September 18, 2012

Too tired to *not* go ;)

College finals season is appropriately called "hell week" by students, but it's also the busiest, most stressful time for us teachers. We need not just intelligence but wisdom; we need patience and grace not just towards students (and their parents) but towards our colleagues too.

Thankfully I still get to eat and sleep but it's not enough. I need to rest.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life.

I'll show you how to take a real rest. 
Walk with Me and work with Me --- watch how I do it. 

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 

Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.                      

--- Jesus (Matthew 11)

Religion need not be something done inside church. Religion can refer to any *performance* that would give the doer points depending on how he or she pleases the crowd. How hard (impossible!) it is to please everybody... and add the fact that public opinion is fickle and rarely reasonable. It's burnout waiting to happen.

Watch how I do it, God says. When I started this post, I was barely finishing my class records and still deciding whether to go to church or not, whether to lead our group or ask for a substitute or just call off today's meeting. How exactly do I interpret "watching God do it"?

But the point is, it's God doing the work, not me.

Which means, I don't really have to go that night. God can send comfort and peace to me and my friends wherever we are.

But this also means, I can choose to go and watch the "magic" (or "miracle") happen. Because it's not about me and it doesn't depend on my performance.


So I did go to church that night. Our group met for only 30 minutes (compared to our regular two-hour session), where we shared quick stories of how God is working in our lives and relationships, and of course prayed for each other. Then two of us attended the last service; I listened and was encouraged in many ways. I arrived home late, with takeout food for the family (a treat from my brother and me).

How about that! In a few hours, I went from burnout to overflow, and from dog-tired to perky lively...

Fatigue need not be a reason to stay home and do the same, stay the same. The effort in transportation and socializing would be rewarded n-fold. Fatigue is actually the best reason to be blessed, to be on the receiving end of grace and inspiration and goodness.

Again, definitely God could bless and help us wherever we are and whatever we do (or not). And we all have our too-tired-to-get-out-of-the-house days. But my point is, we don't have to worry about "having a bad day" or "not being good enough today" to go to church. It's actually when we empty ourselves of our selves, that we are able to receive more of Him.

To be an agent of blessing, all we need to do is show up. Because we are just instruments, and God is the Source.

When you are arrested, don't worry about how to respond or what to say. 
God will give you the right words at the right time.

--- Jesus (Matthew 11)

September 9, 2012

So everyone can know Your name. ♥

"What we are is God's gift to us,
what we become is our gift to God."
- Eleanor Powell

It's good to live for yourself, but better to live for others, right?

So will we live for the people who are gonna hate us no matter what,
Or will we live for the One Who already loves us no matter what?

I simply love The Script, and this song seems like a call to be the best *you* that you can be. For yourself, sure, but how about for the ones (and ultimately, The One) you owe your life to?

May they know your name so they can know His name. ♥

Hall of Fame
The Script ft. Will.I.Am

You could be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the king kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to God, go banging on His door

You can throw your hands up
You can be the clock
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don't wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You could go the distance
You could run the mile
You could walk straight through hell with a smile

You could be the hero
You could get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke

Do it for your people
Do it for your pride
Never gonna know if you never even try

Do it for your country
Do it for your name
Cause there's gonna be a day

When you're standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
'Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion

On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be truth seekers

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Standing in the hall of fame

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
--- Hebrews 12