I’ve Moved

5 Mar

Been struggling for a while with wordpress and thus I’ve moved myself back to blogspot.  Sorry peeps, u gotta update my blog address again!

it’s now at http://suezlife.blogspot.com

I know it’s a hassle, but hey, I couldnt even post a few times and having lost a number of post attempts (without a chance of saving it *horror*) i just couldn’t risk it again.. so.. sorry wordpress.. u did serve me well in the beginning, but sadly… i have to say bye to u…

Advertisements

Busy

17 Nov

Besides the emo things that’s happening to me (ya, my youth said.. eh, you’ve been rather emo on FB these few days hor???!! Emo is da word man), I’ve been rather busy as well.

One thing for sure, it’s not easy to setup a business!  Haha, why?  Because I’ve set up my online business! I’m currently selling accessories online at velvethouze.blogspot.com and it’s not that easy.  One thing for sure, because these items are to be sold online, I need to get pictures taken! And, sadly, at the moment, there isn’t a budget for me to pay someone for it. So need to depend on kind people to help me take picture.  I’ve gotten a couple of friends who are cool enough to help me.  Still, because I am selling accessories, I have quite a number of them okay!  So cannot also overload my friends in taking the pictures.  So what I had to do is to give them a few and take… sigh, rather tough to find someone to take pictures.  I’m also trying to take a few of them! It’s tough…. but it is fun.  The issue is, taking pictures does take some time, and time is something that I am quite lacking at the moment, amidst getting the website up and running, getting the orders and making sure the orders are ok, packing the accessories, making sure that postage is done and etc.. whew… I salute those who have been doing it for a while now.

Nonetheless, I am enjoying myself!  It’s fun to be able to market and sell things that you love to buy! Oh yes, I have accessories fetish (wonder which girl doesnt)! I’m loving it whilst in the midst of the crazy time thingie.  I guess, it’s really a juggle… need to learn time management (I suck big time on this!) and make sure that my 9 to 6 work and tasks are not neglected.

Another thing I’m learning is also allocating time to do devotion.  This takes time too! Oh, I’m not lamenting, but it’s really about learning to allocate my time properly.  I think, in the midst of everything, it’s really by spending time doing devotion and praying that I am able to still get the rest that I need and able to still take in a breather and say, phew, God, all in Your good hands.  Spending time with God has been keeping me grounded.  Granted, sometimes I do rush through my devotion, but in most time, I do try my best to quiet down myself and be still in God’s presence.  It’s all about learning right?  Learning to practice Contemplative Spirituality amidst all things, learning to practice being quiet in God’s presence, learning to read and focus on what He wants to say to me (a lot ok!) and many more.  It’s really, really wonderful, and I really do thank God for all the wonderful moments that I can spend with Him.  I am definitely far from perfect, far from practicing contentment, far from being 100% focus during my devotional time, far from being 100% still in His presence (sometimes my mind do wander, I tell you.. aih), but praise God for those little moments that I can spend with Him.

I hope, that things will get better in time.  But one thing for sure, I learn that when you place your trust and faith in God, there will be hope =)

Faith….

16 Nov

Faith is confidence in the righteous character of God that fosters trust and hope, even when the evidence fosters doubt and despair.

This is what faith is all about. To be able to look towards God who is unseen and still have trust and hope in Him; whilst He is unseen.

Do you want to please God today? Then don’t allow your circumstances to determine your faith. Have faith in God. He can change your circumstances, but He Himself cannot change.

Lord, I trust in you that it is through you that my current circumstances will change. Thank you Lord, for the opportunity, for this chance that you gave me, allowing me to look towards you during this time. Thank you Lord, because I can still lean on to you, even when there is nothing that I can turn towards or lean towards as support. You are my pillar of support, of strength, and of hope. And I will continue to rejoice during this difficult moment in my life, having faith, and knowing without a doubt that you are with me and you are supporting me through this time.

Thank you Lord….

Still Pondering, Thinking.. Should I Decide Now?

13 Nov

At this point in time, I roughly have an indication on what I want to do as my next step.  But then again, by saying it out loud, it may be the end of things.  Dilemma strikes me once again at this point.  I don’t know whether what I am thinking, or the thoughts that I’ve pieced together is altogether right, but the inner me, the instinct part of me is telling me that this may be it, and this may be the reason for what has happened.  And me, being the logical me, did come to a conclusion that since it is due to this, it is not wise to hold on to it any longer.  Why not let go and be a blessing to others?  Yet, one part of me struggle to let go, because a part of me still cherish, still care, still hope that things would be better.

I guess this is the dilemma that one need to go through.  At the moment, I don’t know what to hope for, and I don’t know what to look forward to.  The only thing I know is to learn to really let go, be obedient to God’s direction and trust in Him no matter what.  And since, He did tell me that things would be okay, then I need to trust Him that it will be alright.

