Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Letter

Dear Reader,

Merry Christmas!

How time flies so quickly! It's been over a month since we've last talked; I must admit, life overtook my desire to blog the last couple of weeks. But I miss talking to you, I miss sharing my thoughts, I miss being encouraged by your comments.

I'm writing this with one hand at the moment, because my left hand is a bit out of action. A broken Metacarpal (the thumb bone) means a cast for 6 weeks, all through my precious holidays! God is teaching me patience, dependance on him, and a whole lot more, as I have suddenly got a whole lot more time to spend with him, reading his word and praying.

It is also really annoying though. I planned to have a massive "holiday cleaning" of my room, do lots of study, write a lot, read a lot. Now knowing it will take 2 -3 times longer than usual, I just don't want to do anything! Just sleep and watch movies. 

It's still early stages in recovery (I broke the bone two days ago) so I know there will be even more negatives to come!

I just want to cry!

But then I laugh. Because in all things God is good, he gives me good things, and he teaches me good things.

So Merry Christmas whatever your circumstances. Remember with me that it is a time where we celebrate God initiating his amazing salvation plan that we needed so much!

In Christ,

Sunday, 18 November 2012


Often people associate God with light, and use the sun to illustrate how he illuminates the world with his glory (It's a good pun on Jesus as the "son/sun" too). But, I just wanted to ask, what about sunburn?

There are other things in nature that are good, but have negative effects on our lives too. Rain helps plants grow, but it's annoying when your iPod gets wet. All animals are God's creation, but I don't want to risk my life trying to befriend a lion. Volcanoes help nurture the soil, floods help spread nutrients across the land, and some plants need the heat from bushfires to survive, but all these events do serious damage to human lives.

I've probably got you thinking, but in reality, I can't offer you any answers to these problems. I just got home today, sunburnt, and wondered, "Why am I in pain from God's blessings?".

I've been blessed enough to have suffered little so far in my life, which puts me in a tricky situation when trying to explore what it means to suffer from God's creation. I'm sunburnt, but there are people out there who have lost houses, lost lives, lost everything because of nature.

You might have noticed, but when I don't understand something, or feel I'm out of my depth, I go back to the simple things. I don't know the answers, but what I do know is this.

Jesus said, "God blesses those who grieve, for they shall be comforted."

Jesus acknowledges that people will suffer, but he blesses them, he is with them, and no matter how long it takes, even if it may not be during their life on earth, he will make sure they are comforted. Isn't that an encouraging thought?

Saturday, 20 October 2012


Colossians 3. A great passage I read with my friend the other day. The first half is great, but for us, the Holy Spirit engrossed us in the back half.

Firstly, verses 18 to 21. "It's just a bunch of stuff to do!" you say. "Nothing encouraging in there" you say. Well, I see it differently. Let's take a closer look at verse 20.

"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

Look! The first word. "Children". Paul is talking to me! He is talking directly to the kids in the Colossian church. The whole sequence, "Wives" , "Husbands" , "Children" , "Fathers" is one of a family unit. I think that is just great.

Great, because church, even at its beginnings was a family affair. All over the New Testament it talks of the gathering together of Christians. Brothers and sisters, united in Christ. I took that as an only spiritual familyhood until now. Christians are attending church as a family; encouraging, inspiring, and challenging each other. I've been learning that God's love breaks barriers, and this is another example. Imagine a non-Christian household where a younger brother can rebuke his older brother! Very rare. But in a Christian church, that is what we are called to do.

Now, if you look at what he says to each of the groups, you notice another great thing. His words are different for each member. Reading behind the lines you see that Paul is recognising the different roles we have in our family unit. Paul could have just said, "Christian families, love each other" and leave us to figure out how, but he doesn't. By being specific, he is making a statement that family members are complementary, and that our differences are part of God's plan.

My friend and I spent over 20 minutes on those 4 verses, but I'm glad we did. It showed me how families are another one of God's gifts that I would never have thought to ask for, but am blessed with anyway.

