August 27, 2011

When He says, "This Way"

God reveals His will, not to restrain but to liberate us.
So we can stop agonizing over going left or right
and just go on ahead to obeying. :)

August 21, 2011

The Leader/Follower Prayer

I ask for humility and submission
towards family, friends, and colleagues

When I need to lead, may I lead without dominating
When I have to yield, may I yield without compromising my principles

In the mighty name of Jesus,

August 20, 2011

The BIG GULP Prayer

In the past, my 'dangerous prayer' was, "Lord, please give me patience."
Nowadays it's humility. (He really grants these quickly.)

Dear Lord,
     Please remove my ego
     and replace it with Your Spirit
     and Your heart
All glory to You
     means accepting defeat and failure
     but also victory and success
     as long as You and You alone are praised

(Big gulp.)


August 18, 2011

Too scared to move?

Sometimes in our fear that we might do something wrong,
We end up not doing anything right either

Sometimes we know all too well what we cannot do,
How about looking at the things we can do?

"We can do ALL things through CHRIST Who strengthens us."

August 17, 2011

Teacher's and teachers' roles

"The greatest of teachers said: 'The seed is the word.'
The true teacher stirs the ground and sows the seed."

     - John Milton Gregory, quoted in "Teaching to Change Lives"

August 13, 2011

For our deaf brothers and sisters :)

Reminder! Tomorrow, our friends from Higher Rock church are holding their monthly fellowship service for our hearing-impaired brothers and sisters. More details here.

May there be many lives blessed, and may there be more outreaches like this. :)

Give because you want to :)

Give because you want to. :)

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7

Just giving (back) the glory, the blessings

The NIV Student Bible explains:

David's prayer at the beginning of temple construction shows why he was a man after God's own heart. Despite all his achievements, he was deeply humble. He wanted glory to go to God, not Himself.

Here's the gist of the prayer from 1 Chronicles 29:

David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

Praise be to You, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.

Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
You are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from You;
You are the ruler of all things.

In Your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give You thanks,
and praise Your glorious name.

But who am I, and who are my people,
that we should be able to give as generously as this?
Everything comes from You,
and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.

As for all this abundance that we have provided
for building You a temple for Your Holy Name,
it comes from Your hand,
and all of it belongs to You.

I know, my God,
that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity.
All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent.
And now I have seen with joy 
how willingly Your people who are here have given to You.

O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
keep this desire in the hearts of Your people forever,
and keep their hearts loyal to You.

And give my son the wholehearted devotion
to keep Your commands, requirements and decrees.

The strong God is looking for...?

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
     nor His delight in the legs of a man;
the LORD delights in those who fear Him,
     who put their hope in His unfailing love.
(Psalm 147:10-11)

The Lord is a God of strength, as this song amply demonstrates. But power doesn't delight Him. More than anything He loves to be in a close relationship to people who respond to His love. - The New Student Bible, NIV (1992)

Redeeming Love ♥

God loves us at our worst and redeems us to be our best.  

If there's one book that defines me --- or to be more exact, my relationship with God --- it has to be "Redeeming Love". (Thank you again to Jenny and Faye for sharing it with me.)

From the official site.

What's the big deal, you may ask. If it's inspired by a Biblical story, what's new in this book? How relevant would it be in this day and age... How relevant would it be to me?

The official site is celebrating the book's 20th anniversary. In the online journal contest, you can read how "Redeeming Love" has impacted others, and vote for your favorite testimonies. You can also share how the book impacted your life, and get a chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco, one of the main settings in the book.

The site also features some excerpts from the book. I can repost some of the parts here, but I might just end up transcribing the whole thing  :p  Just read it for yourself. (I can lend you my copy. c: ) And... prepare to be blessed :)

August 9, 2011

Living, Learning, Teaching

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern
what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2)

I bought this book years ago, but never got to read it. At first, I was too busy with my actual teaching duties. Then I left teaching completely, to focus on my dissertation. (As a prof of mine used to say, "How's your Physics problem?" Answer: "It's still a problem.")

