The Love Formula

Hi true believers,

The Formula to Love

The Formula to Love

I’m down with a bit of a runny nose & bad throat and have been sleeping the weekend away and playing Game Dev Story on Android. I used to get depressed a lot when I get sick but now I see it as a sign that my body needs to time out. The only thing I hate about getting sick is feeling unproductive and I still haven’t figured out if it’s possible to be productive when one is sick. Maybe the best thing to do when I’m down is to ask the Lord to lead me to a good book that I can glean from.

Anyways, here are some thoughts I have about learning to love. The apostle Peter writes this in 2 Peter 1:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It would seem that love stems from faith! In my own walk with God I’ve always tried my best to love but that love is very much limited and today I felt like I got hit by lightning when I read the above in my devotional. How do we grow to be more loving towards others and to ourselves? Peter seems to suggest that these characteristics come to us bit by bit as we grow our faith in God and as I reflect on it this morning it’s very true for me. Every good quality I have has grown bit by bit in pretty much the order above.

It’s still hard to love and persevering to love someone who rejects and pushes you away is the toughest thing to do. It’s hard. It’s hard to love my cell members. It’s hard to love my colleagues. It’s even harder to love my family members and closest friends. In our imperfection, it’s so easy to hurt others with our words and our actions and I’ve been burned many times. It’s hard to hold our tongues or to remain patient. It’s difficult but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth and the truth is there is no way we can love others fully unless we have more and more of God in us.

I’m still far from perfect in love. But the awesome news is that it doesn’t take very much to have more love in my life because all I need to do is build up my faith in God and in His Son, Yeshua. That doesn’t mean I won’t get angry or frustrated but I need to learn how to channel my anger & frustration healthily and I need to learn how to express it properly too at work and in the closer friendship & relationships I have in my life.

It may seem strange but somehow faith equals love.

Till next time.

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I Want!

“I waaaaaant!”

Sounds familiar? You’ll hear similar tantrums in a toy store when children pester moms & dads for the latest plaything that catches their eye. You might laugh as you read this but don’t we adults behave the same way? The worst part is that we behave exactly like children and our tantrums last far longer when things don’t go our way.

We want what we want and we want it now; it’s the sort of mentality we have when we’re at a fast-food joint and that Happy Meal you ordered doesn’t get to you in 5 minutes or so. Not many people believe in working their way slowly & surely towards things these days and being patient is slowly becoming an artform rather than the norm. We’ve lost our ability to build deep things into our lives in our bid to get things faster & quicker. I really believe there’s great wisdom in building our character first before we go for bigger things. If we don’t have character the cracks will show up after awhile and things will just fall apart.

Link doesn't say much but he is always a man of his word.

Link doesn't say much but he is always a man of his word.

I was mentioning this the other day to a friend that character shows after awhile. We can chase things & sweet talk people into things but if we don’t have character to back it up nothing will last. It’s starting to show up a lot in my own life especially when it comes to keeping appointments or doing things for other people. I love people. Truly. It’s always in my heart and intention to spend time with people but because I’m too easy in expressing my words & intentions I end up disappointing others and over-stretching myself. It’s a bad habit and not something that I’m very proud of that I hope to change.

Being a man of character would mean me saying what I mean and meaning what I say so that I can keep my promises & appointments with people. In the short run I can make people feel good with my words & intentions but in the long run I don’t build anything if I cannot do what I say. For starters, I’m learning how to keep my promises to people by maintaining a list of reminders on Outlook which syncs to my HTC Touch Pro. Here’s what I plan to do each day:

  1. List down all the things I need to do in Outlook every morning the moment I get into work
  2. Categorise them into a few distinct categories such as Personal, Work, Record Label, DUMC, etc – that way I take care of everything wholistically
  3. Check them off one by one as they get done
  4. Add on things as & when they come to mind immediately either in Outlook itself or on my mobile if I’m away from my PC

After a series of moh cha cha events last week and disappointing more than one person I realise that it’s becoming a bad syndrome in my life so hopefully I’ll be able to instill this habit quickly so I can be more trustworthy whenever I promise something to someone. It’s a lesson that needs to be learn cos’ life doesn’t get any easier as we grow into more responsibilities as adults.

