Thursday, September 28, 2006

Finding Rest - Psalm 116

excerpts from Jim Tonkowich's message
Most vacationers are after the same thing: rest. Did you rest? Do you ever rest - deep down rest? Or is your life lived in a frenzy of activity and sleeplessness? Before going on vacation one year, I read
Psalm 116. Verse 7 caught my eye:

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

Note that the psalmist is not talking about his body resting, but his soul. It's one thing for my body to rest by sleeping in. It's something else to have a soul at rest. And note too that the rest comes and goes. He had rest once and wants it back.

Psalm 131 pictures the resting soul as a child snuggled up and napping against her mother's breast. Matthew 11:28-30 describes it as the feeling when a heavy burden is removed.

We don't come to enjoy that rest via some 5-step program. If we take the psalmist as a guide, we find that he doesn't do anything to find rest. Instead, by faith, he believes three things about God and, in faith, he responds.

1. My Soul Can Be at Rest Because the Lord Hears Me

1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

On most vacations, we drive up to Maine, do our thing, and drive home. But the last vacation included family responsibilities along the way that expanded as we got closer to departure. At one point I started complaining to my wife. She said it wouldn't be all that bad. I knew that. She said we'd have a great time anyway. I knew that. She said I was being selfish. I knew that, too. Then she said, "But I understand how you feel. I hear what you're saying." I needed to know that. Someone who loves me hears me.

God loves us and He hears us. Yet sometimes when I listen to myself and others pray, I have the image of a bunch of hobos fresh up from the railroad track at the servants' entrance to a great mansion. Heads bowed, hats in hand, wanting to be heard, but… well, you never know when you're a beggar.

Then I picture a child racing past the hobos, across the lawn, yanking open the front door, and yelling, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" And out comes the master of the house, Daddy, who's all ears for his darling. That's a biblical picture of how our heavenly Father hears us.

Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ are children of God — adopted daughters and sons. When we call, "Abba" — the Hebrew word for "Papa" — Abba hears us. We can pour out our restless hearts to Him knowing that we're heard. Faith that He hears me brings my soul rest.

2. My Soul Can Be at Rest Because the Lord Rescues Me

3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD : "O LORD, save me!"
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I believed; therefore
I said, "I am greatly afflicted."
11 And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars."

Many of us waste a lot of time fighting with reality. We fantasize about a life that's free of problems and pain, stress and suffering — a life that, in this world, never can or will be. Life is filled with problems — many of our own making. We need to be rescued.

In Psalm 116:3, death, the grave, trouble, and sorrow are pictured as aggressive and clutching. The chaos of life is all around us and we feel under attack. Ask Christians who are being persecuted in Sudan, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia. Ask the families in inner city neighborhoods who have lost teens in the crossfire of gang wars. Ask the parent whose little bundle of joy is diagnosed with leukemia. And really we don't need to ask anyone. We already know.

The world is a troubled place and we make it worse with our own stupidity and our sin. Derek Kidner in his commentary on God protecting "the simplehearted" (verse 5) writes that the simplehearted…

…is a revealing description to use, for in the Old Testament it has no trace of merit. 'The silly' would hardly be too strong a term for these gullible, feckless people who roam the pages of Proverbs drifting into trouble. It is humble of the psalmist to identify with them; it is humble of God to have time for them (if 'them' is the right pronoun for us to use).

Beyond temporal rescue, we believe that Christ's work on the cross was the ultimate rescue from the clutches of death and from the eternal penalty of sin in Hell.

3. My Soul Can Be at Rest Because the Lord Sets Me Free

15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant
; you have freed me from my chains.

Freedom, most people think, is the ability to do anything I want any time I want to do it. Isn't that the idea of vacation? Isn't that why we want to be rich? But that utopian ideal is not real freedom.

Everyone has a center around which we build our lives. Whether we're utterly irreligious or highly spiritual, we each have a center, some thing or things that give life meaning and that we cannot possibly live without. It may be career, possessions, appearance, family, friends, moral character, religious practice, art, pleasure, rest, or some combination.

