Tag Archives: inspirational

Word of the Year: Sacrifice

My Word of The Year 2017 was Responsibility and as if that wasn’t dreary enough, this year’s Word is Sacrifice.

Last weekend I was scheduled to serve as usher in church. I had the day planned out in the morning, then I watched Netflix longer than what I planned for, grew tired from lying on bed whole morning and decided to take a nap 10 minutes* before getting ready to go out. I snoozed till I either get up rightaway or missed my reporting time. I chose the latter, continued sleeping and woke up too late to report for duty but, to alleviate my guilt, made it to church. That day, one of the sermon’s key message was “The price you pay for worship will correspond with your breakthrough”

Ouch.

I have been coming to God asking “why am I not having the same level of intensity that I had for you?”. The problem is I come to Him whenever it’s convenient; the leftover of my time, when I’m waiting in line and had nothing to do, or when I’m bored. It cost me nothing to spend time with Him.

In 1 Chronicles 21:18-30 King David wanted to purchase a site to build an altar to the Lord. Araunah, the owner of the site, offered him for free yet King David replied:

“No I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

King David (1 Chronicles 21:24)

Jesus died for us. He showed us the ultimate sacrifice out of His love. He doesn’t demand anything in return but His act of love caused my heart to stir and bring transformation to millions. That’s what a sacrifice can do.

What Sacrifice Isn’t

A sacrifice has to be sincere. It cannot come with strings attached. If you sacrifice something with the mindset of gaining something else, then that’s a bargain not a sacrifice. Lent is starting soon and we’ll hear many people giving up something till Easter. It is an admirable practice but I hope those sacrifices are not mere tradition or a “by the way” (e.g. I’ve been meaning to lose weight hence giving up sugar).

We sacrifice to set our heart right before God. When you love someone, don’t you want to spend time or buy gifts or write letter for that person even if you have to inconvenient yourself to drive to where he/she is, set aside time to shop, research on nice restaurants, etc? (P.S Valentine’s Day is coming – this is a hint how to treat your girl/boyfriend)

This year I want to learn to be a good lover of God; to give Him 1. My time – which could mean less time on Netflix, 2. My finances – not getting another pair of sneakers and giving to Mission Trip instead, 3. My attention – abiding in Him and listening. Stop treating Him as my Psychiatrist, 4. Myself.

This year may (you and) I learn to truly live a life of sacrifice unto the Lord.

X,
Mel

*There’s no such thing as a 10 minute nap.

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2018 New Year’s Resolution

Finally done drafting my resolution! I take New Year’s Resolution seriously because I’m one of those unmotivated and easily distracted person so if I don’t have a list of goals, there’s high chance I might go wayward and meander through the year. Last year I am pleased that I did well against my resolution for the first time since I started making resolution list. So let’s kick start 2018 with a new set of goals! I’ve categoried them in no particular order.

1. God

I’m re-cultivating the habit of morning prayer as a symbol and reminder to start everything with God.

2. Health

Last year I wanted to be healthy and I’ve done so by going for crossfit and signing up gym membership (also actually use it). This year I wanna be healthier and fit by exercising 2x a week (I just wanna make the most out of my membership fee) and watching my diet. Reduce sugar and rice. Hopefully lose 2kg in the process.

3. Finance

The aim is to be financially prudent or to quote my company’s expenses policy – “X is committed to ensuring that all expenditure incurred is prudent, reasonable and reflects sound judgement and decision making.” Do I need a cat butt tissue dispenser? No.

4. Relationship

Make time to develop relationships. Be aware of who and how I’m spending my time. Accept that I am not be able to keep up with everyone because if I do I will burnout and lose track of people who matter.

5. Self-care

On top of making time for others, I’m setting aside me-time. This includes pampering myself (manicure, creambath, go to salon) and doing the necessities like an overdue visit to the dentist and my doctors!

6. Writing

Starting with 1 post per week to gain back the momentum. The post need not be extraordinary or meaningful as long as they are published.

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7. Career

I am grateful for the new job and now it’s time to take it up a notch – be aggressive and proactive. Do the obvious. E.g. Don’t understand? Ask! Need to cut the meeting and excuse myself? Speak up! Need to chat? Call!

8. Community

Continuing from last year’s resolution on being more involved with Toastmaster and Cell group, this year I want to be more present. To be part of a community means I don’t just receive from the group but also contribute my knowledge, experience, skills and time.

