Easier Said Than Done

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

I just read the passage above from Numbers 13 and it reminded me that we need to keep our eyes on God always. It is so easy to lose sight of Him in the face of adversity; especially more so when what we face is humanly impossible. I’ve lost sight of Him many times in my own life and it’s only by grace that I’m learning to rest in Him more these days.

Things like heartache, a difficult relationship or sickness are heavy, heavy things to bear and it is easier sad than done to continue to trust God even when we’ve had experiences where He’s seen us through. Human memory is short-term and sadly we often rely on our feelings more than our past experiences in order to press on in faith.

We need reminders to keep on having faith

We need reminders to keep on having faith

The Bible tells us otherwise and the best way to counter feelings of hopelessness & despair is to consistently go back to Scripture to remind ourselves that God is present and that faith is way more than just a feeling.

As I write this I asked God what would be a good verse to help us remember what faith is all about and this verse comes to mind (pardon the mistakes cos’ I’m trying to quote it from memory).

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Whoops! Looks like I missed out the 3 words I highlighted in RED font. Heh! So much for quoting from memory. It’s hard work memorising Scripture and for someone like me who’s always hated mugging it’s doubly hard. I still haven’t made it a discipline yet despite the fact that I read the Bible every day but the more I go through life the more I realise that God’s Word is essential in order for us to come out victors in all situations. Time to get cracking I suppose; I’ve procrastinated on this long enough.

Anyways, I’ve come to the conclusion that things may not always go the way we want it to go in life but our attitudes can determine how we come out of situations. And that can only happen when we can see things differently by surrendering things completely to the God and by trusting that He really does have the best in mind for all of us. Amen?

The Hope of Glory

Aragorn

Aragorn

“Thus came Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar. Isildur’s heir, out of the Paths of Dead, borne upon a wind from the Sea to the kingdom of Gondor; the mirth of of the Rohirrim was a torrent of laughter and a flashing of swords, and the joy and wonder of the City was a music of trumpets and a ringing of bells.”

Waking the Dead

Waking the Dead

In recent weeks I’ve been finding myself urged on by a sense that there is great worth in me that I cannot yet see. I’ve been re-reading “Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge and I am shocked that I’ve let all the cares of this world rob me of a heart that’s truly alive. Like Aragorn, I think many of us have placed ourselves in a place where we don’t believe the truth of who we are. Our worth is hidden and we think ourselves plain Rangers of the North when God’s original design for us was perfection in His image.

Isildur’s Heir remained hidden for years and he could only reclaim his kingship the day he let go of his past & the sins of his forebears. Like Aragorn, we too remain trapped by sins of our past at times. Like Aragorn, we too have the Hope of Glory in us that is brighter than the noon day sun. How much of it is diminished by our stubbornness as we cling to what we think we want. Our sight blinded by what we see before us; eternity veiled.

The Bible tells us time and time again that we are a new creation in Christ and that He has made all things new. Adventure awaits us but are we ready to grasp hold of it? Are we willing to step forward and truly believe? That’s a question that I ask myself after in the midst of difficult circumstances. Belief. Faith. Two things that give us hope for the future.

Do we truly believe?

The Book of Eli (Movie Review)

The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli

If you’re a believer this one is a MUST WATCH. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly in the way it was shot and how Eli (Denzel Washington) clung so closely to the words of the good book. There’s a lot you can learn about faith in the movie. It’s equal part action and equal part drama in a post-apocalyptic setting.

The movie starts off slow but it hits its stride 20mins or so in. I won’t reveal too much about the story but needless to say, Denzel is in top form here and Gary Oldman does an equally great job at playing the villain. Mila Kunis is a treat to watch on screen, she’s just so pretty as is Jennifer Beals who has an air of elegance about her in her character Claudia.

The movie is in its final leg here in Malaysian cinemas and there were only 3 screenings yesterday at GSC. If you’ve got time this week, take time out to catch it; I daresay you won’t regret it. It’ll challenge your faith.

Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)

When The Going Gets Tough…

I was chatting to my friend Eric online a couple of days ago and we got around to talking about my mom being in hospital of which he mentioned that he felt that I was strong being able to face things like this on a regular basis without breaking. The fact is that there are lots of times when I feel close to breaking and it’s only by my constant talks to God in my head & heart that I conquer the days when things are particularly difficult. What is the secret of getting through difficult days? Read on and I’ll share 5 things that I do on a daily basis that I helps me press on when I feel close to giving up.

