Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Random Poetry of the Soul

Pictures paint a thousand words they say
Poetry stirs up imagination a million times
Missing the good old days with poetry
The inner blues and soulful tone are fading

Why do sorrows always meet creativity
A bubble of joy finds it hard to express
Finesse in top of the cream word of arts
Random words are thrown for playful sake

Perhaps the loneliness of Van Gogh
Matches the colourful vigour of Da Vinci
Creations of geniuses spark mystery
Leaving behind a trail of followers

Sufferings exude great strength
A drop of pure blood sanctifies all
In the dark night the soul grieves
Mourning poured on masterpieces

A grand finale awaits the artsy soul
No one understands yet many feels
The depth of imaginations and longings
True to itself till death does it wait

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What Makes Us Different?

What makes the followers of Christ different?
Is it the bible knowledge? Is it the belonging to a certain church? Is it the weekly attendance of going to church on Sundays? Is it community living?

More than often, we hear remarks from non-believers that Christians are no different than the rest. They fight among themselves. They criticize and judge. They look down on others. Sometimes they behave worse than other people. Christians are humans too. We are still learning to be a good Christian. Sometimes we take a lifetime to learn to be a Christian. Forgive us.

So what is a Christian? A christian is a follower of Christ.
The question is..what does it take to be a follower of Christ?

Take a few examples. The late Mother Teresa, Heidi Baker, Lydia Prince and etc. They are all Christians but what do they have in common? Everyone in the world recognizes them not because of their preaching and not because of their going to church. The Indians love Mother Teresa so much that they gave her a state funeral when she died. Heidi Baker is known all over Africa for her compassionate ministry to the poor. All the Arabs and Jews probably know Lydia Prince for her risk in taking orphans from two most conflicting races.

What is the one thing that people from all over the world recognize in them? Is it the habit that Mother Teresa wore or is it the vows that she had taken? Is it Heidi Baker's great preaching or her PHD education? Is it Lydia's courage to leave her homeland? It's simple yet difficult to grasp. The answer is LOVE. God is love as it is written in 1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

How do we love? It is easier said than done and love is always interpreted in a million ways. The most important question is,"How do we love with God's love?"

In John 3:16,"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Jesus set the perfect example. He obeyed His Father and gave His ALL for us. Every drop of His blood He poured for us. He gave His All and fully surrendered to His Father's will so that He can show us what is Love. So what do we do? To love means to surrender our whole being, body, heart, mind and soul to God. The rest will follow.

In the book "Come Be My Light" which revealed a couple of private writings of Mother Teresa, she wrote,

" I wanted to give God something very beautiful and without reserve." She wanted to say Yes to God in all circumstances despite her fears and worries and weaknesses. She further explained," Why must we give ourselves fully to God? Because God has given Himself to us. If God who owes nothing to us is ready to impart to us no less than Himself, shall we answer with just a fraction of ourselves? To give ourselves fully to God is a means of receiving God Himself. I for God and God for me. I live for God and give up my own self, and in this way induce God to live for me. Therefore to possess God we must allow Him to possess our soul."

It is difficult and many times, it involves sacrifices, a change of lifestyle, persecutions and even the loss of loved ones. Mother Teresa never saw her mother again after she left her homeland at the age of eighteen. Lydia left her homeland and went to Jerusalem with no mission or church to support her. Heidi had to leave the comforts of her home and live poorly for many years.

To love means to surrender to God and love as He wants us to; be it in the mission field, be it at home or be it in the office.

Let us look beyond status, races, countries, genders, denominations, theological differences and whatever that differentiates us from the outside.Let us take a step further and obey what Jesus has commanded us to do.

John 13:34 -35"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

That way, everyone will know that we are the followers of Christ because God is Love.

Let's pray that we will give ourselves wholeheartedly to God and love as He commands us to without reserve.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Do not Judge and You will not be Judged

The world is a melting pot of colours, cultures, religions and personalities. As much as we love peace and harmony, there are bound to be conflicts between countries, races and clash of characters. Since centuries ago, skin colour has always been an issue whether we like it or not.

