Saturday, December 24, 2011

24-12-11 (Saturday) “More Than We Know”

Quite a number of things have happened to me recently which could have been well-deserving of complaints. There are also many that just leaves me with a high inside, speechless because of what God has done.

I was gonna list down all the things that happened but I think I would not do any justice to how God works so many mighty things in His own ways, in His own time. Hmmm… I’ll just give it a shot off the top of my head. A missed flight, a good friend moving away, a visit by my mom’s sisters and a cousin, a dream with more-significant-than-I-thought implications, conversations with siblings-in-Christ…

How do I know why the thing that is happening now is happening for some other reason? I don’t. I just trust that God has got something up His sleeve. And its definitely greater than any kinda idea that I would’ve had.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
eclares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.
~ Isa 55:8,9


Like a boss

God is much, MUCH greater than I can ever comprehend. Where do I even start probing into this…?

Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory
because of your love and faithfulness.
~ Ps 115:1


Sunday, December 18, 2011

18-12-11 (Sunday) “Dung” *edited 24-12-11*

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. ~ Phil 1:21

 IMG_9157“In chains”

I always had a pretty smooth life. I always think of how blessed I am, having achieved much since my childhood up till now. I always thanked God for these achievements.

I’ve recently come to ponder what Paul was saying to the Philippian church. I used to find my worth in my achievements. I found it necessary to flaunt all these achievements to others and then feel all smug, high and mighty inside. Childish thoughts would run through my mind:

“Hah. Wish you had my kinda abilities, eh?”
“Don’t you wish you were single now?”
“Yeah, ‘Whoa’ is the right response... Aren’t I awesome? “



But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so , somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~ Phil 3: 7-11

Paul was clearly addressing people like me when he came to Phil 3:4b-6. We were brought up in a community where our worth depended on how well we are in achievements in life.

Now, I’m come to realize why he calls them “loss for the sake of Christ” (Or “dung” in certain translations!). With all these scrolls and paperwork in my hands, I’ve grown to let these things define me instead of the Lord Jesus! All this while, I’ve been busily garnering more and more achievements so that I feel more complete, more valuable. These “profits” in the past have always been a distraction to the knowledge of Christ in me!!

I’ve never been able to see how there is fullness in Christ (Col 2:10). In other words, there is no need for anything else to complete me with Christ in me! I am still learning to turn that into reality. Will you?


May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. ~ Col 6:14

Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.

If life belong, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short – then why should I be sad
To soar to endless day?
~Taken from “Knowing God”, J.I. Packer

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

13-12-11 (Tuesday) "How does one love so much?"

I tried so hard and got quite far but in the end it doesn't really matter. No food compares to mom's home-cooked food. I think its just the "mom" element that makes it what it is. I can try cook the very same dish the very same way with the very same stuff but it just won't be the same. You know what I'm talking about, right? :D
Then, I realized what a challenge it must've been for my parents, bringing up 4 kids. I think about how hard it is to love just ONE other person and yet they had to do so to 5 different individuals, with their spouse getting a bigger share of their love, of course... But to split the rest of their love evenly between 4 very different people...??!?! How does one do that?! If it were 2 kids, maybe its possible. 3... Probably still can do it... But FOUR...?!?!?!
Even crazier still...
How does One love ALL the (almost) 7 billion people on the earth now? How does One love them all the VERY SAME WAY despite their VERY DIFFERENT characters?
To make things even more absurd...
How does One love ALL THESE disgusting living beings, tarnished with sin, the very antithesis of One's holiness, destined to be One's enemy?
But God DOES do it! And I don't understand how He does it. But He DOES!
... God is love ~ 1 John 4:8b
That does help a bit. It is His VERY NATURE! He IS love! But it still is mind-blowing. How does one even begin to wrap one's head around this love?!
"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully" ~ Eph 3:19a (NLT)

Paul wasn't being sarcastic or funny there. It really is incomprehensible, this crazy love! It has gotten hold of me now. I hope this love engulfs you as well soon enough!

Friday, November 25, 2011

25-11-11 (Friday) “Oh great… Now I’m gonna be late for…”

Something unforeseen happened to me a few days ago that got me stuck in it for quite a while.

In that moment, I thought through how the scenario happens to many and how the “normal” reaction is. The first thing that came to my mind was the title of this post.

