Sunday, October 25, 2009

Your Will Be Done

At church today, all the songs somehow sang God's greatness, faithfulness, love, etc. One of the songs that we sang went like this:

"S'gala puji
S'gala hormat
Seg'nap hatiku menyembahMu
Terimalah seg'nap hidupku
S'bagai persembahan yang hidup
Bukan kehendakku,
Namun kehendakMu
Hidupku bagiMu" (GMB - Tiada SpertiMu)

Literal translation:

"All praise
All honor
All my heart worship You
Receive all of my life
As a living sacrifice
Not my will
But Your will
My life is for You"

When I sang this song, my heart was wrenched. I teared. It was because I truly understood the weight of the words I sang. These are words that we are so used to singing in church! But a thought dawned on me: how could one sing about living as a sacrifice and walking God's will without tearing? I understood the difficulty of the choice. Living for God is not easy, walking His path is no joke. For me, it has become much harder day by day; but there's great joy and fulfillment.

To say, "Not my will, but Your will" is not an easy matter. That feels like killing my inner and sinful self everyday. Deciding to stop breathing the world's lies is like restraining from mental masturbation that my flesh has been used to for the past decades. When I understood the hardship ahead, I teared. I teared because I have been singing these songs lightly. I teared because God knows the hardship I am to face, yet still continue to have faith in me, even when I no longer believe in myself.

The choice is hard, but the choice has to be made. Not making a choice is a choice by itself - a choice that leans to the other side. Let's be wise in our choice. Walking His path is filled with great sufferings, but you know that the promise of a happy ending awaits.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hypocrites

Have you heard someone say, "I hate Christians. They are hypocrites"?

Essentially, what they meant is they do not want to deal with Christianity because of the people. When you hear this, depending on your relationship with that person, I suggest that with wisdom and gentle words, cut through that kind of masking.

Churched or not, we are all hypocrites in progress. The difference: we are saved, and (hopefully) are working towards a less hypocritical lifestyle.

Imagine this. There are many hypocrites in your school, so you don't go to school anymore. There are many hypocrites in your workplace, so you quit your job. That is ludicrous! Not going to church because there are hypocrites is really just an excuse. The person is just uninterested. I think it is better to bring that understanding to that person's face; it will make him or her think of a better reason why he or she avoids church. Insights, change of mind, different emotions and thoughts arise when one digs deep into the self. It is like doing a reflection. Whatever the outcome may be, whether one's heart softens or hardens towards the whole issue, I think it is better for the church and for him or her, because at least he or she is not lukewarm and has a strong reaction towards Christianity.

Maybe sometimes we need to call people's bluff and bring their thoughts deeper into why they have such reactions, thoughts, or emotions. And hey, that's a good bonding time too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Imitate God








http://www.atimetolaugh.com.au/cartoons.php?a=prev&c=j65


A quick laugh for all. It's almost weekend, hang in there, peeps :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sisterhood

I was out of town during the weekend. To be exact, I went back to Ann Arbor to settle some things that have been left undone for the past year. I'd have to say I had interesting moments, visiting the places of my past in the present.

I learnt that I really do love my Michigan community; they will be my family forever. This includes my church family and sorority sisters. I'm going to have to talk about my sorority sisters here, because their attitude is admirable. While the weather was really cold in Michigan, the people were really warm. Amazing. You guys have made a mark in my heart.

My sorority little sis picked me up from the airport at 6 in the morning when the sun was barely out. The amazing thing: she did not (and does not) have a driving license, so she had to seek a good friend's help to pick me up. I was touched by her act, because she knew that if she wanted to, she could have excuses to not pick me up, and let me find my own ride with my church people. After all, she knew that I have a lot of church friends in town. But she was so excited to meet me, that she did not really care about putting others to trouble, which by the way, usually takes more effort than putting the self in trouble.

On another note, a sister who flew to NY 3 hours after I reached, flew back the next day to meet me. I cannot even utter my deep appreciation and love. I was touched deeply. The other sisters, amidst their exams and other responsibilities, took their time to be with me. They didn't have to. I am a graduated sister who is in town to finish my business, and they have their own busy lives to live. But we hung out, talked, spent time with one another, and that, I think, is what relationships are about. Their hospitality screams, "Welcome home!" And indeed, I was home.

I felt loved, and in turn, I love them even more. I think that a lot of churches must learn from my sorority in this aspect. We care for one another, sacrifice our time for the others, and really, just enjoy one another's presence. We appreciate each other's value and love one another simply because. No other reason. Perhaps it's only for a weekend that I was there; perhaps if I were to live there, things would be rather different. And true, we have our own issues that we have to deal with. But I sincerely think that a weekend's experience as loving as this is one that I will keep close to my heart forever.

Once a Kappa, always a Kappa; I love this sisterhood. Loud and proud.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grad Students' Humor


I was laughing my head off! Man, I love PhD Comics, they have great comic strips that will send you down laughing the whole day, IF you are a Grad Student. Because obviously, we have a different sense of humor, LOL.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Problem of Big Cities

Many of us live in big cities: New York, LA, Boston, Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, etc. You name it. Having used to live in a smaller city like Ann Arbor has made me realize a fundamental difference in the way people live their lives. This may be an overgeneralization of the whole issue, but let's hope that we all get something from this insight that I have received.

In bigger cities, I think that people are separated by distance and pride. This is probably because people in bigger cities are more wealthy and self-sufficient. Or maybe, bigger cities tend to bring together people who are like that, I don't know. What I am familiar with, is how it becomes more difficult to get together because people are located across towns and cities; traffic has become a major turn off. I find it amazing that traffic shows a lot of our selfishness and ugliness. Think about the last time you turned down someone's invitation for lunch or dinner because it was too far away, or when you were annoyed at the slow moving traffic.

On the other hand, perhaps due to this distance, people are more unwilling to seek help. The more wealthy we are, the more we are capable of paying for services that otherwise we will have to ask for help from others. After all, that is a bother to others. If a payment is made, at least nobody owes anybody anything. It ends the relationship there. I will call this pride, because I think that it takes a lot of humility to ask for someone's help. The feeling of indebted to someone is not very nice, thus we don't mind as much being the helper as being the helped.

As a result of this self-sufficiency, there is a huge deal of privacy in one's life, because there are less people who are involved in our lives. I'm not talking about sharing our stress or daily activities, because I think it comes easier for girls to do that. It is when we ask our friends to help rent a U-Haul or move boxes across towns because we are moving, or help clean our house for spring cleaning. This requires more time commitment and energy from the other party. Plus, there is a the feeling of rejection is greater if someone says no.

People in the bigger cities are often more isolated and lonely. I think on top of the physical separation, the emotional separation is more of an issue. I think it is good to start asking for help from others, because others may be more willing to help than we previously thought. It also trains our humility, knowing that we don't have it all, and we need others in our lives more than we think we are needed by others.