Alrighty. 2018, we’re ready for you!

Cheers,

Mel.

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2016 New Year Resolution

Of course I have to start my first post of the year with my resolution!

Truthfully, I haven’t given much thought on making resolutions this year. I’m at the que-sera-sera stage of life and I am not the best at keeping track of my resolution. Most of the things I aspire to accomplish at the start of the year are covered in dust by year end. Then when I reflect on what I set out to accomplish, I’ll feel a tinge of regret for not doing them, which is why I didn’t feel like making a list now. However, last weekend I was traveling and from 35,000 feet above ground I felt the urge to write one. I guess when you’re up in the air, you are a little more ready to take flight and plunge into New-Year-New-Me state. Despite my initial lack of faith, here’s what I wrote from above ground:

1. Travel to a new place I’ve never been to.
This is a Permanent Resolution that I look forward to every year!

2. Spend Time Alone With God everyday no matter how busy.
It’s 13 days into the year and so far I’m on track.

3. Good health – reduce consumptions of carbonated drinks and fast food drastically.
I was diagnosed with something that requires surgery late last year. No, I’m not dying and it’s not cancerous, but it puts thing into perspective for me like how I’ve not been taking good care of my body. This year it shall be my priority.

4. Read 1 book per month.
Currently reading “Night Circus”.

5. Watch 2 movies per month.
You’ll find me binge watching on movies this weekend.

6. Blog 2 posts per week.
This is a little too ambitious. I’ll start off with once every 2 weeks and by end of the year you’ll be seeing 2 blog posts per week! *fingers crossed*

7. Make time for loved ones & plan my days properly
Thanks to iPhone Calendar, I’ve not overbooked myself for the past 3 months! Am very proud of that. I want to keep that up plus booking my time to stay in touch with loved ones.

There you go! I think this year’s resolutions are more realistic… a sign of greater wisdom, and aging. Let’s see how they go.

Cheers,
Mel.

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[#traveltuesday] Invercargill – A city where Dreams Are Possible.

Let’s travel back in time – 2007 to be exact.

I lived in a small city at the far end of the Earth called Invercargill. You might have heard it if you’re an avid Indian motorcyclist (Indian – The Motorcycle brand, not the country) or if you’re a New Zealander. You might have passed it on your way to Queenstown while visiting the land of hobbits. If you can’t recall, it’s fine. It’s easy to overlook the sleepy town unless you spent enough time to form fond memories of Invercargill.

The first thing you will notice when you step into Invercargill is this:
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Having spent a year there, I can testify that though Invercargill is a small city (with population of 10,000 at that time), it has this vibe that every dream is possible.

I suspect it has to do with Invercargill being geographically located in the far corner of the Earth. It made you feel a little out of the World and that you have a second chance to start afresh. I came there without knowing anyone, to be fair I didn’t know Invercargill existed until I enroll into the school, and I left the city having met people who become my windows of the World. Also, I was there to study film and film was and still is my passion. It was practically me on a bootcamp for something I’m passionate about.

young and free

young and free

Someday, I’ll definitely come back or even write a film about my experience there. I don’t know. When you’re young everything seems possible. I wonder now that I’m older will I feel the same way if I go back?

Maybe, on your way to Queenstown and you check the city out and see for yourself. Do visit the Queens Park which is all the entertainment there is in the city, but it’s kinda cool how they have the big park in the heart of the city. Kinda like Central Park, New York don’t you think? lol.

Pure New Zealand Ice Cream!

Pure New Zealand Ice Cream!

Cheers!
Mel.

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[#SpiritualSunday] Hear and Hope.

I’ve had a bad week full of complaints and negative thoughts. I’m so close to quitting and I’ve been asking God if I should. I don’t think I heard His answer. I’m far too focussed on my own complaints to hear what He has to say.

There I go. I think that’s what God been trying to say.

I had a conversation with my elder sister earlier on. It’s quite annoying how elder siblings always seems to have their stuff together far more than the younger ones. I always feel like I’m one step behind everyone. That’s the devil’s lies.

God works in a mysterious way. Sometimes it may feel like we don’t hear anything from Him until we truly set our eyes on Him and just seek to listen instead of vomiting our frustrations all the time. I mean, to be honest most of the time when I ask God something I actually have an answer in mind that I wanted so I didn’t really want to know what He has to say. I just want to complain and be justified, I have no interest to know if this situation is good for me.