IMG_0453 Given this period of post-exam break where nothing much happens and my schedule is pretty clear, things are different and hence that thought wasn’t my main thought. However, if it had been on any other day of the year, I believe that thought would be the very first thing that comes to mind.

We claim or think that mankind’s quality of life and standard of living has never been better in any time before the present. We have all these gadgets and devices that make life easy for us, saves us time and effort so that we are able to do ten times the work we would have done in a same period of time a decade ago. Yet, we end up having not enough time to do all that we wanna do.

“Darn it, forgot to pray/do my quiet time today. I’ll just go through two readings tomorrow.”
“Looks like I’m gonna need that (insert energy-boosting drink) tonight!”
“Can you drive faster, please? I really have to be there in ten minutes.”

Can we all please slow down? Can we spare at least 1 hour a day for people and not activities? Maybe another hour for God too, for us believers? To just read His Word and think about things to thank Him, to adore Him? Can we afford to be more patient?

Can I?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

07-11-11 (Monday) “Time heals…?”

We hear it over and over again when hit with some painful event.

“Let it heal with time.”
“You’ll be fine as time goes by.”

I can bear testimony to the time healing bit, having experienced healing over time but… Is it really time that heals?

IMG_20752 A waiting place

Or is it God that heals us in time?

Sure… Most things will feel less painful over time… But I’ve heard of cases where instant healing takes place. No more pain. No more wound to show.

Ultimately, God is in control.

That’s right… Time heals. But God is in control of time. He is over and above time. Its like… Time is so out of God’s league. God pre-dated time. He owned time.

God is the one who heals. Period.

IMG_20052The Promise

Lamb fat is the best fat ever.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

30-10-11 (Sunday) “I don’t mind having a bit more…”

… Do you?

To have a bit more money to spend when I go out into the world to work. If I’m given a job with a decent pay, by God’s grace, I wouldn’t complain at all. I’d probably indulge in good stuff every now and then. Get myself high quality gadgets at home. Nothing wrong, right? I’d probably give a portion of my money away to charity and tithe 10% before spending the excess on the said nice stuff. That should be alright.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21

It does sound harmless but I realize the danger this kinda attitude poses. Its like wading in the seawater, you’re just ankle deep in the water. Then you wade a bit further, you’re knee-deep in water. Before you know it, you’ve accidentally walked into a riptide and you’re swept into the water, in over your head.
I’m not earning my own money but I’ve been buying bits of stuff here and there occassionally. Never really in mass quantities. Now I’m in serious trouble in 4 weeks when I have to pack. :S

“How d heck am I gonna pack all those stuff up?”
“What should I bring back home to Malaysia?”
“How did I end up with so much stuff in my one tiny room??!”

How many of your possessions would you happily throw/give away? What about those things that you don’t even use much but just stays stowed away in the storeroom the past year?

I realize that the more things I have, the more things I have that are chaining me down to this earth.

“Are my games being properly taken care off?”"
“Is my camera still working properly?”
“Is he reading the book I lent him?”

Come the day I have to die, will I be at peace to leave everything behind? I mean… Its not like I have an option of checking in 25kg of luggage and carrying 10kg hand luggage to my next destination.

I dare not even start reading “Money, Sex and Power” by Richard Foster because I saw the chapter entitled “The Vow of Simplicity” under the index. That IS a calling for every Christian, no? To live simply. No need for fine dining. No need for a mansion. No need for the comfort of a Lexus. Just a Perodua will do. No need for Rolex, Adidas nor Marriott. Just Casio, Asadi and YHA will do. No Max Brenner and Koko Black. Just Milo and Kopi-O will do.

Yes. Thank you for asking me how I’m faring in this area. This is  another major challenge to date and I’m not even at the starting line yet. Just started the 1st lap for warm up. What about you? Dare you take on the challenge? What are you willing to give up first?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

11-10-11 (Tuesday) “The Other Way Round”

We’re used to the idea of focusing on studies/work and occasionally making time for a meet up/activity with friends when our schedule frees up. In other words, we work and study full time while our part time commitment is to people.


Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

I think there is something wrong with the upbringing of how we have things prioritized.

