Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One of my earlier memory of her was a time we were leaving at a flat. It was usually during our bedtime. My sisters and I would sleep on the floor since there would be no room for us on the bed with my mom and dad. My eldest sister would then be sandwiched between my second sister and I. Both of us would cling onto her arm on ether side as she became to us our security for the night. Somehow, some time in the early morning; she would find herself abandon by her siblings just to find them cuddling with our parents. Hahaha... this happened quite often actually.
Her leadership was something I looked up too. Even now. She is someone I would run to for advices (not that I apply them) and depend on. Often people would wish for an older brother, but for me... I love it just the way it is.
She had set a certain standard for myself and my siblings, and I believe even fro those around her. Her leadership stands out and her lifestyle tells it all. She never commits to something she is unable to fulfill. She would as much as she could, be punctual and would do her best to keep to her words. Her promise is her word to keep.
Leadership is not about achievements, rather its about how we achieve them. Who are we achieving those goals with? Why are we doing the things we do? It is about the people we work with. It is about how we can influence those around us so that WE can become a better person individually and as a team. My sister seems to have that kind of leadership. Maintain the perspective and keeping on course.
Of course, this is one of the lessons I've learnt more about leadership from home. I've got my mom, dad and other siblings that have thought me more about life than most people I've met. Leadership starts at home.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by renewing of your mind.”
One of those places is when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount as He spoke with Moses and Elijah. The other is found in 2 Corinthians 3:18. It says, “ But we all, with the open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Changed, transformed, transfigured! Those are powerful, exciting words, and describe what will happen to you as you spend time beholding the Lord in the Word and in prayer. As you spend time renewing your mind, your outer being will be transformed in much the same way as a caterpillar is changed into a butterfly. Instead of conforming to the image of the world, you’ll begin to conform to the image if the reborn spirit within you which is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Take time to get away from the world and study God’s Word. Meditate on it and let it change you from the inside out. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and release the beautiful spiritual butterfly living in you!
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:6-18
Adapted from Faith to Faith A Daily Guide to Victory
by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The struggle with self worth has been something I've struggled with for all these years. It is probably one of my weaknesses in life. The urge to find my worth through what I do and pleasing others in the process seemed to help me find a certain value in myself. It is an endless jouney to finding my worth.
I know of many people who feel the same as I do. My lack of worth is probably the lack of fathering. In recent years, as I worked, I found myself trying to please my bosses and hoping for their approval. The desire to please them became too overwhelming that I thought something mst be wrong. As a Christian, I knew that I am not to please people as to making them gods, rather to please God and to live for him only. I was wanting some kind of attention and recgnition.
Nearly a year ago, I went for a visit to my dad's house for Chinese new year. We were sitting in the living room. My dad had a few visitors and as his son, I greeted his guest and welcomed them into the house. He then introduced me to them and it was what he said that surprised me. In fact, it changed my life! He said, "This is my son Stephen, my hero." I could not believe my ears. It was someting I had not expected.
I praise the Lord for those kind words. I know that I am not quite the 'hero' but to hear it coming from my dad... it was approval and recognition long awaited.
Now imagine this with me. At the river Jordan, John the Baptist was preaching about the coming kingdom and the Christ. His words pierced the hearts of many to surrender and repentance. Then... in the midst of them was Jesus son of Joseph the carpenter. "Behold! The Son of Man... this is the Christ I am telling you about whose sandle straps I am not worthy to untie." And as Jesus approached him, He told John to baptist Him. As he came out of the water the heavens thundered and the clouds parted.A voice thundered from the heavens, "This is my beloved Son whom I am well please!" And from the clouds the Spirit of God like a dove came upon Jesus the Beloved Son of God.
If you would take a moment to imagine the assurance Jesus had, one that He needed to hear for the task He was about the embark was bigger than one man could handle. God the Father's assurance was timely and comforting.
God is also calling us sons and daughters. We have been called children of the most high God. He is calling to you..."my child, I love you!"
Friday, November 16, 2007
There's something about having elder sisters. I would never have it any other way.I can't imagine having an older brother (I do have an elder brother from my dad's first marriage). My sisters were my advisors and adversaries. They would gang up on me from time to time, playing pranks on me. Once, they would hold the door shut and turn off the light in the shower and sing an errie tune to scare me. They knew I was afraid of the dark. Thank God I overcame the fear.
One lesson I've learnt from them is, don't mess with WOMEN!
I got my eldest sister mad one evening. She had asked me to do the dishes or something like it but I refused. We started a shouting battle in the living room. I thought I had won the battle as she turned around. Under my breath, not knowing she could hear it (I wasn't too good with whispering) I said, "You PIG!" with a smirk running through my face. She stopped! "Oh no!", I thought. "I'm dead!"
Suddenly she turned toward me, held a fist and drove those knuckles into my gut! She winged me. I didn't wanna show the pain, so I called her "PIG!" over and over again. That did not solve the problem obviously. She chased me out of the house and locked me out. She knew I had to come in soon. Well, the story ended with me getting beat up.
The lesson learnt is: DON'T MESS WITH YOUR SISTER!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I had been blessed nonetheless by the experiences I have gone through. All are significant to me and shaped me. God had been watching me through those years, good and bad, and protected me. No matter how far I had gone, He would still wrap His arms around me n assurance and say, "Welcome home, my beloved son. I'm glad you are safe."
