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Questions for God

(DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS NOT FOR THE WEAK IN FAITH AS THESE QUESTIONS MIGHT STUMBLE SOME)

In Isaiah 26:7, he said he’ll make the paths of the righteous level (smooth). How come we still face endless hardships when the road is supposed to be smooth?

In Isaiah 59:1, the Bible said that God’s ear is not too deaf to hear nor his hands too short to save. Then why does he not do anything immediately when the righteous call upon him day and night? What is causing the ‘delay’? Doesn’t the delay show the ‘shortness of hand’ and ‘deafness of ear’ when the cry was urgent?

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, he said he is faithful and he won’t allow us to be tempted than more than what we can bear. How many times have we crossed the line and fallen when temptation comes? Didn’t he say he’s faithful and would not allow it?

In Psalm 20:8, the promise was those who trust in Him will be strong and firm and not stumble. Then why do we stumble and sin over and over again in life? Why are we still so weak even when we’re supposed to have him as our strength and shield?

In Jeremiah 29:13, he said we’ll find him when we seek him with all our heart. What is his measure of all our hearts? How do you define the measure of all our hearts? Why does he set such high standards for people to find him, in contrary to what he said in Isaiah 65:1?

In Acts 2:21, he said he’ll save everyone who asks for his help. The question is when?

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I Think I Should Go Kill My Self

(DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT CONDONE COMMITTING SUICIDE IN ANY WAY. DYING HERE IS SPOKEN METAPHORICALLY. PLEASE DO NOT GO AND KILL YOURSELF OR OTHERS AFTER READING THIS)

Lately, I’ve been reminded over and over again (I think God is hinting something and He’s making it pretty obvious) of how I’ve been living my life. Selfish, self-centered, careless, inconsiderate, abrasive and most of the things I do or say are about me. There goes the big ‘self’ inside me puffing up, blinding and crippling me from being at peace because it’s always proud, discontented, greedy and like a raging sea, it’s never calm, never at peace.

And lately, there has been far too many incidences to remind me that I need to put an end to that part of my life. These unpleasant incidences are circumstances of this self’s doing. It’s obvious, I need to learn to kill my self. (Note : I didn’t say kill myself as in commit suicide. I’m not suicidal. I’m saying I need to kill the ‘selfish’ side of me). I don’t like the sound of that at all but, hey, no discipline is fun. It’s painful but in the end, it always pays off.

“Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed.” 1Peter 2:24

Ouch… what a harsh but timely reminder. And how blatantly can the Bible put it?

Die.

Don’t you just love that word? The way it causes a tingle in your spine when it’s mentioned? The way it makes us shudder at the very thought of death? Well, I want to learn to die to self (the sinful nature) and learn to live in Christ for righteousness. And to remind myself (and you, if you want), I’ve made a simple wallpaper to adorn my desktop so that every morning when I switch on my laptop at my office, I’m greeted by this reminder that I need to go and kill my self… again. Now, ain’t that a beautiful way to start my mornings?


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A New Hobby

Recently, I started a new hobby. Aquarium. Well, I guess I’ve not been in the presence of animals for far too long (back at home, I have six dogs). So, just trying to make myself feel at home I guess. Anyway, I only rear small fish simply because they’re cheaper and easier to dispose of when they’re dead (flush em down the toilet). I particularly like Cherry Barbs and Neon/Cardinal Tetras. Cherries are hyperactive and Neons are just pretty. My only problem now is who’s gonna feed them when I’m going back to Kota Kinabalu for Chinese New Year?


From the front

Closer

My neon tetras

Anyway, in this simple process of rearing fish, I get to play ‘God’. I get to decide when they’re fed, how their environment is shaped, who lives or who dies (sounds sadistic but yeah). As days go by, you get to feel how God feels just by observing these fishes. They’re sometimes greedy, blind, dumb, helpless, dependent, stubborn, silly and the list goes on. And sometimes, as their owner I just have to wonder why they do the things they do and why do they not do it my way instead. It’s so much simpler if they listen to me because I see the big picture! Where the food is, when’s the water changing, when the light’s gonna be switched on and etc.

I think God must feel the same way about us. I bet He must feel like screaming at us, “Listen to me! I’m the One in control, not you!” Well, we sure are a silly bunch of fish, running around trying to figure out life on our own, aren’t we? Guess it’s time to listen to the Master of this aquarium we’re all in, eh?