To end with, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters". I'm sure I can let you discover the riches in that verses for yourself. So dig in!

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Q. How have you grown in faith in the past year?
A. You can see my growth in my posts I put up here. I've grown in my love for God.

Q. How have you grown in faith in the past month?
A. You can see here and here, the things I've learnt in the past month, which have kept me growing.

Q. How have you grown in faith in the past week?
A. Um... 

I was asked to answer these questions in a conversation recently, and the last question caught me off guard. I was tempted to say, "I was busy", or "It wasn't a priority" but I knew such excuses couldn't cut it. I had 'paused' my growth during the week.

You could argue that I've been growing enough lately, or if it's only for a week then it's fine, but that wouldn't be true. I am a tree, and I want to continue growing, even if it is by a little bit at a time. I never want to 'pause' growth in my love for Jesus.

A short post today, but only because I feel some other things I want to say need their own post to develop fully. So get excited for next week!

So, what will you do to grow in faith this week?

Sunday, 7 October 2012


A great way to get to know someone is for them to share their faults with you. Because so often, we see people's highlight reels, and compare them with our own unedited mess of a life. This stunts mutual encouragement and friendship. As Christians especially, since we know we are forgiven, our problems are a testament to God's amazing grace! So today I want to share some of my own faults with you.

A little humorous perhaps, but I have a problem with fiddling. I can't stop myself shifting/moving wherever I am. Even now my leg is shaking constantly as I sit at my computer and type away. My hands need to have something to play with. You can laugh, but if my family is anything to go by, it is quite an annoying habit to endure for so long. And it get can have serious consequences. Like when my mind felt like "fiddling" with a fire by throwing in a deodorant can. Luckily no one was hurt.

More widespread, and perhaps more acceptable is my fault of lying. I will lie for no reason. Often justified with a weak paranoia that if I tell the truth, it won't be accepted and will cause a hassle. It seems a defence for self-consciousness but it just erodes away the trust built around my life. I wish that someday I can start a sentence with "On my word" and be trusted because I never lie.

To top it off, like a cherry on top, is my arrogance. It's a trait that is hard to talk about, because I fear I'll be arrogant about my arrogance. It rarely gets rebuked by my friends or family because of its subtlety, but sometimes it's scent becomes a stench that I am ashamed of. It leads me to disregard the skills and blessings God has given me, attributing them to myself. It leads me to judge/put down/insult others that I should be loving instead.

So there you have it. Three of my many many negative traits that create disharmony with others and with God.

The great thing is, other people might reject me, but God won't turn his back on me, God won't severe the relationship, he'll pick up my life and slowly put back the pieces he originally created, until they become the perfect being they were meant to be. Without sin, without fault.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


The past few weeks have been unusually quiet. Although I continued hearing the noise and music of society, in one area it was blacked out from me. Society online.

I made a pact with myself not to go on any form of social networking for 2 weeks. A seemingly impossible promise to keep, but as the days went on, it became easier and easier as I slowly grew out of my addiction for online communication. It went so well, and the benefits so outweighed the sacrifice (if there was any), that only now have I gradually returned to my normal level of internet usage.

The best way to explain my experience would be to compare it with new strings on a guitar. When you play guitar, the strings gradually get rusty in small increments that you don't notice. Then you realise you haven't changed the strings for 6 months. You spend 30 minutes equipping new strings, and your fingers instantly feel the difference. Every single note is easier to hit, every sound is more perfect, every melody rings truer than before. It's like that online. You don't notice the time you waste, the drag it has on life, until you change it up a bit.

The internet has obvious advantages for relationships. I can connect with my friends in Japan instantly, it keeps me organised with events and birthdays, and it can be a starting point for discussion amongst friends. But, if I'm spending over 2 hours a day, looking at a screen that is ultimately comprised of 0's and 1's? That's never helpful.

I was challenged to turn off online for a while, and I encourage you to do so too. God gave us so much more than just the internet, and it's about time we appreciated his other gifts. 