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I just thought I'd post a rather random thought. Coming into the church ministry from being an engineer was truly a challenge. It was not just a personal challenge but for my family, friends and others very close to me. It had pushed us all to trust God more in faith and understanding that there's no other way to please Him without faith (Hebrews 11:6)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This is rather personal. I was contemplating whether it would be a good idea to post such feelings and experiences, but this is exactly the reason why I started "CROWS AND CROSSROADS" that I may share some of my expriences at these crossroads of life.
Note: Please be patient with my grammar. I will correct it again for better reading. God Bless!
Before my younger brother come into the world, I was the youngest child among my siblings. They were my sisters. I played with them what every child would normally play. We particularly enjoyed role playing such as weddings, house, students and teachers and many more. I enjoyed my childhood thoroughly. Climbing trees,running in the field, swimming... you name it, we have probably done it.
Some time along the way, I began to question my identity. More specifically my sexuality. I've heard the word "gay" many times before. It seemed rather provocative. My friends in school would tell me that if you like someone of the same gender, surely you must be "gay" and there's something wrong with you. This was what I believed. As I grew older, I realised that I had admiration for those of similar gender. I was torn apart. I thought, "Could I be gay?". This struggle with my identity remained with me for several years into my teen years. The more I thought of it, the more I felt convinced that I was somewhat attracted to those of the same gender. I had an identity crisis.
The reason I had such misconceptions was that society and media often generalize admiration for certain types of sexual attraction. There is nothing wrong to admire a person even if they are of the same gender. A lot of boys admire Michael Jordan. Does it make them "gay"? No! Society and media, instead of correcting our way of thinking, has corrupted it. They tell us that any same gender attraction, or any kind of attraction for that matter, is sexual . We believe in such lies and eventually for some, they succumb to them. Admiration is not bad, it is learning to appreciate the beauty of God's creation.
The identity crisis is probably the one prevalent crisis in our cultures today. Just think about it. Identity is not just about sexuality but intellect, emotions and spirituality too. People go through identity crisis almost daily because we are always in transition: A toddler-child-teen-older teen-early adulthood-mid adulthood-adult-old age. We are always facing identity crisis . We've heard of quarter-life crisis, mid-life crisis and much more.
YOU HAVE AN IDENTITY CRISIS....!
I know Jesus has the answer to your crisis. We can only find our true purpose and identity when we know Jesus Christ in whom all things are created. Give it some thought, are you in a crisis?
Col 1:16-17 (CEV)
"Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God's Son, and everything was made for him.(17)God's Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together."
Thursday, October 18, 2007
1 John 4:7-16
verse 9&10. "This is how God showed his love amoung us:He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we love God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
"Sometimes love sure hurts!" The mother and father were expressing the difficulties and heartaches of guiding their children through their teen years. "Maybe if we didn't love them quite so much it wouldn't be so hard," the man added.
Even though love brings pain and sorrow what would life be without it? In his book The Four loves, C.S. Lewis wrote:
"To love all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you mustgive your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness... The only place outside heaven you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers ... of love is hell."
To love is to take risks, to expose our hearts. Sometimes it hurts! It hurt Jesus Christ, but He kept on loving - even at the cost of His life. And He asked us to "love one another as I have loved you" (John 1:12)
Truly loving that spouse, that teenager, that neighbour, that colleague is Christlike, and its better than locking your heart in the coffin of self-centredness.
Thinking It Over:
How have you been hurt by those you've tried to love? Have you been tempted to withhold your love from them as well?
Sunday, October 14, 2007
My father walked in through the door on that fateful day. We had lunch together and it was one of the moments I truly treasured. Since my father was rarely home, these occasions were one that I held dear to my heart. After lunch, he looked at me and said, "Stephen, when I am not in the house you are the man of this house."
I never thought how this would have affected my life until more recent years. I am now 27 and those words continue to resound in my thoughts. How could a 15 year old ever be man? How was I able to know what manhood was? Daddy... could you show me, please?
These were some of my thoughts and cries. I thank the Lord for those moments of deep searching. I have a younger brother whom I truly adore and love. I happened to be talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago. In the conversation, I realised that I had been very hard on my brother. I never gave it much thought until now. Why was I so hard on him? Why did I keep pushing him? Why? Then it dawned upon me that it was the very word my father had said to me. "... you are the man of this house." I wanted to be the man my father asked me to become when I was 15.
I really wanted to be all I could be to my mother, sisters and brother but I am not. I was unable to fill in the shoes of my father. I tried. I began to feel the responsibility to become a male representation at home. "O Jesus", I cried, "I don't know how to be a man. Who will show me?"
A book I read quite some years ago mentioned the author observing a middle aged man. The man had a very strong manly feature. Intensed and focused. Years of experiences and perseverence have left its marks on his expressions. Then the author said, "this was a mark of manhood". I reflected on these words. What is a man? It may take me a lifetime, but all I know is... I would one day be the man God wants me to be. I thank Jesus for my father. If he hadn't said those words I would not have begun this journey in pursuit of manhood.
"God, be my Father and teach me what I need to be a man after your heart."
Have you ever felt like you've got so much to do and so many decisions to make? You probably came to a time in your life where you felt like screaming, but no one's listening. It seemed like no one cares. I have! Many times.
Crows and Crossroads is about those moments. Moments I had to make those decisions. Moments of silent prayers and tears. Moments of rejoicing and laughter. These moments are found at those crossroads.
I just pray and hope that the entries here would have some impact on those who reads them. My hope and love is to glorify Jesus. To make him known in the everyday life.
We will all be at the crossroads one day... what are the decisions you will make?