I think people should be the main priority and the other things come in after people. When I’ve got time, I should probably spend some time with people rather than trying to bury myself in a book (Or surf through Facebook, hmmm…?). I’ve realized how often and how natural it is for the thought to come to my mind after spending some time chilling around or hanging out with friends that “Oh my… I’ve wasted so much time doing nothing.”

Is it, really? Isn’t the time invested in chatting with people or just sitting together at a table gonna be the memory that comes up when I’m 45 years old and telling some young guy to live a proper life? Will I not be missing the times I had some laughter with my other pals in the warm, lovely spring sun? Will I not be thinking back on the Skype sessions with my family and smiling? Or will I be reminiscing the times I had spent reading some gossip on some cricket agent asking for millions of pounds or the Ukrainian ex-PM’s incarceration? Will I be so proud of having run 10km one lovely afternoon?


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

Friday, October 07, 2011

07-10-11 (Friday) “Its Humbling”

I dare to dream sometimes of how there are so many amazing things lying in the future for me. I dream of graduating and finding a steady, well-paying job with a comfortable house in a comfortable little town/city. I dream of maybe even having a lovely family that is just perfect, that everyone loves and I look forward to seeing them every single day. I dream of jetsetting all over the world, experiencing different lifestyles and cultures, taking many breathtaking photos of the various places and people to document these adventures. I dream of how awesome my life would be…IMG_8983

“… in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ…” ~ 1 Peter 4:11

How would all of that be glorifying to God, though? If I live a good life, with not a trouble or a worry to mess my head up… That would only please one person. Me.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. ~ 1 Peter 5:6

Its scary to think that in actual fact, it really isn’t important whether or not I have my high distinctions(HDs) or I get a fancy car or I get a cozy house in the safest suburb… Its humbling to know that my life actually isn’t THAT important, if not for the glory of God. It really is a scary thought. And we don’t like to think of it.


But its true. And that’s what makes it hard to accept for most of us. We don’t wanna think that we’re living for Someone else. We wanna think that we’re living for ourselves.

“Live life to the fullest”

“Doesn’t matter how long you live to enjoy, as long as you enjoy while you live.”

But that’s not what we’re made for! We were made to live for God! I still wonder about that thought every now and then but it becomes very liberating after a while!

Marriage is the best thing that ever/never happened to me. It can work both ways.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

05-10-11 (Wednesday) "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Nobody beats You when it comes to humour, God. Its hard to believe that You bother to inject all these small things to humour me in life. Heheh.


Monday, October 03, 2011

03-10-2011 (Monday) “Should we be so afraid of it?

I just finished reading this a while ago.


It makes me wonder. From a Christian point-of-view… Should we really be so afraid of being single? Matthew 6:26 gives us confidence that we have God watching over us and caring for us. Do we really need that other person in our lives? Sure, there are practical advantages of having a partner in our walk with Christ but there are clear disadvantages as well.

1. Our partner will support us in our lowest hours – Support can also come in the form of friends and family beyond just that special person. In fact, if that one person is our sole support, its probably a sign of ourselves not having a healthy community life. Let’s not forget the times when that person is the very reason we are in those low hours.

2. Our partner will encourage/complement us in our ministry to God – Two sides to this coin. With the same vision, a couple can be very powerful in a ministry together. However, if the callings are different, then it can be very disastrous. Also, we can become too engrossed in having to make our partner happy that we expend energy and effort that would otherwise be used for God’s glory!

3. Having a partner will bring great joy to our lives – Isn’t the relationship with God even more important? That should be way more fulfilling than any other relationship we can have on this earth.

4. Having a partner completes us – I’m sure you can rebut this yourself. We are completed in Christ. We find our identity in Christ. Not in the other person. I am no less sinful after getting married. I am no less complete when I am yet to be attached.

I’m saying all these while being absolutely clear of my own desires of one day getting married as well(God-willing) but my struggle now is with how obsessed we all are with getting attached. We forget to focus on living for God with the gift (the situation) of being single right now. I’m trying to control the thoughts like “maybe she’s the one” or “we would make a good couple” and replace them with “she’s my sister-in-Christ and I respect her” and “she’s a nice sister-in-Christ to hang out with”. Something like that… Can work on refining that.


Sometimes I really DON’T know what to say when someone asks, “What’s up?” There really isn’t much happening sometimes… :S

Sunday, September 11, 2011

11-09-2011 (Sunday) “Love Enough”

This is something I’ve been thinking about over past experiences.

