Category Archives: Spiritual
Anything about God and living life as salty light.
Not long ago, I celebrated my birthday with a party, and it was a day of warm, fuzzy feelings.
I am blessed to have family and friends willing to take the time to help make the party happen.
I am blessed to have friends willing to take the time to celebrate me.
I am blessed to have friends who care and know me enough to give me gifts I would actually love to use.
I’m recording this here because it’s easy to feel blessed and loved now while the memory is fresh, but there will be darker days in the future. Days when I think:
No one cares about me.
God has forgotten me.
When that happens, I can look back to this and remember that I am so loved, by people and by God.
If you have moments like this, I encourage you to write them down, because it’s easy to forget the good times when you need them most.
I took a few classes in anatomy in uni where I learnt a lot of very practical stuff (how can I not? It’s about this human body I use day in day out). Part of the syllabus was learning the many, many ways fetal development could go wrong.
They range from not too bad (having the heart on the right instead of the left), to deadly (not having a brain at all. It’s pretty gruesome picture).
Then I look at myself, and I have no such problems. I (and many others in the world) have dodged all kinds of these dangers before we were even born. It’s like an untold epic battle of survival, right in our mothers’ womb.
For some of us, the victory isn’t as flawless, with battle scars that can be life threatening, superficial, or just downright bizarre. But even if we’re missing limbs or have extra limbs, we’re still alive, and technology is on the quest to fix everything and anything.
What’s the point of this post?
I don’t really know, to be honest. It’s just something that struck me while I was in class looking at all the different ways my body could have betrayed me.
Many of us are familiar with Easter (chocolate bunnies!), a lot of us have heard about Good Friday (incoming long weekend alert), but no one really talks about the Saturday in between.
If Easter was a triology, Good Friday would be the first book where everything goes wrong, Easter Sunday is the book where the good guys beat the odds and defeat the bad guys, and Silent Saturday’s just there because it wouldn’t be a trilogy with just two books.
So what’s the point of Silent Saturday?
Not long ago, my flight home got delayed. Anticipating the long waiting time, we decided to check out the airport lounge. We had two priority passes, enough for two out of our family of four to go in. That… wasn’t enough, but better than all four of us doing nothing for the next few hours.
Then, out of nowhere, a stranger behind us produced two priority passes. He used one for himself, and offered the other card for us, allowing three out of four to enter. His card also allowed guests to enter the lounge for a decent fee. So, do we pay the fee and have all of us enter the lounge together? Or do one of us just take the hit and wander outside alone?
We chose to pay the fee, which turned out to an excellent decision, because our flight was further delayed. Now, instead of anxiously waiting for the plane to finally resolve its technical problems, we didn’t mind extra delays (too much) while we enjoyed food, wi-fi, and showers.
At one point, I could have said that “Our flight was delayed, but I’ve never felt so fresh going up the plane”, but just as we were about to enter the gate to our flight, we found out that the plane had been delayed by another hour. We decided to go in, even though those who entered were not allowed to come out again. That means the poor souls inside could have been trapped for hours.
In the end, we were delayed by 4.5 hours. Yet, because of one man’s kindness, an otherwise agonising wait became a luxurious rest at the end of a long holiday. It could be a nice coincidence, but I like to think that God’s been watching out for us.
I stay quite near to a train station. Usually, I start leaving the around 9 minutes before the train comes, if I’m early. Leaving 4 or 5 minutes before the train comes would be a little rushed, but I’ll still get there earlier than the train.
A few weeks ago, I left the house early. Just around 2 minutes before I reached the train station, I realized that I left my handphone charging at home. My dad happened to be home that day, so my first instinct was to call him and ask him to bring the phone to me, then I realised that I can’t for obvious reasons.
So, I rushed back home and grabbed my phone. My dad and I got into the car and we reached the train station under 1 minute. I dashed up to the platform and just made it to the train.
Thank God for cars and dads who just happen to be at home when you need them. =)
I take the train to my uni. Before I enter the ‘ticket-only’ area, there are monitors on the wall to tell us when the next train for whatever destination is arriving at what platform. If I see that there’s still a lot of time until my train, I can take my time; if my train’s coming soon, I don’t dilly dally.
A few days ago, I saw that my train was going to arrive in 1 minute, and the train after that would arrive in 10 minutes. 1 minute can mean that the train is one minute away, or the train has arrived and the 1 minute is about to turn into ‘now’. My platform is two floors down. I may or may not reach there in time, but after having my head crammed with information, I don’t really want to wait 10 minutes before I can start going home.