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When He Speaks


Audio Adrenaline – Speak To Me

I’m in a fix
Need something quick
My mind is numb
My stomach sick
Broken hearts
Hopeless things
I’ve seen what defiance brings
Cause the light of day
I’ve always known
Is in my heart
I’m not alone

Speak to me
Tell me all the things I need to know
I want to hear you now
Can you speak to me
I’ve opened up your word to free me
I want to hear you now

It’s amazing
How I forget
Can’t live my life
For lack of it
But the light of day
I’ve always known
It’s in my heart
I’m not alone

Make your wisdom clear
The words I hold so dear
Bring the light into my dark
I hide them inside my heart

Have you ever heard God speak? Yeah, I’m asking you, you who’s reading this. Many people have asked me, “How does God speak?” Well, it’s simple, really. He just speaks. Duh. =) Then the next question you might ask is, “How come I’ve never heard Him speak?”

The reason we don’t hear God speak is because we never chose to listen.

Hello? Read that previous sentence out loud again for me, will you? Ask yourself, how many times have you actually spent time, sat down with Him, talked with Him, laughed with Him, cried with Him and understood what He is trying to say to you? Chances are, we’re too busy or too ignorant to do so. We simply rush in and out in our busy schedules packed with self-absorbed agendas and we simply choose to ignore His voice because it’s not the top agenda in our never-ending to-do lists. At the end of the day, when things do not go our way, we shout at Him, “God, why is this happening to me?!”

Ironic, isn’t it? We blame God for not telling us things when we were the ones who deliberately chose not to listen to Him.

Last Tuesday, during our prayer meeting in church, my body was there but my everything else was everywhere but there. I was tired and distracted. My mind tells me I should go home, rest and finish up the work I have piling up on my desk. I could see that from everyone else who was there too. Everyone was tired from a long day’s work, ready to fall flat on a bed if there was any there. But deep down I know He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

In my brokenness, I whispered to Him, “God, here I am again. Shucks, I know. Yes, it’s me again. =)”

I didn’t ask Him to strengthen me nor refresh me like anyone else would’ve done. I didn’t ask for Him to work miracles and signs and wonders to amaze me. I didn’t ask Him to fill me with joy or love or peace so that I could last for that two hours of praying without passing out.

All I wanted that night was to hear Him speak, to hear the familiar voice that gives me courage to face all of my unknowns, the refreshing voice that brings so much fulfillment and life, the loving voice that makes a broken life whole, the firm voice that clears away all confusions, the reassuring voice that directs a straight path ahead and the same powerful voice that tells me that I can do everything through Him.

And you know what? His ears ain’t too deaf nor is He too lazy to speak when we talk to Him. That’s His promise, and He doesn’t break promises. And when He spoke that night, I was liberated. It was like air inside a balloon bursting out, water gushing out of a broken dam, an intense force exploding out of a hand grenade. I was free to dance. Free to laugh. Free to cry. Free to love. Free to see Him face to face. Free to live. Free to be free!

Such freedom from the cares of life gained by merely listening to a voice that we so often ignore. How stupid are we to choose not to listen to the only voice that matters.

Maybe we should start opening our deafened ears wide to Him and shut our ears to the world that’s constantly screaming lies at us. Maybe we should stop ignoring the voice of the Universe Maker, the voice that determines the course of the stars and tells the mighty sun where it should rise and set. Maybe we should stop merely hearing Him, but actually start listening to Him. Well, what if He has something important to tell us?

Maybe. Maybe we should.

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When Time Comes to an End

Don’t you agree that life gets more complicated as you grow older? You see more troubles ahead but not the opportunities behind it. You see endless responsibilities and commitments but not the personal growth that follows. You meet more people, hangout more and hear more gossips but fail to make real friends who stick with you through thick and thin. You earn more, want more, accumulate more but fail to give thanks for the things you actually need most like food on your table and that roof to cover your head. You see more deaths and face grievous moments but not appreciate the fact that you’re alive and well.

But life goes on.

It has to. For our sakes, time has to move on relentlessly no matter where we are in life so that we do not stay in those ‘valley’ moments forever. Time sacrificially takes the blame often for being so ever inadequate and unmerciful even though everything moves on for our own good. Time has its way of healing even the deepest of wounds. It has a way of washing away the bitterest stains of hopelessness, discouragements, anger and guilt. It has a way of making the paths of the confused and desperate clear and simple. It has a way of making the dreams and hopes of the hopeful come to past. It has a way of making the weary and downcast lay down in green pastures of peace and restoration.

On this long road that time has brought us on, called life, it is so very important for us to always remember that we are mere humans, weak, frail and needy. We are not self-sufficient, not self-sustaining, not all-knowing and not all-powerful. So, it is alright to feel in need. So, sigh a sigh of relief, give yourself a break and tell yourself that you are human after all. We are creatures in need of Something that’s bigger, stronger and wiser. And who can be as such other than the Creator of time itself? The One who said He is the beginning and end of time. The One who made time to be both an adversary to us so that we can progress and move forward yet at the same time, a friend to us so that when we fall, time will always be there to pick us up from valleys and put us on mountaintops. The One who said time after time, no matter what may come our way, He’ll still be there for us. The same One who promised that tears, death, sorrow and pain shall be no more when He returns to put an end to time.

