It was the Easter weekend of 2014, a group of brave young souls took up the challenge to have at adventure in Southeast Asia’s very own Lord of the Rings trek, Gunung Irau. Whitewater rafting on Sungei Berok, healthy homestay and farm tour at Moon River Lodge and then a peaty adventure from Gunung Brinchang to a double peak of Gunung Irau. What more can anyone ask for on such a wonderful holiday weekend?
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall."
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918 - 2013.
Waking up this morning to a tragic news of the passing of a great man, the whole world is sadden. Not exactly the whole world, but those with a world view. On the other hand, death comes just as birth is inevitable. It is just another way of God saying, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant, you have ran the raced and now it has been done, time for you to take a break.’
Maniba was my role model since my teens has reminded me tons of time, we all fall sometimes. But it’s in the rising everytime that we are victorious, the never back down attitude. Not let the fear of failing or rejection stop us from ever trying something people deemed impossible. Fear is a driving force, not a stopping force and it is in us, the braves, to conquer our fear, and cease its existence.
I truly fear. I fear a lot of things.
I fear letting down the ones I love.
I fear of failing and falling.
I fear losing control of my own path.
I fear losing myself to the world.
I fear one day my tongue will get me into trouble.
I fear one day my fear will make me fear what I can achieve.
I am a friend to many, but merely acquainted one. I have few who are dear by my side. I fear losing them. And when it comes to the loved ones, I am like Mandiba, a man of few words, all we can do is to express our love in unexplainable ways. And it takes one who knows us to understand we only meant well.
And well, in this I failed too, recently. For the lack of words, I use borrowed words, from the greats, from the cheesys, from the speakeasys. Sorry I am not an original, sorry I am not a romantic.For my lack of words, I am sorry.
I was just re-reading Maniba’s biography recently when he was admitted to the hospital, and it served as a timely reminder, ever so timely, in six words.
Live more, Love more, Serve more.
These words will be casted into stones, my dearest Maniba.
I have been doing Bible studies by Pastor Warren Wendel Wiersbe and he is a prolific writer of the BE series studies.
I thought, why not? Let’s start a BE series for my quiet time sharing instead for an active perspective change.
So here goes Part Two of many of my BE series.
…giving thanks always for all things to God theFather in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 NKJV
I have never met a person who feels sorry for themselves who is upbeat and happy about life. No matter how much they do have in most cases they don’t see it and therefore actually miss the blessing.
That mindset comes from COMPARISON; comparing oneself to another.
Comparison is part of the fallout from the garden of Eden which unlocked the knowledge of ‘good and evil’ into humanity. Now when we assess situations we don’t look at it and say ‘God made that, it’s awesome!’ which was what God intended. Instead, we say ‘That person is better (or worse) than me.’ We come to a point where we put a scale of good to bad on everything and then measure our own lives against it.
Galatians 6:3 says ‘don’t compare yourself with others.’ Comparison is damaging and undermines the uniqueness in which God has created each of us. There’s a Jewish proverbs that says ‘I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.’
One of the most transformational concepts in the Bible is thankfulness. The art of recognizing what you DO HAVE and that it is a blessing. And this will literally turn our lives around. Things won’t necessarily change externally but internally something amazing happens. It is the peace and joy and presence of God, and it is far more valuable than what you have on the outside, because what we have on the outside is always subjected to the decay of this world.
In the Bible, thankfulness is often linked to unlocking God’s presence in our life. It is not that He is not there, it is just that feeling sorry for ourselves steals that awareness that He is.
Why not steel yourselves today against the trap of comparison?
Just choose to BE THANKFUL.
Count your blessings instead of your problems today.
Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 NLT
There is something to be sad for solitude, still-time and quietness.
It is in the nothingness, just like in Genesis, that we can hear God say everything.
Marketers bombard us with up to four thousand messages a day. Then we have SMSes, iMessage, Whatsapp, WeChat, Twitter, Instagram, voice messages, emails, status updates and inboxes. Then there are so many other apps to fiddle with, books to read, podcast to watch or listen to, work to be done, school to attend, children to be dressed and fed, and then washes and redressed.