I bought this book, heartily recommended it to Ron (who eventually became a teacher too), got it back from her, literally shelved it for years... And now, just as I'm returning to the teacher way of life, this book reappears. (This time, I'm ready, willing and able to actually read it.)

Then and now, I'm remembering my love for my students. Back then, I loved them enough to help them rather than myself, i.e., to teach rather than do my research. And when I could not teach wholeheartedly, I chose not to teach at all.

(Some would say, I have poor work ethic and time management skills. That's right, I'm still learning. But given those weaknesses, I am still standing by the career decisions I made years ago. Hopefully my more responsible colleagues would also use their heart every now and then. ;) )

So now I'm teaching part-time. I love the diversity of the subject matter, and the flexibility of the schedule. And, it's easier for me to interact with the students holistically --- asking "How are you?" and really caring about the answer, rather than just checking on one's grammar or punctuation.

So it's funny that unlike "other" matters, my calling to teach came about in a roundabout way. It is God's will for each of us to be good in some things, and have the desire to master those things and impart what we know. Simply put, that is teaching --- whether you are being paid by a university or hired by your friend's mom's neighbor or asked by your little brother.

Back then, I did not want to do anything that was not explicitly God's will for me. Now... I'm learning that teaching is. :) 

"Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive," by Dr. Howard Hendricks. Simply written yet highly effective. You can order the book here.

Living Sacrifice: Burnin'!

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,
by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern
what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
- Romans 12:1-2

The same God who has told me in various seasons
to be still and to let go,
to keep silent and then to speak,
to rest, and then to work,
... is now telling me to BURN, SHINE, and LIVE!

Let Your will be done in my life. Amen  :)

August 3, 2011

Give to receive: Teacher learns something new

Today I was pleasantly surprised to learn a new study "trick". Especially since I realized it in the middle of teaching someone else. (Thank You Holy Spirit.)

I'm reminded about why maintaining this blog is a delight and never a chore. It goes beyond the urge for self-expression. Sharing about God blesses not just the hearers but the messenger too. 

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 
     - Proverbs 11:25 

By this kind of hard work we must help the weak,
remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said:
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
     - Acts 20:35 

Indeed, ultimately:

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it.
     - Jesus (Mark 8:35)

Makes me excited about the new things I'll be learning in the next days. :)

August 2, 2011

A Child-Like Faith

by Lee Strobel 


Jack would always sit near the front. When the service was over, he would amble over to the pastor who had taught that day and begin talking in a low mumble. His brown hair would be tousled, his clothes disheveled, his tie askew. His face would have stubble and his thick glasses would be smudged.

I don't know the diagnosis of Jack's condition, but for the most part his thinking is unfocused and much of the time his speech is a string of disconnected thoughts. Although he's an adult, talking with him is similar to communicating with a child.

Then one Sunday, when Jack came over to me after the service, I saw that his right arm was in a cast and sling. I pointed to the injury. "Did that hurt?" I asked.

Jack glanced at his arm and then at me. He replied in his halting voice: "I come here...and hear...about Jesus...and I think about...all the pain...he went through...for me...and I think...this was nothing!"

That's when I knew that he understood. "Jack," I said as I reached out to hug him, "that's the most profound thing anyone has said to me for a long time."

(Read the rest of the article here.)

Awake. Arise. Work.


From the book of Haggai:

Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory?
How do you see it now?
Is it not as nothing in your eyes?
Yet now be strong... be strong...
Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD.
Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts,
according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt.
My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.
Consider: Is the seed yet in the barn?
Indeed, the vine, the fig tree,
the pomegranate, and the olive tree
have yielded nothing.
But from this day on I will bless you.

Flooded with blessings (and a healthy reminder)

(Blessings are now pouring down like today's rains. Thank You.)

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in My house.
Test Me in this,”
says the LORD Almighty,
“and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven
and pour out so much blessing
that there will not be room enough to store it."
 -  Malachi 3:10

Beware lest you say in your heart,
"My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth."
You shall remember the LORD your God,
for it is He who gives you power to get wealth,
that He may confirm his covenant that He swore to your fathers,
as it is this day.
- Deuteronomy 8:17-18