Join me and make a reminder today and be a person of your word rather than just a person of words. This is something that I definitely want! Today! 😛

Sit Down Timeout Think Through Time

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It’s hard to sit down and it’s even harder to time out to reflect on life. Like Martha I think all of us get caught up not just in the busyness of life but life just happens. It does.

And when life happens we come face to face with decisions that we must make and as much as I’d love things to be in black & white, life is more shades of gray then it is white. My colleague Pat wrote that she saw life as colourful and as much as I agree with her that it is when it comes to decisions in life things can be quite gray. It’s harder to make decisions once you realise that people matter and balancing it with what you wanna see happen is a delicate thing. I don’t claim to be a saint but I know I try my best and even in having the best of intentions things can still mess up. After all the road to hell is paved with good intentions is it not? I’m digressing.. let’s get back to the topic at hand shall we?

Busy cooks need to time out. That means you!

Busy cooks need to time out. That means you!

I’ve written about this many, many times but I can’t begin to describe the sanity & peace I find in the quietness of the mornings just reading the Bible and talking to God in my head & heart. When I’m spending time with Him my thoughts settle and whatever struggles I have seem much lighter in the Presence of the One who loves me very much. I know God does not spare me trouble and He definitely does not spare me the privilege of making decisions but it’s scary how many times I have blundered. I pull through only by grace at times, sometimes it’s by my own ingenuity but I am finding that my human wisdom gets me into more trouble rather that it does good. Argh!

It’s important to reflect on life, really important. A word of warning though, there is a difference between reflection and self-bashing though. Too much inwardness causes us to just feel like crap but I believe that true reflection gives insight; which when put into practice can lead to really good things. Reflection alone doesn’t help though cos’ there’s another ingredient that’s needed in the mix. What is it you ask? Well, reflection when coupled with patient waiting makes a world of difference in life. I find my impatience to be horrible and God has had to teach me many times that prayer is all about God working in His timing rather than mine and that while things don’t seem to be moving they actually are. In my impatience I have blundered a lot. The good news is that hard knocks have taught me more than my successes which is ironic.

What is the point of this post? Well, I think I just wanna share to everyone that it pays to spend time in reflection. Going go go go all the time isn’t healthy. In fact by being on the go all the time we may end up in places we don’t really want to be. All because we didn’t stop to take stock and to think or to seek for divine guidance. I don’t claim to have learned this lesson fully cos’ I’ve just made a recent blunder in acting too soon in something but I know that I’m learning it bit by bit. Patience isn’t natural to us humans, in fact it’s quite an unnatural thing for us to not act when it comes to wanting results.

In closing I’d like to round up today’s post with 3 simple words.

Stop. Pause. Reflect.

Think about it.

Better Than Google

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Something I read this morning that reminds me that we can ask Him for our deepest desires and that we can trust that they will come to pass in His timing. The key words here are “His timing” cos’ most times we human beings are impatient creatures and we always want things to happen OUR WAY, NOW!

Life in my opinion can be better & happier if only we learn patience and trust. We are human. We can’t see beyond the now and even if we could I think we wouldn’t be able to handle the enormity of the future very well. I keep reminding myself time and time again to stay in the present and to be thankful for what I already have. He will provide for the things that I need in time – again the key word here is “need” and strangely enough He doesn’t just bless us with our needs but He goes beyond and blesses us with our wants & more! How? Here’s an example of God blessing me with more than I asked.

Asking Him? Way better than Googling. Definitely.

Asking Him? Way better than Googling. Definitely.

The job I’m at now is more than I asked for. Sure it’s more responsibility but more importantly it’s more than what I originally intended in terms of finances. When I first started work last year I was just looking for something part-time but the amazing thing is that I was offered a full-time position (with more money of course) but more importantly I found a company with great management that believes in me. Being where I am at now is pretty amazing if you consider that I was out of the industry for quite a long while doing music. It is a challenge trying to juggle everything in life but as I sit here at y desk this morning and remember Him for the blessings that He has brought into my life, I know that He has given me more than I asked for and in everything that I hope for now I can trust Him in that.