So, I prayed that I will be able to get onto the train. That said, I made sure that I didn’t take my own sweet time going down the floors. God may hold the train, but I should do my part by getting down to the platform at a decent pace.
The train was already at the platform, so I quickly slipped in. Now I was on my way home. It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but the fact remains that my prayer was answered, no matter how small.
And lesbians and bisexuals and homophobes and liars and thieves and murderers and psychopaths…
We’ve all heard John 3:16 at one point: “For God so loved the world…”. The world, as in the world and everything on it. That means everyone. Including homosexuals.
God tells us to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27). Who is our neighbour? According to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), ‘neighbour’ pretty much means everyone. Including homosexuals.
Just because you love homosexuals doesn’t mean you have to support gay marriage. You can love your parents/friends/siblings even though they take drugs, but that doesn’t have to mean that you have to support them taking drugs. Disagreeing with gay marriage is not a sign of homophobia. You’re just an individual expressing his/her right to have an opinion. What is homophobia is if you curse them or throw them out of your home/shop/hotel whatever only because they are homosexuals.
Sure, according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin, but so is pride, sloth, mockery, lying, adultery, murder, being judgemental and so many other things. If serial killers or people who read porn can still be Christians, why not homosexuals? And according to the Bible, sex outside of marriage is considered adultery, that includes one night stands, friends-with-benefits, getting divorce and marrying someone else as if you’re changing clothes. In that case, a lot of people, especially in western countries, are adulterers, but they don’t have much problem going to church, I hope. Homosexuality is just another sin that’s blown way out of proportion. A person is not defined by their sexuality. I believe that a person’s personality is much more important.
Christians, not all homosexuals will go to hell, just like how not all Christians will go to heaven. It’s our relationship with God that counts.
Homosexuals, don’t let your sexuality stop you from going to church. Those who do not accept you because you are homosexual are not expressing the boundless love God wants us to have. And those who disagree with gay marriage do not necessarily hate homosexuals.
I, although I disagree with gay marriage, do not hate homosexuals. I love them as much as everyone else. That means that if someone tells me that they’re homosexual, I treat them like a human being and learn more about them as an individual, just as I would anyone else.
Reading the instructions God gave to Moses to make the tabernacle in Exodus, it’s not hard to notice how painstakingly detailed the instructions are.
‘Make a lampstand of pure gold and hammer it out… six branches are to extend from the sides of the lamp – three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch. And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand…’
A lot, a lot of instructions for one lampstand.
It shows that God really knows what He wants.
Compare two shoppers. One knows exactly the kind of table he/she wants in his/her bedroom, one has no idea. The first shopper would be able to rattle off all the characteristics he/she wants in the table, sometimes enough details that it can be like an instruction manual. On the other hand, the second shopper would just look around and choose something that has already been made.
God instructed how He wanted everything in His tabernacle made. He knew exactly what he wanted. That shows very good planning and a very good knowledge of self and a whole bunch of other stuff.
A while ago, my family sat down together to do our New Year’s Resolutions and reflect on the past year. We talked about counting our blessings, so we took turns talking about how God has blessed us in the past year. When it came to me, I thanked God that we were still breathing. Serious.
Later, my sister told me that that was very cynical of me. ‘Thank God that we’re still breathing’. Really? Was there nothing else that I could think of?
But think about it. The fact that we’re still breathing means that we’re alive. A lot of people aren’t. My mum’s uncle passed away a few days ago. My grandmother passed away two years ago. Even as you read this, people are dying all over the place. I can die at any time. Due to an accident, a natural disaster, anything. But I’m still alive. My family is still alive. And it means more to me than a lot of people would think. So I say this in all seriousness:
Thank God we’re still breathing.
We can take a lot of things in the Bible and put them in modern context and they’ll still make sense. A few thousand years ago, King David wrote in Psalms 12:8 “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honoured among men.” This still holds true today.
Last time, to have sex out of wedlock was scandalous. The kind of stuff where fathers would kill their daughters over. But now, in certain countries, if you’re still a virgin by the time you graduate uni, your friends will find someone for you to have sex with. Sex isn’t something only for a husband and his wife anymore. People do it anywhere with anyone. Which I think is kinda sad.