Saturday, May 30, 2009

One thing...

Leave a Comment that just because it's in the Christian section of the bookstore, or just cos its called a Christian article/song/event/whatever, it doesn't mean it's Biblical. Christians who seek to be faithful to Christ and his word should be mindful of that and always be alert to things that are inaccurate or unbiblical. We should always be wary because there are so many false gospels and false teachings. For me, it's better to be skeptical first than completely accepting. I don't want to be like a reed, swaying with every and any wind that comes.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Singing in church

Leave a Comment
In addition to teaching Sunday School, i'm also helping out in church by leading the singing every month. And i've learnt alot from Joy and the other singers, who work very hard.

I've discovered that the singing complements the preaching. In singing before and/or after the faithful preaching of God's Word, it helps to affirm the sound teaching in singing a good song (that perhaps emphasizes or reiterates or drives home the point of the message or complements it). And that leads me to choosing good songs, songs that are faithful to the Bible and pertain to the message that day (although so far, Joy has been choosing most of the songs with me). I really appreciate the works of some faithful musicians who literally take bible verses and put them to song! It's brilliant!

I've discovered that you are not really important. It's not a show. And even if it is, you are not the star. I find that as i decrease, the more people can concentrate on the words of truth in the songs and sing in agreement together as a church. Jesus' Spirit helps us understand God's Word, the hard truths in the message and the songs, and convicts us, moves us to repentance and helps us to be able to change to be conformed to Jesus. If anything, Jesus is the star! Cos when you hear about him from the pulpit, in your Bibles and in the songs, you should remember him and his sacrifice, not me or my voice. And that means i choose songs that are helpful for people to learn about Jesus and songs that are easily sung, so that people don't have to struggle over difficult melodies and therefore focus on the truths in the songs.

I pray that we will forever cherish Christ and all that he has done for us, in our lives, in everything we do, and in the truth about him in song.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

her morning elegance

1 comment

I like this musicvideo! So simple...

Just cos

Leave a Comment
Just came back from watching Angels and Demons. Let's just say, the book and my imagination go a whole lot better together than my eyes and the cinema screen. The guy really knows how to write super thrillers. For as much as i'd rather not comment on his strange theories on Jesus and the church, i think he really gives us good fodder for discussion. And mind you, when i say discussion, i don't mean apologetics. I don't see anything wrong with reading such books or watching such movies. I say to shun them 'just cos', is stupid.

Because one thing about these books or movies... they remind me of the grace God shows to His people. How He teaches and helps them understand who He is, what He did in the death of Jesus Christ for us and how He continues to work in us. It's amazing! We don't have to be super 'spiritual' to so called understand God, nor do we discover God from science. We might see His work in science, but ultimately science won't tell you about God.

Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

We need God to tell us about God, and who better than his Son, the Word of God, who humbled himself to do his Father's will. He might not be here now physically, but God's Word remains.

It's amazing!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rethinking the idea of work

Leave a Comment
Wow, a third contemplative post. I've sure got a lot of words to compensate for the months of picture heavy posts haha.

I have a long way more to go before i finish studying. It's my fifth month into a 6 month break, and i didn't get a part time job. I've just mainly been at home, doing stuff for church. I have to admit i'm kinda worried about my future, how that might take shape. I'd never had high ambitions but i've always imagined working for good money and being financially secure. However, life and circumstances have changed some things and i may have to come to terms with the fact that i might never work in one of those 9-5 steady, stable jobs that everyone's looking for. I may never earn the good money i'd hoped for and i might never be a career woman. I may not even be financially secure.

But now... i think i'm gonna be okay. I may work in a low paying job, but that's okay. I may work for free, but that's okay. I may not work, but that's okay too. Because as long as i'm following Christ, i'll work hard in supporting the church and myself. However, if i get good opportunities, i'm taking them, praise be to God!

Well, all this work for church is definitely plumping up my portfolio and exercising my skills. So if anyone needs a graphic designer slash artist slash fashion designer, you're very welcome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the right priorities

1 comment
I don't think it's too hard to figure out where a Christian's loyalty lies. It's always first and foremost to Christ. How that translates into your priorities is always a matter of God-guided wisdom. It's not easy, i have to admit. But i think it's more important that you want to please God instead of yourself or others. I can only hope to grow more in wisdom so i can make better decisions.

I went to a camp to learn about work

1 comment
But i ended up with a whole lot more than that.
I can safely say that i didn't come back with any smart tips on how to get a better job.

I learnt that God works.
I learnt that God saved his people through His Son's sacrificial death on the cross.
I learnt that God continues to work in His people, conforming them to the likeness of His Son.
I learnt that God's people do God's work.
I learnt that it doesn't freaking matter what i do, as long as i do God's work.
I learnt that it does matter what i do, because i'm doing God's work.