My dear friend, wherever you are on this road of life, as long as you hear the clock ticking and the next minute arriving, remember that life needs to go on and the green pastures are just a moment ahead beyond this seemingly endless valley.

“…and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4

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Sovereignty

Have you ever been healed of illnesses and infirmities?
Have you ever witnessed the lame walk?
Have you ever seen the blind receive sight?
Have you ever heard the mute speak and the deaf hear?

I have. Right before my very eyes. I saw the hand of God working in the lives of many and bringing hope to the hopeless and deliverance to the desperate. How great is my God? I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t think my mind could ever fathom such a mystery like this being whom I and billions call “God”. I think there would never be a word in humanity worthy to be used to describe His sovereignty.

Such unparalleled power, love and grace. I am left speechless and dumbfounded in His presence…

“The blind will see, and the ears of the deaf will be healed. Those who were lame will leap around like deer; tongues once silent will begin to shout. Water will rush through the desert. Scorching sand will turn into a lake, and thirsty ground will flow with fountains. Grass will grow in wetlands… The people the Lord has rescued will come back singing as they enter Zion. Happiness will be a crown they will always wear. They will celebrate and shout because all sorrows and worries will be gone far away.” (Isaiah 35:5-7)

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What a Crazy Man I’ve Become

Last night was the Passion World Tour and I am still speechless now (throat and feet still soring). I am just blown away by God’s presence and what He is doing in our nation and the world. If you are reading this and you missed it somehow… I can’t say enough what you’re actually missing out. It’s definitely one of those nights that changed my life and also the lives of thousands.

As I was hanging out with my boys after the whole tour at Ming Tien (I had 4 drinks, 100Plus, Coke, Water and Teh Tarik, in that order because I was thirsty from all the shouting, singing and jumping), I got to hear their thoughts and what was good about the night.

For me, what struck me that night was really the chorus in one of Charlie Hall’s song, “Christ died, He rose, and He will come again…” I’ve been saying it all these times but it was only last night where it struck me hard that I serve a God that DIED BUT DID NOT STAY DEAD. I don’t know of any other gods who died for me but rose again. Most of them died and stayed dead. That simply means Christ is as alive as you and me today. Imagine having an unstoppable force like Him (even death can’t stop Him!) in every part of your life. Wow. What a life it would be.

However, I told my boys that I AM ASHAMED. I am deeply ashamed because I only managed to bring 9 of my students and around 5 other friends to this amazing opportunity to encounter God and to hear about His renown. I have around a hundred students and a HUGE network of friends, but I only brought 14 people. Imagine if I brought more people, then more would’ve heard, more would’ve seen, more would’ve felt and come to know the grace that He has for them. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not measuring my ‘performance’ by the number of people I bring but I can’t help to feel like, “Man, I wish so and so was here! Then he/she would’ve a chance to respond to His grace!” It just made me feel so selfish to experience His goodness alone and not share it with others. I guess it’s just a conviction that God is birthing in my heart to make His renowned knowned in my generation.

But I was encouraged when my students told me they were amazed and touched by God’s presence and the way we worship Him. All of them unanimously agreed they have never experienced Christianity like this before. Exciting, inspiring and actually crazy. One of them told me she saw the ‘other high’ or ‘crazier’ side of me but she was touched by my craze for Him and even indicated she would like to know more about this awesome God that I serve.

And you know what? That is exactly what I will do with the rest of my life. Totally lose myself and be absolutely crazy for Him and Him only so that others too will be infected with this life-transforming-craziness.

Let’s all be crazy for Him, who’s crazy about us first, yeah? =)

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Psalm 23 (For the Work Place)

Got this email from Jaslyn and I thought it was a funny yet encouraging reminder of my most beloved psalm (I can memorize the whole chapter, that’s how much it speaks to me) contextualized to our work place. Be blessed!

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want. He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.

He reminds me that He is my source and not my job. He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor Him in all that I do.

Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn’t cooperate every morning, I still will not stop, for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.

He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me. He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go. His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus cheque.

His retirement plan beats any 401k there is! When it’s all said and done, I’ll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that I BLESS HIS NAME!!!!!!

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I Love My Nation

It saddens me every time when I read the newspaper nowadays. It’s always about news of political instability, criticisms of the current government, rebellion of angered citizens and the scandals of politicians. I don’t know about you, but it saddens me more than it angers me because I am not in any position to judge someone else’s weaknesses.

