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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Gratitude is Not Just an Attitude, It is Fortitude

One of my friends nominated me to share three things that would make me be grateful for the next five days.  It's a Facebook challenge that has been in circulation for some time.  It's a good challenge.  There are so many people and things to appreciate.  How do I narrow it down to just three heart revelations?  In current times where I am challenged with persecution of Christians, repeated injustice, worldly values, it takes courage for anyone to mouth the words, "I am thankful for. . .".

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Glorious Belief
I am thankful that I believe in an Almighty Triune God.  Too many miracles have happened in my life but this one miracle of crossing over from eternal death to eternal life through faith in my Lord Jesus Christ tops them all.  This belief is not nonsense.  It is truth.  It is God's Glory.  This Truth does not bind me.  It frees me.  Faith in Christ has freed me to be all that I can be in Him alone.  It's not positive thinking.  It's about understanding that my personal strength, grace, love, patience, peace and joy is limited but in a Triune God, it is limitless.  It is also an understanding that I am not bound by human expectations but am submitted to God's expectations.  And God's expectations are far higher than what the human mind conceives.
I look forward to and will be thankful for the careful unfolding of God's plans for me in the next few days. 

Psalm 123:  2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.

Loved Ones
Without a doubt, family and friends come next.  While blood is thicker than water, some of my friends are really like family to me.  As a single woman traveling around the world, friends become family at some point of my life.  I love my parents, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, my nieces and nephew. Most of my memories with family and friends are built over the table.  Yes, so much to talk about over food.  And some have been built over memories such as charging up Pengkang Hill with an M-16, pouring over theology books, praying till we hear from God, running a marathon together, traveling together, laughing till our stomach aches and crying over our losses.
I look forward to new moments with my family and new friendships in the horizon.  I look forward to deepening established friendships and enjoying new memories with my family.



Powerful Words
I am thankful for The Word and words.  The Word is of course Christ:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 But words are something else altogether.  I am able to write them, sing them, play with them and memorize them.  I am able to see them, hear them and express myself in them.  I love words but not any kind of words.  The words I love must be life-giving, faith-building, transparent and a real blessing to others.  I do not like swear words, though I heard them a lot during military days.  I reject curses in any form.  I am averse to words demeaning anyone, impolite words and words that are not constructive.  Have I been a culprit using such death-like words?  Yes, I have been and I have repented because of my belief in Christ.
Have I got into trouble for using a poorly chosen word in my explanation?  Yes, of course and it has caused me some pain.
Still, despite the pain that some of my words have caused others or the pain I have received caused by others' words, I still love words.  

My favorite words are:  
God is good all the time.  
Dios es bueno todo el tiempo.  
Tuhan Baik sepanjang waktu.  
Dieu est bon tout le temps.

My gratitude goes beyond my glorious belief, family and friends, and words.  Gratitude entrenched even in the darkest, murderous, hateful hearts has a hope to be a tiny comfort blessing.  These days, we see more evil and injustice because we have lost a sense of deep gratitude for our being on earth, for a sound moral compass, for who God is and whom He loves.

Gratitude - reflection of the past, present and future is worth the time.  It's like resting with a cup of Earl Grey tea in my hand and a smile curled up on my face.

Somersaulting in the love of God,
Rachel 



Saturday, 9 August 2014

Blessed Birthday Singapore on Your 49th!

So far away from you, my Singapore.
I have missed every birthday since you turned 35.
Still without fail,
My heart stirs in pride every August 9th,
As you, my dear, celebrate another year of accomplishments,
achievements, and agonies of a restless people.

Yet when National Day comes, 
We the citizens of Singapore 
pledge ourselves to be One Nation, One People.
I wish National Day would be everyday, just for unity sake.
Credits to Jerome Lim
10 years ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said:


Indeed, when I am stationed overseas, I am mindful.
Mindful that I am an islander, a red-dotter;
Mindful that I have high hopes and big dreams;
Mindful that I have a Can-do or a Never-say-die spirit;
Mindful that 10 years onward, I have seen a part of this future;

But most of all I am mindful
that without God's wonderful grace,
I could never be known as a Singaporean.
See, I could have been born elsewhere
where as a Christian child, my head could have been 
beheaded by Islamic militants.
I am mindful that as a red-dotter, I carry within me
the blessings of Christ shed blood on the cross;
I am truly covered in His blood.
I am mindful that all of my high hopes and dreams 
are rooted in the plans that God has for me - 
plans to prosper me and not to fail me.
I am mindful that my can-do or never-say-die spirit
is the Holy Spirit of courage and perseverance.
And I am most mindful that I do not make the future
but God makes my future.
I am just journeying with my God in His grace for His pleasure.

Happy Birthday, dear Singapore.  God bless you
with courage to do what is right,
with love to motivate you in all your good works,
with peace that passes all understanding,
with joy and laughter that makes us smile through difficult times.
I declare over you, Singapore -
the peace of God Almighty,
the love of God
and the power to be a blessing to other nations.

With love and blessing for you Singapore,
Rachel

Monday, 4 August 2014

Easy Tempo of Trust

I sit here in the quietness of a Sunday evening.  The dishwasher is whirring, the television is switched off.  I have just had a homemade Greek dinner.  My soul is restless and in times like these, I try to find out why I feel restless. Inevitably, my mind wanders to Christ, the Lover of my soul.

I think of my journey with Christ.  I don't really walk.  I dance.  I love dancing.  The beat of Latin American music gets me most.  

So, there I go - dancing with Christ as my partner to the song "Eres todo poderoso".

He leads me besides still waters (Psalm 23:2) even when the rhythm of life beats faster, and faster.  


At times, my steps quicken as I am led across the dance-hall of life events.  And at times, I waltz with the Lover of my soul.  And yes, we tango through life in perfect understanding.  I follow my Leader.

But it is when my Partner swirls and turns me around that my heart leaps a little bit.  Would I still hold His hands?

Oh, no worries.  He holds my hand tight.  I feel safe.  

My Partner does not miss a single step, even when I do.
I trust Christ.

Dancing joyfully in Christ,
Rachel