To be honest, I don’t think I am strong at all in the way the world defines strength. In fact I think I am “weak” in the eyes of the world. My answer to almost every situation in life is to pray! In fact I’m learning to pray first before acting on a lot of important things in life and instead of reacting to difficult situations I am trying my best to take a minute or two to commit things to God. It is a tough time right now with my mom still in KL General Hospital for UTI and my dad scheduled for an angiogram today at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

It’s physically tiring going back & forth to the hospital but I don’t mind cos’ at the end of the day my family is important and it’s my turn to care for them especially in trying times like this. It’s hard not knowing what will happen next but I’m learning day by day to trust God that no matter what He is still in control; even when things don’t go the way I want it to. Is it stupid to think this way? Some people might feel that success or good is defined by things happening to our expectations but I’m learning more and more each day that our expectations are small in comparison with the bigger picture that God sees.

Life is just like American Football. Sometimes.

Life is just like American Football. Sometimes.

Anyways, I promised that I’d share with everyone the 5 things I do on a daily basis that helps me make the tough go away so here they are in no particular order.

  1. I have learnt over the years to start the day off right by reading the Bible, meditating on a verse or two and talking to God for at least 30 minutes or so. I do this daily and thankfully I’ve been able to keep to it by God’s grace.
  2. I time out to pray every time life throws me a curve ball (i.e. difficult situations at work, emotional lows when I hear bad news, etc).
  3. I remind myself that life is not just about me; that it’s about God first & foremost and that He is good, He is in control & He will brings things to pass in His time.
  4. I stop complaining about the situation and I recount the things I can be thankful for so that I can realign & remember that despite life’s challenges God does indeed bless me with good things every day.
  5. I grit my teeth and do my best to press on in the things that are needful in the present.

I think most of you who are Christian would already  know some of these things already but I suspect disciplining yourself to do it is what you struggle with. My encouragement to all of you is that it’s do-able. When I was younger I never did all these things but as I grew older I began to realise that so much of life is out of our control and the only thing that matters at the end of the day is our relationship with God. Everything else is temporal.

For those of you going through a tough season right now here’s a verse from the book of Romans to encourage you.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
The Apostle Paul.

Faith

A rainbow of faith.

A rainbow of faith.

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

I read a powerful thing in today’s devotional reading that resonated deep within me about having faith in God so here’s an excerpt that I want to share with everyone.

“It comes therefore as a shock that these two spheres of human uncertainty (the future and the unseen) are precisely those in which faith specialises and even flourishes! It is the function of faith to apprehend both the unseen present and the unrealised future. Put simply, faith is the assurance that the future we anticipate will take place and the present we cannot se is nevertheless real.”

Through The Bible Through The Year
John Stott

And further on he writes:

“Faith is not a synonym for credulity or superstition. It is neither irrational nor illogical. No, faith and reason are never placed in antithesis to one another in Scripture. Faith and sight are contrasted, but not faith and reason. On the contrary, ‘Those who know Your Name put their trust in You’. They trust because they know. The reasonableness of trust arises from the trustworthiness of its object, and nobody is more trustworthy than God.”

Through The Bible Through The Year
John Stott

Thank YOU everyone for praying! My uncle is improving tremendously day by day and I received the truly awesome news that he accepted Jesus as my Aunt Julia has been sharing with him as she helps take care of him. Another one of my aunts is already mid-flight and will be landing in Singapore tomorrow morning. It’s a gruelling 30-hour flight for her as she comes all the way from Boston and I’m awed by all the care & love that I am seeing in my family in this difficult time. Family & love are definitely blessings from the One Above.

It’s gonna be a tough two weeks of work as we have a very tight deadline for an upcoming project. Lots to do but I know that I have God to sustain me. He has been with me all this while and I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

On another note … Altered Frequency is all done with their new album Transit. Look out for it very, very soon. I’ve got a preview copy and I’m loving it … all of us are working hard to do all the necessary to reproduce the album now so it’s one final stretch before you’ll see it in stores.

Check back soon for more news!