We’ve heard the message over and over. “Love is not that mushy, warm feeling you get inside. Its an action. Its a verb. Something you do.”

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. ~ Ephesians 5:25 (The Message)

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her ~ Ephesians 5:25 (New Living Translation)

Focusing on the words in bold, love is marked by giving, yeah? Okay. So you say it doesn’t apply to you because that love is only between husband and wife.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” ~ John 13:34-35 (NLT)

Now this is Jesus speaking. And that obviously trumps everything. Love one another as He loved us. How did He love us? He gave. He didn’t get. He just kept giving.

What I’m thinking about is this: So if love is marked by GIVING, if I actually love someone, I will be giving and not be so concerned about GETTING. Sounds right? I think so. But what about the point where I come to a point where I just don’t have enough within and can’t give anymore? Does that mean I have stopped loving the person? Then begs an even greater question: Have I actually been loving the other person? If I truly loved, should it have its limit? Or does the limit just mean its not really love? The best answer I can think of is that this love was not PERFECT love because I’m not perfect.

Sounds a bit sad and sniffy but I think we can and should consider this same fact regarding our love towards God. Are we only limited to giving of ourselves when we feel like it? When our pockets are full, when we feel so blessed, having just received a promotion/scholarship, when something that we prayed for came true? How does our love compare to the one we receive from Him?

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. ~ James 1:17


Sunday, September 04, 2011

04-09-11 (Sunday) “You Do All Things Well”

This has been the theme song of my day so far. :)

Mountain maker
Ocean tamer
Glimpses of You
Burn in my eyes
The worship of heaven
Fills up the skies

There are so many things to be upset over and complain about this season. Mid-sem exams are just around the corner, the water and gas distribution system went wonky over the past two days, certain things don’t turn out as desired, I could probably list a few more things.

IMG_58832 You made it all
Said, "let there be"
And there was
All that we see
The sound of Your voice
The works of Your hands
You do all things well
You do all things well
You do all things well

Everyone else have their own set of problems they face, possibly similar to mine and they can say the same. But no, I choose to be thankful and praise God in this season. I realize that its not really that hard if you give it a try! Today, in particular, I thank God because He doesn’t grow weary of showing me all that He has created and set into motion from Creation Day One.

Star creator
Wind breather
The strokes of Your beauty
Brushed through the clouds
Light from the heavens
Touching the ground
Imagination runs wild
And breathes the breath of life
Across the fields
Across the miles

It is not my 3rd year here at ANU and my 3rd season of spring already. I am still unequivocally amazed by the beauty this season brings along with it. The colours of spring make the city look like a masterpiece of an artwork. And what an Artist He is! I went for Ultimate Frisbee League in the afternoon and the sun, combined with the green grass and all the patches of clouds in the light blue sky… I’m no good with words but how I wish I could show you how BEAUTIFUL it was! I was just “wow-ing” my afternoon away!!

Won’t you join me in giving thanks in this season, no matter what you’re going through?

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

~ Psalm 8:1-4

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

3-8-11 (Wednesday) "Less Time, Less Pain"

Grey's Anatomy brought up the issue of miscarriage and it got me thinking of how things would be different for a miscarriage at 1 month into the pregnancy and another at 8 months. It would definitely hurt more at 8 months, wouldn't it?

In the same way, losing a child aged 12 years would hurt more than losing one aged 2, wouldn't it?

The more time spent together with another causes one to be dearer to one. It would hurt more to lose someone you've spent more time with than one whom you've spent less time with.

Not an excuse to stop spending time with people though... So not my point.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

24-03-11 (Thursday) “Psalm 46”

Its been a while… And I haven’t been as motivated and inspired as I have, after reading today’s devotion passage, to post something. Its been quite a calamitous month for the whole world, to say the least. Queensland floods, Western Australia bushfires, Christchurch quake, Japanese quake and tsunamis. If the news is right, there was just another 6.1 quake again at the northwestern side of Japan just today.

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.

How amazing is that? Could this has come at a better time than this? Its hard to figure out where God is in all this and what to answer people in this time. But we are not alone in all this. We stand with many others in the midst of history gone. It has happened before. And God has proven Himself faithful. “Ever-present”. “Refuge and strength”. Have we been looking properly?