Having one of these objects at our center means that something controls us. If I have to excel in all I do then I'm not free. I'm a slave to guilt (I don't excel in everything). I'm a slave to anger (people get in my way). I'm a slave to fear (my goals are threatened). And I'm a slave to shame (what if others find out my weaknesses?).
Whatever is at the center becomes my savior. Too many Christians are enslaved to guilt, anger, fear, and shame by having some unworthy object at the center of life. Are our souls at rest? Certainly not, unless Christ is the center. Our souls are too busy trying to stay afloat.

The psalmist says that God breaks our chains (verse 16). Our liberation doesn't come from giving God the good record of our achievements, but by receiving from God the perfect record of Jesus' accomplishment on the cross.

The God of the Bible is the only center we can have and still be free. That's because the gift of liberation is itself free, and as a result we have nothing to prove. That frees us from shame and guilt. And while it's a freedom that we can ignore — falling back into slavery if we choose — it's a freedom we can't lose. There is a certainty that frees us from fear and anger.

We were created to serve God, and just as a fish is only free in the water and a bird is only free in the sky, so human beings are only free when we're what we were created to be: free servants bound to God the Liberator.

12 How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD— in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

The soul at rest is one that has learned to give thanks. As a how-to, just remember what your mom told you years ago: Always say thank you. John Calvin, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, said that thanksgiving is the essence of the Christian life. Notice that, in the psalm we've studied, giving thanks is a community activity. We need each other because one soul resting in the freedom of God and the Gospel is hope and encouragement for all the others.

Take time to reflect on and pray Psalm 116. Your soul can be at rest in the thick of your busy life even without a vacation because in Jesus Christ crucified and risen, the Lord hears you, He delivers you, and He has set you free.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


my dear fren has not yet gotten over her previous rship. it has been n still is a painful healin process fer her. she tries to forget but things juz happen n she is reeled back into e spiral downwards back into e pit of sorrows...

women r more emotional creatures. its a known fact. duno if scientifically proven - think not. but we tend to brood over things more n fer a longer period of time. there r daes when we juz lapse into this mini depression n start thinkin of all those things dat r hurtin us n makin us uncomfortable in our current state.

my fren juz cried like siao n used up a box of tissue. wish i could do dat. cryin is reali a v powerful tool. it can make someone who is so hurt feel beta. it can release all e pent up frustrations n confusion in a bottled up soul.

wat is e worst thing that can happen? when u haf no more tears to cry. when u haf no more emotion left to allow u to start cryin. when nothin can faze u anymore. when u r so hurt n upset n depressed inside but cant release it. dats e worst.

so cry on... while u still can...

Monday, September 25, 2006

divine guidance

Extracted from Prime Time with God
Dear God, help!!! So many times in life, this is just what I need to say. Maybe I don't know what to do or say. Maybe I do know what to do, but it is hard. Maybe there is nothing I can do. Whatever the case, I need help--not just any help, but YOUR help. I pray for myself, my family, my friends, my neighbors, my worldwide Christian family... We all have special needs in our lives. You know what those needs are. I pray that You will touch every heart. I pray that You will meet every need. I pray that we will each one lean on You and trust You to carry us through and guide us through this journey of life. I pray for Your continued mercy upon us. I pray for Your direction. I pray for Your intervention. I pray for Your wisdom. I pray that we will speak and act as You would have us do. I pray for knowledge. I pray, "help!" And above all that, I want to thank You for being here and for Your loving help along the way. Thank You Almighty God. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Exodus 13: 21-22
21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


sounds melancholic hor e title? but rest assured i'll make this post a hapi one to offset e sorrow dat was brought by e previous post... hahaha i seem to need to adjust e mood hor? like a dial on e radio... or a thermostat... cant let e temperature dip too low or go too hot... =P

u noe how many weddings there r comin up??? for e next 3 weeks, vin n i haf 5 frens gettin married!!!!! *shocked* this is e time when everyone is gettin married... so interestin huh e phases of life... in jc, there was a period when there were alot of couples poppin up everywhere... then suddenly there was a season of breakups... n when u r almost in e mid 20s, suddenly there r so many marriages comin up!!! i wish e best fer all of em n dat they would haf fulfilling n happy marriages... ^_^

now lets tok abt wat women spend their money on... juz now went shoppin wif mei ling... kaoz... there r sooo many pretty dresses n nice shoes n beautiful clothes!!! n there were so many woman n gals tryin em on... *sigh* so hard to fight e temptation... those flashin signs '20% off storewide' r so deceiving but yet captivating n it juz draws u into e store n once u r in n start flippin through e clothes, dats it!!! u r hooked...