Plus, it gives you a fail proof excuse in this connected world.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Your time starts now

This isn't a timed post or anything (but I do want to go to sleep soon...), I just wanted to explore the conversation idea I latched on to my post last week.

Often my blog posts occur from conversations with myself, in my head. It might be a sign of craziness, but it gets me thinking from different viewpoints, smashing around different ideas in my head, tumbling them together until they form some sort of writable clump of information. Often theres a lot of ideas from the bible (from talks and such) that gets mixed in to the bundle which always gives my thoughts some direction on what's right and wrong.

This time, hopefully we can bring that fictional conversation from in my head into real life. Well, online is close enough to real life...

We'll have a bit from the bible to start us off, so God is the centre, and then feel free to comment your thoughts on the passage or any other ways God has made you think the past few weeks. It can be one line, or it could be an essay (maybe not...) but have a go. God is good, so I hope this discussion will work in the first place, and be encouraging to all those who participate.

Here we go!

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5

What are your thoughts? Please take a moment to share, and come back to see what others think!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Give it a go.

Sorry for the lack of input from my side of the conversation this past month. Conversation? Well, I'm trying to make this blog more like a conversation, so if you comment, I'll try my best to respond so it isn't just me sharing my thoughts but everyone giving their two cents and learning from each other.

Anyway, today I thought I could share what I've been up to in the past few weeks.

Three weeks ago, I went on a massive camp with about 130 high schoolers from all over the state. It was my first time going to a non-Christian camp where no one knew I was a Christian. My sister challenged me to make Christ shine in my life so that by the end of the 4 days it would be obvious that I have Jesus in my life.

Sad to say, it didn't go that well to plan. I got so engrossed in the electives, the talks, the fun activities - which were all really good, but God was a no no - that I sort of kept Jesus hidden. Well, for me, it felt like I wasn't smothering him. When people asked why I had lived in Japan for 12 years, I did tell that my parents had been missionaries, but that was only when they asked. If God is meant to be a fire inside me, I was like a refrigerator, keeping the fire cool until someone opened the door.

The next week, I went on a ski trip. I went with a friend who had just recently became a Christian. With some long bus trips and being in the same cabin, I thought I would be courageous enough to talk more about what being a Christian is going to be like and encourage him. However, again, I got so caught up in the skiing that I left the more important things till last where tiredness defeated my will to talk.

Now, a week back into the normal scheme of things, I am still reminiscing the lost chances that I have squandered for my own pleasure instead. I could have started a bible study at the camp and invited people along. I could have read the bible together with my Christian friend. But I didn't.

I don't really have a real positive about this experience yet. It is another one of those situations where I keep getting back up and continuing to strive to be more like Jesus. And next time, hopefully I will just give it a go!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Made for eternity

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

I hope you get the joke, but I was struck today at just how fast time really does move. If it was an animal, I'm sure it would be quicker than a cheetah. I am sure I had at least a week till I had to get ready for camp, and now it is looming in front of me with a death stare saying "Are you ready?"

I feel bad trivialising the passing of time. For some, time is of the essence, and when it continues to travel along so quickly, it becomes heart breaking. The thing is, I think it's because we were made for eternity.

We were made for a place where death was not looming, things did not turn to dust, and people did not have to go away. Time did not matter. But when we fell out of that perfect relationship with our creator, our clocks turned to reserve power, which won't last forever.

I'm sure there are other things that make us feel the world is broken. Suffering, pain, broken relationships. The passing of time is another more subtle way which still shows how trashed our world has become.

With everything however, we have an assured hope that with a renewed relationship with our creator, time won't matter anymore. We will live for eternity with him.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dear God

You are love.
You are big, really big.
You know me; you know everything!
You are the creator of all things.

Thank you for nature.
The sky, trees, clouds, fire.
Thank you for relationships.
My family, friends, getting to know strangers.

You are forgiving.
You take it upon yourself to pay my debt.
You won't let me wallow in guilt.
You help me love you more.