I might act on my instinct, on my logic, but what is holding me back?  That I guess, is what I need to bring before the Lord. And that, I guess, I need to give myself some time too, and God some time too, for me to seek Him whether it’s the right step to do, and for God to reveal it to me in accordance to His time.

My dear friend, I know you are worried and concerned about me.  I know you hope that I would handle this swiftly and not let it withhold me.  But I hope you understand that this is not as simple as it is.  Logic is always there, but when emotions comes into play, this is where, I believe wisdom comes in.  Please do not be critical nor keep questioning me on this.  Rather, I hope that instead of advises (which I do not wish to hear at the moment), could you just be there to listen? It’s okay not to say anything, because what I need now is not words, but rather, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and a presence to be there during this difficult times.  I do love you my dear friend, but I need you to be more empathetic towards me during this time.  Thank you for reading, and for listening….

Amidst the Struggles

11 Nov

Been a while since I’ve blogged.  I’m going through a tough time at the moment since the past couple of weeks.  When will it end?  This is one question I have no answer to.  It’s really, really tough going through it, especially when you do not understand why it happened, what caused it and if there would be an end to it.  I guess it is really at this moment where I need to keep reminding myself to Let Go and Let God!  Well, we always read or hear people talking about it, but to experience it is a whole new/different level altogether.

Today, as I was doing devotion this morning, I was reading this “if you never fall, you will never know that the objects of your faith can be trusted.”  I guess you can say that I fell when the news was broken to me, and at the moment, I’m still floating amidst that difficult period, where my emotions are in turmoil, sometimes uncontrollable, sometimes falter and give up on me.  But yet, through this time as well, I realize that I’m hanging on to God’s word more, on His promises, on His strength, on Him to sustain me all through this.  Isaiah 26:4 says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.”  He is my anchor and my rock, He keeps me to Him and ensure that no matter what happened to me, I can turn to Him.  Thank you Lord!

I am still struggling, I am still very unsure how to proceed, whether should I be the one to let go or wait for the answer.  But I do thank God that I’m not going through this alone, that He is with me in this and continues to encourage me to trust in Him and lean on Him rather than on my own.

