“Foolish” Wisdom

Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”

And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
He knows they are worthless.”

1 Cor. 3:18-20

This portion of Scripture is a puzzlement to me but at the same time there’s a great comfort that I have from it whenever I do/act/speak on things that are contrary to popular culture especially when I go against my sense of self-preservation.

  • Turning the other cheek & being silent even when wrongly accused.
  • Putting others above myself.
  • Giving rather than receiving.
  • Long-suffering.
  • Having faith even when I don’t understand.

These values go against what our natural selves want and there are many times when I feel stupid in doing things that are contrary to the norm.

If you feel like me sometimes, take heart cos’ God’s foolishness is wiser than the wisest that humanity has to offer. Amen?

How Do You Mend A Broken Run?

Running, Running!

Running, Running!

I’ve been getting back into running again after suffering a weird stretch with my back having some pains but the good news is I’m back! The bad news is that I can’t push myself to run a constant 7kph as I used to do before my back pains. I can only manage about 20minutes plus at that speed before having to dial down to a 5kph walk. Just one month of inactivity caused a 30% drop in my performance… wow! I’ve got a lot to work on to get back up to speed! Gaaaaaargh!

As I thought about my physical state this morning I realise that  the same goes for our spiritual health. Most of us may think we’re OK but the more time we spend away and out of God, the further we fall away. I truly believe our physical state of being reflects what the spiritual realm is like and if only 1 month of inactivity caused such a huge drop in my stamina; can you imagine what months or maybe years of inactivity would do to our spiritual beings? For some of us it’d be even more.

The worst part is that God is always there waiting, maybe even pining for us and He reaches out to us unceasingly and never gives up. He always hopes and I’m thankful that we a Father in Heaven who loves us so. I can identify with that cos’ I understand fully what it’s like to be in love and to pine for that person to love you back. I think if we were to take our feelings & experiences in love and multiply that by infinity; that’s probably the closest measure to picture God’s love for us.

Just some food for thought. Here’s little something from the Bible that I believe gives us a picture of what God’s love is like.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
In the meantime, keep the faith and I’ll keep on running (and fixing my broken run).

Running

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 24-27

I totally get what 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says. More so especially as I’ve been working very hard in building my stamina by running the past few weeks. Running a race requires a total life style change what more the race of life? In order to lose weight I’ve been struggling a lot with overcoming laziness and also in being more disciplined in my choice of food. I’m not doing that great when it comes to food but I’m getting there.

Running, running... let's keep on running

Running, running... let's keep on running

Life’s the same as well… running this race requires not just the will to want to change but it requires changes in a lot of areas. The stuff you fill your mind determines to an extent what your life will be like. The people you spend time with makes a difference too. If you want to be better it also means being open to other people’s opinions and also being able to take criticism and learning how to change. Running this race is a team effort. We’re not alone really cos’ all of us have people around us to help us keep at it (much the same as some people have been really encouraging to me in my bid to run 3km non-stop).

I say let’s run this race together. Let’s all win the prize. Let us all make a difference in the short span of time we have here on Planet Earth.

Run.

Stopper Your Thoughts

One of the things that I hate most about being online & modern mediums of communication is that everyone seems to think that they are free to speak out and say out whatever they want. Self-restraint is non-existent because individualism takes centre stage. The worst part is that the internet gives everybody license to mouth off under the cover of anonymity.

In our  pursuit to express our individuality we forget that we influencers have a responsibility in what they say and do; which in my opinion includes knowing how far to go to express oneself. Freedom of expression does not leave you free of the responsibility of what your message does to your listeners. The worst part is that sometimes we applaud these “voices” because we want to be “entertained” in a world that is increasingly becoming gray rather than black & white. Post modernism has caused more trouble than it has freed us. In wanting everyone to be heard we have lost out on values and acknowledging what is right & what is wrong.

Sometimes its best to just shut our yaps. :P

Sometimes its best to just shut our yaps. 😛

A colleague got me to thinking about this through one of her tweets about censorship which get me to thinking. Are we truly able to self-censor ourselves when it comes to picking and choosing movies, etc. I must say that the media is filled with lots of unhelpful messages and that includes stuff like pornography, etc. Humanity at its core can be downright rotten and I don’t believe that we are able to be “good” people on our own (there is an answer to this but it’s not found within humanity). If we were “good”, I think the world would be a kumbayah place where everyone is happy & contented. No hunger. No poverty. No pain.

The sad fact is we’re not. Whatever the best we can be is overshadowed by something that none of us are willing to acknowledge. I know the following is taken out of context but somehow it’s a statement that seems apt when it comes to exercising our freedom of speech.

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial.

FFXIII and More …

Lightning - the heroine in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII.

Lightning - the heroine in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII.