In that very same day, we face deadlines, appointments and meetings, assignments, bill to pay, traffic to negotiate and then there is the surprise interruptions that needs your sudden urgent attention. The printer is down, out of milk, tyre going flat, cancelled or postponed flights. All these consumes our time and often we are left with very little or no room for God to speak and rain down His peace.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah stands on a mountain.
There was gale force winds, an earthquake and a fire and God’s voice is in none of them. However, Elijah hears God as a still small voice.
Situations come at us like gale force winds, earthquakes and fires. The tempation will be to deal with them like all the stuff you have hd across the day; Getting up and taking action!
But look what Elijah did. He just simply stood there.
Despite the chaos, he quietened himself and allowed the ‘still small voice’ to give him guidance. When life is a busy storm or a rocking earthquake, just…
Take a moment, find a quiet spot and allow God’s peace to flood over you.
It’s in the quiet that you hear God the loudest. In fact, make a daily habit of finding a quiet moment where you say nothing and you give God room to speak to you.
Get this happening and it will revoluntionize your walk with Him.
Be pregnant with expectancy for something brilliant.
God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.
There are 2 things to note about Psalm 46.
Included in the title is the word ‘alamoth’ which indicates that this is the female part of a song. The whole Psalm is a declaration of God’s deliverance and enduring power through any attack, circumstance or trial.
I believe that God has designed us, to declare and sing over our own lives, our situations and families – declare and sing of His goodness, deliverance and strength.
To whoever is reading this, be encouraged that no matter what you are might be going through, God is with you, especially women out there.
Rise up and declare His enduring power over you and your challenges.
The second thing to note about this particular verse is that ‘she’ is the city of God, or rather His people, His kingdom. We are collectively the bride of Christ, His beloved, of whom Jesus lived, died and rose again for.
Romans 8:11 says ‘the same power that rose Christ from death lives within you.’
So for the individuals, man or woman, Christ is within you and He is with you. Even though you may be faced with health problems, financial crisis, betrayal, hardship, challenges, brokenness, rejection or disappointment,
YOU WILL NOT FALL.
And collectively as a people of God, followers of Christ; He is in our midst. And through the great commission He has charged us with, He goes before us, guards from behind and will empower us to fulfil our destinies.
WE WILL NOT FALL.
Just as the sun will break through the night, His help and hope will rise above any situation or circumstance designed to bring us down.
Keep challenging your fears,
And keep on keeping on.
"My flesh and my heart may fail,
but my God is the strength of my heart and
my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26 NKJV
One of the things we need to make peace with, is, that we are human – we will fail, we will make mistakes, we will make poor choices, we are not perfect, we are flawed, and we have limitations.
I’m not being a defeatist or negative by saying this, it’s just the truth.
If there’s a way we could be perfect, live with no limitations or have no gap between our dreams and our reality, then we would not need Jesus.
For 25 years of my life, I’ve tried so hard to be perfect in everything I do, and failed miserably. It has taken me my whole lifetime of discipline and worship to slowly grasp this original intent that God is not looking for perfect people. Perfection is not the goal or the dream, but rather progression; always moving, one step in front of another, not being held back by fear, but progressing through each and every circumstances and season, by the very grace of God.
It is by His Strength that we move forward, and by His Generosity that we move forward with Him in our hearts, by our sides, never walking alone.
Our flesh and our heart will fail, and that’s alright, ‘coz Jesus never will. He’s got our backs, and while He does ask for our best, perfectionism is not the goal. Just keep progressing He says.
In the fine words of Dory from Finding Nemo (pardon my children references, I am a Sunday School teacher), “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming…” in the direction that God leads you towards. Stop chasing for perfection,it will only tire us out.
But don’t let this renewed mentality make you slack and uncaring about what you do and where and who you end up to be. But learn to ride in the rhythm of His Grace and allow Him to be strong when you are weak.
And as for consistency, more than anything allow it to be most active in the constant rendering of our hearts to Him. He is our Strength and our Portion, so keep on moving forward even when faced with failure – progression, not perfection is the goal.
We are in this altogether,
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him."