Sorry for my thoughts, words, and actions.
When I know I'm doing wrong.
And when I don't even notice.
Sorry for not following you fully.

Thank you for freedom.
No more worries because of you.
Thank you for changing me.
I'd be stuck otherwise.

Please give me wisdom.
And strength and courage.
To be a better disciple.
Please keep me praying.

Help others too.
Friends and followers.
In their struggles or joys.
To hold fast to you.


Sunday, 1 July 2012

I am not a scientist

In the hemisphere I live in, it is winter right now. 5 layers of clothing, slippers everywhere, the clouds of steam with every breath. What I especially love is curling up right near the fireplace. Not only is it warm, but to me watching fire is an amazing thing.

Orange tentacles push against the glass, ripples spread over the burning embers, and for me, it looks like the fire is breathing.

Now you can get all sciencey on me and say that fire is just heat, some fuel, and oxygen all combusting and creating a chemical reaction, which emits light and heat energy. I have been to school long enough to know that fire isn't a monster and that it isn't alive. But once in a while I let my imagination run wild.

The point of this story is to show why I don't want to be a scientist. I look at fire and I see an animal; I look at a tree and marvel at its beauty; I look at the sky and just let its size engulf me. I don't mind its origins, its inner working, and its purpose left unexplained.

I respect scientists, and I know that without some people looking deeper into nature many good things in this world wouldn't have been invented. And I am happy to admit I am not someone like that.

I am so glad God has created everyone unique, with different skills, different ideas, and different futures so we can share and learn from each other. What skills has God given you?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Never Alone

A weight has lifted off my shoulders I never knew was there. The sunshine is brighter, the laughter is louder, and the joy is overwhelming.

I'm already a Christian so it isn't a conversion I am talking about. But the fact that another part of God's plan in making me more like him has fallen into place. I have a new understanding of God's grace.

I knew God had saved us, so striving to be more like Jesus was our goal. To glorify God our purpose. I knew that and strived to live my life in order that in everything I do, I would be a walking, talking, advertisement for the amazingness of God. When I stuffed up, I praised God that he forgives, and go back to trying to glorify him again.

Maybe I had already understood everything I needed to know, but this week I saw it from a different perspective. I understood that in the above paragraph, the only thing that matters as a Christian is the first 6 words. "I knew God had saved us".

It doesn't matter if all my ministry fails. It doesn't matter if I always struggle with prayer. It doesn't matter that I will never be the "perfect Christian". Because God has already saved me.

Maybe that is obvious to you, but it wasn't to me. Maybe the fact that I am still at school means I feel like I have to work hard to get the marks I deserve. So I need to strive to be more godly to get God to love me more.

But it isn't like that! And the greatest news of all is, now I know that, I'll be serving God out of gratitude, not out of servitude. It won't be a burden it will be an honour and blessing.

So thanks for reading this confession. That I came to understand that even if I fail, I will be Never Alone.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

God's Economics

Economics seems to be the buzz. Newspapers write feature articles on it, students study it, people share their opinions on it, and politicians manipulate it. With the global economic climate not doing so well, and the fact that the problem deals with lots of money, (in the trillions), it is a legitimate concern to be worried about.

It has been interesting for me studying economics to see the extent to which economics governs our lives. Everyone needs money, and everyone wants more money. The fact that a whole industry has been created to cater for the above demand shows the degree in which the human race is steeped in this desire. Even more interesting is the fact that human well-being is mostly measured by economic factors. How much money someone has.

I understand there are legitimate struggles for those with little access to money. Since I have a computer, I am already in the top 1% of the richest people in the world. So what I am not saying is that money isn't important. It is!

But I think God's economics will look different. Money will be used, but won't be coveted. Wealth will be a blessing to be shared, not a treasure to be guarded. God's economics will benefit humans, not enslave them.

