|My Spiritual Life Ramblings|
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Rainbows are visions, but illusions and rainbows have nothing to hide."
so sings Kermit the Frog on my CD player.
Yes indeed I remember so vividly of every lovely vision of a rainbow I have ever seen in my life.
They are so... transparent, hiding nothing, yet you see the splendour, of a myraid of colours so closely knitted, so prettily lined up in a perfect arc.
Another majestic display of God's creativity, as are the stars and the mountains and seas.
Yet it is a reminder of God's promise to us.
That He will never hurt us, or cause us to perish in a big scale disaster again after The Flood in Genesis.
To me, it speaks so dearly and so clearly of His compassion and His Love.
Something so personal, yet so public.
"Someday We'll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the Lovers, the Dreamers, and Me."
Monday, March 06, 2006
Why? Coz it's been a long time since I got personal with the Holy Spirit, long time since I heard so personally from Him on every minute aspect of my life.
I'm reduced now to just hearing the big picture. And there's all.
I feel so far and distant. Although I know He's there, I can't feel Him like I used to anymore.
On the little nitty gritties of life. On the little conversations we have. On the sudden revelation of a side of God I've never seen before and suddenly discovering. On the exciting what's-going-to-happen-next moments. On the secrets He whispered to me.
I don't know what had happened, or what did I do wrong.
But I think it's the compacting lifestyle I led, that moved me further and further into the cold hard desert.
I want my old lifestyle back.
I want to know the secrets.
I want to have pleasant new revelations.
Most of all, I want to get personal again.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
And now grown up, life's problems get more real.
Somehow this afternoon, standing in the midst of the congrgation during church service, God brought me to remembrance about this stort story again. I'd been thru a rough and difficult patch in 2005 when Daddy died, and a job (which I've quit my previous job for) didn't work out as planned, resulting me in getting another job which I totally hate ( but didn't felt right about quitting when I prayed about it). Coupled with other nonessential but taxing issues, I feel really sorry for myself.
I don't want to feel pain like that again, I told God.
Why disappoint me time and again? And suddenly the story came to mind.
I guess there's more I have to go through in life.
Like the cliche saying Life's not a bed of roses.
He's just reminding me that He'll see me through. And when I falter from the lacking in strength from the toils and burdens, He'll make good His promise to see me through.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied:
"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Interesting read from John Gagliardi that touched my heart.
Something that God spoke to me when I was young and full of pride.
HUMILITY—A DOOR TO GODLY WISDOM
I have written before on the topic of humility, but I find it remains personally an intriguing and challenging concept. The Bible repeatedly admonishes us to be humble, but how precisely do we go about being humble in everyday life? How does a Kingdom business professional “do” humility out there in the marketplace?
This thought was raised again in my mind recently when I received a book published by the Australian Institute of Management, entitled The 7 Heavenly Virtues of Leadership . Flicking somewhat idly through it, my eyes were suddenly riveted by a phrase that seemed to jump out from the page at me: “Humility is a door to wisdom. ”
I looked again, and sure enough as I read on, the writer, Dr. Strom, was quoting Scriptures about humility from the Book of Proverbs! Amazing! I have been a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management for many years, and have read many of their publications, but this is the first time I have seen such an unambiguously biblical take on management education in any of their books. Hopefully, it is a harbinger of things to come!
According to the book's introduction to Dr. Strom, “The heart of his work is to deconstruct bureaucratic artifice and the mythologies of culture and change … and to teach that wisdom is the heart of leadership.” He has also written Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace and Community.
As someone who has both studied and taught management in past years, I find this an extraordinarily refreshing approach to a discipline that has, in my humble opinion, become too bound up with self-serving obfuscation and pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo. Well done, Dr. Strom! A breath of fresh air!
Wisdom Above All
In his article on humility, Dr Strom points to the radical approach to leadership by the apostle Paul, saying he became “the architect of what is arguably the most radical reshaping of human relations in Western, if not human, history … Humility was not an idea to Paul … It was a commitment, a way of life thrust upon him by his identification with Jesus of Nazareth … “
He says humility is the heart of an enquiring mind, and a door to wisdom . The wise leader prizes the gaining of wisdom above all else, something laid down by “an ancient chief executive” (King Solomon in Prov. 4:7).
Dr. Strom points out that there is a paradox in what we say about humility: “To be humble is to recognize that we are both small and big.
Small in the faced of a big world offering a large life.
Big in the face of the petty fears and self-doubt that may rob us of the joy of life.
Small as those who have much to learn.
Big as those who can learn far more than we can imagine.
Small as a child helpless in his mother's arms.
Big as a child who brings a father to his knees.
If we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made, then humility is our amen.”
Which brings us to what I thought was the most interesting aspect of Dr. Strom's article: Can humility be taught? Can we learn to be humble?
This is what he says: “Can humility be taught? By a program, no. By life, yes. More than programs, we need conversations that provoke us to:
Focus on character more than personality. Character, it has been said, is what we are in the dark—how we behave when we know no one is looking
Watch and emulate those whose characters impress us as much or more than their achievements
Find people who will tell us the truth—mentors who will challenge us to live humbly and nobly
Face our mistakes (Prov. 6:3)
Refuse to lay guilt trips on people
Lift up others
Take time to enjoy life and other people deeply
Mentor generously—the rising stars as well as those deemed less likely
Speak with intent (Prov. 15:4)
Nurture moral imaginations to sense the consequences of our decisions and actions
Challenge ourselves with three little words: “ On behalf of ” whom or what will this make a difference?
