Hold Your Tongue

In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” James 3:5

I have been grumbling and complaining too much at work which I feel have also caused others to stumble. It’s been hard. And every day, when I wake up and do my quiet time, I would always pray the same prayer – to be patient, to be humble and to be Spirit-filled. And, I kept failing.

Taming the tongue is really hard to do. Gossips, grumbles, bad humor, etc. These are the things we tend to nurture more. I got reminded how powerful spoken words are. When I start venting out my frustrations to someone instead of venting out to God, I realize I am not doing any good to that person. I might just start a spark that would lead to a big fire.  I have to learn to bring all my cases to God first all the time, then to people who will not tolerate me but instead rebuke me in love and provide godly wisdom.

I pray that I will really let the Holy Spirit control how I respond and react in words to circumstances.  I pray that my words will be words to build and encourage someone. By God’s grace.

Will you pray for me?

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Struggle of a Discipler

My heart was troubled for the past days. This got triggered when I learned something about someone so dear to me. It somehow broke my heart for the fact that she did not tell me about it immediately when she has been open to me about a lot of things. And also, the fact that she pursues something that somehow I thought she would be wiser and spiritually mature enough to make such choice.

Three important things that God is teaching me these past days.

One – this circumstance made me reflect on how I should be as a discipler. I went back to the One who started it all. How was Jesus as a discipler? How was Jesus when He knew that Judas would betray Him? When Peter would deny Him? When the disciples hid and ran away? All of these did not stop Jesus to love them and all the more He prayed for them. I got reminded (not the first time) of how I have to let go the people that God has entrusted me to disciple. Let go, meaning not to stop discipling them but to let God take care of them when they choose certain things which we might think would not be good for them.

Second – this also reminded me of God’s heart. I realize that if my heart aches for my disciples when they choose to do things that are not in obedience to God, God’s heart who has the perfect standard must be aching more for all of us when we do things that are not pleasing to Him.

Lastly – it also made me reflect being a disciple. I realize that I, myself also do not tell everything to my discipler. It could be that I feel like I am not doing anything wrong or I could be scared that I might get judged or I just don’t feel the need of telling. And probably, the girls I disciple are also feeling the same thing that’s why they don’t tell me the things that I thought they would tell me. For whatever reason, I must learn to respect and just continue trusting God who knows the deepest of their hearts.

Overall, I am humbled. God reminded me that the most important that I can do for the girls I disciple are to love them and pray for them. I am also truly grateful for the disciplers that God has used to help me in my walk with Him. I am thankful that they allowed me to depend not on them but on God alone.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (Jesus’ prayer for the disciples – John 17)

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Job Well Done – Not Mine.

The past months at work had been truly a tough one. But good tough, I must say. I felt like this year passed by so fast with so many things that had happened for the past 11 months. And in every project, there is always an ending. Finally!

I must say it was tough, but I felt like I’ve grown so much for those months. I remember, before that project happened, I had doubts about myself and my ability to perform my role. Not to mention, being in a totally different culture.  Yes, I struggled (I wrote a blog about it).

For me, each day was like going to a battle. And what kept me going is the assurance that God will not let me do something I am not capable of. That whatever is given to me, He will enable me. The past months had made me more dependent on God. It had made me more prayerful not just for myself but even for the people I work with.

A lot of prayers. An increasing faith.

As the project is closing, feedbacks were just amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with God’s favor in my workplace. As I look back on the days I was struggling and to now, I’m just in awe on how God has enabled and sustained me. I can never take credit for anything because I know that apart from God, I can only do much, but I can never be at my best. I had my own lapses with my work and with my character as well, but God made me come through.

It’s all because of Him. For all the good jobs and appreciation I received, all credit goes to God and God alone. God did a good job in me!

The Great Unknown –  My “Awesome” 2014

Who would have thought that I will be part of a church-planting movement in Vancouver?

Who would have thought that I will start a discipleship group in this side of the world?

Who would have thought that I will work for a big retail company this year?

Who would have thought that I will meet more people from different countries and make new friends?

Who would have thought that I will be sitting here in my room, watching snow falling from my window as I look back about my 2014?

God knew. Even before all these things happened, God knew already. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

Those are only few of the tangible things that I never thought would be part of my 2014.

As I wrote in my journal  at the start of 2014, I was totally clueless of how things will be.

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God made me leave my job but He did not open any new doors for me right after, as I thought He would.

You know, that confidence that you feel like everything will fall into place just as you expect them to be?

I thought that I will work full time in a ministry in 2014. But, God had a different plan.  Much bigger plan.