The Persecuted Church Taught Me How To Pray

2 Nov

By Al Janssen October / November 2009 About six years ago I was asked by a friend to intercede for twenty-two men in an Islamic country. These men were among the first Christian converts in an area dominated by Muslim extremists. With a growing number of followers of Jesus in this region, these brothers had been chosen for seminary-level training in preparation for ordination. Since they could not attend a conventional school, they met in secret for one week each month, changing locations frequently to avoid detection. Within six months of receiving that assignment, two of these men had died a martyr’s death. The loss of these two brothers and the high stakes for those who remained forced me to plead with God like the disciples of Jesus: “Lord, teach me to pray!” In answer to that prayer, God has taught me five lessons that enable me to pray meaningfully for my Muslim background brothers and many others in the persecuted Church. 1. Wait upon the Lord The first lesson I had to learn emerged out of Jesus’ agony on the night he was betrayed. Knowing he was going to the cross, Christ asked his three closest companions to “keep watch with me.” Instead, they slept. Jesus pleaded with Peter: “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). “Watch and pray” he urged them. But what were they watching for? Jesus said Peter should pray he would not fall into temptation. Somehow, by watching Jesus, Peter would see and learn from our Lord’s struggle. In If Ye Shall Ask, Oswald Chambers wrote of Gethsemane, saying: “Tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Is my idea of prayer based on the keen watching that Jesus Christ asked of his disciples? These three men were taken and appointed by our Lord for one purpose—to see his agony. … He did not put them there to go to sleep; he put them there to wait and watch. … He took these three with him to see the unveiling of his heart—and they slept for their own sorrow. We should plead with God like the disciples of Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray!” As I have traveled to the persecuted Church, particularly in the Muslim world, I have frequently prayed this prayer: “Lord, may I see what you see, hear what you hear, love what you love, hate what you hate, and feel what you feel.” I remember an early glimpse God revealed of his perspective: I was dining in Bethlehem with a distinguished professor of Islam and I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him many questions about the practice of his faith. When I asked him about the Hajj—the pilgrimage every Muslim is required to take at least once in his lifetime—I discovered he had led three groups to Mecca and Medina. For the next hour he described all of the preparation: pilgrims need to ask forgiveness of anyone they have hurt or offended, to pay off their debts, and to read and meditate on the Quran. Then, during their journey they must behave perfectly—if they curse or get angry at another pilgrim, they have failed and might as well stop and go home. At that moment, I felt a deep compassion in my heart, realizing that many Muslims were trying hard to please God through their efforts. This professor knew nothing about grace. That insight led me to pray for him and develop a long-term friendship. It also helped me to realize that many Muslims who persecute Christians believe they are pleasing God by their actions. As a result, I pray for the persecutors—that, like Saul who became Paul, they might see Jesus. 2. Use the Psalms as Your Prayer Book As a boy, I participated in a famous church choir which sang through the Psalms every month. We tended to judge a psalm by its length—the shorter the better. Today, I see the Psalms as a rich treasure trove to guide my prayer life. Usually I pray through three each day, with at least one dedicated to my friends in the persecuted Church. For example, following Psalm 55, I pray: “Listen to my prayer, O God…. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught” (55:1). Although I often have limited information about my suffering brothers and sisters, I can be fairly sure that most of them have troubled thoughts. David goes on to proclaim that the terrors of death assail him, and I know that those I pray for face death threats, sometimes daily. “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest—I would flee far away and stay in the desert” (55:6-7). Surely my friends have such thoughts—who wouldn’t yearn for escape from the threats and attacks of Muslim fundamentalists? Then David complains about how he was betrayed by a close friend. That drives me to pray for the community of believers which often meets in secret—that there will not be a “Judas” among them. David concludes: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall.” Here’s a promise I can claim for my brothers. “Lord, may they cast all their cares on you. Sustain them; do not let them fall.” There is one Psalm, 119, that takes three to four days to pray through. I focus on those brothers who are preparing for ordination. They are studying the word of God and this Psalm helps me pray specifically for their studies, and that the word would go deep into their hearts. 3. Pray as You Watch the News As I write this article a bomb exploded in Islamabad, killing at least six. Looking at the pictures, I glimpse a burned-out car with an icthus fish on it. I ask: “Was the owner in that car?” I wonder about the effect this latest explosion may have on my brothers and sisters in Pakistan. “Lord, have mercy.” When words fail, that prayer seems to say much. The stream of bad news from around the world is almost constant. If it’s not natural disasters, there are wars waged by corrupt dictators or suicide bombings. I’ve learned to ask with each news report: “Is there a church?” Almost certainly there are fellow believers affected by every event. That motivates me to pray. Sometimes I know someone in the affected area. A couple of years ago there was a suicide bombing at a shopping mall in Netanya, Israel. I knew there was a messianic congregation near there and I emailed one of the leaders to see how they were doing. Fortunately, no one there was hurt this time. But I know there have been attacks on these believers in the past, so I was reminded to pray again for my Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel. 4. Pray Constantly One day, as I was having coffee with my friend Paul, I noted a horrific news story and mused, “How do we possibly pray about this?” Paul reminded me that the Church has always had a prayer for such situations: “Lord, have mercy.” When words fail, that prayer seems to say much. I’ve found myself using it often. Sometimes, even those words seem to stick in my throat. When my friend calls from South Asia to tell me several brothers died in a suicide bombing, only tears and an inner groaning seem to be my prayer. I’m reminded that I don’t have to find the perfect words for prayer. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness,” says Paul. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). 5. Give Thanks for the Persecuted Church Recently, I visited with some Muslim background believers in Egypt, and I asked them how we in the West could pray for them. “Please don’t pray for us,” they answered. “Please pray with us.” I was confused by this answer, so one of them explained: “If you pray for us, you will pray for the wrong things. You will pray for our safety. You will pray that persecution will cease. But if you pray with us, you will ask God to bring millions of Egyptians to faith in Christ. You will pray that when the inevitable Muslim backlash comes because of our witness, we will be faithful, even if it costs us our lives.” I left that meeting amazed at the strong faith of these brothers, and thanked God for their words. How many of us would boldly witness for Christ if we knew it could cause our arrest, torture, or even death. Yet they were joyful and eager to see God produce a harvest of souls among Muslims. The persecuted Church needs our prayers. But we also need their example. Often, they have told me that they pray for the Western Church—that we will be faithful to Christ in the midst of our materialism and the numerous temptations of our culture. We need their prayers, not least because they need for us to be strong in our faith in order to stand with them. Together we are one body—suffering together and rejoicing together. Al Janssen is communications director at Open Doors International and has written two books with Brother Andrew: Light Force and Secret Believers. You can learn more about how to pray for the persecuted Church at http://www.secretbelievers.org.

Music and God

15 Oct

What does music and God have in relation?  I guess for me, peace is the word.  I felt peace when I listen to music, especially those that worships God.  Guess what.  I realised that instrumental music, although it may be of any songs, can still help us to flow into worship and into God’s presence.  Maybe not for all, but after hearing one clip, of the song Love Story by Taylor Swift, but done in instrumental music style, makes me want to just stand up and praise God.

Heavenly music, amazing music.  If God does not bless us with music and new songs, I wonder how things are going to be.  It may turn out to be dull, boring, lifeless.  But yet, with music, you will energised, some may even feel charged up.  For me, the desire to sing and to worship God seems to flow incessantly from my soul.  I love music, and I love God.  Thus, I am undoubtly thankful to God for his blessing upon my life, to be able to sing for him.  What’s more, He loves speaking to me through music, and I love to commune with him through music.

Amazing that You are.  You never fail to bring joy into my life through music.  I am thankful, and grateful that even though there are times where I felt dead inside, you seep into my soul through music.  Thank You God for this wonderful gift you have given to this world.  Praise You oh Lord God, praise You!