So when I hear news of a market crash, I will be praying. Praying for the millions of people who have lost money, that they will not be devastated. But also, that they will understand that no matter what, they can never lose God.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

How to write a song #2

I went busking last Wednesday. My guitar and I, in the cool wind of Winter, sitting on the damp pavement, enjoying the glances of strangers acknowledging the presence of my music. I went through my repertoire once, maybe twice, and decided I wanted more variety.

Skimming through the range of music I have played in the years gone by, I hit upon a bulk of songs that were usually reserved for singing in buildings, with other people singing along, but I knew how to play them, and I liked them, so I decided to go for it. I started playing church songs.

Not until a couple came up to me and said "We love Sovereign Grace music! Which church do you go to?" did I understand how much of an encouragement I was to the occasional Christian walking about. Not only was it encouraging to them, it was for me too, as I sang the words "So that everyone might know your name / Let Your Kingdom Come" in the middle of a crowded mall. I really felt like I was doing God's work then!

Unlike what the post title says, this is not a post about me writing a song. It is a post about me continuing God's song, the call for everyone to come to know him, and for the return of Jesus with his glory.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Without Eyes

Many of my ideas for this blog come while I walk to and from my house. I always try and forget how long I have to go or how tired I am, and let my thoughts take over. Recently, I have walked this path so many times I have challenged myself in taking as many steps as possible with my eyes closed. I have slowly progressed and now I can take 20 steps with only my ears and feet to guide me. Without eyes, my other senses take over.

Since it was an unusual experience (I get enjoyment out of many random things), I decided to go without eyes again, this time at a park. I did not move, but I tried to recall my surroundings by the sounds I heard. Do you know how many different sounds you can hear in a park?

I heard some kids laughter, a bus rumbling by, the creak of the swings, the rustle of the leaves, the whisper of insects feet. The longer I sat there, the more attuned I became to the input in my ears, and it felt I was experiencing a brand new world.

I often hear people talk about the beauty of creation and how creative our God is, which is true. But God's creation is not just taken in with our eyes. It is breathed in, it is heard, it is experienced, it is felt. The beauty of the world is for all our senses, and I am hoping I can come to appreciate every single one.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

God Still Speaks

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, the guy who had to announce destruction on nearly everyone around him, the man who was rejected by his own countrymen, living with God as his only companion for 40 odd years. He did God's will and suffered for it.

Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, the guy who wrote half the New Testament, the man who sacrificed everything for the people he preached the gospel to, so they would be saved. He did God's will and suffered for it.

Two people from the bible I have learnt more about this week, and I can't help thinking that God seemed to be so much more powerful and obvious in his actions than in this modern age. Jeremiah gets his lips touched by God's hands, Paul meets Jesus face to face, I get nothing.

I was wrong.

God still speaks as clearly as ever. He calls me just like he did Jeremiah. He gives me strength just like he did to Paul. And I have a great privilege they never had. God's word, written down, easily accessible, readily understood (maybe with some help, but still...)

So why am I still unsatisfied? Looking back at Jeremiah and Paul, I see another difference between them and me. They, knowing they would suffer for it, lived their lives in line with God's will.

So I need to pray, and maybe you need to pray too, that we can continually switch our will for Gods will, and remember that God still works as much as ever today as he did the first day. Continually renewing, strengthening and saving his creation.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

I want to encourage you

I want to encourage you, but I don't know how.

Do I tell you about the beautiful sunset I just witnessed outside my house? My wonder as I gawk at the blanket of purple intermingled with a tinge of red tucking in the world to go to sleep?

Do I talk about the day I spent with my family? Coming to the conclusion that even with all our faults and fights, God had chosen the perfect family for me to grow, for me to love, and for me to be inspired?

Do I talk about my thoughts? My thought process as I mull over my holidays, thanking God for all the rest and inspiration I received?

Maybe I could mention the fellowship I had with my brothers and sisters in Christ, or the return to my inner child as I played around with some pencil and paper.

I think I might just let God encourage you, because what I have is nothing special. It's filled with struggles and stress. It's not perfect and it's not something to live for.

