't mean we can just take the good and accept nothing else from God. Faith would be a piece of cake if you received only good things wouldn't it?

I urge not to be remiss and dismiss discomfort and hardship offhand.

We are guilty of two types of dismissal: Suppression and Repression, very much like the fleeing and forgetting I touched on yesterday. These also result in Depression and Regression, and a Compression of your spirit, because your Transgression is not acknowledged. OK enough digression.

Suppression basically means moving the negative emotion to the KIV tray, pushing it to the side of your plate, or stashing it away in your drawer. But when your IN tray is cleared, when you've eaten everything else that you liked from the buffet, when your mom nags you to clean your room, There! The emotion hasn't disappeared; it's still there, and it has to be dealt with.

Repression takes it a a step further, or should I say deeper.

You burn it, shred it, run the anti-virus software, delete it, empty the Recycle Bin (sorry Mac users, all two of you), format your hard drive, all so you NEVER have to deal with it EVER again.

But these methods are still only temporary, and the root problem remains unsolved, and insoluble in the solutions you use.

And as it festers in the Keep-Out-of-View tray, conspicuously untouched on your dinner plate, or buried in the dark recesses of your drawer, it will undoubtedly remanifest itself.

Because God loves you and considers the lesson you have to learn essential to your development, He'll want you to learn it, no matter how many times you've skipped lecture. Please realise we just have to learn it well once, and with Christ our teacher beside us, we can do all things.

I reiterate: any emotion you harbour, hoard, hide, hold or hush up will return to haunt and harangue you like a thorn in the flesh. Any emotion buried within us is never buried dead - but buried alive.

"When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "-
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin."
Psalm 32:3-5

Once again when I least expect it, God speaks to me, this time through Paul Baloche's No Eye Has Seen (Track 11) and Spontaneous Worship (13), from his album Open the Eyes of My Heart. The spontaneous worship gave me the opportunity to meditate on God in His presence, but No Eye Has Seen really spoke to me:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
No mind has conceived what the Lord has prepared
But by His spirit He has revealed His plan
To those who love Him

We've been held by His everlasting love
Led with lovingkindness by His hand
We have hope for the future yet to come
In time we'll understand the mystery of His plan

That is almost verbatim what God is speaking to me, and I'm really overwhelmed. Amen.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Four Ways to Face Life

When spiritually confused, there are four ways to face it:
1. Flee it
2. Fight it
3. Forget it
4. Face it

Fleeing and forgetting reek of escapism, basically running away and ignoring what God has put in our heart to resolve. Fighting it means we're fighting what God is trying to teach us.

What God wants us to do is to face it, bravely and with His guidance and wisdom. He is our Deliverer. FEDEX = Facing Every Day Enjoying Christ

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour -
from violent men you save me.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies."
2 Samuel 22:2-4

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways."
Isaiah 55:8,9

"Those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

When we face spiritual uncertainty and confusion, all God needs us to do is to acknowledge our shortcoming and depend on Him and draw on His strength to bring us through, rather than fabricate some grandiose explanation of His workings. We just don't know enough.

But that's not all.

After confronting the dilemma, we must then acknowledge the reality. Our confusion is not for the sake of exposing the fallibility and ineptitude of human comprehension. While our inadequacy might be a convenient excuse, we have to seek God for an answer.

Which brings me to the third point: We have to feel the pain. While not necessarily as obvious as the physical trauma the self-flagellation practised by some Filipino Catholics practise during Good Friday, learning a lesson hurts sometimes.

Learning requires us to deal with the emotion, rather than swallowing it. Inevitably, confrontation does tax our spirit, for we are emotional beings too.

But put it this way: It's like phlegm. (!!!)

Keep swallowing and it builds up, causing germs to build up. (erm correct not, missy?) While getting rid of it is often unpleasant, it has to be done to allow the throat to clear. Then we can move on.

I'd bring up the mucus example, but then we'd probably all fast dinner too. Get it? Bring up mucus?