how to get rid of dat shopping bug? once it bites u, it juz sucks ur blood (money) dry... *shakes head* but thank God i can still resist n haf dat super hiam attitude towards clothes... price not cheap enuff, colour doesnt match my skin tone, fit not gd, too much patterns... blah blah... else, my income statement will result in a loss each month man!!! negative cash flow is v bad v bad v bad...

but everyone has a habit which would suck their money dry... most women is either fashion/spa/cosmetics/facials etc... most men would b a huge bomb once in a blue moon... some techy gadget or some sound system etc...

but oh well!!! y think so much?? juz b hapi!!! endin off wif a nice pic of e DUNMAN HIGH GALS!!!!!!!!! ^_^ (did u noe i was from dunman high??? hahaha)

dan, evon n qiuyan!!! dunman high sch, here in katong, among e pine trees, gentle sea breeze... (not sure abt e 3rd line though) =P

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Wait

Isaiah 30: 15-
15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
16 You said, 'No, we will flee on horses.' Therefore you will flee! You said, 'We will ride off on swift horses.' Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."
18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

wow!!! i haf been troubled for the past months... especially e last month... i was depressed n had a heavy heart but could not resolve this issue... u noe everything dat happens to us dat brings us down, is mainly cos of our heart attitude. if we r at peace wif everythin, nothin can faze us... of cos there might b some stuff which would b super hard to b ok wif...

fer me, i m facin a major culture shock. e principles in my life need to b relaxed or changed. if i dun change my principles then i need to change my black n white world into a grey world. else i wun b able to live e rest of my life at peace. maybe most pple live in a grey world and onli i live in a world where everyone has their ownership to somethin n responsibilities n dat wun change. but maybe ur world is such that nobody has ownership in anythin n ur money is someone else's money n some pple r forever e smallest n will never rise up... blah blah blah...

submit to authority, u sae. yes, but how do i respect someone who has destroyed dat trust? foolish human talk, u sae... yes... i noe... i do need to learn to love n submit regardless of e character of e person... im sori im still struggling... but im tryin v hard ok?

God spoke to me in e passage above. i do need to keep meditating on that so as to renew my mind... He will keep my heart in perfect peace if i juz trust in Him... but i want results fast. its hard fer me to wait, but i do need to... for in repentance n rest is my salvation n in quietness n trust is my strength but truly i would haf nothin of it... i keep struggling when all God wants is to show me e way...

i need to stop running away from this... i haf been running n tryin to erase all e hurting n saddening memories... but it onli caused e prob to magnify n make me more confused n depressed... so yesterdae i decided to stop running away n face it. i started to pen down every instance dat impacted me n caused e situation to culminate into this huge crisis. hopefully by discoverin e process, it would help me to understand this situation beta n understand myself beta. its gona b a major wk n i noe it will b over soon... as long as i wait upon God n seek after Him...

no longer will i feel like an uprooted tree being forced into another patch of ground but i will become a tree drawing from e rivers n providing shelter to others... i will wait... wait for me...

btw, for those who haf been askin me abt my back, my SGH appointment next fri (29/9) has been pushed to 5/12 cos e heartless doc is on leave dat dae. pushed by 2 months... after my 1 month wait... how smart... n there is no earlier slot for me... so there, my favorite word for the next few months - WAIT

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ok im back!!! =)

mag said she felt sad after readin my post so i tot beta cheer everyone up in case i made my dear frens sad wif me... =P was explorin e function of pairing my mobile fone wif my laptop n WOW!!! i managed to transfer ALOT of fotos over in a blink of an eye!!!!!

disclaimer: e fotos below r all taken from my frens' fones, not my lousy fone... =P v impressed wif e fantastic resolution leh!!!!! my next fone needs to b able to take such gd shots too!!! ^_^

enjoy... ^_^ (in chronological order, from most recent to ancient of daes...)

dear ivy is so stunningly beautiful!!! e hotel staff said she look like michelle (xie yun yi)!!!

me in my sailor moon hairstyle wif josh (who alwayz sae vin n i give him goosebumps but still likes to hang out wif us) HAHAHAHA... which hairstyle do u prefer???