You might not know, but I really wept when God shut all doors for my ministry application. I could not understand why when my desire was to serve Him full time.

And that question still remains half-unanswered until now. Half- answered was because He wanted me to move here.

Still, I believe that’s not just it. It’s something I look forward to be answered in the coming years.

Anyway, so 2014 turned out to be a big surprise for me. That’s what God is so good about – making us in awe of Him.

For the first 5 months, I had no job. Then, God made me move to another country after 5 months of no job. Thus, no sufficient funds for it.

But God said so, so I just had to obey. Those 5 months were life changing.  It was a very special walk with God. I had nothing but only Him.

Most difficult part was when you feel you can do something but God just keeps telling you, “Sit down, stay put, be still.”

God really did a perfect job of sustaining me. Apart from Him, I would have gone a different way.

The second part of my 2014 was the overflow. See, God had to prepare me first before He blessed me.

It wasn’t an easy journey at the beginning. Again, I wept in desperation as I was looking for a job.

As I didn’t have enough funds, I was praying so hard that I can find a job after a month since I arrived here.

Slowly, I saw how God had been preparing things for me here. Right time, right place.

What’s also amazing was that when I learned my visa got approved, my home church also announced that a church will be planted in Vancouver.

I got really excited! Right time, right place.

I may not have worked full time but God opened doors for me to be able to serve Him in this side of the world.

I can never take credit for all the things that had happened to me last year.

God’s faithfulness in my life overflows not just in me but also through me that I can share the blessings to others. Such a privilege!

If I summarize my 2014, I can do it in 2 parts – preparation and overflow. God had to mold my character first, before He reveals His great plan.

God is sovereign. He was in control. He is truly amazing!

My 2014 theme verse truly spoke how my year turned out. A time of surrender and loss for the sake of knowing, obeying and following Christ.

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TO GOD be all the GLORY for my awesome 2014!!!! Thank You Lord!

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What’s wrong with me?

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

I felt like I’ve been trapped in fear of failure. I am truly grateful for my work but the past days, I feel like I’m slowly losing confidence on myself. I feel like I’m going to fail anytime. This is how I always feel when I’m not in my comfort zone.

I don’t know if my brain just really got slower in processing new knowledge every day or I am just really incapable of my work. I never liked this feeling of waking up each day, fearing that things might not go well at work.

And maybe the reason for this is I tend to think what other people might think of me. Instead of just focusing on what I need to do, I tend to over think of how things might turn out to be in a negative way.

I don’t like this struggle. God is enough to assure me that He will help me and sustain me. But I still give in to fear that I end up spaced out and worn out.

I know I just have to trust God each day with every detail of my work. I know He cares about what I do because He cares for me. I know there is nothing to be afraid or worry about. He will guide me every step of the way.

What’s wrong with me? The way I think is what’s wrong with me. I pray that God will continue to renew my mind that I may overcome fear through Jesus.

Hope tomorrow will be a better day!

Surrender

I thought today would be a very good day. Our living room just got emptied with our extra set of couch, meaning more space. The deployment at work went well with no issues. Things went pretty smooth most of the day until I had a talk with someone.

I don’t know what people think when I put my photos in Facebook or when I make posts about stuff. Maybe, some would think, “She must have a good life. Travel. Food. Friends.” Well, true enough. And I owe everything to God – the good life.  But what you see in social sites are just portions of what the lives of the people really are.

I’m hoping that if you read this, you would realize that you are not alone in whatever you’re going through.

Family problems? Sure, I have those.

Struggles? Sure, I also have.

Financial issues? Ditto!

Career dilemma? Definitely.

Heart matters? Of course.

Attitude problem? I ain’t perfect.

Every day, I have a meeting with any of those, a two or three of them maybe. I wish I can say my life is perfect. But sad reality, it will never be. I’m blessed beyond what I have imagined. But it’s all because of God who is perfect and good.

What happened tonight, just reminded me that indeed, I can’t really do everything apart from God. I wanted to be mad and angry and really pissed. But all I did – cried and prayed and surrendered to God. I really can’t do anything. I can’t force people. I can’t control people. I can’t change people. Despite how hurtful it is that I just want to say mean things, I got reminded of God’s grace.  I don’t have the right. And it is very hard even while typing this.

You see, without God in my life, I can be the most annoying, judgmental, self-righteous, controlling, tactless person. And maybe sometimes, I still am. But only God can tug my heart and say, “Be still. Be calm.”

I feel so much better now just to be able to do this.

So, if you have a very tough day, you’re not alone. You just have to keep the faith and let God. 🙂