My God, his awesome nature, his unending love, his amazing grace, is who I live for. And it is from him I receive all the life I need.

Isn't that an encouraging thought?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

What is your ambition in life?

Sorry for the lack of words flowing through this blog the past few weeks. It isn't that I haven't been thinking, I just haven't had enough time to put my thoughts to words, and time slipped by so fast without me even noticing. I still am quite busy with events to attend and to-do lists to be ticked off, but blogging seems to be some kind of therapy to me, a way of organising my thoughts.

When someone asks you "What is your ambitions in life?" what do you say? I often reply with something like "To glorify God", and leave it at that, but I often wonder if I am actually hiding away from answering the real question by shoving the "textbook answer" in the questioner's face.

Because, it often nags me. What is my ambition in life, apart from glorifying God? I am young and the world is an oyster in front of me, isn't it? Or is it like what a Psychology student once told me. "Your options in life are limited to around 3 professions by the time you turn three." Maybe that's exaggerating, maybe I heard wrong, but it does feel true in the sense that I wouldn't make my life's ambition to save nature, since I haven't really been brought up with it.

The problem is, I have so many things I like doing. Reading, writing, blogging, playing in my band, economics, designing, teaching, leading, travelling, learning. But out of these which are high enough on the list to be my ambitions?

In my head I imagine God showing me different doors, each with different, but appealing smells coming out of them. He stands behind me and is waiting for me to choose. It is so hard! Although I don't have to choose my ambition yet, the time I need to make a decision seems to be encroaching at me very, very fast.

The thing is, as I was writing about this, I now understand whichever path I take, God will use it for his glory. He will be supporting me. He will be comforting me. He will bring great things out of me.

It feels good to write and get my thoughts set out in words, thank you to all who read and support me, I hope you have had a great Easter break and that you will remember that whichever path you choose, God will use it for his glory.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

How to write a song

You may or may not remember in November how I posted my November resolutions. One of those was to write a song. Many a person has given me suggestions on what to make the song about, but I have still not written anything that I am happy with. So I thought I could use this post to explore the joys and sorrows of lyric writing, and hopefully receive some inspiration while I am at it.

The thing with song writing is that we all love the end result, the song. I love hearing good songs on the radio or on my iPod, and too often I am left thinking, "Why can't I write a song like that?". Especially when some lyrics seem so simple, yet so divine in the way they capture the exact thoughts in my mind. One song's chorus goes

"Too much to do, and there's not enough time. Not enough time."

This is one of my favourite songs at the moment, (Too Much To Do, by Sparkadia, if you were wondering) and although it is simple, it is a wonderful song to sing along to and get stuck in your head.

So I get to the point where I decide, I just need two lines for a chorus or maybe even less. it'll be easy to write a song then! But that isn't how it works out, well not for me anyway...

There are joys in song writing too though. You may have read my poem on rain, which with the help of a friend has been turned into a song. I have since played it in front of many friends and family, and it is always a joy listening to my brother humming along to a song that I wrote. But it seems my creative skills have stopped there...

I think my problem is that my mind is set on "having a time for everything". When I have time to sit down and think of some song lyrics, my mind is set on not giving anything, but at random intervals, I feel like everything and anything could fit into a song.

So, it seems if you found this post because of the title "How to write a song", you have definitely come to the wrong place. But I am never going to give up, and I hope you don't either.

The Psalmist wasn't necessarily talking about me then when he said "He is like a tree planted by streams of water ... Whatever he does prospers" but when I do write a song, I am sure it will be filled with what God has done for me, and how under him my life is fulfilled to the fullest.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Butterflies and more butterflies

Isn't it interesting that once you notice something, from then on you always seem to notice that thing where ever you go?

An example from me. The other day I was walking somewhere and a butterfly flew past my vision. It's orange and black wings caught my attention and I was forced to stop as it danced around me for some time. It surprised me a little because I hadn't seen (or noticed) a butterfly for a long time. It put a smile on my face, and I continued on.