So there I go. I have the answer to why I feel God hasn’t been answering and I’m feeling worse day by day. I thank God that He is able to speak to me through writing and setting aside time for Him.

I don’t know what your situation is right now, but if you’re waiting on God for an answer; Press on. Clear you mind and focus on drawing closer to Him.

Last, I want to end the week with a quote from Joyce Meyer’s sermon, The Hope of Seeing Change.

“Hope is a favorable and confident expectation. It has to do with the unseen and in the future.”

Note to self and anyone who needs the Word; Everything can change. Your situation now is temporary and not hopeless. To hope is to refuse to give up. Keep hoping.

Credit: Google.

Credit: Google.

Cheers,
Mel.

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Why I Will Be A Writer.

I wrote a post on why I won’t be a writer last year and now I’m writing a post to oppose it. After close to a year, I have now garnered enough reasons to know that I will be a writer and here’s why:

1. There’s nothing I could dream of but to be a writer.
If you keep seeing something that caught your eyes over and over again, you’re going to buy it someday. If you keep seeing the same dream over and over again, you’re gonna live it out one day.

2. I don’t care if I have nothing to write about, I write anyway.
Paul Arden stated in his book Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite that “A bad idea executed is better than a good idea undone” which means even if I post something irrelevant, it is still better than plotting a blockbuster in my head. That’s what I’m doing.

3. I’m kicking my way out of the society hole.
I am practicing not to be concerned about what people think of me because they are not thinking of me. It is difficult to just let go and say whatever I want to, but I am training myself and that’s a step closer to becoming a writer. Stop caring of what would a million people think of what I write.

4. There must be a purpose for my passion for writing.
The Creator places passion in humankind for a reason. If you are gifted with numbers then maybe you should explore that option. I am not sure if I am gifted in writing but I definitely have a passion for it and it sure means something. I will not rest till I find its purpose.

5. Writing is my weapon of choice .
David won the battle against Goliath because he used the weapon that he is best at. David placed his faith with the Lord and does what he does best; to sling. David wasn’t carrying an ordinary sling, he was carrying a weapon that he has trained himself with for so long.* Writing shall be my weapon of choice.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to become a writer, but I’m locking this statement and pursuing that road. It might take 10,000 hours of training (according to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers), nothing can stop me and this is the feeling that makes me think that I finally have what it takes to become a writer; To let go of my fears of people’s opinion, caring too much if anyone is going to read me, and just write. If it fails, I’ll keep trying.

There is nothing to lose.

Cheers,
Mel.

*I’ve just read Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art of Battling Giants. It’s a good read!

The-secret-of-becoming

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Half Marathon.

It’s the month of July! We’ve crossed over to the second half of 2014. This is the best time to revisit your New Year Resolutions in case you’ve forgotten or diverted away from them. This is the second chance to dig up your Resolutions and realign yourself.

I hope this is not your progress graph.

I hope this is not your Resolution progress graph.


Referring to my 2014 New Year Resolutions, I’ve only managed to clear one item from the list. I feel like I need to re-strategise and edit my list a little due to the unforeseen circumstances. So here is version 1.1 of my 2014 New Year Resolution:

1. Stop procrastinating. Start planning, keep a to-do journal and stick to it.

2. Save 10% of my income monthly. Learn to manage my finances. Based on my current plight, live with a budget of $10/day.

3. Have daily time alone with God, at least 10 minutes a day. I need spiritual nourishment. Make time for God.

4. Contact 3 old acquaintances to catch up and send out minimum 10 postcards to anyone, including a stranger. P.S I’ve sent 1 postcard to an acquaintance.

5. Think of full story and write it down. Deadline 20 Nov.

6. Update this blog at least once a week. You guys are my witness.

7. Read 15 books. Checked! Currently on my 19th book for the year.

8. Write a Travel Journal entry.

Seems like I need to increase my gear for the second half of the year. That’s the good thing about doing this mid-year evaluation, so we’ll know what actions need to be taken! Resolution aside, I’ve signed up for a 10km marathon in August. It’s my first time running in marathon although I know 10km is barely a marathon. Still, it’s a start of something new! Cheers to the greater half of the year!

x,
Mel.

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