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God if Jacob is our fortress.

Turn your cries to Him. He can take it. He won’t smite you just because you’re in pain and you need Him more. Tell Him your pain. Tell Him you wish things were better. Do you think He doesn’t think the same? Did you ever stop to wonder whether God ever had the thought of just removing man’s freedom to choose in the beginning when He created man? That way Adam and Eve wouldn’t have sinned and He wouldn’t have to have gone through HIS pain of separating from us, His loved ones! But would that be called ‘love’?

Come and see the works of the LORD,

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;

he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,

he burns the shileds with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Whether YOU choose to exalt Him or not, He will still be God. Its just a matter of whether He becomes the God of YOUR life or not. He WILL be exalted. Just because HE IS. Notice how the psalmist repeats the last line? He IS with us! He IS our fortress.

Sometimes a fortress is just so big that we can’t see its walls that are keeping out the rocks, arrows and fire being thrown at us by the enemies. We stand in the centre of it all, so secure but feeling vulnerable because we can’t see the protection all around and wonder what harm comes to us in the distance. Just because we can’t see that far.

Friday, February 04, 2011

04-02-11 (Friday) “Traffic Lights”

While I was travelling in Singapore, I came across one of the common sights in this metropolitan city and something that I have come to associate the city-country with.


Yes. Traffic lights.

I just got to think about how traffic lights work(in layman terms).

Green means “Go”. Yellow means “Get ready to stop/Speed up or you’ll get fined when it turns red/A different shade of green”(depending on which country you are in). Red means “Stop”.

I think our lives have to follow the pattern of the traffic light more. To have regular intervals of green, yellow and red. But the problem is that we’re either always on green or on red.

Always on green


We tend to overwork ourselves, trying to make every second count. To rush past every intersection in life as fast as we can, in case we hit our ‘deadline’ too soon (excuse the pun). Because of that, we end up missing the details along the way. We forget to savour the journey. We forget to enjoy the people that are on the ride together with us.

Slow down. Have a drink with your friend/partner/siblings/parents/cousins. Watch a comedy. Take a break from work every year or two. Go somewhere away from home. Doesn’t have to be far away, over the oceans. Stay at a local hotel/inn, even. Just get yourself out of your home for a bit, physically preferably.

Always on red


We’re trying our best to relax all the time. We waste the best part of the day(morning). We take things too easy.

Start small. Try to do something productive for a short time(5 minutes?) when you’re slacking away. Make it a point to carry on with it for a while(2 weeks). Don’t regret not having done what you’d have liked to have done earlier.


Yellows would be the transitions when we burnout or are very close to getting there. Strike that balance. Have your fair share of “Go!”s and “Stop!”s

Saturday, January 15, 2011

15-01-11 (Saturday) “We Do”

I think we do care a lot more about others than we express or care to admit. We get angry with them, can’t stand their habits, deal with their periodical tantrums, get annoyed by their need for our attention and many other little things.


Think about it, if we didn’t care about them, we wouldn’t even care what they did. All they do will just zip by our heads into insignificance oblivion. But we ARE affected! And the only reason we’re not working on restoring our relationships is PRIDE! We’re too proud to admit that someone else matters to us and that they mean something to us. As if your self-importance will diminish because you make someone ELSE feel important. Trust me, you will never have a problem telling yourself that you’re important.


So, I tell you now. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. To me or not to me. But you ARE important. To someone. You just gotta let someone ELSE know that they’re important. And then the chain effect brings it around. Right back to you. And YOU’LL know who YOU are important to.

I dare you. Smile

Elle est ma copine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

12-01-11 (Wednesday) “What are YOU made of?”

“… For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. “

We try to disguise our real selves by carefully choosing our words so that others like us for that. Alec Judd writes in his book “Love Is The Key” that “Our words provide windows into our hearts… When we are full of something, the mouth takes the overflow… oue carefully chosen words, like windows of frosted glass, may reveal very little. Our most revealing words are unpremeditated.”

So… What you say really DOES reveal what you think and what you are inside, whether you like it or not. So… Think about what you want to be known as to people. Then think about that more. Let it become part of you. So that when the words DO come out unpremeditated, they may be words of love, words that build up and words that encourage.

… What are you like inside? Just talk to me more and it shows.