From that day however, I have not stopped noticing butterflies everywhere. I saw two dancing together in the background as I had a conversation, found one sucking a flower with its straw like mouth, and discovered the "annoying insects" that flew in a group were just a group of butterflies. All of these findings kept reminding me of spring and the care free life that butterflies have.

It seems it applies to Gospel truths too. I often hear a sermon or read a bible passage that really challenges me, or reminds me to do something, and then throughout the week I am hit with opportunities to put what I learnt into practice, or to share what I learnt with others. For example I was reminded the other day that I should love the whole world (I posted about it here). The next day I stumbled across a website asking people to do a food drive in their neighborhood, which I am now organising; and I had the chance to give advice to a friend who didn't know who to love and who not to love.

It was great! It feels like God knows exactly what needs to be done to get something stuck in our brain. It is repetition, repetition, and more repetition! Hopefully, you feel the same way, and I pray that you will let God teach you something this week.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Creative Loving

How big is your circle of friends? The people you care for, the people you love? Differing between people it must be, do you know how big it should be? Well according to God, it should be 6371 km in diameter. And it's more like a sphere of friends actually...
Because guess what? God said to love everyone. The whole world! Even enemies, the stranger you see on the train, the neighbour everybody stays away from, the homeless man at the station. That's a daunting task isn't it! Whenever I get challenged to love like that, I give up without even trying. I say "too expensive" or "too time consuming" and after justifying myself, I forget all about it. But what's the point of being challenged if I don't do anything about it!
So, I came up with an idea...

You might remember some time ago I posted about how everyone had some creativity in them, even if it wasn't appreciated by others or by themselves. Well, one good way to use our gift of creativity would be in love. To do some Creative Loving.
What I mean with creative love is not "How to say 'I Love You' in 100 creative ways", which is what the world might think of the term, but rather understanding that with whatever skills or resources we have (doesn't have to be money) we can love someone, in response to Jesus' love for us. 
So for me, I have decided to give more of my time and "status", as some might call it, away to love those in need. Practically, this would mean me stopping to talk with those who might be lonely, or collecting cans from neighbours for the homeless to eat.
Although creative loving makes it sound more fun, loving all the people in the world is a daunting and near impossible task. That doesn't mean we give up without trying. Start with small steps, remembering that your love is just a reflection of God's love for us. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Long distance Phone Call

I just came off a long-distance phone call. From my mobile. For 20 minutes. And I had one last week too... You must think I am either super rich or I've got a really good phone plan. I am neither. Both calls were totally free. It's because I didn't really need to have a phone to talk to this person. He doesn't have a phone number, or a time when it goes onto voice mail, and you only hear his pre-recorded voice. No, he is able to listen to whatever we want to say, whenever we want, with us paying nothing, not even doing anything special...

By now you should know that I had two long conversations with God. It did feel like a phone call though, because I put my mobile to my ear, and talked into it the whole time. I just felt like it, and for me it was beneficial in concentrating, and letting everything out.

What did we talk about? Just life in general, really... The future, the past, work, school, relationships, friendships, enemies, emotions. Although I couldn't hear God's voice through the phone speaker, I knew he was listening. And it was one of the most satisfying conversations I ever had (Not just because the other side wouldn't interrupt at all, although that was quite special...). It was good because I knew that God was able to do something about what I said.

Most people will either say sorry, try and change the subject, or try to take your mind of the problem if you share anything bad that goes on in your life with them. Which is nice, because that is all they can do. But with God, he changes everything. Not that if you tell him you are getting bullied he will go down and smite the bully! But his love never ends. So when I told him I didn't know what was happening for my future, he comforted me in his hands, and reminded me that he truly was in control, so there was nothing to worry about.

I encourage you to also have a much needed long distance phone call with your heavenly father. The one who will be there no matter what, and love you. And as I love to think. Loved by God? That is the best thing in the world.