Psalm 127:3 NLT
It’s been awhile since I last wrote and shared my quiet time. Today’s post is inspired by a dear friend, Pastor Jeremy Seaward.
Every other day I read about his adventures with his 3 children and it makes me wonder, what it takes to be a parent, even more so, a spiritual parent who juggles with lives brought to earth by others.
If you’re a parent you’ll agree that it’s no easy feat! Not much sleep, constant noise, lots of sacrifice and your house is probably messy most of the time. Apart from the ‘not much sleep’ part, it gives you a great insight to what it’s like to be God! And despite all our noise and mess God still willingly sacrificed for us. The same gets intrinsically wired into a parent. We can’t help but lay down our lives for our children. It’s because deep down we know that they are a gift. They’re a privilege and a blessing. There are no guarantees for this life and although we plan for the future, we try to live in the moment. Sometimes, in the busyness of life, you can take for granted the “moments” and that’s when your children (and other gifts from God) become a chore and frustration. My mum used to say “any person can have children, but not all of them ends up a parent”.
My challenge today for myself and you who are reading is to look at your children as a gift from God. A privilege and a blessing. Drink in the joy and the great responsibility you have and steward it with grace. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be there. You just have to ensure they know they’re loved.
Be thankful and prayerful for the great privilege! Today is going to be a great day in your life. Make the most of it!
“Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
Psalm 116:2 NLT
What a beautiful picture, isn’t it?
God is always listening, always there, His ears ever attentive and open. He even leans into us and does not hold Himself back. Always available, always there, always ready.
It’s in this assurance that we have in our God, who is all about relationship and progress, that we can be confident our prayers are not just idle words or wishful thinking, but are actually being heard and given attention.
We also have to understand how God answers prayers. He always do. He will say Yes to the things that are good for us, No to the things that will lead us astray and Wait, coz He personally has something better installed for us. Don’t let our earthly shortsightedness blind us, just because God’s answer is not in our expectation. He always work for the good of those who love Him.
So keep on praying my friends. Pray, pray and pray some more. Don’t have a silent relationship with Jesus – what sort of relationship is that anyway? He never condemns, He never shames, and He never humiliates. There is nothing we can’t tell Him or express to Him. In fact, the more we pray and the more we open our heart up to Jesus day by day, moment by moment, the more we will experience His grace, mercy, peace and wisdom. The more we realign ourselves to his purpose.
You can’t possibly know someone you don’t ever speak with or share your heart with.
As long as we are here on earth, living and breathing, keep on praying and pressing into His presence. He is attentive, ready and available.
We are in this together,
#qt #Godlistens #pray #prayuntilsomethinghappens#push #psalm #gopro #goprooftheday #sunset
"I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations."
Psalm 119:30 NLT
Choice is powerful. It’s a valuable thing to be in the position of having choice.
There are many choices we make every day that we are relatively unaware of but make a huge difference in our lives. For example, what we eat, what we spend money on, where we spend our time, to exercise or not, to turn the TV on or not, what we read, what we say. Things that happen automatically but we actually own choice over.
I want to encourage you today to live intentionally, live life purposefully. Understand that you have choices and own it. Don’t let life or your circumstances make choices for you. But today, make a decision, make a choice about WHO you are going to be and how you are going to spend your life. When you live with a conviction, a decision made, and compromising opportunities come your way, your decision and conviction will make the choice for you. But if you live unprepared, unintentionally, compromise is much harder and more complicated to rise above.
Compromise will actually haunt you, trying to convince you that you have no choice but walk along side with it. Determine, make a choice, decide in your heart to be faithful, to follow Jesus, to live intentionally by His word. And then seek His word and His ways out. A heart decided, owning its choice, and living prepared is much more equipped to fulfill their destiny than the heart that lives with no conviction. Whatever decision you need to make today, take responsibility for it, own it, understand that the choice is yours and determine to live your life how you were created to.
Let your belief make the decisions, not your desired outcome. Leave that to God, coz our Father especially love those who loves Him specially, and I am very sure that He will not shortchange anyone.
Be blessed and have a great week ahead,
#choices #psalm #qt #decisions #honoringGod #nothonoringself