Avoid creating false dilemmas. We can be humble and confident; modest and sure of our gifts and talents. Ultimately, humility is not shaped by how we regard ourselves, but by how we regard others
Avoid becoming paralyzed by motives. Life and leadership is not as neat as our seven virtues. Humility comes wrapped in stories, self-perceptions and expectations. There are no pure motives—the test is openness to genuine conversation
Face anxiety. Leadership involves tough choices … this creates anxiety. Anxiety puts us on a knife-edge: to face it and grow, or runaway and regress
Refuse to protect ourselves with petty behavior
Do not always insist on our rights and entitlements
Give up the myth of control by giving up on formulas for leading people
Do not fish for compliments
Let go of ideals and stereotypes about leadership—there is no one pattern to greatness. “ Humility comes before honor” (Prov. 15:33)
In his article, Dr. Strom quotes from John Ralston Saul's book, On Equilibrium , where we see humility's role in what Saul calls the “six universal qualities”:
Humility exalts common sense—it challenges the tyranny of experts
Humility brings a human face to ethics—it brings abstraction back to earth
Humility fires imagination—it silences cynicism and take visions beyond us
Humility enlightens intuition—it deepens discernment
Humility is the straight edge of memory—it checks the distortions of self-interest
Humility makes reason reasonable—it teaches us to value clear thinking as nothing more or less than that.
Solomon, that wise king Dr. Strom refers to as an “ancient chief executive,” has a lot to say on the subject of humility. He says that the fear of the Lord will teach us wisdom, and that if we want to be honored, we must first be humble (Prov. 15: 33). He says the humble will be honored (Prov. 18:12), while humility and the fear of the Lord bring riches, honor and life
It is also a consistent theme in the New Testament—Jesus Himself teaches that the humble will be raised up and made great (Matt. 18:4; 23:12), while James and Peter tell us to be humble, because God opposes proud people, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5).
Humility, according to Dr Strom, is a doorway to wisdom , and wisdom is a key attribute for Christian business and professional people. Again, according to the “ancient CEO” in Proverbs 3 and 8, wisdom will bring us:
the good health necessary to do our work well
a good reputation
all the financial resources we need
peace so we can plan properly
joy so be can be a light shining in a dark world
divine guidance in decision-making
a long life so we can do all the things God has called us to do.
Humility is the doorway to the God kind of success—success built on wisdom and integrity, and on obedience to the divine call on our lives to produce “fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:6 and 7).
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
View over Jerusalem
Friday, December 26, 2003
I felt enraged.
No, not that I don't like my friend or whatever.
I was angry at the term most people used during this season when God gave us His most precious gift, Jesus Christ.
X'mas? Shouldn't it be called CHRISTmas?
Since when did Christ our Lord get replaced by an 'X'?
How did the day of celebration of the birth of Christ our Saviour, Christmas, got replaced by a lousy 'X'? How did the term come about in the first place too? By some politically correct lawyers who didn't want to use a religious name but still want a lame excuse to join in the merry making and celebrations to binge and wine?
I'm grieved in my spirit. Christmas has become so commercialised that most people are missing out on the origin of Christmas.
Was talking to my colleagues, discussing about Christmas plans in the office, and I took the opportunity to ask them about the origins of Chrismas, on why we celebrate Christmas. I'm really surprised to hear one of them admitting that he don't really know. Took the opportunity to share Christ, but he didn't seem really interested and pushed the conversation back to merry making and wining and dining.
I like the analogy my pastor preached yesterday:
"Without knowing the origin of Christmas, and yet celebrating Christmas, it's like going to a birthday party and you don't even know who the birthday boy is."
How sad is that for the Birthday Boy.
May we all remember the origin of Christmas.
The birth of our Saviour, Christ the Lord.
Monday, June 30, 2003
You know, actually God does not speak to us in a booming deep voice.
He speaks to me through the Holy Spirit, and through His Words in the Bible. That is where the key comes in. A good foundation in the Word will help one hear better. The Holy Spirit brings me to remembrance what He said before in His Word and reinforces them in conviction in my heart.
And yes, where times I backslided off terribly, I have to pray harder just to hear from Him.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
There's more of the deception tricks used by him to diverge many and stumble many from the right path.
More are turning to witchcraft, tarot cards, fortune telling, astrology and the likes.
And to make it even more inconspicious, you have M movies with the a same copycat theme of the Messiah, movies of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
They make people think, yet give them warped thoughts.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Yet, many times in my life, I'm told to stand still and wait. Like Joseph in the pit.
Then there's a big temptation to turn to the left. Or to the right. The options looks tempting.
Like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
Sometimes I feel forgotten.
And it's indeed a humbling experience.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Or put one in unfavourable situations that seems foreboding.
It's not that His hand of protection is not over me.
Just that there's certain things I have to learn about submitting to authority even if I think they are wrong (or that I may be wrong too).
This time though, I know I kicked and struggled against it, sometimes even trying to manipulate the situation such that it becomes favourable.
Took me four years to get it into my hard head.