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Happy Hobby

10 minutes ago, I was a little down in the dumps, blue in the face, not punching my full weight. You know, sad, tired, annoyed. All those negative things that hit you sometimes and leave you crawling on the floor, wondering if you would ever be able to get up again. But that was 10 minutes ago. Now, I'm quite all right. What happened in the ten minutes? I wrote.

Everyone has a hobby that lifts them up, I suspect. Take for example Molly. She loves to draw. Today wasn't really a good day for her so you see her with a frown and wrinkles attacking her face. You suggest that she draw something. First, she shakes her head fervently. But as you point out the beautiful sky and all the inspiration surrounding her, you see a tendril of a smile beginning to form at the edge of her lips. Which slowly turns into a smirk and then an ashamed smile, which is a smile nonetheless. It is actually quite amazing to see a smile born. I encourage you to try and coax one out of someone sometime.

Anyway, for Molly drawing was her "happy hobby". I'm sure all of you could name one thing that lend you the power to get up from the dumps and to stand up again. If you don't, it is always a good idea to remember that this "happy hobby" is only meant for yourself. If others don't like it, it doesn't matter! Sometimes it is good to be selfish and keep your masterpieces to yourself, especially when others just can't see through your lens.

I also just wanted to add that God is good, because I felt like it, and sometimes we so often focus on what he made and ourselves, we forget that he is there behind everything we do, everything we touch, everything we hear. Loving us, and sustaining us. Isn't he just amazing?

Monday, 30 January 2012

Month of silence

Sorry for the silence this past month, I could make excuses but I think I know what the real problem is. I have become tired of my own thoughts.

When I started this blog, every idea would make it to the drawing board because I wanted to flesh it out a bit, and see what came out of even some tiny observation. However, as the months passed by, I felt that I had to improve on my writing or something, so only select things would be mused on. But what happened was, as the list of things to talk about got smaller and smaller, writing about them became harder and harder, until I wouldn't even want to look at the computer screen anymore. And then comes the month of silence... It really was all my own fault.

Thankfully, I have been rebuked of my stupidity, and can tell you that if you read this blog because of the attention it gives to the small things in life, then you can enjoy it as I go back to doing so.

A short thought to end the post, I think it is a blessing to lose things. (There are many exceptions of course, but bear with me). Recently I was giving my room a well needed clean up which ended with my head being placed 1 inch from the ground as I cleared under my bed. What I found brightened my day! A name tag from a recent conference, which brought back all the memories; a guitar pick, which gave me an excuse to pick up my guitar and play it; and a wrist band, which reminded me of the things I was thinking when I bought it. If I had not lost these things, they would not have been appreciated so much, much like my thoughts. If I had not lost them in the process of trying to clear out my mind (I'm not saying that I am losing my mind though!) I would not appreciate them as much as if they were still there all the time.

So thank you for enduring this month of silence, as I learnt some new things. Hopefully you have to.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Those little things that matter

I've got about 30 minutes left before my body shuts down and I fall into my much needed sleep. What will I share with you? Well, I don't know either! You might remember me wanting to change the style of my writing about a month ago. You also might have noticed, nothing really has changed... I didn't want to break my promise, so a new way of writing, a new way of thinking. Since its the new year, it probably is appropriate. What do you think it means?

Five men walk through the woods.
Talking all sorts of whimsical words such as politics and what sport star is their favourite.
One stops by the road to sniff a wild flower, and is left behind.

Four men reach the nearby creek.
Showing off all their latest gadgets to impress their peers.
One jumps into the creek to feel the cool water rush against his skin, and is left behind.

Three men wait at the train station.
Challenging each other's minds with classic riddles.
One hardly listens, and instead follows the path of a tiny ant, and is left behind.

Two men watching the television.
Tensing as a murderer appears on screen.
One nods off and experiences the true wonder of his dreams, and is left behind.

One man eating his dinner in silence.
Planning his life out so he can relax.
He gets what he wanted...

The others get distracted by better things.