I have to admit there’s nothing much to play on the PS3 right now. In terms of RPGs there’s practically zilch in the market. But I guess being older now & more responsible there’s tonnes to do elsewhere in my life (have I grown up?).

There’s church & cell. There’s learning more about God and my faith. Work. And of course the relationships and friendships in my life. Life is full but there are days … but that’s another story-lah.

I just spent an hour or so watching a play through of the Final Fantasy XIII demo that just got released as part of the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Blu-Ray disc. The game looks really good visually but gameplay-wise it looks very much like any RPG that Square has released in the past but being a Final Fantasy fan I’m probably gonna get it anyways. The franchise is one of the reasons why I picked up a PS3 in the first place (and Metal Gear Solid 4 too!).

The titular White Knight in White Knight Chronicles.

The titular White Knight in White Knight Chronicles.

Sadly, the RPG landscape is bleak on Sony’s platform … sigh. White Knight Chronicles is the only epic title that’s close to release. Thankfully I have Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice to fill the gap for now. I have a host of backlogged games on the Wii too actually and I guess it’s time I spend some time on them to relax some on the weekends.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice.

Honestly I don’t feel that compelled to play too much video games. People-time and listening to sermons seem to have more appeal to me these days. I’m especially ministered by Ps Edmund Chan’s sermons of late (am listening to a series on 1 Corinthians right now) and am learning to see the bigger picture of God in the Bible. Plus I need to go through the Gospels to discover something really important that is key to resolving some of the questions that I have about my faith.

So much to do … and I guess video games are just another part of life that make me me. The question remains though … what is important in life? The stuff that is on God’s heart or the many other different things in life? That’s something to think more about isn’t it? There’s still so much to learn about faith and it does get very challenging at time. I guess this is what it means to work out my faith (does anyone know where it says this in the Bible?).

Till next time. Vaya con dios amigos!

What is Love?

I’ve been thinking a lot about being in love and how easy it is to fall in love with someone we’ve made up in our minds. A part of me wonders just how much I truly know about a person before I fall in love with her. How much of it is made up? How much of it really is her? How much of me is blinded by the attraction that I feel and the deep need to be attached?

Attraction and character don’t always match and I am very much confused on how to judge the kind of girl who’d be good for me in the long haul. Someone who’d love me for me and would accept me just as I am. Who can see the person that I will be one day and is willing to invest in my life. Seems like such a tall order to make of someone. I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 and it says this.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I broke it down and I realise that I’ve failed to love her in all those ways. I’ve not been patient. I’ve not been kind when my heart was broken. I was jealous and at times arrogant when I lashed out at her. I was angered. And the worst part is that I had so much bitterness in me because I was so hurt & could not forgive. I want to love in the way that Paul writes about. Am I able to always protect & always trust? Am I able to always have hope and persevere? Now that’s something to work towards and I hope one day my loved ones will be able to truly say that I have loved them.

Right now being able to love like that seems so far away … I can love like that a little but the past 3 years have shown me just how angry I can be and it saddens me cos’ I wanted nothing more than to love & care for her. Oh how easy it is to hate someone and how difficult it is to forgive. I’m glad that I’ve chosen to forgive cos’ life is to short to hate and I do enjoy life a lot more compared to before.

I am recovering and I thank God for restoring a lot of things in my life that I had lost along the way. I smile a lot more easily now and my mind is not far away as much as before. I thank God I can live in the present now and am a lot more contented. That’s a good thing isn’t it? 🙂

Emotional “Flashing”

Emotional “Flashing”

Is it rude to over-expose what one is feeling even if it’s something as public & voluntary as a blog? Does it greatly damage the reputation of the person who is baring his heart and soul? The Bible says this in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Blogging in some respects can be a very selfish thing. I know I do it for my own therapy. Why do I just bare everything? Because it’s difficult having all these thoughts & emotions cooped up inside. It’s easier to just vent it out rather than to be silent about it. Maybe it’s a selfish thing to do … the question I’m asking myself is this; do I blog for my own good or do I blog for the good of others?

A part of me really would like something good to come out of this blog. Maybe what I’m going through can help encourage someone else who may be going through something similar? Maybe some of my deep thoughts will strike a chord in someone and lead them to discover what the Bible says for themselves? Maybe my foray into the music industry will also inspire someone else to pursue their dream to make a difference in our country and beyond?

What I do not want this blog to be is this – a meaningless exercise that I go through in putting my heart & thoughts down on paper. I want this blog to make a difference in the lives of the people who actually drop by regularly to read my posts. That’s what I want. So here comes the hard part … I leave it to all of you to make a decision through a poll.

Drop me a line. Let me know what you think. Because blogging for no reason means that I’d much rather stick to my own private journal and forego putting my heart on its sleeve here.