How many of us look at one man's race and has a quick generalization on his character? How many of us make racist jokes and intentionally try to bring down another man because of his race? How many of us look down on another person because of where she or he comes from? How many of us stay away from someone who perhaps are different from us?

We are all guilty at one or more points in our life to stereotypically judge a person because of their race or country and etc. It is not a new thing. Since ancient times, Jews do not mix with Samaritans because they were considered unclean. The story follows till today.

Do you ever think why God made men and women of all colours? If He made them all, don't you think He would love them all just the same? Why must we discriminate and belittle our brothers and sisters just because our skin looks different or we have different levels of education?

It says here in:1 Samuel 16:7 

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I read this in 'The Traveler's Gift'. I shall recap it in my own words.

"A father and a child was looking at the sky. A hundred helium balloons of different colours floated up into the sky. The child asked the father,"Which colour balloon will go the highest?" The father answered," It's not the colour of the balloon that's important. It's what inside that makes all the difference."
The child had some serious thoughts about that statement and told the father," It does not matter whether any races or gender has bearing on what one can become. Greatness does not care if one is a girl or a boy. In fact, it is what's inside us that makes all the difference, then the difference is made when we choose what goes on inside."

Are we that shallow to judge someone based on skin colour, gender, status, income like how the marketing experts would do?
The next time we see a person that is different than us, let's get to know that person first. Who knows we might be pleasantly surprised :)

Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Give you My All

In solitude I seek your presence,
In the desert I meet your holy face,
You embrace me in the wilderness,
Holding me like a lamb in your arms
You call me precious one
You bestow lavish gifts on me
Wolves and snakes you chase them away
The brokenness in my heart you make it whole
You wipe away every single tears
In the darkness and pain
You care and pour out your anointing oil
Holding my hands you fix the holes
You beckon me to pick up the cross
When I fail you lift me up
When I am too weak
You shower me with graces
In the gates of hell you put your angels charge over me
You stop me if I run away
No hiding place can be covered from you
You love me so much till it hurts
My beloved one
Till death you lay down for me
What more can I ask for
You gave everything for me
With every drop of your precious blood
I love you so for you first love me
With that I give you my all

Take this Cup Away from Me

Many of us live with a broken heart..
How many of us have gone through life with more disappointments, rejections and loneliness than happiness?
How many of us fought battles of temptations, loss and diseases?
How many of us woke up with a mountain of struggles to go through each day?

Look at Jesus. Meditate on His life.
We have broken hearts but He would know best.
He was rejected by the very people He came to save.
He was betrayed by one of His closest and most loved one; one He has chosen to be His own.
He was abandoned by all his disciples except for John at the foot of the cross.
He suffered the worst humiliation and punishment ever existed for something He has never committed..that of our sins. The scourges, the insults, the crowning of thorns, the carrying of the Cross, the nailing on His hands and feet..

What is our trials compared to what He had to endure?
He was King but He left it all to come and save us.
Our pains and sufferings are pale in comparison to His. He understands your very pain. He understands your innermost sorrows. He understands the diseases that you have been diagnosed with. He is holding your hand. He completely understands.

Alphonsus Rodriquez endured many trials and losses. However, he endured them with joy in His heart. He wrote," Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say,"What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships? For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me." Amid the hardship and trial itself, I stimulate my heart with this exercise. Thus, i encourage myself to endure for love of the Lord who is before me, until I make what is bitter sweet. In this way learning from Christ our Lord, I take and convert the sweet into bitter, renouncing myself and all earthly carnal pleasures, delights and honours of this life, so that my whole heart is centered solely on God."

God sees what you are going through.Perhaps He is preparing something bigger for you and moulding your character. Perhaps He is giving you a wake up call to repent and come back to Him. There are so many "perhaps" but we have to trust that He will bring good out of all your sufferings.

Romans 8:28 says "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".

All we have to do is say it like Jesus in Luke 22:42, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." and trust fully in Him, knowing that if the cup is not taken away, it is God's will and He will bring good out of it.