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I ended 2016 and began 2017 in the house of God. At first I had apprehension it’s gonna be quite draggy with hours of praying and listening to sermons, but it turns out to be exactly the contrary. I mean yes, we spent time praying and listening the message and direction for the church in this new year but God’s presence was so palpable and spirits were high. Every worship is a resounding declaration of how God has been so real to the 4,000 strong congregation that packed the room. I had no idea celebrating New Year in church could be so refreshing.

The pastor shared his vision for the church in 2017, titled “Decade of Expansion”. He encouraged us to break out of the limitations we have physically or mentally and expand the horizon for our vision. This is especially important since we’re facing what the economists are predicting to be a slow year ahead. We need to discern the fact from God’s truth. Bad economy is a fact but the truth is God is still our provider and in control.

As for my personal direction for the year, the word I have is Responsibility.
I know it doesn’t sound sexy. In fact it sounds like impending hard work. But as I prayed over the word and seek God’s direction, I know this is the year that I need to rise up to the opportunities and be responsible for my own growth be it spiritually, career wise, etc. Events in 2017 are pre ordinate, but how I respond to them will determine the outcome of 2017 for myself. With that in mind, I want to be deliberate in being responsible and doing things as an example for others instead of finding the easiest way like there’s no one following.

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While it’s easy to say how I want to do this and that because it’s still the holiday season, tomorrow my conviction will be put to test as the first work day of the year commences. I’m stepping into the new era of my life in faith for good days ahead (or at least God’s days) and not dwelling on former things.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

X,
Mel.

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2016 Reflection: Removal of Crutches

We are told to rely on God in all the things we do, yet sometimes we received so much blessings that they become the crutches we lean on. For example, a good career, financial stability, friends and companions may unconsciously become our crutches and substitutes for God. Self-sufficiency disposes people to reject God simply because they don’t see the need to have God in their lives.

I did not realised I first stepped into 2016 with my own crutches. I had a great job where my superior acknowledged my ability and career prospect was looking up as I had just accepted a job offer with 30% increment and better benefit. I was in a long-term relationship that might turn into a lifetime commitment. I had good friends returning from overseas. I hadn’t fall sick and believed my immune system is a ferocious bouncer that can kick any diseases.

But of course 2016, affectionately known as The Worst Year Ever by the netizens, did not let me, along with the rest of the Earth population, have it easy.
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First, I was struck by the diagnosis that I had a 17cm cyst in my ovary and I need to undergo my first major surgery. Although it’s benign, having tumor as big as a 19-week fetus was a slap to my health. I had thought I could live to a 100 years old swimmingly but clearly life is unpredictable and it is foolish to think nothing would happen even with my lack of discipline in lifestyle.

Second, I started my new job which certainly is not the land of milk and honey. I had to unlearn what I knew and refine on whatever unshaped skills from my previous experiences.

Third, broken romance.

Fourth, a good friend left the city to return to her homeland. My best friend who used to travel here frequently found a new job and she had no reason to come here as often as she used to anymore.

Fifth, I will be moving to a new location next year and that means I will be changing cell group. I have just gotten used to the members and I’ll definitely miss having this leader whom I look up to. But I know that to grow in Christ is to grow upward towards the direction He planned for me, and not just imitating or piggybacking the faith of others.

The list can go longer with my grandma passing away which marks the end of grandparents generation in my life, celebrity deaths, volatile political climate, etc. As I reflect on how 2016 has been, I see how my crutches are being removed one by one and I am “forced” to rely completely on God. I would like to say I do so willingly, but if He hadn’t removed those crutches I would not have realized that I needed Him to be my constant source of strength and to not let anything take His place.

Having the crutches removed is a painful experience. I fell, I cried and I learnt to pick myself up with Jesus’ help. He is my strength and the more I know Him the more confident I am of His faithfulness and that I can run with Him directing my path. I need not worry of what may happen.

2016 has been a lot of downs and more downs. But I’m here to say I’m grateful for each experience and I have never been more excited to step into a new year with God’s promises and Him right beside me. Cheers to 2017.

X,
Mel.

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Reason For The Season

Like most churches in Singapore, my church has 2 big events each year and the congregation is encouraged to invite their family and friends; One of it is Easter and the other is of course Christmas.

It’s been a long time since I sincerely invited anyone to church. I remember telling my leader that I felt I’m not gifted in that area and I will sound like a salesperson who doesn’t really want the job. Then my leader challenged me with this verse:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16

We, as believer, are called to be salt and light of the World. If we hide the light under a bowl instead of using it to show the path for others then what good is our light? Living is not about getting the best deal for ourselves, but it’s about sharing the light, joy and peace to all especially in times where terrorism is rampant and the World could definitely use a hope.

I decided to invite my friends to the Christmas event. I had a name dropped in my mind when I was praying but I did not know how I should invite this person and thought it’s better that I invite as many people as possible, cast the net as wide, since I’m expecting a stream of polite rejections. True enough there were last-minute cancellation or non-reply but the person whose name was dropped in my heart, came and through that I see the depth of God’s love for His people and the deliverance of His promises.

I volunteered as an usher this Christmas service. Technically my leader asked if I could do it and I just said yes. There was a lady who came alone. She came early, smiled at me and chose a seat somewhere at the corner in the front rows. I assumed she was a church member, but later she stood up when the pastor asked for first time visitors to stand. Everyone exchanged greeting and the 2 hours musical presentation started. At one point I was bored (maybe because I had been standing for 3 hours straight) and wondered will people come to know Jesus through this? But I was reminded that this event was not created to entertain Christians, but to bring Jesus to others and I trust that God can touch people’s lives through whatever method. At the end of the presentation, the pastor came on stage and spoke about what Christmas is all about and having Jesus as our hope for the season. Then she asked everyone to close our eyes and for those want to invite Jesus into their lives to raise up their hands. Usually I would be very abiding and closed my eyes, but just this time I lowered my head and out of the corner of my eye, saw that lady who came alone raised her hand up high.