Ahem. If we don't address the issue, God will have to bring it to our attention again.

Apologies for the visual analogy. Rather unbecoming of one so phlegmatic.

"Unacknowledged emotions stay within us to cause trouble, acknowledged emotions do not."
Selwyn Hughes, whose points I've paraphrased here.

Acknowledge issues both internally within your spirit being, and externally in your human relationships. Do it in God's strength, and he will strengthen you to deal with bigger issues. Otherwise you just can't move on.

Two of my regular female readers, am I hitting something home? Hope you get it.

But don't do a Judas on me and ask, "Is it I?" Do I look like someone about to gice bread to you? =]

Let God deal with your issues.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."
Matthew 5:23,24

Monday, July 05, 2004

Trust - Not Always Easy

One of the greatest spiritual qualities we can possess is the ability to sit back in times of confusion and admit that though we haven't the foggiest what God is doing we trust Him nonetheless.

"You desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Psalm 51:6

Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from Thy presence, O God
And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore onto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not to thy own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will direct thy path
Trust, therefore, in the Lord

The First Step

"Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?"
Habakkuk 1:3

Even though I do not understand how and why things happen I will trust in Your way, because I know You're in complete control and have a reason for everything that happens. You have my absolute trust. Help me to confront my confusion and debase my doubts.

Let me speak truth, and I will glorify you with my speech. Does saltwater come froma freshwater spring? So it is: Since I praise You with my mouth, let everything else that comes from my mouth also give glory to You.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Silences of God

"O LORD , do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Be merciful to me, LORD , for I am faint;
O LORD , heal me, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD , how long?
Turn, O LORD , and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love."
Psalm 6:1-4

They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength
They will mount up on wings like eagles
They shall walk and not be weary
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait

Just too recap what I learnt on 17 June 2004:
God has THREE answers to your petition:-
1. No, it's not good for you.
2. Later, at a more appropriate time.
3. I'll give you something even better.
Or He could just build your suspense.

If you think that because we are followers of God He will never allow us to be confused, then we are in for a surprise.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

'No-nonsense bluntness'

"How long, O LORD , must I call for help,
but you do not listen?"
Habakkuk 1:2

Lord I am desperate for Your fulfilling presence, but help me to be patient to wait on you. I know You aren't far, so teach me to ... wait. But please don't be too long? =]

"In you, O LORD , I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress....
I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure."
Psalm 71:1-3, 14-15

My hope is always in You, and in that i rest assured. Help me deal with disappointments that I may be hence refined.

Lord I thirst for You, I long to be in Your pressence
My soul will wait for You
Father draw me nearer to the beauty of Your holiness
I will wait for You, I will worship You, Almighty God
In the beauty of Your holiness

Legacy of Faithfulness

" 'God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
James 4:6-8

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O God"

As heads of the household, may fathers depend on Your strength and wisdom to guide, guard and govern their homes. Let them cast their burdens on You, that You might give them rest. Let them be godly examples for others to follow, that they will leave an indelible legacy of faithfulness.

As heads of the church, protect pastors from Satan's determined attention to undermine their lives. Give them Your anointing to lead Your people. Make them alert to the enemy.

As heads of state, give our political leaders wisdom to influence people with Your gospel. Let them be wise and godly purveyors of Your truth. Keep them humble, that they can be used mightily by You.

From Confusion to Confidence

"The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights."
Habakkuk 3:19

Lord let me focus on You; things become mucyh simpler after that. Let me put my strength in You; things become much easier. Carry me high above my detractors that I my glorify Your name.

"He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:2b

Your love has lifted me up again, now I'm free to live
There's no higher love than I could find, and for this joy I will thank You

"How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news."
Isaiah 52:7

I want to be a vessel of Your gospel to my friends. But help me be a living testimony and a positive influence on people.

When I look into Your holiness, when I gaze into Your loveliness
When all things that surround me become shadows in the light of You
When I've found the joy of reaching Your heart
When my will becomes enclosed in Your love
I worship You, the reason I live is to worship You