It is easy for anyone to judge the current government and its ministers. My question is, “What have we done about it then?” Have you been adding to the noise (and worsen the situation) or are you doing something which actually contributes to the well being of this nation? If not, may I request you to kindly shut up? If our words do not build but is full of complaints, judgments, unconstructive criticisms and if we choose to tear and not build, be careful. God will judge every single one of our idle words.

“You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

And you may not be satisfied with the current leadership and government of this nation. You may even choose to rebel (directly or indirectly) and not accept the authority of the government. You may even feel angry or dissatisfied with the direction chosen by the leaders to lead the nation. Fine. But know this. It is God who allowed these ‘leaders’ to lead this nation. It is God who placed them in their rightful places. It is God who chose them to lead us. So when we choose to rebel and not obey them, we choose to rebel and disobey God.

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: for this were unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

When we claim that we believe God is in control over everything, then he is in control of this nation. When we mock the leaders of this nation, we mock God for doing a lousy job in choosing the leaders. Are you saying God doesn’t know this will happen? Are you saying God doesn’t know why this is happening? Are you saying God should do a better job than this? Who are you to mock God’s decision, who is Sovereign over all things?

As dissatisfied as some of us may be with the current political situation, we should not complaint about it because Christ did not utter a single word of complaint even when he was falsely and unfairly accused. We ought to learn to make peace by praying for our beloved nation (and if you have not prayed for the nation at all, it’s never too late to stop grumbling and making a difference by standing in the political gap). Have you started praying for this nation? If not, it’s time to shut our flow of complaints. God hates a mouth that complaints. Your mouth was made for prayers and petitions, not curses and mockery.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Have you been a son or daughter of the Most High by making peace in this nation with your words, thoughts and actions? Be careful, my God loves this nation and He is against those who seek to tear it down in any possible way.

Whose side are you on? It’s time to choose, my dear friend.

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In the Midst of the great I AM

As Loneliness was knocking on my door, he shamelessly brought along a few other uninvited guests into my solitary and gloomy room. Just to name some, he brought Despair, Self-pity, Dejection, Guilt and worse, he brought Hopelessness in. I didn’t ask for their company but sometimes it just couldn’t be helped. I allowed them to enter.

Somewhere along the journey, I’ve forgotten when was the last time I felt at peace and at ease with life. Has it been that long? I’m sure there were moments when I loved life. As hard as I tried to remember, my efforts came to a sad and bitter end of utter emptiness and confusion. To make things worse, I have this audience that Loneliness brought along, all staring straight at me, with their judgmental and condemning faces, refusing to leave no matter how I tried to shrug them away from my life. I’ve tried! Yes, I’ve tried! I struggled. I reasoned. I resisted. I begged.

Perhaps it was because I chose not to do that one thing which I should have done earlier. To ask for help. I’ve tried! Believe me, I tried! But I was not able to break free from the clutch of Pride. I was muted with his gag of self reliance. I hated the person of Pride. Yet at the same time, I loved the fakery and masks that he provides. He gave me so much temporal joy and shallow fulfillment of how others thought of me. Time and time again I’ve succumbed to listen to his resolutions, surely it couldn’t hurt this time. But finally, this same poison that Pride offered took a toll on my life.

……

“Will You still care? Will you still love? Just like the blind man, I’ll ask this same question. Are You willing?” I wept helplessly, begging, as I stretched out my tired hands towards heaven.

There was no thunder. Neither was there an earthquake, great noise, flames, whirlwinds and tempest. There was but a gentle whisper.

“Yes, I AM,” was His answer. So gracious, so soothing and so comforting were His words, yet so reassuring, so refreshing and so powerful was His grace.

And as he stepped in, the uninvited guests trembled. The shook and they scoured. They had to flee, yes, they just had to. There was not enough room for His glory. His presence was just too glorious yet it was filled with grace. Those pierced hands and scarred forehead were a testimony of how He conquered each one of them, how He defeated Loneliness, Despair, Self-Pity, Dejection, Guilt and Hopelessness at the Via Dolorosa and on Golgotha itself. It was those same hands that stretched out to reach for mine.

Unworthy, unclean and comdemned in His presence. I looked back at Pride and the rest as they fled. Everyone was gone in the midst of I AM.

In that moment of solitary, I hesitated. I was afraid. Afraid of picking myself up again. “What if I fall?” Afraid of causing sorrow to those around me. “What if they reject me?” Afraid of disappointing Him. “What if…”

“Yes, I AM willing.” He answered with a gentle, loving and affirming smile. Taking my worn out hands, like a shepherd who found His wandering sheep, like the father who embraced His prodigal son, He spoke again,

“I was, I am and I will be. But most importantly, I AM…”

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I AM Jehovah, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments: and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I AM Jehovah your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land which I sware to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I AM Jehovah.” (Exodus 6:6-8)