What is the coolest thing about my job now? Well … it’s small I know but I can’t help but wake up every day and feel thrilled to be using Microsoft’s newest OS before any one else. Maybe it’s the geek in me or its just the fact that I like getting in on new things like sneak peeks and such. That’s one thing that I can be thankful for today. Before I sign off I’d like to leave all of you with the following.

“Remember Him for His goodness today for the things that are to come tomorrow.”
-Me-

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

I read the story today of how in the time of Joshua the Israelites nearly came war over the matter of an altar that their brothers had built across the Jordan. Thankfully enough the story did not end in a bloody civil war but it ended happily enough with swords and spears being put away after they talked things over and the truth of the matter was revealed. If you don’t yet know the story click here.

The Punisher always shoots first and asks questions later. :P

The Punisher always shoots first and asks questions later. 😛

Anyways, the point I wanna make is that its really easy to just lose it and to take up defensive positions or even worse to go into a situation with guns blazing when things aren’t going our way with colleagues and friends. There have been quite a few instances where my blood has boiled this year and I reacted rather than responded to situations (a lot of it has to do with words; which is why I am learning a lot to be careful with the words I use in emails & in my speech). Some of my blow-ups have been warranted but I’m learning that before we make any conclusions it’s always best to clarify things as a first step. By asking questions first and shooting later we save ourselves a whole load of heartache and at the same time we preserve the relationships we have with others.

My recent experience with Apple is a mild example of shooting first and asking questions later. While my conclusion that brands don’t care much about its customers may have been right for the most part, what I should have done is clarified things further before ranting about it. That would have saved me some trouble. Admittedly ranting about it online was also an experiment and test for me to see whether or not Apple would have responded to my emails on their site.

Sometimes it may be justified to be angry at something and cos’ rightly so people do mess up but I’m learning more and more to be patient and to work things through with the person. After all it’s a lot easier to get through to someone without anger clouding the situation. A lil’ more understanding and a lil’ more patience can do a whole lot to ease a situation. Attacking a person for the most part won’t resolve heated situations and at the end of the day we’d regret angry words that we just cannot take back. Even if we’re wronged I’m also learning to let things slide cos’ somehow the truth always gets revealed.

So my tip for the day is:

“Don’t burst a blood vessel and stay still like a mussel.”

Heh … corny I know. Have a good start to the work week peeps.

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? 🙂

Slow Burning Music?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like you have a raging anger in you that’s on slow burn? As it simmers … it continues to fuel you and then at the wrong time & wrong place it’d just explode. That’s what it feels like for me. I feel like I’m on this timer that threatens to overwhelm me when not kept in check. It’s damn frustrating to feel so stuck and trying hard to get unstuck but not really making much progress.

I am very sure of a lot of my choices and it really hits me hard when I get questioned constantly. It drives me up the wall that people assume I have not thought things through and what’s worse is that it feels as if people don’t realise that a lot of times I have counted the cost of making a decision. It’s not easy to stick with things but the cost has already been weighed out. What I cannot say is what the future would hold … while I know that my decision now to build up Four Forty Records means sacrificing every short term financial payoff, it doesn’t make it any easier especially when everything I work towards now goes towards building the artistes in our stable. What do I see out of it? Honestly … nothing much right now in terms of personal gain but everything in terms of working through the daily grind. What’s worse is doing a lot of waiting around because we don’t really call the shots. I really love what I do but it’s tough facing the reality of the challenges that I must face. I do hope that this investment will pay off in the future but there really is no guarantee to that is there? I guess that’s what it means to risk it all doesn’t it?

The state of the industry is not too great right now and world-wide we’re seeing a shrinking in terms of sales. That’s why it’s really important we begin educating the young about intellectual property and the damage it does to just go out there and download or buy a pirated CD. That includes software as well. Don’t any of you every wonder just how many people depend on the sale of software or a music CD to keep on doing what they love? And while I’m on a roll here … would it hurt to support local music or even international artistes as well? I really have seen lots of great local talent but what do we hear on radio more? Lots of recycled international songs and not that many local efforts. Make a difference … and start listening to all kinds of music. We have some really good stuff locally and I’m not just talking about Juwita but people like Reshmonu and so many others both in the English & Bahasa Malaysia segment of the market.

Nuff said! I shall shut up now … but I leave everyone with this question. Is there a future for the Malaysian music industry? And what can you guys do to be a part of it?