my final round in project superstar hahaha... round 3 from 100 to 25 at mediacorp... SO WHICH HAIRSTYLE DO U PREFER??? hahaha... still v hung up over my new hairstyle... in case u forgot how my new hairstyle is like.. SCROLL UP!!!!!!!!!!!! =P

hee in e end aso never post many fotos, onli 3 hor? hiaks... aiyah cant show u all too many pretty faces else u all start askin me fer my frens' numbers HAHAHA... a few is enuff!!! =P

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


do u experience times in ur life when u juz haf nothin to sae, nothin to share, nothin to feel? in life we will alwayz haf those moments of highs n lows n constants...

guess its a conscious decision where we wan to b at in our lives... im goin through a period which can push me down into e depths but cos of external circumstances, like my gd sister's wedding, n a long weekend, n little joys along e wae, dat helped me to force my head to remain above e water n not sink deep into e ocean...

sometimes there r things dat juz cant seem to b resolved huh? but maybe its cos i tend to wan things to b resolved fast... due to my family background n job nature... but things r not that simple... we need to b patient n wait upon e Lord... for everythin will b resolved in God's timing...

sometimes im juz so tired... tired of tryin to make everyone happy... tired of holdin all my frustrations inside myself... tired of hafin to b e sandbag fer pple, where they juz treat me bad cos it entertains em, or makes em feel gd abt themselves... actually im reali down. so down but nobody noes n will b able to c dat cos i will not show... even if i do tok abt it, who will understand? no one but God...

but who said life is a bed of roses? who said dat things would happen e wae they r meant to happen? who said that pple r nice n understanding? who said that pple noe their places in society n families? who said that rships will last n frenships r forever? who said that when u put in effort n try ur best, pple will recognise it?


2nd time in half a year im shot down fer organising somethin. if somethin else much more impt comes along e wae n i cant make it, but e core group can make it, y cant they juz go ahead wif e gathering? y muz harsh words b thrown at me n i b 'blacklisted'? u mean by informing 2 weeks in advance is not sufficient?

but i will juz remain silent. guess they will never understand how much they hurt me cos they mattered so much to me... e power of words n emotions...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Being a shelter for those in need

Isaiah 32: 2-4
2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.

hmmm this is reali good... u noe, i alwayz long to b an encourager, a people person... someone whom can b there fer others in their time of need... many times i do fail... cos im too busy, too tired, too caught up in my own life, or juz bein e introvert n selfish me... let's face it, we r human after all...

but God gave us the capacity to love. not juz love, but we can draw from His unconditional love well... when we r tired n cant love when we need to, juz look to Him n we can love... its all abt love huh... cos God's commandment is to love...

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

Someone once said that you and I might be the only Bible someone ever reads, so we need to be something worth reading. - extracted from Prime Time with God

interesting huh... im sure we all noe dat... but its juz a timely reminder dat we r living testimonies... everythin we do reflects wat we focus on in our lives... if we r surrounded wif violence, we r violent... if we r alwayz arnd gossipers, we will gossip too... thus, if we focus on God, we will reflect Him, His love n His glory...

of cos, we r onli human n there r many times we fail... many pple haf become disillusioned wif Christianity cos of e supposed Christians... but oh well... we shall not go there... but all i can do in my small little part is to fix my eyes upon God, n He will direct my paths n renew my mind n guide me to b a beta n more Christlike person...

how come im so preachy ah?! kekeke juz my thoughts ma... e thoughts juz flow... think is cos one of my dear frens is in some prob n has been comin to me to tok... reali glad dat i b there fer my frens when they need me... juz to b there fer em when they r troubled... so dat they r not left alone n who noes wat... to all who haf shared ur life wif me in one wae or other, thanks for e trust in me n e frenship dat we share... =)

recently God led me to b a 'fairy godparent' where i will b a mentor to a child... once a week fer 2 hours, i'll either go to e child's place or if e child is in upper pri, e child will come over, n i'll guide e child in his/her sch wk n of cos b a big sister to e child... definitely i would wana share not onli academic stuff wif e child but abt principles of life, abt how to love, abt things dat can benefit e child... these children dat r benefitin from this program r children of parents whom r in jail n whom haf nobody to take care n love em...

pray dat i can b a shining light fer Him in all dat i do...