It takes courage to lift up your hand at a service even when no one is looking. Sometimes I felt God is tugging at my heart but I struggled to lift up my hands because taking action requires boldness and commitment that follows. I was truly touched by how God has moved this lady’s heart to respond to the call. Truly He is working in people’s lives.

I’m sure there are many others out there who needs Jesus in their lives just like this lady. God might prompt them to come to church alone, with no escort. But most of the time God wants us to partner with Him and be His mouthpiece. I pray that my heart will break at the lost souls and it will propel me to take action. Even if people reject me, at least I want to pray for them. I wanted to approach that lady to bring her to the First Time Visitor lounge just to make sure she doesn’t leave the place not knowing the next step to take but I had to leave the hall. So I said a quick prayer for her in my heart and trust that God will guide her. You never know if a stranger is praying for your life right now.

It’s been a truly amazing Christmas for me, a reminder that Jesus was born to die for our sins so we can have eternal life. It is because of His love for us that He came to Earth. We are indeed the Reason for this Season.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

I wish you a Merry Christmas and may your heart be blessed.

X,
Mel.

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Failed to open page

This error message is pretty much an allegory for me;screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-47-34-pm

I’ve been trying my best very hard to open a new page of my life but it just keeps failing. There’s nothing wrong with the landing page, but somehow I keep getting disconnected while trying to load the pages. It’s as if I’ve disconnected from the source or my sense of purpose and can’t move forward. Then again, maybe I’m being too dramatic.

How long does it take for an average person to move on completely from a relationship that does not work out? Accordingly to Carrie Bradshaw “It takes half the total time you went out with someone to get over them”. Based on past history, I took twice the amount of time and that’s not gonna work this time.

I guess I’m gonna get myself a better router and try to stay connected this time. Whatever that means/ it takes.

x,
Mel.

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Afterthought

What does it take to destroy the world? Nothing.

By the look of it the World is on a self-destructive path and if we do nothing, the world will eventually crumbles on its own weight.

Life is like a descending escalator (side note: this is such an oxymoron. What’s the correct word for an escalator that’s going down??). If we don’t keep moving and outpaced the speed, we will fall to the bottom. Problem for people like myself who are too lazy to even sit up and read the bible is that we don’t know we are in danger until we see the rock bottom and instinctively move for survival. That’s how I felt while watching the live update of the US election few days ago.

At first there was worry, anxiety and then disbelief of the power of stupid people in large group a society that has grown tired and frustrated at the status quo, would rather take chances and vote for the radical (in this case, not a good way unfortunately) in hopes that things will be different. I can’t help feeling the World needs God more than ever before and the end is truly near.

If you need a push to start doing something, this is your sign. We don’t have the luxury of time to sit back and let others do the work because there are too many things to be done and not enough laborers who are willing. This might not mean you need to start going out and preach the gospel to everyone you see. But we need to be stronger and bolder against the ever-increasing opposition. If we don’t hold our ground, we’ll be swept by the current. Can we change the current? I don’t know but I’d like to think if everyone exert a little force, we can change the direction the World is heading. Just like what Trump supporters did. The World was laughing at them thinking Trump would never make it to the election, but he did and he won big time. So nothing is impossible. The world is one big battleground, between good or bad, anti or pro, etc. Stand up for what you believe in and impact someone. Start small, doesn’t matter, as long as you start.

x,
Mel.

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Mastectomy Bra

If you’ve never heard that term, you’re not alone. Neither have I until today when I saw my childhood friend who is the lady boss of Raquel Lingerie posted about her newly launched, first collection of Mastectomy Bra.

In her own words: “This October, @raquellingerie continues to deliver its commitment in this women-empowering movement. After 2 long years of research and development, struggles and challenges, we’ve finally created a mastectomy bra collection especially for breast cancer #survivors. It’s a small collection of 6 different styles for now (2 colors each, perfect fitting and comfort guaranteed) But we promise there will be more next year.”

I am extremely proud of what her team is doing. Not only have they made premium inner wear affordable to women but they are truly passionate about empowering women through the basic needs. I’ve known the lady boss since she was too young to be needing a bra. Her family has been in the intimate wear industry for years and I have never met anyone as well-read and particular about bra quality as she is. She was the one who made me realised I’ve been wearing the wrong size bra for years! It felt really awesome when my boobs finally met the perfect cup.

So if you’re looking to get great quality intimates, do check out their website. This is a brand that knows what women need, and committed to their cause. My boobs are supported by Raquel right now so I can vouch for their quality.

xoxo,
Mel.

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Moving On

The difficult part about moving on is when you finally realised that you no longer have part in that someone’s life. When he or she begins a new journey and you no longer have a role in sharing the joy. When his/her tears should no longer break you heart, and his/her laughters should no longer be your joy. It’s like when the film producer cuts your favorite character from the season, and you know that character is not coming back.

But does that make you stop watching the show?
The show still goes on regardless who died or live on.

Life goes on too. One day you’ll wake up with no paper cuts.
Until that day, we pray a little longer and hope a little more.

x,
Mel.

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Filed under Life Series, Love, Spiritual Journey