I've learnt what life is not about. It's not about work, better jobs, studies, family, your dream house, a car, a comfy nest egg, entertainment, self-fulfillment. Life does not revolve around that. A Christian's life revolves around Christ. Follower of Christ, not follower of family, career, money, beauty, house and husband. And that being a Christian includes loving your church, family and friends, which sometimes may not be in the way that they want you to. It means that as a Christian, the most loving thing is that i care that my family and friends know Jesus. It also includes caring for their general wellbeing and that includes studying hard to get good grades, getting good grades to get a good job, getting a good job to get good money, getting good money to support your family and to further the ministry of the church.

I learnt that being a Christian means making hard decisions. It means being faithful to the Word of God.  Living your life faithful to the Word of God is more than just believing. It means sometimes you'll have to make a stand for what you believe in. And it might mean participating in some friendly debates, that might end up not so friendly. It means making unpopular choices. Making a stand for the Gospel would definitely mean going against the grain of culture. For the very fact that i follow Christ and not the world would mean making Christ and the Word the "be all and end all" to any choice that i make. It means repenting and making necessary changes in your life. It means stepping over from death in sin, to life in Christ. That would affect your whole "life", as you are given life by the saving grace of God. It would make us reconsider everything we have been doing in life thus far, and think twice about all the things we've thought about, done and seen and aligning all that with the mind of Christ. Being Christ-like requires big change, in mindset, perception and action.

And being a Christian also means possibly losing friends.
And it's not just friends, sometimes you lose Christian friends as well as family.

It's no bed of roses.
But there's nowhere else i'd rather be. 
Life without Christ, is meaningless. Everything you work for, everything you live for... all of it means nothing without Christ. Death is inevitable and everyone knows you can't bring anything with you to the grave. There's just plain and simple labor and toil that's worthless. All the hard work put into your family, your career, your friendships, your house... it's all nothing, without Christ.

I die without Christ. Only with Christ, i have hope.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

CERC camp 2009 Pt 2

Leave a Comment
PhotobucketPhotobucketNow, besides all the fun, it was also a serious time to get to grips with God's work. Overall, i've learnt so much more about so much! I didn't just learn about work, i learnt more about the whole of life in Christ! Amazing isn't it? Everything was arranged so nicely for us to have the best time playing and the best time learning. The morning bible readings, the group bible studies, the talks and the electives all gelled so well together. Kudos to the organizing committee (which for once i'm glad and sad to say i wasn't a part of). It's been too long since i attended a camp where i wasn't running around going mad trying to make sure everything goes well.
Also, all the activities and studies did help us get to know each other better, everyone in church and people in particular. Adrian and i had a great time together, from doing bible studies together to playing Cranium and Boggle! I think we do better on the same team than on rival teams hehe. I get way too competitive.

It was great to have the married couples and their families together with the dating couples and the singles there altogether. I'm so blessed to have so many good examples to learn from. People like Joy and Melissa, who show you in real life how to be a Godly woman, wife and mother, and others like Jayanthi, who's so pleasant in personality. The dynamics of our church is just super, like how everyone had to be made aware of how you need to share in caring for the kids so that you can ease the mothers up to have fun in camp too. It's definitely the first time i've ever been in a camp where good healthy relationships are very clearly encouraged, not just between church members but in families and those who are dating towards marriage and even the single. I'm glad to be somewhere i don't have to be ashamed of for wanting to get married, to want motherhood and to be a woman. 

I could go on forever about what was great about camp, but i think i'll leave the contemplative thoughts for next time.

CERC camp 2009 Pt 1

1 comment
For our first annual church camp, we went to El Sanctuary in Melaka. The most notable thing about this place : the food! It was amazing! Every meal, every morsel was dee-lishious!!! Definitely worth a drive down just for the eats.
The place is taken care of by a nice Christian family. Lots of dogs there, i'd be a pretty happy dog there i think, lots of places to run around and play in. The dogs kept barging in on our group pictures though, pup-parazzis. Woke up one morning and found the snake skin there, that was freaky. Other than that, there was lots of lizards and they kept pooping in my bed. I'd wake up in the morning and there'd be lizard poop near my feet. Gross.
We had this crazy Hat Day! It was totally fun, and everyone was very sporting. Although i have to admit the really outstanding ones caught my attention, like the cowboy hat, the clown wig, and the funkier ones that Justin kept gently borrowing from everyone.
Campfire night! I think we all went abit nuts being stuck out in the heat and in the middle of the jungle. Jeremy the spastic Barney, kuch kuch hota hai TarJohn and JanErin, and Justin's lame joke(s). The tribesmen looked really cool though, with their g-strings and armbands and half ghostly faces.

More up next!